Auburn is the most unlikely contender ever to reach the BCS title game, but the Tigers are also hitting top speed at the right time to defend the SEC banner in Pasadena. Plus a new top 25, the Lowsman Trophy watch and the rest from the final regular-season weekend on campus.
04 Jan 2007
compiled by Alex Carnevale
"It is what it is. We have to move forward. We want the best for Nick and [his wife] Terry. I like Nick a lot and think he could have won here. I'm a Nick Saban fan."
-- Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, on Nick Saban leaving the Dolphins to become the head coach at the University of Alabama. (ESPN.com)
"When I was in college it was always about coming to the pros. This is the challenge I wanted. I had a good college job. Why would I have left that if I was going to be interested in other college jobs?"
-- Nick Saban, one of a litany of quotes before accepting the 'Bama job.
"In my opinion, the Dolphins have always been about winning. I just want everyone to know that it's really all about winning now. I don't care what it takes or what it costs, we're going to make this a winning franchise -- sooner rather than later."
"I took this as a challenge. We certainly haven't seen this through and gotten where we want to go and finished the job here, so why would I be interested in something else?"
"First of all this was never about money. It's never been about money, Nick never talked to me about money, Nick never talked to me about an extension. I honestly believe this was not about money."
"I can only say it so many times. Every coach is perceived to be a liar. 'Well, Weis said it, but he's just a liar.' Believe it or not, there are coaches out there who aren't liars."
-- Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis, on rumors he's bound for a head coaching job in the NFL.
"I guess I have to say it. I'm not going to be the Alabama coach ... I don't control what people say. I don't control what people put on dot-com or anything else. So I'm just telling you there's no significance, in my opinion, about this, about me, about any interest that I have in anything other than being the coach here."
"It just goes to show you should not trust what head coaches say. He's getting caught with his pants down. He's one of the top five coaches, but this shows he's a flawed man."
-- Peter King
"I think we all understand that Coach Edwards had successful years here. There are a thousand different ways to be successful in this league, but that doesn't matter if you don't believe, if you don't take it upon yourself to get the job done and be accountable for your teammates."
-- Jets QB Chad Pennington, on the Jets' surprising 10-6 season.
"Coach's method was good. He worked us to grind us down to the bone to make us come together."
-- Laverneus Coles (The New York Times)
"Like the coaches, we had a game plan and we executed it."
-- LB Eric Barton on dumping Gatorade on Mangini's head.
"I only think there's one winner a year. I've always believed that. There's one winner, and everybody else fails. The rest of it's just draft status."
-- Lions GM Matt Millen (Detroit News)
"I'll never quit. I can't do that. I don't even consider that. It's the way I'm made. You're given a job, regardless of what it is. Whatever your charge is, you do the job. If it's not working, you keep on working at it until you get the freaking thing done. That's just what you do. You don't ever quit."
"Mr. Ford and I, we talk a bunch. Rod and myself, we've been talking all season long. It never even got to anything other than, 'Keep on doing what we're doing.'"
"I can't say anything to change anybody's opinion. Rod has said it a million times, and we're on the same page 100 percent. It's a show-me game. It's the way it is. So what can I say?"
-- Millen, on those who want him terminated.
"There are two people I know who love this game. Rod Marinelli loves this game more than anybody I've ever seen. It's important to him on a personal level, on a life level. The other guy who loves this team and this game as much is Mr. Ford. He's passionate about it. He cares about it. He wants to win."
"I don't think it was a question of playcalling. I quite honestly believe that the playcalling was suited for the type of offense we have. And sometimes it's a lack of making the plays, and a lot of times it's the playmakers ... It's very hard to question the playcalling when basically the players are the key to that. You could, but that's a tough line."
-- Zygi Wilf, owner of the Minnesota Vikings.
"On my own knowledge of football."
-- Wilf, on "what he based that opinion on."
"There certainly was some initial reaction towards being a little more standoffish to the media. That really wasn't our intent. We hope to be much more forthcoming. As a new coach and a new coaching staff, we want to learn to tread those waters in the right way, so that we can prepare ourselves for when the good times come, we won't be looked upon as [standoffish]."
-- Wilf, on the media's relationship with head coach Brad Childress. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
"Last year, we did the contract extension. We did that because you are always 'all in' with your coaches. You have to be committed to the plan. You have to try and make it happen. Sometimes it doesn't happen, but you have to try. You have to buy in. I don't think there was any doubt of that. I don't think Jim would ever think there was any doubt of that."
-- Falcons GM Rich McKay
"There are 32 teams and typically that means 16 of them have losing seasons each year. From the fan base to everything else, the demand to win is pretty substantial. Maybe it is more now. I don't know. I would have to look. I don't think it is a good by-product of our game, but I think it is apart of our game."
"One of the things you see, except Sean Payton, who might become the next Andy Reid or Bill Cowher, is the teams that win consistently keep their model in place. They keep their coaches and personnel departments. They keep their values, their focus and they maintain a course over a long period of time. That is the goal of this franchise."
-- Falcons owner Arthur Blank (Falcons.com)
"I heard my wife screaming so I said, something must have happened good."
"San Francisco? Come on, San Francisco? It was a perfect setup for us."
-- Broncos WR Brandon Marshall
"I want half of it."
--Niners coach Mike Nolan, on whatever bonus Edwards receives for making the playoffs. (SportsTriCities.com)
"No. My wife was hollering. I was playing with the girls and every time she screamed, I asked, 'What are you screaming about now?' Then when the game got in overtime, she told me it was in overtime. I said, 'Well, you know, we've still got a chance.' Obviously, when I heard her screaming at the end, I knew something good had happened."
-- Herm, on whether or not he watched the Broncos game.
"I figured if I started watching, something bad was probably going to happen."
"You lead your life as either an optimist or a pessimist. And I guess for so long these guys have been like last year, they kind of waited and waited and couldn't get in with 10 wins. It just worked out this year that we got in with nine. You've just got to win. If you win and things happen for you, you've got a chance."
"I was excited to go in and run some plays but to throw a touchdown pass was very exciting and the guys were really excited for me. The first thing I did when I came off the field was find Coach Belichick and thank him for the opportunity, he's been great and that is the reason I came here to the Patriots."
-- Patriots backup quarterback Vinny Testaverde
"I am giddy about the oldest touchdown pass reception tandem in the league. I think it is 100 years of experience between the two."
-- Patriots DL Ty Warren
"We do have a lot of guys on this team that are fighting. That's the sad part about it. We've got guys shooting shots in their arms and their feet and their knees trying to play and trying to give it all you've got for team. It's not a totally negative situation. We have a lot of guys like that, but we need more."
-- Bengals right tackle Willie Anderson.
"This is not a playoff team. The three games we lost were against playoff-caliber teams. It was the defending Super Bowl champions (Pittsburgh), the team that went to the AFC championship (Denver), and Indianapolis is a team that has always been great. We lost three games in a row to three playoff teams."
-- Bengals RB Rudi Johnson (Cincinnati Post)
"We're all excited about having this opportunity. And we've certainly got to have great energy and great focus and prepare to play a team that's really a hot team."
-- Giants coach Tom Coughlin, on making the playoffs.
"Certainly we'd like to have a higher percentage."
-- Coughlin, on his quarterback's completion percentage. (The New York Times)
"It can be argued as the best game ever."
-- Boise State QB Jared Zabransky, on Boise State's OT win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
"As soon as I got the ball and took about two steps, I was gone. Other than the time I was getting chased by a pit bull, it was the fastest I've run in my life."
-- Boise State WR Jerard Rabb, on the hook and ladder play that sent the game to OT.
"The game isn't over until the clock hits zero. But you would think the game is over then, right?"
-- Oklahoma DB Marcus Walker, on the wackiness of the game.
"As bad as I feel right now, I'll be able to smile tomorrow because we're in the playoffs and we have a chance to win the whole thing. Only 12 teams have a chance to do that. From that perspective, that's all I could ask for."
-- Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo
"I don't want to comment specifically on Travis, although I will tell you that supervision-wise he was with his mother and another player and his mother while he was down there."
-- Vikings coach Brad Childress, on WR Travis Taylor, who pushed a police officer on New Year's Day. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
"The academy is not a place of total integrity and not a place of pure academics. It has multiple agendas. One of those is the building of community. Unless you compare him against an ideal that never existed, he is fine."
-- Ohio State professor Mel Adelman on Ohio State coach Jim Tressel (The New York Times)
"I think Vince is an awesome talent. I think he will be playing in this league for a long time. He is everything that we knew he was going to be. He is a dangerous player. We knew what type of game it was going to be ... He poses a problem when he gets out into space. We tried to do some tackling drills with the defensive linemen to emulate what we were getting into going into the game."
-- Patriots coach Bill Belichick
"I would rather have a big, tough, mean, ornery son of a gun who gets eight sacks and stuffs the run than someone who gets 14 sacks and gets his bonus."
-- Mike Nolan, sort of on Dwight Freeney.
"We are playing a football game first."
-- Nolan, on wideout Antonio Bryant's recent problems. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"We have got some big tests ahead of us. I think it would behoove us to kind of appreciate it, but at the same time, forget about it."
-- Patriots DB Artrell Hawkins (Patriots.com)
"He made a good play. I was kind of dancing around with him and forgot how athletic he was. He was flying up there like he was a safety. He made a great play. I wish I could have had it back. He clotheslined me. I should have run him over."
-- Patriots CB Asante Samuel, on the hit Vince Young put on him.
Happy New Year! Send your favorites to quotes at footballoutsiders dot com.
19 comments, Last at 06 Jan 2007, 12:34pm by Chris