Chicago writers had Darren Sharper on a conference call last week, and the Minnesota safety said he had never heard a quarterback as vulgar as Chicago's Rex Grossman was after throwing a touchdown pass against the Vikings in Week 3.
"He was running his mouth pretty much the whole game, and he especially ran his mouth when he threw that last touchdown pass," said Sharper, recalling Chicago's 19-16 victory. "He came over and said some things to my fellow safety [Dwight Smith] and a couple of our defensive players. So you know he's a cocky guy."
Grossman didn't deny making the comments, which apparently were X-rated, but he did say he wasn't the only player talking trash.
"I probably said some things I regret, but the whole game their DBs were talking to me, just really getting under my skin a little bit and probably more than I should have allowed it to," said Grossman, whose team plays the Vikings today. "But they were just yapping the whole game.
"I probably went overboard a little bit with some of my emotions and some of the things I said. But it was in that moment. I regret it, but I had all that pent up inside that I had to let it go."
A leg up
The Dallas Cowboys made a kicking change in the last week, releasing Mike Vanderjagt and replacing him with Martin Gramatica. That's enough to pique the interest of the superstitious in Dallas. After all, both times Coach Bill Parcells won the Super Bowl -- in 1986 and 1990 with the Giants -- he made mid-season switches at kicker.
"Always when I have a good team I had to make changes," said Parcells, who used three kickers in 1986 and two in 1990.
The Cowboys have won three consecutive games and are atop the NFC East. They play the struggling Giants today at the Meadowlands, where they have lost to New York in eight of their last 10 meetings.
No Romo romance
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo did what he could last week to shoot down the rumors that he and pop singer Jessica Simpson are dating.
"I actually told the guys yesterday that Jessica and I are not dating," he said in a conference call with New York writers. "So no one has to write about that. Very funny, though. But anyhow, I guess there are worse things."
He's read all over
Jim Haslett, former New Orleans Saints coach and current defensive coordinator in St. Louis, got a little steamed at reporters last week when they asked one too many questions about the Rams being ranked 32nd against the run.
"I'm sick of talking about the ... yardage, OK?" he said. "I pick up the paper every week and I read about the yardage we've given up. It is what it is. We haven't done well.... But you know what? We're ninth in the league in pass defense. We've given up four touchdowns in the last three games. I never see you guys write that."
Wait till next year
Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb is done for the season, having undergone surgery last week to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. But Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder told Philadelphia reporters that McNabb has a realistic chance of returning in time to be the team's Week 1 starting quarterback next season.
"The percentages say he's got a good chance to play," Burkholder said. "We're setting him up that he could be back in training camp or maybe by the opening game."
The rings kept coming
"The calls started as soon as the game ended and they didn't stop until midnight when my cousin called me laughing about [Panthers end Julius] Peppers hitting me and my mouthpiece went flying out," Campbell told reporters. "He said that was the funniest part of the entire game. It wasn't funny from my perspective. I was kind of dizzy, trying to recuperate."
-- Sam Farmer