Johnson: When we played the Raiders this year I went on the field early, waiting for him in pregame. I had a list of questions typed up. I wanted to talk to him, but I never saw him. So at half-time, I shot off the bench. I got to him and said, " Mr. Rice, Mr. Rice—is it O.K. when the game's over if I talk to you about a few things?" He said it was O.K., but I didn't get to see him after the game. I want to catch up with him. I love his game. He understands the game like a coach.
SI: Who's the best corner in the NFL?
Johnson: Nobody's stopped me yet. So how do I answer that?
Three years ago the Seahawks acquired backup cornerback Fred Vinson in a trade with the Packers for running back Ahman Green. Vinson, plagued by injuries, never played a down for the Seahawks. Green, in 51 games with the Pack, has gained a total of 6,024 rushing and receiving yards and scored 40 touchdowns. That includes the 118 rushing yards and two TDs he had on Sunday, in Green Bay's 35-13 victory over Seattle.
STAR IN THE MAKING
Patriots rookie linebacker Joe Klecko
Actually, it's misleading to call Klecko, a fourth-round pick out of Temple, a linebacker. A week after blocking a Redskins field goal and sacking Patrick Ramsey, the 5'11�", 280-pound Klecko played defense (outside and inside linebacker plus tackle), offense (fullback on goal line plays) and special teams (kickoff coverage and return units) in a 38-30 win over the Titans. He had three pressures on Steve McNair and tackled Eddie George for a three-yard loss.
MY TWO CENTS
1. The Rams won't trade or dump quarterback Kurt Warner after the season, because many in the front office don't think Marc Bulger can stay healthy.
2. If they don't put more heat on the quarterback, the Steelers won't make the playoffs. During a six-quarter stretch against the Titans and the Browns, Pittsburgh allowed 35 completions in 37 attempts by Steve McNair and Tim Couch. That's what happens when you give quarterbacks all day to throw.