The Week in Quotes: October 15, 2021
NO PANIC FOR PATRICK
"Not at all. We try to score every single time we touch the football. That's how it has been my entire career here, and that was the precedent that was set before I even started here."
"That's kind of how I have my mindset going into every single game is that, when we get an opportunity to go out there and have success and be successful, we have to capitalize on that. It has nothing to do with whatever is happening on the other side of the ball. It's just our job as an offense on this team."
—Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes refutes the idea that his high number of interceptions has anything to do with the Chiefs' defensive struggle or offensive pressure to score every drive. (ESPN)
ALWAYS ON THE SAME PAGE
"He's not quite comfortable with that yet. I know that might sound silly, but if you've never done it, it's something that we need to keep [working on] so that we can make that call in that situation."
—Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer on his decision to not run a quarterback sneak with Trevor Lawrence after going for it twice on fourth-and-inches on the goal line.
"No. I feel comfortable. Obviously I haven't run it in a game, but I feel comfortable ... No, QB sneak is something we can always get to and I feel comfortable with."
—Lawrence, 6-foot-6, on the idea of running quarterback sneaks. (Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports via Twitter)
NOT CROSS WITH CROSBY
"I think there's just some things that we absolutely need to clean up just from an operation standpoint. You can't put all of that on Mason. I thought there's some areas that we have to make sure we get corrected, and we will."
—Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur refuses to assign blame to Mason Crosby after the kicker missed three potential game-winning field goals in the Packers' 25-22 overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Crosby eventually made his fourth game-winning attempt to close it out. (ESPN)
ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK
"I felt like I just started getting my stride back. I didn't want to get on the cart because the last time I was on the cart, I was out for the season."
—New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley on sustaining a low-ankle sprain during a Week 5 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. (NFL.com)
"The first two days when I got home, I almost hung it up, I can't even lie. I didn't tell nobody but the people close to me, I was close to hanging it up."
"I talked to Andrew (Luck), that's probably the wrong thing to do. Nah, but me and him went out a couple times and he came over to my house, we talked. He just wanted me to be good with it, get back healthy, don't rush it, take your time and before you get back, make sure you talk to me. Other than that, he was big supportive."
"Once I got over those two to three days, I started feeling better, I started feeling (like) I could sleep. And just coming back in here, that first week I came back here and just seeing those guys, I knew it was a bigger picture than just me, dealing with what I was dealing with. Just seeing those guys, bringing that smile to their face and uplifting them and just coming back, being back to practice, you could just see them this week when they found out, everybody just went crazy."
—Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton revealed he contemplated retirement after receiving neck surgery before the start of the season. (Zak Keefer, The Athletic via Twitter)
THE ART OF THE FOURTH DOWN
"I mean, everybody's talking about these fourth downs we're going for. It has been aggressive, but not reckless. But a lot of that is the trust between [head coach Brandon Staley], the coaches, and the players. Trusting the offense that we can convert on those, and then trusting the defense if we don't convert because we're not gonna convert 80 percent of fourth downs throughout the course of the year. That just isn't gonna happen."
—Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco on the team's continued effort to go for it on fourth down. Los Angeles is 7-for-8 on fourth down this year, the third-highest conversion rate in the NFL.
"In all those fourth-down situations, they all had a life of their own. That needs to be expressed. Just because you make one, doesn't mean you are playing with house money and are more likely to go with it. You treat each as its own, but we have done a good job of assessing risk."
—Chargers head coach Brandon Staley on assessing when the team goes for fourth down. (NFL.com)
'RUB SOME DIRT ON IT'
"I hope those guys are well, I don't know what their status is. Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt. But I think probably [the booing] is a reaction to, there were a couple of guys that were down for the count and then were back a play or two later. Our fans aren't stupid. They're watching, they know what's going on.
"I've been here 23 years and I think that's only the second time we've seen that kind of stuff going on."
—Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz comments on Iowa fans booing as Penn State players went down with injuries during Iowa's 23-20 win over Penn State. Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford did not return to the game, while defensive tackle PJ Mustipher suffered a season-ending injury. (ESPN)
"How does this strategy make sense against a huddle team? People use this strategy to slow people down. Spread offenses, tempo offenses. They huddle. So that strategy did not make sense in this situation. In our six years of playing them, six years straight—4-2 with our record—has that ever shown up? Has anyone seen that? In my eight years as a head coach, has anyone seen that? Has that shown up at Penn State? My 12 years as a head coach, has that shown up? It has not shown up. Plus, our defense is playing lights-out. Our defense is playing great. We turned the ball over to start the game inside the 5-yard-line, held 'em to a field goal. So again, go back and check it."
"Put yourself in the shoes of a parent. Your son is down on the field for an injury and the stadium is booing him. ... Your son is down on the field with an injury—and I just told you PJ Mustipher is done for the year—and we're booing. Is that good for college football?"
—Penn State head coach James Franklin delivered a pre-written response after practice this week regarding Ferentz's comments. (ESPN)
RUNNING WITH THE GOATS
"I turn a 30-yarder into a 10-yarder better than anybody."
—Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady on his running ability. Brady went into Thursday Night Football averaging career highs in rushing yards per attempt (4.0) and yards per game (7.2). (NFL via Instagram)
"When you're on a roll like this, you start thinking about a Super Bowl. That's just the reality of it. You start to want it more and more the closer you get, and you start to worry about the little things more."
—Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper already has Super Bowl aspirations following the team's 4-1 start to the season. (Associated Press)
PUNT RETURNER'S MINDSET
"Before I go back there, I say, 'I don't care about my life,' every time. Every time before the ball's kicked, I say that."
"It's something you have or you don't have. Like I've been doing punt return my whole life. I haven't seen many guys just randomly start and continue it. It takes a special type of person to look up in the air while all the other people are looking to rip your head off."
—Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines on the kind of person needed to return punts in the NFL. (My Sports Update via Twitter)
LOTS OF THANK-YOU CARDS IN HOPKINS' FUTURE
"I got to thank all 20 of my quarterbacks. I should buy all those guys something like a nice watch."
"In all seriousness, that's a great accomplishment. Honestly, I just I just go out and play ball. I just want to win and be reliable for my team. I really try not to look into that stuff; just go out and work and keep my head down. Draft day, I didn't think I was gonna be a first-round guy, so we were preparing to rent out the restaurant (for the celebration) for three days."
—Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins' initial thoughts after finding out he became the NFL's all-time leader in receptions before age 30. (Sports Illustrated)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
COULDN'T PUT THIS ONE IN THE QUOTES SECTION
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 10, 2021
—Texas A&M's walk-off field goal to beat Alabama wasn't "called" in the traditional sense, just amplified by 30 seconds of silence.
The only way to take a work call during a Ravens game. 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/aKv52HAs6l
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 13, 2021
—Work-life balance at its finest.