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?
12 Sep 2008
Compiled by Peter DeBaz and Mark Zajack
"I thought it would be pretty cool to rock an outfit on the plane."
-Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers who wore a Civil War uniform (Union infantryman garb, complete with a hat) on the plane to the August 22 preseason game in Denver.
"Guys cut up quite a bit when they saw it. A lot of laughter. But I kept my earphones on, because I knew Coach (McCarthy) would not be very fond of my attire."
"He needs to get a real hobby."
-Packers coach Mike McCarthy on Aaron Rodgers.
"He's just different. Not in a bad way. He's very spontaneous, especially when it comes to his hair and his clothing selection. That's just his own little thing."
-Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings. (USA Today)
"We all know DeSean's a great football player. Only time will tell (how good). Let's hope he continues to stay hungry. If he does that, maybe we'll be talking about the Hall of Fame. It all depends if he stays hungry and doesn't let everything go to his head."
-Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown helping rookie wide receiver DeSean Jackson keep things in perspective. (Phillyburbs.com)
"The play before he was talking trash, and the next play he was on my highlight tape."
-Saints running back Reggie Bush, who beat Jermaine Phillips on the game-turning play after Phillips had taunted him on the previous play. (Canada.com)
"He can't be in a car and get shot. He can't be someplace where somebody spills some coffee on him. He can't be someplace at night. That's in the future, but now he can't be there."
- Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones on cornerback Adam Jones. ( Dallas News)
"Dude grabbed my [expletive]. I told that dude, 'You're lucky I'm trying to do better because I would have got 15 (yards) for kickin' your [expletive]. He grabbed them and squeezed them. ... If you want somebody to let the ball go, grab their [expletive]. I'll sure let go after that."
-Cowboys cornerback and returner Adam Jones, on becoming closely acquainted with Browns defensive back Nick Sorensen at the bottom of the pile after muffing a punt. (Star Telegram)
"He was surveying the field like he was at the beach, picking out honeys. And he had plenty of time to look."
-Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton, describing Tony Romo's ample time to throw against the Browns in the first half.
"I can’t say I have seen that. A couple of times, it was so long, I figured the ball had to be gone, and I’d missed it. Then I’d look back there, and Tony was still scanning the field. It was amazing."
-Cowboys center Andre Gurode. (Star Telegram)
"I messed that play up. Lawyer Milloy got that pick. I told him after the game I gift-wrapped that one for him."
-Lions wide receiver Roy Williams, on making the wrong adjustment on a route, resulting in an interception against the Falcons.
"I always wondered what it would feel like to break a record. It just happened."
-Falcons running back Michael Turner, who set a team record for single-game rushing yards and an NFL mark for most yards by a runner in his first game with a new team against the Lions.
"It happened, and it was bad."
- Lions head coach Rod Marinelli on what happened. (International Herald Tribune)
"Missed tackling can come from a lot of different ways. That's just the final result. I mean, wrong angles to the ball, misalignments, people not swarming to the ball -- it can be a number of things, and that's what happened."
-Lions linebacker Ernie Sims on the tackling against the Falcons … and what happened.
"The first thing, you keep the locker room tight -- no finger-pointing -- and you go out next week. It's the first game of the year. "
-Marinelli, convincing himself that maybe it never happened. (Detriot Free Press)
"I'm going bald. I'm getting old, man. I'm going to have that hair replacement surgery."
-Redskins running back Clinton Portis, answering a reporter’s question of whether he was growing a mohawk. (International Herald Tribune )
"He just turned around and jumped on my ankle."
-Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, accusing Redskins’ left tackle Chris Samuels of trying to injure him after getting beat. (New York Times)
"Honestly, I thought it was a dirty play,"Kiwanuka said. "There's no question about it. He was definitely beat and instead of recovering or giving up, I don't know how many options you had, but I just don't think there is any place for that in the NFL."
""On that particular play I was just trying to protect my quarterback. It was never my intention to go out there and injure another player."
-Samuels said through a Redskins spokesman. (Los Angeles Times)
"In your whole body of work as a player and as an administrator, you remember certain things. Sometimes a regular season game you just played the previous year, you may not remember any of the details. But games like that NFC Championship Game, you'll always remember ... And the loss to the Giants goes amongst those. The difference between winning and losing in this league is so minute, to be on the losing side is so disheartening, you have to try to shield yourself. The important ones like that one, I don't think you ever let it go."
-Packer general manager Ted Thompson.
"I wouldn't say it's the hardest thing I ever dealt with. The death of (San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman) Thomas Herrion in Denver in 2005 (when McCarthy was the offensive coordinator), to me that's a hard situation. You're talking about life and death. Here, we're talking about a career path change. I don't think there's any comparison."
-Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, when asked the most difficult thing he’s dealt with as a coach. (Wisconsin State Journal)
"It will all be OK. I’m excited to see what our team is made of … I still like our chances."
-Patriots QB Tom Brady, in an email to NBCSports columnist Tom Curran. (NBC)
"Each guy has a job to do -- a coach, a player, they have a job to do -- and they need to do it as well as they can. Really, that doesn’t change. He played one position, he played it very well, and there will be somebody else playing that position now. I have a lot of confidence in Matt and everybody else to do their job, just like they always like, like they always need to."
-Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, laying the party line on Tom Brady’s ACL injury. (NBC)
That's all luck … You don't practice 'Close my eyes and throw up a Hail Mary.'
-Dolphins Linebacker Joey Porter on Brett Favre's desperation touchdown heave on 4th and 14. (New York Post)
We’ve got to do a lot of things to Carson, you can’t just play standard coverages or he’s going to light you up ... It's funny, because in the preseason, we don’t show you fire zones on every snap.
-Baltimore Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan. (Carroll County Times)
"I don’t think we ran a single call today that we ran in the preseason. I kind of had to bite my tongue and watch it out there, but we’ve been working on those packages all along."
"Two thumbs up to him and what they did … It was unbelievable, and I told him after the game. I don’t know what they were playing. That’s some playground defense."
-Chad Ocho Cinco, checking off his "Who’s going to stop Ocho Cinco in dos mil y ocho"list.
"I definitely think those three games mattered... In the long scheme of things, it wasn't necessarily the games, but in the consistent practices and just being on the same page with the guys. But I did come back and practice all this week and we do have a game under our belt and another week to kind of get back those two weeks we lost."
-Browns Wide Receiver Braylon Edwards, on his admitted rustiness in the Browns’ 28-10 loss to Dallas.
"Oucho? I like Oucho. Oucho Cinco. That's great. He's Oucho right now, I saw him with that shoulder brace on the sideline looking real dejected yesterday. Baltimore took it to those guys. We'll just see how that shoulder is. Tell him to get his shoulder right. Oucho Cinco."
-Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck, when asked his feelings on Chad Ocho Cinco’s name change. (ESPN.com)
"It would surprise me."
-Cincinnati Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis, on Shaun Alexander saying that getting a call from the Bengals wouldn’t surprise him.
(Cincinnati Bengals )
"No. We lost. No. We lost. That’s all you take. We lost the game.
Kansas City Head Coach Herm Edwards, on whether he can take anything away from the loss to the Patriots. (KCChiefs.com)
"We would have gotten into a fight if I tried to take him out of the game. So, I wasn’t going to fight him. He’s too big. So he played, and good for him."
Edwards, on whether he considered not starting Rookie Guard Branden Albert.
"No, I’m not going to jump off that bridge with you, even though there are a lot of bridges here to jump off of..."
-Houston Guard Chester Pitts (Houston Chronicle)
"I told that dude, 'Man, you're lucky I'm trying to do better, because I would have got 15 yards for kicking your [rear]..."
-Titans Cornerback Adam Jones, claiming that Browns Safety Nick Sorensen "grabbed and squeezed his groin,"according to the Houston Chronicle. (From Dallas News.com)
"It's a tad bit, you know, depressing..."
-Cincinnati Guard Bobbie Williams, on a Bengals loss that prompted Cincinnati.com to ask, "Have you given up already?"
26 comments, Last at 14 Sep 2008, 3:17am by The Hypno-Toad