"Last team with the ball wins" is a cliche, but sometimes cliches are the best way to get across the central narrative of an important game. If you like great quarterback play, you have to watch the NFC Championship Game.
03 Oct 2008
by Peter DeBaz and Mark Zajack
"I kept asking my wife about 1 o'clock, 'We won, right?' She said, 'Yeah, you won, honey.'"
-Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, making us all wonder just what his wife is like.
"In a game like that, I couldn't do it. I just couldn't. It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be fair. It wouldn't be fair to me. It wouldn't be fair to the football team. It wasn't anything against Tony at all."
-Edwards, on the playcalling that left tight end Tony Gonzalez three yards short of the career tight end recieving record. (Associated Press)
"I remember this as a player. Harold Carmichael when I was in Philadelphia broke a record. They stopped the game, they brought the trophy out, they brought his wife out and he got a standing ovation in Philadelphia. We go in the locker room after the game was over with and he says, 'Herm, I wish we had won the game. If we had won the game I would have given this back. I just wanted to win the game.'"
-Edwards, telling us of the time when he learned why they play the games.
"We were going to run the ball. We weren't going to get out of running the ball. To run the ball, you have to keep it to a one score game. You can't go behind by two scores. If you do, they are going to put you in a position where you are going to have to throw and we didn't want to do that."
-Edwards, giving a vote of confidence to his passing game. (KCChiefs.com)
"I don't know what he was doing, but he got me to fire him."
-Oakland owner Al Davis, on whether his former coach Lane Kiffin was trying to get fired in order to recieve his salary balance. (ESPN.com)
"It was after a short period of time that I realized that I didn't hire the person I thought I was hiring."
-Davis, in a press conference to explain the firing of Lane Kiffin and showing an awareness of his team and events that many people do not give him credit for
"Within five minutes, [Chris] Mortensen had the story exactly the way it went down."
-Davis, referring to ( target="_new"this article).
"Over the past months you have made a number of public statements that were highly critical of and were designed to embarass and discredit the organization, its players and coaches."
-Davis, reading from a scathing warning letter he sent to Kiffin three weeks ago that he claims justifies his firing of Kiffin with cause and without pay.
"Your mistakes with player personnel and coaches were overlooked based on our patience with you, but I never dreamt that you would be untruthful in attempts and statements in the press as well as so many other issues. You actions are those of a coach looking to make excuses for not winning, rather than a coach focused on winning."
-Davis, from the letter. ( target="_new"NFL.com Video)
"I got to the point where it was a struggle to work out three or four times a week because the priority of getting high was above the priority of working out."
-Former Green Bay offensive tackle and draft bust Tony Mandarich, in an interview airing on "Inside the NFL" on Wednesday. Mandarich admits to using steroids in college and cheating a NCAA drug test, but claims he did not use steroids in the NFL. (ESPN.com)
"There was no deception on Carson. The decision was made on Sunday morning. I talked with Carson at length Saturday evening and told him what I thought was the best thing for him, because at that point he was still adamant that he wanted to play. So there is no deception."
-Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, on making the decision not to start quarterback Carson Palmer in Sunday's loss to the Browns. Very testy press conference via (Bengals.com).
"I've already made up my mind I'm playing ... I'm going to do what I can in practice and do what they let me do, but I'm 100 percent expecting to play going into this game and planning on playing. I'll probably be limited in practice, but do what I can."
-Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, on Monday. (Cincinnati.com)
"I've talked to people around the league, people who have been in this business for a long time, and you don't go blowing things up after a couple games ... You're not going to be successful in this league doing that."
-Cleveland GM Phil Savage, defending the decision to stick with Derek Anderson while simultaneously forgetting that he traded Charlie Frye after Frye played only one quarter of one game last year. (Ohio.com)
"I'm about to go dig a hole in my back yard and put it in my back yard where I can see it. I don't like this stock stuff. I don't like not being able [to rely on] this bond and that bond. Everything's funny. I don't trust nothing."
-Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter, with sage advice on dealing with the financial crisis. (ESPN.com)
"[T]here was definitely an urge. But I just thought about what I have to lose and it was easy. The urge didn't last very long."
-Dolphins running back Ricky Williams who admitted that he was tempted to smoke marijuana during the team's bye week.
"I realize that I really enjoy meditating and when I can go home and sit in my room and meditate, I can get the same feeling."
"I'd be lying if I said I'm never going to do it again after I'm done."
-Williams. (Pro Football Talk)
"We still have a chance to go 4-12."
-Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck regarding the Titans 4-0 start. (Associated Press)
"He was a little frustrated."
-Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson, describing fullback Lawrence Vickers' mental state after being hit in the face by a beer bottle during Jamal Lewis' touchdown run against the Bengals.
"He was pretty mad, I know that."
-Anderson, upon reflection, upgrading Vickers threat level. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"To just spear somebody like that is pretty ridiculous. I mean, the guy plays hard and he goes all out, but he wants to do those kind of things."
-Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte, regarding what he called a "direct shot" by Titans defensive endKyle Vanden Bosch to his nether-regions.
"That's where the rule book tells me to hit the quarterback. If I hit him low I need to use better judgment. But I felt like it was a clean play."
-Vanden Bosch denying he hit Frerotte anywhere except the thigh. (Star Tribune)
"His balls come a lot faster. I ain't seen no balls like that. Kurt's ball gets there, but not like that. It messed with me a little bit as far as my technique. I played cautious."
-Cardinals rookie cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie comparing Brett Favre's balls to Kurt Warner's balls. (ESPN.com)
"We're not going to the Super Bowl next week."
-Redskins head coach Jim Zorn trying to maintain a little perspective on the win over the Cowboys. (SI.com)
"Don't disrespect the star."
-Cowboys defensive tackle Tank Johnson shouting at Redskins running back Rock Cartwright as he stood at midfield with teammates after the clock expired and gazed through the hole in the roof of Texas Stadium.
"He got mad that I went and stood at the middle of the star. I went to say hello to everybody, and he got mad that I stood at the middle of the star. It is what it is. I'm past it. I'm not worried about it. I think they're just mad that we came in and got a win today."
-Cartwright. (Washington Post)
"It's no secret, when I get involved, we move the chains. When I don't, we're more stagnant in our offense. "
-Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens, who according to Rich Eisen on NFL Gameday, had the ball come his way on 21 of 60 plays from scrimmage.
"He has a specific role that he plays. The plays that he works on, they aren't really come-from-behind plays. They are more normal game situation plays. We will be more and more comfortable with him as he learns more."
-Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips on why Felix Jones did not touch the ball against the Redskins. (ESPN.com)
"I wish I would have blocked a little bit better today. I had some good blocks down the field, but there were a couple that I just kind of pushed the guy and he was able to run away from me and make a couple of tackles."
-Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad assessing his performance in the Panthers win against the Falcons. (CarolinaGrowl.com)
"We haven't really operated on a very high volume all year, so that's something coming out of the offseason. I think it's important as a coaching staff to challenge yourself. I've dealt with very high-volume offensive game plans in the past. Over the long haul, I think it creates more opportunity for mental errors. I don't think we have a volume issue as far as the size of our playbook for any of the quarterbacks to run."
-Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on why rookie quarterback Matt Flynn shouldn't have a problem assimilating the game plan if forced to start. (ESPN.com)
"Man, I can't believe that goal-line stand! Awesome!"
-Ashton Kutcher to Demi Moore in the tunnel after the Bears win.
"I have to make sure I get the right plays called so we can punch that in."
-Eagles head coach Andy Reid regarding the failure to score on four consecutive runs up the middle.
"With all the weapons they have, Donovan could have very easily kept it on a bootleg. But you just figure they had six inches to go [on the fourth-down play]. They've got some big guys. We've got a small defensive line. So you've got to think they're going to run the ball."
-Bears defensive end Alex Brown, who made the 4th down stop by selling out on the run, anticipating that Andy Reid wouldn't call a bootleg. (ESPN.com)
"You've got some real good stats there. You know he's 3-0 as a starter; how about that?"
-Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden when asked about quarterback Brian Griese's low ranking in several statistical categories. (ESPN.com)
"It's a sickening feeling. You realize right there and then this is much bigger than the game. We could hear him when he was coming to. You prayed that everything is fine. I'm looking at extremities and saying. 'Move, move, move!' I just wanted to see that."
-Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme on a scary moment when offensive tackle Jordan Gross was knocked unconscious and lay face-down on the field. (CarolinaGrowl.com)
"It kind of brought tears to my eyes to see Anquan down like that. I turned around and saw his son (in the stands) and, man, that was tough for me. I've got kids, too."
-Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett on another scary moment when wide receiver Anquan Boldin was knocked unconscious and lay face-down on the field.
"Scary play, scary part of this business. And I can't get it out of my mind."
-Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner. (AZcentral.com)
"Because I wanted to honor Tryson's name. I didn't think it was fair for his life to end so short. This is the best way I could get out and honor him. I miss him. I wish he was here. He was here. Without a doubt. Today was his day. It was all about him for me."
-Buccaneers kicker Matt Bryant on why he suited up on Sunday, despite the death of his 3 1/2 month old son Matthew Tryson Bryant on Wednesday.
"I wanted to remind him that he's my baby boy and he is with me all of the time."
-Bryant, on a running dialogue with Tryson during the game.
"It didn't matter. I wasn't going to let anything screw up the day when I had a chance to acknowledge him again."
-Bryant, on the pressure of kicking on such a difficult day.
"I try to think what it would be like and I don't have a clue."
-Buccaneers running back Earnest Graham. (St. Petersburg Times)
13 comments, Last at 05 Oct 2008, 11:53pm by Bill Barnwell