by Cale Clinton
LET KHALIL RUN HIS ERRANDS IN PEACE
"Man, I pull up to Home Goods and people are waiting on me in the parking lot."
-- Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack has seemingly struggled a bit with being the new face of the franchise. That's the price you pay for being Chicago football back into relevancy. (NFL on ESPN)
PATRICK MAHOMES' NEW NICKNAME: THE RED BARON
"Sniper vision. Patrick's got sniper vision. He sees like a great fighter pilot. You can't coach that."
-- Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid dotes over quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his ability to hit small targets from long distances with accuracy. (NFL via Instagram)
ICING ON THE CAKE
"Crazy to have Coach Belichick, a legendary coach I've watched my whole life, come up to me after the game and tell me he respects my game and how I play!!!"
-- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster got a special congratulations from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after the Steelers' 17-10 win against the Patriots. (JuJu Smith-Schuster via Twitter)
"On Madden 2003, we had a bug where all the players vanished. Just a stadium, a field, and a ball at midfield. A Jr. coder named James said: 'Did you check inside the ball?' Smirking, we checked w/ the debug cam. AND THERE THEY WERE. Tiny players, in formation, in the ball."
-- EASports employee Jim Heji engaged in a Twitter thread of most embarrassing game dev errors, telling the story of how 22 players ended up inside of a football (Jim Heji, EA via Twitter)
FIX PRO BOWLS, NOT PUNTING
"Oh, yeah, absolutely there was great frustration for me. I didn't make it, I don't think, until my 11th year. It was ridiculous. There was years where I was clearly the best middle linebacker in whatever conference I was playing in, and here I am first or second alternate. There was one time where a guy who made it ahead of me missed like half the season and still was voted ahead of me in the Pro Bowl because he was more popular. It's frustrating, especially if you're playing in a smaller market or you're playing on a team that's not winning. You're not going to get all the accolades that you deserve."
-- Former Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher vented his frustrations about the current state of the Pro Bowl selection process, citing his own experiences with the Pro Bowl as a cautionary tale. (CBS Sports Radio)
RUN, FREDDIE, RUN
"I like it here. I like it here a lot. Everybody around here knows that I like it here. I love the town of Cleveland. Cleveland and I get along. I didn't have a Dad as a coach. I didn't have a starting point in this league. I grew up the son of a tire maker at Goodyear Tire and Rubber plant in Gadsden, Alabama. Benjamin E. Mays said, 'Those who start behind in the game must run faster to catch up.' And I feel like I've been running fast my whole life. That's the way I'm going to continue. Whether it's here or what, I'm just here to do a job, right now this week and this year."
-- Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens gives an incredibly real answer when asked if he'd like to be back with Cleveland's coaching staff next year. (Pat McManamon, ESPN)
LEAVE LARRY ALONE
"If I decide to retire, I'll let you guys know. Man, seriously. So, I don't understand why we keep asking these questions. You know me; I've been answering for the last three years. Nothing's going to change ... I'm never going to tell you, 'This is my last day. I'm excited. Honor me.' Those words would never come out of my mouth, ever."
-- Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is just tired of all the questions about his potential retirement. Next season Fitzgerald will be 36. (NFL.com)
TALK TO EDDIE LACY ABOUT THE DANGERS OF 'CHINA FOOD'
"I got a bunch of Chinese food, sat on my couch, and watched Netflix."
-- San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle celebrated his first Pro Bowl selection in style. (The Checkdown via Twitter)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 21, 2018
-- Before being selected first overall in last April's draft, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had a mini-heart attack after receiving a prank call from a friend.
COACH O: ALPHA MALE
— Jacques Doucet (@JacquesDoucet) December 20, 2018
-- LSU head coach Ed Orgeron's raised voice commands your attention at all times.
A MAN OF FEW WORDS
Luck is the best pic.twitter.com/ANEYGtlCQK
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) December 16, 2018
-- Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had very little to say in his on-field postgame interview, and former teammate Pat McAfee took some enjoyment out of it.