The Week In Quotes: December 4, 2020
THIS WEEK IN THE DENVER BRONCOS QUARTERBACK ROOM
"Guess ima have to get my Lamar Jackson on."
-- Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy offered up his potential quarterback skills after it was announced that the team would not have a single eligible quarterback for their game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Quarterback Jeff Driskel was placed on the team's reserve/COVID list on Thursday, with Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles flagged as high-risk close contacts. (Jerry Jeudy via Twitter)
"I was disappointed on a couple of levels, that our quarterbacks put us in this position, that our quarterbacks put the league in this position, we count on them to be the leaders of this team, so that's disappointing … It's on me too … There's a failing there" (Brandon Krisztel, KOAColorado via Twitter)
"They got lax with their masks, I guess, and they got lax with their distancing, I guess." (Andrew Mason, DNVR Sports via Twitter)
"I haven't done a good enough job of selling the protocols to them [the players] when they're on their own. That's on me." (Andrew Mason via Twitter)
-- Broncos head coach Vic Fangio spoke at length about the current situation afflicting his quarterback room, leaving the team to start practice-squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback. Hinton played backup quarterback at Wake Forest, eventually transitioning to wide receiver in his final season.
"I can easily say that was the most eventful 24 hours of my life, but when I got the call there was pure excitement. Of course, there was nerves and disbelief, but the encouragement the team gave me and guys just keeping me up the whole time, they made it a lot easier for me."
"I never thought I'd be back in the reins, but as time went on and I felt the guys having my back, it did make me feel comfortable being more vocal and playing that quarterback role that I was familiar with. So, yeah, it took some time, but after a while it's like riding a bike."
"A month ago, I was selling fundraisers and just trying to scrape up what I could -- trying to stay in shape and figuring out what was next. I always kept that positive attitude about what was next when it came to football, but reality did hit and I kind of started having to be an adult."
-- Hinton reflects on his first NFL start. (DenverBroncos.com)
THIS WEEK IN SHATTERED GLASS CEILINGS
"This wasn't a PR stunt. It was literally like, 'OK, what gives us the best chance to win?' We did try out some other guys on the team that allegedly played soccer, like, when they were six. It was brutal. … To see her improve from Day 1 to Day 2, then Day 2 to Day 3 and game day, it was crazy."
-- Vanderbilt Commodores special teams coordinator Devin Fitzsimmons gives insight into the decision to make kicker Sarah Fuller the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game. The Vanderbilt football team had their kickers unavailable due to COVID-19 absences, with no ability to hold open tryouts because the campus was empty. There is no men's soccer program at Vanderbilt, and Fuller, a goalie for the women's soccer team, was able to try out because she was in Vanderbilt's strict testing pool. (Nicole Auerbach, The Athletic via Twitter)
"I've been trying not to look at the comments, but it's hard not to see them sometimes when they're talking crap about you. At this point, I'm like, 'What are you doing right now?' I am a D-I soccer player. I go to Vanderbilt University. I'm going to get my degree from here. I've done the amazing things that I've set out to do, (achieved) the goals I've wanted to reach. They can talk all the way. This is something I believe I've earned. I was at the right place at the right time. I was raised really well. I love my parents. I've had amazing coaches. I had the right skills and everything to represent my family well and represent the school well, and I think that was enough. Then, I am also representing all the girls out there, which is insane. But I like to say everything happens for a reason, and I think I went down the right path to be strangely prepared for this, although I never thought this would happen."
"I want to make it really clear that this has not been an easy road for me. My entire collegiate career has been up and down, up and down. This has not been an easy path whatsoever, and I don't want people to think that I'm just walking in here and this is a cakewalk."
-- Fuller reflects on the long road to this opportunity. (The Athletic)
NO UNDEFEATED TEAM IS PERFECT
Question: "What do you attribute red zone failures and drops?"
Mike Tomlin: "Us sucking."
-- Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin hasn't been afraid to call out his undefeated team during its low points. (Brooke Pryor, ESPN via Twitter)
"It was really junior varsity, to be quite honest with you. It was in all three phases. We couldn't run the ball effectively when we needed to. We dropped too many significant passes, very catchable, makeable passes. We didn't make significant plays in the special teams game. Our kickoff coverage unit wasn't good enough. We turned the ball over. We gave up big plays in critical moments on defense. Can't have it."
-- Tomlin elaborated, addressing concerns in all three phases of the game following Pittsburgh's 19-14 Wednesday afternoon win over the Baltimore Ravens. (NFL.com)
THE NICEST KIND OF BULLETIN BOARD MATERIAL
Reporter: "What's your mindset going into a game when you know or when you feel like you're going to see a lot of opposing teams' No. 1 cornerback?"
DK Metcalf: "I'm happy. I'm getting a little respect, but you know I still got work to do. One of the defensive coaches came up to me and it kind of made me mad that he was like, 'You know, I was I was in Detroit with Megatron but you're not there yet.' In my mind, I'm not trying to be Megatron, I'm trying to be me. So I had a little chip on my shoulder the whole game."
-- Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf played Monday night with a chip on his shoulder after a pregame conversation with Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz gave him some extra motivation. Metcalf caught 10 of 13 balls for 177 yards in Seattle's 23-17 win. (John Clark, NBCSports Philadelphia via Twitter)
"In my mind, it's a little bit funny. Anytime you even speak somebody's name in the same sentence as Calvin Johnson, I don't know how you can take offense to that. [I] said I'd read his story, knew he'd overcome injury, knew he was a hard worker, said he reminded me a little bit of Calvin, congratulated him after the game. And at the time he told me, 'Hey, thanks coach, that means a lot to me.'"
-- Jim Schwartz clarified that he was trying to compliment Metcalf on his style of play and early success in the NFL. However, when another reporter quoted Schwartz as saying "You may not be Calvin yet but you're on your way," Metcalf took to Twitter and let everyone know how that made him feel. (Tim McManus, ESPN via Twitter)
TIME TO DEPLOY THE AUTOPILOT
Adam Gase: "I didn't take over [the play calling]. We've done the same thing over the last four games."
Reporter 1: "We were watching Dowell [Loggains] the whole game, he wasn't doing anything. He was just standing there."
AG: "He tells me -- it's not hard. This is not hard. We go through it the drive before, 'Hey, these are the three plays.' I do third downs."
Reporter 2: "So what happens after the three plays, when you have a [series]? Because we were watching one where Dowell was talking to Frank Pollack. He wasn't calling the plays, you were."
AG: "What part of the game was it?"
R2: "I want to say that was the third quarter."
AG: "Yeah, when we got down I was trying to do some of the two-minute stuff."
-- New York Jets head coach Adam Gase goes from swearing off all play-calling duties, to only calling third downs, to "trying to do some of the two-minute stuff" all in a span of 30 seconds. (Ralph Vacchiano, SNY via Twitter)
ONE MAN'S TRASH IS ANOTHER MAN'S MVP
"I thought he was trash, I ain't gonna cap. I ain't even gonna cap. When he first got there I was like, 'This is who y'all drafted right here? This is who y'all drafted?'"
-- Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was not the biggest fan of Patrick Mahomes when the quarterback was drafted in Kansas City. Hill might retroactively owe Mahomes an apology after he helped the wide receiver rack up 269 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Inside the NFL via Twitter)
WELCOME TO THE HOTEL ARIZONA
"Our hotel will be our new Levi's Stadium, which is where we go to work. Just like when we're here, you go to work every day, you get tested. When we're here, then we go straight home to our house and stay there until you come back the next day to work. Now I look at it as our house happens to be where our work's at. So when we're done with work, guys just go upstairs to their hotel room."
-- San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan does not consider the team's multi-week stint in Arizona as an opportunity for bonding, adding that "we're not allowed to bond in most spots." The 49ers were displaced from their homes after Santa Clara County restricted all contact sports for three weeks. The team will play Week 13 and 14 games at State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals. (NFL.com)
PLEASE, JUST LET HIM KEEP ONE
"Will knows that we all love him. He always do the right thing and then one slip-up just got popped. But we always going to have his back. Will's my brother. The whole organization knows that too. And you know, make sure that we get him back for next year, especially in this organization."
-- Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson comments on the six-game suspension of wide receiver Will Fuller for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing substances policy.
"That's very important. That's definitely one guy that I'm going to be working on this last month and offseason, for sure."
-- Watson with regards to re-signing Fuller. Fuller is in the final year of his contract, and the Texans inquired about trading him at the deadline. (ESPN.com)
"[My ribs] are still broken. I am trying to push them together but they are not cooperating."
-- Las Vegas Raiders fullback Alec Ingold has thus far been unsuccessful in trying to repair his broken ribs on his own. (Vic Tafur, The Athletic via Twitter)
THE BRAIN REJECTING ITS HOST
"It's taking care of the football. Our quarterback has to take better care of the football. … Each play, like I've talked about, is its own individual situation. But it might be keeping two hands on the ball or it might be understanding that if somebody is swimming around you that you can't just throw it away when you don't see where you're going, being able to trust your guys to be able to separate. But overall, anytime that you turn it over as many times as we did and he did, it just has to be better. He's capable of it, but we have to be able to get it done."
-- Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay didn't hold back when it came to quarterback Jared Goff's ball security following the team's loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Goff turned the ball over three times while matching a season-low for passing yards. This is Goff's third time throwing two interceptions in his last four games. (NFL.com)
"If he was lying I'd feel differently about it -- he's absolutely right. I'm a big boy, I can handle it."
-- Goff's response, seeming to take the criticism in stride. (ESPN)
EATING ON TURKEY DAY
"I knew it was a pass and we had a blitz on, so I was going upfield, but I saw he was going to throw quickly, so I stopped rushing and jumped up. Hit me square in the hands, I double-clutched it and then just spun out and ran to the end zone. Just trying to make a play, just trying to do whatever I can to win a game on a big stage and give Houston something to smile about."
-- Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt breaks down his Thanksgiving Day pick-six against the Detroit Lions, marking only the second of his career. (Houston Chronicle)
"I've never seen J.J. run so damn fast in my life. I'm going on a blitz, I get blocked by the running back and I turn around and hear everybody yelling and J.J. snatching it out of the air and he just takes off."
-- Texans linebacker Tyrell Adams had the best seat in the house for Watt's score. He later credited Watt and the touchdown for jumpstarting the otherwise slow defense. (NFL.com)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
ANYTHING CAN BECOME A GOOD NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
How unlikely was Kendall Hinton to start for the Broncos yesterday?
Check out his LinkedIn page 👇
"Current NFL free agent looking to kick start a career in the medical sales industry..."
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) November 30, 2020
-- Time for Kendall Hinton to update his LinkedIn page! Just a month prior to his improbable NFL start at quarterback, he was working a sales job.
THIS WEEK IN IMPRESSIONS
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 30, 2020
-- Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill's monster day had him channeling his inner Shannon Sharpe on the sidelines.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 30, 2020
-- Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield's list of press conference quotes and references is ever-growing. This week: Ron Swanson.