How One Halloween Party Broke Up the Broncos
A SPOOKY SITUATION IN DENVER
NFL Week 9 - "It's different. It feels like a movie. From coming into work on Monday and I was in a training room, and they said that [general manager George Paton] wanted to talk to me. I've been in the league 11 years, so I already knew what this talk was going to be about. Initially, it hurt. I've been saying it kind of felt like removing a splinter. At first it hurts, it hurts bad. I've been there for 11 years. I don't know anything else. I was a Denver Bronco. They told me that I was getting traded to the Rams. Hurts. Had all my goodbyes. Looking at my house, looking at all the memories that I had there throughout 11 years, it was tough."
"When I took off Tuesday morning, though, I had a nice view of the mountains and I told myself like, 'Hey, taking off a Denver Bronco. When I land, I'm a Los Angeles Ram.' I landed and they had camera crew out there, it was a warm welcome. Went to straight to get the physical."
"Came here to the facility, started meeting players and it's starting to feel good. It's starting to feel real good. You look at all the talent that we have. I went to sleep 4-4 and woke up 7-1. In the back end of things, it's not really that bad. It's better for me. It's better for the organization. And you just got to let reality sink in that I get to play with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey and Leonard Floyd and Matthew Stafford and his solid offensive line. And they got a solid team. The Denver Broncos are still building. They're still a family and stuff, but this team was ready to win it right now, ready to win championships right now. And I'm excited to be a part of it."
—Los Angeles Rams linebacker Von Miller's first quote as a member of his new team. Miller had played for the Denver Broncos for the last decade. (NFL.com)
"It was a situation where we were planning on having this Halloween party and that was the thing. Then, we dropped a couple of games and Von had contacted everybody in the group chat saying, 'Hey, like, I'm thinking about canceling the party. We want to win games. We've got to focus on winning games. That's the biggest thing is being improvement-driven. Focus on winning games and things like that.' So he did try to cancel it. Guys still wanted to have it. And then it kind of went south from there. I'm not going to go into details."
—Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant reveals that a team Halloween party may have been the final straw that pushed Miller to request a trade from Denver. Fant was disappointed the story even got to the media in the first place. (Zac Stevens, DNVR via Twitter)
DEREK CARR ON HENRY RUGGS III
Yeah, my emotions have been on a rollercoaster so to speak this year. My heart goes out so much. I'll try and say it with a straight face because I've already been emotional about every bit of this. But to the family, to all the families involved, no one ever wants to see this, whether it's a football player or not, you never want to see something like this happen. It broke my wife and I's heart, honestly. We talked about it a little bit, but I can only talk about it so much. But at the same time, whether it's fair or not, I have to compartmentalize and I have a job to do. These are two totally different situations. Some similar emotions, some very different emotions. But the message has to stay the same. Honestly, I don't want it to right now. If I'm selfish, I don't want it to. I want to say a lot of different things. But we have a game this week and I've got a job to do, and so do the guys in that locker room. From that aspect, from a football aspect—I hate to talk about both in the same thing but it's weird and that's what we're doing—from a football aspect, every man in that locker room kind of feels the same way but we have work to do. We had to come out and practice. We had film study Monday and Tuesday. We have all of these things that we still have to do. I don't know the right way to handle it, but I'm doing my best."
"For me personally, in my own life, I have experienced loss. So, I know that feeling and so my heart first goes to the families that are involved. There are things that happen in life for all of us that we don't have control over, and you wish you did. I have 1,000 questions I wish I could ask, but I don't get those opportunities. I don't understand everything and why certain things happen. I just forever have relied on the foundation of who I am, which is my faith. I'm going to stand on that when it's hard and I'm going to stand on that when it's easy. That's just who I'm going to be when I can control something and when I can't. When it comes to this situation, there's so many things out of our control but then I do sit back and I think. 'Was there something … did I not let him know that I would be there for him at 3 a.m.?' I want to be better. I really look at everything in my life as a learning experience. Could I have been better to help or something? I just wish I could have done something. I look at it that way. Could I have done anything to help? Even when it seems impossible, is there any little thing I could have done better? I know it's a crazy thing to even think or say, but I'm always looking at trying to be a better person."
—Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr's comments on the situation surrounding former Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III. Ruggs was involved in a drunk driving accident that killed a 23-year-old woman and her dog, with some reports alleging Ruggs was driving 156 mph seconds before the crash. (Adam Hill, Las Vegas Review-Journal via Twitter)
ARROWHEAD-ED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION
"All we did was go to 3 AFC Champion[ship] Games and 2 Super Bowls and 1 SB win … in my first 3 years here so far!! Y'all fans will never be satisfied it's sad!!"
—Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens got heated in the comments of a Chiefs fan account on Instagram. The account asked people to rank moves by Chiefs general manager Brett Veach "in terms of how bad they were." One of the moves listed was Hitchens' five-year, $45-million contract.
"Big facts. This might be one of the most toxic fan bases in all of sports."
—Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu backed up his teammate while including some scathing words for Chiefs fans. (Joshua Brisco, Sports Illustrated via Twitter)
"The headsets were going out. This has been happening in every game so far. We deal with the league and they keep telling us about different software updates or whatever it is."
"We are trying to make the right call. ... We have to make sure the hardware is working. So whatever the issue with that is, the people involved better get it fixed fast."
"If we can't rely on the equipment then we'll try to figure something else out. We tried at one point to go back to the old equipment but they told us we weren't allowed to do it for whatever reason. We didn't have issues with it last year. Hopefully we figure it out...
"Whoever is in charge of it, I don't know if it's through the league or us exactly, but they've gotta fix it fast. That's it."
—New York Giants head coach Joe Judge chalks up his team's misuse of timeouts during Monday Night Football against Kansas City to faulty headsets that prevented the team from communication. New York had burned two of their three timeouts by the 10-minute mark of the second quarter, both on the defensive side of the ball. (NJ.com)
FROM PRACTICE SQUAD TO PRIME TIME
"Blessed. Blessed. Blessed, man. You're in a crazy mental state being in the league five years, never been on a practice squad before. And then one day you're just on a practice squad, you feel like you're working for nothing, kinda, and then you get a call and you're somewhere else, and you're just playing. So I'm just thankful."
—Green Bay Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas on his game-sealing interception against the Arizona Cardinals. Before being signed to Green Bay's active roster, Douglas was a member of the Cardinals' practice squad as early as three weeks ago. (Packers.com)
"Back-shoulder him on every f*cking play. Every single play, back-shoulder him. Rasul is f*king scared."
—Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was caught by sideline cameras explaining why the team should target Douglas with back-shoulder passes. Douglas' eventual interception came on a back-shoulder throw. (Zach Heilprin, Wisconsin Sports Zone Network via Twitter)
WHAT MORE CAN YOU SAY?
"It's Mike effing White. He said no cursing, but yeah. It's Mike effing White, alright? Let's put it to bed. It's Mike effing White. He's a savage. He's a dog. He's an animal. I said it on Monday. I'll say it again. I'll keep saying it. He's a dog. He's an animal. "
—New York Jets running back Ty Johnson on backup quarterback Mike White, who led the Jets to their second win of the season over the Cincinnati Bengals. White became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400 yards and three touchdowns in his first career game. (ESPN via Instagram)
THAT'S WHAT DADS ARE FOR
"Naturally, he wants his son to succeed. I can't blame him for that. I want Odell to succeed. That's where we were at—or at least so I thought."
"I've had conversations with his dad before, man-to-man, face-to-face, and I was pretty surprised by the video and the intentions and the feelings behind it. I would be lying if I said otherwise."
—Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on the video released by Odell Beckham Sr. that highlighted Mayfield ignoring a wide-open Odell Beckham Jr. (ESPN)
SHOUTOUT TO ALL THE MOMS
"If my mom could go out there and work three jobs, I can go out there and play three positions. Why can't I do what she did for us? It's like a big motivation, and every time I'm on the field, I don't care where they put me, I'm gonna make a play. You can put me at safety; I'm getting an interception. You put me at defenseive end; I'm-a get a sack. That's just the mindset that I have, and nobody can take that confidence away from me."
—Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson uses the extra effort his mom put in while he was growing up as motivation to get him to give more effort and provide versatility on the football field. (AtlantaFalcons.com)
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
"They came up to me on the side, and I had my extra helmet with the little mics in it. I was ready, I was about to put it on. I was like, 'OK, it's my time to shine, probably get a little bit more money, you know. Throw a couple passes, get my Drew Brees on.'"
—New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara would have potentially been the Saints' backup quarterback had Trevor Siemian gone down in Sunday's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
"Wildcat? That's disrespectful."
—Kamara's response when asked whether he would have just run a Wildcat offense if put in at quarterback. (New Orleans Saints via Twitter)
"I wasn't ready at the beginning of training camp. I'll be completely honest with you. But the only thing is I just didn't like how they handled my situation with my injury. A lot went on with that that I didn't agree with. And now that I'm here (in Carolina), I'm able to do the things that I have to do to get me back ready to where I need to be.
"I learned a lot (in New England), got a lot of friends there, lot of great coaches. I just didn't like how they handled my situation with my injury."
—Carolina Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore on why he did not play for the New England Patriots this past season, specifically citing a mishandling of his quad injury. (NESN)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
I KNOW WHAT MUG I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
an absolute king. Lester P. Snead. pic.twitter.com/Gpq9yrr0je
— Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP) November 4, 2021
—Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead shows off his new mug, which reads "F*ck them picks." For the uneducated, this is inspired by (this NSFW Michael Jordan meme).
THIS WEEK IN HALLOWEEN
Some of the Eagles arrived here at Ford Field in their Halloween costumes
Gardner Minshew dressed up as Uncle Rico 😂😂
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 31, 2021
—Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew looks like he's ready to throw a pigskin a quarter mike in his Uncle Rico costume.
.@Flash_Garrett is the Grim Reaper. 💀
He listed all the QBs he sacked on his back. 😅
— NFL (@NFL) October 31, 2021
—Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett rolled up in a Grim Reaper costume complete with a list of all the quarterbacks he has sacked on his back.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) October 31, 2021
—The Buffalo Bills quarterback room dressed ready to hit the links.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) October 31, 2021
—Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin was a camera frame cutting off his face away from pulling off the perfect costume of Wizard Kelly from The Proud Family.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 31, 2021
—Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert came ready to blast through a defense with his new rocket legs.