ITEM: Yes, InfalliBill has spent the last two days holed up in his Valley Ranch office. And therefore you can assume. ... what?
Oh, I bet he's on the phone, maybe trying to get just-fired Panthers O-coordinator Dan Henning to come aboard. (Not a bad thing; Henning, back in his Chargers days, had a rep as an innovator. Plus he's a Parcells Guy. Plus, Henning and I once drank a beer together at a beach bar while he was not wearing shoes.) And I bet he's still playing with his Rolodex digging for Al Groh-like ideas for the defense. And I bet he's weighing the coordinator merits of Todd Haley and Todd Bowles, two young assistants he thinks highly of.
But most of all -- unless he's just going to the office because his girlfriend (or his cat) kicked him out of the apartment -- we can assume he's laying the groundwork for 2007. Otherwise. ... what? He's lining up other employment/placing bets/granting an I'm-leaving exclusive to the NY Times but using the free phone minutes he's got left at Valley Ranch?
Nah, he's assembling a staff. And he's coming back. Whether you like it or not.
ITEM: I've got an old buddy who was a starter on some of Marty Schottenheimer's great Kansas City teams. And my man says that while he is an admirer of Marty's, there is an undeniable in-house reason those Chiefs never did anything in the postseason: Coach, succumbing to the pressure, would himself up thistight.
And there was Marty again, his team tight because it's coach was tight. LT goes nuts after the game. Wound tight. A guy intercepts a fourth-down pass he should've batted down, then fumbles. Wound tight. Marty burns a critical timeout hoping to reverse an obviously un-reversable call. Would tight.
Under Schotty, the Chargers' symbol shouldn't be a lightning bolt; it should be a knot.
ITEM: By the way, I'm fine with LaDanian Tomlinson's postgame ire triggered by the Patriots' mocking of Merriman's stupid "Lights Out'' dance. (At least one time in the loss, he performed the dance after an incomplete Pats pass.) Merriman dances. The Patriots dance. What's the difference? What's the problem?
Still, LT blowing off "friends'' from the other team as they were trying to shake his hand is better than the usual gladhanding festival that ensues after games. Fellas, be friends in Hawaii; be at "football war'' while on the field, please; it convinces us that you really care.
LT, for however much he overreacted, really cares.
ITEM: I've got an NFL scout who says at this point, the top three picks in the April NFL Draft are: 1) LSU quarterback Russell, who draws comparisons to Daunte Culpepper, 2) Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, a potential Tom Brady, and 3) Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson, who my scout says "is the closest thing we've seen to Bo Jackson.''
ITEM: The network guys (especially the mumblemouths on CBS) apparently didn't bother even watching the Seattle-Chicago game. They trashed Bears QB Rex Grossman. Why? I guess because that's what everyone's been doing for three months. But anyone who actually watched the game knows that Grossman was an important asset in Chicago's OT advancement to the NFC title game.
ITEM: Reggie Bush is high-profile electric. And good. Vince Young is high-profile electric. And good. And the Houston Texans passed on them to select with the No. 1 overall pick. ... who?
ITEM: Is there really a debate regarding Bill Belichick's "classiness''? Exactly how many married women do you have to sleep with, how many cameramen do you have to shove, before the answer becomes obvious?
ITEM: Deuce-Bush. Maroney-Dillon. Jones-Benson. Addai-Rhodes. There's your championship-Sunday running backs. Split-duty guys. That will hopefully assure the Cowboys brass that they're doing the right thing by setting up daily battles for carries for JuJo and Marion III.
ITEM: Is Tom Brady banging supermodel Gisele Bundchen? Normally, this goes under the heading of "distraction.'' But because it's Brady, it goes under the heading of "some girl on Page 221 of my little black book.''
ITEM: Not only is Giants defensive star Michael Strahan possibly gay, he now has to pay 15 mil for being gay. ... well, OK, for being divorced. And now comes yet another slap from the vengeful ex: She says Giants players and wives congratulated her on the big settlement. Which oughta play real well in the oh-so-unified Jints locker room. That locker room, under the leadership of "military-minded'' Tom Coughlin, it's a friggin' sitcom. It's like "McHale's Navy'' with cleats.
ITEM: There's a lot of things to dislike about the Eagles (especially if you love the Cowboys). But I'll keep it to two: One, with under two minutes to go, Philly coach Andy Reid is ready to go for it on fourth-and-10, because he pretty much knows it's going to be his final shot. Oops! Penalty, so it's fourth-and-15. And he punts. Why not still go for it? The yardage changed, yes, but the final-shottishness of the situation didn't! Two, what the hell is Jeff Garcia always so excited about? I thought he might even bust out a "Lights Out'' dance.
ITEM: A year ago, Adam Vinatieri and Mike Vanderjagt were the two greatest kickers who ever lived. Dallas signed one of them. You think the Cowboys signed the wrong one?
Emptying the Postseason Notebook
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