The Week In Quotes: September 24, 2021
LEFT IT ALL ON THE FIELD AND THEN SOME
"If there was any place to lose it, that's where my dad would've wanted me to lose it. So I know he's smiling."
"[The team athletic trainer] found it, so we're perfect. Thank you to him. He was out there until 1:45 [a.m. CT]. It shows how much they care about us."
—Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones shined in his return to Lambeau Field, scoring four touchdowns in a 35-17 win over the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football. Jones was in the end zone so often that he lost a football-shaped necklace that held his father's ashes. Jones' father, Alvin Jones Sr., died in April from COVID-19.
"I'm used to turning around and seeing my dad in the stands and just smiling to know everything is OK. So when I was seeing them, I was good."
—Jones used to find his father in the stands before games. On Monday, Jones was greeted by 15 members of his family, including his mother and brother. (ESPN.com)
I JUST CAN'T QUIT YOU
Reporter: "Is Andy [Dalton] still your starter if healthy?"
Matt Nagy: "That's something that I'm not going to get into with scheme."
R: "That's not scheme."
MN: "Yes it is."
—Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy has officially announced that rookie Justin Fields will start Week 3 because Andy Dalton suffered an injury against the Bengals. However, beyond Week 3, Nagy is playing coy about his plan at quarterback. (Andrew Siciliano, NFL Network via Twitter )
WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND?
"Man, no matter what, getting that first down. Coach asked me, 'Should we go for it?' I said, 'Hell yeah.' We had to get it."
—Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on what was going through his head before converting a game-sealing fourth-and-1 to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 36-35. This was the first time Jackson had beaten the Chiefs in his career. (NFL.com)
JUST WAIT 'TIL THOSE DETROIT WINTERS
"We've never seen him happier. You don't want to go through a career and not have a good time doing it, right? We noticed a little bit that he's back to his old self."
—Jerry Goff, father of Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff, on his son's current demeanor after moving out of state. Prior to his trade this past offseason, Jared had never lived outside the state of California. (Los Angeles Times)
FROM 'HOME OF THE 12TH MAN' TO 'THE 12TH MAN STAYED HOME'
"At the beginning or at the end?"
—Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel when asked about the crowd noise in Seattle on Sunday. (Jim Wyatt, TennesseeTitans.com via Twitter)
ROB GRONKOWSKI: ALL-22 JUNKIE
"My teammate, (fellow tight end) Cam Brate, just asked me the other day, he goes, 'Rob, I have a serious question.' He goes, 'Do you ever watch film?' And I said, 'No, I don't. I just run by guys. If I'm feeling good, I'm feeling good.'"
"I know Tom (Brady) watches 40 hours of film a week. I go, 'Tom, who's covering me this week? What kind of coverages are they playing?'"
—Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski got into his film-watching habits (or lack thereof) while making an appearance on ESPN's simulcast of Monday Night Football hosted by Peyton and Eli Manning. (Tampa Bay Times)
"I watch so much film, my girlfriend throws sh*t at me."
—Gronkowski's follow-up when pressed on the subject the following day. (Rick Stroud, Tampa Bay Times via Twitter)
''As soon as we came in, I went around the whole locker room saying to ones with their head down, stay in it, continue to believe. Because once it turns around, once it clicks, I need everybody on board. That's my message going around the locker room and I'm going to stick by it."
—Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin's message to the locker room after falling to 0-2 to start the season. (The Florida Times-Union)
OLD MAN YELLS AT CLOUD
"You know, when I hear that a lot, because I've heard over the years, you know, 'Oh, the game is changing,' and so forth. I think the game changes in different ways, absolutely. It evolves and changes and grows and hopefully it's getting better. And at the same time I think that there has always been, you know, incredible athletes playing professional football at the quarterback position. Randall Cunningham was an incredible athlete. Kenny Stabler was an incredible quarterback. Roger Staubach was. Michael Vick, I mean, I don't know if there's anyone more athletic that's ever played than Michael Vick. ... I think it definitely adds an element to the game.
"But at the same time, the name of the game is scoring points. So there's definitely more volatility, I would say, in that style of play over a period of time. You're definitely more injury-prone because you're out of the pocket. You don't have the types of protection that you typically have in the pocket. And I would say the one thing that's probably changed over the years in terms of why it's probably gone a little more this way is, and I've alluded to this in the past, I think they're calling more penalties on defensive players for hitting, you know, for violent contact. And I think when you're out of the pocket, you know, we got called on a play yesterday where Ryan Jensen's going basically to protect our runner, and they throw an unnecessary roughness on an offensive lineman that I don't think would have been called, you know, five years ago. There's a lot of plays and hits that are happening on quarterbacks now, that are flags for defensive players, that probably weren't that way 10 or 15 years ago.
"So I'd say the game is a little softer than it used to be. I think the defensive players are more on the defensive when they go in to tackle. And I think that's probably adding to this element of quarterbacks outside the pocket and taking more chances, you know, than they did in the past."
—Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady went long on the pro-offense changes the NFL has made since he entered the league. (ProFootballTalk)
YOU WON … BUT AT WHAT COST?
"I actually played against myself in fantasy this week, in my own friend group fantasy. So that was tough because I took a loss. I definitely contributed to that."
"I have a lot of fun with it with my college friends. A lot of people are messaging me and telling me, 'Hey, you did great for me in fantasy.' I was at an apple orchard the other day, and some random guy came up to me and told me I did a great job for his fantasy team. I think people are very invested in their fantasy teams, and I think that's great."
—Las Vegas Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson got a tough draw in his fantasy league this week. His four field goals and two extra points against the Pittsburgh Steelers helped win the Raiders' real-life game, but also lost Carlson his fantasy matchup. (Las Vegas Raiders via Twitter)
AN INFORMAL SCOUTING REPORT
Reporter: "Georgia's defensive line, what were they doing to maybe make things difficult on offense?"
Shane Beamer: "They've got like 100 five-star football players on their defense. They have a defensive lineman that weighs 340 pounds and runs better than everybody on this call. They've got five-star defensive backs. They're big and physical and fast. I mean, other than that, they're really freaking good. That's why they have the top defense in the country. They're hard to run the football on, so there wasn't some magical scheme they came out with tonight. They've got five-star recruits everywhere and they play really physical ... damn."
—South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer offers some transparency when asked what Georgia's defense did to stifle his offense. (Las Vegas Raiders via Twitter)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
THIS GAME WAS OVER BEFORE IT STARTED
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 20, 2021
—The Baltimore Ravens tribute to The Wire star Michael K. Williams before the game should've been a sign of things to come.
SO FEW WORDS TO DESCRIBE SUCH DEEP PAIN
We asked for one word to describe being a Jets fan... 💀 pic.twitter.com/N2OSXUJZJk
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) September 21, 2021
—A survey of New York Jets fans states the obvious: they're not having a fun time.