News and Sound Bites From Week 15 on
NFL GAMEDAY MORNING
“MONTE KIFFIN TOLD THE BOYS HE WAS GOING TO GO TO TENNESSEE THIS WEEK.” – Warren Sapp on Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator informing Bucs players that he will join son Lane at the University of Tennessee
“THEY NEED TO PUT A SIGN UP THAT SAYS, ‘LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS.’” – Steve Mariucci on Dallas Cowboys locker room
“I GET EMOTIONAL BECAUSE THIS IS MY DREAM, THIS IS ALL MY EGGS IN ONE BASKET…I WANT TO BE ONE OF THE BEST.” – Panthers WR Steve Smith in interview with NFL Network’s Sterling Sharpe
THURSDAY & SATURDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ON NFL NETWORK –
COLTS VS. JAGUARS DECEMBER 18 AT 8:00 PM ET
RAVENS VS. COWBOYS DECEMBER 20 AT 8:00 PM ET
NFL GameDay Morning, the first information packed show on the air Sunday mornings, checks in at 9:00 AM ET on the only network dedicated entirely to football. Warren Sapp, Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci and Adam Schefter alongside hosts Spero Dedes and Alex Flanagan bring fans the latest news, injury reports, pregame analysis and game previews on NFL Network.
Quotes from NFL GameDay Morning:
“Monte Kiffin told the boys he was going to go to Tennessee this week.” – Warren Sapp on Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin telling the Bucs he was going to join his son, Lane, the new coach of the University of Tennessee after the season.
“It’s possible for the first time ever, that all divisions will have new division champions. All of them. That’s called changing of the guard.” – Steve Mariucci
“That’s Obama – that’s change.” – Marshall Faulk on eight new division champions
“Every game is now for the money and for the ring. I want to see if (Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco) can handle the pressure of that.” – Mariucci on instant expectations rookie quarterbacks
“I don’t think Ken Lucas gets enough credit, he could have made this thing a lot worse than what it was, but he told [Steve Smith] it was o.k.” – Spero Dedes on Steve Smith and his training camp altercation with teammate Ken Lucas.
“He is such a contributor to that team. He makes everyone around him a tough guy.” – Steve Mariucci on Steve Smith.
“They need to put a sign up that says, ‘loose lips sinks ships.’” – Mariucci on the Dallas Cowboys locker room.
“His confidence in T.O. isn’t there.” – Faulk on Cowboys QB Tony Romo.
“Just think of the New England Patriots. There’s one message and one voice.” – Faulk on Cowboys.
“I know it’s the Dallas Cowboys, I know they wear the star, but there are lot of stars (on this team). And when it’s time for guys to shine, they’re not there.” – Faulk on the Dallas Cowboys.
“When you get the ‘high-maintenance’ player, it’s high risk, high reward.” – Mariucci
“They’ve had this situation once before with Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster who got them to the Super Bowl. They’ve rebuilt it again, got their offensive line strong and I like where they are right now.” – Faulk on the Panthers running game with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
“They don’t rush the football as well when Plaxico Burress is not around.” – Mariucci on the Giants.
“You are the front runner. You want to continue running the race. Don’t look in your rear-view mirror.” – Faulk on the New York Giants heading into the playoffs.
“He’s a good quarterback but he needs to get more consistency, especially in the big games late. He’s got to be better in crunch time.” – Mariucci on Dallas QB Tony Romo.
“They keep it in between the lines. Everything they do, the Ravens, Hines Ward and the Steelers, it’s nothing dirty.” – Faulk on the physical matchup between Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
“I like the way Jon Gruden handles quarterbacks. They’re just like us, they’re football players – why do they need to be burped? He treats them like football players and expects them to have thick skin.” – Faulk on Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden.
“They’ve got more players on their first contract than anybody in the league. That’s how they manage the salary cap. They do it very well for the future.” – Mariucci on the New York Giants.
Sterling Sharpe 1-on-1 with Panthers WR Steve Smith: NFL Network’s Sterling Sharpe sat down with Panthers WR Steve Smith to talk about his growth as a player and a person:
“I’m the poster child of what you don’t do.” – Steve Smith on his preseason actions.
“The easiest thing is to act like nothing happened. The hardest thing is to stand up and say, ‘I made a mistake.’” – Smith on his altercation with teammate Ken Lucas in training camp
“I play with an edge, where I don’t want to go back with my hands empty.” – Smith
“You’re taller than I thought.” – Smith on the best compliment he’s been given.
“I get emotional because this is my dream, this is all my eggs in one basket…I want to be one of the best.” – Smith on where he measures up against other wide receivers in the Hall of Fame.
**To access the video link of the conversation with Steve Smith please visit:
Bob Papa 1-on-1 with Giants General Manager Jerry Reese:
“The one thing that bugged our players was that people thought that the Super Bowl was a fluke, so they wanted to prove that this thing was not a fluke. They worked hard and did things to get to this point. We’re in a good position now at 11-2 and we’re not finished.” – Reese on the players’ mentality this season.
“It was difficult, but that’s part of my job. Any general manager in this league has challenges and situations that arise. You have to try to make the best decision, keep a level head about what you’re doing and try to make the best decision for your organization.” – Reese on dealing with the Plaxico Burress situation
“We talked about have some poise and don’t have a Super Bowl hangover.” – Reese on what they told the players in the off-season.
“We like guys who are smart, have a strong skill set for the position and are team first people.” – Reese on the type of players he looks for when building the team
Schefter’s News Reports:
- Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford is an underclassman, but it stands a very good chance that one day Bradford may find himself playing for the Detroit Lions. If you go back and look, no team has liked Heisman winners more than the Lions, who have had 12 on their roster over time, including eight that they’ve drafted. Everybody remembers Andre Ware (1989), Billy Sims (1978) and Barry Sanders (1988). It’s a long list of players and now Bradford joins this illustrious list of Heisman Trophy winners and that means that one day whenever he decides to enter the NFL draft, he could play for the Detroit Lions.
- The Buffalo Bills gave head coach Dick Jauron an extension that ran through the 2011 year. For a cash-strapped team like the Bills to fire Jauron is going to be a difficult thing to do. This is a franchise that moved one of its home games to Toronto for money. The Bills would have to pay off Jauron’s contract, so that would be difficult. Similar in Jacksonville where head coach Jack Del Rio has a contract extension that has upwards of $20 million remaining on it. It’s going to be difficult for a cash-strapped team like the Jaguars to fire Del Rio and eat all the money remaining on his contact. According to multiple league executives, teams will try to save money in the future by following the model that the New York Giants used last season to win the Super Bowl. The Giants were some $20-plus million under the salary cap. With the salary cap scheduled to be at least $123 million per club in 2009, look for more cash-strapped teams to spend far less.
- Speculation continues to mount that Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren might be willing to take another head coaching job next season. Yet those that know Holmgren best are as adamant as ever that Holmgren will deactivate himself next season and take a sabbatical from the league. Holmgren’s friends say he promised his wife Kathy and his family that he would not coach in 2009, and Seattle’s head coach is not going to go back on his word. Where Holmgren surfaces in 2010, and in what capacity, are questions that right now do not have answers.
- There’s something about quarterbacks losing their fathers and then playing the Raiders. Brett Favre did it back in December 2003, when one day after his father Irv died, he threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns during Green Bay’s victory over the Raiders. Now Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, who lost his father Greg on Monday, is preparing to do the same.
- Vikings DT Kevin Williams has a clause in his contract that states if he gets voted to the Pro Bowl stands to make an extra half-million dollars. The Pro Bowl teams will be announced Tuesday and had Williams been suspended before the new Pro Bowl teams were announced, he would not have been eligible to go to the Pro Bowl. Remember the ‘Shawne Merriman rule’ that says any player suspended in the season is not allowed to go to the Pro Bowl. Williams has not been suspended and no decision will be made on his case until after the season, so he is eligible to go to the Pro Bowl. Williams has played well enough to go to the Pro Bowl and if he is selected, he will collect an extra $500,000.
- When Arizona beat St. Louis last Sunday, it locked up the NFC West title for the Cardinals and a half-million incentive for QB Kurt Warner. Warner’s contract calls for him to earn a $500,000 incentive if the Cardinals play on wild-card weekend and a $1 million incentive for the Cardinals to play on divisional-playoff weekend. Warner also could make $1.5 million for playing in the NFC conference championship game, $2 million for playing in the Super Bowl and $3 million for winning the Super Bowl. But the Cardinals capped out his incentives at $2.5 million, so some of the other ones would become moot points if Arizona can keep winning.
- No off-season in recent memory, and maybe ever, has provided the quantity of intrigue that this one will regarding quarterbacks. A handful of high-profile quarterbacks are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents. Other well-known quarterbacks could be traded. Another talented but troubled one could be reinstated. Some have warts, some have age, but all together, the collection of quarterbacks is going to create one of the most fascinating off-seasons in NFL history. Check out the list of quarterbacks that could be available this off-season:
*Philadelphia’s Donovan McNabb
*Arizona’s Kurt Warner
*Cleveland’s Derek Anderson
*New England’s Matt Cassel
*Tennessee’s Kerry Collins
*Tampa Bay’s Jeff Garcia
*Atlanta’s Michael Vick
*Detroit’s Jon Kitna
*Chicago’s Rex Grossman
*Tennessee’s Vince Young
*Arizona’s Matt Leinart
*Seattle’s Matthew Hasselbeck
*St. Louis’ Marc Bulger
*Buffalo’s JP Losman
*San Francisco’s Alex Smith
- New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys will stream live on Sunday Night Football Extra on NFL.com and NBCSports.com. Complementing that stream will be a number of extra features to enrich the viewing experience including additional camera angles, in-game highlights, picture-in-picture technology, live statistics and other interactive elements. Sunday Night Football Extra will also include in-game studio updates from the NBC Football Night in America team and NFL Network talent.
- Tuesday, December 16 at 4:00 PM ET, NFL Network will air a special one-hour Pro Bowl Selection Show, live exclusively on NFL Network revealing the list of All-Pros headed to Hawaii. The Pro Bowl Selection Show is hosted by Derrin Horton with analysis from Solomon Wilcots, Jim Mora and Terrell Davis.
- Thursday Night Football on NFL Network travels to Jacksonville and Dallas for its final week of the 2008 season. The Colts travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars Dec. 18 at 8:00 PM ET and the Cowboys play host to the Baltimore Ravens in the last regular season game in Dallas Stadium Dec. 20 at 8:00 PM ET. Bob Papa calls the action alongside Cris Collinsworth from Jacksonville, while Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders join Papa in the booth in Dallas. NFL.com will also offer exclusive analysis from Jamie Dukes and Rod Woodson and live look ins to the game on NFL.com LIVE.
Visit NFL.com for more video clips from today’s NFL GameDay Morning