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?
15 Nov 2013
compiled by Rory Hickey
"It's the little brother that, big brother wants to go out and play with his friends and the little brother is annoying, [saying], 'Hey, can I go?' No, you can't go, Detroit Lions. Sit back. Sit in your little city. Fix your financial problems and all of that, you know. You can't come with us right now. But right now, they've got the best of us. They beat us twice. They swept us. But what matters is when we see them in the playoffs. It'll be a great show. It's gonna be tough. But I guarantee it's not gonna go down like it did the first two games." -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, after the Detroit Lions beat the Bears for the second time this season (ESPN Chicago)
"I didn’t say he shopped for bad groceries. He shopped for good players ... Like we said, he just cannot cook. You know, sometimes grandma gets too old. She know what to go in the grocery store and get, but she just cannot whip it up like she used to." -- Former Washington Redskin Fred Smoot, describing Mike Shanahan’s coaching skills (Shutdown Corner)
"I think we’d wipe the floor with both of them." -- Ohio State wide receiver Evan Spencer, on how his Buckeyes would do against fellow undefeated teams Alabama and Florida State (College Football Talk)
"It’s another adjective for being shifty, so they called me Wiggles a lot in college. I’ve had a whole bunch of nicknames, but that one stuck. Being wiggly is what I have been described as." -- Tennessee Titans kick returner Devon Wylie, on how he got his nickname 'Wiggles' (The Tennessean)
"About a C-minus. It was effective, but style points were poor." -- Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, on Marshawn Lynch’s throw back to Russell Wilson on a gadget play that became a 43-yard TD pass (NFL Nation Blog)
"We thought it was best for us to go in the direction that we are, and it doesn't look good right now." -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, on firing defensive coordinator Rob Ryan last season after Ryan’s new team, the Saints, defeated the Cowboys 49-17 on Sunday night (ESPN Dallas)
"The great thing about this year is that the NFC East is so terrible. You look at it and we're in Week , and our leader is 5-5. So even at 3-6, we're conceivably still in this thing. Every team has been so bad; nobody's really been able to separate themselves, so that's good for us. That's good for everybody [in the division]." -- Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, giving reporters his assessment of the NFC East (Philly.com)
"No, I never [thought I’d be back], but standing here right now I’m glad I am. I’m extremely happy to be back, extremely happy to be back with people who are familiar with me, see familiar faces and an offense I’m very comfortable with."
"I was here for four years. It was a very familiar routine." -- Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn, on what it feels like to be back in Green Bay after the Packers signed him this week (Pro Football Talk)
"I think [leadership] is a problem. I think it is super important to have leadership and I don't think he [Robert Griffin III] really is the leader… I don't know if they have a leader… London Fletcher is but I've been that old player before and you're a moral leader, people love you and respect you, but you're really not the leader. You're not. If you play a long time and really you shouldn't be, to many extents, because in my opinion, the leadership should come from the offensive side of the ball because the game is such an offensive based game." -- Hall of Famer Darrell Green, on the Redskins’ lack of leadership (Eye on Football)
"Mariano Rivera – I want to go out like him. He got hurt and said, ‘Naw, I’m not going out like that. I’ll be back.’ That’s my goal. I can’t go out with an injury and just call it quits. I can’t do that."
"My goal for going out, as far as retiring from this game, I want to go out like Ray Lewis. He knew he’d played his last game at the Baltimore Ravens stadium. I don’t dance as cool as he does, but he went around and it was like this joyous occasion. … To me, that’s going out with style. That’s going on with class. I kind of envisioned Lance [Briggs] and I doing something similar." -- Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, currently on injured reserve, on what he plans to do next year (670 the Score)
"I went through the tape closely this morning, and watched Jay’s performance, and I thought he did well into the fourth quarter. But at the end of the day, you know, if we had to do it all over again, maybe it would be one series before the two-minute drill." -- Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman, on Monday admitting that perhaps he should have taken out Jay Cutler in favor of Josh McCown a little bit sooner (CBS Chicago)
"It's disgusting. I'm disappointed. I'm embarrassed. A team that's 0-8 comes in here and beats us? Beats us on our home field, that's 0-8, the Jaguars? Come on. Talking about first place? Talking about first place? We just got whooped by the Jaguars. We ain't talking first place no more. It's out the window. We've got to come back and play the Colts. I don't know how everybody's gonna handle it. I mean, we lost to the Jaguars." -- Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker, after the Titans fell to the previously winless Jaguars (Titan Insider)
"You win with good people on and off the field. They took a chance on a guy with a bad reputation and it backfired on them." -- Former Dolphins head coach Don Shula, weighing in on Richie Incognito (Miami Herald)
"He is a heckuva player. He's fun to watch. He makes all kinds of plays. He's got all the playmaking ability to be a great player. [There are] guys like [Manziel] in this league. Russell Wilson and his ability to run the football and extend plays outside the pocket and throw the ball down the field. Intermediate [routes], I mean he can do it all." -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel
"Yeah, absolutely." -- Brees, on if Manziel could be a starter in the NFL (FOX Sports)
"The type of team we have over there, we have people who want to step up and be a man at the end of the day and to be able to hold your own. It would be kind of hard to put my trust in a guy to go out there every Sunday and hold his own. At the end of the day he wasn't a rookie any more, he was a second-year guy. It wasn't like a big offensive lineman picking on a kicker or a receiver or something. Both of those guys are really big guys. At the end of the day you have to step up and be a man and handle your own." -- Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson, saying it would be hard for him to put his trust in a guy like Jonathan Martin (Eye on Football)
"Yeah, we kinda owe them a couple knockdowns, you know what I’m saying? That’s how we feel as a team. And we know it’s gonna be physical. They know it’s gonna be physical. It’s been physical every time we play these guys. And those guys winning the last couple, we definitely feel like we gotta go out there and get the job done." -- New Orleans Saints guard Jahri Evans, on facing the San Francisco 49ers defense (NFL Nation Blog)
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