by Cale Clinton
PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE DON'T YOU THINK?
"I want to get to the playoffs. I want to build a team with Mike and Todd that can compete for the playoffs every year, and that can't happen fast enough. But there's no mandate."
-- New York Jets interim owner Christopher Johnson told media there was "no mandate" on getting to the playoffs next year after extending both head coach Todd Bowles and general Manager Mike Maccagnan. The Jets finished 5-11 this season and have not made the playoffs since 2010. (New York Daily News)
WHAT A PARTY POOPER
"That parade is a joke don't call yourself a true browns fan if you go to that thing! Going 0-16 was embarrassing enough as a player. That is like adding fuel to the fire and it is completely wrong!"
MARCUS PETERS WON'T TAKE YOUR SYMPATHIES
"Let's go Marcus!"
-- A Chiefs fan in the tunnel gives some genuine cheers for Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters after the Chiefs lost to the Tennessee Titans 22-21.
"Shi*t, where we going, home?"
-- Peters' response as he runs into the locker room. (NFL Update, Twitter)
REALLY TOUGH TO LOOK AHEAD IN THE PLAYOFFS WHEN IT'S ONE-AND-DONE, BUT THE STEELERS STILL MANAGE TO
"We can play them in hell, we can play them in Haiti. We can play them in New England. We're gonna win."
-- Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Mike Mitchell looks past the Jaguars to a potential rematch with the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. Earlier this season, head coach Mike Tomlin made comments about his excitement for playing against New England three weeks prior to their matchup. The Steelers would go on to narrowly overtake two divisional opponents, then lose to the Patriots on the last play of the game. (The MMQB, Twitter)
WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY
"[The Jacksonville Jaguars] are the best team in football. The best team. The problem is they have the 70th best quarterback, and I don't mean to be a jerk to Blake Bortles. The facts are the facts. He just can't throw the football."
"The only cool thing Chris Simms ever did was nearly bleed out on the football field."
-- Former Jaguars offensive lineman Tony Boselli dropped the hammer on Simms for speaking ill of Blake Bortles. In 2006, Simms went down after a hard hit against the Carolina Panthers. He would return to the game and even lead a scoring drive, but was taken to the hospital after the game. Simms had ruptured his spleen on the hit and would need emergency surgery. Simms said he had lost five pints of blood and conceded that another 45 minutes without treatment would have most likely ended in his death. (Hank Jones, Twitter)
QUARTERBACK INSTABILITY? JAY GRUDEN DOESN'T LIKE THAT
"I think something has to be done. I personally don't want to go through another one-year deal and just one-year and one-year. I think you want to have a quarterback in here that's going to be here, and hopefully that is Kirk, and if not, we have to move on and do what we have to do as an organization. But for the most part, the great quarterbacks are in the same system year in and year out and are developing in that system. We're not holding our breath every March, April waiting for the guy. But if that's the case, that's the case, but we like Kirk and his development. He's played well at times without a doubt, he's proven that he's a good starting NFL quarterback."
I MEAN WHEN YOU GOTTA GO, YOU GOTTA GO
"I was going to the bathroom on the sideline (in a porta potty). I could tell which side was the Alabama side. Alabama's side was the left of our team and Georgia was to the right of the team. The left side started cheering I knew it was us and we got the first down or we scored a touchdown. It was the right side, it was Georgia and I would have to go out on the field and go back on defense. That's how I knew what was going on."
-- Alabama defensive back Minka Fitzpatrick admitted that he actually missed quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's game-winning strike downfield due to the fact that he was taking care of business of a different nature. (AL.com)
'SO JON, TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF'
"1. I love football.
2. I love the city of Oakland.
3. I love the Raiders.
4. I love to win."
-- Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden gave his four reasons as to why he left ESPN to take the Raiders job. Oh, and also -- someone should let Jon know No. 2 on his list won't be relevant for eight of the ten years he is signed on for. (Will Brinson, Twitter)
LOSE AND HAVE FUN OR WIN RINGS WITH A STRICT COACH? DECISIONS, DECISIONS
"The way he runs his organization, I've been through that process. I don't like it. It's too strict. ... [Belichick's] a great winner, he's a great coach. I don't know if [his style] is what the organization really wants. … I talked to guys who played for [his] team. They love winning, but at the same time, they don't want to be on the team."
-- New York Giants safety Landon Collins explained that, despite some rumors saying New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick would leave New England for the Giants, the Giants may not want him around. This is the same club that struggled with in-team fighting all season and wrapped themselves up in "boat party" controversy during last year's playoffs. (98.5 The Sports Hub)
WELL HE SURE AS HELL CAN'T BE CARSON
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BLAKE BORTLES: THE LeBRON JAMES OF THE NFL
"It'll probably never stop. There's people that think LeBron James sucks. So if that happens, I'm sure there are a lot of people who will always think I suck."
BILL BELICHICK: NOT A FAN OF DVOA
"You know how I feel about stats. Stats are for losers. Final scores are for winners."
—New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wages war on stats nerds and analytics with this quote. Maybe we should send him a copy of our Almanac to sway him to the Dark Side. (Pardon My Take, Instagram)
THE WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
NOT SAFE FOR WORK -- OR, APPARENTLY, FOR TROPHIES
— 5th Year (@5thYear) January 5, 2018
-- Prior to Alabama's performance in this year's National Championship, strength and conditioning coach demolishes last year's runner-up trophy in the middle of the team's locker room.
STOP, STOP! THEY'RE ALREADY DEAD!
— Tim Givens (@TGGivens) January 8, 2018
-- The New Orleans Times-Picayune breaks the news that the Panthers have announced their replacement for owner Jerry Richardson: the team that beat them on three separate occasions this year.
LIKE NEW ENGLAND NEEDED ANY MORE DISTRACTIONS DURING THE PLAYOFFS
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 10, 2018
-- New England quarterback Tom Brady will be the center of a new Facebook docu-series called "Tom vs. Time." The series will center around Brady trying to stay at the top of his game during his age-40 season.