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?
15 Nov 2007
compiled by Ben Riley
"We'll let the season dictate that at the very end. We still have a lot of work to do. You can look at it two ways and say 'Yea!' or 'My God!'"
-- 49ers head coach Mike Nolan, describing the 49ers' disappointing 2007 season
"I believe Alex does have a strong mind. It's not weak at all. He doesn't go in the tank. He is positive."
-- Nolan, offering some muted praise for 49ers quarterback Alex Smith
"Without question, it has to be on his mind, or he wouldn't be a pro."
-- Nolan, on whether Smith was beginning to doubt himself (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I wouldn't use the word 'shot.' That would mean it's next to dead. That's not accurate. Is his confidence shaken? I think so. It's a challenge to your confidence. Only the strong will survive."
-- Nolan, offering a Darwinian view
"He's fine. It's the same player; the shoulder and the quarterback are the same person. He's not playing well. I wouldn't put it on the shoulder. Accuracy doesn't just come from the shoulder."
-- Nolan, when asked whether Smith's shoulder injury might be affecting his play (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Without a doubt, I'm not throwing the same way I was the first three weeks or last year. It's hard. I'm trying to play through it ... I thought I could play through it and help the team get back on track. Definitely, Monday night I did not feel good throwing."
-- Alex Smith, putting it on the shoulder
"That's the frustrating thing, to be represented that you're 100 percent healthy and that's not the case."
-- Smith, still putting it on the shoulder
"I think it'd be a good idea if he said it to me first. Everybody is sore. I'm sore. Has that affected my performance? Maybe, but I'm not going to talk about it. A lot of guys are sore."
-- Nolan, responding to Smith's shoulder comments
"There were 10 to 12 balls that didn't look right."
-- Nolan, describing Smith's play against the Seahawks last Monday(San Francisco Chronicle)
"I was by my man by four or five yards. How close was that? I got my hand on the ball. It was low. We should never be in that position. I was five yards behind my man."
-- 49ers wide receiver Darrell Jackson, failing to defend his quarterback after Smith missed him on a wide-open deep route (San Francisco Chronicle)
"I tried to throw the ball to give him a chance ... Obviously, I would have liked to throw the ball a little farther."
-- Smith, describing the same incomplete pass to Jackson (Tacoma News-Tribune)
"Marcus did tell me during the bye, he said, 'Dad, why don't you make game plans that work?' Honest to God, that's what my seven-year-old said. So everybody out there, you're not alone."
-- Rams head coach Scott Linehan, describing a recent conversation with his seven-year-old son Marcus. The Rams beat the Saints this week to earn their first win in 2007.
"I slept about the same, but different. It was better insomnia than the weeks before."
-- Linehan (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"I never thought 1-8 would feel so good.''
-- Linehan (Sports Illustrated)
"You love coming into another man's home. It's kind of an invasion. We're kind of like big dogs, is what we're trying to be. And we're trying to come in, you know, urinate a little bit and mark our territory."
-- Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton, pumped up after beating the Giants
"I think the Cowboys are a great team. It's not fair for him to come out and say that because he sucks, first of all. So, I mean, it's unfair for him to come out and say that."
-- Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, responding to Crayton (from NFL GameDay)
"He'd tell me, 'Dad I'm going to West Point.' Finally I asked him, 'Why?' He said, 'Dad, I'm going to take over the world.' I said, 'Yes Marcus, that's fine. That's a great goal.'"
-- Lions general manager Matt Millen, describing the international ambitions of his son, Marcus, at age eight. Marcus is currently at West Point. (Detroit Free Press)
"I didn't notice it and I can't tell what it was in reference to because my back is generally to the bench. I wouldn't know [about it]."
-- Vikings head coach Brad Childress, when asked to comment on several Vikings players seen laughing during the final moments of last Sunday's 34-0 loss to the Packers.
"Just a job."
-- Vikings safety Dwight Smith, one of the players seen laughing, when asked about his sideline frivolity and his approach to gameday on Sunday
"Yeah, well, it is their job. It's my job, so it's a big deal to me."
-- Childress (http://www.startribune.com/vikings/story/1546257.html " target="_blank">Minnesota Star-Tribune)
"He's going to make errors. He's going to turn the ball over."
-- Herm Edwards, anticipating the performance of his new starting quarterback, Brodie Croyle (Kansas City Star)
"He's a kid we drafted. He's a guy we said that, at the end of the day, we want to find out if he can play quarterback. We're going to find out."
-- Edwards on Croyle (Kansas City Star)
"He doesn't need to be a leader. We're not asking him to lead, just play quarterback. He can't lead a team until he wins."
-- Edwards on Croyle II
"We struggled some on offense. We've scored 13 touchdowns. That's not a lot of touchdowns."
-- Edwards (Kansas City Star)
"Yeah I need it ... like I need a cheeseburger right now.''
-- Philadelphia coach Andy Reid, when asked how important it was that Eagles beat the Redskins this past Sunday. According to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, Reid was hungry when asked. (Sports Illustrated)
"I don't know if you'd call it quarterback. See if the first guy's open ... ummmm ... OK, I better run."
-- Browns quarterback Derek Anderson, describing the quarterbacking skills of Browns kick returner Josh Cribbs, who played quarterback collegiately at Kent State University. (Canton Repository)
"Between all the phone calls and text messages, people were congratulating me and thanking me for the fantasy league points ... No one told me they traded me. It's been a couple weeks since we've had any field goals, so I guess if they were patient, it paid off for them."
-- Bengals kicker Shayne Graham, describing the reaction to his seven-field goal performance last Sunday against the Ravens (Dayton Daily News)
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65 comments, Last at 17 Nov 2007, 10:49pm by Sid