Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?
19 Oct 2006
compiled by Alex Carnevale
"He knows as a former NFL player what it takes to get up for a game every Sunday. You got to practice week in and week out. Back in them days, he was probably popping pills and tablets and all that to get up and going. But nowadays, with the drug-testing policies and the performance-enhancing policy, it's hard for a player to just go out there with just himself and go out there week in and week out.''
-- Raiders wideout Randy Moss, on Howie Long after Long dissed him. (Philadelphia Daily News)
"I don't even want the transcript. Randy's always been a different guy. Nothing's going to make it any worse right now."
-- Raiders DE Warren Sapp, on comments Moss made about the Raiders.
"I have no idea what Randy's got going but, hey, whatever it is, you've got freedom to speak your mind in this league. Just as long as he comes to play on Sundays, that's all I care about."
"Winning cures a lot of what ails you. If we're 4-0 and he's on the radio, wow, nobody's paying any attention. You're winning games. But when you're 0-4, everything is magnified. And I think, being a veteran guy, he would understand that. But, hey, Moss is Moss."
"My life does not depend on polls outside this organization. Until you win, people are going to talk. You have to win. We understand that. Until you do something, that is going to continue."
-- Raiders employee Art Shell (ContraCostaTimes.com)
"How many times do you have to get to the point of saying, 'Put it on my shoulders?' If you know what I'm capable of, you know I'm on your team. If you go over our roster, you know people are going to look and say, 'We've got to stop Portis.' Give them the opportunity to stop Portis."
-- Skins RB Clinton Portis, on his reduced role in Sunday's game. (Washington Post)
"If you do rush the ball 10 times and average 1.2 [yards per carry], you're going to put yourself in some bad situations and you are going to be throwing the football. So I think one thing leads to the other, and when you rush the football you've got to get enough yardage to put yourself in good position so you're in mixed downs and can keep them guessing. If you put yourself in third and six, seven, eight, you're going to get yourself in trouble there."
-- Redskins coach Joe Gibbs
"Clinton would love to go all the time, but at the same time we have a game plan. We go into the game with a game plan, and if something changes, it changes. I can't say, 'Put it in my hands, I can make it happen.' Because everybody on the field feels the same way."
-- Clinton Portis
"The Bears are what we thought they were. We played them in preseason. Who the hell picks a third game in preseason like it's bullshit? We played them in the third game. Everybody played three quarters. The Bears are who we thought they were. That's why we took the damn field. If you want to crown them, just crown their asses. They are who we thought they we were, and we let them off the hook!"
-- The immortal Dennis Green, Cardinals head coach
"I've known Keith for a long time. I have the utmost respect for him. We are not scoring enough points."
-- Dennis Green, on fired offensive coordinator Keith Rowan
"At certain times you feel like you have to do something different. [Kruczek] is old-school all the way and that's what I think we need right now."
-- Green, on former QB coach, new offensive coordinator Kruczek
"I think his close working relationship with Matt Leinart will give us a better chance."
"There was no single incident, no single episode, nothing specific that brought about this change. Something dramatic needed to be done."
-- Ravens head coach Brian Billick (ESPN.com)
"It serves no purpose to go back and revisit any particular reason why this has been brought about so I'm not gonna do it."
"Everywhere I've been, I've gotten the offense up and running pretty fast. It didn't happen here and the reason I believe is that I wasn't in full control."
-- now former Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Fassel
"This has been building for quite a while and finally I went to Brian last week and said, 'Look Brian, you've always run a good offense and I've always run a good offense, but the bottom line is somebody has to be in charge. Somebody has to pull the trigger and it can't be two guys.'"
"Brian was very good about this. He told me, 'You're right. My job's on the line and the only way I can deal with it is if I take control of the offense.'"
"There's a big difference between being a play-caller and running your offense. Calling plays doesn't matter, it's who's structuring that thing."
"He's seriously leaning toward it. I think he feels he's perfected his craft, in a way, and is ready for something else."
-- Tiki Barber's agent, Mark Lepselter (The New York Times)
"You do not replace Tiki Barber, he's a Hall of Famer. You have to go beyond the statistics to completely appreciate him, but I think he qualifies on numbers alone."
-- Ernie Accorsi, Giants general manager
"Frankly, it would be terrific for both of us to go out with a Super Bowl."
"The one thing I can say [is] a 2,000-yard rusher doesn't forget how to run the football."
-- Ravens running back Jamal Lewis
"They had to beg for things."
-- lawyer Ed Glennon, of players back in the day. Glennon "challenged former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle and his feudalistic owners, in Minneapolis federal court in 1975."
"Watching Ed Glennon in the courtroom is like watching Leonard Bernstein conduct a symphony. It's a thing of beauty."
-- Ed Garvey, former NFLPA director on Ed Glennon (San Jose Mercury News)
"To me, an enemy is an enemy. He's an enemy until one of us is dead."
"There's this sense that lawyers argue in court and then they go out for a drink. Ed's not that type. If you're on the other side, then you're on the other side. It doesn't mean you have to be nasty all the time, just when you're awake."
"If the Mackey case had come out the other way you would have a very different NFL today, characterized by labor instability and a less successful business model."
-- Stephen F. Ross, director of the Penn State Institute for Sports Law, Policy & Research, on the importance of the case Glennon won versus young whippersnapper lawyer Paul Tagliabue.
"People say the players get too much money. I say, where should it go? Should it all go to the owners? No. The dumbest owner in the world could not lose money in the NFL."
-- Ed Glennon
"There's been tremendous progress. More and more, the league and teams are embracing the idea of diversity. Now it seems the fair thing to do, the good thing to do."
-- Former Browns DL John Wooten, now chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance (Rocky Mountain News)
"When I was playing, the guys who wanted to go into coaching were looking at climbing a really tough ladder because they didn't see an opportunity to be a head coach. Some were less inclined to go down this route. But you always knew Tony Dungy wanted to be a coach."
-- former Giant Harry Carson. According to the article, "one NFL executive told Dungy he should shave his beard because he looked too much like a black radical. Another asked Dungy to estimate how many blacks he would have on his staff if he became coach."
"Guys like [Marvin Lewis] know it's imperative that they put football first because they don't really have a second chance, like some of the coaches who've gone through the coaching carousel. Dick Jauron is on his second or third coaching stint in Buffalo. A black coach doesn't have that luxury. He's going to get one shot, and if he doesn't make it good, that shot is going to be gone."
"The department strongly encourages the public to continue to go about their plans, including attending events that involve large public gatherings such as football games."
-- Russ Knocke, Homeland Security spokesman, after a Web message suggested NFL stadiums might be victimized with dirty bombs. (ESPN.com)
"A team cannot change its surface during the season. A club must finish the season with the same surface it began with."
-- AFC information manager Steve Alic yesterday, on Gillette Stadium.
"There will be no more friendly nothing because I don't trust anybody like that. I will go out and practice hard. I will respect him as a coach, and he should respect me as a player. Anything outside of that I am not going to be able to deal with. Right now, we are merely coworkers, and that's it."
-- Cowboys wideout Terrell Owens, on his fractured, Bennifer-esque relationship with Cowboys coach Todd Haley (ESPN.com)
"He's my coach and I respect him. That doesn't mean we have to go to lunch together, play cards together."
-- Owens, after the Cowboys' 34-6 win over the Texans.
"By the time I step on the field, Todd starts cursing at me, this and that, and I'm like, 'Dude, I was in the restroom. He said, 'I don't [care] what you were doing. Everybody else is out here.'"
"I was venting, he was venting. I felt it stayed behind closed doors. It's all about frustration. Everybody is still frustrated from the loss on Sunday. At some point, we had our time to vent on Monday, Tuesday and have that bad taste that sick feeling out of your mouth. On Wednesday, it's a new day. It's a new game plan, a new team that we're getting prepared for. That's where our focus and direction should be. But obviously Todd, he's been frustrated, and he's taking it out on other people."
-- Owens, on a meeting he had with Haley.
"You hope he does something to piss his team off. I know I'm going to strive to try to make him do something that fires that team up to do something wrong. I wish he'd keep messing up that team over there."
-- Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce, on T.O. (New York Post)
"In business, you have people that work together and don't necessarily get along together."
"I will have a hard time [trusting him] here on out."
"The dude had hair, what was I going to do? That was the only thing I could get my hands on."
-- Chiefs RB Larry Johnson, on bringing down Steelers DB Troy Polamalu after an interception by his dreads. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
"It doesn't matter to me if he tackles me by my hair or my ankles."
"That's the Ricky Williams rule.â€?
-- Chiefs head coach Herman Edwards (Chiefs.com)
"No one feels sorry for you. They really don't. The only person who feels sorry for you is your wife or your kids or your dog, but only if you feed it.''
-- Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, on losing
â€œI think we're behind generally outside of the U.S. Baseball has a significant presence in Latin America and Japan. Basketball is looking at European league ideas. It's a shrinking, small world, and all fans know there is an incredible product out there, and it's the NFL regular season."
-- Mark Waller, senior VP of NFL International, who opined that Canada will likely receive the first foreign franchise.
"If you would have taken Joe Montana to Japan 20 years ago, it would have been a huge success. It depends on who you're taking. It's not unlike soccer teams coming to play in the U.S. If it's Manchester United versus Argentina, it would be through the roof in the right place."
-- Frank Vuono, a former NFL vice president for licensing. (The New York Times)
"We were disappointed in the incident that happened on the field and regret the way it was handled in the broadcast booth. We do not support or condone the inappropriate comments made by color analyst Lamar Thomas and have taken the necessary steps to prevent a similar situation from ever occurring again."
-- Comcast Sports SouthEast general manager Mark Fuhrman
"Now, that's what I'm talking about. You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. You don't come into the OB playing that stuff. You're across the ocean over there. You're across the city. You can't come over to our place talking noise like that. You'll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing."
-- former Hurricane Lamar Thomas, repping Miami during Saturday's brawl with Florida International.
"Anybody who knows me knows I played the game of football with my heart on my sleeve. Unfortunately for me during the fight I got a little hyped up. In no way do I condone fighting."
"I say, why don't they just meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more? You don't come into the OB, baby. We've had a down couple years but you don't come in here talking smack. Not in our house."
"Football is a violent sport. There's an ambulance on the field before the game even starts. You tell guys to push, shove and blow people over a pile, and then, 'Oh, here's the whistle. Stop.' I'm sure [Albert Haynesworth] would love to retract what he did. But there's another 75 guys who would have done the same thing, but won't admit it.''
-- Former NFL offensive lineman Kevin Gogan
"I don't have a relationship with him."
-- Art Shell, on Mike Shanahan (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I don't speak to him very much."
-- Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, who tried to fire Shell in 1989.
"There was a power move and I was able to retain my job."
"A theme throughout our team is not doing our jobs, understanding our jobs and doing what we are coached to do."
-- Art Shell (USA Today)
"One guy goes after nothing but sacks. The other guy plays complete. One guy says outrageous statements about he's the best at this, this, this and the other guy ... it's not even close. All Simeon Rice does is rush the passer; that's it. If he doesn't get to the quarterback, you can forget it. He ain't making any other plays."
-- Panthers WR Keyshawn Johnson, on the difference between Rice and Julius Peppers. (TBO.com)
"There was nothing conclusive or decisive that was diagnosed. Corey said he couldn't return, couldn't go, couldn't participate.''
-- Colts owner Jim Orsay, on the "polyarthritis" that ESPN claimed DE Corey Simon was diagnosed with.
"She was excited to hear I was signing with the Patriots. She just likes Brady. I don't know if his looks have anything to do with it. It better be his playing.''
-- Patriots wideout Jabar Gaffney, on his wife's reaction to him signing with the Patriots. (Philadelphia Daily News)
"He has nice hands."
-- Brady, more interested in Jabar than Mrs. Gaffney.
"I think rushing offense, those yardage numbers always have a little bit to do with the final score. The more that you're ahead, the more opportunities you're going to have to run in the fourth quarter, and the more yardage you're going to gain, and the less they're going to run the ball. If I had to say anything about the rushing yardage, it would be yards per carry. I think that number can be very misleading. I really don't put too much into that one."
-- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, in his 10/18 press conference.
"I always seem to forget to watch football on Monday night. I heard about it. I feel for those guys. But I tell you what, 'Amadeus' was great."
-- Jake Plummer, on the play he attended on Monday night (Denver Post)
"That's what I told Bill Parcells. He said, 'Good, go to Canada.'"
-- Ray Lucas. When Parcells drafted him, he told the Tuna he wanted to play QB.
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43 comments, Last at 20 Oct 2006, 7:22pm by emcee fleshy (atl)