Quotes of the Week
“They respect me as a human being, and as a football player. All the older guys, all the older vets, are showing me the ropes so I can see how the program is run. Chris [Long] is a great mentor. So is Robert Quinn. I’m telling you, they get after it. I’ve got to compete. I’ve got to step my game up to compete with this defensive line. I thought our defensive line at Mizzou was pretty tough. This is a whole new level—the speed, the strength, the everything.”
—St. Louis seventh-round defensive end Michael Sam, on his fellow defensive linemen, after one of his first on-field practices Friday with the Rams, to a group of about a dozen media people in St. Louis.
“They know if you’re going to be tested and when you’re going to be tested. It’s too easy to do right to keep doing wrong. We don’t need that pub.”
—Giants safety Antrel Rolle, after safety Will Hill was suspended for the third straight season because of a positive substance test and then waived by the team, and after cornerback Jayron Hosley was suspended for the first four games of 2014 because of a positive test. Said Rolle: “You can’t really count on Will being able to help us out if he’s being suspended repeatedly, season after season.”
“I talk to those two guys all the time. Every time I hear something that drives me crazy, I say, ‘Sorry George. Sorry Vince.’ I say that probably 20 times a day. There’s s— going on now that those two would roll over in their graves about.”
—John Madden, nodding at a photo of Vince Lombardi and George Halas behind the desk in his office in Pleasanton, Calif., in an interview with Dan Pompei of Sports on Earth.
Pompei wrote a really interesting story about a man in the twilight who seems as vital as ever.
“The time I spent with him, I don’t think I would have been able to be at this point so quickly, if he hadn’t been such a great mentor with me and help me along.’’
—San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who signed a six-year contract worth up to $126 million last week, crediting former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith with a good mentoring job in Kaepernick’s first two years with the team.
Stat of the Week
“We are going to be running back by committee,’’ Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell declared the other day, praising the backup to Marshawn Lynch, second-year back Christine Michael thusly: “He has breakaway speed and power behind his pads.”
Perhaps. But Michael’s record is, at best, spotty. His 2011 season at Texas A&M ended with a torn ACL, his 2012 season was truncated because he had trouble in the A&M spread offense, and his rookie year in Seattle was plagued by poor blocking; he carried only 18 times as a rookie.
The stat: In his past three seasons, two in college and one in the NFL, Michael has a total of 255 carries.
In his past three seasons, Marshawn Lynch has 285, 315 and 301 carries, respectively—more each season than Michael had in his past three combined.
Factoids of the Week That May Interest Only Me
At the Philadelphia Eagles’ rookie dinner Friday night at Del Frisco’s in Philadelphia—as Tweeted by second-year guard Lane Johnson—the rookies footed the bill for a $17,747.86 dinner. Among the purchases:
A $3,495 bottle of wine, Screaming Eagle 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon.
$20 for five ginger ales.
$187 for 27 bottles of water.
Hope those signing-bonus checks for the rooks cleared.
Bud Grant coached in six Grey Cups, the championship game of Canadian football. All six Grey Cups pitted his Winnipeg Blue Bombers against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Tweets of the Week
I had a 31st-round grade on Johnny Manziel, think the Padres reached
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) June 7, 2014
In his last season playing baseball, as a Kerrville (Texas) High School junior five springs ago, Manziel batted .416 with seven homers and 35 RBI. The Padres took him in the 28th round of the MLB draft on Saturday.
We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.
— CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014
I like it when New York plays Los Angeles in sporting events because it’s guaranteed that one of them will lose.
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) June 5, 2014
Tremendous is from Kansas.
I haven’t heard a discussion of cramps this intense since 8th grade health class.
— Jane McManus (@janesports) June 6, 2014
The ESPNNewYork.com writer after the LeBron James/cramps controversy in game one of the NBA championship series.