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Schwartz: Farewell, Jets Beat; Will Rex’s Gang Show Up Sunday?

(credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

(credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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By Peter Schwartz
» More Columns

June of 2010 was a special time in my life for a couple of reasons. First, my wife and I welcomed our second child into the world on June 2, when Jared was born. A few weeks later, my professional life changed as well.

I was already an update anchor at WFAN when the station offered me an opportunity to be its Jets beat reporter. After covering the Jets for another radio station from 2002 to 2006, getting back on the beat was a wonderful opportunity — and to cover Gang Green for WFAN was exciting.

Three years later, my run as Jets beat reporter will come to an end after the team cleans out their lockers on Monday. I’ll be joining CBS Sports Radio as a full-time update anchor when the new network launches on January 2.

It’s a bittersweet feeling for me. I’ve always enjoyed covering the Jets, but I’m excited to embark on this new chapter of my professional career.

There was certainly a lot to cover over the past three seasons. From the run to the AFC Championship game, to the collapse of 2011, to Tebowmania, to this current disappointing season, there’s never been a dull moment around this team.

And I enjoyed every minute of it. There are some really good people at One Jets Drive, including the front office, coaches, players, support staff and other reporters who I mingled with all the time.

I’ll miss them.

I’ve collected a lot of memories in three seasons covering the team for WFAN. Here’s a list of my five favorite moments:

1. The 2010-11 playoff run, with victories over the Colts and Patriots before losing to the Steelers in the AFC Championship game.

2. Rex Ryan’s 2010 press conference when he dressed up as his brother Rob, who was the Browns’ defensive coordinator at the time.

3. The Tim Tebow introductory press conference — what a circus!

4. My famous chat with Mike Francesa in 2010 when he exploded about how the Jets were handling the Braylon Edwards DUI situation. If you’ve never heard or seen it, here it is:

5. Covering the Darrelle Revis contract saga in 2010, including Rex Ryan’s passionate press conference when he suggested cancelling practice and getting all the players involved in the negotiations.

Honorable mention: visiting Doug’s Fish Fry while covering training camp in Cortland.

While I’ll miss covering the team, I’ll still be following them very closely. My 7-year-old son Bradley is busting to go to a Jets game, so my wife and I will finally be able to take him to one next season. I’ve already started planning the tailgate party!

But before I say goodbye, there’s still one more game left to play.

The Jets face the Bills on Sunday in Orchard Park. Mark Sanchez returns to the starting role after Greg McElroy admitted he was having symptoms of a concussion. An unhappy Tim Tebow will be the backup. Clearly Tebow will not return in 2013. In fact, you can pretty much write it down that he’ll be in Jacksonville next season.

I do think Sanchez will be back — maybe not as the starter, but he’ll be on the team. He’s due $8.25 in guaranteed money and carries a $17 million cap hit if he’s cut. Sanchez is not going anywhere.

There will certainly be lots of changes on the horizon from the roster to coaches to the front office. The 2013 offseason will be a busy one for the Jets, so stay tuned to see what happens!

JETS-BILLS ALL-TIME SERIES

The Bills lead the overall all-time series 53-50. The Jets beat the Bills 48-28 in the season opener on September 9 at MetLife Stadium. Gang Green has won six straight against Buffalo and eight of the last nine.

THE PREDICTION

My record this season: 12-3

I see an ugly no-show from this Jets team on Sunday. They can say all they want about motivation and winning for the final time as this group, but I think that a lot of players have already checked out.

BILLS 30, JETS 13

Thanks so much for following my coverage of the Jets over the last three seasons. I’ve enjoyed it and I’m excited about my next challenge.

What’s your prediction for Jets-Bills? Let us know — and be sure to bid our friend Peter Schwartz adieu in the comments…