Posted: Monday March 27, 2006 10:33AM; Updated: Monday March 27, 2006 11:40PM
2. In Vinatieri's last 55 regular-season games, he is 0 for 5 on field goal attempts of 50 yards or more. We all think he's got a great leg, but what he has is a clutch leg. He hasn't made a 50-yarder since Nov. 10, 2002, in, of all places, Champaign, Ill., against the Bears. So he'll enter this year trying to get off a four-year schneid of non-50-yarders. The Patriots didn't trust him on the long ones, because he didn't kick well enough to earn that trust. Kicking in a dome will help that, but I wonder how much. The Colts also hope it'll help him on kickoffs. He's had only 17 touchbacks on his last 196 kickoffs.
3. Speaking of domes, Vinatieri is 10 for 10 lifetime in the RCA Dome.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. Keyshawn Johnson was right -- almost -- and we were all wrong. Johnson thought he'd find someone out there to pay him $4 million a year, and he very nearly did. Carolina signed him for five years and $19 million the other day ($3.8 million per), including a $5 million signing bonus. Thank God for the infusion of cap cash the market got with the new collective bargaining agreement; that's what I'd be thinking if I were Johnson. He'll be perfect for Carolina. He'll give Steve Smith more room with his unselfish blocking downfield. He'll be the big target Jake Delhomme lacked when Muhsin Muhammad defected to Chicago.
2. I think, though, that Keyshawn would be a lot more believable if he didn't say things like, "I didn't come here to catch 100 balls. I came here because I feel Carolina is the team with the best chance to get to the Super Bowl.'' Stop. Just stop. I don't expect Johnson to say, "I came here because Carolina offered me the most money.'' But I also don't expect him to think we'll believe that the No. 1 reason he signed there is because they've got the best shot at the Super Bowl of all his suitors.
3. I think Brett Favre's coming back.
4. I think, when this week of meetings and pool-sitting is over for new Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, he'll say that the most valuable thing he did while in Florida is sit with his mentor, Bill Parcells, and the godfather of more than one GM in the game, Ron Wolf, at a Mets-Cardinals game the other day, and continue the discussion afterward.
5. I think the sight of Paul Tagliabue in Bermuda shorts, polo shirt, high white socks and sneakers, out for a walk on the Hyatt property with wife, Chan, is one I've never seen before at a league meeting. Friends say this is one happy, contented dude right now. I think he's going to have a good third career, and a happy one, after he gets his successor in office by the fall. I think it could be that long.