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» 2017 Play-Action Defense

Our look at play-action pass in 2017 flips to the defensive side of the ball. Carolina was historically good, Houston was historically bad, and a long-standing question about year-to-year correlation gets cleared up.

17 Nov 2017

The Week In Quotes: November 17, 2017


"The Packers examined my shoulder on my visit March 10 and cleared it. They even gave me an x-ray as well. It got worse during the season, specifically against the Cowboys [on Nov. 8], so I asked to have it checked and we checked it. After a few days of contemplating to play with it or get surgery, I chose surgery. Now here we are… They tried to f*ck over me. Dr. [Patrick] McKenzie trying to cover his own ass. After trying to persuade me to play thru a major injury and me choosing to get surgery. They have access to all my medical records. My shoulder wasn't where it is now at the beginning of the season. I f*cked it up playing for the Packers. Dr. McKenzie didn't make [me] feel safe and was pushing [me] to play, which I thought was weird. Not that he was trying to get me play thru it but the way he was saying things. I didn't trust him. So I got three other opinions from doctors, who all said I need to get it fixed. So I decided to do that. And they decided to waive me with some bullsh*t excuse. Failure disclose."

-- Former Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett made this lengthy statement via his Instagram story following his release from the Green Bay Packers. The Packers released Bennett on November 8, citing a failure to disclose injury. Specifically, Bennett failed to report a torn rotator cuff. This kind of injury would sideline the tight end for the rest of the season and require surgery. (Boston.com)

"I've been working with Dr. McKenzie for 13 years, and as well as being a phenomenal doctor, he's also become a close friend. He's done surgery on me twice, and I trust him and his opinion implicitly. Doc has always tried to protect me and my future, even if it meant protecting me from myself and my desire to get back on the field before I should."

-- Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, currently sidelined with a broken collarbone, was one of several Green Bay players who came to Dr. McKenzie's defense following Bennett's statement. (Aaron Rodgers, Instagram)

"If you ever thought a team/front office/coach gave a sh*t about a player's character, see the Patriots letting the fraud [Martellus Bennett] suit up and play tonight. Quit and lied in Green Bay days ago, now signed and playing in New England."

-- Former Green Bay Packers tight end Tom Crabtree tweeted this before the New England Patriots' Sunday Night Football game against the Denver Broncos. Bennett not only dressed for the game, he made an immediate impact by catching three passes for 38 yards. (Tom Crabtree, Twitter)

"I don't know you and you don't know me, but don't be comin for my guy if you don't know him or the story. I'll pray for you tho..."

-- New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy's reaction to Crabtree's tweet following the Patriots' 41-16 romp over the Broncos. (Kyle Van Noy, Twitter)

"After trying to get it fixed and getting waived, you've got that vengeance in your heart like, 'All right, that's how you're going to do it? F*ck it, let's go ball.'"

-- Bennett, out for revenge. (Jeff Howe, Twitter)

"Like I told the guys, in order for the Phoenix to be reborn, he must first rise from the ashes."

-- Bennett, comparing himself to a mythological bird that won't stay dead. (Mark Daniels, Twitter)

"This time, I was just sitting on a bean bag literally feeling sorry for myself. You go from [Disneyland] to a bean bag. It's a nice bean bag, but at the same time, I was like, 'what am I going to do?'"

-- Bennett, saying that the first time New England acquired him, he learned about it at the happiest place on earth. This time, he was depressed on a beanbag like a broke college kid. (Mark Daniels, Twitter)

"When Bill called, I was like no f*cking way." (Mark Daniels, Twitter)

-- Bennett's reaction to a phone call from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal also reported that Bennett told his agent to tell teams "not to claim him because he was going to get surgery." Clearly Bennett's former team was the exception to that order.


"Vikings GM Rick Spielman tells me he has spoken with the NFL and FOX to express the team feels it's inappropriate to have Panthers TE Greg Olsen in broadcast booth for their game vs. Rams on Sunday. Olsen can come off IR soon. Vikings at Panthers on Dec. 10."

-- NFL.com's Tom Pelissero reported this following the announcement that Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen would be a guest color commentator on Sunday's Vikings game vs. the Los Angeles Rams. (Tom Pelissero, Twitter)

"The notion that I'm going to gain an unfair advantage is crazy. We have scouts at every game across the league. I'm going to have enough trouble on my hands broadcasting a game let alone looking for little nuances on the sideline. I don't know how much time I'll have for stealing of secrets."

-- Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen's response to the report. (Joe Person, Charlotte Observer, Part I and Part II)


"I just want to know how we got there. I just walked by some jeans, wore-out jeans, holes in 'em. When I was a kid in West Virginia when my jeans were wore out. Now they buy 'em that way. How'd we get here?"

-- Alabama head coach Nick Saban simply cannot comprehend the idea that people buy jeans with the holes already in them. (Aaron Suttles, Twitter)


"Does the Live Photo feature on iPhones drive anyone else nuts? Why can't you permanently turn it off? Maybe I'm just technologically challenged"

-- Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas turns to Twitter for some iPhone troubleshooting. (Joe Thomas, Twitter)

"Maybe try a Samsung?"

-- Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz offers up an alternative solution to Thomas' problem. (Mitchell Schwartz, Twitter)

"How do I anti-like a comment?"

-- Thomas asks Twitter a new tech question. (Joe Thomas, Twitter)


"He's played on sh*tty teams."

-- Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians on why journeyman quarterback Blaine Gabbert gets a bad rap. Gabbert will start this Sunday against the Houston Texans. (Mike Jurecki, Twitter)


"We were just trying to get Johnny [Hekker] in the Pro Bowl again"

-- Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley said that last Sunday's slow start against the Houston Texans helped punter Johnny Hekker's Pro Bowl campaign. (The Checkdown, Instagram)


"I am not trying to recruit Swag masters, dancers, fashion experts, professional trash talkers, 'grown ass men!' or stand up comedians ... I am trying to recruit Football Players. Hard-nosed, team first, coach-able, dirty, nasty, gritty, Football Players. Give me those guys."

-- State University of New York College at Buffalo defensive backs coach Jordan Hoolihan lays out the itinerary for the kind of players he wants to recruit. (Jordan Hoolihan, Twitter)


"Why would I tell you when I haven't told anybody else?"

-- Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer plays coy during a press conference when asked if he knows who is going to start at quarterback this Sunday. (Judd Zulgad, 1500 ESPN Twin Cities)


"All my family is from Texas and a lot of them say they're Eagles fans, but I think deep down they root. Like even last year, the Cowboys go to the playoffs, and I heard my grandma in there rooting for Dallas. And I said to her 'If you want to live to see 75 you better shut your ass up.' Just messin' with her, but it is what it is."

-- Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson had to set the record straight with his Texas-native grandma during last year's playoffs. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, Twitter)



-- San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin breaks down after an 83-yard touchdown. Goodwin and his wife lost their newborn son that morning due to complications during the pregnancy.

-- Goodwin's Instagram post regarding the tragic loss.


-- Ten years ago, Georgia celebrated a 45-20 win over Auburn with some dancing to "Crank Dat" by Soulja Boy.

-- Saturday, following Auburn's upset of previously undefeated Georgia, the Tigers brought back the viral mega-hit from a decade ago in order to come full circle.


-- In a year of great celebrations from a more fun NFL, the Ottawa Redblacks have thrown their hat into the ring for Celebration of the Year.


-- In celebration of New England Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen's touchdown reception during Sunday Night Football, let's take a look at the elite Tom Brady 1-TD Reception Club


-- Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern announcing that he was being "randomly" drug tested by the NFL a few days after booming a 74-yard punt against the Cincinnati Bengals.


-- LSU center Will Clapp tries to display his value at wide receiver (if he's allowed to catch Air Bud-style)

Posted by: Cale Clinton on 17 Nov 2017

27 comments, Last at 20 Nov 2017, 10:26pm by LionInAZ


by ClavisRa :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 6:51pm

Allen, and all the Packers players are telling the truth. Like Allen said, the doc wasn't explicitly saying to play through the injury, but sometimes when someone presents an option to you that seems undesirable, it feels like 'pressure'. Like lots of NFL injuries, players often play through them, or get them fixed, depending on a variety of personal and team circumstances. The same injury you play through during the playoffs can be one you get fixed in week one, so you're available later. Allen trusts NE and is motivated to play for them; kudos to them for that! I foresee him playing limited snaps, but being productive within them.

Now, the Packers organization, claiming he had an injury he knew about but didn't disclose to them. I'm more than skeptical.

by Guest789 :: Sat, 11/18/2017 - 1:18am

Martellus "Allen" Bennett lol

by nat :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 7:32pm

I'm with Bennet on this one. The Packers basically said "Play through this injury or we'll cut you AND claw back your bonus". That's an a-hole move. Cutting him would be business. Screwing him over the bonus is crap.

It's no surprise his answer was "Screw that. If I play through this it'll be for a team that treats its players with respect."

I expect he'll play limited snaps but have enough impact to be a good signing. I hope he doesn't aggravate the injury and regret this later.

by dank067 :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:57pm

I think Bennett screwed up. He's managed to get a bunch of his former teammates and fellow union members to go public to essentially accuse him of lying, which (a) can't help his case in a potential face-off against the organization if they pursue his bonus money and (b) probably removes some of the disincentives that would stop the Packers from doing so. And then, at the end of the day, he passed a physical in New England and suited up for the Patriots.

Of course I'm a Packers fan and have no idea what the standard of proof would be if they were to formally fight him over the bonus and accuse him of failure to disclose or lying about it worsening or whatever. All I know is I can't wait to repeatedly bash my head into the wall if/when this becomes the next non-stop offseason drama. Hopefully Jerry Jones feels the need to continue to make himself the #1 story.

by big10freak :: Sat, 11/18/2017 - 9:08am

The Packers football beat writers are anything but toadies to the team so if you believe them MB coasted through camp and everyone excused it because he was a vet, he dropped I believe 7 passes and the team excused it because MB said he was getting used to Rodgers throws and he demanded attention in the locker room and everyone shrugged that is the guy's personality.

Then Rodgers gets hurt and suddenly the player is like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack saying he's hurt, can't play and then stated he would retire after the season.

I am as a big a player supporter as anyone as I think the NFL's overall treatment of players across the board is pretty pathetic. But the Packers med staff has never had anything like this levied against them namely because as a small market Green Bay has to do everything possible to be player friendly.

And it's certainly telling that along with coming out with strong defenses of the team doc all of the team leaders were uniform in their message in that the players know what went down and that's the end of the discussion.

Right now it sure seems like the guy find a way to get away from what he thought was a losing situation. And since he wants to keep his signing bonus he has to take the first big shot publicly to help his case when it comes time to negotiate.

That is how it seems to this lowly Packer follower. Blech

by RickD :: Sat, 11/18/2017 - 4:31pm

I don't believe the Packers when they say he failed to disclose an injury.

I don't believe Bennett when he says McKenzie tried to tell him to play through the injury. And his statements about this issue are hardly forceful.

Packers fans have to decide whether Bennett failed to disclose an injury or he's faking an injury. Can't really have it both ways. (This is not a remark pointed at anybody here.)

by big10freak :: Sat, 11/18/2017 - 5:58pm

FWIW nobody in Packerland knew of any significant injury until Bennett started talking about retiring after the season and referenced battling injuries. All we knew was that the guy kept dropping passes. And now Clinton Dix is in the news stating that he thinks Bennett quit on the team as soon as Rodgers got hurt.

And then when he played for NE he's not wearing any gear like a shoulder harness which I know firsthand is what is common to that type of injury.

But to heck with it. He's gone and GB needs to make things work with the guys on the team.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 8:45pm

"I don't believe Bennett when he says McKenzie tried to tell him to play through the injury"

Why not? Players get asked to play through injuries all the time.

If the Packers were Xraying Bennett's shoulder, they suspected a shoulder injury, and their argument that he hid it is nonsense. I have a hard time believing Bennett is lying about the Xrays.

by Guest789 :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 9:34pm

Because they are widely known to have one of, if not the most conservative medical staff in the league, as the many current and former players and staff have attested to over the past week.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 9:46pm

So? Most of the people attesting to it have no idea what Bennett's medical situation actually is - especially other players. There are privacy laws in play here.

Bennett has a torn rotator cuff - this is an injury that MANY players play through, and even with complete tears its largely a matter of pain management.

Here's an sports orthopedic's take :

Essentially, there's no reason to expect that Bennett wouldn't be able to play through the injury - what is in question is whether he'd want to go through the pain for a team that had just lost its QB. Clearly he didn't.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 4:27pm

The Packers are obviously just confused about what signing a free agent entails. They've never tried this before

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 8:59pm

I agree with Nick Saban. Damn I'm old.

by Will Allen :: Sat, 11/18/2017 - 10:50am

Hey, I buy jeans for teenaged daughters, and Saban isn't just right from a utilitarian vantage point, he's right from the vantage point of fashion. These pre ripped jeans are an obnoxious contrivance, every bit as fatuous as the linebacker-like shoulder pads of the 1980s, or sagging pants on young men.

Ok, I'm finished with shouting at clouds today....

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 7:37am

Having been a teenager in the early ‘90s, when grunge and loose flannel was all the rage, I’m kind of embarrassed when I look at pictures from back then. With smartphones, the current fashion foibles will be well-documented for your daughters to look back on get red-faced about.

by dbostedo :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 12:38pm

"...every bit as fatuous as the linebacker-like shoulder pads of the 1980s"

Or the same ripped jeans fad from the 80's (Madonna may have been responsible). And then again in the early 90's (grunge definitely included some ripped jeans), and again now.

Fashion is often cyclical, with each generation putting a different spin on it.

by RobotBoy :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 2:02am

The first fad for ripped jeans began in the late 60s, if not earlier, with flowere power, following rather naturally from the late-50s blue jeans trend, when the utilitarian working-class garment became a fashion trend (not the first time such a thing happened). Khakis, on the other hand, were popularized by the Beats, who'd originally started wearing them because they were cheap military surplus.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 4:23pm

You agree with a man who said this:

"When I was a kid in West Virginia when my jeans were wore out."


by LionInAZ :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 10:26pm

One thing that has never gone out of style: football coaches with holes in their heads.

by RickD :: Sat, 11/18/2017 - 4:33pm

"Dwayne Allen enters unique company" followed by list of 18 players.

Does nobody know what "unique" means?

by dcl0 :: Sat, 11/18/2017 - 6:42pm

Well, each of those guys caught a single pass. You might say that each instance was a unique touchdown for the combination of Brady and the guy.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 6:48am

Think they meant to use "exclusive" rather than "unique". These things happen.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 6:55am

Every time I look at that photo posted by MarquiseGoodwin I am stunned by the miracle and fragility of human life.

I keep looking at my own finger to realise just how small that little hand is touching just the tip of the finger and how close you have to get to be able to see the wrinkles that create the fingerprints. Then to look at that little person's own small hands and the finger nails already formed and the veins and everything.

Just amazing. And so sad.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 7:35am

People aren’t exaggerating when they say human life is a miracle. From the time an embryo forms, until birth, about a million things can go wrong to derail the whole process. All of those things have to go right for a fetus to survive to birth. My kids are 6 and 4, and I’ve been thinking a lot about that after learning about what the Goodwins are going through. Can’t imagine what it feels like for them.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 9:18am

Indeed - it gets you thinking.

And on the flipside I was reading yesterday about Rae Curruth's son turning 18. Permanent brain damage from the incident but a very loving and wise grandmother.


by Will Allen :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 12:52pm

I'm all filled up on the sad quotient this week. My daughter attended a memorial service yesterday for a classmate who killed himself this week, and she came home with a photo taken of him a couple months ago; smiling 16 year old with a future. Now gone, and I don't have any facile explanations. I gave my daughter a long hug, and told her I love her. I wish I had a tool to reliably remove the pain people feel.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 4:24pm

I'm going to quote Nick Saban again in case anyone missed this gem:

"When I was a kid in West Virginia when my jeans were wore out." -Nick Saban, master of his own brain

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 5:52am

A bit of Googling on your part would have shown that Saban actually said:

"“I just remember, as a kid in West Virginia, I was ashamed to go to school because my jeans were worn out, only because we didn’t have any better. Now they buy them that way.”"