Monday's NFL Blog

January 29, 2007 ... Is there a QB controversy in Philly? ... Urlacher's first press conference from Miami ... a top running back talks about his Senior Bowl experience ... six questions with an offensive lineman who was thrust into a starter's role this year ... and much more in today's NFL Blog!

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Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher talked to the media on Sunday about the team coming into the Super Bowl as underdogs, on how he'll stay focused this week, and shared some of his thoughts on Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. "It's hard to get guys in his face because they do such a good job protecting him and he gets rid of the football so fast. He sees things coming really quick and he gets rid of the football, or checks out of it," he said. subscribers can read the highlights of Urlacher's press conference at our Chicago site.

With the 7th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft...
  Those are the words that Vikings fans will be waiting to hear this April as Minnesota makes their first selection out of the talent pool of college prospects. But what void are they most likely to fill with that pick? Well, based on the first six picks, it could go a few different directions.  Our Vikings site reports that, "There has been some speculation that the Vikings will take a long look at Ohio State wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. While undersized at just over 175 pounds, Ginn's amazing speed makes him a pick that will likely be on the rise if he participates in the Combine and posts a huge 40 time." Take a look at who else they might swipe off the board before your favorite team gets to make a pick.

Just imagine... 
You're a second-year center behind a starter who is in his 13th NFL season. But that guy goes down with a season-ending knee injury just two games into the season. Now you're the one they're counting on to help protect the likes of Carson Palmer and to coordinate the offensive line. Oh, and your team has high hopes for at least a run that should go deep into the playoffs. That's the situation that Eric Ghiaciuc found himself in this year, so I checked in with him and snagged this two-part interview that begins today in "Six Points with Eric Ghiaciuc."

Today's Birthday Bunch:
Titans K Rob Bironas (29), Bears WR Mark Bradley (25), Texans P Chad Stanley (31), former Bills WR Andre Reed (41), former Cardinals and Rams DB Aeneas Williams (39).

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Searching for the truth: 
Chuck Hixson at our Eagles site notes that lots of rumors are flying about Donovan McNabb's relationship with the Eagles supposedly becoming strained over recent weeks. And with Jeff Garcia showing his ability to arguably fuel a more well-balanced offensive attack, Hixson isn't sure if there's room for both quarterbacks in Philly next year.  "One thing that the Eagles must acknowledge is that there is definitely a controversy over their quarterback situation and it's not going to go away until either Garcia or McNabb would leave," he says. subscribers can read all about it at our Eagles site.

Did you know?
  Just two teams successfully completed more than 40 passes that gained more than 25 yards a pop this season. Can you name them? The answer is near the bottom of today's NFL Blog.

Need a top running back?  Auburn's Kenny Irons "who was one of the most impressive football players at the 2007 Senior Bowl, came in to the week projected as one of the top running back prospects for the 2007 draft and left that way," says Rick Langston at our network's Auburn site. According to his report, the tailback is going to focus on improving his skills as a pass receiver as he prepares for the Combine. subscribers can find out what Irons had to say about his Senior Bowl experience in this feature. Your subscription even gives you access to premium content at our entire network of college sites!

Countdown to kickoff: 
The Bears were the first to arrive in Miami on Sunday for this weekend's Super Bowl, and John Crist from our Chicago site will be joining them for the week to provide great coverage for the network. You can read about what head coach Lovie Smith had to say along with some of his players after the team's plane touched down in this article at our Bears site

Quotable:  "We're ready to put him on IR the next Tuesday and Dr. (Arthur) Rettig called back and said, ‘I wouldn't put him on IR just yet. It may not be where he requires surgery.' And five weeks later he's playing. He's been a big, big part of our offense because he can do so many things." -- Colts head coach Tony Dungy talking about TE Dallas Clark who leads the Colts with 17 catches in the postseason. subscribers can read what Dungy had to say about five of his key players in this press conference highlights feature at our Colts site.

The answer: Did you figure it out which two teams were tops in big-play passing this year? Well one of them, New Orleans, shouldn't have been a surprise since Drew Brees led the league in passing yards this year. But the team that tied New Orleans at 43 was more surprising. Despite a QB change during the year after Donovan McNabb was lost for the season, the Eagles continued their big-play ways with Jeff Garcia leading the offense.

A bit of history:
Bob Fox at our Packers site put together a Super Bowl feature that compares Green Bay's four Super Bowl teams and puts forth his case for which one was the best. "The 1967 Packer team might be the sentimental favorite of a lot of fans for a variety of reasons," he says. "The Ice Bowl. Vince Lombardi's last ever Packer coached team. 'Instant Replay' by Jerry Kramer took the fans through the entire Super season ordeal. But the 1967 Packers were a team ravaged by injuries and also a team depleted of two of it's greatest stars - Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung." Find out which team he picked out of the '66, '67, '96 or '97 Packers as the best in this subscribers feature at our Packers site.

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