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» Four Downs: NFC East

Your reigning Super Bowl champs look well-prepared to defend their title, while Dallas, New York, and Washington are in dire need of defensive help. Plus: Each team's impending free-agent losses, including the subject of the hottest bidding war ever.

09 Feb 2018

The Week In Quotes: February 9, 2018

by Cale Clinton

MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE

"I don't know what it was. I guess I wasn't playing good or they didn't feel comfortable. I don't know. But I could have changed that game."

-- New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler was emotional after being inexplicably benched from all defensive snaps during Super Bowl LII. Many are still confused as to why Butler was sidelined; while several reports giving reasons as to why Butler did not play have emerged, Butler has refuted them. (Mike Reiss/Twitter)

"I respect Malcolm's competitiveness. I'm sure he felt he could've helped. I'm sure the players felt the same way. In the end we have to make the decisions that we feel are best for the football team."

-- New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's response as to why Butler was sidelined. (Mark Daniels/Twitter)

"Lost the game for us tonight, stupid decision and makes no sense. You make the decision to give us the best chance to win. But u don't play your best cornerback. F*ck the Politics."

-- Former Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner posted this caption accompanied with a picture of Belichick on Instagram. The post was liked by former Patriots players Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones, as well as current Patriot Dont'a Hightower. (Brandon Browner/Instagram)

     

PARTY ON, LANE

"I'm probably going to get drunk, to be honest with you. Next question."

-- Philadelphia Eagles lineman Lane Johnson gives a pretty blunt answer as to how he's going to celebrate his first Super Bowl victory (Will Brinson/Twiter)

FLY EAGLES FLY

"I told y'all, man, we believe. We don't care who we was playing … I Know Tom Brady. Respect him. Probably one of the greatest ever. But hey, he hadn't played the Eagles yet. He didn't play the Eagles, not the 2017-2018 Eagles."

-- Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery proves that sometimes, you just have to believe. (NFL/Instagram)

NOT VERY SCIENTIFIC

"Somebody please explain how asparagus does it. And you know what I mean by 'it.'"

-- Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum asks a pretty innocent question on Twitter…

"I'll tell you how if you explain how you're a soft ass bitch and cry about opponent teams fan base after you get your ass handed to you by 31 you Charmin ass b****"

-- … which was met with some Twitter-esqe responses.

"Doesn't seem to be much science behind that one."

-- I think I'm with Case on this one. Wonder if he ever found out about that asparagus thing? (Case Keenum/Twitter)

YEAH I GUESS THAT WOULD BE NICE

"Throwing to Engram, Shep, and Odell wouldn't be too bad."

-- NFL draft prospect Baker Mayfield likes the idea of throwing to one of the best young receiving corps in the league in Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and Odell Beckham. The Giants have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft and could target a quarterback with their pick. (The Checkdown/Instagram)

     

THAT'S MY WIDE RECEIVER

"Congrats, man. Yes, I wasn't a supporter but I sincerely hope this brings you joy, peace and a new level of respect. You were a tremendous football player. Be a good teammate to your fellow HOFers. Congrats."

-- Fox Sports talking head Jason Whitlock quote-Tweeted Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens' celebratory HOF induction post with this comment. Whitlock has notoriously voiced his opinion against Owens entering the Hall due to his bravado and locker room presence.

"Kick rocks."

-- Owens' response. (Terrell Owens/Twitter)

IT WOULDN'T BE FAIR TO EVERYONE ELSE

"Their whole life, they never won a Super Bowl. You have to let someone else win sometimes."

-- Supermodel and wife of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady Gisele Bündchen turns the Patriots' Super Bowl LII loss into a teaching moment for her children (First Coast News/Twitter)

QUESTIONABLE CALLS

"[Zach Ertz] takes 17 steps and Collinsworth says he thinks they have to overturn it [several crying laughing emojis] … He also thought it's my job to run with Tom Brady w QB wheel route on a reverse pass. Lmao."

-- Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long had some comments for NBC color commentator Cris Collinsworth upon Long's first televised viewing of Super Bowl LII (Chris Long/Twitter)

...RIVALRY?

"The rivalry is back on."

-- Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard ended his press conference about Josh McDaniels with this quote. The Patriots offensive coordinator agreed to be the Colts' new head coach, then decided to return to New England. The Colts have a 3-10 record against Tom Brady and have not beaten the Patriots since 2009. So much for rivalry. (Laces Out/Twitter)

NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT THAT WAY

"Signing Day is a little bit unusual for me, because in pro football, you get to draft them. In college, they get to pick you!"

-- Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards is still getting used to how this whole "college" thing works. (Stewart Mandel/Twitter)

THIS WEEK IN BASEBALL

We've admired Russell's career from afar for quite some time. This is a unique opportunity for us to learn from an extraordinary athlete who has reached the pinnacle of his profession. After talking to a number of our players, there is a genuine excitement in having Russell join us for a short time in camp. We are all looking forward to gaining insight into how he leads teammates toward a common goal, prepares on a daily basis for the rigors of his sport, and navigates the successes and failures of a season."

-- New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman acquired the rights to Texas Rangers second baseman (and Seattle Seahawks quarterback) Russell Wilson this week. (ESPN.com)

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA

ALL TIME FLEX

-- Memories of Minneapolis come flooding back as Eagles players clean out their confetti-filled lockers.

HASSELBECKSTRODAMUS

-- ESPN personality Tim Hasselbeck called Nick Foles' success far enough back that two of the four quarterbacks featured here are no longer in the league.

THE TB12 METHOD NEGLECTS GOOD CATCHING WORKOUTS

@ab's got jokes

A post shared by Bleacher Report (@bleacherreport) on

-- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown offers to help out Patriots quarterback/wide receiver dual threat Tom Brady after Brady drops a crucial catch in the Super Bowl.

NOW HERE'S A GUY WHO PLAYED QUARTERBACK IN THE NFL WHO CAN CATCH

-- Philadelphia Eagles head coach (and former Dolphins/Packers/Eagles/Browns/Packers again quarterback) makes a one-handed catch of a beer thrown to him during the team's Super Bowl parade. Let's not overlook that this was an inch-perfect throw, by the way.

GET A RING, GIVE A RING

-- So this is what Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was doing while Nick Foles was out there winning Super Bowls.

IS SOMEONE CHOPPING ONIONS?

-- Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce's emotional post-game press conference is why we love sports.

COLTS HAVE SOME VISORS TO RETURN

-- Someone on the Colts social media team spent their week coming up with good Josh McDaniels tweets only to have to delete them all.

SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS CAN DRESS HOWEVER THEY WANT

-- Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jason Kelce had a better week than you.

Posted by: Cale Clinton on 09 Feb 2018

22 comments, Last at 16 Feb 2018, 6:10pm by LionInAZ

Comments

1
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 02/09/2018 - 5:54pm

It was interesting watching out-of-towners unfamiliar with the Mummers trying to grasp what Kelce was wearing.

"Deranged Aladdin" was amusing, though.

4
by Kevin from Philly :: Sat, 02/10/2018 - 1:39pm

My first thought was that he had robbed the grave of the Iron Sheik

6
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sat, 02/10/2018 - 2:33pm

He's singing the Millwall FC song.

Can someone explain to ignorant me and explain why he is wearing that garb?

10
by dbostedo :: Sat, 02/10/2018 - 8:42pm

It's a Philly thing I guess : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mummers_Parade

11
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 02/10/2018 - 10:28pm

In New Orleans, these guys would be a krewe.

2
by Hextall_27 :: Fri, 02/09/2018 - 9:58pm

Brandon Browner dropping an 'US' when talking about the Patriots is classic.

The guy was let go by 3 teams and was out of the league at age 33 because he was a human penalty and about as undisciplined as they come. He wants to take shots at a man who has led his teams to 11 Super Bowls?

I know who I am trusting on that one.

7
by xydux :: Sat, 02/10/2018 - 6:13pm

Okay, I get the two with the Giants and eight with the Patriots, but which one's the 11th?

8
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sat, 02/10/2018 - 6:24pm

9 with the Patriots - he was DC on the 96 team.

12
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 02/10/2018 - 10:30pm

So he's tied for most Super Bowl losses?

21
by Hextall_27 :: Fri, 02/16/2018 - 12:05am

Brady covered this one after the game. You have to be in the game to have a chance to win the game. The Montana Mental Midgets who think 4-0 is better than 5-3 have no concept of greatness. The way Joe got crushed by the Giants 17-3 and 49-3 in back to back years was so much better than going 18-1 or losing a Super Bowl shootout 41-33.

Patriots fans have watched their team win 2 Super Bowls and play in 3 in the lat 4 years, but you sure zinged them with your loss comment.

Marino sure tricked those '85 Patriots when he lost to them in the AFCCG!
- Ha, you get a Super Bowl loss and I get to eat chips on the sofa!

Those 2000 Vikings sure showed the Giants by losing 41-0 to them. At least they did not lose their 5th Super Bowl. Gary Anderson did them a favor in 1998! You would not want to risk such an embarrassment as playing in the Super Bowl and not winning.

9
by sbond101 :: Sat, 02/10/2018 - 8:03pm

In my mind, this comment is revealing as to the motivation behind BB's defensive roster moves over the past 30 months. You notice that Jones & Collins publically liked the comment. Prior to this incident it was inferred that those players were jettisoned because they couldn't buy into how BB wanted them to play, I think that can now be concluded unequivocally (with a strong thought to adding Hightower, Butler, & Browner to that category of players).

It's hard to say anything negative about a guy like BB, who was already established as one of the greatest defensive coaches of all time even before his early defense-led teams in NE won three Superbowls - but I think it's concerning that so many of the talented players BB has drafted haven't been able to accept there place in NE's defense. For Jones & Collins it's easy to see that their personal economic interest lined up against BB's emphasis on gap/edge discipline in both the run & pass rush, but it's harder for me to understand why it's been so hard to keep guys like Browner & Butler playing the way BB wants them to play (especially for a guy like Butler who really only has a career because of buying in to how BB wanted him to play for 2 seasons). If BB plans on coaching long enough to build a new post-Patricia-era defense, this trend is a real concern.

13
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sun, 02/11/2018 - 8:00am

The first SB win back in 2002 was built on the concept of team. It's something that Belichick emphasised and reporters talked about when the Patriots winning was a phenomenom.

One of the small touches was refusing to participate in the introductions of individual players at the Super Bowl in favour of sending out the entire unit together. There are probably posters on this site who don't even remember player introductions at the SB.

America is philosophically built on individualism and spent the past century fighting against communism which is essentially co-operative action putting the interests of the group ahead of the individual. So when Belichick emphasised teamwork for the Pats it was notable.

Since the NFL opened up free agency, individualism has been easier for players to put ahead of the team. But the world has become increasingly about individualism. It started accelerating in the 90s as the baby boomers came of age. I'd refer you to the work of Robert Putnam, his book Bowling Alone and the concept of social capital if the trend interests you.

3
by xydux :: Fri, 02/09/2018 - 11:00pm

To have a rivalry, the other team has to stand a chance of winning.

Patriots-Dolphins? Sure, that's a rivalry. Patriots-Jets? The Jets have gotten some upsets. Patriots-Bills? Not for the last fifteen years. Patriots-Steelers? Call me when the Steelers get a win. Patriots-Colts? Sure, when Manning was around. Not so much since he left.

And this applies to pretty much every team. Broncos-Patriots? Sure, I'll buy that as a rivalry for a couple more years, but not if the Patriots continue to constantly win and the Broncos continue to not win (disclosure: I'm a Broncos fan). Lions-Packers? Now it is, but about ten/fifteen years ago it wasn't. 49ers-Cowboys? Not no more (although Garrapolo could change that). A rivalry requires that the other team is an actual threat and can occasionally win. And the Colts haven't done that since Manning left. By now, it should be pretty clear that there's no real "rivalry" between the teams. There's just the Patriots beating them whenever they meet (which, admittedly, is true for like 80-90% of the AFC when it comes to the Patriots).

14
by Theo :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 9:17am

It seems that it doesn't matter what the team records are, but when the Ravens and Steelers play each other, you know it's going to get be a hard fought game which any team can win.

5
by Kevin from Philly :: Sat, 02/10/2018 - 1:41pm

Dan Snyder can forget about trying to win the offseason this year - Kelce already took the title!

15
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 1:10am

Screw Gisele (no, not *that* way)! I have no respect for anyone teaching their kids to "let others win sometimes" unless their lives are in danger or something. That's not what fucking happened in the game, first of all--thank fucking god no one actually acts this way--and letting someone win is the worst kind of disrespect I can think of. Even when teaching a sport to a beginner, I wouldn't treat them that way. Instead, I work to create realistic expectations for their performance now and what their rate of improvement is likely to look like.

I agree it that it's a good thing to be aware of other people's needs and emotions, but there are genuinely positive ways to teach that to kids, not this fucking bullshit.

The only "exception" is when it's not actually a competition in the same way, for example when some asshole speeds up to prevent you from merging in front of them on the highway. You should let the cretin "win" every time, because the goal is to arrive at your destination safely, not to merge in your favorite way or to attempt to force your notion of good behavior on them. Letting the dipshit win in actuality would mean getting in a wreck, which Gisele probably prefers, because she and Tom are two idiots in an idiot pod.

17
by Steve in WI :: Wed, 02/14/2018 - 2:42pm

This bothered me too. It's a flat out lie, and I don't think there are many times when you should flat out lie to your kids. Certainly never about something as ultimately insignificant as the outcome of a sporting event.

It speaks to the colossal ego and sense of entitlement that she's already publicly displayed that she could tell her kids with a straight face that the Patriots lost because they had to "let others win sometimes." As if Brady and the Patriots are so dominant that they only way they can lose is to let the other team win.

I can't think of a worse way to explain that loss to a kid. Hell, if she'd thrown the defense under the bus and pointed out that Brady had the greatest losing QB performance in Super Bowl history at least she'd have been correct.

18
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 02/14/2018 - 4:43pm

Her comments are the sort of guff that loads of vapid mothers come out with to their kids because they think it's what they're supposed to say about sharing, winning and losing.

I wouldn't be surprised if Kim Kardashian says something similar next time one of Kanye's records doesn't make it to the top spot.

19
by sbond101 :: Wed, 02/14/2018 - 7:33pm

I really don't understand why she (and many other parents) can't simply say something to the effect of what BB says after losses: "The Eagles played a really good game, we prepared/played/whatever hard but we made mistakes and they did it better. We're on to next year.". Are there people that really think children are so fragile/stupid that they don't understand that you can be good at something, work hard at it, and still fail for any number of reasons?

20
by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 02/15/2018 - 3:58pm

I get the feeling that she meant “ sometimes you don’t win and you just have to accept that you don’t win just because you want to”. If she’d said it like that, nobody has a problem.

22
by LionInAZ :: Fri, 02/16/2018 - 6:10pm

And who knows what she actually meant. She's not a native English speaker. Sometimes the wording can be awkward.

16
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 1:15am

Jason Whitlock is also an idiot (news flash I know), this time for not remembering that the HoF voters are not supposed to consider anything that happened off-field.

And why does Brandon Browner think Butler was.thw Oats best CB? I thought that was Gilmore by a mile. Is Browner using all that football knowledge and experience I'll never have and this is something he thought through, or is he just talking like an idiot too?