Short-yardage passing had a good year, except at the end of the Super Bowl. We look at the return of quarterback runs, the rise in pass-happy strategy, and 2014 success rates for offense and defense.
30 Aug 2007
compiled by Ben Riley
"I still make some moves that are amazing to myself and make me wonder, 'Damn, how did I just do that?'"
-- Redskins running back (and model of humility) Clinton Portis
"After Carolina picked DeShaun Foster in the second round, I didn't watch anymore of the draft ... I swear, I thought I was a top ten pick after my pro day. I ran a 4.27 in the 40, didn't drop a pass, my vertical jump was a 38 or 39. I had an unbelievable pro day, but then all of the sudden it was that I was 'too cocky' and people questioned my attitude. People didn't think I would pan out, and didn't think I could take the pounding of being an every-down back in the NFL."
-- Portis, suggesting he can be an every-down back in the NFL
"I remember when Jamal Lewis broke the single-game rushing record. We were playing in San Diego and [Shannon] Sharpe asked me if I had seen what had happened and told me I needed to top Lewis. I was like, 'Let's go get it.' The first quarter I had seven carries for 121 yards and ended up hurting my sternum on a fluke play. I got caught in the clay and was falling on the play while my chest was left open; I got hit and couldn't finish the game."
-- Portis, moments later, apparently without any sense of irony
"I designed it, I decorated it, I came up with the color scheme and I came up with all the ideas. I didn't call anyone, it was just me sitting down in the basement figuring out what I wanted to do and that's what I came up with. To this day I'm still proud of that place, but right now, what I'm doing to my basement will top anything you've ever seen on that program."
-- Portis, describing his infamous Denver home (complete with stripper pole) profiled on MTV's "Cribs"
"I wasn't in the stands, but toughness does run in my family. I can't say that my mom did do that because I wasn't there in the stands. I think that fan is full of ****, and was in the wrong. This is a lovely game and we need to keep it lovely. It's OK to jaw jack, but never get personal when you're cheering for something you have no control over. No fan can control an NFL game. No fan at all. I think the game should be enjoyable and the fans should come out and have a good time. If you want to come out and get drunk and talk trash, keep it friendly."
-- Portis, when asked about the incident where his mother punched an Eagles fan in the stands
"How he [LaDainian Tomlinson] manages to stay scot-free on so many plays is exciting because I'm in the same position and I can't find a way to go through a hole untouched like that."
-- Portis (ExtremeSkins.com)
"I'll do whatever you want besides testing my balance."
-- Buccaneers wide receiver David Boston, trying to avoid a sobriety test prior to his arrest for driving under the influence
"You know what, man? I'm gonna call my attorney because I don't like where this is headed."
-- Boston, behaving suspiciously
"I have a right. You can't just force me to start doing these tests."
-- Boston, protesting the arresting officer's attempt to make him walk the line
"I know it's not alcohol, sir. I know it's not alcohol."
-- Arresting officer, insinuating Boston was incapacitated by an unidentified substance that was not alcohol
"What's not alcohol?"
"I don't think you've had enough alcohol, if any, to make you impaired."
-- Officer, suspiciously
"My leg is not coordinatively [sic] right, because I've had the injury."
-- Boston, after being asked to walk the line again
"My left knee is bad, but I've had surgery on both my knees."
"My balance is off ... you have 45 tests ... why can't I go through another one?"
"What else could I do besides give you my blood or give you a breathalyzer? That's proof I'm not under the influence."
-- Boston, logically
"Do you want to count out loud for me, sir?"
-- Arresting officer, asking Boston to count each step out loud as he walks the line
-- Boston (watch the confusing 20-minute video of David Boston's arrest here)
"We have investigated the David Boston situation and feel that we have an understanding of the facts. At this time, we have seen no objective evidence to support the charges that were brought against him."
-- Statement of Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen (Pewter Report)
"This whole thing is like a sea of water. And I'm a Navy SEAL. I'm out of the plane. I'm in the air. I'm committed. There's no turning back. But I'm excited."
-- Priest Holmes, attempting to explain his inexplicable return to the NFL
"If people don't understand, maybe it isn't for them to understand."
-- Holmes Koan I
"It's like I'm a character in this book."
-- Holmes Koan II
"Look at me. I'm here. I don't have to be here. I could have retired. I have money. I have records. I have fame. But I'm here, making something out of nothing. If the guys can tune into that, I think I can help them find their own path."
-- Holmes, describing how his return might help younger players
"I look at it like we're all climbing a mountain together. I've got my backpack on -- in there I've got all my struggles, all my pain, all my discomfort, all my own indecision, all my own doubts, stuff like that. I'm packing it all, and I'm going over the mountain because I want to see what's on the other side."
-- Holmes Koan III (Kansas City Star)
"You drive by that Krispy Kreme, you see that sign that say 'Hot,' you pull your car in there and you get me a dozen glazed donuts and you make sure they are on my desk on Saturday morning. I don't care about anything else."
-- Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards, hazing Chiefs rookie wide receiver Dwayne Bowe
"And the sign gotta say ... and the sign gotta say ... gotta say 'Hot,' gotta' say 'Hot.'"
-- Edwards, still doing his thing
"Make sure when you get them donuts, make sure you ain't eatin' any them donuts."
"You leave them donuts alone."
-- Edwards (from the HBO "Hard Knocks: Chiefs Training Camp" documentary)
"I don't know for sure, but I think it's in the realm of possibility."
-- Randy Moss's agent Tim DiPiero, when asked if Moss planned to play in the Patriots' season opener
"I do hope he's going to be available [for the] first game but it's just speculating whether that's accurate or not. I think they're being cautious. We'll just have to see what happens."
"There's a lot of veterans up there that exude teamship, and team stuff. From the coaches on down, they preach it all the time, and he's bought into it from Day One. It's kind of neat."
"If he can be healthy, stay healthy, I think he's going to be a great teammate for everybody."
-- DiPiero (Boston Herald)
"My mom wanted her kids to start at the end of the alphabet ... My sister has an unusual name too. It's 'Zerath.'''
-- Cincinnati Bengals rookie defense end Xzavie Jackson, when asked about his unusual name
"I'm not positive. But I think it's 'Z-E-R-A-T-H.'"
-- Jackson, when asked to spell his sister's name (Sports Illustrated)
"I thanked [Dolphins general manager] Randy Mueller and [head coach] Cam [Cameron] for trading me here. I might send them a Christmas present."
-- New Orleans placekicker Olindo Mare, enjoying the change of scenery
"I don't know their reasons for getting rid of me. I kicked good for 10 years there. I was never told why I was released, but ... it doesn't really matter to me."
"I don't know how many more extra points the Saints will kick than the Dolphins, but I bet it will be at least 20. It's going to be a big deal for me."
"The only thing I thought was a little bit crazy was he had a team meeting after the season was over and he talked about the off-season program, which was obviously irrelevant. He committed like everybody else. I'm sure Wayne's pissed off, but Nick's got to do what's best for Nick."
-- Mare, describing the departure of former Dolphins head coach Nick Saban (Palm Beach Post)
"Both sides are happy. We reached an agreement. It worked out fine. Everybody is happy, that's what it all comes down."
-- Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel, after signing his contract and joining training camp
"Of course I signed it. I'm here. We worked it out and both sides are happy."
-- Samuel, when asked if he had signed his franchise tender
"I'm not going to get into that, but you know it is what it is. Both sides are happy and I'm here and I'm ready to play football, so it doesn't really matter who gained as long as both sides are happy."
-- Samuel, when asked if he had gained anything by holding out
"No, I don't have no regrets. It is what it is, and I did what I felt I needed to do and we're happy and I'm here to play football."
-- Samuel, when asked if he had any regrets
"I feel how I feel about myself and that's all that really matters at the end of the day. I feel I'm one of the best in the NFL, and you know I just got to go out and keep proving it. I'm a fourth-rounder. I come from the bottom. I made my name all on my own; nothing was given to me, so I'm happy."
-- Samuel, when asked if he was fighting to be the best cornerback in the NFL
"That's the past. I'm ready to go, I'm here and I'm happy."
-- Samuel, when asked if he was worried about potentially missing 10 weeks of the season
"I'm here. Both sides made an agreement and both sides are happy. So if I'm here, I'm obviously happy."
-- Samuel, when asked about the difference between now and four weeks ago (Boston Globe)
"He's trying to coach from the cart and you look at him and you just want to hit the gas."
-- Chad Johnson, describing Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis' attempt to coach from a golf cart after he had ankle surgery (Cincinnati Post)
"He's had a knee, he's had a back, he's had a lot of things. If he was a horse, he'd be a quart of glue."
-- Chiefs tight end coach Jon Embree, describing perpetually banged-up tight end Jason Dunn (from the HBO "Hard Knocks" documentary)
''It's very easy to take snaps: Just open your hands and wait for the ball, and then you close your hands.''
-- Chicago area fifth-grader Jimmy Smolik, age 10, providing some advice to Rex Grossman (Chicago Sun-Times)
"By the time the quarter was over, there were 35 plays. I had written down 23 plays where we messed up. That's a really bad first quarter."
-- 49ers head coach Mike Nolan, describing the first quarter of the 49ers-Bears preseason game (San Francisco Chronicle)
"The one play was the play from Indianapolis. It was the deep over and the outside post. It wasn't exactly the same. The backside player ran a shallow cross, so he was low. We gained the backside corner against Indy. The play yesterday wasn't a shallow cross; it was a deep out. We lost the backside corner, but it's really the free safety who gets eaten up by that over. The corner to the side of the post is expecting that free safety to be there. Now when the guy runs to the post, he disappears and it's usually a big play."
-- Jets head coach Eric Mangini, proving his nickname may be well deserved (NY Daily News)
"Well, you get a lot of free stuff. You get free clothes, and you get people who want to give you free suits."
-- Matt Leinart, lying about the biggest perk of playing in the NFL (GQ)
"People can judge me all they want. But only God can judge me."
-- Proud father and Broncos running back Travis Henry (Denver Post)
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21 comments, Last at 04 Sep 2007, 8:52pm by Sid