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The Month in Quotes: May 2021

11 min read
The Month in Quotes: May 2021


MAKE YOURSELVES AT HOME

“I’ve asked about good food spots. I’m a huge seafood guy, so I’ve heard the seafood is really good up here.”

—Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond is excited to taste the freshest walleye that Minneapolis has to offer. (Courtney Cronin, ESPN via Twitter)

“Everything is flat and then you make a left and a right and it’s a stadium and a facility. … It’s kind of a smaller town but then you get in the center of it and it’s one of the most prestigious stadiums in NFL history.”

—Green Bay Packers wide receiver Amari Rodgers familiarizing himself with all there is to see in his new hometown. (Matt Schneidman, The Athletic via Twitter)

“If Trevor was to sit in my chair, definitely would be able to give him exactly what he would want. Or if he were to ask me for advice on what he would want, I would definitely be able to do that as well.”

—Jacksonville Jaguars team barber Eric Rivera on the potential of working with what is already one of the most iconic heads of hair in football (and the man underneath it, quarterback Trevor Lawrence). (Post & Courier)

“I don’t know if it was a specific diet. It’s more so one of those things where you eat what you got in the freezer or from the Fall. I had a few squirrels freeze-dried in there. Get a little hungry, ain’t got no deer meat left, fry you up a squirrel or two and just go eat that.”

—Baltimore Ravens guard Ben Cleveland will forego the local crab cakes and cover his squirrels in Old Bay instead. (CBS Sports)

“There’s definitely some aggressive drivers here, that’s for sure. I’m getting used to that, getting cut off everywhere you go.”

—New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is having some early struggles adjusting to Big Apple drivers. (ESPN)

Reporter: “Saw you today with a one-handed catch. Also nearly come down with one that—”

Najee Harris: “Oh, you saw that?”

R: “Yeah I saw that. And you almost caught one that was—”

NJ: “You guys were here?”

R: “We were there watching, yeah.”

NJ: “Where were you guys at?”

R: “We were up on the balcony.”

NJ: “Man, I thought y’all were boosters.”

—Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris is practicing in front of a much different audience than the one he had at Alabama. (ESPN via Instagram)

THIS MONTH IN JULIO JONES

“I’m out of there, man.”

“Right now, I want to win.”

—Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones made his desire to be traded public after Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe cold-called Jones in the middle of his show Undisputed. Jones requested a trade prior to the beginning of free agency, but the Falcons could not move him until June 1 at the earliest. (NFL.com)

“I love Julio. I’ve been so lucky to play with him for the past decade, and he’s an unbelievable player. I don’t get involved in this side of it. From a teammate, from a player standpoint, he’s my teammate. He’s my guy. And you let the other side of it shake out how it is. But I know this: he’s always ready to go. He’s an incredible competitor and one of the best to ever do it at his position. So he’ll have himself ready to go. There’s no question about that.”

—Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan on his relationship with Jones. Ryan’s contract was restructured over the offseason. (NFL.com)

RODGERS’ RATIONALE

“With my situation, look, it has never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan. I love Jordan. He’s a great kid. A lot of fun to work together. I love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fan base in Green Bay. Incredible 16 years. It’s just kind of about a philosophy and maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go. It’s about character, it’s about culture, it’s about doing things the right way. A lot of this was put in motion last year and the wrench was kind of thrown into it when I won MVP and played the way I played last year. So this is just kind of, I think, a spill-out of all that. But look, man, it is about the people and that’s the most important thing. Green Bay has always been about the people, from Curly Lambeau being owner and founder to the [1960s] with [Vince] Lombardi and Bart Starr and all those incredible names to the [1990s] teams with coach [Mike Holmgren] and [Brett Favre] and the Minister of Defense [Reggie White] to the run that we’ve been on. It’s about the people.”

—Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made his first public comments since news broke about his desire to be traded from the team. Rodgers did not to report to OTAs this month—a period he usually attends—instead choosing to go on vacation. The Packers plan on calling his bluff, refusing to trade him. (NFL.com)

THIS MONTH IN THE NFL’S GLASS CEILING

“It is an absolute honor, but I hope someone passes me up soon. If anything, I hope it does let women know that there are these opportunities across the NFL. You don’t have to play football to work in the NFL. I hope I set a positive example for all women who want to break into football. I want to inspire women to keep growing in the NFL and throughout all of sports. It is important to show that women belong in sports. There have been so many women who paved the way for opportunities in this league and in football. I’m thankful to them, and I want to have the same impact for others.”

—Denver Broncos executive director of football operations Kelly Kleine on her landmark hiring. Kleine is believed to be the highest-ranking female in scouting in the NFL. (Denver Broncos)

THE CURE FOR CARSON

“I just cringe when I hear stuff like [Carson Wentz is broken], not that a player shouldn’t be accountable for poor play on the field. Carson has to answer to that, and he has answered to it. And until you get out there and prove otherwise, that’s what you live with. But I just know that playing the position of quarterback, there are so many factors that go into it. We talked about why the poor play last year, I’m just very confident that he has a team around him. It’s just I think the culture fit. You guys know how I feel about the Eagles, how highly I feel about that organization. But sometimes in sports, this is one of those transitions I think it’s going to end up being good for both organizations, I think it’s going to be good for Carson. I think we got to be patient with it. I think it takes a little bit of time, just like it took Philip (Rivers) a minute and Jacoby (Brissett) a minute. But I’m confident that we got the right player.”

—Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich repudiated a reporter’s suggestion that quarterback Carson Wentz is “broken.” The Colts acquired Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. (NFL.com)

TEBOW TIME 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

“There’s a thought going around. He was in the best shape of his life, asked to see if he could work out with a couple of our coaches. I wasn’t even there. They came back to me and said, ‘Wow, this guy’s in incredible shape.’ Then I went another time and watched them try him out. And they said go work on these things, he comes back later. They try him out again, I’m not there, they come in and they said, ‘Wow, this guy’s ball skills, he’s a great athlete, he looks like he’s 18 years old, not 20, whatever he is, 33. I said, ‘Guys you don’t understand, now this guy is, he’s the most competitive maniac you’re ever gonna talk to and let’s give it a shot.'”

—Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer broke down how the Jaguars came to consider former quarterback Tim Tebow a potential option at tight end. Tebow, who has not played football since 2012 and most recently spent time in the New York Mets minor league baseball system, signed with the Jaguars shortly after Meyer made these comments. (Cris Collinsworth via Twitter)

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

“As an organization there’s things you can do better. I’ll just say this, for Joe Brady’s growth, that organization, they’ll have to practice different things in different ways. One thing we didn’t do much of when I was there, we didn’t practice two minutes, really. We didn’t practice red zone. You walk through the red zone stuff and then Saturday, you come out and practice red zone, but you’d only get like 15 live reps. Guys’ reps would be limited.”

—Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater offered a critique of the Carolina Panthers’ game preparation when reflecting on his short tenure with the organization on the “All Things Covered” podcast with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden. Bridgewater specifically emphasized the team’s failure to practice red zone and two-minute drill situations.

“I’m not going to delve into specifics about our process, some of that is specific to us. But I feel really good about our preparation, and the amount of work our coaches put in and the amount of work our players put in. The amount of practice work, I think we push them in a really smart way. … When you have 140 guys in a locker room, guys will disagree on some things sometimes. You can’t ask everyone to agree with everything. But I feel really good about what we do, I want to make sure to say I feel really good about the way we practice and our process. I’m disappointed to hear he didn’t feel the same way.”

—Panthers head coach Matt Rhule’s response to Bridgewater’s comments. (NFL.com)

YOU THINK WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT?

“We have some guys returning that were on that Super Bowl team too. So we’ve got great depth and there’ll be competition. And as you know, Mooch, competition brings out the best in everybody. And so, we’ve got that now on the offensive line and these guys will battle it out. The kids that were on that Super Bowl are tough kids, it just wasn’t our day. And things didn’t quite work out right, it’s not all their blame for sure. And that’s not where we were going with this. We just hadn’t done a whole lot recently with the offensive line. You need to take care of that bunch, so that’s where we went.”

—Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid discussed the new additions made to the team’s offensive line, admitting the Chiefs had failed to address the position earlier in Patrick Mahomes’ tenure. In one offseason, Kansas City signed Joe Thuney and Austin Blythe in free agency, coaxed Kyle Long out of retirement, traded for Orlando Brown, and drafted Creed Humphrey. (NFL.com)

OLD DOG, NEW TRICKS

“Midway through the year, I was still trying to figure out how to call the plays. I just read [the plays] off my wristband and tried to visualize what was going to happen. … It’s like learning a completely new language. You’ve spoken English for 20 years and someone goes, ‘Hey man, let’s speak some Spanish.’ And you are like, ‘Huh? That makes no sense to my brain.'”

—Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady admitted that he was unable to fully learn head coach Bruce Arians’ playbook until midway through the season. (JoeBucsFan.com)

TUA TIME’S 5 O’CLOCK SHADOW

“He’s got a beard. He’s got a beard and there’s a little more bass in his voice.”

—Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Austin Jackson on the biggest changes he has seen in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa since last season. (Armando Salguero, Miami Herald via Twitter)

“I think we’ve got a lot of young players, and we’re looking for all of those players as well as really everyone on our team to improve in a variety of ways. If they’re putting all the work in, I expect them to improve, get better, and perform better. Tua is obviously at the top of that list. He has been working. All signs point to—or I would say based on my experience—he’s doing everything necessary to make some improvements. That’s really all we can ask for. My thing is if you put the work in, the results will take care of themselves.”

—Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, refusing to put the weight solely on Tua’s shoulders, breaks down the development of Tagovailoa alongside Miami’s young talent. (NBCSports)

DON’T TAKE THE MASCOT TOO LITERALLY

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to do it, but I would love to literally just have a pet lion. Just a legit pet lion on a chain, a big ass chain, and he really is my pet. We just walk around the building, we go out to practice, we’re at seven-on-seven, we’re behind the kicker when he’s kicking. … On command, you could train him, like if one of your groups isn’t doing well you could just take him over to their section and just have it take a dump right there in the middle of where their section is at and then bring him on back. I mean, think about it. It’d be outstanding. … We’re going somewhere. The problem, I don’t know if PETA’s going to allow that. Even though we would take great care of it. It would be fed well, it would be petted, it would be manicured. I might end up losing an arm because of it, but that would be even better because it would validate what, this is a freaking, this a creature now. This is an animal. This thing, this is from the wild.”

—Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell jokingly suggested the team get him a pet lion to bring to practice as a motivational tool during training camp. Campbell was also partial to the idea of placing a taxidermied sheep in front of the Lions’ practice facility and encouraging the players not to look at it, reiterating the old adage that “lions do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.” (USA Today)


THIS MONTH IN SOCIAL MEDIA

11 RECRUITING 11

—Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown is one of many players attempting to recruit Julio Jones to their team. No one, however, is pitching their team as aggressively as Brown.

ALWAYS COMPETE

—69-year-old Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll didn’t look a day over 50 when fighting for a fumble with wide receiver Cody Thompson.


https://www.footballoutsiders.com/week-quotes/2021/month-quotes-may-2021