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DVOA has finally climbed on board the Wentz Wagon! The Eagles move into the No. 1 spot, but they aren't the only strong, well-balanced team in the NFL this year. New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and the Los Angeles Rams make this one of the best seasons ever for multiple teams over 30% in DVOA, and Minnesota isn't far behind.

16 Dec 2016

The Week In Quotes: December 16, 2016

by Rob Eves

Y'ARRR ME HEARTIES

"I told him a couple of times he looked like the Tampa Bay Bucs' mascot… I told him I couldn't tell whether he was winking or being serious."

-- Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison, making the obvious joke about head coach Mike Zimmer, who was back on the sidelines with a patch over his eye after surgery this week. (Star Tribune)

TOO MANY 69 JOKES FOR ONE SEASON

"(I chose 69) for exactly the reason you would think… because I wore 96 in college, and 96 was taken here… Everywhere I've been, when 96 was taken I got 69. Also -- because I'm big and nasty. That's why I wear 69. That's the truth."

-- Washington defensive lineman A.J. Francis, explaining why he chose to wear the number 69 jersey. (Washington Post)

MIGHT MAKE FOR A CATCHY POP SONG

"It looked like a middle school offense out there… I'm not even going to say nothing good to say then don't say it all… I really don't know. I really, really, really, really, really, really, really don't know."

-- Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, lamenting the Rams' offensive performance after yet another blowout loss against the Atlanta Falcons. Head coach Jeff Fisher was finally sacked this week after locking up his fifth non-winning season with the team, and the Rams suffered defeat again to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football. (Lindsey Thiry, Los Angeles Times)

BOUND TO END WELL

"I wanted to be a great special teams coach. And if that's the rest of my career, I'd be happy with that…. All of a sudden, there's a hundred cameras here. It's kind of tripping me out.

-- Rams new interim head coach John Fassel, formerly the teams' special teams coordinator, feeling a little overwhelmed by his new level of responsibility. (Jack Wang, Los Angeles Daily News)

GETTING THE EXCUSES IN EARLY

"Poopfest. It's terrible. We got home like one o'clock in the morning, something like that on Monday and then you've got to play again. Congratulations, NFL, you did it again. But they've been doing it all season, so I guess we're the last ones to get the middle finger."

-- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, complaining about the Thursday Night games, ahead of the Seahawks' game against the Los Angeles Rams last night. (ESPN)

CAN WE HAVE DRUG TESTS FOR COACHES?

"A lot of this talk is coming from our enemies. They like to tell that to the recruits and to their families and try to manipulate them into going to some other school besides Michigan, but we know them as jive turkeys."

-- Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh, dismissing rumors that he might be set to take the vacant Rams head coaching gig. (ESPN)

GREATEST FANS IN THE WORLD

"I get out of the car, and I look at it, and I read it -- they got the scoreboard on there, and it says Leodis this and that… And they put a… Testicles. Right there on the lawn."

-- Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Leodis McKelvin, recalling the time an irate fan spraypainted male sex organs on his lawn after he gave up a costly fumble playing for the Buffalo Bills against the New England Patriots back in 2009. (Philly Inquirer)

THANKS FOR CLEARING THAT UP

"Who? Who's that?… Did anybody see whatever he's talking about? OK, so in my head, it didn't happen. I mean, I don't know what he's talking about, man. He's stirring up the pot. I don't know. He doesn't like me. I don't like him. It is what it is."

-- Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril, describing his relationship with Green Bay Packers guard T.J. Lang, who claimed that Avril punched him below the belt during the Packers' win over the Seahawks on Sunday. (NBC Sports)

*TWILIGHT ZONE MUSIC PLAYS*

""Every time we had the ball, it just started turning on and staying on. Then it would stop… The ball has not bounced our way once."

-- Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, blaming the unfortunate timing of heavy rain for their 23-26 loss to the Miami Dolphins. (Associated Press)

THE DUDE ABIDES

"I was like, 'Oh.' They tell us not to yell at the refs, so I'm like, 'Whatever, man.'"

-- Detroit Lions center Graham Glasgow, recalling his reaction to being mistakenly penalized for illegal hands to the face instead of Chicago Bears defensive lineman Eddie Goldman, who in fact committed the foul against Glasgow. (Detroit Free Press)

SHIVERY ARM SUNDAY

"If you want to wear long sleeves, you're more than welcome to… I will not be wearing long sleeves on Sunday. You don't work this hard for arms in the offseason to wear sleeves."

-- Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, preparing for sub-20-degree weather in Missouri this Sunday as the Titans travel to Arrowhead to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. (ESPN)

…AND NOT THROW TO THE OTHER TEAM, 'MEMBER?

"I've gotta be a better tackler."

-- Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, furthering his plans to avoid pick-sixes as the Jags get set to take on the Texans this Sunday, against whom Bortles has thrown pick-sixes in his last three games. (Phillip Heilman, JAX.com)

I C WHAT U DID THERE!

"I love alphabet soup and I want to eat up 'W's'"

-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, feeling motivated heading into the final stretch of the season as he looks to get the Bucs back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. (Bucs Wire)

TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE

"That (guy) don't have no respect for people who paved the way before him. He's got to be the alpha dog. Arrogant motherf-cker."

-- Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones, cussing Cleveland Browns quarterback-turned-wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. (Jay Morrison, Dayton Daily News)

"Adam's too old for that stuff right now. I told him that after the game."

-- Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, reprimanding Jones for his choice of words. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

DELUDED

"People kind of agree or disagree, but I saw every single game and I know -- besides Kansas City -- yeah, we could right now (be) 10-3. That could be us if the ball bounces a little bit differently. It's been that type of year, hasn't gone our way."

-- Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, not anticipating making any changes to the coaching staff this offseason despite the Colts' struggles as he feels the team deserves a few more wins for their 25th-ranked DVOA performance this year. (Tom Pelissero, USA Today)

CLEVELAND'S CHRISTMAS GRINCH

"If you're one of the people out there that is planning a parade for 0-16, I will fight you… I will do everything in my power to stop that. I will talk to Senator Sherrod Brown, Mayor Frank Jackson, I'll talk to everyone I can. I swear to God… I'll be there and I will mow you down under my tires. I promise that… If you have that parade it will end ugly. I know billionaires, senators, mayors, governors. That is going to go away, mark my words. It ain't going to happen on my watch, I promise you that."

-- ESPN Cleveland radio host Tony Rizzo, fuming about apparent plans by Browns fans to host a parade if the team manages to go 0-16. Awful Announcing)

ELITE PARENTING

"I have four kids now. That's probably why I'm looking at it a bit more optimistically. It'll be good to get away from them."

-- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, looking forward to playing at London's Wembley Stadium next year as part of an expanded International Series. (Ryan Mink, Baltimoreravens.com)


THE WEEK IN GIFS, PICS & TWEETS

FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!

-- Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib gets into in on the sideline with Tennessee Titans wide receiver Harry Douglas in retaliation for a low block on his teammate Chris Harris Jr.

"He's got the same agent as me (Todd France), so when I see his ass in Atlanta I'm going to beat his ass."

-- Talib, threatening Douglas. (Mike Klis, 9News)

SWIMSUIT WEATHER

SPONSORED BY BLUE PILLS

-- The Indianapolis Colts' mascot, Blue, making a pass at Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller after he scored a touchdown at Lucas Oil Stadium to help the Texans to a 22-17 win.

COACH-ANGERING CELEBRATION OF THE WEEK

-- Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, celebrating his touchdown against the Tennessee Titans with a baseball pitch towards the stands, which of course qualifies as a penalty for using the ball as a prop.

RIDICULOUSLY OP

-- The Seattle Seahawks congratulating defensive end Cassius Marsh for his sack against the Rams on Thursday Night Football. Marsh, who recently lost $20,000 worth of Magic: The Gathering cards to a car prowler, will be participating in a charity tournament later this month.

Posted by: Rob Eves on 16 Dec 2016

19 comments, Last at 18 Dec 2016, 10:35pm by Raiderjoe

Comments

1
by TomC :: Fri, 12/16/2016 - 2:21pm

I recently re-watched that Bears-Lions game (because I am insane), and what jumps out is not either team or any player but how truly awful that officiating crew is. One tidbit of many: On the play after hands-to-the-face to the wrong team, Stafford is under pressure, a Lions OL pulls down a Bears pass rusher, and a flag comes out right at that moment and that spot. After a conference, Triplette calls holding on the *defense* and doesn't give the number of the guilty player. The Lions decline the penalty and take the result of the play, which was a 40-yard completion. So Triplette called a second consecutive penalty on the wrong team (this time on purpose) to try and make up for the first one. That alone should get him fired.

4
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 12/16/2016 - 4:53pm

Yea, Triplette's crew was a total disaster (as they usually are) for the whole game, but I agree with the comment below. I don't think he's smart enough to formulate such a plan.

2
by SandyRiver :: Fri, 12/16/2016 - 3:51pm

"on purpose" is a reasonable assumption, but only an assumption unless one can read Triplett's "mind." And that ignores the old proverb: "Never assume malice for that which can be attributed to incompetence."

3
by Joe Pancake :: Fri, 12/16/2016 - 4:00pm

I hated Harry Douglas' hit on Harris, but I kinda feel for him. At this stage in his career, he's a borderline guy who has to err on the side of being overaggressive to keep his job. Also, it was a technically legal hit -- the NFL should put in a rule penalizing diving at a guy's knees away from the play.

And I might not be so cocky if I was Talib; it looks to me as if Douglas gets the better of him in their brief skirmish -- solid double-leg take-down.

11
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 12/17/2016 - 1:12pm

a. talib, one of biggest rela life recidivist losers in nfl history, saiyng anoyhting about h. douglas is rich

5
by jds :: Fri, 12/16/2016 - 5:06pm

I agree with Richard Sherman. Thursday games are a poopfest (and that is before you start on those god awful color rush uniforms).

But I also saw today that Thursday games are worth $1 billion to the NFL. So that's not going away any time soon.

6
by TomC :: Fri, 12/16/2016 - 6:28pm

And yet I watch them. I hate myself as I'm doing it, but that doesn't stop me.

10
by tuluse :: Sat, 12/17/2016 - 12:25pm

Same.

7
by Joe Pancake :: Fri, 12/16/2016 - 6:43pm

I disagree and agree with Sherman. I like Thursday football because it's more football. I don't think the play is actually any worse than games at any other time, and if there is a difference, I suspect it is because the NFL doesn't seek out the marquee matchups for TNF like they do for other prime-time games.

However, I am 100% in lockstep with Sherman about the player-safety issues of TNF and the NFL's hypocrisy on this front. (Last night's game, in which four players go into concussion protocol, certainly wasn't a good look.) There is an easy fix to this -- only allow Thursday night games after teams' bye weeks -- but this would mean a few less Thursday night games, which, as you point out, seems unlikely given the revenue TNF brings in for the NFL.

8
by Jerry :: Sat, 12/17/2016 - 5:53am

Above and beyond the effects of a short week on players' health, the lack of time for preparation hurts. There's necessarily less time to break down film, and to install any new wrinkles a coach might otherwise like to.

I agree that teams should have their byes before Thursday games, but that's apparently too obvious a solution.

9
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sat, 12/17/2016 - 11:29am

Actually you can still have the current slate of 16 TNF games with every team getting a go if you put the bye week before TNF. There currently is no TNF on Week 17. So ditch week 2 and move it to week 17.

If the NFL wants to make more money, I really think they should re-explore the concept of two bye weeks thereby extending the regular season out over 18 weeks. They had that in the early 1990s and ditched it because they didn't have enough quality matchup with only 28 teams in the league. They don't seem to care anymore about whether there are enough quality matchups for all the time slots they now have. But given that it would help player safety/recovery and perhaps improve the quality of TNF, they might as well do it.

12
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 12/17/2016 - 1:28pm

somc scrsppy matchups can make games on any day a popofest .

13
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 12/17/2016 - 1:51pm

bad matchups going itno game-
week 5 ari-SF
week 7=-chi-gb
wweek 8- jax-ten
week 10 cle-bal
week la-sea

That is it folks. Some other games had decent matchups going in like jets-nills, dolphins-bengals, saints-pnathers, etc,

some of these games were high quality, interesting or fun games-
pantehrs-broncos- tight game all the way. unforatunely, broncos won

jets-bills (each tema over 9 yards per pass play. oen of best games of whole season

cowbioys-vikings- important and close game
raiders-chiefs- did not go good for Raiders, but game very important

Gaints-Eags- could turn out kinda meaningless if cboys and gaints both win in week 15 but if not this game will be big for N.Y.

All in all, when consider small sample size, think Thursdya games not really worse than other games.

Of course, league making bears, browns, 49erts play in some of these games was dumb planning. everyone knew those 3 teams would stink this season

players allowed thesegames to happen when agreed to it in cba. no ninterest in hearing Dick Sherman's takes on league matters. will be cool if/when Sherman eventuallyt gets blackballed out of league. in other professions, whiner leik that could end up floating in body of water. do not condone that but am just saying.

does not help league when getting pounded by anti-NFL people earlier in season and then you have guy like Sherman ripping league every chance he gets.

14
by jtr :: Sat, 12/17/2016 - 8:42pm

>Of course, league making bears, browns, 49erts play in some of these games was dumb planning. everyone knew those 3 teams would stink this season

Isn't the rule that each team plays exactly one TNF game per season? With the corollary that week 1 doesn't count since teams aren't still recovering from a (real) game the previous Sunday.
It makes sense in the name of fairness to set it up that way, but it also means that you have to give the Browns, Niners, etc at least one national TV game per year.

15
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 12/17/2016 - 10:43pm

Oh that's right. Pretty sure anyway now that you mention it. So then I have no problem wirh those dreg teams being on.

18
by xydux :: Sun, 12/18/2016 - 12:49pm

Wait a sec. Raiderjoe–you just posted something coherent with ONLY ONE TYPO.

19
by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 12/18/2016 - 10:35pm

yes, missed acomma there..

17
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sun, 12/18/2016 - 12:44pm

Thought it was interesting this year that they scheduled the Cowboys and Vikings on the TNF game following their Thursday Thanksgiving appearances.

16
by roguerouge :: Sun, 12/18/2016 - 9:41am

If you go to longer season with two bye weeks, you could give teams a bye before their Thursday night game AND have a bye for their London game, enabling further profits and progress to EU expansion.