"I'd take it and run and probably pull both hamstrings."
-- Denver coach John Fox, asked after the playoff win over Pittsburgh if he'd have taken a division title and a first-round playoff win if told that would be his fate before this season.
"We're going to win. A hundred percent we're going to win ... Because we're the best."
-- Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, looking forward to the NFC Division playoff game against the top-seeded Green Bay Packers Sunday in Wisconsin, to Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star Ledger.
"If the quarterback throws the ball to you, you gotta intercept it.''
-- Detroit coach Jim Schwartz, after watching his Lions either drop or not make the play on three Drew Brees passes that could have been intercepted.
"Justin Blackmon is Dez Bryant, with all his brain cells.''
-- Hall of Famer quarterback Warren Moon, to KIRO radio in Seattle, on one college star receiver Blackmon, comparing him to another young receiver who has had his share of problems, Bryant.
Attention, all personnel men in love with Alabama running back Trent Richardson high in the first round: Following a regular season in which none of the six leading rushers in football were drafted in the first round, here were the five leading rushers over the weekend:
As we look ahead to the divisional round, here's an interesting note about the final eight teams left in the Super Bowl derby: Only one, Denver, starts a first-round running back ... and Willis McGahee's on his third team, in the twilight.
Thanks to Mike Florio for sending me scurrying to the 2010 draft, and the incredible tributaries from a single late-round trade. It just shows how smart Pittsburgh director of football operations Kevin Colbert is.
In 2009, the Jets traded fourth- and fifth-round picks to the Eagles for cornerback Lito Sheppard and a fifth-round pick in the 2010 draft, the 155th overall pick.
In 2010, the Steelers traded wide receiver Santonio Holmes to the Jets for that fifth-round pick, the 155th in the draft.
The Steelers took that 155th selection on draft weekend and traded it to Arizona for cornerback Bryant McFadden and a sixth-round pick -- the 195th overall. With the 195th pick, Pittsburgh chose wide receiver/kick returner Antonio Brown.
In 2010, McFadden started all 16 regular-season games at left cornerback for Pittsburgh's Super Bowl team.
In 2011, Brown started at wide receiver for the Steelers, finishing 15th in the league with 1,108 receiving yards, while being one of the best punt- and kick-returners in the league -- 10.8 yards per punt return, 27.3 yards per kick return. He's the first player in the history of the NFL to have more than 1,000 yards receiving and returning in the same year.
Colbert turned a late fifth-round pick into one Super Bowl starter and one long-term explosive receiver and returner. That's a valuable personnel man.
New York subway story of the week: The other night around 8, I was on the E train in Manhattan, standing inside a fairly crowded car. At the Port Authority Bus Terminal stop, a woman got on at the far end of the car cradling something and saying over and over again in a pleading, accented voice, "Please. Please. Please.'' As she got closer, I could see was a woman of about 30, and she held a cup and small sign out with one hand -- the sign said she was homeless and needed money -- and I couldn't quite see what she had in the other arm until she got closer. It was a baby, maybe five months old, with mouth locked onto her breast, the woman making no effort to conceal the breast as she walked, looking every person in the train in the eye while saying, "Please.'' I guess I'm not a hard-edged New Yorker yet. That was a startling, eye-opening experience.
I will say something positive about the human race: From the looks of it, she collected $10 or so from our car in five minutes. After two stops, she got off and went to the next car.
"I don't care what people say, this Tebow is a beast.''
-- @BrentCelek, the Philadelphia tight end. Human like the rest of us right after the Denver-Pittsburgh game.
"The team that kept us from our potential Super Bowl in 08 is back on OUR turf now. Trust me,we haven't forgotten. Here.We...GoPackGo! #BeGreat''
-- @GregJennings, the wide receiver for the Packers, recalling the Giants' 23-20 overtime upset of the Pack in the NFC title game four years ago.
"Bringing Sam Baker in for extra pass protection is like bring Wile E Coyote in to test product safety."
-- FO_MTanier, Mike Tanier of the New York Times and Football Outsiders, seeing Atlanta bring Baker in as an extra blocker in the third quarter Sunday at the Meadowlands.
"Fame is overrated.''
-- Injured and formerly quite famous Buffalo linebacker Shawne Merriman, who should know.
"A setback is just a setup for a comeback.''
-- @BrentCelek, the Eagles' tight end who underwent surgery on a sports hernia and torn labrum in his hip last week.
Playing football with either of those injuries would be one of the braver things a man could do. Playing with both must have been torture.