AGAINST THE BROWNS? REALLY?
"I was cramping. I didn't pull a Paul Pierce. I was cramping."
-- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson ensured fans that his disappearance for one series during Monday Night Football was merely caused by a cramp, not any sort of potential miscommunications downfield. Jackson's Paul Pierce reference takes us back to the 2008 NBA Playoffs, when the Boston Celtics small forward was carried off the court in a wheelchair, only to return miraculously minutes later and continue playing. Pierce later admitted on-air that "something went down," and that he "just had to go to the bathroom." (Mike Jones, USA Today via Twitter)
SHANKS FOR NOTHING, DAN
"I'm really disappointed. I have a lot of faith in him, I have a lot of confidence in him, but these last two weeks have not been good. … At this point in time we're not really worried about feelings anymore."
-- Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer did not mince words when discussing the kicking woes of Dan Bailey, who missed field goals from 36, 54, and 46 yards out -- along with an extra point -- during Sunday's 26-14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bailey was coming off the heels of a game-winning 23-yard field goal against the Jacksonville Jaguars the week prior. (Ben Goessling, Minneapolis Star-Tribune via Twitter)
THE OTHER SHOE FALLS
"He made the tackle. I mean, part of the football move, the kid's shoe was in his hand. He kind of threw it, jumped and celebrated with his teammates. I don't think there was any intent to taunt. It wasn't like he was throwing it at their sidelines."
-- University of Florida head coach Dan Mullen defends Gators defensive back Marco Wilson, who threw an LSU player's shoe on a third-down stop that would've forced a long LSU field goal. Instead, Wilson's personal foul gave the Tigers a first down, and LSU eventually kicked the game-winning field goal with no time to answer. (Brett McMurphy, Stadium via Twitter)
"I deleted my Instagram and Twitter, but you can't run away from it, even at the gas station fans talk about Trevor Lawrence. We're fighting for a job, the NFL does not pay losers ... we're not going out there tanking."
-- Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack has tried to avoid tank talk all he can, but there's just no running from Trevor Lawrence. (Ashlyn Sullivan, Jacksonville Jaguars via Twitter)
"I want everyone out there to just take a deep breath. I know it's kind of crazy right now. I just want everyone to take a deep breath. We've got time. That's my mindset too. … We have guaranteed ourselves a chance at the playoffs. We're in the postseason. We have three weeks now to get it going, to turn it around, to give ourselves the best chance to reach our ultimate goal, which is winning a Super Bowl. If we were starting the postseason tomorrow, maybe there would be a little bit more panic on our part."
-- Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger needs everyone to calm down about the team's recent offensive woes. The team has lost two straight after starting off the year 11-0, averaging 17 points per game over the last three weeks. (ESPN.com)
"I'm just not very good, Brooke."
-- Roethlisberger to ESPN's Brooke Pryor when asked what was causing the underthrown balls and off-target passes. (Brooke Pryor, ESPN via Twitter)
WATTS AND WATTS OF FOOD
"I'm not going to lie -- I looked up where we're staying in Chicago, and there's a Portillo's, like, half a mile away. So it's going to be pretty dangerous for me. I think Lou Malnati's is another half a block. My wife lives there now, so I've obviously had a lot of the food in the area. Robert's Pizza and Dough. There's a whole bunch of good places to eat there, so it's going to be very difficult for me not to order with a delivery service. But I am looking forward to playing at Soldier Field. I wish they would cut the grass a little shorter, that's all I'll say."
-- Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt must have had a tough time trying not to order in prior to last week's game against the Chicago Bears. (NBCSports Chicago)
HURTS, DON'T IT?
"When you start winning, three in a row, six in a row, eight, 10 in a row, nine in a row, it's pretty normal to be the head coach and look at each week and be like, man, this better not be that game. It took us until the second half until we got at least a sense of urgency. Look, it wasn't enough. That's on me. … It's always hard when it's on you because it just sits in your gut where there are certain signs during the week. And I told them after the game, I said, 'Look, we can lose this one game and it counts as one loss. But if we don't learn from just a handful of mistakes made in this game, then it will hurt us in a bigger game, a game that's not even scheduled yet.'"
-- New Orleans Saints takes ownership for the loss against the Philadelphia Eagles in Jalen Hurts' first NFL start, citing a lack of urgency from himself and the team. (NFL.com)
THE WATSON BUS IS COMING
"That was fun, actually. I had my PlayStation, I had snacks, I was chillin'. We got to leave a day early, stopped at a couple steakhouses on the way. We stopped in Baton Rouge, we stopped in Tallahassee, so that was pretty fun. It was just an idea where doctors gave me the OK to play but not the OK to fly."
-- Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson reminisces on 2018, when he was forced to travel from Dallas to Jacksonville by bus because of rib injuries. (Rivers McCown, Football Outsiders via Twitter)
COACHES: THEY'RE JUST LIKE US!
-- Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay spent his Sunday the same way may of us often do: watching RedZone uninterrupted for 12 hours. When his wife asked if he wanted to do something else, he delivered the one-word reply above. (The Checkdown via Twitter)
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
"Not really, because I get tired."
-- Detroit Lions quarterback Chase Daniel stayed candid when asked if he likes utilizing his legs as an extra element of his game. He added he would rather just throw the ball. (Pride of Detroit, SBNation via Twitter)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
SNOW DAYS OFF
When Terry Pegula finds himself in the middle of a snowball fight after practice...
📹: Terry Pegula 😂 pic.twitter.com/y44brey96A
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) December 17, 2020
-- The Buffalo Bills ended practice with a good ol' fashioned snowball fight after heavy snowfall on Wednesday.
SEAN PAYTON HAD WHAT?!
an unfortunate slip up here pic.twitter.com/PQl2Xdcdtl
— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) December 14, 2020
-- I don't care if it's childish. Doug Pederson's face is priceless.