by Cale Clinton
OFFENSE WINS GAMES, BUREAUCRACY WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
"If you're up there too much, you're either too dumb to play here or you don't give a sh*t."
-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said he keeps a running "accountability sheet" that logs the penalties and mental errors of his players each day. (Greg Auman, The Athletic via Twitter)
HE CRUSHES DREAMS, HE DOESN'T ANALYZE THEM
"I'm not an analyst of nightmares."
-- New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked during a press conference about pass rusher Trey Flowers having a nightmare about being unable to set the edge. Bill gave his most Belichick-ian answer. (Nora Princiotti, Boston Globe via Twitter)
DOOR CLOSING ON TOMLIN?
"Hey @DeAngeloRB - any thoughts on the Steelers firing of James Saxon?"
-- A Steelers fan asks former Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams about the firing of running backs coach James Saxon.
"Well it all makes sense with firing coaches as a head coach it buys u time"
-- Williams seems to be hinting that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin may be near the end of his rope. (DeAngelo Williams via Twitter)
THE STATE OF HOLDING IN THE NFL
"I get what the ref saw but that's not a holding"
-- Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz noted a questionable holding call made during the NFL wild-card weekend.
"That is holding."
-- Former NFL Detroit Lions guard Geoff Schwartz, Mitchell's brother, sent this tweet at the exact same time as Mitch.
-- Twitter user @SmartAssDad screenshot the Schwartz brothers' conflicting opinions and tagged the two in a tweet.
"I deleted it because I knew there wouldn't be enough understanding, and Geoff followed it up with a similar tweet. It's getting called every single time based on the angle and what the ref sees. Is it truly a 'holding?' No. But based on angle and outcome and circumstance, flagged"
ALL THE MARBLES
"Y'all want this? Win three f*cking games."
-- New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was accompanied by four armed guards as he walked into the Saints locker room with the Lombardi trophy and more than $200,000, all singles. The cash represents the cumulative bonuses of winning the divisional round, NFC Championship Game, and Super Bowl. (Jon DeTrinis via Twitter)
END OF AN ERA?
"That's ... in the past. All of us ... we're here now. We're focused on the present day. We feel like we have a different team -- that we can go out there and win a big football game."
-- Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes hints that his team's history of playoff woes may be behind them after this weekend. The Chiefs are 1-10 in their last 11 playoff games; the Indianapolis Colts have as many playoff wins in Arrowhead Stadium as the Chiefs do. (Arrowhead Pride)
THE AFC WEST TAKES THE NFC DIVISIONAL ROUND
"I've played against those guys twice a year, both of them, I know them in and out. I know how they play, and I'm able to tell my teammates, the quarterback their tendencies."
-- Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper seems confident in his ability to take on the Los Angeles Rams secondary. As a member of the Oakland Raiders, Cooper squared off twice a season against Aqib Talib, formerly of the Denver Broncos, and Marcus Peters, who played with the Kansas City Chiefs. (DallasCowboys.com)
NOW'S YOUR CHANCE, KLIFF!
"Kyler is a freak. I've followed him since he was a sophomore in high school. And I just think the world of him and what he can do on a football field. I've never seen one better in high school and he's starting to show it now at the college level. … I'd take him with the first pick of the draft if I could. I know he's signed up to play baseball, but he is a dominant football player and I would take him with the first pick."
-- An old quote has resurfaced from new Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, a Scott Boras client originally slated to play baseball, just announced he would enter the NFL draft. Kingsbury is now in possession of the No. 1 overall pick. (Eric Kelly, KLBK via Twitter)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) January 9, 2019
-- The Indianapolis Colts, who famously hung a "2014 AFC Finalist" banner in their rafters, have hung flags with "1-0" on them to celebrate their playoff victory over the Houston Texans. This seems like some very time-sensitive merchandise to be pushing.
ELI'S REALLY THAT REPLACEABLE
OBJ catching passes from a new QB pic.twitter.com/zO8PwTxlci
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 5, 2019
-- New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. finally catches passes from a competent quarterback.
GRUDGES NEVER DIE
-- Former San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman hosted a sale on his website for everyone but New England fans, accompanied with a little playoff throwback.