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updated: 2/12/2010 11:37 AM

More where that came from for Rose

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Just so we're clear, this is less criticism than it is suggestion.

Either way, Derrick Rose is going to have to learn to control his body better when he's up among the trees.

If the NBA were as physical as it used to be, this is not a lesson Rose would have had to learn the hard way, with a hard foul and harder landing Wednesday night.

He would have understood already the dangers of being out of control in the land of the giants, but up until now he didn't know that's the way the game should be played.

Dwight Howard, all 6-feet-11 of him, merely got in Rose's way and put a 270-pound body on him, which is a foul, and that's all it is.

Neither player did anything wrong, but Rose simply isn't used to being challenged physically when he's up in the air, off balance and vulnerable.

At 6-3, he's remarkably good at elevating near the bucket, but that also means he's going to be in dangerous spots from time to time.

From this point forward, he'll be aware of the monsters down low and protect himself a little better, because there will be more where that came from.

It's not going to stop him from doing his thing or driving to the bucket, just as the Bulls wouldn't stop any opposing player from driving the lane if they played physically.

But contested shots and hard fouls do make players think a bit about what they're doing, and that's why it's an effective and important part of the game.

The Bulls don't do it much and most teams don't anymore, which is why Rose wasn't prepared for what was coming.

You get the feeling that starting with the Howard hit, he will be more aware of what awaits him.

Bobby language

Saints defensive end Bobby McCray says there's little doubt in his mind why the Saints won the Super Bowl.

"It's Drew Brees," McCray said. "He's everything to this team. He's our inspiration, our emotional leader and our guy on the field who takes control.

"The great thing about him is he makes you feel good about what you're doing, even if you mess up. If he makes a mistake, he doesn't drop his head. He promises to get it back. I love that."

Not everyone can be Drew Brees or Ray Lewis, but it sure does make you wonder.

Adjusting on the fly

New Orleans coach Sean Payton says defensive coordinator Gregg Williams rarely gave Peyton Manning the same look twice in a row in the Super Bowl.

At the start, the Saints used a four-man line, in the second quarter they went to a 3-4, and over the final two quarters he switched constantly.

Can you think of any local pro football teams - including one that faced Manning in a Super Bowl - capable of that sort of defensive adjustment?

Frankly speaking

While a record 106.5 million people watched Super Bowl XLIV, it did a 45 rating (percentage of homes with TV), compared to a 60 rating for the M*A*S*H finale.

That's because there were 83 million TV homes in 1983, compared to 115 million today, and adjusted for population growth, M*A*S*H would have had 142 million viewers.

Ivan Boldirev-ing

While the Blackhawks are talking to the Ducks about James Wisniewski, why not try to grab Northbrook native Mike Brown?

He's a good penalty-killer, can skate, will fight anyone and run over anybody. Be a nice, high-energy addition for the playoffs.

Bull stuff

According to reports, the Bulls have told teams there are several clubs ready to offer a first-round pick for Tyrus Thomas. Maybe that's true, or maybe it's exactly what a team would try to sell if a guy wasn't generating much interest.

Dawson returns

The Schaumburg Flyers will host a celebrity softball event for Andre Dawson on July 28, three days after his Hall of Fame induction.

Dawson and several ex-major leaguers and celebs will sign autographs before the game. For more info, visit flyersbaseball.com.

The line

Canada is the even-money favorite to win Olympic hockey gold, trailed by Russia (2-1), Sweden (4-1), the U.S. (8-1), Czechs (14-1) and Fins (20-1).

The line II

In women's hockey, Canada is a big favorite at 3-5. Team USA is their only competition at 5-1.

Just asking

S.F. Chronicle's Scott Ostler: "Does it seem like the NBA right now is 300 guys jockeying for a shot at becoming LeBron James' teammate next season?"

Best headline

Sportspickle.com: "Bill Belichick didn't shake hands with Saints at end of Super Bowl."

Grip and rip

Comedian Alex Kaseberg: "This year, the Chinese New Year falls on Valentine's Day, and get this, it's the Year of the Tiger. Wow, even the gods of irony aren't giving Tiger Woods a break."

Tired of the cold?

Try Lindsey Vonn in a bikini.

And finally

Miami Herald's Greg Cote: "A sponsor referred to last week's Miami Marathon as 'the Pro Bowl of running events.' I take that to mean half the runners pulled out with fake injuries?"

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