Our offseason Four Downs series ends with a look at the NFC West's biggest remaining holes and their most notable UDFA signings. The Rams and 49ers have to kick-start their passing games, Arizona's offense lacks a big dimension, and the Seahawks continue to rely on Russell Wilson's magic tricks.
21 Sep 2006
compiled by Alex Carnevale
"... an outstanding coach and an even finer individual ... This is truly an example of good things happening to a good, hard-working person."
-- Bill Belichick, when his protÃ©gÃ© Eric Mangini was hired as head coach of the New York Jets (New York Daily News)
"I don't care. You can scrutinize it all you want. Knock yourself out."
-- Belichick, on his frigid meeting on the field with Mangini after the win over the Jets this past Sunday.
"I'm just trying to coach our team. I'm just trying to coach the Patriots and make them a better football team and I have a lot of work to do."
"That's really all I care about."
"It's really not that big of a thing. I was thinking about the game, thinking about our team, thinking about what we need to do to win. That's what my job is about. That's what I care about."
"Let me know the next time you see two coaches kiss out there at midfield."
"They handle football like a business."
-- Broncos RB Cedric Cobbs, on the New England Patriots organization (San Jose Mercury-News)
-- Belichick, on what he told Mangini after the game.
"I don't have TiVo."
"I never at anytime in my career have gone into such detail. But I felt the responsibility, as Billy felt he was thrown under the bus. Billy threw this organization under the bus, along with a number of his teammates."
-- Jeff Fisher, Titans head coach (ESPN.com)
"He felt compelled to set a record straight, which is not accurate. His record and his comments were not accurate."
"There's a difference between assuming a role as a starter and a backup role. There's a distinct difference between those two positions. In the club's opinion based on what transpired, he was not suited to be the starter."
"If he wants to say that, he's going to say that. I'm not going to stand up here and argue with him. He's been a great coach for me for six years. When you're losing, when you're 0-2, every little small bruise turns into a large bruise."
-- Chargers backup QB Billy Volek
"We're now competing on that basis with places like New York, San Francisco ... Chicago and other major cities. This is just tremendous. People in New York and other places can't hardly believe what you all have done and people in this whole area have done."
-- Tom Benson, Saints owner (ESPN.com)
"I'll be wide-eyed a little bit just looking around and seeing what it's going to feel like for the next 10 years hopefully, the rest of my career. I've only seen it on television."
-- Saints QB Drew Brees (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
"If anything, the Superdome was a saving grace for a lot of people; it housed a lot of people and probably saved a lot of people. For that to have happened -- I think several people were killed and there was a suicide, that was horrible. But to think of all the people who were saved, you look at that arena as more than just a football stadium."
(Ed. note: It should be pointed out that the worst stories about the Superdome have generally turned out to be apocryphal.)
"It's a football game that we need to win. That's it. The more you win, the more hope you give to people, the more you lift their spirits. Win, win, win."
"There are no broken ribs."
-- Browns head coach Romeo Crennel (ESPN.com)
"I broke a rib."
-- Browns wideout Joe Jurevicius
"I broke one."
"I took a hit, and it was kind of in a vulnerable area, but I am getting better."
"I'll be out there very soon. I've always been able to play with pain."
"We're answering questions we probably shouldn't even have to answer."
"It's hard because it's not like baseball, where they play one game and then the next day they play again. We've got to wait a whole seven days to play to get that taste out of your mouth, man. We know we're a better team than that. That's what's so hard, because of the way we played."
-- Bucs RB Michael Pittman (Bradenton Herald)
"I worry about everyone's confidence when things don't go good. We've got to do a great job of rallying around him as a staff. I know our football team will do that. He's got to take responsibility to get better and I know he will."
-- Bucs coach Jon Gruden, on his team's quarterback, Chris Simms (St. Petersburg Times)
"He is 6-foot-5 and we have to eliminate that. Our pass protection has to be more aggressive. It can't be on the fringe. But we can't telegraph throws, either. We have to hasten our delivery and at times, throw the ball awkwardly. We can continue to have a lecture on this matter but let's do something about it. We've got to address this."
-- Jon Gruden
"Well, you know, you have to take responsibility for that. So, obviously the results that we want right now are not at the standards that we want. But, I am going to say this: I'm not going to throw in the towel. We're going to get back to work today, Carolina comes in here 0-2, and they're not feeling real good about themselves either."
"I know Chris' first two starts last year didn't go by design, to say the least, and I am hoping that his play picks up significantly. There were some opportunities to make big plays in the game and we've got to make them. And until we do, we are going to struggle against good football teams."
-- The Grudester
"He couldn't have played much worse. Any time you throw the ball to the other team, it's unacceptable under any circumstances. If you do that, everything else that you do that's good doesn't matter. I think that's unacceptable."
-- 59-year-old whiz kid Paul Hackett, Bucs offensive coordinator
"Uh, no. It's going to be constant. It happened last year. It happened when John Elway was here. It happened in San Francisco with Joe Montana and Steve Young. This is football and it is great. It's great for talk radio, it's great for TV, but Jake has won a lot of games. Just because we started off a little slow, just like we did last year, doesn't mean it's the end of the world."
-- Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, on the Broncos' QB controversy (Denver Post)
"Abraham's already chomping at the bit to get in on Monday night. He's saying that he's going to be there. That's definitely going to be a game-changer."
-- cornerback DeAngelo Hall on his Falcons teammate, DE John Abraham (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"We're confident he's coming back. When he's coming back ... nobody knows. I haven't even asked. Because I don't want to know."
-- Chiefs head coach Herman Edwards, on his concussed QB, Trent Green (Kansas City Star)
"I told him, 'It's on your schedule.' I'm just coaching the team. I don't worry about it. I'm coaching these guys."
-- Herm Edwards, on what he told Trent Green
"I'm bullet proof when it comes to quarterbacks now. I've dealt with. I'm not in fear anymore. You live it, you go with it and you play. We gotta play good defense, get better on defense and do some things better on offense."
"Believe me, in my wildest dreams, I could never anticipate a quarterback who goes (81) straight games then gets hurt in the first game. I mean, that's the furthest thing from my mind. That's almost like a nightmare reoccurring. You sit there and go, 'OK, what have I got to do?'"
"I celebrate first downs all the time. I'm not gonna stop that. I'm an exciting player. If I do something exciting, I'm gonna show my actions."
-- Lions WR Roy Williams, after a victory elebration with his team down 10-0 (SI.com)
"But you were losing, 10-0."
-- Mitch Albom
"What does that mean? ... That means nothing to me. The score means nothing."
-- Roy Williams
"You can all run with this: We will win the game. I don't care who it's against. We will win the game as long as we do what we're supposed to do. That's my comment for the whole week."
-- Roy Williams
"No, because everyone believes what I said."
"This is what we want. There's a certain standard we want in how we're doing business."
-- Lions head coach Rod Marinelli
"I respect both of them. I definitely have the utmost respect for Coach Martz. I like the player he's turned me into, in terms of how I work and things like that."
-- Lions wideout Mike Williams
"The playing field has changed. It's like having a $50,000 house that now is worth $200,000."
-- NFL Network communications director Seth Palansky, on the network no longer being willing to accept placement on sports tiers (Kansas City Star)
"Once we have the surgery, the healing process will start."
-- Cowboys injury guru Terrell Owens (BlackAthlete.net)
"I remember John Mara saying to me, 'Now I know why you want to retire.'"
-- Giants GM Ernie Accorsi (New York Post), on what Mara said to him after Jay Feely's missed field goal.
"I think colleges are doing a much better job of preparing players for the NFL."
-- former Cowboys exec Gil Brandt (San Jose Mercury News)
"Players today are playing football year-round when they're growing up. There is no off-season at the high school and college level, between the lifting and voluntary practices. When they arrive at an NFL complex, you're getting a more complete player."
"Damage control is one of the responsibilities that will come inevitably in this field. You have to learn to spin something like an arrest or a prison sentence into something less negative than the media normally would. Managing an image is not easy, but it's a part of the sports business that I've dealt with for the past 10 or so years."
-- Darren Prince, CEO of Prince Marketing Group, on the Maurice Clarett sentencing (Deadspin.com)
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83 comments, Last at 22 Sep 2006, 9:56pm by Peter