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» 2016 Slot vs. Wide: Defense

Our final part in looking at slot vs. wide targets focuses entirely on defenses. Which first-round rookie corners had tough times in 2016? Who was the weak link in Denver's No-Fly Zone? Also: the Falcons have a secondary to watch out for in 2017.

07 Apr 2017

The Month In Quotes: March 2017

by Rob Eves

STOP ME IF YOU THINK YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE

"I really enjoyed the time I spent out there, I think it's really been beneficial… I feel really good as far as where I'm at mechanically, and how the ball's coming out and how it's spinning and all that. So I think it's been good. I was excited. I'm going to head back out next week for another two weeks or whatever and then I'll be back in (Jacksonville)."

-- Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, discussing work he's been doing to adjust his throwing mechanics once again this offseason. (First Coast News)

FREE AGENCY CHAMPS 2015-17

"When people block field goals, those are the turning points in a lot of games. Most of the NFL games are decided by one point, unless you're playing the Jaguars or something, then it's decided by 50."

-- Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, chiming in on the NFL's move to outlaw defenders jumping over opposing linemen on field goal and extra point attempts. (Florida Times)

THANKS CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!

"It's important that we upgrade the play at quarterback."

-- Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, restating the importance of improving the team's quarterback play after last season's Brock Osweiler adventure. (Houston Chronicle)

NO ADVANCED STATS NEEDED

"Read the stats, he wasn't very good last year."

-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, assessing the struggles of second-round rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo as the Bucs brought in former New York Jets kicker Nick Folk to compete for his job. (Tampa Bay Times)

"Hopefully, I can show (Aguayo) a few things, not too many, because I have a family to feed."

-- Folk, preparing for the upcoming camp competition with Aguayo. (NBC Sports)

RUSSELL'S MERMAID

"I don't necessarily believe in mermaids, but I believe in the theory that there could be mermaids… the world is 80 percent water or something ridiculous like that. We only discovered just a small part of that. Every single day we pull out different species out of the ocean and we find different forms of life in the ocean… So my whole thing is, who is to say they can't be an Ariel floating down in the water somewhere?"

-- Newly-acquired Miami Dolphins defensive end William Hayes, expanding on some of his crackpot theories which first came to light on the 2016 edition of HBO's "Hard Knocks" while he was with the Los Angeles Rams. (ESPN)

LIKE THE SETTING OF THE SUN

"Man, there is no telling. I'm definitely going to be excited and I'm definitely going to swag, but it's not going to be in a way that will cost us. In the future, if I do get an interception, I think the swag is inevitable."

-- Houston Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson, planning his future celebrations in light of the NFL's heavy-handed stance shown towards excessive celebrations in 2016. (MMQB)

YET MORE SHOTS FIRED

"Much like my situation in San Francisco, the people that are doing the micromanaging… when it comes to building a ball team, what they know could not blow up a small balloon."

-- Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, speaking in support of his brother-in-law, former Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean, who was recently fired after nine seasons with the Hoosiers. (Bleacher Report)

NO EYELINER IN THE OFFSEASON

"He said he was a quarterback; I thought he was a college quarterback. I asked him what string he was. He said 'first string.' I asked him his favorite team. He said, 'I may be biased, but the Raiders because I play for them.' I looked at him and said, 'Wait'… and I asked him his name. He said 'Derek Carr.'

-- Bay Area D.J. Ron Reeser, recounting his chance roadside meeting with Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. (All 22)

NOT NFL-CALIBER DEFENSE

"See, tell them I still got it. Give me some money."

-- Unsigned free-agent running back LeGarrette Blount, weaving through reporters at Wednesday's Boston Celtics game. (Chris Mannix, Yahoo! Sports)

DRAFT STRATEGY SOLVED

"We're not looking for a bunch of choir boys."

-- Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson, outlining the Titans' strategy in the upcoming NFL draft. (The Tennessean)

THOSE ROOKIE CONTRACTS…

"Me and (Cooper) are going to have to have a little conversation to see if I can get it off of him. Might have to bribe him a little bit, throw him like five bucks or something. We'll see if I can get it off his back."

-- Newly signed Oakland Raiders tight end Jared Cook, hoping to bribe wide receiver Amari Cooper for the rights to the No. 89 jersey. (Mercury News)

EGREGIOUS USE OF GRAMMAR

"NFL need to be worried 'bout a lot of other sh-t than worrying about a dude celebrating."

-- Oakland Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin, making a statement about the league's rules on illegal celebrations, one of the focal points of discussions at this year's NFL owner's meetings. (Bruce Irvin, Twitter)

WHAT SAY YOU, RAIDERJOE?

"Raiders fans, we're open for business."

-- San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, inviting jaded Raiders fans to switch California allegiances as it was confirmed that the Raiders will be moving to Las Vegas in 2019. (Kevin Jones, KNBR)

CAN MY MOM PLAY FOR YOU?

"He's got ass and mass. We have a saying, ass and mass, kick ass."

-- New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, describing what he likes about his team's newly signed guard, 317-pound Larry Warford. (Ben Volin, Boston Globe)

GIT GUD

"(My background) in video games has been very limited… because I hate to lose."

-- Former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, venturing into eSports by investing in professional gaming team Cloud9. (ESPN)

COPS LOVE HIM!

"When the big money came in, I was like, 'I need a retirement plan right now'… Teams can look at me like, 'OK, he's a business man. He's a smart guy. He knows what he's doing with his money.'"

-- New Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, explaining why he owns 25 Dunkin' Donuts franchises. (Fox Sports Radio)

FYI CONTAINS NO ALCOHOL

"I'm not sure avocado ice cream is right for me, but if I could look like him and perform half as well, I guess I'd do it."

-- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, discussing the dietary habits of 39-year-old quarterback Tom Brady. (MMQB)

IT WOULDN'T BE THE OFFSEASON WITHOUT…

"I feel great… I look more sexier; you know what I'm saying?"

-- Chicago Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee, discussing his offseason weight loss. (ESPN)

ANOTHER REASON NOT TO WATCH

"This is going to be a new experience for me and I am really excited about it. I've been a coach for 30 years and I've been around football my entire life. I'm passionate about the game -- just like the fans are, and I've coached in the league for a long time, so that's the perspective I will bring to ESPN. I'm just going to show up and be myself and have fun with it."

-- Former NFL head coach Rex Ryan, looking forward to his new gig as ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown co-host. (ESPN)


THE MONTH IN GIFS, PICS & TWEETS

EVERYONE'S FAVORITE PUNTER

-- Oakland Raiders punter Marquette King, attempting to help entice former Seattle Seahawks running back and Oakland native Marshawn Lynch out of retirement to play for the Raiders.

-- King, celebrating Raiders quarterback Derek Carr's birthday in style.

HOW DO I VOTE FOR 69?

-- Newly signed Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett, leaving it to the Cheeseheads to decide his new jersey number.

EVERYONE'S SECOND-FAVORITE PUNTER

-- Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, providing a decent analogy for the Raiders' delayed move to Vegas.

GLAD TO SEE IT ARRIVED!

-- The Carolina Panthers, thanking the mystery sender of a potato depicting signed defensive end Julius Peppers, about to begin his second stint with the team.

Posted by: Rob Eves on 07 Apr 2017

4 comments, Last at 08 Apr 2017, 12:47pm by Theo

Comments

1
by Guest789 :: Fri, 04/07/2017 - 1:18pm

Some real gems this month. Marquette King is a treasure.

2
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 04/07/2017 - 3:24pm

By the plate already on the floor, it looks like he had a couple of attempts at this

3
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 04/07/2017 - 3:27pm

I don't watch the ESPN Sunday Countdown thing but I actually think Rex Ryan will be a good personality to have - he's generally entertaining, not PC and not looking to suck up to anyone. Certainly better than Tony Romo going into the booth.

4
by Theo :: Sat, 04/08/2017 - 12:47pm

Oh Bortles, who are you kidding.