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.
31 Jan 2008
compiled by Vince Verhei
(The Year in Quotes has been postponed -- it will run next week.)
-- Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, predicting that his team would win the Super Bowl by that score to reporters of the New York Post
"We're only going to score 17 points?"
-- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, questioning Burress' handicapping skills
"OK. Is Plax playing defense? I wish he had said 45-42 and gave us a little credit for scoring more points."
"I know they have confidence. They should have confidence. They are the NFC champions."
"I learned a lesson early in my career: No matter what you say during the week -- and God knows we say a lot this week -- we're going to be focused on going out and winning this game. We're confident, but I don't think we share our thoughts with everybody."
"I don't understand what the fuss is about. Nobody wants to lose."
-- Burress, after showing up 33 minutes late to a league-mandated media session because he was enjoying breakfast with his family
"All this is entertainment. It's sports, and sports are entertainment. So 23-17 is the prediction I made, but the game still has to be played."
"I'm not taking anything away from what those guys accomplished. They set all the records you could possibly imagine. They have a great quarterback, the MVP, who threw for a record  touchdowns. Randy [Moss] set a touchdown record for catches. They had two receivers with over 100 catches. The numbers don't lie about what they have done."
"Hey, look how much fun everybody is having with it. It makes national, international headlines. But the game still has to be played."
-- Burress, showing he understands how to hype up a contest
"I will speak with Plaxico in a private way, and that's where it will remain."
-- Giants coach Tom Coughlin, showing he doesn't give a hoot about hyping up a contest
"Well, 23-17 was the first thing that came to my head,"
-- Burress, explaining why he predicted that particular margin (ESPN.com)
"We can sell advertising in that sucker, I know that. I've never sat back and looked in a mirror and thought, 'How much can I get for this gap?'"
-- Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, when asked what the gap in his teeth was worth to him
"There was a time when I thought about fixing it. I went to the dentist, and I had all the X-rays and charts and pictures of how I'd look if it were fixed. I decided that if I did it, it would just not be me."
"People look and they go OK, here's a guy who is not perfect. But to me it's perfect, because it fits me. And I think it makes people feel comfortable. I feel comfortable when I look in the mirror. So that makes everybody else feel comfortable. You look at people who have imperfections, and you go 'You know what? I'm good with that.'"
"My teammates give me a hard time about it, and you know what I tell them? When we go somewhere, and you're standing in the back of the line, and they don't notice you, and I walk up and smile, I automatically get in. That's why I have it."
-- Strahan (NFL.com)
"Some actress that's hot. There are a bunch of them, but most of them are pregnant right now."
-- Michael Strahan, when asked who he would try to impress by inviting them to the Super Bowl.
"I have no chance. If I am trying to impress you, I am not bringing you to the Super Bowl. Give me a chance to stare into my gap tooth. I need to do that in person at a restaurant or something."
"When I was in California in the off-season holding out, I said 'I don't care about the clean look' so I went a little grimy."
-- Strahan, on the shaggy hair and beard he's been sporting this season
"The women like it. You know when I knew this hairdo was right and all that, the women were like, 'Ooh, you look sexy.' And then the guys were like, 'You need to cut that off.' When the guys start hating and the women like it, you know you are onto something."
"Noooo one, noooo one, noooooooo one."
-- Strahan, singing an Alicia Keys song (N.Y. Daily News)
"To the woman in the wedding dress."
-- Tom Brady, selecting a question to answer at Media Day
"Are you really?!"
-- Brady, caught quite off guard when the woman -- Ines Gomez Mont of TV Azteca -- declared she was in love with him
"Wow! I've never had a proposal."
-- Brady, after Mont asked for Brady's hand in marriage
"What's your name, first?"
-- Brady, making sure his potential bride meets his high standards
"Ines! A beautiful name, Ines!"
-- Brady, seemingly impressed
"I've got a few Miss Brady's in my life."
-- Brady, after Ines declared herself "the real Miss Brady"
"No, I'm a one-woman man."
-- Brady, breaking another heart (ESPN.com)
"It's an outfit I frequently use. It's regular. It's a pair of jeans and a blouse. Nothing more."
Mont, explaining her bridal outfit (Arizona Republic)
"Separate from the teammates, because you want all the camera time you can, one-on-one."
-- NFL Network correspondent Deion Sanders giving advice on how players should react if they make the winning score in the Super Bowl
"And then I'll say 'I'm going to Disney World!"
-- Giants kicker Lawrence "Prime" Tynes, telling Sanders what he'll do next
"You can't say that unless they pay you handsomely."
-- Sanders, concerned
"I signed my contract today."
-- Tynes, unconcerned
"You're a good man, Lawrence! I love you, baby!"
-- Sanders, giddy (NFL.com)
"Tom, my pleasure."
-- CBS commentator Phil Simms, saying goodbye to Jon Stewart after a stint on the Daily Show
"You know, you go your whole life waiting to meet some of your sports idols, and when you finally meet them, and have them sit right across from you and talk to you for six minutes, and then call you by your nickname Tom..."
-- Jon Stewart, recapping the incident on his show the next night
"That's right. You probably didn't realize that, but my closest friends call me Tom. Tommy Boy, they say! The Tomster! To see Phil Simms do that without even knowing he was doing it -- That's kismet!"
-- Stewart, still in disbelief
"My name's on the f---ing sign!"
-- Stewart, while gesturing around the studio to indicate that his name is, indeed, on the f---ing sign. The video is available at The Daily Show Web site
"I think it's great. I wish I could stand out there and listen to it, but I'll have some of his CDs playing in my office this week. That'll put me in the mood: "Free Fallin'."
-- Pats coach Bill Belichick, regretting that he won't be able to catch Tom Petty's Super Bowl halftime show (WTOP FM)
-- New England linebacker Tedy Bruschi after receiving a Barry Manilow Award from Entertainment Tonight that spelled his name "Brushci." Bruschi's name was also misspelled on his name card at the podium (Chicago Tribune)
"I was so mad at him in the beginning of the year, the way he was playing, I stopped wearing his jersey. They won. Now, I don't wear that shirt no more. I refuse to."
-- Giants fan Jerry Damadeo, explaining why he refuses to wear his Eli Manning jersey (Newsday.com)
"Have you ever done it? This is what it feels like, right here. I've done it."
-- Giants coach Tom Coughlin, comparing his experience at Media Day to sitting in a dunk tank at the county fair (Newsday.com)
"I got on him when he got in the locker room after that. I'm like, 'You never leave your holder hanging out there, especially after that.' Are you kidding me? He just took off. He said he was cold. I was looking around and it was like a Jim Valvano moment. The next guy I see is Eli [Manning] and he's doing the same thing. We embrace. It was tremendous."
-- Giants punter Jeff Feagles on Lawrence Tynes' sprint into the locker room following his overtime kick against Green Bay that put the Giants into the Super Bowl
"'Slim' is a four-letter word. I try to get down to where I'm not gross."
-- Giants overweight backup quarterback Jared "Pillsbury Throwboy" Lorenzen (Last two quotes come to you courtesy of Hashmarks)
Next week -- The Year in Quotes! And we mean it this time! 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.
47 comments, Last at 04 Feb 2008, 4:26pm by Sid