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Five Super Bowl XLIV Things I Think I Think: Thursday edition


DAVIE, Fla. -- I stood with Bill Cowher in the end zone at the Colts' first practice of the week -- Cowher was there with his CBS announcing team -- late Wednesday afternoon, and I found out a few nuggets about his interview with Plaxico Burress that will air on the Super Bowl pregame show Sunday.

The interview took place about 45 minutes east of Syracuse, at the Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, N.Y., with the warden present in a room set aside for family visits. Cowher, Burress' first NFL coach, was able to share an emotional hug with Burress when he entered the room. They talked for over an hour, about 25 minutes of which was on camera. Cowher and Burress parted on good terms when Burress left the Steelers in free-agency, and when it came time for him to tell his story to someone, he said the only one he'd talk to is Cowher.

The most interesting thing: Cowher had never conducted a media interview. Imagine doing something for the first time knowing the entire football-viewing public will get to watch it. It'll be interesting to watch Sunday and see how Cowher did in his media debut.


Tweetup Alert: Tonight at 8:30, in the lobby bar of the Renaissance Hotel on SE 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale, I'll be joined by a starry cast of peers to discuss the Super Bowl and the teams in it. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will be selling and signing copies of his prescient book The Ultimate Super Bowl Book, and answering Packers questions. Beat writers from New Orleans (Jeff Duncan of the Times Picayune) and Indianapolis (Mike Chappell of the Star) will be on hand, as will the tenacious Patriots reporter, Tom Curran of Comcast in New England. I've invited Pro Football Talk czar Mike Florio to pop in, and he may come by, too. We'll hang out 'til about 10. I am open to a cold beer if the Tweeters and readers wouldn't mind.

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Now for my five things I think I think, Thursday edition:

1. I think I'd be surprised if Dwight Freeney didn't play at least some small role in the game Sunday -- maybe 15 obvious passing downs. He's going to try. He said this morning his ankle is beginning to look more like an ankle. Funny quote, but I think he means it's a lot less swollen.

2. I think, talking to the Saints in their interview session today at noon, it's clear they have a lot of respect for Raheem Brock, injury or no injury to Freeney. They should. He's a player who gets very little credit for being a utility player on that defense.

3. I think if Sean Payton says he's "not real familiar'' with the contract extension in the works for quarterback Drew Brees, my instincts tell me he's more accurately "not real forthcoming'' about the contract extension.

4. I think I find no fault with the Saints players going out 'til the wee hours (3:30 a.m.) Monday night, with an off day Tuesday at the Super Bowl. Question: If the Saints were home Monday night, with an off day Tuesday, would you have any problem with them being out on Bourbon Street 'til 3 in the morning? I wouldn't. Said Bush: "Because of who I am, I became the poster boy of the night. We all went out one night, and we shut it down the rest of the week.'' If that's true, good for them. It's the Super Bowl. Enjoy life.

5. I think the lobbying for the Hall of Fame is getting to the T-minus-two-days-and-counting stage. And it's pretty intense. I sense Rickey Jackson's chances rising. Don't get your hopes up, New Orleans, but there's a good deal of pro-Jackson talk around the media center and the team hotels that I've heard.