STAT OF THE WEEK
History tells us Parcells will take a defensive player with his first draft pick in Miami. Every time Parcells has been the grocery-buyer, that's what he's done with his first-round pick or picks ... with an asterisk.
I'm counting the eight drafts he has either run himself (with the New York Jets) and co-ran (with Jerry Jones in Dallas) over the past decade. Parcells has had a first-round pick in five of those eight drafts, and in each of the five, he's taken a defensive player with the top pick.
"I realize that's my history,'' Parcells said Sunday, "but this is a little different now. This is the first time the economics of the pick are such a big factor.''
For the evidence of Parcells' defensive thinking, see chart.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK I
"If you give out the report cards the day after the draft, it's completely devoid of reason. How can you possibly give a student a grade the day he is admitted to college and enrolls in class? Draft report cards are the same thing. I used to get mad at those things, but now I say, 'Fine. Give us a C every year, and we'll just keep making the playoffs.' ''
--Indianapolis GM Bill Polian. On Saturday, I asked him about one of my pet peeves -- giving out report cards in the day or two after the draft, before the draftees ever show up in shorts at a team's training facility, never mind suit up in full uniform and actually play the sport.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK II
"That would be Ted's call. That's really a football decision.''
--Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy, in an interview with the Associated Press, when asked what would happen if Brett Favre called the club and asked to come back to the team or to be traded to a team where he could continue his career. "Ted'' is general manager Ted Thompson.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK III
"JaMarcus has been able to play at a big weight. He really has phenomenal feet for that size, to be able to move around for that size. You're never going to play with him at 260 or 255. If you think that's impossible, that's not his body. I think as long as you're around 270 [with him], you're doing really well.''
--Oakland coach Lane Kiffin, on his hefty second-year quarterback, JaMarcus Russell.
Whatever you say, coach.
FACTOID OF THE WEEK THAT MAY INTEREST ONLY ME
During a telephone conversation Saturday, Polian and I talked about my trip to the war zone in Afghanistan, and he asked me if I had any contacts with the USO. I said I did. He said, "I'd really like to go over there. You think it's possible?''
Consider the idea passed along. Washington owner Dan Snyder wants to go too, and how great would it be if next year the troops got a visit from a crew of an owner (Snyder), GM (Polian), coach (I told Tom Coughlin at the league meetings a couple of weeks ago how rewarding a trip it would be for him, and right up his moral alley) and two prime-time players (Eli Manning? LaDainian Tomlinson?)? Polian is one of the really good storytellers of the game. He'd be great.
AGGRAVATING/ENJOYABLE TRAVEL NOTE OF THE WEEK
There is nothing more miserable in the flying world than frequent-flying in and out of LaGuardia Airport. Every time I'm in there, including Sunday, I wonder, "Do the New York powers-that-be realize how unpleasant an experience LaGuardia is? Or are they all flying private out of Westchester and Teterboro?''