Eight weeks ago, the Vikings were undefeated and ranked No. 1 in DVOA. Now they're 6-6 and probably done. What went wrong?
14 Dec 2006
compiled by Alex Carnevale
"You know, that was probably a poor choice of words. So if I offended anybody, I apologize for that ... I don't know ... I guess because how we used that word freely, me growing up using that word, I didn't think anything of it. Like I said, I apologize to anyone I may have offended. I didn't mean to offend anybody but Kellen Winslow. That's pretty much that. I don't want to put any more into it ... Whatever I say is going to be on an extra level anyway. But like I said, I didn't think it was that big of a deal when I said it anyway. So it's over with it."
--Steelers LB Joey Porter, apologizing after calling Kellen Winslow a "fag."
"That's how the game goes. Joey was just expressing his opinion after someone cheap-shotted one of our guys. Joey was just standing up for one of his teammates."
-- Steelers CB Deshea Townsend
"Wisdom? I don't know if it was wisdom; it was clarity. Here's where it's at. Not wisdom."
-- Chiefs head linguist Herman Edwards, on what he told his team before their loss to the Ravens this Sunday.
"It's really a situation where a lot of teams would like to be this time of year. We're not 5-7; we're 7-5."
-- Herman Edwards, before his team's loss on Sunday.
"I told them the team that won the last five games in this stadium has to show up -- all of us mentally and physically. It's mental more than anything else. All football is all about mental. It really is. I believe that. It's just a mental deal. You just mentally at this time of year can't hope that things are going to happen for you. You've got to go do it."
"You should know that. If I have to tell them that something's wrong. They've got to know that and now they've got to go play like that. That's OK, because that's what you like. That's when you find out about your football team and you find out Sunday."
"I think we have to understand that we have to have patience, field position game, special teams are important and, we have to play good defense. We have to play good defense, period, because if we don't, to be quite honest, we're not going anywhere. We're going home. That's what's going to happen to us because you have to play good defense at this time of the year. Everyone knows it and the teams that can do that are the teams that continue to win games and are the teams that will get to the post-season. It's not hard to figure out. It's a simple formula. You have to be able to do this. It's not I want to do it or can I do it. You have to do it and if you don't do it you go home. There's no doubt about it."
-- Herman Edwards
"Ray Lewis [and I were] playing 'hide and go seek' with each other. So I knew it was him; I had to fool him and not the whole defense. When we started getting those big yards that's what it was, I was trying to fool him a little bit."
-- Chiefs RB Larry Johnson, on playing against the No. 2 team in the NFL according to DVOA.
"We just need to win a game at the end of the day. Now we've got to win a tough one on the road against a division opponent that's playing very, very well. My whole mindset was to win a game, even last week it was to win a game. We need to get back to winning a game. If we can't win games we're not going to go anywhere. We have to win games and we have to win one on the road now."
-- Herm, after his team's loss to the Ravens.
"There's going to be some three-and-outs on offense. Punting is good. You can't do anything crazy and get out of whack because if you do that they're going to take advantage of it. I mean, they've scored 94 points on turnovers and that tells you right now if they take the ball away from you they're scoring seven points."
-- Herman Edwards
"Most wise guys can't bet Dennis Green against Mike Shanahan in a small point-spread range."
-- Professional sports bettor Dave Malinsky
"I don't want to be in a position of opening the Chargers -7.5 and seeing them get bet up to 10. They (bettors) play San Diego every week. The public really rides them. I think -9.5 is the right number."
-- Mike Seba, senior linesmaker for Las Vegas Sports Consultants. (Covers.com)
"I haven't seen anything like that since I watched NFL Films."
-- Jaguars defensive end Paul Spicer
"I probably could have had 78 or so on two carries. They probably would have pulled me early to save me for next week."
-- Jacksonville DE Bobby McCray
"One week, you look at a team and figure they've got it all. The next week, it all falls apart. When I was in St. Louis (with the 1999 Super Bowl champion Rams), we were rolling, then we went up to Detroit and laid an egg. What's important is how you come back. You learn a lot about your team, who you can go to war with, who's going to rally, who's going to give in."
-- wideout Ricky Proehl (Indianapolis Star)
"He hides behind the offensive line that is 6-4, 6-5 or better, and then when he finally makes contact he is strong enough to break tackles, run over a couple guys. I think he will be able to last as long as any other back in this league, 10 years or more."
-- Jaguars RB Fred Taylor, on his teammate Maurice Jones-Drew
"We wanted to get to 400, but 375 isn't bad."
-- Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew, on the yardage gained against the Colts. (ESPN.com)
"I could tell it was very special for him. He didn't put a lot of added pressure on us this week. He just went on with his business. But I could see in the gleam in his eye at the end of the game. ... I could tell it meant a lot."
-- Saints QB Drew Brees, on his head coach Sean Payton's reaction to the win over former boss Bill Parcells.
"For whatever reason, we weren't ready."
-- Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jason Ferguson
"Once I got over the pylon, my initial thought process was to bring every guy on the offensive unit over to share that moment. When we're old and can't play this game anymore, them are the moments we are going to remember, that we'll be able to tell our kids, tell our grandchildren. We can talk about something special that we did. We made history today. There's no better feeling than to share it with the group of guys that's in that locker room."
-- LT, after setting the record for touchdowns in an NFL season.
"He came into the huddle and said, 'I want all of you guys to join me in the end zone when I get it.'"
-- Chargers right tackle Shane Olivea
"He is a king and he should be treated like one. That is what a king gets."
-- Chargers left guard Kris Dielman
"I never want to give Vince Young his props or the recognition he deserves, but he made me a believer on that last play. I didn't know if I wanted to throw my helmet or cry."
-- Texans defensive end N.D. Kalu, on Vince Young's waltz into the end zone to give the Titans the overtime win on Sunday. (LA Daily News)
"I felt like it was in slow motion -- the whole thing. It took forever to unfold. Like a bad dream. It is a sick feeling. It is a bitter feeling and you will probably think about this until you see them next year."
-- Texans CB Dunta Robinson
"You don't say it's personal, but this was kind of personal because the team went out and went against everyone and got the defensive player (in the draft). This was our chance to prove to the city that we made the right choice."
-- Texans defensive end N.D. Kalu (ESPN.com)
"You play a young quarterback and it's very simple. If you knock him down, he'll find a way to lose. If you don't knock him down, he'll look like he's on the way to the Pro Bowl."
-- Seattle defensive end Bryce Fisher
"Sometimes the problem with coaches is that we spend all this time thinking about ideas that we want to try. I hear people talking about how they run this system or that system. I believe in letting the kid do his thing. When Vince comes to me with a play he likes, I put it in the game plan. That way he feels like he has some ownership of the process."
-- Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow, on handling young quarterbacks, and Titans QB Vince Young. (SI.com)
"There are so many things that can occur on a given play. You have to consider all the multiple fronts a quarterback can see and all the multiple pressures. He has to make decisions on all those things. I believe it's easy for us coaches to say that it's not a lot. This one more play won't be too much. But it is a lot, particularly if a guy is just learning."
-- Bills head coach Dick Jauron, on his little guy, J.P. Losman
"We have the ability to gather more information in a quicker manner and that factor alone can handicap players. But that's where it's going. There's just too much information now. On one hand, it's progress. But sometimes you really can regress when you progress."
-- Herman Edwards
"The NFL wants you to pay $140 million to watch football. That's one game we won't play."
-- Time Warner Cable ad, on the dispute between cable companies and the NFL Network.
"I am dismayed and I'm really taken aback that this game is not going to be able to be seen by a large percentage of our fans ... I'm really surprised that it's come to this point with Time Warner."
-- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, referring to this Saturday evening's Cowboys/Falcons contest.
"This dispute is unprecedented in terms of the profile. And it's not just Time Warner. There are other significant players in the cable industry who are trying to insulate their customers from the price that the NFL is asking."
-- Jon Gary Herrera, Time Warner Cable spokesman.
"This is an interesting case because the NFL is speaking directly to the fans past the cable providers and asking them to force the cable providers to carry the network. We still don't know if it's an approach that will work in the long run."
-- Jennifer Henderson, a Trinity University media studies professor.
"We've heard from just as many customers who want us to hold the line with the NFL as we have customers who want us to carry the network."
-- Herrera, on the conflict. (MySanAntonio.com)
"At this point, I think the NFL Network is being unconscionably greedy."
-- telecommunications "professor" Barry Orton
"The NFL Network has insisted that they want money, even from people who aren't going to watch it."
"It's unbelievable. I've never seen a team shut down the run like our defense is. It's got to be demoralizing (for the opposing offensive linemen)."
-- Vikings guard Jason Whittle, on his team's run prevention during their Sunday victory over the Detroit Lions.
"I've been on top defenses, and everybody keeps it balanced all the time. But I've never been on a defense where (the offense runs) the ball 10 or 12 times and quits."
-- Nose tackle Pat Williams
"We beat ourselves. Every game we've lost, we beat ourselves. The Patriots are the only team that came out and flat out beat us."
-- Pat Williams (TwinCities.com)
"They'll start toward us inside, but then they'll bounce it out. You can see it happen, and you can see it happen fast. Then, they won't even try ... I talk to a lot of guys around the league, and they tell us we're just smashing the run. Coaches don't want to run against us."
-- Williams (San Jose Mercury News)
"I think it has just come together. They have worked hard at it. I know we've moved the guys around a little bit, and now they're working well together. We haven't had many guys missing practice, and we have had them in the same positions and it's working out good."
-- Cardinals head coach Dennis Green
"It's football. I don't have an explanation for you. I have been in the game for a lot of years and it happens at different times and in different phases. We're still a very young football team. We've got a lot of young linemen. Brown is brand-new, and Lutui is straight out of college. Leckey is in his third year -- second year as a starter, and Reggie has played left guard, left tackle, center, right guard and right tackle. I think it's all part of it."
-- Dennis Green, on his team's improvement in notching back to back wins.
"It's hard to say. Earlier in the year we weren't doing our thing as well as we should have. We didn't have offense, defense and special teams all playing well at the same time. Special teams has been considerably better, getting good field position, and the defense has been better, which has enabled our offense to be better."
-- Green (Arizona Republic)
"I don't care when it is if the playoffs are next week. We're not even talking about that right now. We have to fix things. We've been talking about it for weeks now and we still see it happening. You go back to work tomorrow. I'm not going to hang my head. I know we lost this game. I desperately wanted to win this one. All of us did. We've got another one coming up; we've got three more. Let's keep playing. Let's try to win a game. This week, I believe we play the Texans, so let's turn it around at home."
-- Patriots LB Tedy Bruschi, after his team's loss to the Dolphins on Sunday.
"I'm not just focused on Tom out there. Tom's playing and doing the best he can, but so is the offensive line, running backs, tight ends, and receivers. I'm sure the whole offense feels the way Tom feels."
-- Tedy Bruschi
"I don't know why, that was coach's call. Probably to conserve his health; I mean, we were down 21-nothing."
--Pats FB Heath Evans, on why Tom Brady was removed with minutes to go in the game.
"There are a lot of teams that would like to have our record. There might be a few who wouldn't, but most teams would love to be where we are."
-- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (Patriots.com)
"Carnell Williams is one heck of a back. He is going to be a guy that we feature. We have to do a better job of blocking, we certainly have to do a better job at game planning, and we have to do a much better job adjusting. It is hard to be perfect all the time until your guys are where they are going to be. When a guy stems from this gap to that gap you have to adjust, and again, we have some young guys up there that struggle with that at this point in time. I am sure Chicago will look at our film and give us some of the same treatment."
-- Jon Gruden, Buccaneers head coach (Buccaneers.com)
"Carnell made some great one- and two-yard runs yesterday, I mean great runs, [but] I'm really disappointed in our run game as a whole, very disappointed."
"The logo on there is huge -- very slick and slippery. If it was my call, which it's obviously not, I would go back to the balls that we used from the time that Pete Rozelle was commissioner... Only the quarterbacks really notice because everyone else wears gloves."
-- Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck (Sacramento Bee)
"I want to do broadcast journalism. I always say that if I can get a job using my voice then I can spend the rest of my life not having a real job."
-- Pattriots FS Artrell Hawkins, on his future aspirations (Patriots.com)
"It seems like the ball is messing with us a little bit. It gets to you. But you have to keep hustling, and those plays will come to you. It's almost like basketball. If your shot isn't falling, you keep shooting, keep fighting and it will come ... I don't know when it's going to come. I wish we could call up Miss Cleo, but I don't have her number."
-- Redskins linebacker Marcus Washington, on his team's inability to create turnovers.
"You know, (Pro Bowl voters) look at it that way. I remember in 1996, when me and (linebacker Derrick) Brooks first had our splash season (with Tampa Bay). He had 150-some tackles, I had nine sacks, whatever. I looked up and they took (Arizona defensive tackle) Eric Swann, and he had three sacks. I'm like, 'This ain't the way this is supposed to work, is it?' But you learn that you've got to burst on the scene and then become consistent."
-- Bucs DL Warren Sapp, on his Pro Bowl prospects.
"He was not one to flaunt it. He just did it."
-- Titans owner Bud Adams, on former Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, who passed away at 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday. (Kansas City Star)
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38 comments, Last at 05 Aug 2007, 12:14pm by T.Johnson