by Cale Clinton
THIS MONTH IN DEZ BURNING EVERY BRIDGE HE HAS IN DALLAS
"Well, I just think it's just … you know [Dak Prescott] is working on his game. I think he has worked on his accuracy. I think he has got to trust the system, which I think at times last year there was pressure with Dez [Bryant] in his ear, to some degree Jason [Witten] in his ear. So, great players want balls and I think if he can get back to what we did the year before where we run the football consistently with [Ezekiel Elliott] and that great offensive line we have and let him really trust the system, work through his reads which I think he will do. Then I think, not that he didn't play good last year, but I think he'll have the type of season he had the year before, if not better."
-- Dallas Cowboys EVP/COO Stephen Jones went on SiriusXM's NFL Radio station to discuss quarterback Dak Prescott's improvements and goals for Year 3 of his career. Jones delivered a lengthy response on the many reasons he believes Prescott will succeed this season. The quote regarding former Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, however, made the rounds as an out-of-context sound bite that seemingly took shots at Dez. This then drew the attention of Dez himself, who didn't exactly take it in stride. (SiriusXM NFL Radio/Twitter)
"Here we go with that scapegoat shit. i charged everything to the game and went the other way. y'all know what the real problem is . don't put it on me with that bullsh*t. garbage ass play calling. Everybody lined up in the same spot for 17 weeks."
-- This was Dez's original response to the now-deleted soundbite released by SiriusXM NFL Radio. (Dez Bryant/Twitter)
"He's not clueless. Jerry was the only one who was clueless. shit was a planned to get me out ask Travis and my brother snake Lee I mean Sean Lee"
"Yea he suppose to been my brother . we laughed talk about goals and stuff he sat right across from me in the locker room.never thought we had a problem. I got cut. he was the first to know. I find out he was also behind it. Damn!!"
-- Dez also directed some errant shots at former teammate and Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee. According to Bryant, Lee was the first to know about Bryant's dismissal and allegedly had some say in the matter. (Dez Bryant/Twitter)
"First thing, to say I can get anybody off the team and have input on the roster is absurd. Second thing, I love Dez and I want the best for him. To be honest with you, we did butt heads because I wanted Dez to be more accountable to this team and his teammates. And to be honest with you, a lot of the team felt that way. I think he needs to look at himself and hold himself accountable."
"Last thing.. I always been [Dak Prescott] [Ezekiel Elliott] [Cole Beasley] [Terrance Williams] I can't tag everyone but you know who you are # 1 supporters and still am. I want them to achieve everything they got they mind on"
-- Despite the many, many tweets Bryant sent out that night, he still ended his rant with a positive sentiment: he's still rooting for his former teammates and hopes to see them continue to succeed. (Dez Bryant/Twitter)
BRICK BY BRICK
"Every time we get the opportunity to step on the field, you gotta lay a brick. That's the foundation. We want to build a strong, reliable foundation, no tornado, no hurricane, no crazy storm can break this team apart."
-- Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson and his teammates are taking this brick metaphor extremely literally -- head coach Steven Wilks gave each of his players an actual brick to keep in their locker to hammer home the analogy. (Arizona Sports)
THEY'RE BUMPING 'SCORPION' DOWN IN DUVAL DURING THE OFFSEASON
"My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions."
-- Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey delivered this gem of a quote when asked by NFL.com to give his NFL Mount Rushmore. While the line is a lyric from Drake's new song "Survival," I wouldn't doubt that this probably is Ramsey's real answer. (NFL.com)
THERE'S A LITTLE BIT OF JAY CUTLER IN ALL OF US
"I'm not really looking to do a lot of work right now. I'm looking to do the exact opposite of that."
-- As seen on wife Kristin Cavallari's reality show Very Cavallari, former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler is embracing his re-retirement from the league in Jay Cutler fashion: by focusing on Jay Cutler and nothing else. (Melissa Jacobs/Twitter)
SOMETIMES IT'S THE PUPPET, SOMETIMES IT'S THE PUPPETEER
"The last defense we had seen was Minnesota's, and we were like, 'These dudes have got some players.' Then we see [the Patriots] and we're like, 'These dudes have got some ... coaches.'"
-- Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce always works in a New England Patriots jab where he can. This time, he reminisces on comparing the Minnesota Vikings defensive line and New England's. (Sports Illustrated)
"When they're going through stretch lines, is he patting them on the butt and getting them going?"
-- Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane on what he was looking for in a quarterback when he was scouting Josh Allen. (WGR 550 radio)
"High fiving and slapping butts. That's what we do around here."
-- Allen said this at rookie minicamp in May. Now that we know what Beane was watching for, it makes more sense in hindsight. (Joe Buscaglia, WKBW)
"PITBULL is a concert u can't miss"
-- Legendary Washington quarterback Joe Theismann let the world in on his big secret: He's a closet Pitbull fan! For the unfamiliar, Pitbull, aka Mr. Worldwide, is a Miami-based pop star whose hits include "Fireball," "Timber," and "Hotel Room Service." (Joe Theismann/Twitter)
THE REAL 'VICTORY ROYALES' ARE WON IN THE TRENCHES
"But here's the reason that most kids don't want to deal with it is because it's hard work. They don't like to do it. They don't want to be out in the heat working, and they would rather be inside watching TV or playing Fortnite."
-- Oklahoma State Cowboys coach Mike Gundy attempts to explain that kids these days would much rather be inside playing Fortnite than outside in the fields farming. (Austin Capps, KXZY radio/Twitter)
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NUMBERS NEVER LIE
"Damn I got cut and I'm a 93."
-- Houston Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu proves through Madden 19's player rankings that no one in the NFL is safe. Mathieu was the fifth-highest rated safety in the video game. He was also cut earlier this offseason by the Arizona Cardinals. (Tyrann Mathieu/Twitter)
"People forget the punt is actually an offensive play. You average more on a punt than any other play."
-- Duke head coach David Cutcliffe might be stretching for compliments if he's inferring that punts are the strongest aspect of his offense. (Joe L. Hughes II, Gaston Gazette/Twitter)
A NUTRITION TAKE THAT ONLY HARBAUGH COULD HAVE
"Early in his Michigan tenure, Harbaugh pulled Speight aside and told him not to eat chicken, a protein that is considered fairly safe by nutritionists. When Speight asked why, Harbaugh said, 'because it's a nervous bird.'"
-- Bleacher Report's Matt Hayes snuck this gem into his lengthy Michigan season preview, alleging that Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh believes that eating chicken could make you mentally weak or more easily scared. Harbaugh passed this advice along to then-Michigan starting quarterback Wilton Speight. (Bleacher Report)
"He thinks some type of sickness injected its way into the human population when people began eating white meats instead of beef and pork. And he believes it, 100 percent."
-- Speight, who has since transferred to UCLA, confirms that when it comes to eating white meat, Harbaugh is, for lack of a better term, chicken. (Detroit Free Press)
I LOVE YOU LIKE BENNY SNELL JR. LOVES BENNY SNELL JR.
"The best running back of 2018 is Benny Snell Jr. Benny Snell is the best running back because he's durable. I could get -- he could get 200-plus carries. That's the third person. He could get 200-plus carries and still be able to finish the season. [Against] Eastern Kentucky he broke his rib and was able to finish the game while still scoring a touchdown. Back to back 1,000 yards rushing as well as being amongst the numbers with Leonard Fournette, Herschel Walker, those guys. He's got a great work ethic. He's alright so far. He hasn't gotten the attention he's needed so he's OK."
-- Kentucky running back Benny Snell Jr. is so confident in himself that he spent an entire Media Day interview referring to himself in third person. (Tyler Thompson, Kentucky Sports Radio/Twitter)
NEVER LEAVE US, WADE PHILLIPS
Reporter: "Now you are 71 years old…"
Wade Phillips: "At least, yeah."
Reporter: "It is a big accomplishment, to still be in the league --"
Wade: "To still be alive, yeah."
-- Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips dives into a touch of dark humor as he's asked by a reporter about his age in the NFL. (Rich Hammond, Orange County Register/Twitter)
BALTIMORE'S BIG BABY
"I've been going by the nickname Big Baby since third grade, ever since AAU-PAL basketball. I was just a big kid, baby face, obviously, that's why I keep the beard. My mom used to have to carry my birth certificate to the games, so every time coach called timeout, 'Ay, no, he's too damn big to play," my mom used to run from the stands, 'Nuh-uh! Nuh-uh! My baby can play! He's only twelve years old!'"
-- Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Brandon "Big Baby" Williams provides the media with the backstory behind his nickname. (Baltimore Ravens/Twitter)
YOU CAN'T JUST ASK SOMEONE THAT!
"That's like asking a woman her age."
-- Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, looking much more slender than last season, balked at a media member asked him about his weight, During the offseason, Big Ben made a concerted effort to cut carbs and sugar from his diet. (Aditi Kinkhabwala, NFL Network/Twitter)
TAKE THIS ROSE BACK TO THE HOUSE FOR SIX
"Our return game is kind of like The Bachelor right now. We have about 12 contestants all with roses. We don't know who our returner is going to be. And if she doesn't like any of them we will bring in more"
-- New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton likens his team's battle for the main return spot to hit reality show The Bachelor. (Adam Schefter, ESPN/Twitter)
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FORGET MADDEN, GRUDEN'S TRYING TO BRING BACK TECMO BOWL
"He's bringing out film from like 1976 when you ain't even think they had film. Grainy film where you can barely see the players."
"We have a lot of ways to run. We can get into a two-back set. [Fullback] Keith Smith came over from Dallas. I've watched [Marshawn] Lynch carefully in his glory years in Seattle. He had a fullback in front of him. … He had a blocking tight end named Zach Miller. They weren't running zone reads and pop-passes and all that stuff. They were running the old-fashioned way. We have some components in place to do that. We also want to get there in a spread-out, open system and run the ball from a single-back set with all those fancy bubble passes."
-- Gruden saying the key to offensive football in the NFL in 2018 is running behind a fullback and using wide receiver screens in the passing game. And apparently the zone read wasn't a big part of the game for the Marshawn Lynch-Russell Wilson Seahawks. (NFL Network/Twitter, as captured by Josh Hermsmeyer of AirYards.com)
CARSON WENTZ DID THE THING, YOU GUYS
"I got some workouts in…*laughter*…in the fitness center."
-- Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz had the composure of a middle school boy in health class when a reporter asked about rehabbing his injury while on his honeymoon. (Mike Garafolo, NFL Network/Twitter)
HE'S GOT LEGS, HE KNOWS HOW TO USE THEM
"His quads are the size of my waist and whole upper body. I've never quite seen anything like it. I don't often stare at another man's legs, but in that case you can't quite help it."
-- New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is in awe of the size of his new rookie running back Saquon Barkley. Specifically, Barkley's tree-trunk legs are making Manning a little weak in the knees. (Bleacher Report/Twitter)
PREPARING FOR A 16-TEAM KEEPER LEAGUE WITH LIMITED WAIVER TRANSACTIONS IS A FULL-TIME JOB, DANNY
"It is pretty amazing to see everybody here. It makes me wonder if anybody has a job."
IT IS ANNOYING WHEN JETS DON'T ARRIVE ON TIME
"I told him he was late."
-- New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on what he said to rookie quarterback Sam Darnold when the third overall pick hit the practice field after a brief contract dispute. (Bob Glauber, Newsday/Twitter)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
IT'S BO TIME IN NORTH CAROLINA
Jesus has come back to life and his first stop was Panthers training camp pic.twitter.com/XnTd6BsyHf
— Laces Out. (@LacesOutShow) July 27, 2018
-- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had his mid-training camp hunger satisfied by a fan delivering him a box of Bojangles chicken
SOMETIMES, YOU GOTTA IMPROVISE
— Patrick Finley. (@patrickfinley) July 21, 2018
-- Due to a ban on media outside of training camp open period, Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times was forced to get creative when depicting Chicago Bears highlights.
HEY WADE, WHERE WE DROPPING?
When asked how he got the shirt, @sonofbum told me "They send it to you when you're the champion"
I seriously doubt the guy could even turn on an XBox though.with all due respect. pic.twitter.com/TVVrjyTOpJ
-- Los Angeles Rams punter Johnny Hekker snaps a photo and gives NFL fans a look into what defensive coordinator Wade Phillips does off the field.
LONG SNAPPERS ARE PEOPLE TOO
— Houston Texans. (@HoustonTexans) July 10, 2018
-- Houston Texans Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Weeks, along with many other long snappers around the league, were slighted when Madden 19's ratings came out. Apparently, the position "long snapper" doesn't exist in the game. Instead, each team's long snapper is instead labeled as a tight end with bottom-of-the-barrel skills.
UNCONVENTIONAL TRAINING METHODS
Aaron Rodgers to the man going full send off the boat pic.twitter.com/6fN8ZKxapl
— NBCSAuthentic. (@NBCSAuthentic) July 13, 2018
-- Don't have a retired wide receiver to work out with? Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers improvises with some rowdy boat-goers out on the lake.
LOOK AT THE SUBTLE, OFF-WHITE COLORING. THE TASTEFUL THICKNESS OF IT. OH MY GOD … IT EVEN HAS A WATERMARK
David Tepper delivers on his promise to long-time employee John Coleman pic.twitter.com/nhg3bBlCun
— Carolina Panthers. (@Panthers) July 16, 2018
-- When current Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper walked into the facilities as a prospective buyer, he was greeted by front desk operator and longtime team employee John Coleman. When Tepper asked for Coleman's business card, Coleman said that he didn't have any, nor had he ever made his own business cards. Tepper promised Coleman that if he bought the Panthers, he would have a stack of business cards with Coleman's name on them. This month, he fulfilled that promise.
TYROD-MAYFIELD PAPER COMPANY
The Office. (2018) pic.twitter.com/1BCB97Lkuj
— Cleveland Browns. (@Browns) July 19, 2018
-- Between this video and the Browns' upcoming appearance on Hard Knocks, we're going to be getting a lot of Cleveland content before this season kicks off. And for once, I'm more than OK with that.