Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?
17 Oct 2008
compiled by Peter DeBaz and Mark Zajack
"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)
"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)
-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)
"I don't rate losses. They all suck."
"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)
"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."
"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)
"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)
"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 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)
"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. "
"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)
"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)
"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)
"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)
"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)
"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)
"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)
"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)
"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)
"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)
"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).
"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).
33 comments, Last at 20 Oct 2008, 3:24pm by The Hypno-Toad