by Cale Clinton
WE'RE WITH YOU, JIM
"I might have lost four Super Bowls in a row, but I've kicked cancer's ass twice, and I plan on making it a third, with the grace of God."
THIS QUOTE ALONE SHOULD MOVE HIS DRAFT STOCK UP
"I loved those NCAA Football games growing up. Every year, I'd create myself as a player and play for OU. I was always a running back, which goes to show that maybe it is possible to dream too big. I'd hand myself the ball 50 to 60 times a game. Total workhorse. Countless hours played. Broke every record. Amazing time in my life."
-- Former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield reminisces on one of the greatest videogame sports franchises, NCAA Football. The franchise was unfortunately discontinued after NCAA Football 14. If the NCAA ever works out that whole "compensating players for their likeness" thing, maybe they'll bring it back! (Laces Out Show/Instagram)
PUTTING YOUR BALLS ON THE TABLE
"I would punch myself in the nuts many, many, many times to be able to draft him."
-- An anonymous assistant coach is willing to go through a lot of pain to be able to draft former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. (Bleacher Report)
REFFING IS TEMPORARY BUT THOSE GUNS ARE FOREVER
"I've decided to retire. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to head to the gym, make sure that my body remains the temple that it is and of course, make sure the lactic acid buildup gets addressed by a vigorous regimen of stretching. In other words, I'm off to do curls."
-- Former NFL referee Ed Hochuli, known for his bulging biceps, announces retirement in the only way he knew how. (Rich Eisen)
COACH O FINALLY CATCHES UP TO TECHNOLOGY
"Then I found out it was daylight savings time. So we coached the team up all week with discipline, but I'm old-fashioned. I've got a clock by my bed. But their iPhones automatically turn over, right? I didn't figure that out till last night. I was moving my clock ahead, you know what I mean? I was nervous. I was nervous as heck."
-- LSU head coach Ed Orgeron talks about how he just learned that phones can automatically correct for daylight savings time. (Pardon My Take/Instagram)
".@markkiszla putting the blame on Talib for the #Broncos going 5-11 last season in this weeks edition of Kickin' it with Kiz. Do you agree with him?"
-- Tweet by the Denver Post, advertising a column by Mark Kiszla blaming cornerback Aqib Talib for Denver's poor showing in 2017.
"I blame you and all of your negative stories all year. Why do you cover the Broncos if you hate them?"
-- Talib's response to Kiszla and the Post. (Aqib Talib/Twitter)
THIS MONTH IN WACKY WADE PHILLIPS
"It's expensive agency, Not free agency."
-- Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has been blessing Twitter timelines with his dad jokes all March. ((Wade Phillips/Twitter)
"I have to do 1 more -- By Signing Aqib and Marcus -looks like we (the Rams) have Cornered the market. Sorry but it had [to] be said."
-- More Wade. (Wade Phillips/Twitter)
"I think the defensive coordinator has more swag than all of them, so we'll be in good shape."
-- Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, when asked about how he's going to handle all these new personalities, notes that the coolest cat in the locker room doesn't even suit up for games. (Gary Klein/Twitter)
IT'S ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW
"Workin the phones Recruiting. Come to TN!! TaxFree lol #FreeAgency."
-- Tennessee Titans cornerback Logan Ryan pats himself on the back for some of the work he's done to draw in free agents this offseason. The Titans landed two of Ryan's former New England Patriots teammates in cornerback Malcolm Butler and running back Dion Lewis. (Logan Ryan/Twitter)
"If u and [Malcolm Butler] wanna send y'all former safeties some money I'll text y'all my acct number…I'm sure [Duron Harmon] and [Patrick Chung] want in lol"
THE BEAST THAT TRAVELED EAST
"I know Eli Manning is probably watching this and thinking…yes, I'm coming. I know Dak [Prescott] is watching this like, 'Yeah, he's coming.' Yeh, I am. And Alex Smith, he knows he can't run from me. I told him that in the Pro Bowl."
ALWAYS DO THE BARE MINIMUM RESEARCH, FOLKS
"How do you make this statement and not include the two first-team AP All Pro safeties??"
"You're looking at who writers tell u who's the best I know who players and former players feel is the best. I rest my case. You continue to be a fan and I will continue being the man."
-- Deion, seemingly not knowing who Byard is, responds to his Tweet and doubles down on the previous statement.
"And If you didn't know, I am a Current player who watches a ton of film so trust me, I know who's balling and who is not. Talking about being a fan."
IT'S BILL'S LEAGUE, EVERYONE ELSE IS JUST PLAYING IN IT
"Whenever Belichick makes a trade, the whole league gets nervous. Teams always wonder, 'What does he know that I'm missing?' He's in a lot of people's heads."
-- An anonymous front office executive gave Bleacher Reports' Mike Freeman this gem following the New England Patriots' trade of wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams. (Mike Freeman, Twitter)
NOT AS BAD AS THE NEW MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SONG
"If you go back and look at the schedule, generally we got one of the worst NFL games each week. You're trying to make something sound interesting and exciting that isn't."
-- Former Monday Night Football commentator Sean McDonough gave this reason as to why he voluntarily stepped down from his role with the program. (ProFootballTalk)
NATIONAL MONEYBALL LEAGUE
-- Packers writer Zachary Jacobson of Cheeshead TV made this comment in reaction to the low contracts that high-profile safeties were pulling in this offseason.
"Teams think they can replace safeties because of the 'systems' they run. Teams want pass-rushers and top-flight corners. The safety position is becoming a devalued position. So safeties have to literally play lights out, to even be valued."
-- Houston Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu quote tweeted Jacobson's original message and provided his own two cents. Mathieu, touted as one of the best safeties in the NFL, made a point this offseason to say his main priority was winning as opposed to money when looking at teams. (Tyrann Mathieu/Twitter)
THE MATH BEHIND THE MUSIC
"We got more analytics than probably any team in the league. We have all the gimmicks and gadgets, and we're going to have a DJ on the practice field. We're going to throw bubble screens and RPOs. We're going to have all the statistical data that everybody else has."
-- Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has gone all in on analytics … we think? (Michael Smith/Twitter)
SOMETIMES IT CAN EVEN BE YOUR OWN KIN
"Because of fit, I would take Sam Darnold if I were the Cleveland Browns. I think (he has) that blue-collar, gritty attitude. I think his teammates will love him. I think the city will love him. He'll say the right things. He'll come in and represent well. I think he kind of represents the Cleveland Browns."
-- Former UCLA head coach Jim Mora went on NFL Network to say he would take former USC quarterback Sam Darnold No. 1 overall. Mora coached top quarterback prospect Josh Rosen at UCLA last season, and was fired and replaced with Chip Kelly during the offseason. (Matt Joye/Twitter)
"My man, he can run!"
-- NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders, during a blistering 40-yard dash by caucasian Penn State defensive back Troy Apke.
"Why are you surprised, Deion?"
-- Sanders' colleague Mike Mayock.
"You know why I'm surprised. I can't say it on TV. But he can run run!"
"He just ran 4.35."
-- Mayock, reporting Apke's 40-time.
"Hey man, let me go hug him!"
-- Sanders, who did indeed go hug him. (NFL Network/Twitter)
KIDS AND THEIR PHONES THESE DAYS
"The ability to text is huge. You can shoot off a proposal, an idea, to 10 or 15 general managers in less than two minutes. In the days when you had to call, and let's just say the other person says, 'OK, I'll get back to you.' And when you make your second call, here comes the GM you called first. Now, you're playing phone tag."
-- Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead explains how texting between GMs has led to an uptick in trades across the league. (Sam Farmer/Los Angeles Times)
RAINING ON THE 12TH MAN'S PARADE
"I definitely enjoyed the city of Seattle and I enjoyed the fans there and have tremendous love and appreciation for the years I've spent there and love and respect that they've given me over the years. Would love to get to play in that stadium again, wearing different colors, trying my best to ruin their day, perhaps."
-- San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman opens up about leaving the Seattle Seahawks. According to him, staying in-division and playing against his former team twice a year was a large factor in choosing his new team. (Seahawks Wire)
FREE AGENCY NUGGETS
"So dumb. Bradford has been paid more for nothing than anyone in history of [the NFL]."
-- Baltimore Ravens safety Eric Weddle on quarterback Sam Bradford's one-year, $20 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals. Per Over The Cap, Bradford has been paid more than $124 million by NFL teams. In eight seasons, he has gone 34-45-1 as a starter. (Eric Weddle, Twitter)
"Kirk Cousins is a hero for all the young players that will follow after him. Now we need more players to bet on themselves until fully guaranteed contracts are the norm and not the exception."
-- Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, congratulating quarterback Kirk Cousins on his fully guaranteed $79.5 million, three-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings, and encouraging other players to seek similar deals. (Doug Baldwin, Twitter)
"It's always funny and sad how fans ridicule players after they lose their jobs. Get cut, injury or traded. You would never do that to another person who loses a job. Dehumanizing athletes as if they aren't real with families or struggles like others."
IT WAS A BAD DAY
"I've had to stay off Twitter. There's so many 12-year-olds in my DMs telling me they're stronger than me."
-- Former Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Orlando Brown after he posted a mere 14 reps on the bench press at the NFL combine. (Sports Illustrated)
EVERYBODY'S GOT A PLAN TILL THEY GET PUNCHED IN THE FACE
"The one question that sticks out is I sat down, and the first thing the coach asked me is what I would do if he punched me in the face right now? To me, being from Cleveland, my natural reaction was, 'Coach, no disrespect but if you punch me in the face, we're gonna fight right here.' That was just my natural response. I guess that's what he wanted to hear, because he said, 'Good.'"
-- Former Ohio State linebacker Jerome Baker reveals the most bizarre interview question he was asked at the NFL combine. (USA Today Draft Wire)
THIS MONTH IN SOCIAL MEDIA
A SECRET RECIPE RIGHT UP THERE WITH THE KRABBY PATTY AND BIG MAC SAUCE
i met andy reid at the airport today. somehow we had a long talk about thanksgiving foods and he gave me the cheeses he uses in his mac and cheese recipe. pic.twitter.com/hNzoIn7WL7
— charles mcdonald (a guy at the airport) (@FourVerts) March 5, 2018
-- Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid let loose with FO's own Charles McDonald and lets the whole league know what it has been wondering for years: what kind of cheese does he use in his macaroni and cheese?
— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) March 7, 2018
-- Arrowhead Pride took that recipe and tried it for themselves.
YOU BROUGHT A KNIFE TO A DONALD FIGHT
— D Brown (@2_10ths) April 1, 2018
-- So apparently Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald has begun training hand-eye coordination by going up against a man armed with knives. Not a whole lot of analysis to provide there. That's just absurd.
-- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster began campaigning this month to bring NBA All-Star LeBron James out of basketball and into a black-an- yellow uniform.
-- At first, LeBron didn't seem too keen on ditching the hardwood for the gridiron.
-- -Nevertheless, JuJu persisted. He traveled to a Cavaliers game donned in a custom LeBron James Steelers jersey.
-- He even imagined just how LeBron would fare at receiver by putting him in Madden. Even in a league of behemoth athletes, James still manages to tower over everybody.
-- Maybe there's hope for #LeBronToPittsburgh after all…
TOM BRADY IS BETTER THAN YOU AT EVERYTHING
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) March 13, 2018
-- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady appeared on Stephen Colbert's Late Show, where Colbert had Brady stray away from some of the things he's sworn off eating in his TB12 diet. This included a tall glass of beer, which Brady claimed he could chug pretty well back in his days of drinking.
THE GREAT WALL OF CLEVELAND HANGS IT UP
Every QB @joethomas73 blocked for:
R. Griffin III
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) March 14, 2018
-- In the wake of Cleveland Browns center Joe Thomas' retirement, NFL's The Checkdown put together a list of every single quarterback that Thomas has blocked for in Cleveland's continued quarterback carousel.
Dear @Browns fans: At your request, 7/3/18 is officially going to be Joe Thomas Day in the City of #CLE in honor of #Browns great, #73 @joethomas73.
We wish you well on your retirement, sir!
Thanks for representing #CLE well. pic.twitter.com/rx0L1dZc8V
— City of Cleveland (@CityofCleveland) March 15, 2018
-- The City of Cleveland even declared for there to be a Joe Thomas Day on July 13, 2018.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 19, 2018
-- In his retirement speech, Joe Thomas managed to crack a few jokes at the coaches and quarterbacks he's come to know during his time with the Browns.
$2 MILLION CONTRACT, $1 PEN
Hey, @Lions, y'all couldn't have given your new running back a nicer pen to sign with? Doesn't have to be one of those fancy fountain pens, but at least give him like a weighty, executive-style ballpoint or something. Sheesh. pic.twitter.com/tYCIBymPDw
— Bryce Rossler (@btrossler) March 17, 2018
-- Detroit Lions beat writer Bryce Rossler of the Detroit Lions Podcast noted the quality of pen the Lions gave to new running back LeGarrette Blount to sign his contract. Take some pride in your writing utensils, guys.
WHITE QUARTERBACKS CAN JUMP
-- In an offseason full of surprises, none have shocked me as much as seeing New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown show off his handles in a couple basketball games.
ALL-EASTER NFL TEAM
Team of the day: pic.twitter.com/B2BgTovMbY
— Quirky Research (@QuirkyResearch) April 1, 2018
-- Quirky Research put together a roster of Easter/Passover-related NFL players, including such greats as Eggs Manske. Randy Cross, and Rabbit Keen.
THIS DOG JUST MOVED TO THE TOP OF MY DRAFT BOARD
-- New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram gets wrangled down to the ground by a police dog during his NFL-USO tour in Italy.