THIS WEEK IN SUPER BOWL LV
GOAT VS. KID
"It seems like every single year he's just getting better. It truly is amazing to watch. And it's amazing to go up against, 'cause you know you're going up against the best."
-- Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes delivers a glowing review of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in the lead-up to the Super Bowl. This contest will feature the largest age disparity between two starting quarterbacks in the big game's history.
"He just has a great awareness of the pocket. Incredible vision of the field, he knows exactly when to get rid of the ball. He's got great poise in the pocket. He's got that nice, sweet little whippy arm that I used to have when I was a little bit younger. He's got the athletic ability to extend plays. He's got all the physical and he's got all the mental tools. He's gonna be in this game quite a few more times in my opinion."
"To bring his team right back to the Super Bowl, which is incredibly tough to do, because you're getting every team's best game, you know every week [is impressive]. He's facing a lot of unique challenges at an early age that are just going to keep serving him well."
-- Brady, 18 years Mahomes' senior, had nothing but great things to say about the young phenom. Mahomes would set the mark for youngest quarterback with back-to-back Super Bowl wins with a victory on Sunday, breaking a record previously held by Brady. (NFL.com)
(MORE THAN) ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL
"This is why you play the game. I'm trying to get in the Hall of Fame one day. When I retire, I want to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. This is the reason you play the game. I want to retire with like six or seven rings."
"When you won a ring, that changes the perspective of things. It makes you feel like you've achieved something in the game, other than personal stats."
-- Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones tasted victory in Super Bowl LIV and is in possession of one Super Bowl ring. Now, he's hungry for more. (NFL.com)
NEED FOR SPEED
"I'm taking me, every day of the week. I'll take me over anybody. Tyreek is unbelievable, super quick, unbelievable talent. But if we're talking about a race, I've got all the confidence in myself going up against anybody."
-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Scotty Miller bet on himself when presented with a hypothetical race with Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and him. Miller followed up that challenge with an affirmation, agreeing when asked if he considers himself the fastest player in the NFL. (ProFootballTalk)
"I feel like Scotty answered that question the right way. … Your answer should be 'Yes. I'm that confident in myself that I'm faster than Tyreek.' You know? That's any man. I don't care who you are. So Scotty answered that question the right way. But is Scotty faster than me? I don't know. Maybe we can do something during halftime or something like that, somebody line it up for us."
-- Tyreek Hill answered the challenge by first commending Miller's confidence, then proposing a head-to-head footrace as part of the Super Bowl Halftime Show. (NFL via Twitter)
THAT'S A FELONY
"He's a step ahead of everything. Every film clip that you put on, he's putting their guys in the right (position). That's always the challenge when you go against what I call a 'cerebral quarterback,' and we all know Tom is like that. He has total control. He gets them out there in time to change things."
"We're going to have to be really good on the back end not to show him things, or as we say, don't let him read our mail. Because if he can read our mail, he knows exactly what to do."
-- Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will be pulling out all the stops trying to stop Tom Brady. (NFL.com)
VARYING DEGREES OF FAMILIARITY
"I don't care, it don't matter. This is the freaking Super Bowl. I don't care if they have three offensive linemen, they send two to block me, three to block me. I'm going to do what I need to do. Us boys going to do what we need to do. That's a 'you' problem. They gotta figure that out. I'm coming to play a football game. Not just any football game, but Super Bowl LV. I ain't got time to play games. The only game I'm playing is football. ... I don't care about their offensive linemen. I don't care."
-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul isn't concerning himself with the shuffling of the Chiefs' offensive line.
"I didn't even know who that was. Man, I'm not going to lie to you. Is this a tackle that you're talking about? Like I said, I don't care too much about it. They got to figure that out. I'm going to play some great football this weekend."
-- JPP is so unconcerned about the new faces on the Chiefs offensive line that he had to ask a reporter if Mike Remmers, who is stepping into Eric Fisher's spot at left tackle, was an offensive lineman. (NFL.com)
"With Austin, I've even opened up a Pokémon card with that guy before. So I think our relationship is kind of on a high level."
-- Patrick Mahomes, on the other hand, is extremely familiar with center Austin Reiter, as they have shared one of life's most intimate experiences: opening packs of Pokémon cards together. (Field Yates, ESPN via Twitter)
WORKING FROM HOME MAKES EVERYONE A LITTLE LAZY
"Oh man. I tricked 'em, I tricked 'em a few times. … I would bring my shirt out, and then I would bring another shirt out. So when I'm running the sprints, I would film myself like 15 times for that session, but I would run it in a couple different shirts because you only had to send in like two or three reps. So when the next time came, I didn't have to film myself because I already filmed myself running in a different shirt every time on that one day. He hasn't had a clue to this day that I was tricking him about half the time."
-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski recalls the trickery he used to get out of some of his Zoom workouts during the spring. Gronk maintains that no one on the coaching staff had any idea he was submitting old material. (The Checkdown via Twitter)
"I didn't know about Gronk's work ethic. It's unbelievable."
-- Whether or not he ever caught on, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians marveled at Gronkowski's work ethic when discussing the additional leadership that he and Tom Brady provided throughout this season. (Ryan Hannable, WEEI via Twitter)
IN OTHER NEWS…
GOFF, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
"Ultimately, they wanted to go in a different direction. As the quarterback, as the guy that's at arguably the most important position on the field, if you're in a place that you're not wanted and they want to move on from you, the feeling's mutual."
"You don't want to be in the wrong place. It became increasingly clear that was the case. [The trade] is something that I'm hopeful is going to be so good for my career."
-- Former Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff hopes to get a fresh start with the Detroit Lions after he and two first-round picks were sent to the Motor City for Matthew Stafford. (Los Angeles Times)
"I'm just excited to be somewhere that I know wants me and appreciates me. I'm moving forward and couldn't be more excited to build a winner there. I'm excited about Dan (Campbell) and the whole staff."
-- Goff felt reinvigorated after discussions with Lions general manager Brad Holmes, head coach Dan Campbell, and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. (NFL.com)
"Well, another situation where I wasn't surprised again. But you know, I like Goff, I like Goff, he's a good guy. Don't nobody care about who's a good guy. I'm just happy he'll be able to go somewhere and hopefully those guys welcome him with open arms and just not be judgmental and just let him play. He's been a No. 1 pick for a reason, and he has a lot of ball left in him. I just want him to be happy, and I just want him to be able to go out there."
-- Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley weighed in on the quarterback swap. Gurley was a casualty of trade last year after Los Angeles shipped him to Atlanta. Gurley added that the trade could be a positive thing for Goff, adding an extra chip on his shoulder. (NFL.com)
"I think there's a lot of things that were said. Once you're the starting QB, if things ain't going how it's supposed to go, you're going to be talked about a lot. I will never say nothing bad about Goff, that's my brother. Always gonna keep in contact with him, always gonna talk."
-- Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald weighing in on the trade. (The Dan Patrick Show via Twitter)
"It's not about winning the trade. It's about winning the Super Bowl."
-- This was apparently the mantra of L.A. head coach Sean McVay as the Rams tried to land Stafford via trade. (NBCSports)
"I don't know when normal will occur again. We have learned to operate in a very difficult environment. We have found solutions and we will do it again."
"We hope that we were in some ways representative of doing things the right way this season. The same goes for Super Bowl Sunday -- we want our fans to be safe. We're all going to enjoy the Super Bowl a little bit different this year."
-- During a Super Bowl Media Week unlike any before, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reflected on changes the league underwent this year due to COVID-19, unsure when (or if) those changes would revert to their old ways. The NFL has maintained a 0.08% positivity rate since August 1 of 2020. (NFL.com)
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
"I feel like I had a different view from everybody. He had an elite year, for me, coming from my perspective, seeing him grind, seeing the time he put in. Of course, he's going to get lost in the traffic a little bit just because of those guys. People love Lamar Jackson, people love Aaron Rodgers, great talents, guys that have been playing some good ball as of a couple years. Aaron Rodgers' whole career he's been playing a hell of a game. He's one of those guys that will definitely go into the Hall of Fame, and my guy will get lost a little bit."
"But he played some elite football and I just want people to appreciate it, appreciate some good quarterback play. Because he had a hell of a year and people are just going to like, don't just forget about him now. He had a hell of a year. Please consider him as your MVP because he is mine."
-- Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs delivers his stump speech for quarterback Josh Allen's MVP candidacy after setting career highs in receptions and receiving yards. (NFL.com)
DAN SNYDER GETS CELL SERVICE ON OPEN WATERS?
"Every year that I was there, we had a pretty good draft class, with a couple exceptions. [Kyle Smith] was really good about listening to the coaches because the coaches also did evaluations. ... When it came our time to pick, we'd always talk about the picks, where we'd like to go, what happens if [the player] is gone, and did all our scenarios. And then [owner Daniel Snyder] would come in off his yacht and make the pick."
-- With the Washington Football Team's vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith absconding to Atlanta to oversee the Falcons' pro and college personnel, former Washington head coach Jay Gruden praised Smith's scouting ability in spite of certain internal roadblocks from higher-ups. Gruden seems to specifically reference the selection of quarterback Dwayne Haskins at No. 15 overall in 2019 Draft, when Snyder hand-picked the player despite dissent from Washington's personnel department. (Washington Post)
ENOUGH CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER TO LAST A LIFETIME
"You know, when you're at the Reese's Senior Bowl, there's -- by the end of the week, you've probably had enough. There's bags in your room, there's Reese's Pieces on your door handle, it's everywhere. I just felt like I had enough. It's been a long week -- a lot of meetings, a lot of walkthroughs, a lot of practice, a lot of meetings with players. I've probably gained a few pounds, so I'm trying to head in the right direction starting today."
-- Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who coached at the Reese's Senior Bowl, has had enough candy. (Josh Houtz, The Phinsider via Twitter)
TRANSLATION: 'PLEASE DON'T DRAFT A QUARTERBACK'
"Part of being a team is you're going to be a good teammate and help where you can and you also have the personal responsibility of trying to be the best player you can be. Whatever happens at that spot, we're all professionals, we all understand how this goes."
"You're not going to be best friends with everybody. But part of being a good teammate is competing and pushing people to be the absolute best they can be. Your job as an individual is to be the best player you can be and find a roster spot regardless of who's drafted or where they're drafted. … But my personality is not to be standoffish with anybody else."
-- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, when asked how he would react if his team drafted a quarterback, provided as diplomatic and mature of an answer as he could while silently begging his team to do something else instead. Atlanta is currently selecting fourth overall in this year's draft. (Jeff Schultz, The Athletic via Twitter)
THE WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
SUMMERTIME BEHAVIOR DURING A WISCONSIN WINTER
-- A Green Bay Packers fan with a particularly keen eye spotted quarterback Aaron Rodgers riding in the bed of a pickup truck with a case of beer as they drove by. Rodgers confirmed via Twitter that it was, in fact, him in the back of the truck. He stated that the truck belong to David Bakhtiari and that the cases of beer were soggy.
HONESTLY, IT SUITS YOU
— Daniel Kilgore (@DanielKilgore67) February 3, 2021
-- Kansas City Chiefs center Daniel Kilgore rocks a new look for Super Bowl LV. Reports came out that Kilgore was one of 20 Chiefs players at a barber shop when the team's barber was informed he had tested positive for COVID-19. Kilgore was in the middle of his cut when the team personnel were forced to leave. (This pic is a photoshop -- since Kilgore was already deemed a close contact at that point, he told the barber to finish.)
DURING THE WINTER MEETINGS, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN
Please stop asking us to announce the Nolan Arenado trade...
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 31, 2021
-- The Arizona Cardinals have no connection to their baseball counterparts in St. Louis and had nothing to do with acquiring All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies.