Short-yardage passing had a good year, except at the end of the Super Bowl. We look at the return of quarterback runs, the rise in pass-happy strategy, and 2014 success rates for offense and defense.
21 Dec 2006
compiled by Alex Carnevale
"We need to sit down and change something. This is getting ridiculous. Everybody is saying, 'Oh, it's fine, it's OK.' I don't know who in their mind thinks this is OK. This is nothing that's OK. We need to change a lot of it. We need to sit down and change a lot. I'm getting tired of hearing that 'We'll get 'em next week' speech. We need to really start sitting down and knowing what we need to do to put points on the board and what we need to do to do win games."
-- Chiefs running back Larry Johnson (Kansas City Star)
"They need to fix it. I'm getting tired of this. It's tough running against a brick wall until you break it open, you know? You see other teams do different things; you see different teams react differently. Like I said, you don't have to bang your head against a brick wall hard enough to crack a hole in it. There are other ways of doing different things."
"We've got to finish this thing off right. We'll see what happens. You never know. Until they send us a letter that says we're out. ... The last time I checked, they hadn't sent us that letter."
-- Herman Edwards
"We've been putting ourselves in known situations, especially on passing downs, because we don't make any significant yardage on first down. It puts you in a pickle in second and third down. That's happened some. "
-- Herman Edwards
"We've played some pretty good defenses. If you make an error here or there it creates negative plays."
-- Herman Edwards
"What I want to do is come back, that's for sure. That's easy because it's fun here. The vast majority of the people I know in the NFL are miserable."
-- Ohio State wideout Anthony Gonzalez, on his intention to stay in school. (ESPN.com)
''I don't care what they say nationally. I don't think you guys [in the local media] attack me because you know what I stand for. Unfortunately, I can't hold hands 24/7, but it is embarrassing. These things socially are not right. It doesn't matter what you do for a living or who you are. You've got to follow the rules and laws. . . . These players put themselves at risk as far as being in the league.''
-- Marvin Lewis, coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, on his team's off-the-field infractions.
''It's a combination of ownership and Marvin taking chances on players some teams might not want. They got away with it a few times, but it's really catching up to them."
-- unnamed rival GM
"The way this bill was approached was to look at internet gambling as gambling defined as games of chance. Congressman Goodlatte viewed fantasy football as more skill-based than a game of chance."
-- Alise Kowalski, spokesperson for House co-sponsor Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.
"It is not an issue. It is ludicrous to think a player would jeopardize his playing career to score points for his fantasy team."
-- NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy
"Fantasy football is expanding the game, and anytime you do that, I don't see that as being negative. We haven't had any issues whatsoever. I don't think it's related to gambling. That's a stretch, a real big stretch."
-- head of the NFLPA Gene Upshaw
"I had a guy who was 27 years in recovery, and all of the sudden, he started picking fantasy football teams for his grandchild. The next thing you know, it gets his juices flowing, and it happens."
-- Annie Wexler, who "works with recovering gambling addicts." In the fiscal year ending June 30, $1.08 billion was wagered in Nevada on college and pro football combined; the Nevada Gaming Commission doesn't break down the amount bet specifically on the NFL.
"Under the legal definition, I don't think fantasy sports is gambling, but you have to ask yourself, why is sports gambling unlawful and fantasy sports legal? Is there a significant difference between the two? Is there a real difference between rooting for Tony Romo to throw a bunch of touchdown passes and rooting for the Dallas Cowboys to win?"
-- atttorney Anthony Cabot (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"Hey, listen, don't talk to me about revenue sharing. The high-revenue clubs are not going to give teams like Buffalo any revenue sharing. They haven't done it. They stalled it for years. And I'm sick and tired of hearing about it."
-- Bills owner Ralph Wilson (The Globe and Mail)
"It's just common sense right now based on performance and who gives us a better chance to win a football game."
-- Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, on using backup QB Tim Rattay (Hartford Courant)
"Two games left, who knows what they're thinking. You see other issues across the board offensively that make you think, 'What the f--- have I got into?' It's been tough. A lot of the time, I've been biting that fist of mine."
-- Raiders QB Aaron Brooks
"First of all, merry Christmas to everyone. That's exactly what we need to be talking about. Don't let what the Texans are doing, what I'm doing, ruin your Christmas. That's the message I want to send out. As far as us not winning, I'm as frustrated as every fan, player, coach and owner. This is as hard as anything I've gone through football-wise. I've just never had to work so hard and achieved so little. It's been very difficult. You wish you had the answers. If I did, I'd find a way to win."
-- Texans QB David Carr (Houston Chronicle)
"You don't know why it happens sometimes. Like Bill [Belichick] always says, â€˜you have to make a deposit to get a withdrawal.' We have been making deposits for a few weeks here. We got a little payout today."
-- Patriots defensive back Artrell Hawkins, on his team's breakout performance in a 40-7 whomping of the Houston Texans.
"It was huge. I think we were the only team in the league that hadn't scored a defensive or a special teams touchdown. [That's] the skill set that Ellis possesses."
-- Patriots linebacker Roosevelt Colvin
"Corey [Mays] had a great play. I'm on the end making sure nothing comes around the side. We were just coached better on that play than they were. That's kind of the bottom line. We were ready for it; we were able to stuff it; we were prepared. Brad [Seely] had us all week, gadget team, gadget team, gadget team. So we knew, hey, they want to come in here and get a win on our turf. We were expecting everything. It's not like they gave anything away until the last second there and then we hopped on it."
--Pats fullback Heath Evans, on the Texans' onside kick attempt. (Patriots.com)
"I've got [No.] 12's back, no matter what. When 12 speaks his mind about something that pertains to his mood, we're trying to perceive it and talk about it and correct it."
-- Evans (Hartford Courant)
"I'm not going to hypothetically guess who will and won't be OK."
-- Belichick, on his attitude towards the injury list.
"The Patriots got caught doing something early in the year they weren't supposed to be doing. They had a man on their sideline dressed in coaching attire with a video camera who was presumably videotaping the other team's signals. You can't do that. They were warned. If it happens again, they're going to be disciplined."
-- CBS commentator Charley Casserly
"Why don't you go talk to Charley Casserly? He seems to have all the answers on everything."
"There is absolutely no validity to that at all. If we had Jake healthy now, he'd be out there now, and it would be the same to start next season. There are no quarterbacks just behind the bushes out there at this point or even this time next year."
-- Panthers coach John Fox, addressing Terry Bradshaw's contention that the Panthers were going to pursue another quarterback in the offseason. (Charlotte Observer)
"I hope (Terry Bradshaw) doesn't become the head coach or the GM over here. But honestly, when things aren't going well ... there's going to be a lot of talk. But, I can't control that. I truly believe I'm going to be here."
-- Panthers QB Jake Delhomme
"The only week that you need to know anything about football is the first week, when you pick your players."
-- San Jose mathematics teacher John Hagen, who uses fantasy football to illustrate math concepts in the classroom.
"The kids were more excited about doing the work that was related to fantasy football than doing the work that was straight out of the textbook."
--Dan Flockhart, developer of series of books on fantasy sports and mathematics. (Charlotte Observer)
"When it happened, we were jawing in each other's face, so it wasn't anything intentional. I didn't intentionally spit in his face. He's trying to make it seem like more than what it was by saying I hauled off and spit in his face. I feel like if I spit in his face ... somebody would've seen it."
-- Terrell Owens
"This is dangerous stuff. You've got to try to do things, and you've seen it in baseball. I do think you see a lot of things in sports today that you wish weren't a part of it, for an old-fashioned guy like me especially."
-- Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells
"I don't reconcile and I don't do any of those things. I don't pass judgment. I just try to get the player to play to his potential on the field; that's what my job is to do. I told you that when the player came here it's my job to try to make things work; that's what I'm trying to do."
-- Parcells (Fort Worth Star Telegram)
"At first I couldn't believe it happened, and people who know me know how I'd want to haul off on him. But I kept my composure about it and didn't retaliate. But the league should hit him by suspending him."
-- Falcons corner DeAngelo Hall, on TO's loogie.
"That's an unwritten rule in this league. You don't do that."
"Never, never, never, never... He is the best man to ever wear a uniform, period. I mean, besides Deion (Sanders)."
-- Chad Johnson on trash-talking Champ Bailey (Associated Press)
"There are two kinds of corners in the NFL. There are corners that play not to get beat. That's your regular corners. Then you have Champ Bailey, who plays to make a play. Period. He's in a class of his own. Deion played the game to make a play. Everyone else plays the game not to get beat."
-- Ocho Cinco
-- Ocho Cinco, when asked how to torch Bailey.
"That's a no-no. I can't have that. I don't like people scoring. Hopefully, when I'm in front of him this week, nothing like that happens."
-- Bailey, on Johnson's 50-yard touchdown in their last meeting.
"As the Colts get paid, IPD gets played... If you were the NFL would you want to risk sending the Super Bowl to a city protected by angry police officers?"
-- fliers put out by the Indianapolis police union. (Indianapolis Star)
"I hope Gary Anderson is fly-fishing in Canada for a long time. I hope he's not coming back anytime soon. My congratulations to Gary for setting the bar. My job is to set it even higher."
-- Falcons kicker Morten Andersen, 46, on becoming the NFL scoring leader with 2,437 points. (Los Angeles Times)
"The league had previously informed us of this possibility, so this was not unexpected. I do want to say that I am really proud how Joe has responded to his mistake. He has been getting treatment and has done a commendable job in dealing with his problem. He has definitely learned from his mistake and has moved forward in a very positive manner."
-- Lions coach Rod Marinelli, on assistant coach Joe Cullen, who was arrested for nude driving as well as drunk driving.
"The defendant breached its duty by allowing its mascot to operate motorized vehicles on the field while players are present, further the mascot's reckless disregard for the safety of players of the opposite team was a breach of its duty and the conduct is so reckless as to require punitive measures."
-- a lawsuit alleging that a Titans mascot driven vehicle struck Adrian McPherson in the right knee while he was fielding practice punts on Aug. 12.
"I don't want to say my conference is bad, so I would call it parity."
-- Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, on the NFC playoff picture. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"Yes I do, I think the New York Giants will be in the playoffs."
-- Giants LB Brandon Short (New York Post)
"He was truly a gentleman, a smart guy and very respectful. I think he respected the game a lot, too. When he spoke in league meetings you always had the sense that he was speaking from the heart, Wellington Mara-ish, what was best for the game. It wasn't about was best for the Chiefs. It was about what was best for the game and I think that came across in a genuine, sincere manner, so I believed it. It's a tough loss."
-- Bill Belichick, on Lamar Hunt's passing. (KCChiefs.com)
Thanks to all who send me quotes and clever feedback. Keep it coming! You know who you are. You can find the Baseball Prospectus version of The Week in Quotes here.
39 comments, Last at 26 Dec 2006, 3:12am by MarkB