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Week 8 in the NFL


October 29, 2006|Sam Farmer

Family reunion

ends in a hurry

As it turns out, Carolina's Keyshawn Johnson and Cincinnati's Chad Johnson aren't cousins after all -- even though that has been widely reported, and the Bengals state it as fact in their media-guide biography of Chad.

"He didn't put it in there; they put it in there," Keyshawn told reporters last week. "What I always say when you write something is that you'd better be careful what you write -- because we could send you to the left when we're going to the right."

Last week, before Carolina played at Cincinnati, Chad was asked how the receivers are related. He said he's Keyshawn's cousin. This week, Keyshawn laughed about that.

"He's about as low a cousin from me as you are," he told Carolina reporters. "But we are close."

No. 7 on 'cloud nine'

Arizona quarterback Matt Leinart became a father Tuesday when his former girlfriend, Brynn Cameron, gave birth to the couple's son, Cole. The former USC star was there for the birth, which took place at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica.

"I saw the pictures," said Leinart's agent, Chuck Price. "Matt was very emotional, just on cloud nine. There's no doubt about it, this was a positive, positive thing in his life."

Price said Leinart is "going to take every opportunity to be with his son."

His job's a breeze

When Tampa Bay faces the New York Giants today, Buccaneers rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski will already have at least a little bit of a feel for throwing passes through the swirling gusts of the Meadowlands.

"We're going to have an early bus," Coach Jon Gruden said this week. "As soon as we get off the plane in New York or New Jersey, wherever we're going, we'll take the bus over to the Meadowlands and play catch in the wind so we get acclimated to it. It's hard to prepare for it. It swirls there. There are rumors that they open up the end zone gates and let it fly when you've got the ball. That's the way it goes.

"Bruce Gradkowski will get to experience a lot of things this year for the first time, and fortunately for him, he'll get to experience the Meadowlands and the mystique behind it."

Even more fortunate for the Buccaneers is the fact Matt Bryant, who last Sunday beat the Philadelphia Eagles with a last-second, 62-yard field goal, is a former Giants kicker.

On the mend

The Chicago Bears got some bad news after beating Arizona when they learned safety Mike Brown had a season-ending foot injury. But their defense should get a boost against San Francisco today with the expected return of left end Adewale Ogunleye, who sat out the last two games because of a pulled hamstring.

Defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who had five sacks in the first four games, went without one in the games Ogunleye sat out. He told reporters that having Ogunleye back, even if he's not 100% healthy, will be a real boost to morale.

"It helps a lot having him out there," Harris said. "Guys can't key on all of us together. I told him if he just wears his uniform -- just go out there and act like he's going to go out there -- that would help me so much."

Slip-sliding away

Giants receiver Plaxico Burress told the Newark Star-Ledger last week that Terrell Owens was "a coward" for intentionally losing his footing on the Texas Stadium turf so he wouldn't take a hit Monday from New York's Gibril Wilson.

Said Burress of Owens: "He took a slide into home plate."

Blue over Drew

After Coach Bill Parcells announced last week he was switching quarterbacks, from Drew Bledsoe to Tony Romo, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters he was lowering his expectations for the season.

"I have to be a realist," Jones said. "I hadn't thought or hoped that we'd be sitting here after the sixth game making these adjustments. ... I did not want this year to go to an inexperienced quarterback. I wanted to have the benefit of Drew Bledsoe. It hasn't worked out as of today. It just hasn't worked out. That to me is a step back."


-- Sam Farmer

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