Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Most Recent FO Features


» 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.

06 Oct 2017

The Week In Quotes: October 6, 2017

Compiled by Cale Clinton


"Again, I'm not really trying to be clear. Actually, probably quite the opposite."

-- Chicago Bears head coach John Fox, when asked to be clearer on his team's current quarterback situation. (Dan Wiederer, Twitter)


"I sucked. It wasn't good."

-- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco when discussing his play against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Flacco went 31-of-49 for 235 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the Ravens' 26-9 loss. (Jeff Zrebiec, Baltimore Sun)


"If we're going to get addicted to anything, let's get addicted to the process."

-- Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott addresses the epidemic that's sweeping the nation. (Joe Buscaglia, Twitter)


"Sit there, don't get hit, don't touch anybody, don't move. I feel like I executed that one."

-- Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler gives himself some credit for his execution on the now-infamous Wildcat play during the Dolphins' London game versus the New Orleans Saints. (James Walker, Twitter)


"It's better for my sex life if the Seahawks win tonight so pls consider rooting harder for them to. Thanks."

-- Sarah Colonna, wife of Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, tweeted this gem at halftime of the Seahawks' game against the Indianapolis Colts. (Sarah Colonna, Twitter)


"How cool is it going to be when we make the playoffs? How cool is it going to be when we go on this run?"

-- New York Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh has his head held high despite his team's 0-4 start. (Bob Glauber, Twitter)


"Ramon Humber (thumb) & Jordan Matthews (thumb) DNP. Kyle Williams (thumb) full practice. Jerel Worthy (thumb) & Mike Tolbert (thumb) removed"

-- Mike Rodak notes that the Buffalo Bills' injury report is pretty thumb-centric this week. (Mike Rodak, Twitter)


"if Arkansas loses to A&M the 6th straight year wearing Jerry unis I want Trayveon Williams to personally come beat me up with the pimp cane."

-- Twitter user "brycejallday" on how he would react to a Texas A&M win over Arkansas.

"Drop Your Location"

-- Arkansas Razorbacks running back Trayveon Williams, offering to make that fan's wishes come true.


"Cam, I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well. Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality if his routes and making -- getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of enjoyment to see the kind of truck sticking people out there?"

-- Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue, asking Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton a perfectly valid question about the development of wide receiver Devin Funchess during a Wednesday press conference.

"It's funny to hear a female talk about routes."

-- Newton's response. (Jay Willis, Twitter)

"I don't think it's 'funny' to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job."

-- Rodrigue, in the hours following the press conference. (Jourdan Rodrigue, Twitter)

"After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women. And to be honest, that was not my intentions. And if you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you. I'm a man who tries to be a positive role model in my community and tries to use my platform to inspire others. And I ... take ownership to everything that comes with that. And what I did was extremely unacceptable. I'm a father to two beautiful daughters, and at their age I try to instill in them that they can do and be anything that they want to be. The fact that during this whole process I've already lost sponsors and countless fans, I realize that the joke is really on me. And I've learned a valuable lesson from this. To the young people who see this, I hope that you've learned something from this as well. Don't be like me; be better than me. To the reporters, to the journalists, to the moms, the supermoms, to the daughters, the sisters and the women all around the world, I sincerely apologize and hope that you can find the kindness in your heart to forgive me. Thank you."

-- The full text of an apology, as transcribed by the Charlotte Observer, delivered by Newton via video on Twitter Thursday night. (Cam Newton, Twitter)



-- Metaphors get a little too literal as a dumpster fire rages outside the Cleveland Browns stadium.


-- Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith shows us his daughter's drawing of teammates LeGarrette Blount and Syracuse's Otto the Orange Carson Wentz.


-- An ESPN sideline analyst whips out a block of Swiss cheese all for one gag about a team's defense. Now THAT'S dedication to a joke.


-- Troy University's Twitter throws some salt in the wound of LSU following the upset down in Baton Rouge.

-- A Troy player getting into some excessive celebration in front of the LSU fans mid-game.


-- NFL legend and folically-challenged individual Deion Sanders shows off the best hair money can buy.

Posted by: Cale Clinton on 06 Oct 2017

41 comments, Last at 11 Oct 2017, 1:10pm by rich006


by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 10/06/2017 - 1:24pm

Apparently Cam Newton saying dumb/wierd things just before playing the Detroit Lions is a tradition:


by morganja :: Fri, 10/06/2017 - 2:15pm

What is the physicality of a route?

by Bryan Knowles :: Fri, 10/06/2017 - 3:11pm

Think Brandon Marshall as opposed to Tavon Austin. Being able to run through bump coverage and other attempts by the defenders to physically knock them off routes.

by ChrisS :: Fri, 10/06/2017 - 3:28pm

I knew that one. But what exactly is "truck sticking". Is that running someone over like a truck or is it a Madden thing?

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 10/06/2017 - 4:05pm

Madden thing (there is a joystick on the xbox/playstation controller that's referred to as the "truck" stick while playing Madden).

by morganja :: Fri, 10/06/2017 - 5:31pm

I wonder if Cam laughed because of the Madden Xbox reference?

by Bryan Knowles :: Fri, 10/06/2017 - 7:16pm

I want to live in your universe. It seems much nicer there.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 10/06/2017 - 4:18pm

I read the text from Torrey's daughter as "Baldy" at first.

Which is pretty funny.

I'm disappointed you didn't include the quote about the FAA reminding Dean Spanos that the airspace restriction is limited to professional-caliber stadia, and not high school teams.

by greybeard :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 12:35pm

Justin Pugh is optimistic as he does not get to watch his fellow offensive lineman like we do.

by Theo :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 7:21pm

Lets just say Cam Newton never talks to women about running routes - how many women have ran routes for him in his high school/college/pro career?
Is that really a stretch?
So a woman asks him about the routes of a receiver and he says that he thinks it's funny (bad choice of words) that a woman talks about routes.
I feel like walking on a mine field here, but is this really as bad as a public apology to whoever was hurt makes it to be?
I understand the reaction: "oh he assumed that a woman can not be knowledgeable about football". But maybe we could see it from another side, maybe he's just a guy and thinks it's 'special' that a woman asks about route running, since it could be a rarity in his life.
Even the fact I feel like I have to watch my words here irritates me. I'm not saying it's the case, but if Cam honestly thought it was funny/special - I honestly don't know what the fuzz is about.
I could be off - and that Cam was scoffing at her which would be dumb.

On one place we want our entertainers to be entertaining, but we hate it when they are castrated to be nice, clean and safe.

by Perfundle :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 7:39pm

I haven't seen it personally, but those who watched the press conference said that his response was even worse than the transcript suggests.

"On one place we want our entertainers to be entertaining, but we hate it when they are castrated to be nice, clean and safe."

It's possible to not be nice, clean and safe without being repugnant. There are plenty of snarky responses to reporters that are quite funny, even to the reporter asking the question.

by dbostedo :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 7:48pm

Here's a good article including video of the Q&A, and some follow up information through Cam's apology.


I believe he was really saying "it's weird that a woman would be a football reporter and ask a detailed football question - that's not a woman's job". So I think it IS sexist. Is it the worst thing in the world? No. But it's not good.

As I've heard on several takes on this online and on sports radio, there is still quite a lot of the "women shouldn't be football reporters" attitude to be found in the NFL. This was probably a bit of that.

If it was as simple as the use of the word funny to mean unusual, I don't think he would have said it the way he did, and I think he would have clarified that a lot sooner.

by Theo :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 8:03pm

I had not seen that and after watching this I honestly think (I'm a positive person) that he meant to say "it's special/unusual to talk to a woman about route running". Which is honest.
No that is not sexist. It would be sexist if he followed with "because you women don't understand routes at all". But he didn't.

by dank067 :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 8:16pm

It wasn't cool. Even if you give Cam the complete benefit of the doubt and assume he didn't have ill intentions, consider: she's a regular beat reporter for the team and surrounded by all her colleagues and competitors. Cam starts smiling before she even finishes her question, then goes out of his way to bring up the fact that she's a woman before moving on to his answer. Even if he isn't making fun of her, it's totally disrespectful of her place in the room as a reporter. I assume it hasn't been too difficult for Cam and many other players to refrain from making light of fat, balding male reporters when they've asked technique-specific questions in press confreneces.

by Theo :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 8:51pm

If I were to ask Cam about anything (i'm from europe) and he said "i'm not used to get a question like that from a European guy" I'd take it as a compliment.
I'm not saying she should think like me, I'm not saying she's wrong, but that's my view on it.

by dbostedo :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 9:02pm

If he said it with the phrasing, laugh, and look he used in the interview in question, I would definitely think he was putting you down as a European... i.e. "I'm surprised you're asking that, because European's don't know American football".

by Theo :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 9:24pm

In this example I'd even expect a comment like that; europeans don't know football (like americans do), we're eons behind, that's why he'd be pointing it out - I wouldn't expect an apology towards all europeans that might have been hurt from the comment.

by dbostedo :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 11:16pm

Agreed... that might be an appropriate response. And Cam's statement might have been OK 20 or 30 years ago (or at least less "tone deaf") when it genuinely would have been surprising to have a woman sports reporter at all. Of course, then he might have been surprised to even see her there.

But the same thing applied today, to an American female beat reporter who is responsible for reporting on the team is disrespectful.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sun, 10/08/2017 - 9:28am

Agreed. Women reporting in the NFL is not a new thing. I'm old enough to remember the hullaballoo that occurred in the Patriots locker room circa 1986 because a female reporter (Lisa someone-or-other) had players exposing themselves to her.

Cam's been in the league six years - he knows there are female reporters out there. I'm sure the majority of women he meets in his day-to-day life do just try to hit him up so they can sleep with him and file a paternity suit, but if he could just put his ego to the side for a minute it wouldn't take much thinking to recognise that some women are interested in reporting his views on the game. Especially when they're standing with a microphone, notebook or recorder amongst a group of other journalists.

All that said, f-ing hell. Why does everybody have to take offence at stuff like this. Why couldn't this reporter just have put him in his place with a "Yes, well I got bored of doing my nails, shopping and booking holidays; so I thought I'd take an interest in the NFL plays particularly as it's part of my job".

by dbostedo :: Sun, 10/08/2017 - 11:15am

Yeah, if she had addressed it at the time, it would have been cool. Hard to do in that kind of crowd though - maybe one on one she would have.

by morganja :: Sun, 10/08/2017 - 1:07pm

What cracked him up was her using the term 'route' in a sentence that would make Michael Scott laugh every time.

by morganja :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 7:59pm

He spent several minutes answering her question.

It looked to me that he was laughing about another use of the word 'route' and its juxtaposition with her use of the term 'truck-sticking'. Read her question and hear the urban dictionary definition:

Urban Dictionary
A female who is a hoe..
Someone who sleeps around usually a girl
Yo, I'm bout to go over this routes house so I could hit.

"Cam, I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well. Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality if his routes and making -- getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of enjoyment to see the kind of truck sticking people out there?"

by dbostedo :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 8:59pm

That WOULD be interesting. But if that were the case, why not explain it that way?

by morganja :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 10:28pm

Perhaps that what she meant when she said that his explanation afterwards made it worse.

And look at his exact words: "It's funny to hear a woman talk about routes."

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 11:13pm

The reporter was asking specifically about one of his WRs. Why would he be thinking about that unless he was in definition #1 from the Urban Dictionary: driving around aimlessly under the influence?

by morganja :: Sat, 10/07/2017 - 11:32pm

Because he's not 50.

by ChrisS :: Mon, 10/09/2017 - 10:25am

Doesn't every definition in Urban dictionary have some sexual element.

by xydux :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 12:58pm

Not always! Sometimes it's scatological.

Sometimes it's both.

by rich006 :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 1:10pm

Came for the entertainment, left with an education. There's always more nuance to the situation than you get from the headlines. It's interesting that Cam decided to take the hit for sexism rather than have to explain why he was actually laughing.

by morganja :: Sun, 10/08/2017 - 12:55pm

This is how Cam apologized:

"After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women..."

He's apologizing for using the word 'route' in it's derogatory sense.

It is a bit ironic that the reporter had done the exact same thing, use a derogatory term, not necessarily in a derogatory manner, and never thought it was a big issue, until she launched this attack on Cam. Then she was 'sorry', four years later.

It's a dishonest attack. She might be able to claim that Cam Newton used a derogatory term, but to claim that he's sexist and doesn't think women can understand football is not what he did, as evidenced by the extended answer he gave her question.
It doesn't speak well of her journalistic skills.

by dbostedo :: Sun, 10/08/2017 - 5:11pm

I disagree with your assertion that the apology supports your theory that he was laughing about the slang definition of route.

The part about his daughters, and them being able to be whatever they want, seems geared at apologizing for the sexism. So the whole apology doesn't jibe with that message.

That said, your theory is still possible, but what seems more likely - that Cam momentarily thought it was odd that a woman was asking sports questions and made a sexist remark? Or that you are the only person who has figured out what he really meant?

by morganja :: Sun, 10/08/2017 - 10:52pm

Well. What do you think is the probability that this is the very first time that a female reporter has asked Cam Newton a football question? Or the first time this reporter, who has been the Charlotte reporter to the Panthers for the past year and half, has asked a football question?
I find that theory a bit absurd, because I have seen numerous female reporters ask Cam Newton football questions over the years.
I think he is more embarrassed to have used a derogatory term than he is about being accused of sexism.
Imagine the roles were reversed. Would she rather deal with the perception that she might have said something that was kinda sorta maybe racist? Or that she used the n-word?
Once he stepped in it by laughing, there were no good options.
Cam Newton's problem is that he's too playful, still just a big kid at heart. I guess the sports world needs him to be more like Tom Brady, say nothing meaningful, and repeat mantras that have already been repeated a thousand times that everyone knows is complete BS. And being white would certainly help.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Mon, 10/09/2017 - 5:31am

Having just watched the video, I think you're exactly right.

Cam starts to smile and laugh just after she asks about "Devin Funchess embracing the physicality of his routes" and before she's finished asking the question. He's beginning to imagine Devin giving it to some wild woman and enjoying rough sex. Maybe Funchess boasts about that kind of stuff, or is the last person you'd expect it from - either of which would make it even more funny to Cam.

The mistake he made was commenting about why he was smiling or laughing. He should just have answered it as a football question and left the smiling to be deciphered by the rest of us.

And I'd say his choice of "It's funny hearing a FEMALE talk about routes" compounded the problem. "Female" seems even more demeaning and impersonal than "woman". But it would still have been an issue.

by bigpoppapump :: Mon, 10/09/2017 - 6:21am

yep, use of the term "female" made me think he's probably not got close relationships with women he considers his equal.

My take: he's a young man who doesn't know much about the world. He's no worse than I was at his age. I grew up. No reason to think he wont.

Does the world need to melt down that people are not fully formed, mature individuals the day they take to an NFL field? not really, in my view. There's people who brag about much worse things and they go on to attract the support of tens of millions of people and attain the highest, most important powerful positions in the world.

This is literally locker-room talk.

by morganja :: Mon, 10/09/2017 - 10:28am

Devin Funchess is quiet and religious, so you're right, that would have been even more incongruous, and funny to him.

by panthersnbraves :: Mon, 10/09/2017 - 8:16am

If you follow Cam much at all, you know he is basically a big goofy kid, and him taking it that way would make perfect sense... he is trying not to bust a gut laughing as she accidentally makes not one but TWO entendres... physicality, and then hit stick... so he tries to play it off, and finally gathers himself and answers questions again.

When she corners him he CAN'T explain that he's "really talkin' 'bout ho's" - so he tries to play it off that he hasn't been getting used to getting technical questions and was glad that it was a woman that brought one up. Instead of taking it up with his boss, she goes to twitter... so now he has to apologize... STILL can't explain the truth, so has to find the middle ground, and so says "I was trying to be sarcastic, and it came out wrong... my bad." Only way he could play it.

by dbostedo :: Mon, 10/09/2017 - 8:50am

"When she corners him he CAN'T explain that he's "really talkin' 'bout ho's""

That's the part that confuses me if this take is true. Why couldn't he explain that? All he has to say is something like "Sorry, that's a slang term some guys use, so I thought it was funny to hear a woman mention it. It's a derogatory term, and I should not have laughed. My mind wasn't on the question. My apologies." That plays up the goofy big kid factor, and explains the laugh and woman quote.

Or do folks think that even acknowledging that he knows that definition of "route" would have been an issue? I think it would have been less of an issue, simply because it's immature, rather than sexist. Kind of like laughing at someone if they talk about the guy wearing number 69.

by bigpoppapump :: Mon, 10/09/2017 - 9:18am

he cannot give a reasonable mature explanation along your suggested lines above, in the moment, because he's immature.

And his being immature is not an explanation as opposed to this being sexist. It IS totally sexist - and one has to be immature to be sexist. By definition - if you're carrying any kind of prejudice you haven't yet learned enough about the world to have a wider world view. It's the same with racism. You learn it from other racists - if you're lucky, you unlearn it from wiser people.

He's sexist because he's immature.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Mon, 10/09/2017 - 10:05am

I agree, the easy thing to do would have been to say in the moment "Sorry that's a slang term that some guys use ..." etc, etc.

But I don't think the apology came until next day. Most likely his agent or the team's PR person got involved and said "Look just take the hit for sexism so that this ends now."

by morganja :: Sun, 10/08/2017 - 2:54pm

Edited out

by rich006 :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 1:09pm

posted in wrong spot