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?
11 Jan 2007
compiled by Alex Carnevale
"That's the responsibility of the home team. They can prepare those balls and they still have to pass muster with the officials. But that home team can really knock the slickness off the ball -- that should be done. I've been talking about these balls for years and years. The more we can hold onto the football, the better the game you have. It's almost like placing a factor in the game to create a little ambiguity."
-- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, on the ball that slipped out of Tony Romo's hands on what would have been a potential game-winning field goal.
"Obviously the reason I dropped it ... it was a slick ball. It doesn't matter, though. You still have to catch it."
-- Cowboys QB Tony Romo
"When I did play, we were 5-2. We were 4-5 when I didn't. Do the math. Not to say that I was the main reason for that, but I'm looking at numbers. Men lie. Women lie. Numbers don't. Jay-Z said it best."
-- Cowboys special teamer Keith Davis (Dallas Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
"I don't think there was anything there to be called a relationship. He was my coach and I was a player. I respected him as such. I wouldn't say there were any bad times at all. I'm sure there were frustrated moments on both of our parts. We both want to win. I wanted to send that guy out on a high note. A number of times I told guys if we win the Super Bowl I want to see the guy go out the right way. I feel bad that didn't happen."
-- Cowboys wideout Terrell Owens, on Bill Parcells.
"I live with unresolved things, I really do. The ambiguity of not having things resolved is my life."
-- Jerry Jones
"I don't think about that right now but I would imagine I would end up doing that."
-- Tony Romo, on whether or not he's still planning on playing in the Pro Bowl.
"It was a great move by Coach Reid. There was some criticism about it and there are some what-ifs that could still come up. But what if you kick a game-winning field goal?"
-- Eagles special teams coach John Harbaugh, on bringing back Koy Detmer to hold for David Akers.
"I know why I didn't try to be a field-goal kicker. I would have peed myself."
-- Eagles CB Sheldon Brown, on the Akers kick that sent the Giants home.
"I definitely think David swings a little better with Koy. I don't think there's any way to minimize what working together seven years does for their confidence."
-- Harbaugh (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"We spoke briefly after the game. He said he was fine. He just said, 'That's an awfully good football team.'"
-- Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer, on what his son, Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer told him after the Jets' humiliating season-ending loss versus the New England Patriots.
"That's what our defense is based on -- getting after the quarterback and forcing him into bad decisions. The problem with that is you have Tom Brady, who doesn't make too many bad decisions."
-- Chargers LB Shawne Merriman (San Diego Union Tribune)
"He rumbled and rumbled and rumbled, but if I picked it up it would have been over."
-- Patriots DE Richard Seymour, on the lateral DT Vince Wilfork recovered that allowed the Patriots to go up by two scores.
"I don't care. I have that ball and I'm going to take that ball home, as a matter of fact, so it doesn't matter."
-- Patriots DT Vince Wilfork, on lack of TV coverage of his recovery.
"He was aware of the situation. I saw what was happening but I was thinking they were throwing a bubble screen, then there's going to be a double pass. I was going through my reads. I'm making sure the wide receivers are blocking and not slipping through. Vince can run, people would be surprised. He's a better athlete than everyone standing here. He can catch punts, he can run. Vince is a very good athlete."
-- Patriots safety Artrell Hawkins
"I expected there to be a little more trickeration, halfback passes or reverse passes."
-- Hawkins, on the Jets offense.
"I just really don't have the time to coach, I don't think I want to coach. But there may be some way I can stay involved in the team. The team is like my family now. I feel more so like a big brother figure to most of the players here."
-- former Jets RB Curtis Martin
"Not to speak against any other coaches, but the Jets got the best coach that was out there. If I owned a team, Eric would be my head coach. I don't know how many coaches they could've got that would have been better, regardless of who was available or not."
-- Martin (Slam! Sports)
"I told Ty after the game that I would be glad to introduce him at the Hall of Fame. I could do the introduction for him. One of the reporters asked me if I was going to invite Ty Law to dinner. Well, I think he should invite me to dinner. That would be more appropriate."
-- Colts QB Peyton Manning
"Obviously those were poor throws. It was kind of rare, two kinds of miscommunications between Marvin and I, both of which were my fault. In nine years, I can't think of how many times that has happened. But he and I were just not on the same page and that is my fault."
-- Manning (Cushing Daily)
"No. No. Trent had 18 plays in the first half. Eighteen plays. It was hard for anybody. We couldn't run it, couldn't pass it, couldn't do anything."
-- Herman Edwards, on the ineptness of his offensive unit. (KBSD6.com)
"It may not appear that way by how I played this year, but I'm ready to go on and do something else. And I'm excited about it, I really am. I'm not going to regret not being a football player anymore."
-- Giants RB Tiki Barber, after the last game of his career.
"He's one of the greatest players I ever played with. It was just an honor to be around him -- him giving me advice on being a professional on and off the field. My first few years were kind of wild and he took me aside and gave me good wisdom and I took that to heart. People that have passion and heart are going to succeed in this league. He's definitely done that. He's not the fastest guy or the strongest guy or the biggest guy, but he has twice the size of heart as other guys in this league."
-- Giants TE Jeremy Shockey
"Everybody has to change when you're 8-and-8 and out."
-- Giants LB Antonio Pierce
"We learned a little too late this season to shut up."
"I know you are in a mood, and been that way most of the year, where it's all negative. But it's not all negative. There you go again ... It was 23-20. What do you expect me to say?"
-- Giants head coach Tom Coughlin (New York Daily News)
"It's frustrating to be in position to win a game and not win that game. It's very frustrating. You can point to many things and I can also point to some outstanding plays. Let's face it, we had a first-and-30 and still got a touchdown. Who wants to talk about that one? Let's not lose track of the good things as well."
"It's like the difference between painting by the numbers and having a blank canvas. When you're painting by the numbers, the green paint goes on the number four. The yellow goes on the number six. That's kind of what's happening here. He thought he was getting the blank canvas, where he could create something from the ground up."
-- Redskins team source, on Al Saunders' arrival to the Joe Gibbs show.
"What does he actually do anymore?"
-- Redskins player, on Gibbs.
"The good thing about what we do as opposed to when I was doing NBC analyst work was that [as an analyst] I didn't know. Did I do a good job? I didn't know because nobody was keeping score. How do you keep score in that environment? Here, we keep score."
-- Gibbs (Washington Post)
"We won 11 games last year, and we had something. Was it the most innovative offense in history? No, but it worked and we liked it and we did it well. Then we went from playing to learning. We went back to the point where we had to think through everything and we're making the same mistakes now that we made in OTAs [organized team activities in the offseason] and preseason, and it's not because we're not trying. We're a hard-working group of guys and we have plenty of talent, but everything changed on us. That was the most frustrating thing of all. It's still really frustrating. We needed to add a receiver and tweak a few things, but instead it's like starting over. It really felt like we were starting all over."
-- unnamed Redskins player
"[Defensive coordinator] Gregg [Williams] can be stubborn. He believes he's the one who will make guys do things they haven't done before. He will say, 'Adam Archuleta might not be able to play in pass coverage, but he will for me,' or, 'LaVar Arrington can't do these things, but he will do them for me.'"
-- unnamed NFL assistant
"Over half the teams around the league have players who have called me about getting back with us and miss the opportunity to be coached the way we coach."
-- Gregg Williams (Washington Post)
"They give away draft picks like they're nothing. It's unbelievable. Look at [trades for linebacker Rocky] McIntosh, [Brandon] Lloyd and [T.J.] Duckett -- that's six draft picks right there, almost all in the top four rounds, and at best two of those guys will be back there next season. And they got virtually no production out of any of them the entire season when they're trying to get to the Super Bowl. You can't do that."
-- longtime NFL GM (Washington Post)
"Lloyd is a 2, 2 Â½. Plus, he's a pain in the ass."
-- rival GM, on WR Brandon Lloyd
"What I saw is that he's not coachable. He would go off on [wide receivers coach] Stan Hixon all the time and say, 'Bro, that's not how it's done!' right to his face. And we would kind of laugh, like not because it was really funny, but it was funny in that uncomfortable sense of, 'I can't believe he just said that.' "
-- Redskins player, on Lloyd.
"A fat, underachieving running back."
-- rival GM on T.J. Duckett
"You can't go out with the same type of people that you used to run with. You have to pick and choose who are your friends, who your real friends are. It's easy to decipher who they are. When I go home, I told my mother that when the sun goes down I'm inside. I'm inside somewhere. I'm not driving around or anything like that."
-- CB Ellis Hobbs, on the drive-by shooting of Broncos CB Darrent Williams.
"You don't try to drop your old friends. What you have to do is get them on your program. Let them understand that we're in a different situation now. If you want to be around me ... They have to understand that you're not in the same light anymore. There are things that I can't do."
"They gave me a great opportunity this year to play and I hope they give me an opportunity next year to carry the team. There is not any doubt in my mind the Giants running back of the future is standing right here in front of my locker."
-- Brandon Jacobs, Giants RB (Giants.com)
"I remember the first time I saw my father get hit by a chair. I was like, 'Ha, ha. It's a fake.' Then I went backstage and found it was a real metal chair. It might be (scripted) entertainment, but those guys put in a lot of preparation for their shows. One mistake and you could be out for two months."
-- Ohio State LB James Laurinaitis. His father was Animal in the WWE tag team The Road Warriors. His uncle "Johnny Ace" is Vince McMahon's underboss and director of personnel at WWE. (New York Daily News)
"You don't know your first Pro Bowl. You play like it's a regular season game and then people start looking at you, saying, 'What the hell is wrong with you? Slow down.' It just worked out that way. It's fine."
-- Tiki Barber (Giants.com)
"Some of the [Florida] parents told me what it costs to go watch this game. It's nuts. They've got to pay for a hotel, and their [sons] are the ones doing the work. There are so many things that could be done for the players. A parent should be able to see their son play football."
-- Florida coach Urban Meyer
"I am very honored to be granted the opportunity to discuss a potential position with the New York Giants. After careful consideration, and for personal reasons, I am continuing in my current role with the New England Patriots."
-- Scott Pioli, New England director of player personnel.
"He's a football player who is making a nice living. But he is not making the kind of money that people think."
-- Willis McGahee's attorney, Howard Rudolph. McGahee has "a $720,000 home near Buffalo and a $665,000 condo at The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove. He lists three vehicles -- a BMW, Porsche and Infiniti -- plus $719,000 in jewelry."
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70 comments, Last at 15 Jan 2007, 4:23am by Peter Libero