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The binder that explains Mike Tannenbaum is filled with dozens of pages, with spreadsheets and data analysis and a "comprehensive report" of every free agent signed during the 1994 off-season.
He compiled it after law school at Tulane, in his spare time, while interning for the New Orleans Saints. He mailed one to every N.F.L. team. The binder is classic Tannenbaum -- dry, smart, focused, filled with numbers.
Fifteen years later, Tannenbaum, now the Jets' general manager, sometimes thinks of his neighbor, a brain surgeon. The neighbor, Tannenbaum is certain, has always been the smartest man in the room. Yet in some ways, Tannenbaum is still the child immersed in the sports section, who parlayed that obsession into N.F.L. binders and a lucrative career in sports.
Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and assistant general manager Scott Cohen are both graduates of UMass. In recent years, the addition of guard Vladimir Ducasse and safety James Ihedigbo, also Minutemen, further advanced a pipeline that seems to grow by the year.
The opener between the Jets and Ravens will have three players that wore the maroon and white along with several other alums in the front office and on the sidelines. With the Jets: No. 44 James Ihedigbo will play in the secondary and on special teams. No. 62 Vladimir Ducasse was the Jets second-round NFL Draft pick this past April. He will play as a back-up on the offensive line. Along with Ihedigbo and Ducasse, Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and several members of the Jets front office graduated from UMass.
With the Ravens No. 32 Matt Lawrence will not play as he is sidelined with a knee injury. UMass alum and former Redman football player Clarence Brooks continues as an assistant coach with the Ravens.
In the second game, UMass product Jeremy Horne is expected to play for the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Diego Chargers. Horne will be wearing No. 11 for the Chiefs in the 10:35 kickoff, paying as back-up receiver.