by Cale Clinton
'THE INNER MACHINATIONS OF MY MIND ARE AN ENIGMA'
"So the plan was to buy a Tesla so that I could quit dipping, because then I wouldn't have to go to the gas station. So now I go to the gas station just to buy dip."
-- Los Angeles Rams quarterback Blake Bortles bought a brand-new Tesla after signing with his new team, but had a specific reason as to why he purchased the electric car.
"I didn't cry, I poured water on my eyes."
-- Bortles' counterargument when accused of crying after losing the 2018 AFC Championship Game to the New England Patriots.
"Wear a helmet. I've seen Sean Mannion wearing a helmet on the sideline all last year. … Nah, I'd wear a visor, or ask for a headset just to cover it up."
-- Bortles, who seamlessly hid his bald spot with hats throughout his tenure in Jacksonville, was posed a hypothetical where Rams head coach Sean McVay wouldn't allow him to wear a hat on the sideline. These are his back-up plans. (Pardon My Take)
"I'm not a dry snitch, I'm not going to put a percentage on how much the league smokes, but I certainly enjoyed my fair share on a regular basis throughout my career. So, you know, and I was never afraid to say that and I'm able to say it more explicitly now: if not for that, I'm not as capable of coping with the stressors of day-to-day NFL life. A lot of guys get a lot of pain management out of it. Toradol did more pain management for me."
-- After announcing his retirement this past month, former Rams/Patriots/Eagles defensive end Chris Long opened up about smoking marijuana throughout his NFL career as a source of stress relief. (Yahoo Sports)
GIANT FRONT OFFICE CONCERNS?
"Gettleman said he wasn't going to trade the man, then he traded him. We was all surprised because that's one of the best receivers in the game and for him to do that and lie to everybody, it's not a good look for players and teammates."
-- Washington Redskins safety Landon Collins, formerly of the New York Giants, highlighted just how surprising the Odell Beckham-to-Cleveland trade was to him and his Giants teammates. Giants general manager Dave Gettleman openly said that the team "didn't sign [Beckham] to trade him" in the weeks leading up to the trade. (Will Selva, NFL Network via Twitter)
NUMBERS NEVER LIE
"What's the right way to say this? It's just not a truthful way of reporting based on all the information we now have. OK? That's sort of a nice way to say it."
-- Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie provided this exasperated, eye-rolling response when an interviewer referenced announcers discussing "establishing the run" in early parts of the game. Lurie, in conjunction with head coach Doug Pederson, has begun to delve deeper and deeper into extensive analytical research regarding play calling and situational offense. (The Athletic)
IN DEFENSE OF ELI
"Wow. Forget all the love, all the Super Bowls, huh? Just 'what have you done for me now?' I guess so."
-- Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had some choice words for a radio host who said he would bench New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning for rookie Daniel Jones. Roethlisberger and Manning were famously members of the 2004 NFL draft class alongside Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. (Barstool Breakfast)
FROM DUMPSTER FIRES TO VICTORY PARADES
"I plan on being there for the next five years and trying to bring as many championships there as possible, turning [the Browns] into the new Patriots."
'ALL THAT FOR A DROP OF BLOOD?'
"I want to win again. Can't be satisfied. We're definitely not satisfied. If you guys saw how we're working right now you'd be pretty impressed with the grit and tenacity we're showing in this offseason workout already. I think everyone is rejuvenated. We're ready for a new challenge."
-- New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy highlights how the New England Patriots, who have appeared in four of the last five Super Bowls, have somehow found a new way to motivate themselves yet again. (Patriots.com)
DID WE JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS?
"Sneak peek of what's to come…"
-- Kansas City Chiefs rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman used this caption for a photo of him catching one-handed passes in his new red-and-yellow uniform.
"Yeah as long as you keep running and stop slowing down"
-- What's the best way for quarterback Patrick Mahomes to welcome his new target? By ribbing him through Instagram comments, of course
"I'm still getting accustomed to catching something out of a cannon"
-- … and what's the best way to make sure you get targets next year? By sucking up to the guy throwing the ball. (The Chackdown via Instagram)
FOOL ME ONCE…
"We're going to find the right person"
-- The New York Jets tweeted this quote from CEO Christopher Johnson in reference to the team's current search for a new general manager.
-- Former New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie responded directly to the tweet. You're not pulling the wool over the eyes of your own fanbase, let alone a former Jets player. (Antonio Cromartie via Twitter)
TURNING MOLEHILLS INTO BILLION-DOLLAR MOUNTAINS
"Mr. Irsay and his family attended a Coyotes game a few years ago while he was in Arizona for the owners meeting. They had a great experience and he purchased a sweatshirt which he finds comfortable. Nothing else to it."
-- Amid rumors that Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was interested in purchasing a portion of NFL team the Arizona Coyotes, the Colts PR team released this official statement. Glad the sweatshirt's comfy, Jim. (Craig Morgan, The Athletic via Twitter)
THE ENEMY OF THE ENEMY IS MY FRIEND
"I think we need to put him on salary. I think we need to put him on salary. I mean, they need to protect Dave Gettleman at all costs up in New York, for sure. All costs, because he's winning for us, geez Louise."
GOTTA GO FAST
"[They say] 'Let's go pole-to-pole' and I just be like, 'Where your check at?' … I'm always down to do it. … I've been running from lightpole-to-lightpole my whole life. Ain't no minimum, just one amount: $10,000 or better."
THIS MONTH IN SOCIAL MEDIA
I MEAN MICHAEL JORDAN PLAYED BASEBALL…
— Sean Payton (@SeanPayton) May 15, 2019
-- New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton hopes to get future New Orleans Pelicans draft pick Zion Williamson into a helmet and pads. These photoshops of Zion -- who is listed at 6-foot-7, 285 pounds -- feel very reminiscent of that small period of time where everyone imagined if LeBron James played tight end for the Cleveland Browns.
I SEE A PATTERN DEVELOPING…
-- Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley posted this picture of him in a "Fawk Bahston" shirt after he was an honored guest at a Carolina Hurricanes Eastern Conference Finals game. The Hurricanes, who took on the Boston Bruins in their series, were swept in four games.
THIS MONTH IN SNAPCHAT FILTERS
-- This month's biggest trend on social media: using a Snapchat filter to make everyone look like babies. The Checkdown took the liberty of baby-fying some of the most prominent coaches in the NFL.