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?
23 Jan 2009
compiled by Mark Zajack
"The message to the rest of the league is 'Hey, the Jets are coming. We're going to give you everything we got, and that's going to be, I think, more than you can handle.'"
-- Jets new head coach Rex Ryan, on how he wants his new team to play.
"I think you're going to see a drastic change in maybe some of the style of play, in particular on defense. Read and react is for somebody else. We're going to be attacking from the whistle and not to the whistle but through the whistle. We're going to turn the heat up and let the fur fly and see what happens."
"You've heard of the KISS philosophy, which is Keep It Simple Stupid. That's for somebody else. Ours is a KILL philosophy."
-- Ryan, who went on to say that the "L"s stand for "likable" and "learnable."
"I'm excited about getting to know all our players. I'll start knocking off about four or five a day, and when it gets down to the F's I'll talk to Brett."
-- Ryan, on the inevitable "F"-ing endless questions about the quarterback position. (ESPN.com)
-- Former Lions head coach and new Bears defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, when approached at the Senior Bowl by three Lions beat reporters. (MLive.com)
"The best way for me to describe it is that every minute of every day is fourth-and-1 to Gunther."
-- Lions new head coach Jim Schwartz, on his new defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham.
"He's one of the most aggressive people that I've met. Generally, the people who work with him love him and the people who work against him hate him. The reason is because he views the people who work against him as the enemy."
-- Schwartz, on Cunningham. (MLive.com)
"The first day, I had my phone on vibrate and it rang so many times that it was actually hot. I literally picked it up and it was hot to the touch. I'm not used to 600 phone calls in a day. I generally don't spend a lot of time on the phone, I spend a lot of time watching film."
-- Schwartz, on a major difference between the head job and being a coordinator. (MLive.com)
"I can tell you this, we had a difference of opinion in how we saw the current Lions and going forward. That was probably the biggest thing in my interview. We had a different perception. I'd rather not get into [the specifics]. But we had different perceptions of where to go and the length of time to get there. We were really far apart in that."
-- Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, on a potential reason why he was not called back for a second interview with the Lions. (Detroit News)
"You try to get married in another country, you talk about paperwork. This paperwork around here is nothing."
-- Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, who planned to marry his wife, Maria, in Rome, but was missing some paperwork.
"I had read somewhere that if you got married at the Vatican, you didn't need this piece of paper because the Vatican has its own rules because it's its own country."
"That was an act of God or divine intervention."
-- Spagnuolo, on a last-minute cancellation that allowed them to get married. (Belleville News-Democrat)
"If you had said at the beginning of these playoffs that it was going to be Pittsburgh-Arizona, there might have been a little sense of, 'Oh, I don't know if that's the best matchup for NBC or for the Super Bowl.' But now when you look at what this Arizona Cardinals team has done ... this is an opportunity to see one of the best against one of the best."
-- NBC commentator Cris Collinsworth, backtracking on his "worst playoff team in history" assessment of the Cards when the playoffs began. (The Arizona Republic)
"He's a Bears fan first, he admits that. But he's a Steelers fan. He's said it, and all his staff, they're rooting for us [in the Super Bowl]."
-- Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who delivered a game ball from their victory in the AFC championship game Sunday to Barack Obama. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"It's a blessing. God had mercy on us, saying, 'If I send you to Detroit, then I'm going to have to send you to Tampa, too.'"
-- Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, on playing the Super Bowl in a warm weather town. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
20 comments, Last at 29 Jan 2009, 7:50pm by BroncosGuy