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.
18 Oct 2007
compiled by Vince Verhei
"We're the 'Super Heroes.'"
-- Lions wide receiver Roy Williams, officially bestowing the title upon himself and the rest of the Detroit receiving corps
"Yeah, 'Super Friends.' We all super friends, man."
"In the cartoon, they didn't like each other. But that ain't how it is here."
-- Williams, explaining that while he was now known as Optimus Prime, he would have no problems with teammate Calvin "Megatron" Johnson
"He's old. He's kind of the leader of the group."
-- Williams, explaining why "Professor X" would be a good moniker for quarterback Jon Kitna (Free Press)
"I just got comfortable, more comfortable with the speed of the game."
-- Vikings running back Adrian Peterson after slicing the Bears for 224 yards and three touchdowns.
"I knew anything was possible."
-- Peterson (NFL.com)
"I don't want to say we were in a zone. I don't know if it's possible for an offensive line to be in a zone."
-- Vikings center Matt Birk, lamenting the zone-less fate of linemen everywhere (Pioneer Press)
"He's got probably about 100 more carries than I have. So I would imagine he is."
-- Bears running back Adrian "Not That Adrian Peterson" Peterson when asked whether he was a better runner than his namesake in Minnesota (Daily Herald)
"Well, the mindset here is that he's Chester Taylor's backup and he needs the touches."
-- Vikings head coach Brad Childress, when asked why Peterson is still returning kicks on radio station KFAN.
"He's a receiver, really. He's not a tight end, because he's not going to block anybody."
-- Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter on Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow
"If you ask me who's going to win the Joey Porter-Kellen Winslow battle: Me."
"I think Joey Porter needs a hug. He's so angry, man."
-- Kellen Winslow, in response
"He doesn't have to worry about me. He should be worried about the team concept. They're 0-5 right now."
"He's not even their best player."
-- Winslow, with an insult that digs really deep when you look at the Dolphins roster. Winslow ended up catching five passes for 90 yards as the Browns beat the Dolphins 41-31. (ESPN.com)
"I'm never concerned about the tight end. If a tight end catches a ball on me, then I need to be fired."
-- Vikings safety Darren Sharper, who may want to update his resume, considering that Minnesota currently ranks 18th in pass defense against tight ends
"[Sharper] needs to worry about his job security."
-- Bears tight end Desmond Clark
"I'm sure at one time a tight end caught the ball on him. He's been in the league. I'll go out on a limb and say a tight end has caught the ball at least one time."
-- Bears tight end Greg Olsen (NFL.com)
"The first year I was on the competition committee ... they said, 'Jerry, did you know that everybody in the league knew where y'all were going to run and whether you were going to pass or run?' We won the Super Bowl."
-- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, waxing nostalgic
"And they said, 'Nobody could stop you, knowing where you were going and when you were going there. We had your signals from Day 1 going from the sidelines.'"
"My point is I do not think that that impacted them winning over an opponent if that were the case, which it may have been advanced, but I don't know that to be the case at all."
-- Jones, suddenly remembering that a reporter had asked him about the New England Patriots and their video camera (DallasCowboys.com)
"We were right in the middle of the civil rights movement, and I had never been in the huddle with an African-American person."
-- former Packer Bill Curry, who recently spoke to the current Packers as part of the NFL's new Conduct Management Program, an attempt to keep players out of trouble off the field
"I thought the African-American guys would have me beat up and sent me home, and nobody could have blamed them."
-- Curry, a native of College Park, Georgia
"And he said, 'Bill, you come out on our practice field and leave no regrets, you'll make our team, and I'm going to help you.'"
-- Curry on former teammate Willie Davis, an African-American player
"He would help me get through days just by encouraging me. That changed my life. We all have prejudices, and I came from that culture. But it changed the way I looked at human beings. That was my message to the guys here."
-- Curry (Packersnews.com)
"If you would have asked me before I left Oakland, 'Where are you thinking about playing? Would you go to Green Bay?' I would have told you, 'No, I'm not going to Green Bay. Why would I go to Green Bay?'"
-- Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, endearing himself to hometown fans
"But like I told everybody when I became a free agent, there was really one team knocking on the door and that was Green Bay."
-- Woodson, not helping (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"When I threw the ball, I saw the defender stop and all I could think was, 'I just overthrew Steve for a touchdown.' But he caught it and ran, and I was looking at his feet to make sure he didn't go out of bounds."
-- Really old quarterback Vinny Testaverde on his 65-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith
"I told you you couldn't overthrow me."
-- Smith, to Testaverde
"So I believe him now."
-- Testaverde (NFL.com)
"I think I picked him off 15 years ago."
-- Deion Sanders on NFL Gameday, while narrating highlights of Testaverde. Actually, Deion, it was 16 years ago, and you picked him off twice.
"We're talking about one week here, and this week Trent is our starter. We're not going to talk about anything but this week."
-- Bills coach Dick Jauron, sounding very reluctant as he names Trent Edwards the new starting quarterback of his football team
"I think we're talking about one week here, the Baltimore Ravens, and we'll see where it takes us."
-- Jauron, apparently hoping that J.P. Losman will be ready to play in Week 8 against the Jets
"I didn't sit in my office by myself. I talked to all the coaches on the offensive side, I talked to Marv and I talked to Mr. Wilson, but I made the decision."
-- Jauron, insisting that he wasn't pressured into his decision by general manager Marv Levy or owner Ralph Wilson
"It's not like there's a set plan you can follow. It's a situation now where you're put in there and you have to make the best of the situation."
-- Edwards, showing the type of confidence this team needs (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
''I was shocked. I didn't really even know anything about the trade deadline or anything like that."
Dolphins Chargers wide receiver Chris Chambers on his reaction to being traded
"Coach [Cam Cameron] called me [Tuesday] morning and told me that the deal was done.''
"I haven't maximized my ability yet. It's been a couple tough years for me. But I'm coming to a great team, a lot of great players, guys who know how to win.''
"Every year is a retool. Some have further to go than others. I think teams are worried about sending the wrong message, and nobody wants to hear about 'rebuilding.'"
-- Dolphins general manager Randy Mueller, whose team has further to go than others (Miami Herald)
"I was just happy that we're serious. That's how serious they are about winning. It's not like they're going out and getting a player to fill a roster spot. They're getting a dawg. To see that as a player, it lets us know where we want to be as a team."
-- Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman on his team acquiring Chris Chambers
"A.J. pulling that off, it's incredible."
-- Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, congratulating his general manager A.J. Smith for the Chris Chambers trade
"We definitely upgraded."
-- Chargers tight end Antonio Gates on his new teammate, Chris Chambers
"Chambers is the NFL player with the largest gap between his perceived and actual value. He's simply not an elite wide receiver and has shown nary a sign he's going to become one."
-- Pro Football Prospectus 2007 as quoted in the (San Diego Union-Tribune)
''There has been nothing to say that I can't come back and play."
-- Dolphins quarterback and severe concussion victim Trent Green, who really should read Chris Nowinski's book
"Now, it's just a matter of the team and I discussing what needs to be done in the future. I have a few more tests to go through. But so far, everything has tested out normal."
"As long as that course continues, then my intention would be to come back and play.''
-- Green (Miami Herald)
"Offensively, they are the real deal. I'm not going to lie about that. Defensively, I can tell you no, they're not. They're not (that good) at all."
--Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton, venting after his team lost to the Patriots 48-27
"The only time they stopped us is when we had penalties. If that's stopping us, it is what it is. Defensively, they are not the real deal."
"You put that in the memory bank. You remember. You have a chance to sit on it, kick a field goal, whatever, and you score a touchdown ... You put it in the memory bank and prepare for the next time you face them."
-- Crayton on the Patriots touchdown on fourth down in the game's final seconds
"Another thing I hated, how many bandwagon Patriots fans did you see in the stadium (Sunday)? Where did that come from? There is no such thing as a Patriots fan in Dallas, Texas. Where does that come from? Stuff like that just (ticks) me off, that's total disrespect."
"When I'm driving the other day and I'm seeing all these Tom Brady and Randy Moss jerseys, where do those Patriot fans come from in Dallas, Texas? I grew up here, I never saw a Patriots fan."
-- Crayton (Boston Herald)
"They should just bring the Buffalo Bills to Toronto. Case closed."
-- Ravens running back Willis McGahee, in the January issue of Penthouse magazine
"It's no big city. You know what I did every day? I came home and played video games."
-- McGahee in a March interview with the Baltimore Sun.
"Buffalo is a nice city."
-- McGahee, this week
"I don't know what you're talking about."
-- McGahee, when asked if he still thought the Bills should move to Toronto
"I just be chillin', man."
-- McGahee (Baltimore Sun)
"It's a bad box to be in, because eventually I'm going to run you out of here."
-- Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, describing his "tolerance box"
"We at times didn't keep our composure. I don't like that. I don't believe in that."
-- Edwards on cornerback Benny Sapp, who drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and shouted at his own teammates during the Chiefs' 27-20 win over the Bengals
"I'm a very patient man. But I'm also patient in the fact there are two sides of me. I'm patient with you, and then I put you in the tolerance category. When you get put in the tolerance category, I'll tolerate you until I can replace you."
"I have to make sure I don't lose my (composure), because then it becomes bad ... it becomes 'Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da.'"
-- Edwards, singing the SportsCenter theme (Kansas City Star)
"I go with my gut. Your gut always tells you what's right."
-- Edwards in a column entitled "Herm's Terms" that is apparently going to be a regular feature in the Star)
"You're the one who doesn't tip, right?"
-- Dearborn, Michigan, resident Tiffany Marchyok, to pizza-dude-for-a-day Roy Williams
"The total is on the house."
-- Williams, who was delivering pies as a form of apology after admitting that he never tipped pizza delivery drivers
"He's cuter in person."
"Why did you start making pizzas?"
-- an unnamed child at a Detroit Boys and Girls Club, where Williams made a pizza stop
"Because I didn't tip the pizza man."
-- Williams (Free Press)
"All I'd heard from my defensive back coach when I got to school was 'Dunta this' and 'Dunta that.' Dunta, Dunta, Dunta."
-- Texans rookie cornerback Fred "Jan Brady" Bennett (Houston Chronicle)
"At some point in the game I knew I was going to fumble because I wasn't used to carrying the ball."
-- Giants running back Brandon Jacobs showing quite the pessimistic attitude after playing his first game in a month (New York Times)
"[The Falcons] are a good defensive football team. They have some problems, obviously, on the offensive side of the ball."
"We probably could have run it a couple more times down in [the red zone]."
-- Eagles head coach Andy Reid, saying on the record that he just may call too many passing plays (Philly.com)
"I love offensive coordinators who have the X-factor. It's like, 'Look I have a feel for this game, and I'm not going to be denied.' I'm not sure Mike Nolan is giving that kind of freedom. He's saying, we have a good defense, keep it close. And that philosophy loses more games than wins them."
-- Former 49er quarterback Steve Young, burying the current San Francisco coaching staff (Inside Bay Area)
"I'm a tough city kid from Boston. I was unfazed; absolutely unfazed by that."
-- Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck after a falling camera nearly killed him during the Saints-Seahawks game (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
(Ed. note: Matt, Westwood does not count as "a tough kid from Boston.")
"This is my last opportunity, and it should be my last opportunity. If I drop the ball on this one, I've got nobody to blame but myself. Knowing what I've been through, what I have to lose and what I have to gain, if I mess up then I don't deserve another opportunity."
-- Packers wide receiver Koren Robinson, about to return to the NFL following a one-year suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy (WBAY TV)
"That's enough about the injury, please, I'm begging you. It's enough. I can't do nothing about it. What do you want me to say? I am saying the same thing over and over, the same question. Y'all are just re-wording it.''
-- Titans quarterback Vince Young, after reporters asked one question too many about his injured leg (Nashville Tennessean)
Thanks to Vince for filling in with Ben Riley on vacation. Send your quotes -- along with a link to your source -- to quotes-at-footballoutsiders.com, just like Florian Bast and Jonathan Lewallen did this week. Thanks, guys, for lighting our darkest hour.
56 comments, Last at 22 Oct 2007, 12:58am by Gihyou