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?
31 Oct 2008
Compiled by Mark Zajack
"Leon-ard Wea-ver. Leon-ard Wea-ver."
-Seahawks fans at Candlestick Park serenading fullback Leonard Weaver as he made his way off the field after scoring two touchdowns on dumpoff passes that he took all the way -- a 43-yarder in the third quarter and a 62-yarder in the fourth -- to help the Seahawks snap their three-game losing streak.
"The Church Van."
-Weaver's nickname from teammates, due to his faith and community involvement.
-Another of Weaver's nicknames.
-A nickname for Weaver's stiff-arm.
"They didn’t know the Church Van could move that fast."
-Weaver, on the 49ers defense. (Tacoma News Tribune)
"We knew about Weaver. He's a fullback and he's a brutal back, because he will come and get you to let you know he's there."
-49ers linebacker Manny Lawson, on Weaver, and perhaps how Weaver should have done an even better job of letting the 49ers know he where he was as a receiver.
"We are not a charity. We cannot give them the game."
-49ers head coach Mike Singletary, on his team's performance against the Seahawks. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
"Our formula is this: We go out, we hit people in the mouth, No. 1."
-49ers head coach Mike Singletary, revealing the first step of his formula for winning in an incredible press conference following the loss to the Seahawks.
"We cannot make decisions that cost the team. And then come off the sideline and it’s non-chalant. No. You know what? This is how I believe, OK? I’m from the old school."
-Singletary, on why he sent tight end Vernon Davis to the locker room with 10 minutes left in the game, after Davis received a 15-yard personal foul.
"I told him that he would do a better job for us right now taking a shower and coming back and watching the game than to go out on the field."
-Singletary, on what he told Davis on the sideline.
"He wanted to talk to me. I told him he did not want to talk to me. I said, ‘I assure you, you do not want to talk to me right now.’"
-Singletary, on Davis' aborted response.
"Sometimes you have guys that it’s been so long that we’ve been unsuccessful that sometimes it’s like a bad relationship. You don’t know when it’s going to turn again. And after a while, you become a part of the problem rather than the solution."
-Singletary. (Mercury News)
"Well, we had 400 yards of offense, we scored  points against the No. 3 defense in the league. I'll take that any week, whether we got to throw it, whether we can run it."
-Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, on the loss to the Panthers.
"Whatever we have to do, if we're operating the way we operated today, we're going to win football games and that's what this is all about."
-Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, echoing his coach's sentiments of a darn good loss.
"I hate to lose, and no moral victories, but we played with an intensity today against a good football team that I haven't seen this team play with since I've been here, and that's what I'm going to take away from this game."
"If we can bottle this up and we can take it with us on the road the rest of the year, we're going to win some football games and we're going to be a tough team to beat."
"We know we have a good team just like the Giants. They weren't playing that well until they came over here last year, and they were great after that. We can look at them and say that could possibly be us."
-Saints defensive end Will Smith, strategically omitting that the Giants went 4-4 in their post-London second half of the regular season, before their playoff run. (ESPN.com)
"Never ever, ever, ever played a perfect team before. That's all I am going to say on that one."
-Rams guardRichie Incognito, on the fact that no penalties were called on New England, while the Rams were flagged 12 times.
"It doesn't help. It just lets them know you know."
-Saints head coach Jim Haslett, on his plans to send tapes to the league office, citing plays in which he thinks calls were missed. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"I was watching Eli’s lips the whole time and I saw him say, '32,’ so I went over and tried to tell everyone, `It’s right here,’ and we stopped it. That was a big play in the game."
-Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel, upon hearing Giants quarterback Eli Manning call out "32," he where the Giants would run the ball.
"I’m guessing it’s the 2-drop, which is right off center-guard. And that’s the play they ran and we stopped them."
"I was in. I guess they didn’t get the right (TV) angle (on the replay). We were playing against 11 people and -- what -- 16 people to be honest with you. "
-Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, referring an earlier goal line play, in which the officiating crew ruled that he came up short of the end zone. The ruling was upheld after a Giants challenge. (Associated Press)
"It’s kind of like going out to find a girlfriend. The minute you go out to find a girlfriend that you want to make a wife, that’s a bad thing to do. You’ve got to just let it happen. What I’m saying with Sharp, you better just let it happen. You don’t want to force the issue because that would probably be a bad thing."
-Vikings head coach Brad Childress, explaining his theory on safety Darren Sharper being without an interception this season, despite being the active NFL leader with 53 career interceptions.
"Hopefully, my wife doesn’t see this."
-Childress. (Star Tribune)
"We have to flush this bad boy because there's not much good that occurred."
-Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, on the loss to the Texans. (Dayton Daily News)
"You don’t want him running a lot because if he’s down then we get to number four (quarterback) and then we’re getting close to five. I had five (quarterbacks) one year (in New York). "
-Herm, on trying to keep quarterback number three (Tyler Thigpen) healthy, 'cuz 4 is close to 5.
"If he goes in and plays well and we win some games it would be great. It would be good for us, good for him, good for everybody... (Jets) have a number four and we have a number four. It’s just two different number fours. You never know."
-Herm, on Thigpen.
"I’m going to tell him, ‘you don’t have to be Brett Favre, ‘cause there is only one them.'"
"We need to make some first downs. We need to score some touchdowns in the first quarter. We’ve scored six points in the first quarter. That’s not very good."
"More consistency, I think, we’re just not very consistent. That’s the problem."
-Herm, stealing material from Heath Evans. (KCChiefs.com)
"We were able to score points, and it became a game of just playing football. That was good to see for us. "
-Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards, on playing football in a football game against the Jets.
"Chan did a good job of changing pace and trying to run the ball and trying to throw it some. It worked out good for us."
-Herm, on offensive coordinator Chan Gailey's offensive game plan.
"I wasn’t really worried about those guys. It was more about what we were going to do."
-Herm, on what worried him about the Jets.
"We were here last year for that cold game at the end of the year. This was a game where both teams played hard. They Jets played very well and played hard. They did enough things at the end to win, and we didn’t."
-Herm, on returning to the Meadowlands. (KCChiefs.com)
"Well you know, first of all we're not that good. We're a blue-collar team, and we have to recognize that. We're not going to come in and blow anybody out. We've got to focus and prepare and do the details whoever we play. If it's the Lost Sisters of the Poor, we have to focus on details. And we came in here today and made some STUPID mistakes early on, and actually played like the south end of a northbound skunk, to be quite candid."
-Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache appearing on "Comcast SportsNet's Postgame Live" last Sunday, to wax poetic on the performance of his defense after their latest win.
"The great craftsmen have great detail and great pride in it. We don't do that. We're just kind of guys with sledgehammers and pick axes right now, and to be a real good football team and to be what we want to be, we've got to be a little bit more detailed than that. "
"Honestly, for me, I've got to get in some people's rear ends. And it starts in the mirror. "
-Blache, describing that improving as a defense includes improving as a coordinator or, a predilection for do-it-yourself proctology.
"We're not what people think we are, we're not who we think we are right now. We're probably the worst 6-2 defense in the NFL, if there is such a stat kept. "
-Blache, not only dropping a reverse Denny Green on you, but asking for a stat!
Ed. note: There's only two 6-2 teams in the league: Carolina's defense is tenth and Washington's is....11th! Blache is right!
"In my job, nobody cares how shallow the water is, I've got to get the boat to shore. All right? I've got to get the boat to shore, and right now, I've got some guys I don't feel like they're stroking their oars as well as they should on a consistent basis, and if they're not, and I'm the guy there with the horn, then it's on my shoulders. It's on my watch. And I'm not a very happy camper today. And when I'm not happy, I can make a lot of other people unhappy, too."
-Blache. (Washington Post)
"It's great company; it's one of the few times you can say O.J. is great company."
-Redskins running back Clinton Portis, with a post-game description of his feelings upon joining O.J. Simpson as the only running backs in NFL history with five straight games over 120 yards rushing.
"Yeah, you know, everybody throw heat out on O.J., you know, you take away his credit and the things he did. But for me to be in the same realm as him in this accomplishment is great for me. You know, not a lot of people want to say, 'Aw man, I did something with O.J.', but you know, that's a great honor for me."
-Portis, appearing on ESPN 980's John Thompson Radio Show, to joke about his O.J. comment. (Washington Post)
"I haven't been in second grade since I don't know when."
-Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell, reacting to being back in a 2nd grade classroom with the 7-year-old winner of the NFL's Take a Player to School Sweepstakes.
"Jim Zorn once told me the first pass he threw to a cheerleader, he gave her a bloody nose. So I want to be careful of that."
-Campbell, not wanting to repeat the mistake of his head coach while playing catch with the 2nd graders. (Washington Post)
"Oh yeah, I've thrown up on the field. That happens a lot, yeah. Guys puke all the time. It's funny when the guy across from you starts puking, that's the best part. Oh my God, so funny. You've never seen a player who puked on the field? It's pretty funny. The guy's sitting there puking in front of you, and you KNOW you're just gonna kill him the next play. It's awesome."
-Redskins offensive lineman Casey Rabach, on the extent of hurling in the NFL.
"I'll bet you everybody's puked on the field at least once in this locker room, definitely."
-Rabach, formalizing his cookie tossing theorem.
"No chance, nope, never."
-Redskins punter Ryan Plackemeier, necessitating kickers be excluded from the theorem.
"Oh yeah, I threw up plenty of times on the field, in college and pros. I'm used to it, it's no big deal."
-Redskins offensive tackle Chris Samuels , on his propensity for the technicolor yawn.
"Thrown up? Yeah. Especially the ones over 300 pounds....You do it in the trash can. That's what guys do when they've got a little money, they do it in the trash can. You've got millionaires running around on the field, you don't want to throw up on their feet."
-Redskins offensive lineman Randy Thomas, on barf etiquette.
"Fabini, if he starts, he usually pukes at some point in the game. He's puked on the sidelines a couple times."
-Rabach, regarding fellow offensive lineman Jason Fabini's puke habits.
"Of course. I think I vomited on Casey's foot maybe once last year. Or my own."
-Fabini, on ralfing.
"He's got a gag reflex or something, more comical than anything."
-Rabach, regarding Fabini.
"Yeah, I do, but so does he. His is worse, I think. He doesn't throw up; it's like, 'Aggggh.'"
-Fabini, imitating Rabach's gagging noises.
"You hope so. And that you don't get any on you, yeah."
-Rabach, on whether it's an advantage when your adversary retches.
"I'm a vomit guy. I'm SUCH a vomit guy."
-Redskins linebacker and king of upchuck, London Fletcher.
"Two, three [times], if I'm lucky. Four, five if I'm not."
-Fletcher, on the fact that he reverse chugs on the sidelines just before games start, every week, more than once.
"By the time it's game day my stomach's just so queasy, so to speak, that I have to get out some things before the start of the game."
"That's probably why when he's in the huddle and he's calling plays he's always got spit hanging from his facemask. You want to be serious, you're in the middle of the game, but I be looking like, 'Man, get that spit off your face.' "
-Redskins defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery, on the chunderous visage of London Fletcher.
"Casey used to see me hurl all the time."
-Fletcher, on Rabach as witness to the regurgitation.
"People say they haven't puked. Everybody's puked at least once on the field, don't you think?"
-Rabach, to Fletcher, sharing the results of his research on out-of-stomach experiences.
"I would think so. That's just me. I puke every week, though."
-Fletcher, with the last word on heaving. (Washington Post)
20 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2008, 3:37pm by drsayis2