The Week in Quotes

Football players (and coaches and front-office people) say the darndest things

The Month In Quotes: May 2018

by Cale Clinton


"I just don't know how backing up or being the third guy, who knows where he's going to fall on the depth chart, helps us win now."

—Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was confused as to why his team chose quarterback Mason Rudolph so early in this year's draft. Big Ben has said in other interviews that he hasn't yet spoken to Rudolph and wouldn't be helping him learn the playbook any time soon. Roethlisberger has gone into the last few offseasons publicly contemplating retirement. (SI Now/Twitter)


"I mean, I love Tom Brady, but I don't know if he can help me if he was on the court with me right now. I love that people wanted me on their team, but at the same time, I just wanted to hear from the coaches and the players about what they needed or why they wanted me on their team and what I needed to do as a player."

—Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant recently opened up on why New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn't sway him into signing with the Boston Celtics over the Warriors. In 2016, back when Durant was a free agent, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge flew to the Hamptons in order to pitch Durant on signing with the Celtics. With him came then-Celtics Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and … New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady? Yes, the quarterback was invited to a basketball team's recruitment pitch in order to be an ambassador to the city of Boston and to sell Durant on what being a sports legend in New England could be like as the face of the Celtics. (

"Some guy named Tom Brady. Who the f**k is Tom Brady?"

—Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is mostly known around baseball for the sheer longevity of his career. One NFL player who's trying to extend his career a little longer is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Apparently, in the spring of 2017, Brady got Ichiro's number from former baseball player and mutual friend Alex Rodriguez. Brady texted Ichiro saying he'd like to come meet him and study his stretching system. Ichiro was clearly unfamiliar with one of the faces of the NFL. (Jaried Diamond/Twittervia The Athletic)


"High fiving and slapping butts. That's what we do around here."

—Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen might be a rookie, but he's clearly managing to stay calm and loose during Buffalo's OTAs. (Joe Buscaglia, Twitter)


"Happy birthday. Your mom is hitting on me, so if you wake up tomorrow morning and I'm at the house, I'm your new daddy!"

—NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor took a birthday shoutout to a fan off the rails. (Barstool Sports/Twitter)


"If you honor and respect the system that we have, (despite) some of the imperfections that you understand that the system has, then you wouldn't do something out of respect for the system that we have. I guess anybody has the prerogative to claim anything. But self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it. And there's probably a significant number of people who don't respect people who make self-proclaimed sort of accolades for themselves."

—Alabama head coach Nick Saban has allowed Central Florida's shenanigans to go on long enough. After an offseason full of Central Florida declaring their undefeated season as a full-blown National Championship, Saban finally interjects. (USA Today)


"My favorite unpopular opinion has to do with pass-rushing phenom Takkarist McKinley. I like Takk just as much as the next Falcons fan with a pulse, but I'd be ecstatic if he stayed off social media … forever. I had these same thoughts about Falcons great Roddy White. Like White, Takk has a tendency to say a little too much a little too often on social media. There's no questioning his talent and effort on the field, and to be clear, his Twitter shenanigans obviously don't lose games. But just put down the smart phone, Takk. Put. It. Down."

—This week on Twitter, a lot of people decided to share their unpopular opinions on a bevy of different topics. Atlanta Falcons-centric news site The Falcoholic decided to get in on the fun by sharing their unpopular Falcons opinions, one being that Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley should get off social media. Well…

"Damn…you just got youself blocked #TakkWillKeepTweeting"

—Takk decided to take it upon himself to make sure The Falcoholic won't have to see his social media antics anymore! (Takk McKinley, Twitter)


"That's Carter [Shanahan], Kyle's son. Named after the Young Carter! He's named after Lil Wayne, Carter … That's why he's our favorite coach … He was obsessed with Lil Wayne my early years in the NFL."

—Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms revealed on his show, Simms and Lefkoe, that San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan named his son after rap icon Lil Wayne. Wayne's government name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., hence the name. Shanahan coached Simms at Texas back in 2002, and they have their initials tattooed on each other. (, The Simms and Lefkoe Podcast)


"[The 57 on Heinz ketchup bottles] is placed at the precise spot where if one taps it gently on the tipped bottle, the ketchup flows freely from the bottle. Even the new plastic squeeze bottles have a perfectly placed '57' at its optimal squeezing position. The person who figured that out was a genius … When I see a large football player turn a bottle of ketchup upside down and pound at its heel with tremendous force yet with limited success, I immediately make the mental note: 'He must either play defensive line, or if he plays offensive line, he can't play for me.'"

—Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Paul Alexander detailed in his book, Perform, how he can rule out certain offensive linemen playing for him by the way they try to dispense ketchup from a bottle. (Bobby Belt/Twitter, Perform by Paul Alexander)


"When you really look at it, it doesn't make sense for Jason Garrett to continue to have his job. (The Cowboys are) not really expanding or not really progressing with the organization, even as a team, under his coaching tenure there."

—Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens didn't mince words when he said the current head coach of his former team should be fired for failing to improve the team. After a successful 2016 season fueled in part by the emergence of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, the Cowboys failed to make the playoffs the following year. Owens believes that if anyone must be held accountable for this stagnant growth, it should be Garrett. (USA Today)

"I'm willing to take league min salary to get back in the NFL … I'm still in shape."

—In other T.O. news, we could soon be seeing a comeback from the wide receiver who was elected into the Hall of Fame earlier this year. Owens made himself very clear on the Pat McAfee Show that he is currently working out and would take the league minimum in order to extend his 15-year career. (Pat McAfee/Twitter)


"I do think that the team would've bought in more to what coach Carroll was saying [if we had won Super Bowl 49] instead of going the opposite way of 'Hey, this is what we thought the foundation of this team was, and that's not what happened in that particular play.' So I think guys started questioning him a bit more moreso than actually following his lead if we won the Super Bowl."

—Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril opens up to Dave Dameshek about how the Seahawks fell apart internally after blowing the end of Super Bowl 49 to the New England Patriots. Because certain play calling led to the now famous Malcolm Butler interception, players on the Seahawks began to question head coach Pete Carroll's methodology, causing a rift in the organization and ultimately ending a would-be dynasty. (Dave Dameshek/Twitter)



Garden party.

A post shared by New England Patriots (@patriots) on

—New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft was seen courtside with rap legend and apparent Celtics fan Gucci Mane during the Boston Celtics-Philadelphia 76ers playoff series.

—Kraft even got turned into a bit of a meme as he confusingly listened in on a conversation between Gucci Mane and Philly-based rapper Meek Mill.


—Former NFL player Isaiah Pead took his first steps with a prosthetic limb earlier last month after having his leg amputated in a near-deadly car accident. Great strides being made for Pead after a promising career was tragically cut short.


—Whenever Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton is on TV, just picture his little son reenacting all his dad's highlights in the living room as they play out.


—Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce made a cameo appearance on set of the hit comedy It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia portraying the fat version of co-creator Rob McElhenney's character Mac, AKA "Fat Mac."


—Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee may have found a second career in sports after retiring from the NFL. At this point, LeBron James needs all the help he can get after falling 0-2 to the Golden State Warriors, so maybe he should give Pat a call.


—Baltimore rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson fully embraces being a Raven as he breaks out ex-Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis' old dance moves.


—Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield breaks out some dance moves of his own, this time borrowing some taunts from hit game Fortnite.


—Oakland Raiders rookie defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. just got his first taste of NFL money, but that money's going straight toward finding a new place to live in the very expensive Bay Area.


9 comments, Last at 20 Jun 2018, 8:08pm

1 Re: The Month In Quotes: May 2018

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Jun 04, 2018 - 10:18pm

I've never understood why people will begin a comment with "I mean,". Of course you're about to say what you mean, isn't that why you're talking? I've seen internet commenters do this to good effect, but it's always used at least somewhat as a self-depricating joke.

I'm all about descriptivism when it comes to language, but there have to be some rules, or else language would be mostly an impediment to communication, like Hobbes warned us would happen.

Login or Register to post comments

2 Re: The Month In Quotes: May 2018

by dbostedo // Jun 04, 2018 - 11:32pm

I mean, sometimes you have to, you know, like, just use some interjections, or whatever they're called... irregardless, let me ask you a question... are you a grammar, watchamacallit, nazi, so to speak? And stuff. (And I feel like that should all be read in a heavy Brooklyn accent.)

Login or Register to post comments

6 Re: The Month In Quotes: May 2018

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Jun 08, 2018 - 3:57pm

I mean, I just said I'm mostly a descriptivist and not a prescriptivist. While I might choose not to say "irregardless", for one example, I know what's meant when somebody else does and it's worse than useless to try to "correct" people. You're saying it's the same as beginning a statement with "Well,…". That would make sense.

Also, I'm not sure when everybody agreed we'd all move punctuation outside of quotes, as I did twice above. I'm certain I was taught the opposite in elementary school. I think outside is actually better though.

Login or Register to post comments

3 Re: The Month In Quotes: May 2018

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Jun 05, 2018 - 8:45am

In written language, it's a terrible convention, unless you're literally transcribing spoken text (and is often what birdpeople refer to as a "dick move" even then).

However, verbal tics do serve a structural purpose in informal speech, especially in dialogue, in that they indicate the speaker is considering the statement and is not ignoring the question. "Umm" serves the same purpose. Reflexively using it is lazy ("like" is badly overused), but it's not useless.

Spoken language is not written language. Consider this from Updike:

But then they were married (she felt awful about being pregnant before but Harry had been talking about marriage for a while and anyway laughed when she told him in early February about missing her period and said Great she was terribly frightened and he said Great and lifted her put his arms around under her bottom and lifted her like you would a child he could be so wonderful when you didn’t expect it in a way it seemed important that you didn’t expect it there was so much nice in him she couldn’t explain to anybody she had been so frightened about being pregnant and he made her be proud) they were married after her missing her second period in March and she was still little clumsy dark-complected Janice Springer and her husband was a conceited lunk who wasn’t good for anything in the world Daddy said and the feeling of being alone would melt a little with a little drink.

That's high-art written text from a cherished author. It's also a horror show for speech. There are two separate written asides, ambiguously proper nouns, and multiple tense shifts. It's correct language, but inappropriate for speech. A listener cannot parse this adequately. And this is a short example. Coe dropped a 33 page, 14,000 word sentence. Enard wrote a 517-page sentence in French.

It's also worth considering that quotes are taken in only partial context. The writer often does not translate their question verbatim, and excludes interjections by other speakers, spoken interruptions, and background noise. Sometimes verbal pauses are in response to these. Depositions and legal transcripts are often staccato because lawyers think they are paid by the word rather than the hour and cannot help themselves from interrupting the deponent. Linguistic performance is subject to environmental constraints.

Probably not what you expected from a complaint about "I mean", huh?

Login or Register to post comments

7 Re: The Month In Quotes: May 2018

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Jun 08, 2018 - 4:06pm

I had some similar thoughts after posting, about verbal vs. written language and looking for meaning in the inclusion of the "I mean" in a transcription of a verbal quote. When I checked for replies, I assumed I'd either be ignored, or there would be something unexpected and interesting. I try very hard not to expect anything in particular in life :)

P.S. There is NO WAY you are the same as Aaron Brooks' Evil Twin. Right? If you are one person, good job managing your personas.

Login or Register to post comments

5 Re: The Month In Quotes: May 2018

by ChrisS // Jun 06, 2018 - 1:45pm

I am OK with it, it is not written prose but part of an interview. It is probably being used to imply that the next statement is not "literally" true. He says he loves TB and he is using love in a non-literal non-romantic way. I prefer what Calvin had to say about this situation.

Login or Register to post comments

4 Re: The Month In Quotes: May 2018

by justanothersteve // Jun 05, 2018 - 4:29pm

Roethlisberger came into the NFL when Favre was already openly hinting of retirement. Roethlisberger saw how that turned out. He should have just shut up.

Login or Register to post comments

8 Re: The Month In Quotes: May 2018

by Guest789 // Jun 11, 2018 - 2:37pm

"Shanahan coached Simms at Texas back in 2002, and they have their initials tattooed on each other."

Wait, what. I feel like this is not getting enough discussion.

Login or Register to post comments

9 Re: The Month In Quotes: May 2018

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Jun 20, 2018 - 8:08pm

You hadn't heard that? I remember hearing about that years ago (and reacting about the same), but I'd forgotten about it until reading this

Login or Register to post comments