Thursday's NFL Blog: P.M. Update

January 11, 2006 P.M. Update ... Seahawks-Bears analysis you DON'T want to miss ... more coaching news ... Tony Dungy talks about the Ravens-Colts matchup ... and more in our P.M. Update!

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Pregame Audio:  Adam Caplan, our Senior NFL Writer at Scout.com, went to NFL Films headquarters in Mount Laurel, New Jersey to look at film of the Seahawks and Bears as the teams prepped for this weekend's NFC Divisional Playoff game. In this 20-minute interview at our Seahawks site, Caplan shares what he learned about the two teams. He talks about what to expect from Bears RB Rex Grossman, which Bears running back presents the bigger threat for the Seahawks, why the Bears linebackers are so effective, and much more. Be sure to make this part of your pregame preparation!

Cardinals' Cam:
  No, it's not a new bird watching web cam, I'm talking about Arizona's interest in Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Brad Keller takes a look at the pros and cons of Cameron as a potential head coach for the Cardinals. "Since Cameron took over play calling duties in 2002, LaDainian Tomlinson has been the most productive running back in the NFL. Edgerrin James and the Cardinals would be happy with half the production that Tomlinson has seen in that time period," he says. Scout.com subscribers can check out his analysis here.

Quotable:  "They've got a guy whose going to take care of the football – he's not going to get rattled, he's not going to have an off day in a big game, and if they are down four points with three minutes to go, that he's going to find a way to win the game."  -- Colts head coach Tony Dungy on Ravens quarterback Steve McNair. Check out the transcript of his press conference at our Colts site.

Bears DE Alex Brown (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Quotable, Part 2: "To make this defense the best it can be, the front four has to get pressure and we have to get to the quarterback. If we're going to go out and want to play our best, then the defensive line [has] to get to the quarterback."  -- Bears defensive end Alex Brown in this Scout.com subscribers feature.  He met with the media today and John Crist was there to hear what he had to say about this weekend's matchup.

Green in Green Bay: Our Packers site is reporting that the team is very interested in holding onto running back Ahman Green, who will be an unrestricted free agent. "Green is seeking a multiyear contract after cashing in some with the one-year, incentive-laden deal he signed last off-season," according to their report. Get the rest of the scoop on the Pack in this article.

Martz madness?
  Our Lions site is reporting that while offensive coordinator Mike Martz is happy in Detroit, he's become an active candidate in the head coaching derby with four teams still seeking a new leader. "There was concern when the Lions hired Martz a year ago, shortly after he was fired as the head coach at St. Louis, that he might be only using the Lions as a stepping stone to get back to a head coaching job," according to this Scout.com subscribers feature.

Today's Birthday Bunch: Raiders G Brad Badger (32), Bears DT Alfonso Boone (31), Jaguars T Stockar McDougle (30), Lions G Stephen Peterman (25)

Contrasting coaches: Aaron Wilson at our Ravens site takes a look at the two coaches that will be facing each other from across the field on Saturday night in Baltimore. "While Billick is outspoken with a booming voice and a tendency to use profanity during games, Dungy has built a reputation for his calmness and relatively quiet nature in the noisy world of the NFL," he says. Scout.com subscribers can read this interesting look at two of the AFC's top coaches here.


EARLY EDITION

Hot topic: Our Washington site is reporting that, "The Redskins are about $1 million over the $109 million salary cap with just 41 players under contract." Ouch. Take a look at who might not return in 2007 and could be unexpected free agents that your favorite team could sign during the offseason as a result.

Quotable: "With maybe about three-and-a-half minutes left in the game, they were clearly moving the ball down to score and were well within field goal range. Jeremy Shockey put his arm around me and said, ‘It was a pleasure playing with you. You taught me a lot.' That was meaningful because that's all I ever wanted to do as a teammate was to pass on some of the things I've learned." -- Giants RB Tiki Barber in his final Giants Insider diary feature as a player. Scout.com subscribers can get his take on the team retaining Tom Coughlin, his upcoming Pro Bowl appearance, what he said to some of the Eagles after the game and more. Don't miss this great feature at our Giants site!

Pick 'em: Jim Poore at our Patriots site has made his picks for this weekend's Divisional Playoff games. He calls the Colts-Ravens game the toughest of the four to pick and predicts an 11-point margin in one of the NFC games. Get his picks and then post a link to them on your favorite team's fan forums to get some good debate going!

Ball of confusion: Remember when I told you recently in the NFL Blog that Michael Lombardo had pointed out why the Chargers would not win the Super Bowl? Well, in this new feature at our San Diego site, he now says they will. I wish he'd make up his mind because now I'm VERY confused (not that it takes much these days). Appparently he's doing a point-counterpoint series, and he's making some great points for each argument in the process -- which just put a few more knots in my brain on the topic. Scout.com subscribers can check out his latest installment here.

Quotable: "I think it was just everybody understanding what needed to be done. It's the playoffs, and if you lose you go home -- and I don't think anyone's ready to go home." -- Colts starting safety Antoine Bethea. Find out what he had to say about last weekend's win over the Kansas City Chiefs in this exclusive interview with Scout.com.

49ers FB Moran Norris (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Seek-and-destroy fullblocker: Yep, you read that right, not a fullback ... a fullblocker. That's a better description of the 49ers Moran Norris, who helped pave the way for Frank Gore's franchise record 1,695 yards this year. And in the process, he might have caught the eye of other teams who have all but eliminated the position from their rosters. "Each week, he has been called upon to do a lot of that seek-and-destroy blocking," 49ers head coach Mike Nolan says in the article. Scout.com subscribers can learn more about Norris and how he might help spark a fullback revival in the NFL.

Hail to the Chief: Fred Greetham at our Browns site says that general manager Phil Savage's 'State of the Cleveland Browns' session with the local media "was covered more like a presidential press conference. The press conference was covered live by two local radio stations, a television station and a roomful of reporters." You can take a look at what direction the Browns are heading on a number of key issues right here.

Switching places? The AFC East could get even more interesting next year according to a report at our Miami site. When the Jets play the Patriots, you've got former New England assistant Eric Mangini going up against his old boss, Bill Belichick. And now the Dolphins have interviewed one of Mangini's assistants -- offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer -- for their head coach vacancy. To make it even worse, Schottenheimer is the son of Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer. I think I'm getting one of those brain knots again. But Scout.com subscribers can read all about it here.

Strength vs. strength: The Colts pass protection vs. the Ravens pass rush will be a featured strength vs. strength matchup on Saturday when the two teams meet in Baltimore in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. Greg Talmage at our Colts site breaks down the key matchup between two Pro Bowlers -- Indy OT Tarik Glenn and Ravens OLB Adalius Thomas. Take a detailed look at one of the games inside the game with this analysis.

The right man: Some women go through a good portion of their life looking for the right man. But in the NFL, you sometimes only have a matter of weeks. Pittsburgh has completed four interviews this week searching for the right man to step in as Bill Cowher's successor. Dale Lolley at our Steelers site weighs in today with his pick and tells you why he's the guy that can help Pittsburgh rebound from a disappointing year.

K.I.S.S.... Our Chiefs site is reporting that Herm Edwards is going to simplify his team's offense before the 2007 season begins. "He took a passing game that produced 4,000 yards in 2005 and reduced its production to 3,000 yards in 2006,"says John Viril at our Chiefs site. "He cut back on outside sweeps and stretch plays and relied on draws and runs between the guards. Edwards went from a wide-open offense that passed when opponents expected the run and ran when opponents expected the pass, to very predictable play calling." Read all about what you can expect from the Kansas City offense next year here.

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