By: Bob George/
December 28, 2005

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Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta could fit in with the Patriots
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Filling the Patriots' needs: No. 5:
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Agent Don Yee expects Tom Brady to play in 2018

Would Mark Henderson have cleared a path for Uwe von Schamann if he had asked him to? Surely you jest. He was the other kicker in the snowplow game of 1982, the former Oklahoma Sooner who had been famous for a walkoff field goal to beat Ohio State at Columbus in 1976. He took over for the longtime Dolphin kicker Garo Yepremian in 1979 and kicked for Miami until 1984. He did kick for Miami when they went to Super Bowl XVII and lost to Washington, and finished his career in Super Bowl XIX (loss to San Francisco). Thanks in part to Dan Marino's record-setting second year, von Schamann led the league in conversions in his final season of 1984. He booms one to about the six-yard line.

Wow. The last guy on that horse trailer is a linebacker who caught two touchdown passes. We've come a long way from Homer Jones and Fair Hooker.

There is no way Pittsburgh loses at home to Detroit. Unless the game is fixed.

Which means that Dick Vermeil needs to show the love to his players and console them best he can.

And should Cincinnati make Vermeil weep even more, that would be the best and most logical way for New England to remain at four and get Jacksonville the weekend after next.

By the way, when's the last time an eliminated team had to lose to keep another team alive for the playoffs? Weird situation involving a possible three-way tie with Pittsburgh, Kansas City and San Diego. The latter is out, but has to lose for Kansas City to stay alive.

It would be great if somehow New England didn't have to go to Denver.

I am officially sick and tired of a Joe Vitt interview.

Slowly but surely, the usually calm and cool Jim Mora is turning into his father.

Seeing Minnesota's playoff run finally derailed brings only one description: poetic justice.

Strength of victory is a nice tiebreaker, but darned complicated as all get out when actually put to use.

Geek of the week: Carson Palmer. You're not there yet. You have to beat Buffalo at home in December. Repeat: have to.

If Houston beats San Francisco, five teams could wind up 3-13 and tied for the first pick in the draft.

But if Houston loses, they get the top pick and the other four (San Francisco, Jets, Arizona, Green Bay) have to rely on strength of schedule.

So, if David Carr gets benched, draw your own conclusions.

This column predicts Tedy Bruschi is okay for round one of the playoffs.

Before you dismiss the Jets as a lousy team in need of firing its head coach, don't forget that last year they were within two games of the Super Bowl and would have beaten Pittsburgh on the road had they had a decent field goal kicker.

Someone tell Lovie Smith that if his side holds them to six, his side still needs to score seven.

Bill Parcells threatening to retire is like someone making a new year's resolution to lose weight. Or to give up smoking.

Both New England and Pittsburgh have been getting fat on weak teams. If they meet in two weeks, it will be a shock to both teams.

Did Don Meredith really have to retire? He looks and sings as good as ever.

ABC would have done well to provide balance to the reminiscing and provide more on such events as Joe Theismann's broken leg, Howard Cosell's bout with vertigo, the guy who flipped off the cameraman, the hooliganism at Schaefer Stadium, and the death of John Lennon. Gotta take the good with the bad.

Back to school: Twenty-seven years since their last bowl, and poor Rutgers had to get the same opponent (Arizona State) from the 1978 Garden State Bowl.

Ugh. The Garden State Bowl. Call that the first "do we really need this” bowl game.

What was dumb about the Ty Law pick wasn't that Tom Brady threw a bad ball. What was dumb about it was that Brady forgot who was covering David Givens.

Ty who? Someone who knew the play as well as Brady did. Someone who used to line up opposite Brady in the practice fields. Someone who has made that pick many times in practices.

No, Brady's not perfect.

Does any NFC team scare you? Wait, we were saying that last year also.

Our vote goes to Carolina.

The Cardinals move to Glendale next year, and their brand new stadium. Meanwhile, the previously mentioned bowl game Rutgers is in (the Insight Bowl) is being played at Chase Field (formerly the BOB) in Phoenix, the home of the baseball Diamondbacks. Any chance this new stadium in Glendale is redundant?

A little freezing cold weather won't hurt this weekend for the Fish.

If this is it for Brett Favre, it is a good time to go.

The Seahawks will go as far as Shawn Alexander will take them.

The best Patriot Monday night game ever? The 1986 division clincher in the final Dolphin game at the old Orange Bowl.

Our fair city, where Stephen Neal went to college, boasts Frank Gifford as one of our own. Good to see the old Bakersfield High Driller on the national stage once again.

Remember him: Dan Marino has his numbers, but Bob Griese won two Vinces. Now a sportscaster at ABC and father of an NFL quarterback, Griese was able to do what Marino could not, and twice in a row (VII and VIII). Griese can say that his team ran the table in an entire year. You could say that Griese had a better supporting cast than Marino did, but there can be no denying that Griese was one of the best quarterbacks of his day, and his football brains ranked amongst the best ever in league history.

On Tuesday, the Indianapolis Colts flew as a team to Tampa. And it was not because of an upcoming game with the Buccaneers. Lots of other NFL people joined the Colts as well.

James Dungy, 18, was found dead in his apartment of an apparent suicide last week. He was the son of Colts head coach Tony Dungy. He was laid to rest on Tuesday in Lutz, Florida. The Colts have a lot to deal with right now, and football matters are nowhere near the top of that to-do list.

Anyone who has children has to grieve along with the Dungy family. He is relying on his faith to get himself and his family through these terrible times. Still, as John Madden said on the Monday night broadcast, "He just doesn't deserve this!” No one would argue that.

Dungy will continue to be an example setter of the highest order. The Colts will be back soon, and resume their Super Bowl quest. Dungy will be right there for his team when the time is right.

But right now, we're all there for Coach Dungy, in thoughts and prayers.