*Peyton Manning may be the fan favorite for MVP, but the players’ favorite is Adrian Peterson. “Everyone in the league absolutely loves Peterson,” said one NFC Pro Bowler. “Peterson is the guy at the Pro Bowl who spends the afternoon taking pictures with our families. He's the one everybody's mom wants to adopt. He's humble, mild mannered and so damn nice.”
*We’ve heard Bill Polian and Andy Reid could be paired up as a package deal to a team that has cleaned house and has deep pockets. The Polian-Reid combo would be especially attractive to a team that needs to sell tickets or has credibility issues with its fan base.
*Bruce Arians has done a magnificent job as interim coach of the Colts, and is being talked about by a lot of front office men who may have a say in hiring their team’s head coach. However, people close to him say he will never speak about other coaching opportunities and always talks about his future coaching the Colts and assisting Chuck Pagano. As one Colts insider put it, “He's a quality of life of guy and is happy what he is doing and has the ability to say no to some offers.”
*Former Chiefs honcho Carl Peterson long considered the Chargers a nemesis from their AFC West wars, but we’re hearing Peterson now is advising Dean Spanos and company on what direction the team might be headed in next. Peterson also has been a voice in the ear of Jets owner Stephen Ross.
*One college coach who seems to be a candidate for an NFL head coach year after year could be more likely to make the jump this year than ever before. Kirk Ferentz of Iowa might be more apt to listen to NFL teams this year because his son James, who played center for him, is graduating. Ferentz told people close to him over the years he would not leave Iowa when his son was on his team.
*Marc Trestman has not coached in the NFL since 2004 and he has been in the CFL since 2008 as the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes, but some think he could get some play as an NFL head coaching candidate this year. Trestman, who previously directed offenses for the Browns, 49ers, Cardinals and Raiders, interviewed with the Colts last year for the job that went to Chuck Pagano. The word out of Indianapolis is he was impressive, and that could help Trestman get more interviews moving forward.
*Another sleeper candidate who could get some play is Air Force coach Troy Calhoun. He was a hot commodity on the college front recently, with Cal and Tennessee expressing interest. But Calhoun preferred to stay at Air Force, where his winning percentage over six seasons is .610. It helps that Calhoun is an offensive mind, and it helps more that he is from the successful Mike Shanahan coaching tree. He was an assistant for the Broncos and also was Gary Kubiak’s first offensive coordinator with the Texans.