Tuesday of the week before the week before the Super Bowl. The NFC champions are having an open media access period at their practice facility, which is 20 minutes from my house. So I believe I'll take a trip down Route 17 and go ask them some questions. But before I go, I gotta have my links. And I know you guys gotta have 'em too.
New York Giants
Ian O'Connor takes up the questions of where Eli Manning now ranks in Giants history (could he end up being the best offensive player the franchise has ever had?) and in his own family (would a second Super Bowl title move him past big brother Peyton?) Heady stuff, but it's that time of year and Eli has played his way into these conversations.
Not that you'd expect otherwise, but 65-year-old Giants coach Tom Coughlin is enjoying the heck out of the ride on which his team has taken him, and the flight back from San Francisco sounds like it was a good deal of fun.
Andy Reid isn't making the trip to Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl, but some of his coaches are there, including defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, who deflected questions about his job security by referring his questioners to Reid (who, again, is not there). It's possible that Castillo knows his fate but just isn't allowed to say before Reid does. But if he actually doesn't know whether he's going to keep his job for next year and is still waiting for Reid to tell him, then that's a bad job by Reid.
Meanwhile, the buzz is growing stronger that Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg could be the next coach of the Raiders. If that happens, you're going to hear Brad Childress' name a lot as a possible Mornhinweg replacement.
Cowboys GM Jerry Jones addressed reporters Monday in Mobile. (Yeah, you see what I did there?) And during the course of his comments, Jones said he felt that the thing that has made the biggest difference for the Giants during this stretch in which they beat the Cowboys to win the division and kept rolling all the way to the Super Bowl was the play of Eli Manning. Does that mean Jones has hopped on the Eli>Romo bandwagon? I don't really think so, but Manning is collecting superlatives from every corner right now.
Todd Archer ponders whether a switch to a base 4-3 defense would be a truly radical move for the Cowboys and kind of seems to think it wouldn't, since they show plenty of 4-3-type looks now anyway.
The Redskins have made another couple of changes to their coaching staff, hiring former Giants wide receiver Ike Hilliard as their new receivers coach and moving defensive backs coach Bob Slowik to linebackers coach. The Hilliard move is the more notable one since he's a recognizable name, but he's a well regarded coaching prospect. The question is what kind of receiver corps he'll have next year with which to work. Shanahan has said finding a No. 1 wideout is an offseason priority.
Mike Shanahan said that free agent safety LaRon Landry is still hoping not to have surgery on his Achilles' tendon, which I think throws his status into even greater doubt this free-agent season. At least, if he had surgery, he could make the case that something about his chronic health problems has changed or at least been addressed. Without the surgery, he's going to have a tough time answering questions about why he hasn't been able to stay on the field. I also don't get the sense he's in the Redskins' plans.