TP: During my whole career I went into these games feeling that whatever the outcome is, I'll be happy as long as I give great effort. But this Super Bowl gave me so much more appreciation for how much effort it takes to get to that point. We had to face a lot of things outside of football that other teams didn't have to deal with: the situation regarding Ben's missing the first four games and then the fines on the hits. It was a great job by coach Mike Tomlin and his staff to even get us to the Super Bowl.
• Onto Derrick
To the casual fan, Derrick Williams came out of nowhere to star in the NCAA tournament, carrying Arizona into the Elite Eight—but not to Jim Boeheim (above). The Syracuse coach pointed out that even college basketball writers hadn't been paying attention to Williams, noting the absence of his name in the player-of-the-year discussion. "Every pro guy that I've talked to," Boeheim told me, "has said all year that he's the Number 1 pick in the draft."
Last week reports surfaced that likely top 10 picks A.J. Green and Patrick Peterson did poorly on the Wonderlic exam at the NFL combine. Scores are confidential, but they always leak out. Tony Dungy told me that teams view the test as just one of many tools for judging players, but the problem is, it creates perceptions that stick to players. Combine tests are optional. I'd like to see players pass on the Wonderlic. Better yet, the NFL should get smart and stop giving the test.
• Line of the week
Duke freshman Kyrie Irving on whether he'll declare himself eligible for the NBA draft: "There's really no reason why I wouldn't come back. I love everything about Duke, and the whole situation for me is perfect.... Honestly I'm not sure right now."
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com
1. Dennis Quaid talks about his role in the new movie Soul Surfer.