Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Mar 2015

The Month In Quotes: February 2015

by Rory Hickey

RICE OVER LOATHING

"Honestly, I almost felt like at one point that it wasn't worth living. I see why people commit suicide. It hurt that bad. I was low, real low. It hurt that bad because you worked your whole life to do all the right things and then you're the world's most hated person. It was tough. It was really tough. I got low to a place where I've never been."

-- Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, openly reflecting on his time away from the NFL in a lengthy question and answer session. (Baltimore Sun)

WAIT, IS CORRUPTION A BAD THING?

"I'm a big fan of Jimmy Haslam and what he's doing."

-- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, voicing his support for Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslem despite Haslem being hurt by criticism that he has brought nothing but misery and instability to the Browns' franchise. (CBS Local: Cleveland)

AS LONG AS IT'S NOT OUR BANK

"Do you hope that Torrey doesn't break the bank out in the open market so we can get him for our number? That's a hard thing to say. I care about the kid, I want to maximize his earnings… some of the numbers thrown out there we can't match. We don't have that kind of space... The difference between what we can pay Torrey and what he gets on the open market, umm, Mike Wallace got $10 million. I don't think anyone thinks that was a good deal. And so there is always a team that has lots of money that wants to bring in playmakers and those guys are going to get those deals."

-- Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, explaining that Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace is a potential cautionary tale for wide receiver Torrey Smith in free agency. (Eye on Football)

MAN, PANTHERS ARE COLD

"When she died, I called Coach Rivera. Right after that, Dave Gettleman called. He was like 'Man, we're praying for you.' I was like 'I really appreciate it, thank you so much.' That was the end. That was it. No one came to the funeral. The owner didn't reach out. One player came. And there's nothing he can say or do in my eyes that is bad. All the players around the league, all the players in the locker room, they texted, they called. But Greg Hardy showed up."

-- Former Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams, detailing how only one person from the Panthers organization, defensive end Greg Hardy, showed up to his mother's funeral. (WBTV)

SO YOU DON'T WANT TO SPEAK BUT I HAVE TO SEE YOUR DUMB SLOGAN?

"I'm just here so I won't get fined."

-- Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch's phrase that he has now applied to get trademarked. (The Seattle Times)

AND YOU HAVE TO KEEP ONE FOOT IN THE BATTER'S BOX

"Personally I don't want to kick a 19-yard field goal to win a game, and then miss a 35-yard extra point in Green Bay when it's 20 degrees to lose a game. So that's my position. I think it would be too drastic of a change, me personally."

"There will be a discussion. It's going to be difficult to change it -- particularly because of the standard and replay. It's one of those areas where I think we have two standards. The bang-bang on-the-field call and then the replay standard, where it's frame-by-frame-by-frame. I just think that we have to have a rule that is defined -- that's a bright line -- so it can be officiated. And I think we have that with the catch now."

-- St. Louis Rams head coach and competition committee member Jeff Fisher, laying out his position on moving extra points back and saying that changing the catch rule will be difficult. (MMQB)

WHEN MILLEN HAS CONCERNS, YOU KNOW SOMETHING IS UP

"I keep talking to him, I ask him questions and he looks at his watch. I said, 'You got some place you need to be?' And he goes, 'Oh, no, no, no. I'm sorry. Sorry, sir.' So I ask him another question, he looks at his watch and I said, 'You're done, get out of here.' So I'm done, I can't believe what I just witnessed, and so I call Al [Davis]. I get on the phone and I say, 'Coach, I don't know what you're thinking, but don't take JaMarcus Russell. Don't take Calvin Johnson, but don't take JaMarcus Russell. Coach, the guy's a stiff. He couldn't pay attention for five minutes. He couldn't even pretend."

-- Former NFL executive and player Matt Millen, describing how he warned then Raiders owner Al Davis to not draft quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the No. 1 overall pick. (95.7 The Game)

SHOULD THEY GRAB A WINSTON?

"Bad guy or immaturity? I'm leaning toward the latter. But I'd be lying if I said I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the off-field stuff. It's always in the back of your mind. We're people too. We have wives and daughters and bosses to answer to. And at the end of the day we will do the kind of due diligence the likes of which I don't believe the Bucs will have ever done. This decision is going to affect so many people and their families. We've got to get it right."

-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, saying that he would be lying if he said he did not think about Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston's off-field issues. (The MMQB)

PLUS THE AMOUNT OF TIME THEY TOOK TYPING MY NAME…

"They are obviously very talented guys… If they were here I think they would say the same thing: If we had to compete out there, I think I'd beat them out."

-- Tennessee Titans incumbent starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger, saying that he would beat out either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota in a quarterback competition. (NFL Nation Blog)

MALCOLM BUTLER COMMITTING PLAGARISM IN 3... 2... 1

"One yard. I'd be lying if I said I haven't been thinking about that one yard for the past 17 days. Everyone wants to know how I feel. Well... it's complicated. Walking off that field in Arizona and seeing disappointed Seahawks fans in the stands was anguish. How could I not feel like I let them down? I tried to be positive, but I'm not perfect. I have been away from the game for almost three weeks, trying to escape football and clear my mind. But the funny thing is, I've never felt hungrier to get in the weight room and the film room, and keep pushing until we get to Super Bowl 50."

-- Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, in an interview saying that the 1 yard that came between him and back-to-back Super Bowl wins still haunts him. (ThePlayersTribune.com)

WHEN THE MOON HITS YOUR EYE LIKE A BIG MUSCLED GUY, THAT'S AMARI

"Well, I certainly want to be the best receiver, not just in the this class but overall wherever I go. And I'm going to work hard to try to be that."

-- Wide receiver Amari Cooper, saying that he wants to be the best receiver wherever he goes in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Eye on Football)

UGH, ARE WE DOING THIS FOR ANOTHER YEAR, BENGALS?

"I don't think I did a good enough job of getting him to where I think he needs to be. That's one of my biggest responsibilities in my mind this upcoming year."

-- Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, taking responsibility for quarterback Andy Dalton not playing up to a higher level. (ESPN)

ELITE OR ELITEST?

"You bet he is. He helped me, that's probably why I'm standing here today."

-- New Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, when asked whether ex-pupil Joe Flacco was elite. (Eye on Football)

YOU'D HAVE A STUPID COLOR CHANGE

"Think about where we'd be now if we had drafted Teddy Bridgewater."

-- An anonymous Cleveland Browns player, to a reporter, pondering what direction the Browns franchise would currently be headed if they had drafted Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. (Bleacher Report)

I MEAN, HE WAS DRUNK

"No one's ever been better. No one's ever been better than Tom Brady, I don't believe. And I go back to watching the guys earlier in some of the darker days, in the '50s. One of my first heroes was Otto Graham. Come on, 10 straight title games in Cleveland. He was just spectacular. Bobby Layne was a unique quarterback, really terrific. Getting into the modern era, Peyton Manning has had his wonderful performances. Don't tell me anybody is better than Aaron Rodgers, either. Better than, better than, better than. The best, the best, the best. To each his own. I have a hard time calling anybody in any sport 'the best' because of the changes in the game, certainly, and because of the greats that were ahead of them. But I will say, no one has ever played the game better than Tom Brady."

-- Hall of Fame New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath, saying that no one has played the quarterback position better than current Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. (The MMQB)

WHAT IS CRAZY TO GRONK?

"Sometimes chicks are crazy...I don't got a girlfriend"

-- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, explaining his love life. (Twitter)

Posted by: Rory Hickey on 06 Mar 2015

14 comments, Last at 09 Mar 2015, 5:17pm by ChrisS

Comments

1
by Guido Merkens :: Fri, 03/06/2015 - 3:19pm

You can just tell that kicking a 19-yard field goal to win a game is peak Jeff Fisher.

2
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 03/06/2015 - 3:57pm

Millen's story makes no sense. Why on earth would you discourage the team drafting ahead of you from taking a bad player? He almost sabotaged one of the 3 good draft picks he made as a GM. Millen's either lying, or he's a total moron. Actually, both of those possibilities are equally likely.

3
by theslothook :: Fri, 03/06/2015 - 4:02pm

Lol...yeah...I was thinking the same thing the whole time. I actually blame the Ford's, who kept Millen in charge for an unfathomably long time. One wonders, if the Lions hadn't actually finished 0-16, he might STILL be the Gm.

14
by ChrisS :: Mon, 03/09/2015 - 5:17pm

Based on Russ Thomas's decades of futility you are probably right, or maybe until WCF died (his son seems more accountability oriented).

4
by mehllageman56 :: Fri, 03/06/2015 - 6:19pm

I listened to most of the interview. Being an ex-Raider, Millen couldn't lie to Al Davis. Davis would call him up the night before the draft and ask him who he was taking, and he'd tell him the truth. It didn't sound like he was lying, because it does make him look worse. So yes, Millen was a terrible GM partly because he was loyal to the team that formerly employed him.

5
by Independent George :: Fri, 03/06/2015 - 10:47pm

Yes, but if you were an NFL GM and Matt Millen said not to take a player, wouldn't that make you at least give him a second look? Maybe Millen was attempting a reverse Mind Trick, and induced Davis into not taking Megatron.

8
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sat, 03/07/2015 - 10:19am

Actually, the reverse mind-trick thing is a brilliant explanation....and it apparently worked! Although it was likely unintentional on Millen's part.

6
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sat, 03/07/2015 - 3:20am

I'm left wondering whether JaMarcus sat there acting like a space cadet because he knew he didn't want to get drafted by Detroit. If I was sat there in front of a shitty GM for a shitty franchise, knowing I wouldn't want to play for them then I'd probably be looking at my watch.

7
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sat, 03/07/2015 - 8:37am

You might be giving JaMarcus a little too much credit. He certainly hasn't shown that level of foresight and intellect otherwise.

9
by RickD :: Sat, 03/07/2015 - 2:21pm

And what ended up happening? The Raiders drafted JaMarcus Russell. Al Davis either ignored the phone call or he thought Millen was bad-mouthing him just to make sure Russell would be available.

Judge the conversation by the results: the Raiders took Russell and the Lions got Calvin Johnson, by far the better option.

FWIW, I don't think Millen is lying here. Which leaves the other option...

10
by Jerry :: Sat, 03/07/2015 - 10:25pm

I've had the impression that Al's guys were incredibly loyal.

11
by Paul R :: Mon, 03/09/2015 - 10:24am

Boy, that Ray Rice quote really makes me want to hold his head under the water for a few minutes.

*glug glug glug*
"Do you get it now, Ray?"
"Nobody likes me! Poor me!"
*sploosh! glug glug glug*
"How about now, Ray?"
"But I worked so hard to be the best!"
*sploosh! glug glug glug*

12
by SandyRiver :: Mon, 03/09/2015 - 11:19am

Don't know if it was part of the same interview, but I read some recent Ray R. quotes where he talked about the awfulness of what he did and hoped that his future actions might help prevent others from making the same terrible choices. If it was the same Q&A, seems like a bit unfair to excerpt just that "It's all about me" lameness.

13
by bravehoptoad :: Mon, 03/09/2015 - 12:28pm

WHEN THE MOON HITS YOUR EYE LIKE A BIG MUSCLED GUY, THAT'S AMARI

The quote's nothing, but that title!