Burrow Already Stealing Super Bowl Spotlight
THE HOTTEST NAME IN HOLLYWOOD
NFL Super Bowl - "If you look up 'cool' in the dictionary, there's a picture of [Joe Burrow] with some Cartier shades. This guy is smooth. Getting to meet him, going back and just kicking it with him, you can't help but like this guy. He's going to be one of the greats, I truly believe that. Joe Burrow is definitely cool, for sure."
—Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. considers Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to be the definition of "cool." (NFL via Twitter)
"It's the Joe Burrow show. Don't forget it now. This guy is the real deal. I don't like making comparisons to anybody else. Joe Burrow is his own guy, but you definitely see shades of Tom Brady in this guy. The moment is not too big for him. He's shaking off sacks. He's throwing the ball downfield. They have a crazy team, man."
—Los Angeles Rams linebacker Von Miller continued to laud praise on Burrow, going as far as to liken him to recently-retired quarterback Tom Brady. (Sirius XM via Twitter)
"I kinda like this young buck quarterback. He's in the Super Bowl now: It's Joe Burrow, man. I watched him in college. I just love the way he presents himself out on the football field. In the pocket, he's just so calm and he just slings it out on the field. ... I just love his swag, too."
—Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is a free agent come March, said if there was one quarterback he could play with right now it would be Burrow. Coupled with Miller's comment, this is particularly interesting because Gronk has previously gone on record saying he would only ever play with Brady. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"Just call me Joe. Whatever anybody wants to call me is OK with me."
—Despite all the nicknames he has been given over the last few years (Smokin' Joe, Joe Cool, Joe Brrr, Joe Shiesty, the Tiger King, etc.), Burrow is good being called whatever you want to call him. (NFL via Twitter)
"Focus on getting better. Don't have a workout and go post it on Instagram the next day and then sit on your butt for four days, and everyone thinks you're working hard but you're really not. Work in silence. Don't show everybody what you're doing. Let your game on Friday nights and Saturday nights and Sunday nights show all the hard work that you put in."
—Burrow's advice to young players looking to make it to the next level. (NFL via Twitter)
HOW THE WAR WAS WON
"It's me now, it's me, keep it real. Of course, that's what I'm asking for. That's what I want. Whoever you think their best man is, put me on him. Let me help the team win this game. That's what it's all about."
"There are different areas where we might have to do something different because it might put the team in a better position to win. So, wherever the game may take us, it will take us, and we are going to do what we've got to do from there. But you're going to get to see that matchup, you're going to have the opportunity to see it and I'm going to be ready for it."
—Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey has been openly campaigning during meetings to shadow Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase during the Super Bowl. (ESPN)
"I know watching tape that he has (covered one specific player). He has traveled with a guy. He has played both left and right corner. He even has clips of when he was in the slot. He's a guy that can play it all but we're not anticipating guys singling out other guys playing them one-on-one."
"We don't care what's going to happen, how you are going to play us. We're going to continue to play our game. We're not going to not throw (Chase) the ball because Ramsey is on him. However they decide to play, they're going to have to match us."
—Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd and the rest of the receiver room isn't afraid of Ramsey, who said this week he considers himself the best cornerback in football right now. Boyd noted that Ramsey's presence, no matter where he is on the field, won't affect the Bengals' game plan. (Bengals.com)
"I feel like we're the best two slots in the game. We'll get the space to go out there and prove it. Me against [Cooper Kupp] in the Super Bowl."
"He's just deceptive. He knows how to switch tempos, slow his feet down, and create separation for himself. … That's their go-to guy, and he's expected to win his one-on-one. But I know what I can do. That's going to be my mission this week."
—On the other side of the ball, Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton seems confident in his secondary's ability to handle Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
DO IT FOR A.D.
"I remember watching Aaron Donald's face because they kept showing him on television. Looked into his eyes, and I felt that hurt. I felt that pain."
"And when I got here, that was the first thing that I said to him. I said, 'I'm going to do everything in my power, everything possible, to help you win a championship.' And I mean that. And my feet are easily in their place because when I think about that guy and what it means to him, and what I will do to try to help him win a championship."
—Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris remembers just how hurt defensive tackle Aaron Donald looked during the Rams' loss in Super Bowl LIII. Now that the Rams are back in the big game four years later, Morris claims the whole organization wants to win for Donald.
"That's really all we talk about. Everything that I talk to him about is about winning a Super Bowl, how can I help him be a better Aaron Donald, how can he make me a better Von Miller. Our whole friendship is about winning this Super Bowl."
—Los Angeles Rams linebacker Von Miller said his whole relationship with Donald is built on winning a Super Bowl together.
"I know what it feels like to be there, but I don't know what it feels like to win. I feel like I accomplished a lot in a short amount of time in this league. The only thing I'm lacking now is being a world champion."
—Upon looking back at his career, Donald has just one box left to check off. (NFL.com)
"This is not an overnight fix. This is not, we're just going to snap our fingers and start winning football games. Our goal is to win football games, but we're going to do it one player, one coach, one person in the organization at a time. And I'll challenge our team, and I'll challenge our fans. It's about ownership. It's about support. It's about leadership. And that's what I'll bring. That's what I'll bring to the organization. And I'm not going to settle for anything less than a championship-caliber team."
—Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson is looking to bring some normalcy back to the team after the mess that was the 2021 season. Despite the optimism, however, Pederson notes that this will not be a one-year turnaround. (NFL.com)
"We're really excited obviously. I talked to him briefly on the phone Thursday night, and then today, first time meeting him in person, just seems like a really great guy. Obviously, he has had a lot of success. His resume kind of speaks for itself. He's an offensive guy, played quarterback in the NFL. All of those things make me really excited, and it's something that I'm just excited to get to work with him and see what he brings to the table."
"I think everybody's excited. Everybody's really relieved we got our guy, and to be able to move forward and go to work now is a really good feeling."
—Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence gives his endorsement of the Pederson hire. However optimistic he may be, using the word "relieved" to describe a head coaching hire speaks volumes about the state of the Jaguars franchise. (Jacksonville Jaguars via Twitter)
THE TRANSFER PORTAL TROJAN HORSE
"We didn't take players from Oklahoma. We took players from the transfer portal. Those players and their families had to make a decision to either stay at that university, just like any other player has to make, or to enter the portal where then they can be recruited by anybody in the country. That's up to those players and their families and we have nothing to do with that. But once a player gets into a portal where they are open to any school in the country, we would be crazy not to take a look at and try to help our football team. Then on top of it for me, the maybe the more emotional tie for me is these are guys that we recruited. We got to know their families, we were part of the entire process. And all of a sudden they were good enough for us to take at Oklahoma, but now we wouldn't give them a chance just because we're in a new spot? That part never really made sense to me. We are certainly excited to get those guys here along with all the other players. It's literally players in a portal."
—USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley managed to land a number of players with ties to his former school, the University of Oklahoma, both through high school recruiting and the NCAA transfer portal. Riley made an appearance on Colin Cowherd's "The Herd" to defend his use of the portal, claiming that recruiting Oklahoma players was still a sensitive thing. (247 Sports)
THIS WEEK IN OPTIMISM AND SPECULATION
"We most definitely are still going to be contenders. We've still got a lot of guys on the team who are hungry to have a taste of being in the playoffs, to have a taste of winning a Super Bowl. And I know the front office guys, they loved having a taste of the success that we had. So if anything, it's a replication. Whoever it takes, we're going to get those guys, and then the guys are going to make it happen, whatever we have to do. The offense has got to pick it up, the defense has got to pick it up, the special teams—whatever it is, we're going to make it happen."
—Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett still thinks extremely highly of the team's roster despite the vacancy left at quarterback following Tom Brady's retirement. (Buccaneers.com)
"I've heard what everybody else has heard, what they're reading. But I think he'll be there, in my heart. Green Bay, I can't imagine him anywhere else, that's where he's been his whole career. I just can't picture him anywhere else. I think we had a lot of fun this year, I hope to have him back and I believe in my heart he'll be back."
—Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones knows the speculation surrounding where quarterback Aaron Rodgers will play next season, but Jones has a gut feeling Rodgers won't be going anywhere. (NFL.com)
"I thought it was retirement, and then he said I'm not done with coaching. … He's just done with us right now. … With Sean, you never know. You're talking about a guy who has always had the plan. He plays chess, not checkers. So in my mind, he's going to a bigger market."
—New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan doesn't think that former head coach Sean Payton has coached his final game in the NFL. (NFL.com)
A FAMILY AFFAIR
"I break the huddle and look across from me I see one of the best players in the world and guess who changed his diapers."
—Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs had jokes after lining up against his brother, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, in the Pro Bowl. (NFL on ESPN via Twitter)
THIS IS THE FUTURE NERDS WANT
"Selfishly, as the quarterback, I want to be on the field for every fourth down. Whether that's smart or not, that's not my call to make. Whether it's fourth-and-short, fourth-and-long, I really believe in the guys we have, and I believe if we don't get it our defense can come up with the stop. So having the opportunity to go for it and change the game if you do get those, I think that's big for our team because of how aggressive we are."
—The Los Angeles Chargers developed a reputation this season as an aggressive team, but quarterback Justin Herbert wants to take it even further in 2022. (ProFootballTalk)
I JUST CAN'T QUIT YOU
"I'm just gonna take things as they come. I think that's the best way to put it and I don't think anything, you know, you never say never. At the same time, I know that I'm very, I feel very good about my decision. I don't know how I'll feel six months from now."
"I try to make the best possible decision I can in the moment, which I did this last week. And, again, I think it's not looking to reverse course, I'm definitely not looking to do that. But at the same time I think you have to be realistic that you never know what challenges there are gonna be in life. Again, I loved playing. I'm looking forward to doing things other than playing. That's as honest as I can be."
—Former NFL quarterback Tom Brady has been retired for all of one week, but has already opened the door for a potential comeback. (NFL.com)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
—Say what you want about the NFL Honors show, but if they can get NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to break out into song, they're good in my book.
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