The Month in Quotes: April 2021
THIS MONTH IN NO. 1 OVERALL PICKS
"It's hard to explain that because I want people to know that I'm passionate about what I do and it's really important to me, but ... I don't have this huge chip on my shoulder, that everyone's out to get me and I'm trying to prove everybody wrong. I just don't have that. I can't manufacture that. I don't want to."
—Headed into the draft, future Jacksonville Jaguars No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. In his interview, Lawrence touched on the fact that, while he is extremely passionate about the game of football, there is no way for him to artificially manufacture an underdog mentality. Lawrence is extremely talented, and he's aware of that. (Sports Illustrated)
"I am internally motivated—I love football as much or more than anyone. It is a HUGE priority in my life, obviously. I am driven to be the best I can be, and to maximize my potential. And to WIN. I have a lot of confidence in my work ethic, I love to grind and to chase my goals. You can ask anyone who has been in my life. That being said, I am secure in who I am, and what I believe. I don't need football to make me feel worthy as a person. I purely love the game and everything that comes with it. The work, the team, the ups and downs. I am a firm believer in the fact that there is a plan for my life and I'm called to be the best I can be at whatever I am doing. Thanks for coming to my TedTalk lol."
—After some readers misconstrued Lawrence's SI interview for cockiness or apathy, Lawrence was forced to take to Twitter and clarify his statement. (Trevor Lawrence via Twitter)
"I don't know what the point is if you don't expect to win every week."
—Lawrence at his first official press conference as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Grace Raynor, The Athletic CFB via Twitter)
'NO ONE KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS, BUT IT'S PROVOCATIVE. IT GETS THE PEOPLE GOING!'
"Steve… we're gonna f***ing kill everyone. Full speed. We're gonna kill everyone. … And we're gonna get a Super Bowl ring so f***ing big on our finger that a f***ing show dog wouldn't be able to jump over it."
—Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zaven Collins seemed pretty fired up on his phone call with Cardinals general manager Steve Keim after finding out he was being drafted 16th overall. (Arizona Cardinals via Twitter)
A STEADY DIET OF NOTHING BUT KNEECAPS
"I like to play real physical. I like to use my body type to my advantage and to really get up under people's chin and to really showcase my mentality. I'm coming off the ball every play with violent intentions and nothing less is coming from that."
—Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell is about to turn "violent intentions" into Lions head coach Dan Campbell's new favorite buzzword. (Detroit Free Press)
"I like f***ing people up. … I like pushing 'em back 2, 3 yards and just making 'em feel like s**t."
—Considering this was one of the first quotes delivered by Lions defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike as a member of the team, it's pretty evident that Coach Campbell has a type. (B/R Gridiron via Instagram)
"Tough year, a different year, a unique year with the pandemic, but in the face of that we attended 176 games and practices despite COVID and travel restrictions this year. … We took part in nearly 400 Zoom calls with schools, made countless calls and texts to gather background information. Interviewed nearly 600 players in person by phone or by Zoom. … We covered 128 separate pro days. On our board, I think you guys always find it interesting, we have roughly 160 draftable players."
—San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch gives some numbers to highlight just how extensively his team scouted college prospects during a particularly difficult NFL draft season. (49ers.com)
"Not to one-up them, but we actually attended 176 college games and practices. We conducted 401 zoom calls. We interviewed 601 players, and we attended 129 separate pro days."
—Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider likes to stay competitive with his in-division rivals. (The News Tribune)
WELCOME TO THE DIVISION
"When you think about what he's doing as a receiver type, he's doing everything. I mean when you think about it, the only tight end we saw last season that's even comparable is Darren Waller. In my mind, I sorta treat him like Jimmy Graham, one of those tall guys who can go up and get it, which is going to be a problem for most teams. Lucky we have Demario Davis, and I think that says enough, but when you think about that pick, Terry's out there making bold moves. I can't do nothing but be excited for the matchup that we will have to come. As long as he's detached from the line and not attached to the line, 'cause then I'll have to detach him from his body."
—New Orleans Saints defensive end Cam Jordan is excited to give Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts a warm and welcoming hug during their first matchup. (The Lefkoe Show via Twitter)
IT'S A MYSTERY TO EVERYONE
"#DraftDay ok, so 3 coaches in 3 years wasn't the best decision from 2014-16 but I'm starting to think choosing not to know our plan for tonight isn't one of my best decisions either"
—San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York admitted that his team's decision on who to draft at No. 3 overall was such a well-protected secret that he didn't even know in the hours leading up to the draft. (Jed York via Twitter)
SMALL BUT MIGHTY
"I mean, we play football. We're in football business. We're not weightlifters, we're not bodybuilders. It's football. That's what we're here for. The other stuff is irrelevant."
"There's nothing I can't do. No job is too big."
—Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith addresses the concerns that some have expressed regarding his 170-pound frame. (Good Morning Football via Twitter)
DEAL OR NO DEAL
"Hey let me—I've got someone else who's gonna give me more." (Hangs up)
—Footage from the Denver Broncos draft room caught general manager George Paton hanging up on a lowball trade offer from another team. Seeing as the Broncos stayed put and drafted cornerback Patrick Surtain II, one can assume they were all lowballs. (Denver Broncos via Twitter)
"I would probably say I would win six of them. Six or seven of them. I be telling him, I be telling him 'Pops, the game has changed. You gonna have to work me off a little bit more. All that stuff y'all were doing back in the day, I'm sitting on all that.'"
—Carolina Panthers cornerback Jaycee Horn declared he would beat his father, former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Horn, six or seven times if they lined up against each other 10 times.
"Nah, he ain't doing none of that. We going to fight before he do that."
BRANGELINA, KIMYE, JAYSOM
"I love our quarterback room. We had a great experience with Jaysom."
—New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has officially coined the first quarterback-tandem/couple nickname, merging quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill into "Jaysom." (John Hendrix, Sports Illustrated via Twitter)
BIG BOARDS BE DAMNED
"It bothered me a little bit, but at the same time I'm not a media guy. I'm not the type of dude to get caught up in all that garbage, because I know what my film said about me and the general manager and the coach, they know that as well. I'm just grateful that they watched that film and saw me as good enough to be the 17th overall pick. I'm more than excited to get to the program and prove them right."
—Las Vegas Raiders offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood discussed the chip placed on his shoulder after being selected No. 17 overall, referred to as a "reach" by many analysts. (Raiders.com)
PLAYER EVALUATIONS DURING THE DRAFT ARE STUPID AND I LOVE THEM
"Rock, paper, scissors. Let's see how competitive you are. I'm competitive. I'm gonna be talking trash to him. Did you talk trash back to me?"
"Anything that you compete at, when you compete with someone that's competitive, they're gonna go at you no matter what, no matter what game you're playing."
—Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni broke down his rationale for playing rock, paper, scissors with draft prospects as a means of gauging competitiveness. (B/R Gridiron via Instagram)
BAKER MAY-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE
"I'm a firm believer in UFOs and Sasquatch. It's real. I saw it. I'm glad the Navy finally confirmed some more pictures. Now everybody doesn't think I'm as crazy. I believe."
"We were driving home from dinner. I don't know what day it was, but just driving home and had the music going and it was one of those things. She was looking down at her phone, riding in the passenger seat. Night time, so when you're looking at your phone screen, everything is dark around your phone (but) that light, but it was bright enough to where it caught her attention too. We kind of just looked at each other. Did you just see that? Yeah. Other people in that area confirmed, too."
—Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield revisits his UFO sighting, describing the event in detail. If this had popped up during pre-draft interviews, how many teams would have considered it a red flag? (NFL.com)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Kwity Paye (@OfficialKwity) told me earlier today that Chadwick Boseman being the first Black superhero meant the world to him, so his draft suit reflected that. Suit was made by former Packers player Adonis Jennings pic.twitter.com/tqZ7qLfnio
— Tyler R. Tynes (@TylerRickyTynes) April 29, 2021
—Indianapolis Colts edge rusher Kwity Paye wore a draft day suit inspired by late actor Chadwick Boseman, who played the Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
HOW MANY FIRST-ROUND PICKS DID THIS PLACE COST?
So the Rams converted a Malibu beach house into their draft war room, and will be operating out of it for this year's draft (a sentence I can't believe I just typed). Your move, Kliff! pic.twitter.com/7wK1guI0Pe
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) April 19, 2021
—The Los Angeles Rams' draft war room must have been a fun place to spend Thursday night of the draft.