Thursday, Oct. 16, 2003
Raiders QB Rich Gannon on his belief that the defending AFC champion Raiders deserve to be 2-4: “I'm a realist. If you go out and look at the film and you expect anything else ... in other words, if you commit 19 penalties on the road against Cleveland and you walk out of the locker room and go, 'We should have won,' then you're sniffing glue or something. I don't know what to tell you. You have to be out of your mind. That's not the way it is. I'm not trying to be funny, but that's the truth. I live in the real world. I look at the film and I see what we're doing, and I see the mistakes we're making. You can't win that way. It's that simple.”
Falcons head coach Dan Reeves on the team’s 1-5 start: “I've been in these situations before, and all you can do is try and dig your way out of it. It doesn't go away. You don't sweep it under a rug and forget about it. It's reality and you have to deal with it. But we're men, and we have to stand up and face it.''
Falcons NT Ed Jasper, speaking about the perception that some Falcons’ players are complaing about Reeves: “Don't go behind the man's back. If you've got a beef, go talk to him. Everybody's going behind his back. I think Coach Reeves is a good coach. You can't put it all on him. Look what we did last year. Look what we did when he took us to the Super Bowl.”
Packers QB Brett Favre on returning to St. Louis for the first time since throwing three interceptions for touchdowns in a playoff game in 2001: “I don't base a lot on statistics, really. I wanted to win that game. I could have sat there and completed little five-yarders, but we needed to score points. If you play long enough, and I remember saying it after the game, things like that will happen.''
Cowboys DT La'Roi Glover on Dallas’ willingness to blitz even in close games; the Cowboys rattled Eagles QB Donovan McNabb late in Dallas’ 23-21 win in Week Six by blitzing on three consecutive plays on the Eagles’ final drive: “We're not sitting back and waiting for them, for the offense to dictate what they are going to do to us. We're attacking the line of scrimmage. ... That is an attitude change, and that's a mentality change.''
Rams WR Torry Holt, who has caught 23 passes his last two games, on his mental approach to the game: “I am paying close attention to details and picking up defenses and knowing what's going to happen before the ball is snapped to give myself a chance to be successful. As far as my work ethic, I'm still going out and working hard.”
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003
Rams head coach Mike Martz on his team running its record to 3-2 after beating Atlanta 36-0 on Monday night: “Last year at this time we were 0-5. I would have taken a win against Christian Brothers High School. It's hard to win any game in the National Football League against anybody.”
Martz on the play of RB Lamar Gordon, who rushed for 92 yards vs. Atlanta despite playing with a sprained wrist: “Lamar stepped up and played hurt. That hand's banged up. He ran hard, he was physical and his change of speed was outstanding. I think he's really developed into an exceptional player.''
Chiefs FS Jerome Woods, who has bounced back from a broken leg that sidelined him for the 2002 season, recalling the trainer’s reaction to his injury: “I thought, 'Man, this guy looks at injuries for a living, and he doesn't want to look at this one. When they were taking me off the field, I'd heard our trainers say they'd never seen one like this. I knew it must be really, really bad.''
Buccaneers DT Warren Sapp, who drew a $50,000 fine for his conduct toward officials (including bumping into an official while skipping onto the field in pregame warm-ups last Sunday), on his belief that he’s being made an example by the league: “That's all this is about. In my nine years in this league, no one's been fined for verbally abusing officials. It's unprecedented.”
Here’s part of the letter sent by NFL director of game operations Peter Hadhazy informing Sapp of the fine: “… [It] is apparent that you deliberately made contact with the official. ... This misconduct occurred even though you had been strongly advised by the Buccaneers' management only days before to refrain from taking actions during the pregame warmups that were disruptive to your opponents, disrespectful to the game officials, and in violation of league rules regarding unsportsmanlike conduct.”
Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells on the outlook his first-place team must take to stay in that spot: “We're going to have to keep stringing these wins together so we can get into November. That is what we have to do. If you get on that seesaw, then you usually wind up having to hope somebody else does something. Right now, if we could string some more wins together, that would allow other teams to hope we do something. That is the position we want to be in.”
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2003
Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio on what he plans to do with the chopping log that led to P Chris Hanson hitting himself with an ax in the leg and being lost for the season: “I don’t have any immediate plans to take it out. I took out the ‘weapon,’ as some people have called it.”
Ravens head coach Brian Billick on giving the game ball from Sunday’s 26-18 win over the Cardinals to CB Chris McAlister despite the fact that McAlister was flagged for taunting following an 83-yard interception return for a touchdown: “It was like pouring gasoline on a fire. It pains me to do so, but certainly he deserves it. Not only the interceptions, but the breakups. Hopefully we can learn from some of the other things that went with it.”
Panthers RB Stephen Davis on the progress of teammate DeShaun Foster, who has emerged as a dangerous runner in relief of Davis: “I am proud of him, he makes a lot of plays, and when given the opportunity, he’s going to make a lot more. A lot of people are in trouble now. We’re a two-headed monster.”
Steelers QB Tommy Maddox describing his frustration at the chaos in his team’s lineup during Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the Broncos: “It was comical at times. Our receivers are always running in and out. We had our offensive linemen running in and out on any given play.”
Dolphins head coach Dave Wannstedt on whether he is considering a change at quarterback given the recent struggles of QB Jay Fiedler: “I’m totally confident in Jay and what we’re doing. It’s a collection of more than one individual, and collectively as a group we have to get the thing solved. And we will.”
Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil on his team’s 6-0 start: “I’m not surprised that we’re 6-0, but I also know we’re fortunate to be 6-0.”
Jets head coach on the progress of QB Chad Pennington, who has missed the first six weeks of the season with a broken wrist but will begin doing team drills this week: “It’s different with practicing and having to play in the football game. For me, I don’t know if it’s his hand, but it’s more of his conditioning. Where is he at? Playing a game is different than seven-on-seven. As he goes on during the week, we’ll see where he’s at.”
Chargers LB Donnie Edwards on the embarrassment that goes along with starting the season 0-5: “We play this game for respect, and we all have a lot of pride. It’s very disheartening when people are making jokes about your team. I know we’re 0-5, but the only way to shut them up is to get a victory.”
Falcons QB Doug Johnson on the idea that his team just played badly in a 36-0 loss to the Rams Monday night: “They beat our butts. I wouldn’t want someone to take credit away from me if I whipped somebody’s butt.”
Monday, Oct. 13, 2003
Broncos PK Jason Elam on his 47-yard field goal with no time remaining that gave 5-1 Denver a 17-14 over the Steelers: “I still get nervous on extra points in the preseason, but it's fun to be put in that situation. That's why we play the game.”
Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil on his team’s 6-0 record following a 40-34 overtime win vs. the Packers at Lambeau Field that featured a comeback from 17 points down in the fourth quarter: “First off, it doesn't tell me anything I didn't already know. There's a special profile about this team. At no time on our sideline did anyone think we'd lost this football game.”
Giants head coach Jim Fassel on QB Kerry Collins, who threw four interceptions in a 17-6 loss to the Patriots in a game that was played in wet, rainy conditions at Gillette Stadium: “We haven't turned the ball over a lot since I've been here. It just seems that when it rains, it pours.”
Raiders QB Rich Gannon on his team committing an NFL season-high 19 penalties in 13-7 loss to the Browns that left the defending AFC champions with a 2-4 record: “We are not a smart football team — that is well-documented. We talk about penalties every week. It's a lack of discipline, and it's inexcusable.”
Panthers RB DeShaun Foster on rushing for 85 yards in place of injured starting RB Stephen Davis in a 23-30 overtime win over the previously undefeated Colts: “Coach (Fox) let me know Stephen was down, and it was going to be on my shoulders. I just tried to go out there and make the most of my opportunity.''
Eagles head coach Andy Reid after Philadelphia lost 23-21 in a key NFC East battle at Dallas, on the strategy behind an opening-game onside kick that was grabbed by Cowboys WR Randal Williams and returned 37 yards for a touchdown just three seconds into the game, making it the quickest score in NFL history: “We thought we saw something during the week that we could take advantage of. It just didn't work.''
Jets C Kevin Mawae on defeating the Bills 30-3 for New York's first win of the season, breaking a four-game losing streak: “It's huge. To get this monkey off our back, to get the win and do it the way we did it — we were the team we wanted to be all along.”
Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden on his team’s 35-13 victory over the Redskins, in which Tampa Bay overcame a 10-7 halftime deficit and piled up 21 fourth-quarter points just six days after the Bucs blew a 21-point lead with four minutes to go in a loss to Indianapolis on “Monday Night Football”: “I've never been more uncomfortable with a 22-point lead in my life.”
Jaguars RB Fred Taylor on his first-quarter fumble that led to the Dolphins' first touchdown in Jacksonville's 24-10 loss to Miami: “I wanted to cry on the sidelines.”
Texans head coach Dom Capers on Titans QB Steve McNair’s 421-yard, three-TD performance that keyed Tennessee’s 38-17 win over his team: “This is the best I've seen him play. His experience is really paying off. I think early in his career he was much quicker to pull the ball down and run with it. Now you see him doing a lot of bootlegs and things where he can avoid people in the pocket.”
Seahawks LB Chad Brown after forcing a fumble by 49ers RB Garrison Hearst to halt San Francisco's comeback bid and seal Seattle’s 20-19 win: “I was trying to get out of the way so Hearst couldn't block me. I saw that he had the ball, and I was so far around that all I could do was get around and chop the ball out.”