In his office last Friday, Schwartz fired up his iPad and clicked an icon labeled PASSING GAME INSTALL #4, which unveiled all the Lions' plays from that day's installation of a segment of the offense. Behind him a hard copy of Detroit's 2012 offensive playbook, maybe three inches thick, sat on his cabinet. In cellophane. It's insurance, in case Schwartz ever wants to look at the hard copy. "This is the way our players live," he said. "Why not teach with it?"
Seattle. Loud music—Flo Rida, AC/DC, etc.—fills the air between drills, and Pete Carroll hops around in his trademark "Don't worry, be happy" way. "It's like a hippie commune," Hornsby observed. That's overboard, but it is a little different out there.
Brees told me that players don't trust Roger Goodell. Mike Westhoff, the Jets' special teams coach, told me about Tim Tebow's suggesting wrinkles for the punt team. And Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter, formerly of the Saints, admitted that it would be "rookie-ish" to remind new teammate Peyton Manning about his Super Bowl--deciding pick of Manning two years ago.
Not the otter near Bears camp. Or the feral cat that attacked me in the black Arizona night and made me scream like a seven-year-old. But the American Purple Gallinule, a hungry bird (left, I.D.'d by a Twitter follower, thank you) that stole a few bites from our appetizer at an outdoor fish place near Fort Lauderdale, en route to Buccaneers camp.
Walking through a parking lot before Bills-Redskins last week, I came upon Ken Johnson, who's seen every Buffalo game, home and away, for the last 18 years. "You've got to see this," he said, walking Team SI to the back of his Ford Pinto. From the trunk he pulled out a crumpled bag of potato chip crumbs. "This is from the Frank Reich comeback game. [Subbing for injured starter Jim Kelly, Reich led a record comeback from 35--3 down to beat the Oilers in the 1992 playoffs.] I said I would never throw it away, and every game, for luck, I eat one of the little pieces." With that, Johnson consumed one-twentieth of a two-decade-old chip. He offered me one. I declined.