NFL Nation: Keith Kidd reports that the Kansas City Chiefs have interest in signing left tackle Branden Albert to a new deal now that trade talks with the Miami Dolphins have died.

I am sure Albert would be interested in a long-term contract, but the Chiefs need to figure out if they are comfortable with No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher playing right tackle for the long term. He is expected to play there during Albert’s free-agent year, then return to left tackle, where he played in college. Albert has made it clear he does not want to play right tackle.

If the Chiefs eventually want Fisher to play left tackle, it could make it difficult to re-sign Albert. What does it all mean? Everything is still on the table. This news doesn’t change much.

In other AFC West notes:

The Raiders are no longer interested in free-agent quarterback Vince Young, notes. That became obvious when Oakland drafted Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson in the fourth round. Young recently worked out the Raiders.

The Broncos are not renewing the contract of director of pro personnel Keith Kidd. He was a holdover of the Josh McDaniels era and didn’t have a ton of power.

San Diego general manager Tom Telesco held a conference call with several season-ticket holders Wednesday.

Can 'Sixburgh' get No. 7?

February, 4, 2009

Posted by's James Walker

Mike Tomlin already is working to establish the mindset for the 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers.

  Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
  Don't expect to hear Mike Tomlin talk about a Super Bowl repeat.

According to the freshly minted Super Bowl winning coach, you will not hear the terms "repeat" or "two-peat" from Tomlin next season.

"Our focus [next year] will be about being the one at the end of the season, and that we're no different than anyone else in that regard," Tomlin said. "I think repeating and defending Super Bowl champions in today's NFL is somewhat of a misnomer."

Teams can change dramatically. Coaching staffs are altered. And players move around the league in high volumes. The players that do stay have roles that increase and decrease annually.

This is part of the message Tomlin will covey to his team next year as the Steelers prepare to chase an NFL-best seventh Super Bowl championship.

Even for the league's most successful franchise, Pittsburgh has a major uphill climb against history. Only seven teams have repeated as Super Bowl champs since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970. The New England Patriots (2003, 2004) were the only team to do it in the last decade.

"Although it will be a very difficult task, the Steelers have a great shot to challenge for the Super Bowl," said Keith Kidd of Scouts Inc. "[They have] a great head coach in Mike Tomlin, a franchise quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger and a defense that will return its core group of veteran players under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. ...Simply put, this is an organization that knows how to win."

(Read full post)

 Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE and Rich Kane-US PRESSWIRE
 Will the Giants running game be able to keep Kurt Warner and Arizona's explosive receivers off the field?

Posted by's Mike Sando

The Arizona Cardinals keep taking steps.

They finished 8-8 last season, their best record since 1998.

They outlasted Dallas in Week 6 this season when the Cowboys were 4-1, an outcome that helped establish Arizona as tough to beat at home.

They gained confidence on the road during a 27-23 defeat at Carolina in Week 8. Arizona has outscored opponents by 37 points over its last 14 quarters away from University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cardinals have exorcised demons in prime time and at Seattle's Qwest Field over the last two weeks.

Podcast: Football Today
Today's focus is on the Cardinals as Jeremy Green talks with Mike Sando, who tells us Arizona could be the first team since 1998 to clinch a playoff spot with only eight wins.

The next step -- finding a way to beat the 9-1 New York Giants on Sunday in Glendale -- might qualify as a leap if the Cardinals can make it happen.

"I'm picking them over the Giants this week because they possess the ball and their defense is never on the field for sustained periods," said ESPN's Trent Dilfer, the last quarterback to beat the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. "They don't get to third down. You see defenses change and Kurt Warner and [offensive coordinator] Todd Haley have an answer. You see perfect defensive plays against them and it's a 12-yard gain."

That's all good, but the Cardinals haven't faced an opponent as complete as the Giants.

"I don't think the Giants are going to have much of a problem," said Tag Ribary, who joined Scouts Inc. this year after evaluating talent for the Carolina Panthers in recent seasons. "What they did to Baltimore doesn't get enough credit at all. The No. 1 run defense in the league and they put 200 up on them. It's unthinkable, almost."

Until recently, unthinkable meant the Cardinals having a shot at clinching a playoff spot in Week 12. A victory over the Giants could make it happen. At 7-3, Arizona stands third in the NFC with six games to play.

"If they can beat the Giants and then get the Eagles on Thursday night, they could be in the hunt to play at home through the playoffs," Keith Kidd of Scouts Inc. said. "I don't think that will happen, but they could be the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. They can win a playoff game at home." (Read Kidd's take on the matchup between the Cardinals' defense and Giants' offense here.)

The Cardinals arguably haven't had a game as meaningful as their Giants matchup in a decade. Dilfer, Ribary and Kidd joined Hot Topic respondents in helping us break it down 10 ways, and then some.

(Read full post)




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