Whispers from around the NFL

• The Titans have reached out with an initial offer to free-agent DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and appear to be making re-signing him a priority this offseason.

• The Bears expect to have the entire starting defense intact for this week's playoff game. SS Mike Brown (calf) and SLB Hunter Hillenmeyer (thumb) could have played last week had Chicago been involved in the wild-card round. Hillenmeyer will wear a soft cast but had a pin in his thumb removed.

• A national television report that indicated there is virtually no communication between Chargers general manager A.J. Smith and head coach Marty Schottenheimer was overstated, according to our sources in San Diego. But that does not mean there is a smooth relationship there. We're told the two don't get along well, and if Smith had executive power, Schottenheimer probably would not be the coach. Team president Dean Spanos made it clear recently that Schottenheimer's job is not in jeopardy, but he did offer a warning shot of sorts, indicating that the playoffs are a must for 2006.