Today, Kansas City Chiefs (St. Joseph, Mo.). Losing 25-0 to Tampa Bay at home Friday night will make for an uncomfortable practice day, I would imagine.
Tuesday, St. Louis Rams (Earth City, Mo.). Interested in seeing the impact of whatever new wrinkles Josh McDaniels has put in the offense for Sam Bradford.
Wednesday, Indianapolis Colts (Anderson, Ind.). Peyton Manning's neck, Austin Collie's head, prospective new left tackle Anthony Castonzo's wheels ... there's a lot to see here.
Thursday, Tennessee Titans (Nashville). I do not know new coach Mike Munchak well at all. Looking forward to talking with him about his philosophy and his team. Never met Jake Locker either. Looking forward to that ... and to see Matt Hasselbeck's adjustment to a new offense too.
Friday, Jacksonville Jaguars (Falcons at Jaguars preseason game). I've got a lot of respect for GM Gene Smith's team-building, and there's much I need to learn about some of the young Jag prospects. As a side benefit, it should be great to see explosive rookies Julio Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers in action for the Falcons.
Saturday, Tampa Bay Bucs (Tampa). Hope to see a bit of the Thursday night preseason game against New England somewhere on TV, so I'll have a good handle on how the Bucs are playing by the time I arrive -- particularly with so many good young players on defense.
Sunday, New York City (NBC preseason game). Me and my buddy Mike Florio doing some pro football talk at halftime of the Cowboys and Chargers. Punny, eh?
The week beyond (tentatively): Houston, Dallas, New Orleans (in Oxnard, Calif., where Sean Payton will travel next week to get out of the Louisiana heat for a week), Oakland (in Napa, Calif.), and Phoenix -- for one day with the Cards, and then the Chargers-Cards preseason game Saturday the 27th. Excited to see Kevin Kolb run the Arizona offense for two-plus quarters.
"If I'm part-owner, I think ... we should initiate a trade to send Rodgers down to the Bears.''
-- President Obama, nudging Ted Thompson to deal a certain young quarterback within the division to his beloved hometown Bears, this after being handed a share of Green Bay Packers stock (value: approximately $200) by Charles Woodson Friday on the team's trip to the White House. Not sure Jay Cutler would welcome Aaron Rodgers, though.
"It's good to have football right around the corner. Like every football fan, I was thrilled to have the lockout ended. Nobody likes long, frustrating negotiations with a rigid opposition, taking it to the brink.''
-- President Obama, who knows something about long, frustrating negotiations.
"He said, 'Mayor Bloomberg just went on TV, said you should be, you know, punished to the full extent of the law.' And you know what I said after that? I said, 'Who is Mayor Bloomberg?' ''
-- Plaxico Burress, in an interview with Bryant Gumbel of HBO Real Sports, airing Tuesday night. Burress was referring to a conversation he had with defense attorney Benjamin Braffman after the shooting incident in a Manhattan nightclub.
It's Michael Bloomberg, Plax. The mayor of New York City.
Don Chandler died of cancer at 76 in Tulsa on Thursday. You may have heard of him. He kicked, punted and played fullback for the Giants and Packers in the '50s and '60s.
I always think it's great when a good player, in any sport, plays his best when the games are the biggest. Certainly, two of the biggest games of Chandler's life came in the 1958 NFL Championship Game, when he punted for the Giants, and in Super Bowl II in January 1968, when he kicked field goals for the Packers.
How he did on those two Sundays:
Dec. 28, 1958 Colts 23, Giants 17
Six punts, 274 yards, 45.7 yards average
Jan. 14, 1968 Packers 33, Raiders 14
Made all four* field goal attempts (39, 20, 43, 31 yards)
* Still a Super Bowl record.
Chandler retired after that last game, Super Bowl II.
One other note, speaking of how clutch Chandler was: In 1965, his first year in Green Bay, he kicked the tying field goal in the fourth quarter of the Western Conference title game against Baltimore, and the winning field goal in overtime. In the NFL Championship Game against Cleveland a week later, he hit three field goals in three tries as the Packers won.
Five good ones from the chock-full-and-a-little-crazy database of ProFootballFocus.com and crack researcher and writer Khalid Elsayed:
OAKLAND: The Raiders last year used 5.88 men per pass play to block. That means they were the heaviest keep-a-tight-end-in-to-block team in the league. My guess is Chicago gives the Raiders a run for their money this year.
ARIZONA: Larry Fitzgerald Warning Dept.: Kevin Kolb, playing for Philadelphia last year, completed 30.8 percent of his throws that traveled at least 20 yards downfield ... compared to 40.4 percent for the run-out-of-town Derek Anderson.
ST. LOUIS: No quarterback threw deep less than Sam Bradford last season -- 6.8 percent of his 590 throws went longer than 20 yards. I knew Bradford was, relatively, a dink-and-dunker last year with no wideout he trusted downfield, but that number is a stark one.
MIAMI: No player has been more productive rushing the passer on third down than Cameron Wake recently. Over the last three years, he's had 52 combined sacks/hits/hurries in 220 third-down pass-rush opportunities.
CHICAGO: The Bears should be worried about their starting left tackle, J'Marcus Webb, if last year's performance is any indication. Webb got flagged for 15 penalties (four were declined), gave up 12 sacks, one quarterback hit and 48 quarterback pressures. Ouch, Jay Cutler. And you saw what happened Saturday night: Webb got turnstiled by Shawne Merriman of the Bills.
Passcode for the wireless network at Bears training camp in Bourbonnais, Ill.: Sweetness34
Minnesota defensive tackle Remi Ayodele has added the face of another star to the growing tattoo collection of yesterday's starlets on his body. Before this year he had Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy Dandridge, Audrey Hepburn, Bettie Page, Lucille Ball (?!), Jayne Mansfield and, as a nod to a crush of today, the late R&B singer Aaliyah.
The newest tattoo: "Elizabeth Taylor,'' he said. "Man, she was beautiful.''
1. It'd be tough for me to be a student at Olivet Nazarene University, a religious school 70 miles south of Chicago and summer home of the Bears. No swearing, drinking, smoking on campus. Or dancing.
2. As I tweeted the other morning around 4, I'd like to personally thank the deer straddling the white line between the passing lane and berm on I-90 near Wisconsin Dells. It was my turn to drive while my USO and ProFootballFocus.com passengers slept, and, in the middle of a 490-mile drive from Bears camp to the Vikings, that split-second shocker was as good as a triple espresso for staying awake.
3. One of my favorite spots on the camp tour has become Jake's Stadium Pizza, across the street from the complex of fields where the Vikings practice. I made it there Thursday between practices with Viking PR aces Bob Hagan and Tom West and Neil Hornsby of ProFootballFocus.com. You can eat a lot of it -- I think because it's made with lowfat mozzarella from a farm in Grantsburg, Wis. (Jake's goes through two tons of it per month).
Wally Boyer, one of the bosses at Jake's, regaled us with stories about the Vikings past and present. In the '70s, he said, Jake's would get calls after curfew from inside the players' dorm at Mankato State (now Minnesota State); when the delivery vehicle arrived, the money would be lowered down by makeshift pulley and bed sheet, and the pizzas sent back up.
The place spans the generations. Chuck Foreman used to be in the place three times a week. Now Adrian Peterson is. "The relationships are what makes being here so great,'' Boyer said. "I remember in the '70s once, Bud Grant found out the pizzas were coming in after curfew and he had them intercepted. The next day, guys came in and paid for them -- even though they never got 'em.''
I asked him if Brett Favre had ever been in. "Nope,'' Boyer said. "He never made it to training camp as a Viking.''
4. And for those who missed The Stadium View Incident in Green Bay, here's a post about it from my camp blog.
"The last proclamation out of Philly that meant anything was a Declaration in 1776.''
-- @giantspathanlon, veteran Giants PR man Pat Hanlon, upon hearing the division rival Eagles referred to as a "Dream Team.'' He also tweeted: "There is nothing more invigorating than reading your obituary while you're alive and kicking.''
"Is it just me, or does it seem like there's more excitement over preseason games than ever?''
-- @scottfujita99, the Cleveland linebacker, on Saturday, before taking the field for the Browns' first preseason game of the year.
I would agree -- with an asterisk. Fans are thrilled for football to be back and happy to see preseason games. But the thrill is gone around the middle of the second quarter, with a few exceptions (Panther fans waiting to see Cam Newton, for instance).