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?
29 Nov 2007
compiled by Ben Riley
"It's a lie. It's a lie. There's only two other people who talk to Mr. Ford, Matt (Millen) and myself. Lie. Lie."
-- Lions head coach Rod Marinelli, responding to a local Detroit radio report alleging that Lions owner William Clay Ford instructed the coaching staff to throw more to Calvin Johnson
"I don't know. I haven't heard of that one. That's a new one for me. I don't buy into that one. I would hope Mr. Ford would rather just win a ballgame than to try and demand one guy gets the ball."
-- Lions wide receiver Roy Williams, responding to the same radio report
"We thought he was getting healthier, and that was about as healthy as we felt he was. He's had some big games for us when he's been healthy. So we went to him."
-- Marinelli (Detroit Free Press)
"I got nothing, dude."
-- Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers, refusing to take questions after he missed what would have been a game-winning field goal against the 49ers in overtime. The Cardinals then lost the game when Kurt Warner fumbled in the end zone. (East Valley Tribune)
"I was obviously very frustrated after the game but that's no excuse for acting like I did. I've reached out to the gentleman involved to apologize personally and I also want to apologize to the Cardinals organization and fans."
-- Rackers, apologizing for shoving his helmet into the head of an NFL Films cameraman after he missed the kick. The cameraman was not seriously injured.
"It was wrong and I'm sorry."
"Obviously, this is not acceptable behavior under any circumstances and it has been addressed with Neil. Several members of the organization have spoken to the photographer to apologize and let him know that the appropriate measures are being taken."
-- Cardinals official statement (Arizona Republic)
"We're not going to play that game of musical kickers or worry about that. I have confidence that Neil is going to make the kick, and we're going to work in practice just like he made that kick."
-- Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, denying that Rackers was in danger of losing his job
"He just barely missed it."
-- Whisenhunt (Arizona Republic)
"It's just sad. As hard as he's worked. He worked so hard physically to get back into shape and in therapy. He worked so hard for that moment and to have it end this way is sad."
-- Ricky Williams' agent Leigh Steinberg, reacting to the news that Williams improbable return to the NFL would be cut short after a mere six carries, after Williams tore a chest muscle in the Dolphins-Steelers Monday Night Mudbowl.
"Life is a series of crossroads."
-- Steinberg (Palm Beach Post)
"USC thugs, man."
-- CBS analyst and former Notre Dame (and journeyman NFL) quarterback Steve Beuerlein, making an on-air comment to fellow CBS broadcaster Bill Macatee about Titans running back LenDale White, after White was flagged for a late hit in the Titans-Bengals game.
"Steve being a Notre Dame guy and like any two friends who have those allegiances would do, they kid each other about Notre Dame and USC all the time. Certainly Steve wishes it wasn't on the air and so does CBS, but that is the explanation.''
-- LeslieAnn Wade, vice president of communications for CBS, doing some damage control (Tennessean.com)
"I didn't hear Nate [Burleson] until the last second, and then once I caught it I looked back at him and he was like, 'Go.' So I took off like Forrest Gump."
-- Seahawks cornerback and kick returner Josh Wilson, describing his 89-yard kick return for a touchdown that began with a near mishap with fellow returnman Nate Burleson (Tacoma News Tribune)
"The record's not going well, he came out of college and plus, with what happened with Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban, it was a normal question, so I asked him about it."
-- Falcons owner Arthur Blank, revealing that he recently asked Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino whether Petrino was considering returning to college football
"He's been very clear with me. He loves Atlanta and he loves the organization. Obviously he's disappointed in what happened to Michael Vick, but he has great confidence with myself, with [president/general manager] Rich McKay and the coaching staff to put together a winner and be here many years."
"He told me this is where he wants to be and that his work is just beginning."
"I haven't given that one bit of thought. I certainly don't want to get into any speculation and rumors and having to deal with that. I am focused on our football team here. I'm focused on playing the Rams this week."
-- Bobby Petrino (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
"It's not like we were purposely trying to not score points. They were chanting 'More' -- that they wanted more points. And we were trying to give it to them."
-- Panthers quarterback David Carr, when asked for his reaction to the crowd chanting "Moore, Moore" during the Saints-Panthers game. Matt Moore is the Panthers third-string quarterback.
"We knew if we could go ahead and kind of disrupt Carr a little bit, he would make some bad decisions."
-- Saints cornerback Jason Craft
"I know everyone wants to pin it on the quarterback. I think it's fairly evident it's not just the quarterback. Right now we're just not a very good football team ... and the buck stops here."
-- Panthers head coach John Fox (CBS Sportsline)
"When you play the game, the players have to make plays."
-- Herm Edwards
"The coaches will take their share of the blame, but the players have a part of it, too. They get in the game, and they've got to go make plays."
"That's how you end up winning."
"You have to make a play somewhere along the line. It's not always going to be drawn up perfect all the time. There's never the perfect call."
"Oh, every once in a while you make a great call."
"But other than that, it's players making plays."
"They know that and we haven't made enough plays in the last four games -- especially in the fourth quarter -- to win."
-- Herm (Kansas City Star)
"Not a record I'm looking to break any time soon. That's a lot of folks. I'm playing for free."
-- Colts defensive end Robert Mathis, who is from Atlanta, bemoaning the financial impact of purchasing more than 100 tickets for friends and family for last Thursday's Colts-Falcons game (Indianapolis Star)
"I don't think you can just let him sit back there all day and let him throw it. That's the cat-and-mouse game or the chess game or whatever you want to call it."
-- Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, describing his approach to defending against Brett Favre (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"We can't blow everyone out by 30 points or so."
-- Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, after the Patriots' narrow 31-28 win over the Eagles (Boston Herald)
"I had the trifecta done on me."
-- Broncos punter Todd Sauerbrun, who had punt returned by Devin Hester for a touchdown, a kick returned by Hester for a touchdown, and a punt blocked (Denver Post)
"It's kind of like Starbucks coffee. It just gets better and better -- although I don't drink coffee."
-- Eagles head coach Andy Reid, when asked whether Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is too fond of blitzing (Tacoma News Tribune)
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42 comments, Last at 03 Dec 2007, 1:39pm by Sid