"WE OWN THIS DIVISION! MAKE SURE THEY KNOW THAT TODAY!''
-- Drew Brees, in the Saints' pregame huddle, captured by FOX, before the game between the Saints and the team they trailed in the NFC South, the previously unbeaten Atlanta Falcons.
"They can kiss my a--.''
-- Antonio Cromartie, Jets cornerback, on the hue and cry from Jets fans who want to see Mark Sanchez benched.
"The No. 1 motivator is fear, you know, fear of maybe letting down your teammates, of being chastised or maybe losing your job. Where's the fear in Dallas? There's no fear in Dallas. It's a country club where everybody's buddies.''
-- Former Dallas coach and current FOX NFL analyst Jimmy Johnson, on The Dan Patrick Show on NBC Sports Network, talking about the problem of having the owner, Jerry Jones, acting as the general manager.
Fair criticism. But Johnson also called Jones' assertions that he acted as general manager during Johnson's reign as coach "a crock.'' I'm surprised (bordering on stunned) that Johnson, who was treated well financially (including a $2 million golden parachute from Jones when he quit) can't let this go. Jones was GM in title when Johnson was coach, even though Johnson was the spur for the vast majority of football personnel decisions at the time.
"You'll never see that again, trust me."
-- Michael Vick, after his brother Marcus tweeted during the Monday night Eagles debacle at New Orleans that the Eagles should trade Michael. The tweet: "Please trade my brother. We requesting out of Philly." That would work fine, of course, except that the tweet came six days after the NFL trade deadline ... and that the brother in question was furious at Marcus for doing this.
From the back page of this morning's Philadelphia Daily News, over a photo of Eagles coach Andy Reid leaving the field after the 38-23 loss to Dallas left Philly 3-6 and out of any realistic NFC playoff contention:
"I GOTTA DO (FIND) A BETTER JOB.''
Reid is fond of saying, after disappointing games, "I've got to do a better job."
The Pro Football Hall of Fame's 44 selectors just finished voting to winnow the list of 127 preliminary nominees for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2013 down to 25. On that list of 127 names was coach Bill Cowher, former coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I think it's a good time, in the middle of current Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's sixth season, to compare him to Cowher. Their careers are similar, with Tomlin having a slight edge.
I used the 60th victory of each man's regularseason career, which Tomlin achieved last week against the Giants, as the line of demarcation. How each man fared at the time of that 60th victory is in the table to the right.
Cowher won a Super Bowl in his 14th season and coached 15 years. The way Tomlin has begun his career, and with the Steelers such a consistent organization, there's no reason to think he won't follow in Cowher's career footsteps -- and perhaps even eclipse what his predecessor did.
Peyton Manning threw his 420th touchdown pass Sunday in Charlotte, tying Dan Marino on the all-time TD list.
Manning won his 147th game Sunday, tying Dan Marino on the all-time quarterbacks wins list.
I went out with my wife to the Rockaways, hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, on Election Day, to ferry some supplies a volunteer group said was needed. Since Joe Nocera of the New York Times went out three days later and wrote a lot more eloquently about it than I could, here's his column. Anyway, our loaded-up car had some shovels, wide push brooms, water, baby formula, warm clothes, flashlights and lots of batteries of all sizes.
When we got to the area, a peninsula of many streets with both beach and permanent homes, it was stunning to see the consistent sight in front of almost every house. It was as though the houses had all vomited all of their waterlogged possessions onto the front lawn and curb. House after house, street after street ... and the closer you got to the ocean side of the peninsula, the more sand you had to drive through. Once, driving slowly, I feared getting stuck because the sand was so deep on the street.
Originally, we were told to go to the large Catholic church in town, St Francis de Sales. But a military unit with a Humvee blocked that street and we were told to go to another church about 30 blocks away. Fruitless search. We couldn't find it. But we did stumble on big white tents on the east end of the peninsula. "VOTE AQUI'' signs were there, and "VOTE HERE'' signs, for the locals whose polling place was not usable.
I saw two white-coated men waiting to vote -- men taking a break from ripping apart home interiors to do their patriotic duty. So we went back to the neighborhood of the church, and, unable to get close to it, we found a woman and her husband, running a free general store on a busy corner. Amazing sight: Townspeople in work boots were rummaging through the hurriedly set-up tables of food, tools, water and clothes, with the woman and her husband the only ones riding herd over the free "store.'' We thought it was as good a place as any to unload our stuff, and so we did, and within three minutes the shovels were gone, and probably half the batteries, and two cases of the water. "Thank you so much!'' the woman running the general store said to us.
Though we did see several Red Cross trucks, and FEMA was in the neighborhood too, what impressed us the most was the horde of volunteers who just showed up to help. We saw some cars with Georgia plates parked in front of a home with people using crowbars and mallets to knock down sodden walls. I saw a woman with an "OCCUPY SANDY'' handwritten T-shirt, and we were told lots of the Occupy Wall Street crowd was here, and on Staten Island, to help.
That part was heartening. Disheartening was the massive job that will take months -- getting the power and heat back, fixing some lovely homes with winter coming. And though I appreciate the strength and we'll-be-fine can-do attitude of the mayor, Michael Bloomberg, I fear people will see attention to the area fade as news crews start covering other things, and I fear they'll say, "Well, everything's going well in New York and New Jersey and Long Island.'' Well? No. Surviving? Yes. But thousands on Long Island are still without power, and it'll be months before there's anything close to normal in the neighborhood we visited Tuesday. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie compared the area to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama after Katrina, and I don't think he's far off.
"The amount of courage that people develop over social media has always been intriguing to me.''
-- @Niles_Paul84, the Washington tight end.
You're not the only one intrigued by that.
"Hey Peyton do us a favor bro. Don't ever,ever,ever,ever,ever,ever,ever try 2 slide like that again. OK :)''
-- @BrianDawkins, the former Denver safety, after an awkward slide by Peyton Manning in Charlotte.
"Lavonte David and Daryl Washington are great examples of where the LB position is headed in the NFL... Speed over size''
-- @MoveTheSticks, NFL.com analyst and former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah, speaking of the fast and productive Tampa Bay and Arizona linebackers.
"Unofficially we have counted 12 concussions thus far this week. Will know more definite numbers on Thursday''
-- @concussionblog, an educational Twitter account for concussion research and reporting, at 11:50 p.m. Sunday.
Staples' Midweek Report: SEC Championship
Sidney Crosby leads Penguins to overtime victory over Islanders