Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Week Four:
a. Warren, Warren, Warren. Let's not go big-dogging the cast at Dancing With the Stars. This will likely be the first and the last time I quote the gossip site TMZ.com, but it reported thusly on Warren Sapp, who had a surprisingly nimble debut on the show last week: "If voting were up to the cast and crew of DWTS, we're told Warren Sapp would be the first to go. Our spies at DWTS tell TMZ Sapp's big head and man-diva attitude are causing problems. We're told he talks down to everybody ... yells at people and consistently walks out of rehearsals with partner Kym Johnson.''
b. Great piece by Chris Berman, re: the closing of Shea Stadium, that featured him sitting with his dad in the same upper-deck seats they used to share for Jets' games in the '60s and '70s.
c. How is Vince Young ever going to get his job back?
d. Kerry Collins reminds me of Phil Simms in this way: I remember Simms saying when he retired, how bummed out he was because he wasn't going to be able to play football anymore. "Just when no defense could ever throw anything at me to confuse me, it was time to retire," Simms said. Collins has it figured out. Now he just has to survive long enough to make the Titans a January contender.
e. What a perfect throw by Matt Schaub, the pump-fake-then-touchdown strike to Steve Slaton. Schaub, despite the loss, might have saved his job Sunday.
f. Adrian Peterson is the best back in football. But LaDainian Tomlinson is not washed up.
g. Get your blazer pressed for that first press conference in Oakland, James Lofton.
h. Imagine the bitterness of one of the four NFC East teams, home for New Year's, out of the playoffs. Imagine if enough of them knock each other off all year, and only one, or two, make the playoffs.
i. The Rams were outscored 25-0 in the second half.
j. The Raiders were outscored 25-3 in the fourth quarter.
k. Notice a common we-got-outcoached theme there?
l. I know you notice that, but neither Lane Kiffin nor Scott Linehan coach or play defense.
2. I think I'm hearing that Vince Young is rebuffing Kerry Collins' attempts to be a mentor. What a waste. Collins has seen too much, and he's a selfless person at this stage of his career. Whoever's advising Young should tell him Collins would be a smart addition to his inner circle.
3. I think if Matt Millen had stayed in Detroit, and the Lions continued to nosedive, chances would have been better than 50-50 that Roy Williams would have been dealt to Dallas for a first-round pick before the Oct. 14 trading deadline.
Now? Depends whether Lions interim GM Martin Mayhew and club executive VP Tom Lewand want to try to sign Williams long-term or add a low first-rounder to the mix of whoever ends up running the franchise. The correct decision, unquestionably, would be to add the first-round pick. Even though it might be the 32nd pick in the draft, you're better off getting quality youth than you are to pay sick money to a player who doesn't want to be there.
By the way, adding Williams for the final 11 weeks of the season would cost Dallas only $2.4 million in salary -- a pretty small sum for possible Super Bowl insurance.
4. I think, after watching ANOTHER direct snap to a non-quarterback (this time, fullback Montel Owens of the Jaguars) resulting in a touchdown run, I have no idea why every team in football doesn't put a package in its game plan every week to take advantage of slow-to-react defenses.
5. I think there's one thing you can be sure of, all you Raiders fans: Your head coach wants to get fired. Lane Kiffin doesn't even talk to his owner or, most days, to his defensive staff.
Coaches preach staying the course, which is admirable, but when it gets to the desperado stage Kiffin is at, I believe he wishes the firing would come quickly so he can move on.
6. I think if I had a spare spot on my fantasy team, I'd claim Ryan Torain, injured rookie Denver running back. Just do it. You'll thank me when you win your league.
7. I think this is what I liked about Week 4:
a. Any special-teams coach will tell you the toughest thing to do when it comes to kick-blocking is bursting through the crowded house over the center -- with two guards tight to the center, making sure the line is held -- and whacking down the field-goal. Kris Jenkins of the Jets did jut that against Arizona.
b. Laveranues Coles and Brett Favre seem to be getting along well after a month
c. Devin Hester changes everything about Chicago's offense.
d. DeSean Jackson changes everything about Philadelphia's offense.
e. The Bears have to be thrilled they didn't trade Alex Brown. He was the key cog on that goal-line stand.
f. "We've got our swagger back,'' Derek Anderson said over the cell last night. You got a win, Derek. I see no swagger.
g. Laveranues Coles didn't have three touchdowns in a game. He had three in 15 minutes. "There's been some things said about me not being happy about [Favre] coming here. Not true. I've been doing nothing but trying to get on the same page with Brett since he's been here.''
8. I think this is what I didn't like about Week Four:
a. Very bad day at the office for Kurt Warner. Talk about telegraphing a pass. He stared a hole through receivers and lost two fumbles, leading to 24 Jets points.
b. If it's possible to throw for 472 yards and have a bad day, Warner just did.
c. How on God's green earth does Mike Carey allow Turk McBride to take two full steps into Jay Cutler -- after Cutler threw the ball -- and spear him in the back?
d. The Jets' cheerleaders outfits are the worst I have ever seen.
e. Denver allowed a rusher to run for 198 yards (Larry Johnson) and a passer to complete 75 percent (the immortal Damon Huard). More scotch tape needed on D, Broncs.
f. The Rams are in full uprising mode.
g. Carson Palmer is worried about his elbow. Marvin Lewis told me last night it's 70-30 Palmer will play at Dallas next week (now there's a reward for you), but the inflammation in there did not go down over the weekend.
h. Staying on the East Coast or flying home between games will be debated by Cardinal brass in the wake of Arizona's 56-35 loss at the Jets, but it's totally meaningless. Kurt Warner doesn't get stripped or throw interceptions because he slept in Virginia for five nights instead of his own bed.
i. I know Jets safety Eric Smith will get fined for the helmet-to-helmet hit on Anquan Boldin, and I support the league trying to make the game safer. But it's impossible for a player to avoid another player when both are in full flight trying to make a play.
9. I think the Scott Linehan firing this morning won't be brutal. It'll be merciful.
10. I think the text message of the night was this, from Brett Favre, after I messaged a post-game congrats on his six touchdowns: "Great. I hope I leave something here other than stats.''
Who I Like Tonight, and I Mean Tony Kornheiser
Steelers 16, Ravens 13. I don't care who the back is, now that Willie Parker is down for the week. Rashard Mendenhall had better run it early and often, even if he has three or four negative carries in the first couple of drives. If Ben Roethlisberger takes many more beatings like last week in Philly, he'll turn into Cliff Stoudt.