BREAKING DOWN THE HAIL MURRAY
"Shiiiiiiiiiiiiid..... Hop down there somewhere!"
-- Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray immediately took to Twitter to give us insight into his thought process during the last-second miraculous Hail Mary touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins during the final seconds of Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills. (Kyler Murray via Twitter)
"In basketball terminology, [pats top of head] that's what they call this. Y'know, somebody get dunked on. It was on three people. They were in position, it was just a better catch by I."
-- Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins broke down the play. (Twitter user CJ Fogler)
WRITING THE COOKBOOK
"It's not, 'OK, let's let Russ make all these amazing plays.' We're just saying, this guy is a heck of a football player and he can help us win football games. Let's put the ball in his hands. I give Pete (Carroll) a lot of credit because it's different for him. … In the offseason, we started the dialogue -- like what would this look like? The biggest thing, we never wanted to lose our ability to still be physical. But let's give the guy the keys to the car a little bit. He's earned that. And we're all saying he's one of the best players in football and so, we went into it with that mindset, knowing we'd still be able to run the football. But when in doubt, we'd want Russ to have the ball."
-- Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer discussed in detail the brainstorming that went on between him and head coach Pete Carroll when creating an offense best suited to maximize the abilities of quarterback Russell Wilson. In other words, Schottenheimer is giving us the details on how "Let Russ Cook" (from a scheme perspective) was born.
"I honestly didn't realize what a great player Russell Wilson was. I mean, I'd played him in St. Louis. But he gets this moniker of a great run around/scramble guy. No, this guy is one of the best passers I've ever been around, it's unbelievable. My point is, after Year 1, we're like, 'Damn, this guy is pretty good.' And go into Year 2, we're evolving. … Pete and I were talking and it's like, 'Is this quarterback as good as we think he is?' Holy (expletive), yeah he is. This guy is one of the best in the business. But not just quarterbacks, but one of the best players in football. And so, you saw us begin to trend a little more that way later in the year. We were turning it over to him a little bit."
-- Schottenheimer also revealed that he didn't understand just how good Wilson could be before seeing it for himself. (NFL.com)
THE BIG BUS BLUNDER
"They won the game, so they can do anything they want to do. That's not our style."
-- Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid didn't seem to take kindly to reports of the Las Vegas Raiders taking a victory lap around Arrowhead Stadium following the team's first victory over Kansas City in head coach Jon Gruden's tenure. (ESPN)
"Not really. I mean, you can find a smart-aleck bus driver in Kansas City who made some snide comments when we got on the bus. Maybe that's why we drove around the stadium, to tick him off. You know, this is ridiculous. Next question."
-- When asked if the bus ride would be considered potential bulletin board material for the Chiefs, Gruden refuted the claim that there was a victory lap. Instead, Gruden chalked the experience up to an interaction with the gameday bus driver. (Nick Jacobs, 41 Action News via Twitter)
BELICHICK IN CONTEXT
"I'm beginning to think he either has like a Staples easy button or a Buffalo Wild Wings button or just a straight direct line to the football gods because he's like a football whisperer when it comes to anticipating what the game's going to be like."
-- New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton hasn't even made it a full season with head coach Bill Belichick, but has already given us a better analogy for understanding Belichick than his longest-tenured veterans (Jeff Howe, The Athletic via Twitter)
MAKING THEIR PATRIOT WAY OUT THE DOOR
"There was a lot of, 'You all have fun, because I am gone!' People talking about how there was no way they were going to re-sign back in Detroit."
-- Former Detroit Lions running back Zach Zenner recalls the final days of Matt Patricia's inaugural season in Detroit, where players on expiring contracts who weren't coming back celebrated their inevitable freedom from the man who tried so hard to bring "the Patriot Way" to Detroit. On the morning before their last meeting, between 10 and 15 players took orange juice from the cafeteria and mixed it with a gifted bottle of champagne a player had received earlier in the season. The small group drank mimosa from Solo cups in the middle of the locker room in what was described as a "free-for-all." (Bleacher Report)
MASCOTS: THE MOST UNDERRATED ASPECT OF FREE AGENCY DECISIONS
"I like the warm weather I like being here. I like being a Jaguar, I'd rather be a Jaguar than a Falcon or like a bird or some s***"
-- Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole wouldn't mind being in Jacksonville next year, if only because they have a cool mascot. (Ben Murphy via Twitter)
LIGHTNING DOESN'T STRIKE TWICE
"When you are presented opportunities, I have said this five times, I'm not asking you to do a cartwheel and then backflip it and pick it off between your legs with one arm then moonwalk into the end zone or some (expletive). If the ball is thrown at you, you have to make plays. I am not pointing fingers, but, if you want to win and be a great team, you got to call it out and you got to tell it how it is. I always want to say it starts with me because I am as big of a culprit as anybody. Two or three of my sacks this year, you see me holding on for dear life when I can easily reach out and go for the ball. I need to do a better job with that. When the balls are thrown at you or any opportunity, you can't make silly mistakes. You just have to capitalize on the opportunity."
-- Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa calls out himself and other members of the team's defense, emphasizing the need to capitalize on opportunities and not do too much in the process. (Fernando Ramirez, Sports Illustrated via Twitter)
CURING A CASE OF THE MONDAYS
"You know, for me it's all about playing well and doing my part. I've played long enough to know there is not a lot you can control as a quarterback. The ball is in your hands, but so many things are out of your control. So you just do the best you can, play the best you can, and that's where my focus always is."
-- Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins took his first career Monday Night Football win in stride after taking down the Chicago Bears. Cousins was previously 0-9 when playing on Monday night. (NFL.com)
JACKSONVILLE FOOTBALL DEFINITELY FEELS LIKE MACTION
"We are not a Big 10 team playing a MAC opponent this week. (The Jaguars are) a group trying to kick our butt."
-- Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin refuses to heed the warnings of a potential trap game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, instead treating the team as a legitimate threat looking to give Pittsburgh their first loss of the season. (NFL.com)
"I fought depression in New York. I'm man enough to say it. I came home after a tough loss and just sat in my room in the dark -- no phone, no TV. (My dad) hated to see me like that. It killed my pops so much. ... He was calling my agent at the time and saying, 'Hey man, I don't like seeing my son like this. I need him out of this situation.' It took a toll on my life outside of football."
-- Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams reflected on the mental toll that his years in New York took on him off the field.
"They do not want to win. Let's be honest, the Jets were the laughingstock. (In Seattle), this is how the NFL is supposed to be. This is the dream I was dreaming."
-- Adams continued, acknowledging the state of the New York Jets franchise at large while comparing it to his new team. (All Things Covered Podcast)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
L.A. WILL CHANGE A MAN
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 18, 2020
-- You think the warm sun of Los Angeles would be perfect for some golden, shaggy, surfer hair, but Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert decided now would be the right time for his first haircut in three years.
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 18, 2020
-- Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey pulled off a very convincing Santa over FaceTime, using nothing but a blanket and glasses.