Eight weeks ago, the Vikings were undefeated and ranked No. 1 in DVOA. Now they're 6-6 and probably done. What went wrong?
05 Sep 2008
compiled by Peter DeBaz and Mark Zajack
"I'm like a fine wine, a Cabernet-Merlot-Shiraz blend. It can do a lot of things. It gets better as you open it up and let it get out there and air out, filtrate, do all those things. I don't even need a decanter, just let me go out there and run."
-- Vikings safety Darren Sharper on, presumably, getting better with age
"Pour me in your mouth, suck it up and enjoy the run."
-- Sharper (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
He also wanted me to have a card of some sort that ID'd him with the NFL ... I said I only needed his [Driver's License]
-- Deputy Aaron Rauls of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, in a report he filed after giving Packers defensive tackle Colin Cole a ticket for going 88 mph under a 65 mph speed limit
"[Cole said he] gets stopped all the time in Green Bay and doesn't get a ticket, because he plays for the Green Bay Packers."
-- Deputy Rauls (PackersNews.com )
"I'm not here to be the starting quarterback. I'm not here to be the backup. I'm out there to prove that just in case something God-awful goes wrong, I can step in and run this offense and I'm not going to lose the game."
-- Colts quarterback Jared Lorenzen, before the Colts decided he could not run the offense and released him ( IndyStar.com)
"Just got rolled up from the side, my knee kind of buckled in. It's definitely not my friend, I guess."
-- Packers offensive lineman Junius Coston, on reinjuring the same knee as he did in the 2006 preseason finale ( Green Bay Press Gazette)
"He says it all the time: 'Jason doesn't like me.'"
-- Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, quoting rookie tight end Martellus Bennett
"It's not that I don't like him. It's just that I'm letting him figure it out. He's got to figure it out first, and once he does, obviously that's where I come along. "
"I'm not going to be [bleep-ing] doing this all the [bleep-ing] time. You've got to know what the [beep] to do."
"A lot of stuff I take from him, but when it comes to the way I move and the way I do things, it's still me. I've been doing it like that for 21 years. I've been pretty productive. "
-- Martellus Bennett, regarding the effect of Witten's tutelage (Dallas News)
"First off -- let me tell you this. Let's get this straight. There's nothing fair about this league."
-- 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz during an "uncomfortable verbal exchange" with KGO's Mike Shumann, who questioned whether the quarterback competition was "fair." Shumann happens to have played for the 49ers from 1978-81
"All right? If you establish yourself as an incredible player within a quarter of a game, that's just the way it goes. There's nothing fair about it. Understand that, first of all. OK?"
"I played the game. I understand that."
"OK, then you know it's not (fair)."
-- Martz ( PressDemocrat.com)
"I feel like I was dealt with dishonestly. I think we all know who made the decision, and when you've got a draft that isn't starting to look so good, you're going to do whatever you can to make it look as good as possible."
-- Former Redskins punter Derrick Frost, a victim of cutdown day. General manager Vinny Cerrato's first draft included the sixth round selection of punter Durant Brooks. (Washington Post)
"I very much appreciate the opportunity to put in greater perspective my comments in response to being released by the Redskins yesterday. As much as I regret them, the quotes don't reflect my appreciation for this area, my teammates, the world-class Redskins fans, or the unique tradition the Redskins have built in this region over several generations. It is an honor to have played for this organization and before these great fans for over three years, and I can only hope for a similar experience with my next team."
-- Frost, one day later, saying whatever it would take to get signed by another team. The Packers signed him the next day. (Washington Post)
"Before it was, 'This is what we are going to do no matter what they do. They have to stop us.' And you know, fortunately for them, more than not, they had the opportunity to stop us. We didn't have audibles before. Right now if we are in a bad play, we can get out of that play. Jason [Campbell] has the opportunity to put up the audibles and change things around and get us points. So I think everybody is just excited."
-- Redskins running back Clinton Portis, on the unbelievable fact that the team did not have audibles during the Joe Gibbs era ( Scout.com)
"They both hate Dallas. Even though I'm from Arkansas, I grew up hating the Cowboys, and I'm fortunate that I can still hate them."
-- Eagles linebacker Tank Daniels, signed after being cut by the Giants, on the thing he loves equally about both teams ( Philly.com)
"We were out there about 2 1/2 hours before kickoff (Thursday in Houston), and I personally got to chase him around like a chicken and test his mobility."
-- Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, on the ultimate test of quarterback Jeff Garcia's recovery from a calf strain ( St. Petersburg Times)
"NBC's John Madden said during Thursday's Jaguars/Redskins game that wide receiver Matt Jones didn't know the team's plays last season."
-Rotoworld, which said that Madden said that he found that out from David Garrard (Rotoworld)
"It's something I don't think anyone has ever done before. Have I ever had a reason for why I do what I do? I'm having fun."
-- Chad John-- er, Chad Ocho Cinco, on legally changing his name in Broward County, Florida to Chad Javon Ocho Cinco
"...in the low seven figures..."
"A lot of people look at Chad Johnson and say he's crazy and he does a lot of stuff, but I don't think people really understand how smart I really am."
-- Chad Ocho Cinco talking about the person at the center of his universe (ESPN)
"Ocho Cinco? If I was going to take all the legal steps for a name change I would go with something way cooler than a Ocho Cinco."
-- Washington tight end Chris Cooley, who is now taking name changing recommendations on his blog
"He will very quickly find out he's not the player he should be ... I hope he figures it out before there is irreversible damage."
-- Dr. Neal ElAttrache, director of sports medicine and orthopedic surgeon at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, talking about Shawne Merriman's decision to play the season instead of getting an urgent procedure performed on his left knee
"It's very difficult to control the swelling ... At the point where he starts to get uncontrollable swelling, the fear is he causes irreversible damage."
-- Dr. ElAttrache
"I'm going to play until I can't take it anymore ... I'll go out there and do everything I can, put off the surgery till it's time to get it."
-- Merriman, showing an astonishing lack of concern for his own well being
"To be as simple as possible, I just want to play football ... That's what it came down to."
-- Merriman, showing a mind-boggling dedication to the game (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"I wasn't here in the past so I don't really know if he had a lack of dedication in the past ... I mean, I know what I read and I know what circulates in NFL circles. But when we sat down coming here, we said, 'We're going to give this guy every benefit of the doubt. And he's got to show us that he is dedicated.' And he's done everything that we've asked him to do. And we feel very good about our decision to extend him."
-- Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, on giving running back Ricky Williams a one-year contract extension, locking him up through the 2009 season (Miami Herald)
"Everybody wants to take the magic pill and go get the big name ... It's not always the big name that's the answer. This is what we're going with. As [Coach] Romeo [Crennel] said, maybe if we lose five guys, we'll make some calls."
-- Browns general manager Phil Savage, responding to being asked repeatedly if the Browns' weak secondary merited signing a free agent veteran (Ohio.com)
"I'd say we're on point for that [playing in the Colts opener]. That's certainly where I intend to be on Sunday."
-- Peyton Manning, who believes he is on course to play Week One (Colts.com)
"I think we've moved past that."
-- Tom Brady, on his injury affecting his ability to play once the regular season begins (Patriots.com)
"I didn't think he was going to fire me ... I thought I'd be here. I don't know any other way to explain it. I just didn't think that."
-- Oakland Head Coach Lane Kiffin, on not being fired by Raiders owner Al Davis this offseason (Sacramento Bee)
"I will do the same thing. We're going to kick it to him, show him and teach him a lesson."
-- Colts head coach Tony Dungy on whether he would kick to Devin Hester in the season opener. Colts fans hope he was joking
"It's like trying to say, hey, I'm going to go fight Muhammad Ali in his prime. It's a scary thing to do."
-- Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri on kicking to Hester.
"Out of an ego thing, I hate breaking your sword and kicking away or squib kicking and doing that stuff. I hate that. But there are definitely times when that's the smart thing to do."
-- Vinatieri (IndyStar.com)
"I'm not going to sit here and B.S. you and say I should have been home. People say it was 4 o'clock in the morning. But we're in Miami. We're not in Jacksonville, where everything closes at 2. In Miami, everything opens at 2. You take your nap and you go and have a good time and go home. I was trying to go home."
-- Jaguars running back Fred Taylor commenting on his disorderly conduct citation from Miami Police over the weekend. (ESPN.com)
"When you go and see the white tiger, there's always posted times when he gets to eat. The zookeeper posts that time and coach is the zookeeper. It's his decision on when I get to eat. I hope I get to eat on Sunday, but we will wait and see. I'm lobbying to be out there on Sunday, but that's his call."
-- Bucs wide receiver Joey Galloway regarding the deep meaning of his "white tiger" nickname from zookeeper Jon "Siegfried" Gruden (Tampa Tribune)
32 comments, Last at 06 Sep 2008, 6:25pm by The Hypno-Toad