FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Shaun Ellis shakes his head when he thinks about all the blue and white confetti that fell around him after last year's AFC championship game.
He remembers the Indianapolis Colts jumping around and celebrating the win, while he and the rest of the New York Jets could only watch and think about what could've been.
"It seems like it was just yesterday," Ellis said. "We were only 30 minutes away. While we were walking off the field, it was like, 'If we get this opportunity again, we definitely have to take advantage of it.'
"Now we're here again, so guys are ready."
Ellis, 33, has been with the Jets (13-5) longer than anyone on the team, a guy who has dreamed of getting to the Super Bowl throughout his 11 NFL seasons. They're one win away -- again -- with only the Pittsburgh Steelers (13-4) standing in their way.
And this time, Ellis wants to see green and white confetti falling from the sky.
"It's been a long time for our fans and our franchise," the defensive end said. "So for us to be able to get to that point -- and not just get there, but get there and win it -- would be huge for us.
Ellis has played in more playoff games than anyone in team history, and ranks third in career sacks. But, he's scheduled to be a free agent after this season and doesn't know if he'll be back. Ellis was told by the team in the offseason it wouldn't grant him a contract extension, sticking to team policy.
Trade rumors even floated around, which Ellis called a "slap in the face."
The Jets' 12th overall draft pick out of Tennessee in 2000 has outlasted three head coaches and dozens of former teammates. He recently told The Associated Press his goals include playing 15 years in the NFL and reaching 100 sacks. Ellis insists that's all the furthest thing from his mind right now.
"I don't think my future has anything to do with it," he said. "I just want to go out and win a ring, and this year, I want to do it. Next year, whatever happens happens. Then, we'll decide and work on that part. For right now, I'm just trying to concentrate on the season and try to get to the Super Bowl."
After the dominant performance he had in New England last weekend, the man his teammates and coaches call "Big Katt" clearly means it.
Ellis had two sacks early in the Jets' 28-21 victory and constantly disrupted things at the line of scrimmage.
"Shaun was on fire out there," defensive lineman Mike DeVito said. "I think he was still mad about the second time we played them in the regular season. I think he still had some fire and motivation from that. Man, he put it all together. That's the type of player he is."
Around the league
*A person with knowledge of the operation says New England's Tom Brady has undergone surgery on his right foot and is "doing good." Brady was listed on the Patriots' injury report with a foot injury for the last eight regular-season games and their playoff loss to the Jets, but played in all those games. Meanwhile, Matt Cassel of the Kansas City Chiefs will replace Brady in the Pro Bowl Jan. 30.
*The Cleveland Browns have interviewed former NFL and Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt to be their defensive coordinator. Wannstedt spent six seasons coaching Chicago and four-plus in Miami. Wannstedt was forced to resign after going 7-5 this season, his sixth at the school. Wannstedt also has drawn interest from Buffalo.
*Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher has decided not to keep Chuck Cecil as his defensive coordinator after two seasons in which the Titans ranked among the NFL's worst in yards allowed.