Short-yardage passing had a good year, except at the end of the Super Bowl. We look at the return of quarterback runs, the rise in pass-happy strategy, and 2014 success rates for offense and defense.
04 Feb 2011
compiled by Rory Hickey
"It drives Coach (Mike) Tomlin crazy because he wants me to put myself in that category and I don't know, I guess I like being the hunter and not the hunted. That's my best explanation, I guess."
-- Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger explaining why he doesn't put himself in the same category as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and other elite quarterbacks by invoking a phrase I'm sure he's never used before (Steelers Depot)
"That's a great piano song, isn't it? You've got to request that when you're at the piano bar."
-- Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger breaking down why he requested Billy Joel's Piano Man when out with teammates on Tuesday night, a time during which he totally should have been breaking down second-and-long situational defenses or something (Shutdown Corner)
"I don't want to hurt nobody. I don't want to step on nobody's foot or hurt their toe. I don't want to have no dirt or none of this rubber on this field fly into their eye and make their eye hurt. I just want to tackle them softly on the ground and if you all can, we'll lay a pillow down where I'm going to tackle them, so they don't hit the ground too hard ... Mr. Goodell."
-- Steelers linebacker James Harrison delivering a message for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at Super Bowl Media Day (Washington Post)
"The beard -- the beard is why we're here. It's unleashed Super Bowl powers on our whole team and hopefully it can win us one more."
-- Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel on the mystical power of his ridiculously long beard (Pro Football Talk)
"We knocked the Eagles and the Falcons and the Bears off. Now we 'bout to cut Troy Polamalu's hair off"
-- Rapper and Packers fan Lil' Wayne in his Packers-themed response to Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow," which has become an anthem for Steelers fans (CBS News)
"The Packers are in the Super Bowl without [Favre], but he hangs over them like Banquo's ghost."
"Jets and Bears would have been the greatest Super Bowl. Now it's Rapistberger and the Cheeseheads. The Cheesy Rape Burger."
-- Actor Jeremy Piven expressing his displeasure at this year's Super Bowl matchup (TMZ)
"Hosni Mubarak, the Al Davis of the Arab League."
-- ESPN Senior Writer Jeff MacGregor, drawing a parallel between the NFL and the recent events that have transpired in Egypt (Twitter)
Parent: We need to fax your letter of intent to the school tomorrow.
Recruit: What does fax mean?
-- An exchange between an anonymous recruit and his parent leading up to National Signing Day (CNBC's Darren Rovell's Twitter)
"I went from a zero-star prospect to a two-time All-American. Put that in your pipe and smoke it."
-- Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald's thoughts on how analysts view the players in his recruiting class (Chicago Tribune)
"It was a shock. The main thing we realized, he's not immortal. He's real. He's not a machine."
-- Colts receiver Reggie Wayne on how he reacted to quarterback Peyton Manning's struggles at various points of the season (Pro Football Talk)
"I kept telling [my girlfriend] during the AFC Championship game, 'Don't let your water break!' I got all hyped up, but she tried to stay relaxed."
"It's pretty awesome. I got a new baby and a new Terrible Towel. Couldn't ask for anything more."
-- Joe Laffey, 34, of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, after the staff at a hospital in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, wrapped up 10 newborns in Terrible Towels last week in celebration of the Steelers' run to Super Bowl XLV (Upper St. Clair Patch)
The big game is almost here. Get in your final prop bets on whether Blake Griffin will score more points than the Packers, what Fergie will be wearing during halftime and whether Brett Favre's head will actually explode if the Packers win.
Send a quote to quotes-at-footballoutsiders.com for the final column of the season next week.
12 comments, Last at 26 Feb 2011, 12:49pm by tornadohunter006