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Quick Snaps

September 30, 2007|Sam Farmer

Bear baiting

Before playing Chicago last season, Detroit receiver Roy Williams riled the Bears by guaranteeing a victory at Soldier Field. The Bears won, 34-7.

This week, in talking to reporters, Williams scoffed at the notion that non-starters in Chicago's secondary would be able to cover the Lions' top four receivers. That obviously irked Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

"I think it's funny because he says something every year, and every year we beat them," Urlacher told reporters. "They're supposed to win 10 games this year. [He said] they were this close to scoring 40 points last year; they had seven.

"I don't mind guys talking, but the stuff he says is not even close to what reality is. I like talking just as much as anybody else, but if you're going to say something, say something at least close to the truth."

Well, the Lions did play the Bears close last December, when a last-gasp pass was knocked out of Mike Williams' hands in the end zone and the Lions lost, 26-21.

Informed of Urlacher's retort, Roy Williams kept the playful trash talk going. A reporter brought up Urlacher's name, and, according to the Detroit Free Press, this exchange followed:

"Who was that?" Williams said.

"Brian Urlacher."

"Urlacher?"

"No. 54."

"Oh, you're talking about the guy who was nervous that last game."

Talker is cheap

In an interview with Detroit's WDFN-AM last week, Williams spoke on a lot of topics, including why he doesn't tip the pizza-delivery guy.

"There's no such thing as a tip," he said. "But I am real polite and I say, 'Thank you, sir.'. . . The pizza man knows, when he comes to my address, he's coming for free."

Big softies

It's not exactly touch football, but the NFL is turning into a tamer league despite bigger and faster players. That's the way Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis sees it, at least.

"We once praised people for being tough, Jack Lambert, Dick Butkus, 'Night Train' Lane, those kind of guys," Lewis said last week in a conference call with Cleveland reporters. "But now if you hit somebody too hard, then you're going to get in trouble. That's why the old-schoolness is leaving this game. Everybody knows if they throw the ball 50 yards downfield, you can get a pass interference or roughing the passer.

"Old-school football was very simple: It was by any means necessary. Now they want these high-scoring games. There's so much that's changed to soften our game."

Learning the code

Over the years, Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has learned to read between the lines with Mike Holmgren, deciphering exactly what the coach means when he makes a call. That wasn't always the case.

"He would call a play from time to time in my headset, and at the end of it he'll say, 'Tell [Shaun] Alexander to get the first down,'" Hasselbeck told the Seattle Times last week. "Well, that translates into, 'Under no circumstances do I want you to audible.' Now I know that. Early on, I didn't know that."

Wrong kind of record

A reporter in the Minnesota locker room last week started to ask former Green Bay safety Darren Sharper about Brett Favre's chance to make history. Clearly, the questioner was referring to Favre's 420 touchdown passes, which tie him with Miami's Dan Marino for the league's all-time record.

"Yeah, he's three away, three away from it," Sharper said. "He has a great chance to make history."

Three away?

Indeed, Favre is also three interceptions away from breaking George Blanda's record of 277, a dubious distinction.

Said Sharper: "We're all planning to get that third pick."

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