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.
24 Jan 2008
compiled by Ben Riley
"There are 10 [bleeping] good players on that team. But Richard Seymour is a dirty, cheap, little pompous [expletive that rhymes with witch]."
-- Chargers center Nick Hardwick, complaining about Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour after the Chargers lost to the Patriots last Sunday. During a radio interview on Tuesday, Hardwick also accused Seymour of head-butting a Chargers assistant coach (a YouTube clip that may or may not show the alleged head butt is available on profootballtalk.com)
"He's cheap and dirty and the head man just let him get away with it the whole time. They've got 10 great players on that team and when Jarvis Green comes on the field, they've got 11 great players who compete how you're supposed to play. But Richard Seymour is the biggest [b****] I've ever played."
"Head slapping, foot stomping in the pile, running by and throwing punches in your back. He's a [b****]."
"There's a field goal where he was stomping feet. Who stomps feet?"
"He plays like a punk."
"Everyone seems to think we're soft -- that we're Southern Cal boys and we're not going to play hard and we're soft and we're quitters. We're just as dirty, if not dirtier than anyone else in the league, so we like that."
-- Hardwick, in early December, after the Chargers played the Titans (Boston Herald)
"I thought it was classless, but I also understand he was hurt and frustrated. He's a grown man, and grown men usually try to own up to what happened and not rub it in, taking a loss like a man."
-- Richard Seymour, responding to Hardwick's criticisms
"We were into it the whole game. I just wasn't taking any stuff. All of it came between the whistles. Me, I'm not going to go to the media and talk bad about someone. I take pride in not crying to the media about what goes on in the line of play. If I want to say something about that, I'm going to handle it on the field."
"There's no battle of words, but you can't attack my character."
"I guess what I would say is that I don't expect any Christmas cards from him."
"Whatever I did, it was between the whistles. Of course there is some pushing and shoving; it's a physical game. That's the way I play the game. There was nothing after the whistle, but it's a violent game and I play the game violently."
"My thing is that if you're going to speak, please speak the truth. The film, if you look at the copy of the game that teams get, you can see what they were doing to me -- pushing me over the pile, and all that stuff in the trenches. You can see it yourself."
"So for me, the proof is in the pudding. You judge a tree by its fruit."
-- Seymour, who did not elaborate on whether the proof-providing pudding is made from the tree-judging fruit
"I was surprised. That's the last thing I would say about Richard."
-- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, reacting to Hardwick's allegations about Seymour's sinister tactics (Boston Globe)
"The extracurricular stuff is just unnecessary. I mean, he does stuff way after the play."
-- Hardwick, two days later during a radio interview
"No no no. No clue about that."
-- Hardwick, when asked if knew that Seymour's father was imprisoned for murder when he alleged that Seymour's dirty play was the result of his "upbringing"
"Oh yeah, totally. Well, part of it was."
-- Hardwick, when asked if his comment was meant as a joke
"I said it, whatever, I'm moving on. I mean, it'll probably get brought up next year. What's he going to do, play harder?"
"He doesn't head butt you after the play. Head butt your coach before the game. Things like that."
-- Hardwick, explaining why he feels Seymour is a dirtier player that Titans defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (who, it must be said again, stomped on a guy's bare head with his cleat) (XX Sports Radio)
"I'm not, dude. I really am not."
-- Former Giants running back Tiki Barber, when asked if he was sad that he retired now that the Giants are in the Super Bowl
"It's interesting. My wife asked me that exact question. Ginny asked, 'So you have to feel, even just a little bit of remorse that you left early.' I said 'Honey, I'm trying to make myself think that and wish I was still there.' But I'm not."
"My life, personally and professionally, has gone a different way. My passion is elsewhere."
"That being said, I'm ecstatic for those guys ... I'm happy for them. I really am."
"I said what I said about the New York Giants because it's my job. But that doesn't mean that I'm not a supporter of New York Giants. People think I'm a Giant-hater. I'm not. I went down Tampa to watch [Ronde] play. I wasn't rooting for [Ronde]. I was rooting for the Giants."
-- Barber, implicitly suggesting that while he allegedly loves the Giants, he hates his brother (we're just kidding, Barber-inos!) (NY Daily News)
"He has his team in the position right now, if they win today they could possibly go on to the Super Bowl, and make an appearance there."
-- ESPN commentator Emmitt Smith, describing how Giants quarterback Eli Manning led the Giants to a position where, if they won the NFC Championship Game last Sunday against the Packers, they could possibly make an appearance in the Super Bowl. And yes, this is a Quote-of-the-Year Nominee. (AOL Fanhouse)
"He can't cover me!"
-- Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, taunting the Packers' bench and mocking the inability of Packers cornerback Al Harris to cover him during last Sunday's NFC Championship Game. Burress finished with 11 catches for 151 yards.
"I would say I lost my individual battle, which I haven't done in a while."
-- Al Harris, admitting that he was taken to school by Burress
"Not at all; you can't. He caught, what, six passes, five passes? He had a good day. A couple throws were really nice throws."
-- Harris, when asked if he blamed himself for the Packers loss
"If that will make it better, that I say, 'OK, it's on me,' then I'm cool with that."
"A pass is a pass, but it doesn't equal up to points. They were more drive-sustaining catches, which sucks."
-- Harris (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
"The ACL is gone."
-- Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, revealing after the Chargers-Patriots game that he played the entire game without the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"I don't have any idea. I was stunned. He just said he was going in a different direction."
-- Former Chargers wide receiver coach James Lofton, when asked if he could explain why he was recently fired by Chargers head coach Norv Turner (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"Like meeting Neil Armstrong on the moon. You know a guy is from a different generation when he stands up to shake hands with people ... I see one guy with a Starr jersey lift his eggs to his mouth, look over, see Starr, and the eggs just fell off his fork, he was so shocked."
-- Brian Hyland, producer of HBO's Inside the NFL , describing what it was like when he recently saw former Packers quarterback Bart Starr eating breakfast and signing autographs (Sports Illustrated)
"I don't think it's any secret that our quarterback situation hasn't been settled. So, yes, we're looking at all the quarterbacks here."
-- Bears head coach Lovie Smith, admitting that he was evaluating quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl
"Down the line, we're just looking at those decisions about who's going to be back and who we may have to look to replace. I don't want to sound evasive about extending him. That's not the case."
-- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, sounding very evasive about whether he'll be willing to offer a contract extension to Terrell Owens (FOX Sports.com)
"That makes me feel like a real sissy."
-- FOX announcer Troy Aikman, offering his thoughts as FOX went to a commercial break showing the Packers Bikini Girls during last Sunday's subzero Packers'-Giants contest at Lambeau Field (grainy footage of the Packers Bikini Girls -- Jen, Ashley and Liz -- available here)
"Whichever team wins it, I'm going to suffer."
-- Ira Lieberfarb, a 53-year-old auto-parts wholesaler and die-hard Jets fan from Staten Island, N.Y., describing his lack of enthusiasm for the upcoming Patriots-Giants Super Bowl (NY Daily News)
Next week -- The Year in Quotes! Send in your favorites (including those you think we may have missed) to quotes-at-footballoutsiders.com, and please remember to include a link to your source.
99 comments, Last at 01 Feb 2008, 6:31pm by Cyrus