NFL Offseason –
MARCH IN QUOTES
A SWISS ARMY KNIFE IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
“I’ve watched a lot of Deebo Samuel. The way that he plays running back, plays inside, plays outside, multi-player, person, athlete. So I try to mimic my game after him.”
—When asked for his NFL player comparison, Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Treylon Burks likened himself to do-it-all San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel. Burks took snaps in the slot, out wide, inline, and in the backfield while at Arkansas. On top of catching 66 balls for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns, Burks also ran 14 times for 112 yards and a touchdown. (NFL.com)
“You have to go out there with dogs, and dogs go out and find them, and then we come up behind them and tackle them, take them down.”
—Burks took some time during the combine to discuss his hobby outside of football: feral hog hunting. Burks got into more detail, explaining how he hunts the hogs with his bare hands and knifes them in the heart to finally still them.
“You have to game plan before you even go out there, so it takes time to game plan, know exactly where they’re going to be. And then you have to make sure that you, just like how I wear gloves, but you have to put a vest and everything on the dogs, just to prepare them so they won’t get hurt.”
—Burks on the similarities between football and hog hunting. (USAToday)
GOTTA HAND IT TO HIM
“Whatever it measures, it measures. I’m sure that won’t be the end of it, but that’ll be the last measurement I’m sure I’ll take of it.”
—Pitt Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett has dealt with criticism regarding the size of his hands throughout the lead-up to the NFL combine. Pickett did not have his hands measured at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, citing a double-jointed thumb. He claimed that performing exercises in the lead-up to the combine would provide a more accurate measurement for scouts. Pickett’s right hand measured in at 8½ inches, which would be the smallest of any quarterback in the NFL. (NFL.com)
“That’s all bullsh*t. Can he play or can he not play? I think he can play.”
—One anonymous NFL coach completely disregarded the hand-size narrative surrounding Pickett. (Matt Miller, ESPN via Twitter)
FALLING OUT OF THE LOTTERY
“I only made like two out of five [shots], so I’m probably not high up on their board right now.”
—In the time-honored tradition of weird requests made during combine interviews, North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell said the Philadelphia Eagles had him shoot a basketball into a mini-hoop during their time together. (The Sporting News via Twitter)
AT THE WRONG RACETRACK
“We were eating breakfast and it was a table full of Colts. And I’m just like, why are we here?”
“There was another time when we were taking pictures after Saturday’s practice—it was the last practice before we go to the game. And we took a group picture, and I was just like, dang, we have all this talent.”
—Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore said the Week 18 loss to Jacksonville hit him hard as his team “enjoyed” Pro Bowl weekend. The 26-11 loss to the Jaguars was the final domino in a late-season collapse that knocked the Colts out of the playoffs. (Colts.com)
WELCOME (BACK) TO ATLANTA
“When you get somewhere, Atlanta feels like home, so why not retire here and end my career here? It feels good. It feels like it’s the right place, but at the end of the day, I’ve got to do what’s best for me and my family, you know, and if Atlanta is not that place, then it’s not that place. Hopefully it is, but if it’s not, I’ll move on with my life. Being vocal, that’s just something that I do, man. When I first got to Atlanta, I said, ‘I’ll get in, get the fans involved so when it’s time to get a new contract, I’ve got the fans on my side.’ So it all played out just how I expected it to.”
—Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson is looking to lock things up in Atlanta long-term after his resurgence in 2021. (Michael Rothstein, ESPN via Twitter)
ALONE ON AN ISLAND
“I guess they feel like they don’t need me. I guess I can’t be that important to them. I know I am, but they’re not showing me.”
—New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson, who is hitting free agency later in March, has received little communication from the Patriots regarding a new contract. Jackson, an undrafted free agent, led the league with 23 pass breakups in 2021.
“I love the game. If they tag me, I’m gonna go out there and play.”
DEEBO, SO HOT RIGHT NOW, DEEBO
“I really like everywhere. I just believe that I need to line up with the best. I want to be best on best. [Against the 49ers] we were going against Deebo [Samuel], I wanted that matchup with him every time. Wherever Deebo went, that’s where I wanted to go. Against Minnesota, I played linebacker, and wherever Dalvin Cook went, that’s where I wanted to go. I want it to be best on best.”
“When we’re going against Patrick Mahomes and they’re not really going to run the ball 18 to 20 times a game, but they’ll pass, so put me against their left tackle. Or right tackle. And I’ll pass rush. That’s the best way that I can impact the game.”
—Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons wants to be the defensive equivalent to 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, lining up as a linebacker, edge rusher, and potentially in coverage? (Dallas Morning News)
HE’S GONE HOLLYWOOD
“I got a message from a random number with a picture of [Peyton] and I back at the Manning Passing Academy. And I was like ‘That’s so weird. Who would have this picture?’ I look back through the messages and they all line up with certain events where we’d seen each other. So I think I’ve been ghosting Peyton Manning for my entire NFL career.”
—Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp has inadvertently been ghosting Peyton Manning for years, only just discovering whose number he had been ignoring. (NFL via Instagram)
OUT OF TOM
“Yeah, because of the reasons he retired.”
—Despite rumblings about quarterback Tom Brady potentially making a return to the NFL at some point, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said he’d be surprised if Brady came out of retirement.
“He slammed [the door] shut when I talked to him. I think like a lot of these guys now, he likes to have his name out there.”
—Arians on whether he found it odd Brady left the door open for a potential comeback. (Phil Perry, NBCSports Boston via Twitter)
“Nope. Bad business.”
—Arians on whether he would let Brady, whose rights are still held by Tampa Bay, move on to another team in 2022.
“Five No. 1s.”
—Even with his doubts about Brady’s return, Arians would really have to be persuaded to even think about trading Brady. (B/R Gridiron via Instagram)
LORD, I’VE SEEN WHAT YOU’VE DONE FOR OTHERS…
“We won four games this year. The Bengals won four the year before, and this was a big year for them. We don’t have to wonder—we just saw a team do it. Someone’s going to make that jump. Someone always does. Why not us?”
—Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith, inspired by the recent turnaround of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021, is looking to put together a miraculous reversal of fortunes for the Houston Texans. (ProFootballTalk)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MIKE McDANIEL?
John Lynch was praising Mike McDaniel at the podium. Listening in, unbeknownst to John, was Mike McDaniel. This is what it looked like. This is beautiful. pic.twitter.com/avaiakwmek
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) March 2, 2022
—Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was in the crowd as San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch sung his praises during his media availability.
— Paola Argueta (@paolaa_arg) February 26, 2022
—McDaniel also had time to greet Dolphins defensive end Christian Wilkins as he completed a 50-mile charity bike ride back in Miami.
CUT TO COMMERCIAL
—San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle got asked the hard-hitting questions during his time at the NHL Stadium Series, and he dodged those questions like a pro.