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Draft aftermath (cont.)

Posted: Monday May 1, 2006 12:00AM; Updated: Monday May 1, 2006 11:39AM
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Quote of the Week I

Few experts expected running back Reggie Bush to be available for the Saints to pick at No. 2 overall.
Few experts expected running back Reggie Bush to be available for the Saints to pick at No. 2 overall.
AP
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"Who do I call to congratulate the Saints on picking Reggie Bush?''
 -- Detroit Pistons president Joe Dumars, a Saints fan and native of Natchitoches, La., in a text message to Saints director of media and public relations Greg Bensel less than an hour after the team picked Bush in Saturday's draft.

Quote of the Week II

"Who's going to take Vince Young in the draft?''
 -- President Bush, to Saints coach Sean Payton, while both visited a Habitat for Humanity site in the hurricane- and flood-ravaged Ninth Ward of New Orleans last Thursday.

Payton said he didn't know.

Quote of the Week III

"I'm finished with play-by-play forever.... I don't want to die in a stadium parking lot.''
 -- Keith Jackson, 77, to Richard Sandomir of The New York Times, confirming he will not call college games next season.

Quote of the Week IV

"I literally hadn't heard from the Broncos in the last couple of months.''
 -- Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler after being taken by Denver with the 11th pick.

I found that amazing. But I checked it out and it was true.

Stat of the Week I

The tackle and sack totals of new Houston defensive end Mario Williams against the three Division I-AA opponents he faced while at North Carolina State (right).

Three low-level foes, zero sacks.

Mario Williams' Division I-AA Foes
Opponent Season Tackles Assists Sacks
Western Carolina 2003 5 1 0
Richmond 2004 3 0 0
Eastern Kentucky 2005 0 1 0

I've heard a lot of good things about Williams from people I trust, including that he'll be a great NFL end either in a 3-4 or in the 4-3. But I can also tell you this: Two of the teams with a top five pick in the draft were scared of him because of his up-and-down play over three years.

Apparently, many in the crowd at the site of the draft agreed. "OVER-RATED! OVER-RATED!'' they chanted throughout Radio City Music Hall as Williams took the stage to be introduced as the first pick. We'll see. But there's going to be an incredible amount of pressure on him.

Stat of the Week II

Josh and Daniel Bullocks are twins who played safety at Nebraska and left the Cornhuskers one year apart. Josh last year, Daniel this year.

Josh was picked 40th by New Orleans. Daniel was picked 40th by Detroit.

Factoid That May Interest Only Me

You'll never guess who's been ghostwriting Matt Leinart's Draft Diary for ESPN.com.

None other than Syracuse University journalism student and Terrell Owens interrogator Graham Bensinger. I might be understating things a bit to say that a) this kid gets around; and b) he'll probably be my boss someday.

Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week

Why did I wait so long to fly JetBlue? Last week I spoke with Warrick Dunn at an SI event in Orlando, and I completed the Newark-to-Orlando round-trip in an 18-hour span, both segments on JetBlue. There were many advantages. First, there's leg room in coach. The plane was only half full, and I sat in the middle of a three-seat row, deep in coach. My knees didn't hit the seat in front of me. Second, the television. We're talking a revolution here, folks. A six-inch-square TV monitor in every seatback. Forty-one channels. I sat in the middle seat and as the plane taxied, I put the left TV on ESPN News, the center TV on OLN for Game 2 of the Devils-Rangers series and the right TV on ESPN for Marlins-Cubs.

On the left, the PTI rerun had Michael Wilbon asking Reggie Bush about the rental house controversy, so I plugged the headset into that TV. In the middle, the Rangers were just skating out for the start of period three, trailing 3-0. On the right, Hanley Ramirez -- I'd never seen him hit --  grounded out to second base for the Marlins.

What a country.

Devils in control. After a few minutes, I start flipping.

Bravo has Fargo. My God. One of my 20 favorite movies of all time and it's only 30 minutes in. Frances McDormand, in one of the great acting jobs of our lifetime, steals it again.

We land a little after 11 p.m., and I think, after my first trip of many on this airline: We had to land?

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