Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Sep 2006

The Week in Quotes: September 14, 2006

compiled by Alex Carnevale

BYE BYE DREW

"Drew keeps his cool. He was trying to bounce back, to get us going."
-- Cowboys TE Jason Witten, on quarterback Drew Bledsoe (Fort-Worth Star Telegram)

"He tells us, 'my fault, guys.' He's being positive. The way I look at it is that guys like me have to help him out at that point. But we had the good start, then hit a lull almost for the rest of the game. We don't run the ball 'cause we don't block 'em. Offensively, we just stopped. That can't happen."
-- Witten

YES, YES, YES, YES

"No, no, no, no."
-- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, on whether Bledsoe's job is in jeopardy.

"I can see where Drew will be criticized for this game. I just don't think it's something our fans should be thinking about after a game like this. He's still our best chance, with his experience, for us to have success this season."
-- Jones

"Maybe right after an interception, and seeing the pressure around him, I'm thinking about a change. But the next time we get the ball, I'm thinking Drew is the guy who can bring us back."
-- Jones

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THEY BUILT THE LADDER TO HEAVEN?

“I looked out and they were both smoking. I kept watching and watching and watching and then one fell, and the other fell. It was unbelievable."
-- Giants WR Amani Toomer, on seeing the two towers of the World Trade Center collapse.

"It was a sad day, but at the same time it was a day that brought this whole nation together. Sometimes it takes disasters for that to happen. I was upset, but at the same time, I felt, 'We're America and there will be some type of something that will make this right.'"
-- Giants LB LaVar Arrington

No one was asking them how they felt and when Greg did, some of them broke down and started crying."
-- Giants RB Tiki Barber, on FB Greg Comella talking to rescue workers.

"He made the choice that most Americans made. Of a fictionalized drama version of Sept. 11 or the Manning brothers playing football against one another, he chose the latter."
-- Jay Carson, Bill Clinton's spokesman (MSNBC)

HE SCORED ON US=HE MUST BE GREAT

"I don't know anybody more competitive than [Terrell Owens] and Boldin, and Boldin happens to be a much more respectable person as far as the team goes."
-- 49ers head coach Mike Nolan (Arizona Republic)

"He's always fighting with guys, so maybe they don't vote for him. I don't know. But he's a hell of a player."
-- Nolan

BELICHICK DOUBLE-OH-SEVEN

"It's not the first time they've done it. It's the nature of the business, part of the game, I guess. There's not a whole lot you can say about it. It's just what they wanted to do."
-- Bills receiver Lee Evans, on the Pats acquisition of WR Jonathan Smith (Boston Herald)

"I heard he got cut. My first reaction was, they just brought him in to get info. They were dealing him kind of dirty."
-- Bills CB Terence McGee

"No doubt. He's been with the organization for the last few years. He's been through three training camps. He knew what we were doing over here. I'm not saying he gave up everything, but I'm sure they tried to get some questions answered out of him. That's just the way the game goes."
-- Evans

"We know the game. It's a chess game. Everyone does it. Whether they get information or not, that's just part of the game."
-- Bills DB Troy Vincent. Vincent is now out for the season with a hamstring injury.

"If that was the case, I feel bad for him because he was a reluctant cut on our part. But by and large, I really don't think you get much from it. The player can't offer much because he doesn't know the game plan. He may tell you a little about the system, but it's so much broader than that."
-- Bills GM Marv Levy

I AM THE AWESOME-O 3000

"Reggie is the matrix. Reggie is a beast. He has a lot to prove to everybody in this league. He wants to be the best."
-- Saints wideout Joe Horn (The New York Times)

"I think I welcomed him to Reggie Bush."
-- Reggie Bush, on being hit by safety Omar Stoutmire in a scrimmage.

"I have no weaknesses."
-- Bush

"He's smart and he's mature beyond his years."
-- Deuce McAllister, Saints RB

TOM COUGHLIN, I THINK YOU'RE MEAN

"I went to a doctor's appointment with my wife and I put my family first. Everybody knew about it. Everybody knew I was going and I missed it."
-- Plaxico Burress, Giants WR, on getting fined for missing a meeting (The Star-Ledger)

"The coaching staff knew about it and I still got fined. I'm just going to keep on going."
-- Burress

I SAID DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT, HE HEARD STRIP CLUB. HAPPENS ALL THE TIME

"Maybe it was a miscommunication with the whole deal."
-- Burress. After his fine, Burress went for 80 yards against the Colts on Sunday.

"Whether it's one hand or two, I treat them all the same."
-- Burress, on his catches in that game.

JIM GRAY WE HARDLY KNEW YE

"I'll be honest with you. When I took this job, a lot of people asked why. Because I think the reputation of a sideline reporter has, you know, really morphed into a number of different things over the years."
-- ESPN reporter Andrea Kremer (San Jose Mercury News)

"You're preparing as if it's a blowout. You're preparing as if it's a close game. You're preparing if this guy plays well, if that guy plays well. Mike Patrick used to say that he probably used 10 percent of the stuff he prepared. I would say I'm probably in the 30 to 40 percent range."
-- ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber

"They aren't there because they won a beauty contest or they're built a certain way."
-- Kremer

"It just so happens a lot of knowledgeable reporters are women."
-- ESPN's Michele Tafoya

DOING BILL PROUD

"It was a good night. We had some apple pie and ice cream. With a two-year-old and seven-month-old, there is not a lot of champagne popping."
-- Jets head coach Eric Mangini, after the win over the Titans (New York Post)

"Jake was fired up. He still can't quite figure out where Tennessee is, or
why I don't talk back to him when we're on TV. He's really improved his J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets. So that's progress. We got a real chance there."

-- Mangini

"Bill and I both went to Wesleyan. There is not very good football there."
-- Mangini, on whether or not he'll suit up.

HE CAN'T PARTICULARLY COACH, BUT HE'LL BE A LEGEND HERE EVERY WEEK

"Time to kiss the babies."
-- Chiefs coach Herman Edwards, before speaking to the media (Kansas City Star)

"The officials have to look at it on tape. We've been advised that we don't comment on officials' calls. I'm not going to get into it. Obviously, it will get looked at by the guys up in New York. I'll leave it at that."
-- Herman Edwards

"I didn't think it was. I know I didn't hit him head-to-head. I think it was my shoulder pad that hit him in his chest."
-- Bengals DE Robert Geathers, on whether the hit was dirty.

"It's tough in this kind of small fraternity of quarterbacks in this league, when you see a quarterback go down like that. You just start praying for him and that's all you can do and hope for the best."
-- QB Carson Palmer

THE REST

"Willie is going to do his thing, I guess. Anytime an offensive lineman talks to the media, it's out of character. And for Willie, that's very out of character."
-- Chiefs GM Carl Peterson (Kansas City Star)

"Any time you go helmet-to-helmet in the NFL that costs you big [fine] money. Any time you go helmet-to-helmet in the NCAA, it's not a violation."
-- Arizona head coach Mike Stoops (ESPN.com)

"He's probably the best player in football. Everybody has so much respect for him. When he came back, the Detroit defensive players were all concerned about him. It was, 'Hey Walt, are you going to be all right?' "
-- Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Send quotes to quotes [at] footballoutsiders [dot] com

Posted by: Alex Carnevale on 14 Sep 2006

25 comments, Last at 15 Sep 2006, 11:55am by mactbone

Comments

1
by ToxikFetus (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 1:42pm

Mike Patrick used to say that he probably used 10 percent of the stuff he prepared.

Wow, we really dodged a bullet there. Imagine the fallout had Patrick used that other 90%. I don't think we've been this close to annihilation since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

2
by Aaron Boden (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 1:47pm

What, no mention of Roy Williams' win guarantee over the Bears this weekend?

3
by Vash (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 1:47pm

HE CAN’T PARTICULARLY COACH, BUT HE’LL BE A LEGEND HERE EVERY WEEK

Nomination for best header ever.

4
by J (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 1:56pm

Just like to point out that the whole "Pats sign Jonathan Smith to get info on Bills, then cut him" conspiracy theory has been shown to be pretty much paranoid B.S.

Jonathan smith was cut by the Pats before the Bills game because, with Gabriel and Jackson not able to start, the Pats needed a third WR who could line up at flanker, not slot. Bam Childress could, Smith couldn't, so Smith was cut.

With Jackson and Gabriel likely for next Sunday, the Pats have put Childress back on the practice squad, and resigned Smith.

5
by peachy (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 2:06pm

“Maybe right after an interception, and seeing the pressure around him, I’m thinking about a change. But the next time we get the ball, I’m thinking Drew is the guy who can bring us back.�

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call the "Drew Bledsoe Experience." (Interceptions guaranteed, see brochure for details.)

6
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 2:06pm

You'd think if the patriots were going to go to the point of corporate espionage, they'd do it against a team that didnt..you know...suck.

7
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 2:43pm

I was a fan of "I AM THE AWESOME-O 3000."

8
by Loki9179 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 3:43pm

RE: 6

Didn't the Bills nearly beat the Patriots? Weren't the Patriots at home? Weren't the Patriots playing a team that had the immortal J.P. Losman at the offensive steering wheel and still only won by 2? Wasn't the spread in that game like 10 points?

If the Bills "suck" and the Patriots barely got the win, what does that say about N.E.?

9
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 3:52pm

Re #8
Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli are immortal gods among men who are incapable of being wrong in any noticeable fashion. It is thanks to their munificence that the Bills were allowed to lose by a mere 2 points. If one must genuflect for the great Tom Brady (genuflect), one must kowtow, bow into obsequiousness, and screm "Mercy, Master!" before being allowed to gaze on the wonder of "a thousand suns burst into one" that is Bill Belichick.

10
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 4:00pm

is it considered child abuse to make a young child a jets fan?

11
by DavidH (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 4:20pm

#8
If the Bills “suck� and the Patriots barely got the win, what does that say about N.E.?

It says they sometimes get unlucky, like everybody else.

New England was in range for a not-too-long field goal at the end of the game but chose to kneel and run out the clock. It's not much of a stretch to think they could have punched it into the endzone had they wanted to. Combined with the fact that Buffalo's first 7 points came off of a fumble returned for a TD, and it seems like NE played well enough to win by 10, but got unlucky.

12
by Pats on the Potomac (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 4:26pm

Well, I'm just glad we haven't succumb to sarcasm already.

13
by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 4:30pm

Re 11:
But I thought there was no luck or that luck was a byproduct of the Pats' preparation. At least that's what I hear about 2001.

Re 2:
It was a weird proclamation. I think it was Tommie Harris that said (I'm paraphrasing)"What's he going to say?" He's right, every player should always say that their team will win. Using the word guarantee seems strong, but that's the way they should feel. I still think they're going to get stomped, but at least someone's got confidence.

14
by Adam H. (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 4:43pm

Where to start...
RE 10 Hahaha!
Where the hell is the catholic singles ad? Does anybody else want to watch "The Dark Crystal" when they see that?
Would Robo-Punter and The Six Million Dollar Kicker together be able to stop NeoBushinator 3000?
Andrea Kremer for sure didn't win a beauty contest. She looks like the Crypt Keeper. And while I'm bashing, ESPN signs checks for Michael Irvin, Joe Theisman, Jason Whitlock, Skip Bayless, Woody Paige, The Ayatollah Khomeini, and the stingray that killed Steve Irwin. Maybe Suzy Kolber isn't so bad.

15
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 5:31pm

Re: 11

NE may have been in the position to win by at least 5 (I'm not going to just give them the TD at the end of the game, but I'll give them the FG even though they're starting a rookie kicker), but to say that they played well enought to win by at least 5 is just inaccurate (atleast according to VOA which says that Buffalo played 10% VOA better).

16
by M (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 5:45pm

I think it would be helpful if future FO articles have a disclaimer that the Patriots are mentioned in any way. That way readers who have not drank the Patriot haterade or the Belichick kool-aid will know to stay away from the comments section. My eyes are still bleeding from brief glimpses of the Thread That Shall Not Be Named and the Branch threads.

(genuflect)

17
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 6:02pm

15

Wanker, I'd like to see VOA by half on that game. The patriots looked absolutely awful pre-halftime, but about 5 minutes into the second half, you knew who was going to win the game.

As to saying you'll give them the 5 even though the kicker is a rookie, he hasnt missed a kick yet, so I think NOT giving him the 3 points on a 35 yard field goal is innacurate.

That game ended with 2 minutes left on the clock, the pats at the bills 20 yard line. They started kneeling. They got 5 yards a carry all day. To think that they couldnt have scored at that point is silly.

Yes, DVOA says that the bills played better, but if you watched the game, you'd know why. They bills got a lucky break in the first half (that one play does have a large VOA value for both the offense and defence) and then pretty much dominated the rest of the half.

The second half, the patriots dominated the game, it just wasnt apparantly enough in a DVOA sense to offset the first half. It was enough in a points sense though, which is what matters.

18
by T. Owens (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 6:18pm

If there's anything more annoying that SportsCenter anchors' fake seriousness and grave demeanor when recalling 9/11, it's Parcells supposedly getting angry for the one millionth time when answering questions about Bledsoe or TO.

19
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 6:57pm

Re: 17

I never said that he'd miss, in fact I gave him the benefit of the doubt. But with such a minuscule sample size, it's impossible to say that Gostkowski would definitely have made that FG. That's like saying that "I've never missed from 35 yards, so assuming that I'd miss that kick in inaccurate".

And in the second half, when (if I'm calculating it correctly) NE was getting nearly 7 yards per play (6.867), they only made a single TD. So just assuming that a TD from the from the 20 was a gimme seems silly to me. With the way the second half was going for NE, could they have gotten a TD on the last drive? Sure, they very well could have. But citing that last drive as definitive proof that overall NE outplayed Buffalo in that game just doesn't hold water.

And I'm pretty sure (but not positive) that VOA attempts to reduce the impact of "luck" on a game. So VOA saying that Buffalo outplayed NE isn't just because of one "lucky" play.

20
by Loki9179 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 7:12pm

RE: 15

The Bills got a lucky bounce on the strip sack that gave them the TD. But the Pats entirely failed to block Takeo Spikes (a player you think you'd specifically account for on every play) and he had a clean shot at Brady. I don't know if it is fair to characterize that sack as pure luck.

The Pats running game looked dominating in both the 1st and 2d halves. The passing game, however, looked subpar in both halves. Similarly, I don't think that the Bills O-line is very good, and is probably below average. Despite that fact, they did a reasonable job of protecting Losman. The Pats got 3 sacks, but when you consider the fact that the Pats D-line is supposed to be one of the best in the League that is not too bad. Plus, at least one of those sacks would probably be considered a coverage sack.

The Bills played a very good game on the road. You could make a strong argument that they lost the game due to the questionable decision to go for the TD instead of taking a chip shot FG in the 3d quarter. That decision turned out to have as big an impact on the game as anything, as it cost the Bills an almost certain 3 points and also swung the momentum of the game. VOA gives more credit to the Bills than the Pats, and since this is a site that relies heavily on statistical analysis to evaluate the play of teams, that would seem to be relatively convincing evidence regarding who played a better game. That's not to take anything away from the Patriots, who pulled out a close game and deserve credit for that. But to dismiss the strong effort that was given by the Bills as mere chance is not supported by any evidence and is not very persuasive, in my opinion.

Brady and the Pats always have a game or two where they just play badly. The MIA game a couple years ago, the regular season game against the Steelers two years ago, last year's game against KC, and maybe this game are examples of that. I don't know that bad luck explains those poor performances. I think that, just like every other team in the league, the Patriots occasionally lay an egg. Even if that is the case, give credit where credit is due. The Bills played a good game, on the road, against a tough opponent.

21
by billsfan (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 8:28pm

re: #9 and #11

Don't forget that what Brady giveth, Brady taketh away. How about that extremely impolite Whitner interception being whistled dead prematurely?

As for the rest of the game, I agree with TMQ's assessment... it was over when the Bills got stuffed on 4th and 1 in easy FG range with a 10pt lead. The rest was just filler.

22
by RIch Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 8:43pm

billsfan, yes, it got whistled early, but who cares, it was coming back to the spot of the foul anyways. It had no effect on the game.

I'm not saying that the pats played well that game, just that the VOA saying that the bills played better than the pats isnt totally clear.

THe Bills completely outplayed the pats in the first half, but the Pats completely outplayed the Bills in the 2nd half. VOA for the game doesnt show that.

AAron, can we start seeing more numbers? I know you've got them calculated.

You guys cite numbers like "X team had the highest 4th quarter DVOA in the league" but I never seem to be able to find those numbers.

23
by DanT (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 12:15am

I don't care if this turned into a Patriots thread, it was worth it for Awesome-O 3000 reference! You sir, are a god.

24
by the K (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 1:07am

I love my Patriots Haterade.

25
by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 11:55am

Re 22:
The process is proprietary so a lot of numbers they can calculate but they don't have time to provide us with all the numbers or the inclination to provide us with the tool.

The best way I've found to get your question answered is to use the contact form. Although, personally I don't see why you want to seperate the first and second half and claim only one of the represents the true ability of those teams.