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?
16 Aug 2007
compiled by Ben Riley
"Somebody has to get the money."
-- Priest Holmes, explaining how his love for the game led to his return to the NFL
"Hey, if L.J. wants to leave the money out there, guess I'm going to take it. If he wants to come get it, it's rightfully his to take. He's earned it. But if he chooses not to come back, well, somebody has to take it. Why won't it be me?"
"This is about perseverance and having a great story to tell. I think that all the valuable years I've put into my tank, there's a lot in me still."
"'Dubious' is a great word. But dedication is a little bit more defined in concrete. I mean, we have what's called 'making it rain.' We have the dogfighting, we have so many things that have cast a negative light on the NFL. This is just a great story to show guys that regardless of what situation you're in, you can persevere."
-- Holmes, responding to a question about whether he had dubious motives (i.e., money) for returning to the NFL
"Once I saw myself, the first thing I looked at it was as if I was a fan. I said, 'Man, I did that? Oh, that's a nice run. Oh, I love that touchdown move right there. I got to do that again.'"
-- Holmes, describing how he enjoys watching film of himself (circa 2003)
"If he's able to come back, he understands and accepts the fact that he would have a different role than when he was the starter."
-- Herm Edwards, alluding to his plans to run the other Chiefs' running back into the ground once he's signed (ESPN.com)
"It's like when you're a kid -- to get to the luscious piece of cake, you have to eat the green beans and broccoli. The cake is the season. You've got to get yourself in shape."
-- Saints defensive lineman Hollis Thomas, describing his mental approach to training camp
"I haven't been fast-fooding it up. I'm just trying to keep it green and lean, baby."
-- Thomas, describing his eating habits (and concerns about obesity)
"I'm a fat guy. I have a different makeup."
"What would you desire? Would you like bacon and eggs? Pancakes? Everybody enjoys my spaghetti. Everybody enjoys my chicken and fish. I'm versatile."
-- Thomas, describing his culinary specialties moments after describing his green-and-lean weight-loss strategy (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
"It's funny, a lot of people try to make the comparison with T.O. and [second-year 49ers TE Vernon Davis]. But from talking to [Davis], he's different than that. He's got a serious side."
-- 49ers linebacker Jeff Ulbrich, teammate to Davis and T.O.
"People bring up the T.O. thing with Vernon, but it's not like that at all."
-- 49ers quarterback Alex Smith
"Guys like Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates, they're not all-around players. If you look at it, they're not finishing their blocks. They just catch passes."
-- Vernon Davis
"If you saw last year, none of those guys can tackle me out there. They can't tackle me."
-- Davis (San Jose Mercury News)
"We're excited to announce 'Steely McBeam' as the name of our new team mascot."
-- Steelers President Art Rooney II
"It was a difficult decision and we received many deserving entries, but we expect him to be a favorite among our youngest fans."
-- Rooney on McBeam
"The Steelers last had a mascot, Stevie Steeler, from the mid-1980s to mid-'90s."
-- from Steelers press release announcing the incarnation of Steely McBeam (click link to see pictures of McBeam at Steelers.com)
"That's part of the game, I don't blink at that."
-- Panthers head coach John Fox, reacting to rumors that Bill Cowher will be taking over his job for 2008
"I've said to Jake that in this profession, we're under attack. That's why we get compensated like we do. You can't shy away from that."
-- Fox, slyly addressing rumors that he will be replacing Jake Delhomme with David Carr
"I was awful on third down, I just didn't get it done."
-- A refreshingly candid Jake Delhomme
"The head coach and the quarterback get more credit and blame in this league than they deserve."
-- Fox (Tampa Bay Tribune)
"I was like, 'Hey, this is all right.'"
-- 310-pound Seahawks left guard Rob Sims, describing his 16-yard rumble after catching a deflected pass
"That was the Fat-Boy Route."
-- Seahawks center Chris Spencer, describing Sims' pattern
"Oh, man, I saw his eyes, and I thought, 'I'm about to kill this guy.' But he went low on me."
-- Sims' description of approaching Chargers safety Clinton Hart. Hart made the tackle. (Tacoma News-Tribune)
"Noooooo. I want to rest up."
-- Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, when asked if he planned to play in the Bears' first preseason game
"The preseason goes toward concession stands. It sells. Yes, I would rather be without the preseason."
-- Harris, daring to speak the truth about the NFL preseason
"Michael Jordan iced his knees, baby. Prevention."
-- Harris, describing his fitness regimen (Chicago Tribune)
"I have four sisters and no interest in promoting Hugh Hefner's agenda. What would I be saying by being in that magazine? That I'm poor and am looking for publicity? That I like girls in swimsuits? I don't even like pornography."
-- Harris in 2002, explaining his refusal to appear in Playboy's collegiate All-American issue (Sports Illustrated)
"I sold drugs probably when I was 15. For, like, a couple months. Then I was, like, 'It's not for me.' My conscience got to me."
-- Packers wide receiver and special teamer Shaun Bodiford, describing his rough upbringing
"A crackhead walked into my room and said, 'I can kill you right now.' I woke up and he was looking at me. I don't know if he was holding a gun but he was holding something. I just lay there. That's why I'm really not afraid of anything but failure."
-- Bodiford, describing a night in high school
"My stepdad was a Blood. I've just been around. I never got jumped into a gang or claimed anything or anything like that."
"I just have that feeling ... that I can be a great receiver. One day my name's going to be just like Donald Driver's and Charles Woodson's and Al Harris'. I got a rough exterior, you know? But inside I'm a little softie."
-- Bodiford (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
"That's why I got the job, because of my dancing."
-- Cowboys owner and billionaire Jerry Jones, describing his commercial endorsement for Papa John's Pizza
"The good news is it sells some pizzas."
-- Jones, describing the good news
"I guess it dispels the myth that white people can't dance."
-- T.O. (Dallas Star-Telegram)
"I ran under a 4.1."
-- Second-year Panthers WR Taye Biddle, describing his fastest 40-yard dash time in college. The fastest recorded 40 time is 4.25 seconds (by Raiders cornerback Fabian Washington)
-- Panthers head coach John Fox, reacting to Biddle's claim
"I'm fast enough that other guys won't race me. They won't even challenge me."
-- Biddle (Charlotte Observer)
"When Reche [Caldwell] first came in he was looking pretty, running fast, and we were like, 'Damn, this guy is going to be real good for us.' The first preseason game he caught a pass and he turned it up and he got hit and he fumbled and he came back over and said, 'Whew, them guys are hitting out there.' I said, 'What do you think they do? You thought you'd be running around in shorts all the time? These guys hit in this league!'"
-- LaDainian Tomlinson on former Chargers WR Reche Caldwell (Yahoo! Sports)
"Just the way they were acting after the game kind of irked me. A couple of the guys on the team weren't being too professional. It is only a preseason game, but 87 [Caldwell] needs to keep his head on a swivel, that's all I've got to say."
-- Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck, referring to Caldwell's on-field celebration after the Patriots defeated the Titans at the end of the 2006 season, and Bulluck's plan to enact revenge during the upcoming Titans-Patriots preseason game
"There are no personal vendettas or anything like that, there is just one person in particular that sticks out in mind. He is probably the sixth receiver, so I don't even know if he'll be in when I'm in. If he is, I'll know, trust me."
"I hope his old [butt] is out there, too."
-- Bulluck, referring to Patriots third-string quarterback Vinny Testaverde (Boston Globe)
"If I have to sit out a year, I'm totally prepared for it. I really am. I have a long, long career in front of me."
-- Buccanneers quarterback Chris Simms, reacting to the possibility he will be cut or place on injured reserve by Tampa Bay
"If [I do get cut] -- and I hope that doesn't happen, trust me -- but if it does happen, I'm not going to go anywhere else until I feel like I am ready to play again and to feel like the old Chris Simms again."
"It's an injury that not a whole lot of people have had. It's a difficult one to rehabilitate. Like I've been saying, an ACL injury takes 12 months. I had the middle of my body cut open. I think sometimes I have to remember that it was a serious injury and it might take a little time."
"As far as the injury that I had, there's only been one player in the history of NFL who has had it. I don't know who it was. It was somebody in the 1970s and that's the only one I ever heard of -- and he wasn't a quarterback."
"It's tough. This is a tough pill to swallow. But you know what? I worked too hard and when I came out here to camp and still didn't feel right. I was really hard on myself the first few days, but then I had to be real honest with myself. I just don't feel right. It's not in my head. It's nothing like that. Something is just off with the way I throw the ball. It's made me take a step back and say, 'Let me get right first. Let me get right before I start really criticizing myself too much.'"
-- Simms (Pewter Report)
"People are throwing us underneath the radar."
-- Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce, describing the lack of pundit enthusiasm for Big Blue this year (New York Daily News) (Thanks to alert reader Gerry D. )
"Right now the AFC West, I'm clearly the back that's not even in this hemisphere. When you look at Travis Henry, Larry Johnson and LaDainian, I'm not even mentioned on the same page as those guys."
-- Forgotten-but-honest Raiders running back Lamont Jordan (Inside Bay Area)
"We're going to wear his little froggy rear end out."
-- Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz, describing his plans for newly signed Lions' wide receiver Calvin Johnson in the first preseason game (Detroit Free Press)
"[LaDainian Tomlinson] and I, we're good friends and we talk all the time about it but last year is really the only year that he has beat me at anything. It just is what it is."
-- The always humble Shaun Alexander, comparing himself to Tomlinson (Tacoma News-Tribune)
"Just kick him in the [groin]. He'll stop."
-- Chiefs DE Jared Allen, describing how to stop an offensive lineman from holding (KansasCity.com)
"With [Michael Vick] gone from the offense, I feel like I could be the face of the franchise."
-- Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall, finding the silver lining (USA Today)
"I already gave him a piece of my bank account. I don't want to give him anything else."
-- 49ers WR Ashley Lelie, explaining his disinterest in giving his former head coach Mike Shanahan a piece of his mind. Lelie was forced to repay a portion of his signing bonus to the Broncos after losing in arbitration. (San Jose Mercury News)
"He said he wasn't scared. He said he was at peace, and he said he was ready to go. It was the most impressive display of courage I've ever seen."
-- Mike White, longtime friend and coaching colleague of Bill Walsh's, describing his final conversation with Walsh (Seattle Times)
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44 comments, Last at 21 Aug 2007, 3:17pm by DB