- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Thoughts and observations, the Super Bowl XLVI edition:
1. Santonio Holmes tweeted this Saturday night: "@Mark_Sanchez @Pouha91 Hope your getting as antsy as me for the 2012-13 season to start. One more day til we start to make that journey." This came one day after Rex Ryan told me Sanchez and Holmes are planning some sort of extended sit-down, maybe a weekend retreat. (Why do I keep having images of Vince Vaughn?) These are certainly positive developments for the Jets' fractured locker room. But I wonder: Holmes' tweet wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that his $7.75 million guarantee jumps to $15 million if he's still on the roster after Wednesday, would it?
2. Ryan told reporters Saturday night he will take a more active role in the defense. In other words, he'll be calling plays again.
3. Curiously, the Jets haven't made any official announcements regarding the holdovers from the previous offensive staff -- i.e. QBs coach Matt Cavanaugh, who's still under contract. They expressed interest in former Dolphins O.C. Brian Daboll (see: Tony Sparano connection), but Daboll just landed the same gig with the Chiefs. I'm hearing Karl Dorrell is a possibility for the QBs coach job, another Sparano guy. Sources say Sparano wants to bring in his own guy, which is understandable, but Ryan prefers to keep Cavanaugh. The coaches return Monday from vacation. The Jets need to firm this up because it's unfair to keep Cavanaugh floating in limbo -- if, in fact, he hasn't been informed of his status.
4. Interesting that former Jets P Steve Weatherford, now with the Giants, wears ear plugs when he punts. I know what you're thinking: He started doing that so he wouldn't have to hear Mike Westhoff barking at him. Not true. Weatherford's close friend, K John Carney, introduced him to the idea.
5. Congratulations to Curtis Martin on his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. My favorite Martin memory: Dec. 14, 2003 at Giants Stadium. In a driving snowstorm, Martin rushed 30 times for 174 yards. Everybody else was slipping and sliding, but Martin seemed to be on air, gliding. GM Mike Tannenbaum has a picture of Martin, parting the snowflakes, hanging in his office.
6. The life of a quarterback: After the season, Sanchez underwent precautionary MRIs on his ankles, knees and shoulders. Everything apparently checked out OK.
7. The Giants were very Jets-like during the run-up to the Super Bowl, with a handful of rather bold statements. I asked the King of Bold, Rex Ryan, if he had a comment on the Giants' bravado. He laughed and said he wasn't aware of the comments because he was in Hawaii at the Pro Bowl.
8. On Friday, I wrote a story about how the Giants discovered Victor Cruz at UMass, noting how college scout Chris Pettit did most of the leg work. Whitey Walsh, the longtime Giants scout now retired, also was involved. He used to run the Giants' local Pro Day at Giants Stadium. Walsh is in Indianapolis for the game, which is fitting.
9. Here's my opinion of Plaxico Burress: He did what he did for 12 games ... and disappeared.
10. Prediction: I'll stick with my initital feeling about the game -- a Giants victory, 31-27. I must admit, though, I'd be concerned about the vibe around the Giants. Too chatty. Bill Belichick is a master at using slights -- or perceived slights -- to his advantage.
Years ago, before the Patriots-Eagles Super Bowl, there was a report about how the city of Philadelphia already had planned a victory parade. Belichick read the exact parade route to his players, according to former Patriot-turned-ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi. Belichick once told me that, during the run-up to the Giants-Bills Super Bowl in 1991, they took a newspaper photo of Bruce Smith, getting fitted for a ring at a jewelry store, and posted it in their meeting room.
You can bet copies of the Giants' website faux pas -- the "Congratulations, Super Bowl Champions!" page that appeared briefly Saturday night -- will be displayed prominently in the Patriots' inner sanctum.
But I'll stick with the Giants.
3dField Yates and Rich Cimini