Posted: Monday January 16, 2006 10:56AM; Updated: Monday January 16, 2006 7:43PM
Ten Things I Think I Think
There are reports Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson was involved in a halftime altercation with two coaches.
Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of the divisional playoff weekend:
a. Rest in peace, Jack Snow. That was one heck of a good man right there.
b. Hire Eric Mangini, Jets. You're better off getting a good coach a year before he's ready than NOT getting him when he is ready.
c. "This is not your father's Seattle defense,'' I said after Washington's fourth straight three-and-out.
d. To which press-box wag Jason Cole of the Miami Herald countered: "This is not your father's Redskins offense either.'' You've got a point there, big fella.
e. Chad Johnson swore to me twice in the last few days that he did not have a physical altercation with receivers coach Hue Jackson or head coach MarvinLewis at halftime of the Bengals' playoff loss to Pittsburgh. Let me say this: I'd feel a lot better about his assertions if Lewis would stop no-commenting this story. And I'd feel a lot better if Deep Bengal, who was in the locker room at halftime, hadn't told me there was a loud altercation, though not with punches thrown.
f. Marv Levy to me on Friday afternoon: "I am not coaching the Buffalo Bills.'' He truly does not know who will, though my money is on Jim Haslett.
g. The Green Bay Packers did a very nice thing by flying divorced dad Mike McCarthy and the 14-year-old daughter he adores, Alex, to Green Bay on a private jet and coming in low, with wings tipped, over Lambeau Field so Alex could get a closeup of where her father will be working for the next few years. Or more.
2. I think I would like to ask the zebras of this league one question: When will you learn how to call pass interference? It was a disgraceful weekend for PI calls. The 39-yard interference call against Asante Samuel handed the Broncos a 7-3 lead in the second quarter; if anything, obviously, that call should have been on Ashley Lelie. We all saw that. And in the Pittsburgh-Indy game, there was an infamous non-call on rookie corner Marlon Jackson, who interfered with Antwaan Randle El deep in Indy territory. Instead of continuing a drive that could have made the score 21-0 Pittsburgh, the Steelers had to punt, and Indianapolis drove the ball 96 yards to a resuscitating field goal.
3. I think this is what I liked about the divisional playoff weekend:
a. That LofaTatupu's a little pepperpot.
b. MattHasselbeck's all grown up. He's going to be a tough out for the Carolina defense because he's not going to be intimidated by anything.
c. DarrellJackson's one of those players we don't appreciate enough. After going nine-for-143 and making every significant passing-game play in a 10-point playoff win, I'm going to start appreciating him more.
d. Isn't it amazing that everyone in the stadium knows the ball's going to Steve Smith, and he still catches 12 for 218 yards? What a player.
e. Courtney Brown was a great pickup for Denver. Role player who WANTS to be a role player.
f. Al Wilson is everywhere on the field. Denver's lucky to have him.
g. That was a quiet eight for 153 by Deion Branch.
h. Troy Polamalu is the best big-game defensive player in football. Doesn't it seem like every time there's a play to be made, he's in the middle of it? And if he'd held on to that late diving pick of Peyton Manning, it would have gone down as the greatest interception in Steelers history.
i. Joey Porter said some dumb things about the officials cheating Pittsburgh, but he can blitz for me anytime.
j. Speaking of incredible defensive plays, what about the Brian Urlacher interception? What an athletic play.