Quote of the Week I
"It's just a fact, he hasn't done it in big games. Look at the championship games, the Super Bowl, he hasn't produced in the big game. He had plenty of time to score and possibly tie the game up, but he just didn't come through. Donovan has never really taken the blame for playing bad. A guy like myself and Brian Dawkins or Hugh [Douglas], would always say, 'Hey we played bad, we need to step it up next week.' I really believe it's time for Donovan to just go to another team. I don't think Donovan wants to be here. Donovan's not going to come out and say it, but people would respect him more if he came out and just told the truth. Donovan really doesn't want to be an Eagle. I don't think he's ever been happy here."
Quote of the Week II
"The Oakland Raiders are back. We're going to go win football games and we're going to be a playoff team. You hear me? I'm not afraid to say that.''
-- Raiders coach Tom Cable, upon having the "interim'' tag removed from his job title on Wednesday.
Quote of the Week III
"I went through the game in my office and I've been now to, I guess, it's 14 straight Super Bowls. This was clearly the toughest [to officiate] that I've ever seen. There was a lot of chippy stuff and pushing after plays. When I looked through it, there was actually much more we could have called if we wanted. [Referee] Terry McAulay, in the pre-game conference, the meeting that we had Saturday, said that the crew was going to officiate this game however the teams present it to us. He said, 'If there are five fouls, there are five fouls.' He said, 'If there are 20 fouls, there are 20 fouls and we'll call them.' And it's almost like he had a premonition. But the statement he made was correct. It's how the game presented itself.''
-- NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira, on our Sirius NFL Radio "Opening Drive'' show last Wednesday, on the criticism of the ticky-tack officiating nature of the Super Bowl. McAulay's crew called 20 penalties, and 18 were accepted, for 162 yards.
What I Learned About Football This Week That I Didn't Know Last Week
Andrea Kremer first reported in the Super Bowl pre-game show on NBC that Ward had blood drawn in the days after straining a knee ligament in the AFC title game, then had the blood spun around so a concentrated amount of platelets emerged. The platelet-rich blood concentrate was injected near the spot of Ward's injury to help speed the healing. Ward said he didn't know if it worked. Polamalu, too, said he didn't know if the injection helped him.
There is some thought in the NFL that this could be part of a new wave of treatment for players trying to get back in the lineup quickly, but with two Steelers unsure that the treatment helped them, we'll need to see more experimentation with the transfusion process before calling it a success.
Stat of the Week
In his recently expired four-year contract with the Patriots, quarterback Matt Cassel, in salary and bonuses, earned $1.58 million.
New England slapped the franchise tag on Cassel Friday, which for quarterbacks in 2009 is a guaranteed one-year salary of $14.65 million. The Patriots can keep Cassel and pay him that money, keep him and sign him to a long-term contract, or trade him to a team for compensation.
If New England keeps him for that franchise number, Cassel will make more in two weeks ($1.72 million) than he made in 68 game-weeks in his first four years as a Patriot.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
The New York Post's lead story on the Alex Rodriguez steroid scandal in Sunday's paper was 18 paragraphs long. There were four bylines on it, and at the end of the story two more writers were credited with additional reporting. Six writers for 461 words. That's 77 words per writer, or 19 more words each writer than this paragraph.
Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week
Sight to behold on the day after the Super Bowl at the Orlando Airport: Group of Steelers fans, getting ready to fly home, seated in the Continental departure area, waiting for a flight to Newark. They're happy. They're disheveled. One 40-ish man, portly, has a black Penguins T-shirt on, and he's eating some chicken, and he doesn't have a napkin, and when he finishes, he takes the bottom of his T-shirt, lifts it up, wipes his mouth with it -- revealing a huge and hairy stomach --and then wipes his hands with it.