Our offseason Four Downs series continues with a division-by-division look at each team's biggest remaining holes and their most notable UDFA signings. In the NFC North, quality wide receivers and defensive backs are in short supply.
01 Aug 2014
compiled by Rory Hickey
"I know I have to live up to the hype. If I'm even an inch below that standard, it'll be chaos." -- Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, predicting chaos if he does not live up to the hype surrounding him this season. Florida State is the preseason No. 1 team in the nation. (ESPN)
"I stand behind Ray. He's done everything right since. He makes a mistake, alright? He's going to have to pay a consequence." -- Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, responding to the NFL suspending Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games for a domestic violence incident. Rice will not appeal the suspension. (Twitter)
"Dabo probably thinks there's only, what, nine planets out there. I think I read where Pluto may not be considered one now." -- South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, after Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney joked that he and Spurrier were from different planets and that Spurrier was from Pluto and Swinney from Mars.
"We've never even been to [a BCS bowl]. I'll admit to that, although we beat them about every year. They get there and we don't. That's just the way it is. The SEC can only send two teams and the ACC sends two. We've got too many good teams going. That's just the way it's worked out. He's correct. But would you call the Orange Bowl a BCS bowl? [Clemson] won the national championship there in 1981. I asked Danny [Ford, Clemson's former coach], 'Have they completely forgotten about you and your team in '81?' He said, 'I think they have.’" -- Spurrier on Swinney’s comments last season that Clemson was the first team from South Carolina to win a BCS bowl. (ESPN)
"I wouldn’t have taken him. Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth… things will happen." -- Former Buccaneers and Colts coach Tony Dungy, causing a stir by saying he would not have drafted St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam. Dungy later attempted to clarify his comments. (The Tampa Tribune)
"I'd rather see -- I know people in Oakland won't like this -- the team back in Los Angeles. I think it's a viable option. ...We can't have them back at the [L.A.] Coliseum; the Coliseum now is USC's home. ...But there's some locations there that I know I've talked to a few owners [about] and I know that they've liked. I can't divulge my sources though."
"I just think it’s ripe right now, being the second largest market and being the entertainment capital of the world it’s almost necessary to have a team there. And I think with the corporate support and the brand that has already been there, that’s been established, that has a huge following, I think it’d be a no-brainer." -- Hall of Fame Oakland Raiders running back Marcus Allen, on wanting to move the Raiders back to Los Angeles. (Pro Football Talk)
"They didn't look like it was a consolation game on that first drive when they scored a touchdown and everyone thought they were going to rout us. I've been in plenty of those [non-national title games]. We've played in a bunch of national championship games, right? ... That's a good one. So that means I've got a built-in excuse the next time we don't play for a national championship?" -- Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, responding to Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s comments that last year’s Sugar Bowl was a ‘consolation game’
"Think about it: mathematically we play everybody; they [the SEC] don't play everybody. For instance Texas A&M. They play eight conference games. They have Lamar, Rice, SMU and Louisiana Monroe. Boy those are all a bunch of toughies, right? We have nine conference games. So if [Texas A&M] was fortunate enough to be in the SEC championship game, they would play nine conference games at the end of the day and they have all those four 'toughies' to go with it. We have nine conference games and we're playing Tennessee. In a few years we have Ohio State, we just came off a series with Notre Dame and Florida State. So that's like 10 conference games. If you're playing a tough non-conference schedule to go with nine [Big 12] games, that's a tough schedule." -- Stoops, discussing critics who thing that the Big 12 should add a conference championship game. (ESPN)
"It is never fun to get punched in the face, everybody knows that. But you have to take the high road in some situations. As much media attention as it got; it could have been a lot worse. It's something where you just live and learn, and put it in the past." -- Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who was sucker punched last weekend by an Alabama fan while at a bar after the fan said “Roll Tide” because of course.
I get Roll-Tided a lot. But it's all in good fun." -- Mettenberger (ESPN)\
"[Bleep] Seattle. Write it down. Take a picture."
"Some guys, that’s what they do to get ramped up. But when you step in between the lines, pads talk. Let your pads talk. That’s my mindset, that’s my demeanor when I go out on the field. Some guys are media guys. Some guys are cut different. But when you go to really looking at football and playing football, it’s between the lines. Buckle your chinstrap and let your pads talk, man." -- Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson, on the Seattle Seahawks, who defeated the Broncos in the Super Bowl. (Colorado Springs Gazette)
"I firmly believe that this is a people issue. If, in fact — to me, this is my opinion only, not representing CBS Sports, or News — if the name is offensive to a group of people, then do the right thing and change the name. It’s as simple as that." -- CBS Sports analyst James Brown, saying Washington should do the right thing and change their nickname. (Pro Football Talk)
"It’s a contract for a reason. We made a decision and it was signed, by us and by them. We expect them to honor their contract just as we will. We’re going to honor it and we expect them to do the same." -- Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, on running back Marshawn Lynch’s holdout, which ended yesterday. (USA Today)
"I still don't get that part of it. [Tebow]'s the second-most efficient passer ever to play college football. He had really good personnel around him [at Florida] and we utilized his skill very well. I think in a traditional setting, it is difficult, but there's a lot of non-traditional offenses now in the NFL." -- Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, voicing his confusion as to why Tim Tebow does not have a job in the NFL. (NFL.com)
"Who the f--- is Johnny Manziel? LeBron ain't your guy! You're not 'Johnny Football.' You're 'Johnny Rookie Bitch.'"
"They'd boo that motherf----- outta here. The fans would put him in his place." -- Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed, wondering who Johnny Manziel is and saying that he would not have been a good fit in Buffalo. (New York Magazine)
"I feel like Peyton is a far better leader, in terms of staying after practice, catching balls, wanting guys to get on the same page with him, things of that sort. This is the first time that I've had a quarterback that every single day after practice -- no matter what his accolades, NFL MVP, Super Bowl ring -- he keeps guys like me and [rookie receiver Cody] Latimer after practice… He's not one of those guys you've got to chase down. He's going to be right in the same spot, ready to work, every single day. I just feel like that's a difference from a mental standpoint." -- Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, saying that his new quarterback Peyton Manning is a better leader than his old quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. (Pro Football Talk)
"[Brian Hoyer]'s a lot like Tom Brady. When you look at the way he competes and the way he demands the most out of everybody around him, it's no coincidence that those guys played together. [Hoyer] has a lot of those same mental attributes and that's a great thing for a quarterback to have. He's the ultimate competitor, and no matter if we drafted a quarterback No. 1 overall, I knew that in his mind he expects to win the job because that's the type of competitor he is and the type of quarterback." -- Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, comparing quarterback Brian Hoyer to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"Based on the NFL's code of conduct, and the Vikings' code of conduct, this is something that deserves a significant amount of time. In the Bountygate [case in New Orleans], the head coach [Sean Payton] was suspended for a year. [Defensive coordinator] Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely. In the Miami investigation [of Jonathan Martin's bullying claims], a trainer [Kevin O'Neill] and a coach [offensive line coach Jim Turner] were fired. A DUI, it's a four-game suspension for that offense. I don't think that should be out of the norm [for Priefer's comments]." -- Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, criticizing the team's response to a six-month independent investigation into his allegations of homophobic behavior in the organization. (ESPN)
"What's the worst thing about the league? I said the draft. I mean, the hype that goes into the draft is insane. Totally insane. The biggest thing for me is that everybody thinks whoever you drafted or whoever you signed is now gonna be a savior. I think a lot of times the hype turns into really, really hard times for the individual who got picked, because there's so many expectations of everyone building them up to be Superman because they had three months to write about them and talk about them. Then when they get picked, they're a very, very good prospect, but there's a learning curve when you go from any job out of college into a company. If you take a job at Wells Fargo when you get out of college, your first day of the job they don't say, ‘He's our first-round draft pick, he's the savior to the company!" -- Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, when asked what the worst thing about the NFL was. (The MMQB)
"I don’t like it. I’m not a big fan of it. I think he looks kind of weird. He looks really unhealthy. The problem is, he’s walking around and checking himself out in the mirror, and he thinks he looks cool. He just looks bad. And I’ve told him that many times." -- Carolina Panthers’ center Ryan Kalil, on good friend and former left tackle Jordan Gross losing 70 pounds during the offseason.
"My wife’s freaking out. She says she’s having an affair on me with me. I’ve been asked if my brother plays pro football. People look at me funny. I was actually out on our boat, and this girl said, ‘Are you Jordan Gross?’ and I said, ‘No. He’s fatter than I am.’ And she said, ‘Yeah and you’re probably better at football than him, too." -- Gross, on the effects of his weight loss in which he went from 305 pounds to 235 pounds. (Black and Blue Review)
"I’m taking Foles. Not even close. Russell Wilson is just… because of that system he is in. Russell Wilson plays with that defense, the best in football. He just managed the game very well. I think Russell Wilson has played terrific, a great maturity, but I’m going to take Nick Foles." -- ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, saying he would rather have Eagles quarterback Nick Foles than Seahawks quarterback and Super Bowl championRussell Wilson. (Pro Football Talk)
"When you were in high school, you probably heard this one. When the Greek warriors attacked another nation, and they came by boat, the first thing the commanders did was say, ‘OK, burn the boats.’ And the idea stuck right away with them. They got it. ‘OK, listen, the only way we’re gonna get out of here … is to conquer the other group and take their boats.’ And that’s the whole thing. The idea is, there’s no turning back." -- New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, explaining the team’s new “burn the boats” mantra. (CBS New York)
"What you saw last year was almost a little disrespectful to the game of football. It's impossible to ask a player to perform well during the regular season if you haven't practiced. Last year at this time, he's still rehabbing his knee, he's not allowed to practice, he's not allowed to work in team drills at all because he's still rehabilitating himself. We put him, really, on the spot by trying to do that. And this year he's had a full offseason, his knee is 100 percent -- knock on wood -- and he's had all of that, and that's how you get ready to play a football season. Maybe in basketball you can go out and just play in games, but in football, when you're trying to synchronize 11 players on every play, you need to practice." -- Washington Redskins’ president and general manager Bruce Allen, revisiting playing Robert Griffin in Week 1 of last season. (DC Sports Bog)
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