"I'm glad the third-best wide receiver on the Cowboys is on our team.''
-- Detroit coach Jim Schwartz, sticking the needle in Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after the Lions completed a stunning comeback to beat Dallas 34-30, keyed by two fourth-quarter touchdown catches by wide receiver Calvin Johnson. During the week, Ryan had said of Johnson, "We work against better receivers in Miles Austin and Dez Bryant [in practice].''
"Do I really have to explain how I'm feeling? Do I really have to explain it? Aaaaaah. Frustrating. It's frustrating.''
-- Michael Vick, after the Eagles loss to San Francisco to fall to 1-3.
"It really seemed like a waste of time, because I felt pretty certain that he wouldn't hire a defensive coach, because he hadn't since Eddie Erdelatz [in 1960]. It's a parade of offensive coaches out there. He's really a defensive coordinator.''
-- New England coach Bill Belichick, on his 1998 interview with Oakland owner Al Davis for the Raiders' head coaching job. Davis hired Jon Gruden. History has borne Belichick out. Since the 1998 interview, Davis has hired as his head coach seven offensive coaches: Gruden, Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable and Hue Jackson.
"What's the point of history if history can only be approved talking points?''
-- Writer Jeff Pearlman, the author of Sweetness, the unauthorized Walter Payton biography that SI excerpted last week, creating howls of protest over Pearlman's disclosure of Payton's mistress, drug use and odd lifestyle before he died of liver disease in 1999.
Any biography, any true biography, will have good things and bad things in it. The book is 460 pages. The SI excerpt is five pages. Pearlman devoted three years to learning everything he could about Payton. I am going to do my best to read it in the next week (it might take me a bit longer) and write some thoughts about it in a MMQB column. But my initial thought is: It's always dangerous to judge a book by an excerpt. People, give the book a chance before you trash it. A chance isn't reading one or two percent of it, no matter how sensational that portion might be.
The Lions, perfect through the season's first quarter, are pretty good. Statistically, they're amazing, and that's no hyperbole.
|Detroit Lions Amazing Improvement|
Last week's regional cover of Sports Illustrated is the second time in the last 10 years that there's been an action shot of a Buffalo Bills player on the front of the magazine.
Last week, Buffalo defender Drayton Florence was shown prancing home with a 27-yard interception of a Tom Brady pass at Ralph Wilson Stadium in one of Buffalo's biggest wins in years, an emotional victory over the New England Patriots, as a presumably dour Bill Belichick watched from the sideline.
In Week 1 2003, Buffalo defender Sam Adams was shown prancing home with a 37-yard interception of a Brady pass at Ralph Wilson Stadium in one of Buffalo's biggest wins in years, an emotional victory over the Patriots, as a presumably dour Belichick watched from the sideline.
By the way, the final points in each game came on Rian Lindell field goals.
Friday morning, 5:05 a.m., Back Bay Train Station, Boston. Man sitting with a blanket outside the front of the station said to me: "Sir, do you have five dollars?''
"Uh, well, I can give you a buck,'' I said.
I reached in my pocket, took out two ones and handed them to the guy.
"Don't have a five, huh?''
"I'm sure I do, but I'm giving you two.''
The guy grunted and gave me a withering look, and we both went about our day.
"Robert Griffin from Baylor is a beast! I see u youngn.''
-- @MikeVick, watching the Baylor-Kansas State game Saturday. Griffin, through four games, has thrown nearly as many touchdown passes (18) as incompletions (20) for the 3-1 Bears.
"Discussing the PSU QB battle w/my 12-yr-old sister. Her take: 'But sports aren't decided by statistics. C'mon we learned that in Moneyball'
-- @EKaplan24, Penn State junior journalist Emily Kaplan (a friend of mine), after the Nittany Lions struggled to beat mighty Indiana Saturday.
"I just ate ham and eggs. A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.''
-- @HenMel, Chicago defensive tackle Henry Melton, after breakfast Friday.