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?
05 Oct 2006
compiled by Alex Carnevale
"He said Sunday night he would accept the league's decision of what to do from a discipline standpoint, and that's what he's going to do."
--Haynesworth's agent Chad Speck, on his client Albert Haynesworth's stomping of Cowboys C Andre Gurode in the forehead with a spike while he was on the ground. Haynesworth will lose $190,070 for five games (Chicago Sun-Times)
"We're just in the fact-finding stage right now."
-- NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis
"For what I did, whatever they give me, I deserve it. I did it, and it's wrong."
"I let my team down. I'm not saying that I'm the heart of this team, but I definitely let the team down."
"I wasn't surprised. He kicked me in the chest when I was on the ground. So I wasn't surprised when I saw it that he did something like that."
-- Panthers C Justin Hartwig, on Haynesworth's behavior towards him when they were teammates with the Titans (ESPN.com)
"Albert has been trying to reach him for the past couple of days. He was apologetic and sympathetic."
"When I was there with him, people in the media would always write stuff about how he had matured and everything, and I would see that and I would just laugh, because I knew he was still the same old guy."
"I was actually surprised that he did something that bad. But you can definitely see a pattern of that type of behavior with him."
-- former Titan Matt Martin
"We got into it the first day of rookie camp, and from that point, I guess it was just on."
-- Martin, on his relationship with Haynesworth.
"I was watching the game, and my first thought was that the organization has been struggling so much with so many things and just trying to get a win, that they certainly didn't need anything like this to happen."
"I saw afterwards where he said that he was disgusted by what he had done, but it's the same old things. When you do those types of things, that just shows such a lack of respect for your teammate, the organization and the game itself. The penalty he got is pretty steep. I hope he learns something from it this time."
"I was returning a punt [in junior college] and I was under the pile. Someone just jerked my leg and tore the cartilage in my knee and I had to have surgery. He actually tried to break my leg, I had to kick him off me. I didn't actually see who it was ... I could just feel him twisting my leg. He grabbed my foot and twisted my leg until it popped."
-- Bears WR Rashied Davis (Chicago Tribune)
"Guys would try to take your fingers and bend them back and try to break your fingers. That's probably the worst. That's why you tape them all up now, so they can't do that."
-- Bears tackle Fred Miller
"And there were times when we were playing the Raiders and Bill Romanowski would just tee off on guys on the back sides of plays and it just wasn't called. It was technically within the parameters of the game, but it was really a cheap shot and you just don't do it."
"The best way is to grab the guy by the windpipe, where's there's no gray area and then tell him, 'Enough of this garbage.'"
-- former DL John Jurkovich
"One time I spit in the face of Demetrius DuBose when he was with the Tampa Bay Bucs He came down on a kickoff and dove into the wedge. I asked him 'What are you doing? You're a nut.' They scored again and kicked down to us and in a scrum, I told him to cut the stuff out. He said something to me and I spit in his face."
"A lot of that stuff is urban myth. I haven't seen much of it or know of any of it happening. I've had somebody try to cut me from behind and that's pretty bad, but luckily I was running away from him. There's definitely some dirty stuff, but there's a gray area about what they call and what they don't."
-- Bears tackle Ian Scott
"I was drive blocking this guy and he spit in my mouth. I would probably rather have someone step on my forehead than ever have that happen to me again. He knew what he was doing."
-- G Terrence Metcalf
"They need to quit whining so much. Half those guys are making over $3 million a year. They need to get off their butts and start doing the job. I don't like to feel sorry for guys--there's no room for crybabies. You are offensive linemen getting paid big money, then do your job."
-- Cardinals coach Dennis Green (East Valley Tribune)
"You can go to watch Mesa High School play and know if the offensive linemen are doing their job or not. A 75-year-old woman in the stands can tell if you are doing the job or not. The guy got blocked, or he didn't."
"Al Gore won the popular election and George Bush won the electoral college. Who cares about statistics?"
-- Dolphins QB Joey Harrington (Palm Beach Post)
(Note: Not an excuse to discuss politics! No politics in the discussion threads!)
"Hopefully -- four, five, six weeks from now -- we'll look back on this game and realize this is the best thing that could have happened to us because that's a team we can beat. If we get another chance to play them -- which I hope we do -- that's a team we can and we should beat."
-- Bengals QB Carson Palmer, after being decimated by the New England Patriots on Sunday.
"Not to take anything away from them; that's obviously a phenomenal organization, the best of the best. But I felt if we would have played our best football, we could have beat them."
"I think we kind of needed this. We went out there, and we got our heads beat in. I don't know if we came into the game too cocky, too confident or what.
"It doesn't seem like nobody else is concerned."
-- Raiders wideout Randy Moss, about the plight of the Oakland Raiders.
"I don't really want to single players out. I mean, I don't really know what the feeling is. But I know the feeling is bad, so that's saying no one cares about what's going on around here."
"I don't want to be the downfall, or the negative or the cancer of the team. That's definitely not my goal to do. If they feel trading me and getting me out is the best thing to do, I've been traded once, two won't hurt."
"I don't worry about all the stuff that's being said. I know the character of the players in this locker room. I know what they're like and I know what they're capable of doing and what they've done. I don't worry about that. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't worry about that."
"He has his views. I have to go out and do my job. Really, it just comes down to, the game of football is about individual battles, working together with the team. So, what I have to do isn't affected by what anybody says, outside or inside the program. He's entitled to his beliefs."
-- Raiders QB Andrew Walter
"We're doing the right things now. We're continuing to go in the right direction. So it only gets better. We got no room but to go up right now. We're 0-3, and we just continue to try and build. It's still the first quarter. And everybody's panicking and everything like that. Hey, you know something? We got a long season. The year we went to the Super Bowl, we lost four in a row."
-- Raiders fullback Zack Crockett
"A lot of the kids there lost parents during the war. Your worst day here is good because you can't even imagine their worst one."
-- Bears DT Tommie Harris, on the school he built in Liberia.
"He's so good. I never could have known he was so good."
-- Rachel Keita, mom of Chiefs DE Tamba Hali. She was able to see her son play in the NFL for the first time on Sunday since they were separated for 10 years while she was in Liberia (Charlotte Observer).
"I received an e-mail the other day from one of the girls on the trip. She said they went into the orphanage two nights ago and found two of the kids sleeping with a picture of me in my Bears uniform. That really warmed my heart to see those kids doing well."
"Coach Schottenheimer is the head coach of the 2006 Chargers. At the end of this season we will review everything, as we always do ... He was hired to do a job, and that job is to coach the team in the manner that he deems proper."
-- Chargers GM A.J. Smith (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"I don't anticipate any changes. We are under way for '06. But if we do decide to make a change, we'll let you know. Making a coaching change during the season is not at the top of my list now. The 2007 college draft is."
"I have complete trust in him."
-- Charges head honcho Marty Schottenheimer, on QB Philip Rivers, who barely threw a pass in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Ravens.
"I think that is a fair assessment. We're not asking Philip to do all the things we asked a five-year veteran to do."
-- Schottenheimer, on whether or not the game plan would have been different with Drew Brees at QB.
"I'm glad he stuck with his game plan, because that Rivers kid could play."
-- Ravens LB Bart Scott, on Schottenheimer's conservative play callin.
"I'm a little pissed off right now. It's different when you get no balls than when you get no attempts, no play calls. You can only do what you can control."
-- Chargers wideout Keenan McCardell
"Yes, I want to do things offensively. But I look at the mirror first."
-- Chargers TE Antonio Gates
"With what's been called to this point we should still be 3-0. That said, I feel confident we can throw it more and still do what we need to win. Any quarterback loves more opportunities to throw. But the ones I've got, I've still got to make."
"My hope is there isn't a lack of confidence or trust."
"I assure you the better defense we have, the more you'll see of, quote, Martyball. It's resurrected itself a little bit. I can't walk out of a game in which we only threw the ball one time in the third quarter and say it isn't back."
"It's unfair to point to one area in particular or one coach in particular. This is a team thing."
-- 49ers head coach Mike Nolan (Contra Costa Times)
"Billy is doing well. Billy is doing the things he has to do. We as a staff accept responsibility no different than we do the players in trying to get them to perform well."
-- Nolan, on his defensive coordinator.
"I think you're much better when you solidify what you are, whether it's 4-3 or 3-4, it makes no never mind to me. We have been much more of a 4-3 team thus far this year because I think to put our best 11 on the field, I believe that's where it lies."
"He had one poor decision. Late down the middle. You've heard me say that before, late down the middle. We had a lot of run-pass checks at the line, and he gave the receivers a chance to make some plays."
"With the money they make now, if in the middle of the season you did something like that, you know $2.5 million, I can't afford $2.5 million for someone to go out there and rest on their couch or something."
-- Titans owner Bud Adams, on the future of head coach Jeff Fisher.
"My nightmare scenario is 10, 20 years from now, you will not be able to cover the NFL unless you pay a rights fee."
-- David Elfin, president of the Pro Football Writers of America (Kansas City Star)
"There is a smell here, and it gives the impression that the NFL and the teams are more interested in their own financial protection than they are helping the public understand what goes on in the field with the players in the games."
-- Bob Steele, of the Poynter Institute
"He has one bad year, and this is how he reacts. What kind of message is he sending to the fans and younger players when things go bad? But they're letting him get away with it."
-- Elfin, on Brett Favre speaking to the media only twice a month.
"This is our business ... that's why the rules are the way they are. Otherwise, we'll shut it down."
-- Dennis Green, when asked to name an injury replacement.
"I've never met a white person before."
-- what Byron Leftwich told offensive lineman Steve Sciullo at Marshall the day he met him (Washington Post)
"I don't see a color barrier, I don't see a difference in color, really. I think it's because of football and because of the person that I am. Look at it. I have a black left tackle, a Hawaiian left guard, a white center, a Hawaiian right guard, a black right tackle, a white tight end, a black wide receiver, white wide receiver and a black quarterback, so you see all the different races. In football, you look at everything, everybody's together, everybody has one goal."
"We haven't won a game all year, so this is our first win. We'll see how we handle winning after you win a game."
-- Chiefs head coach Herman Edwards, on the Chiefs' drubbing of the 49ers on Sunday (Chiefs.com)
"It's always better to win than lose.
"My reflection on that whole thing is all based on the fact of, 'What could I have done to have helped that, to have kept that from happening?' Because that's my job. That's what I'm supposed to do as a head coach. I'm supposed to be able to work through things like that, and the fact that we wound up having a couple of years there where things didn't go well, and then we wind up--LaVar leaves--I kind of looked at the whole thing as, 'What could I have done?' and I think I needed to take the heat on that one."
-- Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs, on former Skins LB LaVar Arrington
"I don't think LaVar knew all of our defense when he was here."
-- Redskins safety Shawn Springs (New York Post)
"If I were in a 3-4 and trying to learn a 4-3 right now, [I'm] not going to be 100%, especially after four games of the season. With the 4-3, it took me years to really understand and master. It's going to be work in progress with the 3-4."
-- Jets LB Jonathan Vilma (New York Daily News)
"Of course. No one's going to be perfect at it. Maybe Kimo (von Oelhoffen) because he's been at Pittsburgh. But a lot of guys have been in the 4-3 their whole careers. We just have to keep learning, keep grinding and each week we'll get better."
"Coach is a smart coach. He understands us as players. Obviously, he came from New England where they played the 3-4 but he's not solely going to stick to that. He's going to do what's best for us to win."
"The angles are a little bit different and the assignments are a little bit different, but the bottom line is to get to the ball. Every backer knows that. How you get there might be different, but the bottom line is get to the ball."
"The stock phrase in the NFL is, 'Yeah, we're going to bring you back Monday. Everyone in the NFL knows that's a famous phrase. I was wary. I was hurt. I had a lot of mixed emotions about it."
-- Harvard grad and news Rams special teamer Isaiah Kacyvenski (Belleville News-Democrat)
"Sometimes the players are right. Sometimes the coaches are right. Sometimes they're both right. Sometimes they're both wrong."
-- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (Patriots.com)
"They were going to let me have the single, maybe the double. But not the home run. And I was trying to get the home run instead of the double that was right there in front of my face. When you're trying to hit the home run, they say, 'OK, we'll give you the 15 yards. We're going to filter out. We're going to fan out. We're not going to just swarm to the ball and come and corral you.' "
-- Chiefs punt returner Dante Hall (New York Daily News)
"He's mostly focused on issues of clarity. We're living in an age where the game is the attraction, but the way it's presented is distracting. It doesn't show the game the proper respect. When Dad and I first started, we had a saying: Don't fuck with the game."
-- Steve Sabol, NFL films head honcho, on his dad's role with the organization (Arizona Republic)
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45 comments, Last at 12 Oct 2006, 5:38am by Elvin