Quotes of the Week
“This is insanity … Embarrassing. I’ve never seen a Giants’ offensive line so bad.”
—Former Giants linebacker Carl Banks, doing color on the New York radio network Sunday, in the midst of the Giants’ offensive line allowing six sacks in the first half.
“This is comedy. It’s comedy. It’s shameful.”
—Banks, a few minutes later, when the shameful play continued.
“It’s embarrassing. If you’re going to be a steady lunch for the guy rushing you, then you’re in the wrong profession.”
—Banks, at halftime, when the Giants had one yard passing.
“I’m at a loss for words.”
—Banks, when the score got to be 31-0.
“Their will is gone. They have no will.”
—Banks, when it got to be 38-0.
“I believe the safest pick in the draft—beyond Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III—is Alabama running back Trent Richardson. He’s a blue-chip player and has all the skills to quickly establish himself as a top-five player at his position. Forget the nonsense about not taking backs early—everyone would love the chance to get this guy.”
—Mike Lombardi, current Cleveland GM and former NFL.com columnist and NFL Network analyst, writing on NFL.com on April 23, 2012, three days before Richardson was picked third overall in the draft by the Browns.
I have scores—hundreds, probably—of quotes from my past that are blush-inducing, and very wrong, and which I wish I’d never written or said. But I can’t imagine one Lombardi would like to have back more from his days in the media than this one.
“How do you make your team better by trading your best player? … If I’m the coach and someone came in and did that, I’d say, ‘Okay, fire me, or I’m going to quit.’ Or we’re both going to go to the owner and talk about this, and then we’ll see who’s still standing.”
—Mike Holmgren, the former Cleveland club president who oversaw the trade up for, and drafting of, Trent Richardson before the Browns cleaned house after the 2012 season.
“I’m talking about the pain and instability that comes with a body that’s always hurt in one way or the other. Pain supersedes all boundaries. It goes above and beyond the dreams and the money and the women and all that. The dream that you’re talking about is the dream that we believe when we watch it on television. We see these guys playing on Sunday, 16 times a year. But 349 days of the year, there is a job, and it is professional football, and it is not that dream.”
—Nate Jackson, the former NFL tight end and author of the revealing new book, Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile (you can read an excerpt here) in a Sunday interview on NPR’s “Weekend Edition.”
Not sure if I’ve ever heard the reality of being an NFL player ever put better, and with such feeling, as Jackson did in the NPR interview.
Stat of the Week
Peyton Manning will be 39 at the end of the 2015 season, assuming he plays that long. I assume he will. We all do.
In the first 226 games of Manning’s pro career, he has averaged 266.7 passing yards a game. That has left him 11,583 passing yards shy of breaking Brett Favre’s all-time record of 71,838.
Beginning tonight, Manning has 46 regular-season games until the end of 2015. If, in this pass-happy era of pro football, Manning averages the same number of yards he has to this point, he’d break Favre’s record for career passing yards in Week 15 of 2015. It’d be quicker to break the career record for touchdown passes. Favre had 508 of those. Manning’s at 445, an average of 1.97 per game. That means, at this pace, he needs 33 games to pass Favre … which brings us to Week 3 of the 2015 season.
The one record of Favre’s that Manning would have loved to break he can’t. (Unless he plays every week until he’s 56.) Favre played 297 regular-season games in a row from 1992 to 2010. Manning plays his 19th straight tonight in Denver.
Factoids of the Week That May Interest Only Me
So call Alex Smith what you want—Captain Checkdown is probably the most charitable derisive moniker he hears—but understand why Andy Reid wanted him so badly when he took over as Chiefs coach. Reid is what I’d call a conservative West Coast offense coach. He wants his quarterback to move the chains, engineer long drives, and not turn it over. He might have the most perfect quarterback in football for those traits. The Smith-led offense has zero turnovers in the first three games, and the team is 3-0. Let’s go back and include Smith’s late 49er career for this gem:
In his last 17 starts, Smith has been intercepted in three games, and has lost three games.
Kansas City has won three games in the last 12 days.
Kansas City won twice in the previous 614 days.
Before Sunday, the last time Detroit beat the Washington franchise on the road was two years before the team moved to Washington. The franchise was in Boston then, in 1935. The site of the 17-7 Detroit road victory? Fenway Park.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Found myself in a new hotel, the Residence Inn Fenway, in room-starved Boston Tuesday night (big convention in town) after doing some business for The MMQB during the day in the western suburbs. So of course, staying in a hotel just across Brookline Avenue from Fenway Park, I wanted to attend the game. Before heading over, I had this only-in-Boston moment: On the sidewalk outside the hotel were two small groups: a family of five, with three young boys all in Red Sox gear and caps, ready to walk over to the game. And three men dressed in monks’ robes; two of the monks carried black backpacks with MIT logos. I loved the diversity of the Boston area when I lived there, with so many universities around.
Tweets of the Week
“Starting to have some doubts about a Giants Jets Superbowl this year in NJ.”
—Novelist @HarlanCoben, in the midst of one of the worst Giants losses since Gary Wood quarterbacked them, 38-0 in Carolina.
“Beautiful fall day for a football game … or staying home and smoking a couple racks of ribs.”
—@poisonpill76, former Minnesota, Seattle and Tennessee guard Steve Hutchison, tweeting from Minnetonka, Minn., on a glorious first-day-of-autumn Sunday.
“It’s so intimidating when fans flip off our bus. How will I ever play tonight?… Lol”
—@geoffschwartz, the Kansas City guard, as the team bus pulled into Lincoln Financial Field Thursday evening. Kansas City really was shaken up, as the 26-16 win over the Eagles proved.
“Congratulations @JManziel2 for putting on a fantastic show. He may not be able to make money off himself but I can.”
—@FloydMayweather, the boxing champ.
Mayweather bet $220,000 in Vegas that Texas A&M, favored by 17.5 over SMU in the first half Saturday, would outscore SMU by at least that much. Johnny Manziel’s team was up 32-6 at halftime. So Mayweather won walked away with $420,000—his original bet plus $200,000.