Rams Celebrate and Prepare to Run It Back
NFL Super Bowl - "It's probably gonna take some time. I'm gonna have to think about it. I know in the moment I didn't know what to think. I was just a little emotional and so happy to be a world champ. And so happy to be a part of this group. That's the biggest thing. It's not me, it's not any individual on this team. We're a group, we're a team. And to get it done together was so special."
—Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford’s reaction to winning his first Super Bowl. Prior to this postseason, Stafford had zero postseason wins in his 13-year career. (NFL.com)
"To be honest with you, on that last drive, I couldn't watch. After that fourth-down play, I kind of peeked up. I didn't know it was fourth down, to be honest with you. I was talking to Coop(er Kupp) and he was like 'I didn't know either.' We just, we couldn't watch."
—Stafford on giving the ball back to Cincinnati after scoring the go-ahead touchdown. (NFL.com)
“I’m damn happy to be standing up here with you guys celebrating this s**t. Come on. Let's go, y'all.
“I'm going to bring us a little Southern hospitality to this. I appreciate y'all so much. You guys are unbelievable. ... Unbelievable all year. And you know what, we appreciate you.”
—After saying it would take a while for the win to sink in, Stafford looked like a Super Bowl parade veteran. He chugged from a bottle of 1942 Don Julio after delivering this quote. (CJZero via Twitter)
X’S & O’S WITH AD
”You just find a way to make a play. Just find a way to do everything I can, everything we can to close this game out. You’ve got an opportunity. They ran the ball, was able to beast out in the run game, shed the block and make the play. Then it came to the point where it was fourth-and-1. We’re thinking run. We have certain checks that say they were passing. I was able to work the edge, get the edge on the guy with a chop club, ping off the tackle, and get to the quarterback. I actually tried to get the ball, he kind of ducked it from me.”
“Once he tossed it, I got kinda nervous because it looked close to the running back, but for us to close that game out, make a play when we needed to make a play, it was definitely special.”
—Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald broke down the final two stops made by the Rams on the Bengals’ final drive. (NFL via Instagram)
A KUPP-LE OF TOUCHDOWNS AND AN MVP
"Man, just so proud of this team, the way we prepared, the way we loved on each other, trusted each other. I don't know. I just don't feel deserving of this. God is just so good. I'm just so thankful for the guys I get to be around, for the coaches, for my family. I don't know what to say."
—Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp’s reaction after winning Super Bowl MVP. Kupp finished the game with 8 receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including the eventual game-winner. (NFL.com)
”I’ve got memories, he’s got hardware.”
—Some have drawn comparisons between Kupp’s run this year and former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s 2008 season. The first person who would refute that argument? Fitz himself. (Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic via Twitter)
RUMORS, RETIREMENTS, AND RETURNS
"You just saw Sean on stage…he’s ready to go defend our title."
—Rams COO Kevin Demoff dissuaded reporters from the notion that head coach Sean McVay, 36, was mulling retirement. Reports broke after the game that McVay was thinking about retiring and pursuing a career in broadcasting. (Jourdan Rodrigue, The Athletic via Twitter)
”And no. He is NOT retiring!!!”
—Veronika Khomyn, McVay’s fiancée, confirmed McVay’s return via an Instagram Story (B/R Gridiron via Twitter)
”Why not run it back?!”
—Aaron Donald also had rumors of retirement swirl after the game, but Donald quickly dashed those during his time at the podium during the Rams’ Super Bowl parade. (Jourdan Rodrigue, The Athletic via Twitter)
“If we bring everybody back, I’m back. Odell Beckham, Von Miller, we bring them guys back, let’s make it happen.”
—After coming down from the high of the Super Bowl parade, Donald stuck a caveat onto his return: he would only come back if the trade deadline additions from this season came back, too. (ProFootballTalk)
"Yes, I'm re-retiring. I'll go back to my daily life. Pretty banged up right now, but hey, it's well worth it. Well worth the moment."
—Rams safety Eric Weddle, who came out of retirement to join the Rams for Wild Card Weekend, confirmed he would be re-retiring. Weddle played most of the game with a torn pectoral muscle. (NFL.com)
YOU ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR FIRST
Matthew Stafford: ”Where’d that ball hit you? Good spot? Just kinda right out in front?”
Odell Beckham Jr.: ”I mean Eli used to throw it a little lighter.”
MS: ”I just couldn’t see it!”
OBJ: ”I don’t know why you didn’t wear number 10. All you throw is dimes.”
—Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had jokes for Matthew Stafford after hauling in a pass. (Inside the NFL via Twitter)
CHECK THE FINE PRINT
“Our rule is that if there is a grab and twist and turn, there’s enough for a foul. If there’s just a rake across the facemask, where there’s not a twist and turn, even if there’s a grab, there is no foul. The officials did not see any contact that rose to the level of a foul for a 15-yard facemask.”
—Referee Ron Torbert got into the specific details of what constitutes a facemask after many questioned whether Bengals receiver Tee Higgins got away with a call on his touchdown over Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey. (ProFootballTalk)
THE BEGINNING OF BURROW’S BENGALS
”I wasn’t coming out.”
—The only quote Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow would give regarding the status of his knee. Burrow suffered a torn MCL during the second half of the game. (NFL.com)
"Joe is a smart player, and that shines through. He's accurate, he's tough as nails. We want to do some things to help him."
—Bengals owner Mike Brown is ready to do what he can to build around Burrow after this Super Bowl run. (Bengals.com)
ONE BAD APPLE
"It’s cool big bro! You might get one of these one day, but in the meantime just get better at your craft"
—Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman took to Twitter to troll Bengals cornerback Eli Apple after he allowed would eventually be the game-winning touchdown. Apple previously went after Hardman and Tyreek Hill after the Bengals won the AFC Championship. (Mecole Hardman via Twitter)
CeeDee Lamb: "That’s a big apple to eat"
Marquise Brown: "Apple Pack gone hit hard in LA"
Michael Thomas: "Eli going to Eli"
—Wide receivers from around the league took to Twitter to get in on the fun.
—After Cooper Kupp scored the go-ahead touchdown off Eli Apple, he ran straight to Robert Woods on the sideline to celebrate. Woods had just one word for Kupp. (Jourdan Rodrigue, The Athletic via Twitter)
"Y’all re-awoke a fire in me that will only make me stronger and I’m beyond excited to unleash that demon again to exponential levels on any opp that lines up across from me next season."
—Apple’s response to all the noise. (B/R Gridiron via Twitter)
WADDLE-ING UP BIG BOARDS
"I talked with him [the day after being hired], and he understands his leadership role on this team. The easiest way to get yards is to give it to a really talented player. I would start him in fantasy."
—Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel has high hopes for wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, especially in PPR leagues. (Miami Herald)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
L.A. FASHION WEEK
Rams GM Les Snead wore a LEGENDARY shirt to the parade 😂
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) February 16, 2022
—Rams general manager Les Snead donned a “F**k Them Picks” shirt to the parade, repping the mantra that built this juggernaut
”So, in honor of the shirt: Eff them picks, we’ll use ‘em to win more Super Bowls.”
—Snead embraced the power of the shirt, promising Rams fans that they won’t see a first-round selection for years to come. (Sports Illustrated via Twitter)
Kelly Stafford is wearing a blazer that says “Matthew. Not Matt.” on the back 💀 pic.twitter.com/EvTUzCcV66
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) February 16, 2022
—Kelly Stafford’s blazer gave us the formal answer on what we should call her husband.
— Overtime (@overtime) February 16, 2022
—Rams running back Jake Funk donned a shirt with Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp’s most flattering photo.
— NFL (@NFL) February 16, 2022
—Aaron Donald went tarps off at the parade, proving that no shirt is sometimes the best shirt (if you’re 300 lbs and 10% body fat).
"I had you on my heart all game, bro!"
— NFL (@NFL) February 17, 2022
—During the Super Bowl itself, Andrew Whitworth wrote the names of Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee on his shirt above his heart, ensuring the two injured players were on the field for the big game.
AFTERPARTY IN THE DELIVERY ROOM
"Your wife is giving birth right now"
The moment Van Jefferson found out. pic.twitter.com/JhYdR0yLSL
— GatorsCenter (@GatorsCenter) February 15, 2022
—Wide receiver Van Jefferson’s wife was stretched out of SoFi Stadium and taken to the hospital mid-game after going into labor. This is how Jefferson found out.