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WEEK 5 in the NFL


October 08, 2006|Sam Farmer

Warning to Chargers:

Big Ben Doesn't Forget

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the 11th player selected in the 2004 draft, keeps his own version of the 10 most-wanted list.

It's made up of the 10 NFL teams that could have taken him but didn't.

On that list are the San Diego Chargers, who play host to the Steelers tonight.

"It'll feel good to get out there," Roethlisberger said. "It'll be a little added incentive."

Roethlisberger has a Super Bowl ring, of course, something that cannot be said of the New York Giants' Eli Manning or San Diego's Philip Rivers, the two quarterbacks drafted before him. That tends to salve the sting for Big Ben.

"It's not him, I have nothing against him," Roethlisberger said of Rivers, who was drafted fourth by the Giants and then traded in a swap for No. 1 pick Manning. "I like playing San Diego because they had a pick -- anybody who was in the top 10, I kind of like to play against. It feels good."

The Politics of Pacman

Just about everyone in the Tennessee locker room understands the gravity of Albert Haynesworth's head-stomping sins.

Except Pacman Jones.

The Titans cornerback shrugged off Haynesworth's transgression, one that opened large wounds on the face of Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode and wound up landing Haynesworth a five-game suspension.

"That's football, man," Jones said. "I don't fault Albert. That's football."

Jones also said the Titans needed "more thugs."

Tennessee Coach Jeff Fisher was not amused when he learned of that assessment.

"That was out of line, especially with what happened in the ballgame," Fisher said.

"I think what Pac was referring to is he wanted more tough guys, not guys that violate the rules."

And of Course He

Ordered a Big Mac

When Jacksonville plays host to the Jets today, it will be a reunion of two former Marshall quarterbacks: Chad Pennington of New York and Byron Leftwich of the Jaguars. They have remained good friends.

"We hit it off right from the beginning, in the first 10 minutes," recalled Leftwich, 26, who is three years younger than Pennington. "We have some funny stories."

Leftwich, as a freshman, showed Pennington how to stand on the 50-yard line and rifle a pass through the goal posts. Pennington, in turn, introduced the freshman to the haute cuisine of Huntington, W.Va.

"I remember buying him his first meal in college," Pennington said. "Which was McDonald's."

The Hurry-Up:

There Is No Substitute

Indianapolis Coach Tony Dungy complained this week about the way the Jets ran their no-huddle offense last week. On a few occasions, New York ran in substitutes but did so in a way that didn't allow the Colts to substitute defensive players. Indianapolis had to burn two timeouts.

Dungy said that ran counter to the spirit of the rule, which allows that a defense should have time to substitute if an offense does. The Colts don't substitute when they run their hurry-up offense.

"Somewhere along the line, with not too many people knowing about it, the rule got changed," Dungy said. "Some language has been deleted."

A Bit of Light Humor

San Diego's Shawne Merriman might be a defensive star in the making, but the Chargers linebacker who answers to the nickname "Lights Out" has yet to earn the full respect of the Baltimore Ravens.

According to the Baltimore Sun, in the moments following last Sunday's 16-13 victory over the Chargers, Ravens linebacker Bart Scott congratulated left tackle Jonathan Ogden for helping "limit" Merriman to two tackles and one sack.

"Hey, J.O.," Scott said. "Tell Merriman to turn the lights back on."

Merriman later laughed when told of the comment.

"That's a good one," he told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "But who's Bart Scott?"


-- Sam Farmer

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