Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Impact of the NFL's Kickoff Rule Change

After three NFL seasons of kicking off from the 35-yard line, what has been the impact on touchbacks, returns, field position, scoring and injuries? Also, is this rule responsible for a record number of big comebacks?

17 Oct 2008

The Week In Quotes: October 17, 2008

compiled by Peter DeBaz and Mark Zajack

DUDE, I FIGURED, IF I AM STARTING, IT MUST BE IN A CFL GAME WITH THOSE BIG END ZONES

"When they started blowing the whistle, I was like, 'Did we false start or were they offsides or something?' And I looked, and I was just like, 'You're an idiot.'"

-Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky, regarding running out of the back of the endzone for safety on a play from his own 1-yard line.

"I just wasn't going to sit back there and try to hold the ball and be stupid and give them points, and then I ended up giving them points."

-Orlovsky. (Detroit Free Press)

NFL, YOU'RE DEAD TO ME. DON'T CALL, DON'T SEND FLOWERS.

"Don't bother calling us with an apology. I don't want to hear it. It won't change anything. If they can't call us and say that they're giving us back a win that was taken away, then they shouldn't even bother with it."

-Lions cornerback Leigh Bodden, regarding a 42-yard pass-interference call late in the fourth quarter against Minnesota.

"It's been happening more this year. I don't know what you can do about it. They're human. But to decide a game like that in the fourth quarter with a call like that. I don't know. You just got to let guys play and let them decide it."

-Bodden. (Detroit Free Press)

A CHILLY RECEPTION

"Fire Childress."

-Vikings fans serenading head coach Brad Childress as the players and coaches headed off the field.

"I don't hear all that stuff. I'm working."

-Childress, on whether he heard the crowd.

"Chilly is my guy. Chill out, people. We have a lot of season left. Just chill out."

-Vikings defensive end Jared Allen. (Star Tribune)

BEST ... LOSS ... EVER?

"I don't rate losses. They all suck."

-Bears safety Mike Brown, apparently not interested in rating the loss to the Falcons within the Sports Guy's Levels of Losing. (Chicago Tribune) (Levels of Losing 2.0)

IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, EVEN WHEN YOU STINK

"If someone comes up and tells you that you look great today, some people may like that. Some people may like it if you be up-front and tell them they stink. At least you know, so go get some deodorant or cologne and freshen things up."

-Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

RENAISSANCE RUNNING BACK

"I came to Gruden and said, 'If you need a fullback, I'm your fullback.'"

-Bucs running back Earnest Graham, sacrificing his tailback role when Byron Storer, the Bucs only active fullback went down with a knee injury early in the game.

"The guy sacrificed his day to get in there and block and he did a great job. He was reading it the right way, putting hits on guys. I'm speechless a little bit because of what he sacrificed for his football team today. That's one of the most unselfish acts I've seen on a football team in a long time."

-Bucs running back Warrick Dunn, on Graham's performance.

"He didn't just go into the hole today and just curl up. He laid himself into the hole with as much authority as he runs the football with."

-Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, on Graham's lead blocking for Dunn.

"I feel proud to be able to block for Warrick. It was the most fun I've had in a game, period. I had a blast."

-Graham. (ESPN.com)

YOUR GYMNASTIC ABILITY TAUNTS ME. IF YOU LAND A TRIPLE SOW-COW I'M GONNA LOSE IT

"The celebrations -- I guess they don't want you to have much fun at all. I don't disagree or want to get fined any money, but a guy does a back flip, a guy does a cartwheel -- I don't know, I've got to look into exactly what we did wrong."

-Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, on a 15-yard taunting (unsportsmanlike conduct) penalty on defensive lineman Jovan Haye who did a cartwheel on the field after a Jermaine Phillips interception. (ESPN.com)

I'M CONFUSED. ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT THE PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY CAN'T DO A CARTWHEEL? 'CUZ I BEG TO DIFFER.

"Our coaches try to stimulate the players to be enthusiastic. You only live once. There's no sense walking around like a doughboy. They got these airplanes flying over your head right before kickoff. You've got the fans going crazy. What are you supposed to do? Stand there like a doughboy? I don't know how you do that."

-Gruden. (Tampa Tribune)

HOW BOUT DEM CARDINALS?

"You're talking about a Cardinals team that's not the Cardinals of old. People don't understand that. You can't take them lightly. I know people (including teammates) asked me about them, and I said the same thing: 'They're not the same Cardinals.' "

-Cowboys guard and former Cardinal Leonard Davis, on his old team. (AZCentral.com)

I'M SORRY, IS THIS SOME SORT OF BIZARRO LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY?

"I didn't think we'd be sitting here 6-0. I really wouldn't have thought that - at all - back in training camp, not in our division, not coming out here with a much-improved Cardinals team. We said this in training camp: '(The media) would be about setting expectations. We'd just get out here and see what we do.'"

-Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. (AZCentral.com)

AHHH, THE "LET'S SEE WHAT WE DO" LEADERSHIP STYLE: HOW'S THAT WORKING OUT?

"Everybody thinks we're the most talented team ñ I'm talking about our mind-set ñ and just because we're the most talented team, we're going to win games. You can say we're the most talented team on paper, but that doesn't make you win the game, it only makes other teams play better."

-Cowboys linebacker Bradie James. (Dallas Morning News)

"I'm just disappointed in this organization right now. From the whole deal of it. Things just aren't going real good."

-Cowboys linebacker Greg Ellis on the state of America's team.

"We're not a complete power right now. ... We've got the personnel, we've got the people in place. But right now, I have to say we're not giving ourselves the best chance to do what we need to do on the field to be at our best in those football games."

-Ellis. (Dallas Morning News)

"We hit the snooze button."

-Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton, describing the less than ideal response of the team during the week to the "wake up call" that was the loss to the Redskins the previous week.

"Maybe we need our ass chewed out or something. "

-Crayton. (ESPN.com)

REMEMBER WHAT I TOLD YOU IN THE SHOWER?

"I told him in the shower this week after practice, I told him 'I'm missing them times when you used to come free and block them punts. You need to tell coach to let you rush one time.' I saw him jump out and I knew he was going block it from that point on. I was already celebrating before he even blocked the ball."

-Cardinals defensive end Antonio Smith, on predicting Sean Morey's game-winning punt block. (AZCardinals.com)

PERHAPS THE CARDINALS SHOULD TAKE ON WALL STREET NEXT

"We beat a 4-0 team last week (Buffalo) like they were stealing something from us. Today, we treated America's Team like they were stealing something from us. We can beat anybody in the country. Our time is now."

-Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby. (East Valley Tribune)

CONFUSING CENSORSHIP ... OR ELSE THE RAMS ARE A VERY, VERY CLOSE TEAM

"I used to (bleep) you all the time."

-Rams running back Steven Jackson shouted this to kicker Josh Brown before giving him a bear hug. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

INCOGNITO BLOWS HIS COVER, BUT NOT THE GAME

"We were all jaw jacking."

-Rams offensive lineman Richie Incognito, on what led to his 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty before Josh Browns' game winning field goal.

"He could have got several penalties, several personal fouls. That's his M.O. He does a lot of late hitting, grabbing face masks, things like that."

-Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, on Incognito's questionable style of play. (Washington Post)

"If you're going to call a penalty on a guy who swears -- if he did swear -- then there's going to be a lot of flags."

-Rams head coach Jim Haslett, who was told by officials that Incognito was penalized for swearing. (International Herald Tribune)

"My mom will be mad at me."

-Incognito, on the repercussions of being penalized for swearing. (Washington Post)

THIS WEEK IN HERM

"Not that I know of."

-Kansas City Coach Herm Edwards, when asked whether tight end Tony Gonzalez had been traded.

"3:03 ... nope."

-While looking at his watch, on whether he expected Gonzalez to be traded.

"You're always a good team with good players and the more good players you have the better team you are and he's a good football players.(sic)"

-On whether the Chiefs are a better team with Gonzalez. (KCChiefs.com)

"Tomorrow. They'll get the father speech. The counselor speech. The principal speech, whatever you want to call it. They'll get that one tomorrow. That's big. You don't want to read about them on Saturday and Sunday. We don't play this week, they shouldn't be in the newspaper."

-On the speeches he plans on giving his team. (KCChiefs.com)

THIS WEEK IN ... BILL?

"Matt is our starting quarterback. He gives our team the best chance to win. We've all got to play better, and coach better than we did last week. We have to do a better job than we did against San Diego. But he's our quarterback."

-New England coach Bill Belichick, on quarterback Matt Cassel. (Boston Herald)

NUMBER 27, TIPTOEING INTO YOUR HEARTS

"I don't think they hit very hard. We did all right in the running game."

-Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, responding to comments made by Cleveland defensive tackle last week about the Giants running game not being very physical.

"I thought about that yesterday -- 'I'm going to get in the end zone and do a little tiptoeing."

-Jacobs, who did a tiptoe celebration in the endzone after scoring a first quarter touchdown on Monday. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

ASKING FOR IT

"I'd bet a dollar to doughnuts that it wasn't."

-Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, on whether he thought the call was the right one. (Bleacher Report)

THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH THE VISITING TEAM CAN DO

"They executed in every phase: special teams, offense, defense, cheerleaders, coaching, all of it. And we didn't."

-Ravens receiver Derrick Mason, on his team's 30-3 loss to Indianapolis.

"It is a combination of bad throws and bad decisions. I threw two of them high and missed the guys, for some reason. I've just got to make better decisions."

-Quarterback Joe Flacco

"My mama told me told if you don't have anything good to say, then don't say anything at all."

-Linebacker Ray Lewis. (BaltimoreRavens.com)

LONDON! FISH, CHIPS, CUP 'O TEA, MARY FREAKING POPPINS! LONDON!

"the longest regular-season road trip in NFL history"

-Chargers president Dean Spanos, describing the task ahead of his team in back to back games at Buffalo and London

"The preparation has to remain the same and the focus has to be on winning that game and not really enjoying being in London and all the things that go along with that. We're there to play a game. It's everyone else's show. It's not for our fun. We're there to win a game."

-Running back LaDainian Tomlinson, on the task ahead.

"I'm really worried about the food in London, I hear they don't season it. That'll be difficult. But as long as they got a Mickey-D's, I'm all right."

-Tackle Marcus McNeill. (San Diego Union Tribune)

SELF DISCIPLINE

"It was just a thought I had ... I also said if my reasoning is right, I deserve it. I deserve what you would call a certain kind of punishment."

-Bengals receiver Chad Ocho Cinco, on his hypothesis that his offseason trade demands have contributed to him not getting the ball. (Bengals.com)

"I think the issue with [Carson Palmer] is a lot more serious than playing this year ... we're talking about his career in general. If it means sitting out this year or play another 20 or who knows how long he'll be able to go, I think it'd be in his best interests to sit out."

-Ocho Cinco on his quarterback Carson Palmer. (ESPN).

KIFFIN CURSE WATCH: WEEK ONE

"We really found out a lot about where he is, and it's obvious he's still in a stage of development. It's obvious maybe he can't handle that much."

-Raiders interim coach Tom Cable, on his quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

"Oakland got tired, just from watching the tape, and I certainly felt that way (Sunday). There were about six or seven plays where we were snapping the ball, and they weren't aligned or set or ready."

-Saints coach Sean Payton, on his opponent from last Sunday. (Mercury News).

Posted by: Mark Zajack on 17 Oct 2008

33 comments, Last at 20 Oct 2008, 3:24pm by The Hypno-Toad

Comments

1
by Eddo :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 3:51pm


Hopefully that does it. This is some buggy posting software if it doesn't check for unclosed <em> tags.

2
by Eddo :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 4:00pm


Hopefully that does it. This is some buggy posting software if it doesn't check for unclosed <em> tags.

3
by Tom Gower :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 4:01pm

"Salchows", darnit, not "sow cows," though with TWIQ I guess the error is fitting. C'mon, this is mentioned in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, it's not as-projected-by-T.O. Jeff Garcia to know that.

4
by Arson55 :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 4:07pm

...the Rams are apparently a disturbingly close team. Now I know that I would play for any NFL team except one.

5
by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 4:09pm

I remember a game last weekend where a player scored a TD and started dancing; his teammates ran up to celebrate with him, then consciously backed off when they saw him dancing to avoid fines/penalties. It was completely stupid. Is this the NFL you wanted, Goodell? I love this sport but I f**king despise these idiotic unnecessary rules.

Chris Horton for defensive rookie of the year.

6
by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 4:17pm

Do professional atheletes really eat at McDonalds? I was irate at an ad during the olympics that suggested that olympic atheletes eat at McDonalds. I don't believe that for a minute.

Chris Horton for defensive rookie of the year.

9
by Temo :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 4:48pm

The best runner on my High School cross country team, who was 2nd in the state and broke all sorts of school and district long distance records, ate nothing but fast food and was 5'10", 130 lbs. I myself ate terribly (there wasn't a fried food I didn't love in High School) but couldn't get over 140 lbs no matter how much I tried (though I was not very good at cross country compared to him).

Usain Bolt famously ate McDonald's chicken nuggets before he went out and shattered the world 100m record.

Roy Williams' (the WR) favorite food is fried oreo cookies.

The point being... sometimes it's all genetics. Although I do think eating bad food will decrease your performance, I don't think it's as much of a factor as some people make it out to be.

26
by Independent George :: Mon, 10/20/2008 - 9:14am

I think that when your daily workout regime burns 3-4,000 calories, a couple Big Macs really doesn't have much affect your performance. If you watch 'Deadliest Catch', the deckhands often joke about the 'fisherman's diet', where they eat nothing but crap, but still manage to lose weight because they're working 20 hours/day.

30
by Marcumzilla :: Mon, 10/20/2008 - 1:58pm

I wouldn't be surprised if they burned more than that. IIRC, Mountain climbers burn so many calories that they have trouble eating enough at high altitudes to even be able to make it. They have to eat something absurd, like 11-12K per day during climbs.

20
by mm (not verified) :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 10:09pm

Many players do eat fast food.

7
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 4:22pm

I don't know ninjalectual... I'd rather see far less of grown men acting like children and more professional football. That's just me.

8
by DangerGnat :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 4:26pm

Coming up with a ridiculous solo self-promoting ocho-cinco-like "celebration" is acting like a child. Doing something fun with your teammates after a touchdown is more adult, mature behavior. The No Fun League doesn't understand this.

10
by Temo :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 4:59pm

You can count me among the people who don't even mind the "ridiculous solo self-promoting" celebrations.

It's all fun and games.

11
by Tundrapat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 5:05pm

And here I've always liked it when the player(s) in question just give the ball back to the ref and return to their team. Almost as if they're...you know...doing their job.

If I ran through my office doing cartwheels and such after getting a report out or a permit approved, I doubt I'd still be employed.

13
by Temo :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 5:27pm

Yea, but they're in the entertainment business (as in providing entertainment) and you are not.

Also, I have done cartwheels at work (on a bet-- did not end well) and I use a remote control car to deliver papers to my boss and have not gotten fired. Got a few laughs actually. If I were you, I'd try to get your collegues to loosen up a bit.

14
by Staubach12 :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 6:17pm

Okay, I love the remote control car delivery. How do you have the car rigged to hold the papers? Does it tow something?

23
by Temo :: Sat, 10/18/2008 - 2:04pm

One of those big rubber bands. You know, the kind that are so big that you don't know what anyone would use it for, unless it was for like Fish at the market or something.

Also, I have to confess my boss made me stop doing that because the rubber band keep crinkling the papers and she didn't like that, evidently.

The towing idea isn't too bad though, I might have to try that.

15
by Tundrapat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 6:43pm

I like the suggestion(s), but you've got to understand:

I work with engineers. 'Loosen up a bit', for them, involves changing into the v-neck sweater when they get home.

For what it's worth, I do agree that the 'unsportsmanlike celebration' penalties are getting out of hand. But I still find it classy when a player actually acts as if (or says, in a post-game media swarm) that they were just doing what they're paid to do. This is especially true for the celebrations following simple things like a sack (not all that common, but it's not the same as a stripped fumble and recovery), a pass broken up, or...a tackle. Really? You're celebrating a tackle?

But maybe that's just me.

17
by Eddo :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 7:30pm

I also prefer when a player does the "classy" thing, but it's a preference. I dislike that players can be penalized for showing human emotion (and their egos).

Taunting is one thing (and should be penalized), but celebration is quite another.

24
by Temo :: Sat, 10/18/2008 - 2:06pm

I agree: some of the celebrations are tacky and dumb, but that's for the fans/media to take the player to task for... not an in-game penalty.

Although yes, taunting should be penalized. I don't understand how players are allowed to curse and belittle each other, but spiking the ball is somehow penalized. I'd think that making fun of some guy's mom or something like that is going to provoke more violence than spiking the ball after a first down (as dumb as that is).

28
by panthersnbraves :: Mon, 10/20/2008 - 9:41am

Sack dances need to go - "Lights Out," "Grave Digging," etc. There is a difference in having a bunch of emotion, and needing to do something with it, and deliberately taking the time to do some waggle that you practice in front of the mirror every night.

Something cute and quick after a TD isn't too bad. I do think having a dozen people form a circle and dance is a bit much though.

31
by Marcumzilla :: Mon, 10/20/2008 - 2:20pm

I agree completely on the taunting. As for celebrations, I don't see an easy way to take judgment and interpretation out of it, so let's add another condition - were they celebrating a good play or something mundane? This was the consensus opinion of Trogdor, another friend, and myself shortly after college - punish overt taunting or celebrating stupid little thing.

I think they go too far when they penalize things that's clearly being caught up in the emotion, isn't taunting, and was a good play - if people mob a QB and WR for a go-ahead TD with 20 seconds left on the clock, nothing wrong with that.

What they should punish, is when they celebrate when they didn't really do anything. If a DB celebrates like he broke up the pass when a QB threw it wildly over the receiver's head, that's a paddlin'. If a player gets a tackle when someone trips on turf and that defender gets blocked into the down ballcarrier then hops up and dances a jig, that's a paddlin'. If a RB goes down mostly on his own after a two yard gain because he sees Ray Lewis' fast approach, then gets up strutting and flexing*, oooh, you better believe that's a paddlin'.

* RB example taken from late in the career of Jerome Bettis.

33
by The Hypno-Toad :: Mon, 10/20/2008 - 3:24pm

But what if a running back was to paddle the school canoe?

32
by The Hypno-Toad :: Mon, 10/20/2008 - 3:20pm

"a tackle. Really? You're celebrating a tackle?"

Seriously. This is really starting to bug me. I have to look away from the game every time one of the Broncos Linebackers makes a tackle (usually six or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage, because they're pretty terrible.) Every single time, they do this idiotic "dance" where it looks like there's an invisible rope going through their skulls (from ear to ear), and they're pulling it back and forth, as if they were flossing their brains. Maybe it wouldn't bother me so much if they were... you know, competent. But since they're awful (with the possible exception of DJ Williams) it really drives me crazy.

12
by Boston Dan :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 5:21pm

Very entertaining as usual. Great quotes from and about Graham, from Crayton, and on the Cardinals. The Raiders are more than pathetic.

16
by DaveInTucson :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 7:21pm

America's Team -- (n) Commercial Bulshytte from the late praxic age designed to sell personal grooming equipment.

I have a blog where I post objective, predicive power rankings of NFL teams.

18
by robbbbbb (not verified) :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 7:35pm

Wow. I know Anathem's a cool book and all, but I didn't expect it to start getting references on football sites.

(For the record, I'm only halfway through. It's slow reading.)

19
by DaveInTucson :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 9:28pm

I'm just glad someone got the reference.

I only got about 300 pages into it before I had to return it to the library [15 copies divided by 30 reserves means it'll probably be 6 weeks before I get it again :-( ]

I have a blog where I post objective, predicive power rankings of NFL teams.

25
by Tom Gower :: Sun, 10/19/2008 - 9:26pm

It's been sitting on my counter since I bought it the day it came out. Thanksgiving weekend, at the latest.

21
by starzero :: Fri, 10/17/2008 - 11:57pm

someday the chiefs will get sick of losing and decide ditching herm is the way to go. i hope someone puts him in the booth or gives him a sports show, because he's not out there talking then we're not able to quote him.

you know, i can make up sentences that sound like emmit, but i can't write anything that sounds like herm. that's a gift you can't fake.

22
by Wait, what? (not verified) :: Sat, 10/18/2008 - 1:49pm

Things I have learned from this week's edition of TWIQ:

Jerry Jones apparently expected the Cowboys to lose to the Cardinals (prior to the beginning of the season, even).

Cheerleading is an important part of winning football games. Can we get DVOA on this, please?

Neal Stephenson has a new book out (which I will be copping just as soon as it's available in paperback). ESPN never tells me shit like that.

27
by panthersnbraves :: Mon, 10/20/2008 - 9:31am

Tuesday Morning Quarterback does a fair job explaining the Cheerleaders impact. the skimpier the clothes ~ winning, particularly in the cold.

29
by zlionsfan :: Mon, 10/20/2008 - 10:48am

Exhibit A: Detroit Lions.

Cheerleaders = none.
Wins = none.