The Week in Quotes

Football players (and coaches and front-office people) say the darndest things

The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

compiled by Ben Riley


"He had some things he needed to talk to me about and I had some things that I needed to talk to him about. I won't share any personal information that we shared with each other."

-- New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese, describing his ongoing dialogue with absentee DE Michael Strahan, who announced his "retirement" in late July after the Giants declined to increase his $4 million salary. In an unrelated story, Strahan was ordered in January to pay his ex-wife Jean $15.3 million plus $18,000 per month in child support. (New York Daily News)

"I told him we would love for him to come back, but only if he wants to be here 100 percent and to be a great teammate like he has always been."

-- Reese

"There is no time frame for right now. He could be here tomorrow. He could be here whenever. Who knows? I don't know if he is coming. He didn't commit to say that 'I am coming.' He didn't say: 'I wasn't coming.'"

-- Reese

"That man has to come and play the game, and his heart being in the right place is the whole circumstance. If it is, there is no question about the quality of the player. Expectations will be very high. No one can come in and play this game with their attitude not being 100 percent about what is going to take place on the field."

-- Giants head coach Tom Coughlin on Barber's Strahan's return.

"The most impressive thing about Michael for me is that he always came out like a kid. He practiced like a young kid. And if came back with that frame of mind and that love of the game, then naturally he will be a big part of our team."

-- Coughlin (

"This is not about money."

-- Anonymous source who's allegedly spoken to Strahan (as quoted in the New York Daily News)


"I'm a right end. I've been successful at right end. I don't feel the need to move to a different position. That's kind of crazy."

-- Giants DE Osi Umenyiora, advising the Giants' front office to think twice about signing free agent Simeon Rice

"I mean, Simeon Rice is an outstanding pass rusher, but that's what he is. So I don't think it resonated with us that Simeon Rice is coming in. We have good players in here; we'll be all right."

-- Umenyiora, continuing to roll out the welcome mat for Rice

"I'm not going to go so far as to call him what a lot of other people have called him. I'm not going to go that far. But I'm not sure. They say he's not the best run player and I guess people gave him that reputation for a reason."

-- Umenyiora

"But as far as him coming over here, I don't know where he's going to play. I know he can't play left defensive end because they run the ball there. He can't play right defensive end. Well, he's been a right end . . . (but) I'm not moving to the left side. Absolutely not. Not even a question."

-- Umenyiora

"I'm not going to move to left defensive end if they sign Simeon Rice, is what I'm trying to tell you. If the team asks me, 'Okay, we need you to move to left defensive end because we need you at that position,' I will. But I'm not going to move to that position because Simeon Rice is coming in. I won't do it."

-- Umenyiora, clarifying his position (Newark Star-Ledger)


"I enjoyed working with Tony [Kornheiser] and Mike [Tirico]. It was fun and challenging to start something new, from scratch. Anyone who says Tony and I didn't get along, that would be a complete fabrication, totally not true on any level.

-- Underemployed ESPN analyst Joe Theismann, denying that his complete lack of on-air camaraderie with Kornheiser was in any way related to ESPN firing him from Monday Night Football.

"In the middle of the season, Tony wanted to quit. I encouraged him to stay with it. And if people didn't like what we were doing, why did the ratings go up like that? I'd tell you if there was an issue. There was never an issue between us, and whoever concocted that story is totally out of line."

-- Theismann

"The Redskins keep me busy for now. The preseason is no different than it's ever been. But in the fall, it's all going to change. From Friday to Monday, it won't be the same. There won't be forty hours a week of preparation. Now, I'm going to have all that time to myself, and in a way, I'm looking forward to it."

-- Theismann (note: Theismann will continue to write his "Cup O' Joe" column for

"It's been a lifetime since I've been able to be a normal person."

-- Theismann (Washington Post)


"That's bad. That's bad. That's real bad."

-- Titans QB Vince Young, expressing remorse for punching Titans' safety Donnie Nickey in the head with his throwing hand after Nickey laid out WR Courtney Roby during practice.

"My preference is not to see my quarterback throwing punches with his throwing hand."

-- Titans head coach Jeff Fisher

"Someone comes at me, I'm not going to back down. I don't care if it's Vince [or] President Bush."

-- Donnie Nickey, presumably unaware of U.S Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 41, section 871 ("Threats against President and successors to the Presidency").

"At least not with your right hand man. Jab with the left and wait for the cavalry."

-- Nickey (


"Right before camp, I didn't have no hair on my head, so I was like 'I've got to do something.' I figured it would be a first. I knew the guys would get a kick out of it."

-- Redskins fullback Mike Sellers, describing his two-toned blonde beard.

"It fits him, a light-skinned guy. A dark-skinned guy couldn't get away with that."

-- Redskins defensive lineman Phillip Daniels

"I'm not into the blonde type of thing, but it looks hard. It looks like he wants to kill somebody."

-- Redskins guard Randy Thomas

"It's European. It's just a worldly haircut. It expresses my personality. It's different, and nobody else wears it. Nobody has, ever. I've never seen an individual with this haircut, ever."

-- Redskins wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, describing the round mound of hair on the front of his own head.

"I don't know, that ain't my cup of tea. I couldn't go home with that."

-- Thomas, referring to Lloyd's European mound (Washington Post)


"I'd love to be there competing for the starting job. But it's a long contract, and I have to make sure it's fair in the event I become the starter."

-- Brady Quinn, Ohio native, explaining why he has yet to sign with the Cleveland Browns (Cleveland Plain-Dealer)

"In the same neighborhood, but not on the same street."

-- Browns general manager Phil Savage, describing contract negotiations with Quinn's agent, Tom Condon.

"If anything, it's given Charlie and Derek the chance to get more reps, and that's a positive."

-- Savage, describing his fallback options (USA Today)

"He agreed to rip off hundreds of fans, young and old alike. He hasn't even signed with the team yet. That sure ruined his image."

-- Former Quinn enthusiast distraught over having to pay between $75 to $139 for Quinn-related memorabilia just so she could obtain Quinn's autograph during a recent signing session at Cleveland's Great Northern Mall.

"There's a premium associated with an athlete like that and I don't think the city was quite prepared for that. To the same extent, that didn't stop them from getting in line and paying for some of this stuff."

-- Wendell Robinson, CG Authentics (sponsor of event)

"If we could do this for free, we would and we can't. Unfortunately, there is cost and pricing associated with it, so we try to do what we can to make the athlete as accessible to the public as we can."

-- Robinson (

"Two of football's biggest stars are here with us tonight to help us sing this next song. Let me say this: I've watched a lot of college football . . . You know who I'm talking about! Please welcome [inaudible] Mr. Brady Quinn! Mr. Ryan Tucker!"

-- Bret Michaels, moments before launching into the most awkward version of "Nothin' But a Good Time" Poison has ever played (video courtesy of AOL's Fanhouse).


"He'll be ready for the latter part of preseason, but his participating in the preseason, we'll wait and see on that."

-- 49ers head coach Mike Nolan, on the broken hand of Niners running back Frank "Am I the New Fred Taylor?" Gore.

"I always like to see a silver lining in whatever happens. This is going to give Michael Robinson, Hicks and the rookie an opportunity to get more reps and see what they can do."

-- Nolan (

"I'd like to see him at least in the last week. I don't want to downgrade the importance of the preseason. It's important. It's to get your timing down. You have to get the feel of things."

-- Nolan (San Francisco Chronicle)


"Do you think it was a bigger feat to break 2,000 yards in one season, or slice two necks in one night?"

-- Question posed by caller to O.J. Simpson during Simpson's ill-advised online interview with (video available here via

"I'm having a little trouble, Kevin, hearing you."

-- Simpson's response


"Hackett has the inside track now. Right now if we were lining up to play a game Hackett would be there, but he hasn't played long enough and in enough games to say this is done."

-- Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren describing wide receiver D.J. Hackett's hold on the starting job on day one of Seahawks' training camp

"That was yesterday. The receiver thing is going to be interesting. (Deion) Branch will start, (Bobby) Engram will play and we will see what goes with the rest."

-- Holmgren, day two

"[Hackett] could be a father at any second here. So he had to leave because his wife phoned him. Of course, I wasn't sure if I was going to let him go."

-- Holmgren, day three (Tacoma News-Tribune)


"There are two sides to the game. There's a physical side to the game and there's a mental side to the game. And you've got to be able to master both of them."

-- Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist, griping about banged-up Broncos WR Brandon Marshall

"There have been a lot of upside physical receivers who never quite accomplished what people expected them to because of the mental side."

-- Sundquist

"We're counting on Brandon. We put a lot of time and effort into coaching him, getting him ready, but ultimately on a Mike Shanahan team you've got to go out on the field and perform. You're never going to be a finely tuned Ferrari quarter to quarter to quarter. At some point in time, your timing is a little off, there's a little wear on the tread and your oil is going to be low . . ."

-- Sundquist (Denver Post)


"He doesn't always finish the routes out the way you want and he's not always the first guy in line to listen, but he has always produced."

-- 49ers Vice President of Player Personnel Scot McCloughan, describing the practice habits of newly acquired WR Darrell Jackson.

"OK. It's just OK as in okey dokey."

-- Mike Nolan, describing Jackson's approach to practice

"It hasn't been bad, but it hasn't been to my expectations . . . It's that way with a few of the other guys. I like to think that a guy has to earn a right to be on a team. We're not asking you to do anything that won't make you better. I'm not too nitpicky. I just ask that you finish the drill because that's how you play the game."

-- Nolan

"Eventually enough is enough."

-- Seattle Seahawks president Tim Ruskell, explaining why he dumped Jackson on the Niners for a fourth-round pick (Yahoo! Sports)


"I came to San Francisco and I found another father: Bill Walsh."

-- Jerry Rice

He loved to be . . . able to see the future of a person. He knew me well before I knew myself."

-- Steve Young

"This is just a tremendous loss for all of us . . . Outside of my dad he was probably the most influential person in my life. I am going to miss him."

-- Joe Montana

"The essence of Bill Walsh was that he was an extraordinary teacher. If you gave him a blackboard and a piece of chalk, he would become a whirlwind of wisdom."

-- Roger Goodell

"What he represented to professional football, and what stands out there today, is just unparalleled, whether it be George Halas or Paul Brown."

-- Al Davis

"The world lost a great man in Bill Walsh. He had a tremendous impact on me, both personally and professionally. Bill's development of the minority coaching program at the collegiate and professional levels literally changed the face of football."

-- Tyrone Willingham

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17 comments, Last at 03 Aug 2007, 6:33pm

1 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Doug Farrar // Aug 02, 2007 - 11:29pm

First! to welcome Ben to the group.

"He knew me well before I knew myself.�

– Steve Young

I saw that one yesterday, and it really stood out to me. It seemed to be the primary theme with Walsh.

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2 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Josh // Aug 03, 2007 - 12:14am

Where's Herm!!!!

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3 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Joe // Aug 03, 2007 - 1:38am

Let me be the first to say that I look forward to Joe Theismann's return to being a "normal person."

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4 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by the K // Aug 03, 2007 - 2:20am

"Well, that poor Andrew Walter last year got hit so many times, I don't think he knew where they were coming from," Davis said.

-Al Davis

Walter had 3 TDs, 13 ints, 9 lost fumbles, was sacked 46 times, completed 53.3% of his passes for a QB rating of 55.8.

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5 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Marko // Aug 03, 2007 - 3:27am

"And if people didn’t like what we were doing, why did the ratings go up like that?"

Maybe because there were better games last season on Monday Night Football than in the recent past on ESPN's Sunday night package? Maybe because Monday Night Football is an institution, and people watch it because it is the only football game on that day? Maybe because people watch for the games, not for the announcers? Maybe people were watching the games with the sound off, particularly during the interminable and inane interviews of celebrities like Christian Slater, who often exhibited a complete lack of knowledge about football?

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6 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Andrew // Aug 03, 2007 - 6:51am

If you're curious (and I know I was), the WaPo has some pictures of both Sellers' beard and Lloyd's hair. The picture of Lloyd isn't very good, but the one of Sellers is. Link provided in name.

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7 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Rocco // Aug 03, 2007 - 10:12am


Randy Moss is hurting and missed practice. Two down, four to go.

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8 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by podpeople // Aug 03, 2007 - 10:39am

as an eagles fan, it is very exciting to see the giant's slow descent into complete and utter chaos. I'm looking forward to those burress/shockey mid season interviews where they piss and moan about Eli(or as he is known in the greater philadelphia areas "sheli").

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9 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Terry // Aug 03, 2007 - 12:42pm

Slightly better picture of Brandon Lloyd linked.

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10 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Cmos // Aug 03, 2007 - 12:46pm

“I’m not into the blonde type of thing, but it looks hard. It looks like he wants to kill somebody.�?????

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11 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by SGT Ben // Aug 03, 2007 - 1:19pm


At least Christian Slater would shut up when a play was going on...he was all about letting the game go...and in between plays, he could be the star. Too many of the other asinine, self-centered, ignorant "stars" that they bring up to the booth are more than happy to talk about what's next in their lives...and forget about the game going on. After all, it's just MNF.

Even then, I still think the majority of those stars were better than Joe-T.

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12 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Matt // Aug 03, 2007 - 2:25pm

#5 -- That's exactly what has been wrong with MNF for the last 20 years or so. Nobody watches a game simply because of the announcers. No one. And they can't seem to understand that. Now some people might turn a game off because of the announcers, but no one ever says "Vikings-Cardinals -- what a boring game! But as long as Joe Theismann is calling it, I'll be glued to my set. He is so infotaining I almost can't stand it!"

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13 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by RobinFiveWords // Aug 03, 2007 - 2:53pm

Wasn't expecting to see this column for a couple weeks yet. Rock on, Ben.

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14 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Tom // Aug 03, 2007 - 2:55pm

Re 3:

Now we just need Joe Buck to turn into a normal person.

Re 11:

I don't know, I might watch a game if the announcers were good enough. The problem is that the networks don't realize what makes a good announcer.

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15 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Matt // Aug 03, 2007 - 5:51pm

13 -- Just a bit hyperbolic on my part, I suppose, but I still maintain that no one without an interest in the game or the sport already is going to watch a game for the announcers. If you (or I) watch or enjoy a particular contest more because the announcers are particularly good, I'm pretty certain that's attributable to the fact that we already have an interest or passion for the sport in general. I can't think of any football announcers off the top of my head that fit this category for me, but for whatever reason I always enjoyed Steve Levy's call of a hockey game. Would I watch a game in which I had no interest just because Levy was on it? I don't think so. But maybe I'm just not self-aware enough.

On another subject, somewhat of a threadjack but not completely off the topic, I enjoyed this quote from's Pat Kirwan story (link from my name) on Mike Tomlin and the Steelers: "Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher both won in their first seasons as the head coach and the fans bring it up every time the topic of the new coach comes up."

Technically, he is correct. Noll did win in his first season -- albeit just a single game. He was 1-13.

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16 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by zlionsfan // Aug 03, 2007 - 6:16pm

1-13? Still better than that Landry character. Wonder whatever became of him.

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17 Re: The Week In Quotes: August 2, 2007

by Matt // Aug 03, 2007 - 6:33pm

Landry and Noll are drinking mead together in the revisionist Valhalla, where great coaches never had bad seasons and football geniuses have all their blemishes erased.

That's why this Kirwan story annoys me, and shows how the modern pace of the NFL makes people pretty short-sighted. These days, Noll probably would have been fired after that 3rd losing season.

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