The Week In Quotes: September 11, 2020
A LEAGUE STANDING TOGETHER
"We wanted to show that we're unified as a league and we're not going to let playing football distract us from what we're doing and making change in this world. I feel like Deshaun [Watson]'s a guy who shows that and leads by example every single day and every time I've been around him, so I'm gonna try and do the same. And I feel like the Chiefs, the Texans, the rest of the NFL, we're gonna keep making change in this world."
-- After capping off NFL Opening Night with a 34-20 victory over the Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes took a moment during his postgame interview to say he's not going to let football be a distraction from the causes he's fighting for. He and Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson brought their teams together at midfield prior to the game in what was dubbed a Moment of Unity, showing a unified front in the NFL's greater push to combat racial injustice. (Sunday Night Football via Twitter)
DAK OPENS UP
"All throughout this quarantine and this offseason, I started experiencing emotions I've never felt before. Anxiety for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I was experiencing depression. And to the point of, I didn't want to work out anymore. I didn't know necessarily what I was going through, to say the least, and I hadn't been sleeping at all."
-- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott spoke openly and candidly about the emotions he struggled with in the wake of his brother's passing in April. Dak credited his brother, Jace Prescott, as part of the reason he plays quarterback today, saying "he was the reason I first started throwing a football." (Dallas News)
FAMILY ALWAYS COMES FIRST
"Once I told my dad and mom it was a whole load that lifted off my shoulders. Because I knew I could retire my parents and they would never have to worry about anything. That's the emotions I am feeling. I can't put into words because I have a lot of people and a lot of family members that I could change their lives and that's what I plan to do. I wasn't put in this position for no reason, I wasn't put in this position to do it for myself to reap all the benefits for myself, to think that I am bigger than anybody else. I was put in this position to spread love and spread everything that I am being blessed with. I was put in this position to help people out where I am from, to better the resources they have and give them the resources to be successful, and I plan to do so."
-- Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White signed a four-year, $70-million extension, making him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL prior to the $105-million extension signed by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey days later. White, now in possession of a life-changing amount of money, discussed just how much this contract was going to help his family going forward. (Buffalo Bills via Twitter)
A NEW ERA IN NEW ENGLAND
"It's a big deal. It's really a big deal. I understand being an African-American in this time of day, we have to be stronger and sticking with each other more than ever now. It's a great feat to achieve, but we have to use our platform for good reasons."
-- New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is excited to be the first Black quarterback to start a Week 1 game for the Patriots. Newton is only the second Black quarterback to start a game for the Patriots after Jacoby Brissett in 2016. (Evan Lazar, CLNS Media via Twitter)
SEND IN THE CLOWN-EYS
"Monday night? Of course I'll be ready. I got to be. That's what I signed up for. I'm just looking forward to getting back to playing."
-- Tennessee Titans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney only signed with his new team on Monday, but he firmly believes he'll be ready to play in Denver on Monday Night Football (Tennessee Titans via Twitter)
PLAYING WITH THE GUY YOU WATCHED ON TV
"Growing up I was a huge AP fan. Having the opportunity to be his teammate and learn from him, has been an experience I'll never forget. Thank you for always having my back big bro! I'm going to make you proud, best of luck!"
-- Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins extended a kind farewell to running back Adrian Peterson after he was released by the team. (Dwayne Haskins via Twitter)
ALL-IN IN N'AWLINS
"Hey, at this time, man, I'm on borrowed time. I've got nothing to lose. So, I'm turning it loose and letting the chips fall where they may."
-- While not outright declaring it his final season, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is not shying away from the "Super Bowl or Bust" mantra going into his twentieth NFL season. Brees will turn 42 in January. (ESPN)
BUT THE REAL QUESTION IS … SOFT SHELL OR HARD SHELL?
"A little Taco Tuesday mixed with a margarita."
-- Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen celebrated his $80-million extension with one of the world's most cherished weekly rituals: Taco Tuesday. (Joe Reedy, AP via Twitter)
JUST ONE LAST JOB
"My guy, my big homie, Bill Belichick called my phone … told me he had the role of a lifetime for me. So he really wanted me to come in and strap tight ends … I was halfway out the door. I got flights, I started finding apartments. I could've gotten up to five and a half, six million dollars, nice, fat contract. I could make six million dollars and guard tight ends all day. I'm like, I'm cool! So ... then I kinda start going through their schedule, I kinda seen [George] Kittle, [Travis] Kelce, [Darren] Waller. … So usually when I get in this position, I'm going to a new team, my thoughts are all positive, like OK, maybe this guy's here, maybe if he did this, maybe I could do this, I can get this many interceptions, go to the Pro Bowl. OK, these guys in the NFC, so I have to beat out him and him.' Like you know I run down, all positive thoughts. But this time, I looked at this f**kin' schedule … and I thought 'Can I even strap these tight ends?' I said ah s**t, it's over with then. Once I said that, once that negative thought crossed my mind, I was like man, my heart, my competitive edge, I ain't really in it like that no more."
-- Newly retired tight end Aqid Talib announced his decision to call it a career this past week, but revealed that there was one option left on the table. Talib was approached by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to reunite with his former team and play a specialized role covering tight ends. Once Talib started looking at the gauntlet of tight ends the Patriots were facing this year and questioned if he could lock them down, he knew it was time to hang it up. (Aqib Talib via Twitter)
MULTIPLE SOURCES CONFIRM: YOU WEREN'T GOOD
"Falcons called Laquon Treadwell today to inform him of his release. Had a rough camp with some drops. Thoughts of Falcons fielding an offense with all first-rounders not gonna happen now with either Russell Gage at receiver or Keith Smith at fullback among the 11 on field."
-- ESPN's Vaughn McClure filled in some of the details surrounding the Atlanta Falcons' decision to cut wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, specifically citing a "rough camp with some drops."
"FAKE NEWS! I balled my guy, this is business and nothing more! Constantly spreading fake news on my name, check the tape!"
-- Treadwell seemed to take offense to the report, quote-tweeting McClure's report directly to inform the ESPN reporter he was just spreading fake news.
"Not FAKE NEWS. You didn't have a very good camp. Good Luck."
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter corroborated McClure's original report, seconding the opinion that Treadwell was, in fact, not good in camp. (D. Orlando Ledbetter, AJC via Twitter)
WORST OF LUCK TO YOU!
Q: "What are the Dolphins getting in Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts?"
Devin McCourty: "Hopefully bad play on Sunday. That's my hope."
-- New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty had some jokes ready when asked about former Patriots linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts, who both joined the Miami Dolphins this past offseason and will be headed back to Gillette Stadium for their first game in new uniforms. (Mike Reiss, ESPN via Twitter)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING
And of course, family is everything.
The Watson family joined the press conference to congratulate @DeshaunWatson! pic.twitter.com/xU4AObbeK3
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 6, 2020
-- Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was moved to tears after being surprised by his entire family during the press conference following his four-year, $156-million extension.
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME
Welcome to Coach's crib 😎 pic.twitter.com/qarnPhhwjP
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 5, 2020
-- ESPN College GameDay host Lee Corso wanted to make his socially distanced set feel a little more like normal, so he got cardboard cutouts of the rest of his crew to sit alongside him during broadcasts.
EVERYONE NEEDS A CHEAT DAY
-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs can put back a whole lot of food. Just ask his girlfriend, who filmed everything he ate for an entire day.
11 comments, Last at 22 Sep 2020, 12:58pm
#5 by RevBackjoy // Sep 11, 2020 - 1:12pm
With regards to Talib, the thought of someone turning down millions of dollars per year (or even tens of millions for multiple years, like Messieurs Luck, Kuechly, Willis), because their heart isn't in it, is mind-blowing to me. Then again, we see it pretty often, so I guess when you've already earned $50M+, the marginal value of further millions declines. Hopefully these guys don't come to regret their foregone millions down the line...
#7 by Joseph // Sep 11, 2020 - 5:20pm
I think that there is a fair amount of personal pride in there too. When in your mind you don't have the confidence that you can do the job you are being paid to do (or in this case, would be paid), it's time to hang it up. Most of these guys are extremely proud and confident, and don't want to get benched/embarrassed on national TV b/c they can't do their job. At some point, it's not worth the time, effort, and injury risk to them.
For average people, that's a lifetime of earnings, and we would put ourselves through a lot to have a chance to earn that kind of money. On the other hand, I would bet that a decent portion of us have left a job at some point because we just couldn't bring ourselves to work there anymore. So, considering the endorsements that a decent number of pro athletes can continue to obtain after they retire, it stands to reason that they just decide to go out with dignity and find something else to do with their lives.
Your last point is valid too. At some point, you have earned more money than you can reasonably spend in your lifetime--so retire with dignity, and try to earn $75-$100K a year at something you enjoy doing so that you don't spend too much savings/retirement money, and enjoy the rest of your life.
#8 by RobotBoy // Sep 11, 2020 - 8:31pm
I sometimes work at Buddy McGirt's gym in Northridge. McGirt was a world champion at jr. welterweight and welterweight, and now a great trainer. McGirt was a real champion - smart, tough, unflappable. We were talking about his career and I asked him what made him decide to quit. His answer was a lot like Talib's. McGirt said that when he was training for a fight, he'd be up doing roadwork at 6 a.m. every morning without fail. Then one morning with a fight coming up, he noticed that it was 8 a.m. and he still hadn't done his road work, and had no interest in doing it. That was when he knew it was time. Contact sports are dangerous enough if you're totally committed but they are even more dangerous if you don't have complete focus. Sadly, a lot of guys don't have the clarity, or the options, that McGirt and Talib had. Those guys keep going until other people make the decision for them.