Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Scramble Over/Unders: the Norths

The league's northern divisions pose a number of meaty questions, such as: "Is the Bears' offense due for a repeat performance?" "Why do the Lions have such pronounced splits?" and "Has Johnny Manziel made the Cleveland brass even crazier?"

07 Nov 2008

The Week In Quotes: November 7, 2008

by Mark Zajack

I WAS CHEERING. DOING WHAT I DO. CHEERING FOR THE OFFENSE. IT IS OFFENSIVE, RIGHT?

"She is no longer with the squad."

-Patriots spokesperson Stacey James on the dismissal of Caitlin Davis for Facebook photos posing with a Sharpie near a graffiti covered passed out dude with the words "penis," "I'm a Jew" and a pair of swastikas clearly visible on his face, neck, arms and torso. (Boston Herald)

"At the time I had jumped in the picture with the kid, I didn't realize what had been drawn on him, which I take responsibility for not being alert."

-Davis. (Boston Herald)

SURE IT WAS A LATE HIT, BUT THAT'S UNFAIR TO CALL IT

"Whether you agree with it or not, it was called. One of these days, (the officials) are going to let us play this game."

-Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light, regarding a personal foul penalty on tight end David Thomas that may have cost them the game. This, after the Pats were not called for a single penalty over the course of seven quarters. (Indy Star)

TERRIBLE TOWEL NIGHT AT FEDEX FIELD; A TERRIBLE PROMOTION IDEA

"I couldn't [bleeping] hear him."

-Redskins center Casey Rabach, on telling Jason Campbell they would have to use a silent snap count due to the invading hordes of Steelers fans at FedEx field.

"It was definitely a strange environment. We had to go silent count in third-down situations and shotgun situations. Having to do that at home, that's unbelievable. It's the first time we've had to go silent count in our home stadium."

-Rabach. (Associated Press)

"Never. First for me."

-Redskins guard Randy Thomas, when asked about using a silent count at home.

"I'm like, 'Are those yellow towels for us or for them?' I really scratched my head about it, because I've never seen it done, especially at FedEx, to have someone come into our home and almost have more fans than we did."

-Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss.

"It was something we discussed on the sidelines. Like, 'Damn, are we giving away free towels tonight or something?' ... For a [visiting] team like that to be able to get a hold of tickets, I mean, how can you do that?"

-Thomas.

"It sounded like 50-50 from the noise they were making. I'm disappointed. FedEx has never had that many other teams' fans. I don't know, it kind of shocked me when I seen all those Terrible Towels. I know Pittsburgh ain't but a couple miles away from here, but we've got to keep them out of our place. I'm not disappointed on the fans, but somebody let 'em in there. It wasn't me, and I know it wasn't [owner] Dan [Snyder], so somebody let 'em in there."

-Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot, who apparently wants bouncers at FedEx Field.

"I mean, that's not the reputation or the expectation I had of the fans here, but who am I to begrudge somebody from making a profit by selling their tickets? I'm playing for money, and they're watching, and it's their right to do what they want with their tickets."

-Redskins guard Pete Kendall, with a far more cogent analysis than most. (Washington Post)

THE UNSELFISHNESS THAT EXEMPLIFIES "AMERICA'S TEAM": PLENTY OF TACKLES AND BLAME TO GO AROUND

"I was just waiting on the safety to make a play. It just looked different. I really can't explain it."

-Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins, on his apparent lack of interest in trying to tackle Giants running back Derrick Ward on a fourth quarter touchdown.

"That's what it looked like. That's your eyes. If that's what you seen, that's what you seen."

-Jenkins, on whether he was trying to avoid contact on the play.

"I wasn't the only one there. Everybody's pointing it out like it was me, but there was a safety back there, too."

-Jenkins, graciously volunteering safety Courtney Brown to share in some of the non-tackling love.

"I'd say go get the tackle. That'd be the right answer."

-Jenkins, proving he's a quick learner, when asked if he'd do anything differently if the situation presented itself again. (Dallas Morning News)

HERM INSTALLS TRICKERATION

"That's a play we put in this week. On the first play I split out and the guy didn't respect me (as a receiver). Then the coach came right back and called it. It was a good call by him. The coach has seen me catch the ball. I don't drop that.""

-Chiefs quarterback Tyler Thigpen, on catching a touchdown pass in the second quarter. (KCChiefs.com)

"We practiced it this week. Actually [Thigpen] dropped it in practice and then we came back the next day to make sure he wasn't going to drop it. "

-Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards reveals that Thigpen does, in fact, drop that.. (KCChiefs.com)

THE REST OF THIS WEEK IN HERM

"No. I figured you guys would figure that out. Wildcat sounds good to me, as long as it keeps producing points. It's good, it's okay. Whatever you guys want to call it."

-Herm, on naming the offensive set with Thigpen split out wide.

"Sometimes you get pigeon-holed as a coach. Well this guy thinks like this. I think this, I want to score points, I've always said that. How you do it is how you do it. If you can throw it around the yard and don't throw it to that other guy too much, I'm okay with that. But you still have to be able to run and that's what I liked about last week, we were able to run the ball. It's funny because, everything we did last week, we ran the ball more than we passed it. We had more yards running than we did passing. You see a couple gimmick plays and you a couple passes and some great catches and you think, well, they're throwing it all over the yard. Really, you've got to think, he had what, 167 yards passing? We had 188 yards rushing. So everyone thinks we're magical. I don't know about that. "

-Herm, on whether he's changed his 'run-em-into-the-ground' philosophy since arriving in Kansas City.

"As I said, there could be some more guys that surface here, shortly. Sooner than later, I would think there would be some more guys."

-Herm, when asked if he has enough corners after experiencing more injuries.

"You're asking the guy to come in, and when he comes, he looks at you and you go okay, you've got three days to get ready because you've got to play in the game. The guy kind of looks at you like you're kidding, and I say, I'm not kidding, you've got to go play."

-Herm, on having to sign guys "off the street" because of injuries.

"Until you win games, you have to be competitive all the way through games. I think you can't win them on luck. You want to be competitive. We played two good football teams that if the playoffs were today, they'd both be in. I just think that we're getting better. We still have to learn how to finish the game. We have to make plays in certain parts of the game that you need to make. I think that comes with some experience. I think we're gaining that as we play. The team to me is coming together a lot more now, because of what they've gone through. Sometimes you travel this road. It's tough. You have two tough losses in a row, but they had an opportunity. And that's what you've got to keep preaching to them; if you keep playing this way consistently, eventually the ball's going to bounce your way. You're going to get that bounce and you're going to win that kind of game. They believe that, they understand that. That's where we're at right now. "

-Herm, on not winning with luck, but winning when the ball bounces your way. (KCChiefs.com)

WOULD ANYONE BE SURPRISED IF SOMEONE FOUND THAT HAWAIIAN TIKI IDOL FROM THE BRADY BUNCH IN THE SEATTLE LOCKER ROOM?

"I really try to be honest with you guys about injuries and what is happening, but it must appear to you like I am crazy, because I think guys are going to play, and then they can't play."

-Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren, on the baffling injury situation that continues to derail guys like Matt Hasselbeck, Nate Burleson, Deion Branch, Leonard Weaver, Lofa Tatupu and Patrick Kerney from playing.

"They're trying hard. It breaks my heart."

-Holmgren.

"The players and coaches, they are a good group of fellows, they really are, and hopefully we get some of the injured guys back and have a little more fun than we have had so far."

-Holmgren. (ESPN.com)

AND IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE RAY-RAY'S GRANNY, ASK RASHARD MENDENHALL'S SHOULDER

"My grandmother told me something a long time ago. If you're going to run up on a lion, make sure you're going to sneak up on him. Don't tell him you're coming. ... Right now we're the best defense in the NFL [against the run]. Nobody is going to run the ball."

-Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who took exception to Browns running back Jamal Lewis saying he planned to have success running against the heart of the Ravens' defense. (ESPN.com)

FROM THIS DAY FORTH, I SHALL BE KNOWN AS "JERMAJESTY", JERUNDERSTAND JERPEOPLE?

"I could try to act smart and say there's some super special technique we had for that, but I mean, jeez, go get the ball. If you're in the backyard, that's what you'd do. You have to go make the play."

-Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, on tight end Jermichael Finley's clumsy attempt to make a catch on the goal line.

"I think he should have led me a little more, well a lot more. Really he didn't throw it good at all, to be honest. He knows my game, coaches know my game. I'm more like a run and jump (receiver). I'm really not no back shoulder or whatever he had going on back there. They just have to know what kind of player I am and use me in that aspect of the game."

-Packers rookie tight end Jermichael Finley, with his own humble thoughts regarding quarterback Aaron Rodgers' throw on the play in question.

"I don't agree with the tight end's quote, Jermichael. But we were expecting man in that particularly situation. It's a hot situation for that particular play. Jermichael had a poor release. He was too high, and Aaron was trying to back-shoulder him. It's a play that we practice all the time. It's a common throw in our offense."

-Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. (Green Bay Press Gazette)

RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE

"I told all the guys the last thing we're ever gonna do here is be a joke -- a punk -- to somebody. We gotta come out and fight and prove we are men."

-Bengals guard Andrew Whitworth, during Saturday practice before Sunday's game against the Jags. Whitworth was kicked out for fighting with Jags defensive tackle John Henderson .

"Man, that was two 340-pound guys, both of them 6-foot-7. That's a lot of beef. That's two brahma bulls going at it."

-Bengals offensive tackle Levi Jones, describing the rumble in the jungle.

"It was like watching the UFC."

-Bengals wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco. (Springfield News-Sun)

DAMN WHIPPERSNAPPERS: IN MY DAY, THE FIELD WAS UPHILL BOTH WAYS ... AND WE LIKED IT

"Right now, all these kids are the same. They're OK, but they're not guys that you think will control the game. You don't have the great ones, the guys that every time they touch the ball you look for them to break it. And I don't know why that is."

-Former NFL running back Jim Brown, on how today's running backs measure up against past greats.

"You would think he would have tore the league up, but he didn't. It's not too late. It's a matter of breaking through."

-Brown, on Saints running back Reggie Bush.

"Portis is leading the league. But he's not a superstar. He's a good runner. That's not who leads the league in the old days."

-Brown, on Redskins running back Clinton Portis.

"Does he dominate? Sometimes they let him fade into the sunset. He might get numbers, but ..."

-Brown, on Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

"If he doesn't get hurt, that's exactly what I'm talking about - that kind of flash."

-Brown, on Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, as the one running back today who can be as dominant as the greats in the past.

"And you see all the guys that are sacrificing their careers because they want to go to bars and strip clubs, or get into fights."

-Brown, on the negative influence of money.

"People talk about speed and size, but I see these little bitty cornerbacks (today) weighing 175-180 pounds and I'm laughing to myself. When I'm real close to these guys I don't see a difference in size - except the bulky guys, the offensive and defensive linemen weighing around 330. But about 50 pounds of it is fat, so I'm thinking, 'Why do these guys need to be this big?' Well, that's the way they play now because they block differently. They do that sumo wrestling blocking, using their hands and arms. They don't use their shoulders."

-Brown. (Rocky Mountain News)

IF MY WIFE SAYS, I'M THROWING OFF MY BACK FOOT, WELL, MAYBE THEN I'LL LISTEN

"If you want to put the blame on me (for why the offense struggled), well, I don't care. Oh, I know everyone's going to say it's my fault. They're going to say I'm throwing off my back foot or crap like that. But you know what? I don't care what people say. All I care about are what my teammates and my family says. Everyone else? I don't give a damn."

-Rams quarterback Marc Bulger, on media criticism after his pair of interceptions that turned into 10 points for the Cardinals. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

HEY, I TRIED TO VOTE THERE TOO ... BUT WHEN I ARRIVED IT WAS DESERTED

"I voted a while ago in my mind."

-49ers head coach Mike Singletary, when asked by reporters whether he voted on Tuesday. (Pro Football Talk)

WHAT CAN I SAY? HE'S MY TYPE. HE AND MY WIFE HAVE THE SAME BARBER

"We talk so much ... my wife thinks sometimes I'm having an affair with Coach Haley."

-Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, on his relationship with offensive coordinator Todd Haley .

"Mine, too."

-Haley, indicating his wife is onto them as well. (The Arizona Republic)

THANKFULLY HE'S 'JARED THE SACKER' NOT 'JARED THE C.P.A.'

"It's a sad day for me. I'm a McCain supporter. There is nothing I can do about it now. Our paychecks will be cut in half."
-Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, on Obama's proposed 4% tax hike for people in Allen's tax bracket. (ESPN.com)

Posted by: Mark Zajack on 07 Nov 2008

30 comments, Last at 12 Nov 2008, 6:39pm by anon

Comments

1
by Eddo :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 1:32pm

First of all, the Jermajesty reference is hysterical (it's what Jermain Jackson (Michael's brother) named his son).

Secondly, pot, meet kettle.
"And you see all the guys that are sacrificing their careers because they want to go to bars and strip clubs, or get into fights."

-Brown, on the negative influence of money.

This quote coming from the guy who retired in his prime to go into show business.

3
by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 2:13pm

Lots of players throwing teammates under busses this week, but Jermichael Finley wins that award. "That throw was too hard. See, I only catch the easy ones. That's who I am as a player."

What a putz! See you on waivers soon, Jermichael, where you will hopefully be picked up by Herm Edwards in KC.

Herm on Jermichael: "Sure, we all want the easy passes to come our way. That's just luck. Sometimes you get good passes, and sometimes you're gonna get the bad ones. But it takes some skill to get those good passes there, and we just don't have that skill right now. That's life. Get over it. You got to play to win the game."

14
by Anonymous Too! (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 4:39pm

Pot meet kettle? I don't know. I'm no Jim Brown fan, but giving up your brutally violent and underpaid career as a 1960s football player to go into show business is probably making a pretty rational career choice. Raining thousands of dollars on a stripper (or what have you) and then getting suspended? Not so much.

2
by Tom Gower :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 1:39pm

Thanks to Marc Bulger for showing us just how much respect the Rams have for their coaching staff.

4
by bubqr :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 2:15pm

P.Kendall vs J.Allen, Kendall wins hands down.

5
by the silent speaker (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 2:45pm

Actually, I think I grok Herm in that last quote. He's saying that you can't rely on getting good luck to win, because good luck turns eventually; if you play competitively every game -- and his Chiefs aren't out-skilling anyone yet but they're getting better -- sometimes you get a string of tough losses in a row, but that's *bad* luck, and bad luck turns eventually too.

6
by the silent speaker (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 2:46pm

Actually, I think I grok Herm in that last quote. He's saying that you can't rely on getting good luck to win, because good luck turns eventually; if you play competitively every game -- and his Chiefs aren't out-skilling anyone yet but they're getting better -- sometimes you get a string of tough losses in a row, but that's *bad* luck, and bad luck turns eventually too.

29
by panthersnbraves :: Sun, 11/09/2008 - 9:48pm

Luck favors the prepared? or it takes less luck to win when you are down by 2 than 25?

7
by Dales :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 3:00pm

To be fair, I do not think Allen was commenting on what Obama said he would do, but rather what he thinks Obama will do. Without getting too political (or being political in a bi-partisan manner) one is generally on firmer footing when one does not take a politician's promises at face value.

15
by Anonymous Too! (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 4:42pm

We're going to get banned for political discussion, but as soon as Obama doubles the tax rate for millionaires I guess you'll have a valid point in Jared's defense.

21
by B :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 10:40pm

.3 x 2 = .6, not .39

27
by Dales :: Sun, 11/09/2008 - 10:54am

Anonymous Too!- mine was not a comment about Obama. It was a comment about politicians in general. There is a correlation between what a politician promises and what a politician does, but it is a weak one.

That said, you aren't right that Allen's tax rate has to double for my comment to have validity, since I was not saying Allen was right but rather that one cannot use a campaign promise as proof that he is wrong. Rather, all that has to happen is his tax rate go up by more than what was said during the campaign. That would suffice to make my point that what a candidate (any candidate) says is nothing more than what they think will get them votes.

8
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 3:37pm

Stacey James needs a lawyer. I'd sue the S.H.I.T. out of the Krafts.

9
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 4:06pm

I meant Caitlin Jones. Dammit.

18
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 4:54pm

What possible grounds would you sue Bob Kraft on? Unlawful termination? He has the right to dismiss any employee of his organization, with or without cause, absent a labor contract.

People have been fired from much more important jobs for much less than posing in front of a swastika which she may or may not have drawn.

19
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 5:33pm

Exactly - she may or may not have drawn. The Patriots organization cannot prove she's culpable of that behavior, merely that she appeared in front of it. She could be posing in the library history section in front of a copy of Mein Kampf and Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, doesn't mean she's a jack-booted, goose-stepping neo Nazi. Now the poor dumb girl has this mark on her record. An internal reprimand would have been fitting, firing her only brings attention to the matter and probably will serve to hinder some future employment.

We all need to quit being so damned hyper-sensitive. People make silly mistakes like this, its part of being normal, and more importantly, its part of being young.

22
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 10:50pm

Okay...I understand your point....but where does the lawsuit come in? What could she possibly sue for? Even if she had nothing to do with the graffiti and wasn't aware of it (which I find extremely unlikely), she can still be fired. This isn't a criminal case -- there's no such thing as due process or innocent until proven otherwise. Hell, cheerleaders get fired if they gain too much weight. She's a representative of the team, and this is a clear example of conduct unbecoming. She should actually be fired for stupidity for putting it on her facebook page.

If she was posing in front of a sign that said "Kill all Ni#####", would it even be an argument? I'm guessing posing in front of a few swastikas has a like effect on her Jewish-American bosses.

25
by Independent George :: Sat, 11/08/2008 - 10:49am

People make silly mistakes like this, its part of being normal, and more importantly, its part of being young.

People make silly mistakes like this, and they pay the price for it. Stupidity does not absolve her, it incriminates her.

11
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 4:07pm

I meant Caitlin Davis. Dammit.

16
by Jake (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 4:44pm

Really? You think a 18 year old girl who no extraordinary assets should sue a billionaire because she was terminated from a part-time job that almost certainly had a clause involving doing things that would bring negative attention to the organization? She'd get laughed out of court, best case scenario.

10
by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 4:06pm

I'm thinking that, if I'm a rookie tight end who just dropped the first pass ever thrown to him, I'm not going to blame the high-profile QB who just signed the big contract extension. Crazy thought and all.

12
by Jim Brown (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 4:23pm

Get off my lawn, you punk kids!

13
by Jake (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 4:39pm

Jim Brown would never have thrown his career away for an outside interest like, I don't know, acting in The Dirty Dozen.

Nostalgia tends to warp memories.

17
by Anonymous Too! (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 4:54pm

See above. Becoming an actor and (presumably) making more money is not throwing your career away. Is any pro athlete in this country today paid as poorly as pro athletes were back then? How about modern WNBA players? What does Candace Parker make? Googling tells me that it's $44,000. (Which is less than I make for sitting at a desk all day. Crazy.)

Anyway, if Hollywood comes knocking tomorrow with a $500,000 movie deal for Candace, she should turn it down because she loves her basketball career so much?

Now, to make it more analogous to Brown's situation, let's say she's been playing for 8 or 9 years already, and doing it in a sport very likely to cause permanent debilitating injury and almost certain to shorten one's lifespan.

23
by John in NYC (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 11:29pm

Can you imagine if a ref tried to flag Deacon Jones for roughing the passer on a play like Trent Cole's a few weeks back? I'm fairly certain Deacon would have ripped the ref's arm off and beat him to death with it.

I wish they had YouTube when Deacon played. Sigh.

24
by m0nty (not verified) :: Fri, 11/07/2008 - 11:57pm

Less Herm, more Singletary please. I think a This Week In Singletary would be more entertaining at this point.

26
by Packer Pete (not verified) :: Sun, 11/09/2008 - 9:52am

Jermichael also misplayed a fade pass in the corner of the end zone. Instead of running through to the ball, he faced Rodgers, backpedalled, jumped to early, and watched a good throw go over his hands. Physically, he looks like he has some tools, but he hasn't shown much yet.

As far as Jared Allen griping that a 4 percent tax increase will cut his take home in half, maybe he should shut his yap and be grateful that in this terrific, and seemingly crazy, country, the next three generations of his family won't have to work a day in their lives because of the insane amount he's getting paid to play a child's game.

28
by Key19 :: Sun, 11/09/2008 - 9:34pm

Oh give me a break. Over 50% of Jared Allen's paycheck already goes to the federal government. How much more can you increase his taxes? Eventually, we'll come to the day when people of Allen's income bracket pay around 90% in taxes and make less than the "poor" people they're providing for. All while earning around a 75% life expectancy to those "poor" people because they're destroying themselves every week.

If you want to criticize Jared Allen for complaining about a tax hike, I encourage you to pay the same tax rate he does. Once you do that, then complain about him. Until then, just be quiet.

/end rant

30
by anon (not verified) :: Wed, 11/12/2008 - 6:39pm

The value of a dollar is not the same for everyone, it is subjective. If you have $0 to your name, $1 is highly important for survival. If you have $100,000, then a $1 change is nearly insignificant. There is a non-linear relation between the amount of money you have and the relative value $1 carries for you, it looks like an exponential decay curve, e^(-x).

And this isn't even getting to the more topical question of whether pro stars are overpaid (answer: yes, if you believe that sports entertainment is as over-valued and inane as pet rocks once were).