JPP, Williams make six Bulls with Super Bowl rings
Lots of catching up to do on the last two days, but of course we have to start with former USF standouts Jason Pierre-Paul and Jacquian Williams earning Super Bowl rings in helping the New York Giants to a 21-17 victory Sunday night against the Patriots.
Both made plays in the game, with Pierre-Paul batting down a Tom Brady pass to force the Patriots to settle for a field goal -- he finished with two tackles (one for a loss) and two pass breakups. Williams had two stops on defense and another tackle on special teams, and was one of three Giants defenders in the air to knock down Brady's last-second Hail Mary on the game's final play.
The Giants, of course, had their secondary deep in anticipation of the end-zone heave on that play, but the wild thing was that Williams started that play near the line of scrimmage in pass coverage at the Giants' 46-yard line. Not sure how many NFL linebackers have the speed to make a play in the end zone on a 50-yard bomb, even with Brady getting an extra second or two before he threw the pass.
So if you're keeping score at home, that's six former USF players with Super Bowl rings now, four of which have actually played in the game on the winning team. Pierre-Paul and Williams now join Bucs long-snapper Ryan Benjamin, who played in Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003, and Giants linebacker Kawika Mitchell, who had eight total tackles including a sack in Super Bowl XLII in 2008.
Two more Bulls didn't play in the big game, but earned rings in 2001 with the Patriots -- rookie lineman Kenyatta Jones played much of the season for New England but was inactive on game day, and receiver Scott McCready was on the Patriots' practice squad, becoming the first British-born player to earn a Super Bowl ring. So of the six Bulls to earn rings, five did so with the Giants or Patriots ...
-- And if you thought Pierre-Paul was the greatest signing-day addition in Jim Leavitt's life, that changed last week when Leavitt and his wife Jody welcomed daughter Isabella Sage Leavitt into the world on Wednesday. Leavitt's first year in California has been a good one.