A lot has been written and said about the league’s rookie quarterbacks (much of it here), but we won’t stop when illuminating things are said.
Prior to the Saints’ season opener against Washington, quarterback Drew Brees was asked about seeing Robert Griffin III.
Said Brees, “I think it’s exciting to see these young quarterbacks, their talent level, preparedness and just how far along they are coming into this league, compared to even when I was first coming into this league. It just seems like the style of offenses that they run in college and their coaching; there’s so much overlap between college and pro coaches and the type of systems that each are running. Typically there’s just a lot of similarities and carryover, so it just seems like with guys coming into this league, you see the numbers they put up in college and we have five rookie starters this year at quarterback, which is unbelievable.
“His talent and athletic ability is phenomenal. I like the guy because he’s a Texas quarterback and we stick together. I admired him afar in his college career knowing that he’s a homegrown Texas boy. I think he carries himself with a lot of confidence.”
Asked about staring from day one, Brees said, “Right into the fire. I think their level of preparation is a little bit more than most guys just because of how far the game has come and the carryover from college to the NFL. What they see, what they do, what they’re responsible for, the type of coaching and all that stuff (are responsible). I think it’s a credit to how far the game’s come and the level of talent that comes out of that position now.”
Quarterback Jay Cutler wasn’t a happy camper Thursday night after the Bears lost to Green Bay and he was sacked seven times.
At one point in the game, Cutler was seen on camera giving the business to left tackle J’Marcus Webb and saying, “Get your (f-ing) head into the game.”
Afterward, when asked about that, Cutler said, “I care about this. This isn’t just a hobby for me. If we’re not doing things the right way, I’m going to say something. If they want a quarterback that doesn’t care then they better get someone else.”
As for how much the Bears’ offense can do, Cutler said, “If they can only block three-step drops, we can only throw three-step passes. We’re limited to what they can do and as of now, they’ve been holding up really well.
“We’ve got some guys that can play football on the outside. There’s no doubt about that. It’s gonna hopefully make my job easier; being able to get them the ball, let them work. Up front I think the guys know that there’s some pressure on them because Matt Forte can run if we give him holes. If I get the guys the ball on the outside and we hold up enough time we can make some good plays. So it’s gonna be fun to watch.”
Even if Thursday night wasn’t much fun.
Curtis Martin gave a speech to remember at the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in August, and he had more to say after being honored at the Jets’ season opener Sept. 9.
Asked about reactions he has heard about the speech, Martin said, “Oh my gosh, I think one of the most telling things for me was being at an autograph signing the next day and there was a little eight-year-old boy who tried to express to me in his little eight-year-old words how much my speech touched him. And literally, a few people down the line, was a guy who had to be at least 90 years old or so in a wheelchair, trying to tell me or express the same things that the eight year old was trying to express. So it really made me feel good.”
Martin’s speech contained numerous compelling messages, and he had more when asked about the importance of having a good attitude. He said, “I always believe that it’s the man that makes the game and not the game that makes the man. I put a lot of work, as much and even more work into myself and becoming who I am just naturally so I don’t have to try to be someone or try to be a good person. I’ve tried to really create my life around doing what’s right.
“A lot of people say the good guy never wins. I feel like I’m proof that if you do things the right way and if you work hard enough the good guy can win. I’m not calling myself good, but I just feel like I’ve tried to do things the right way and if there’s anything I could pass onto younger kids it’s to do things the right way. Don’t take the shortcuts because shortcuts never last long.”
*It appears unlikely that Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis will play in Sunday’s game against the Steelers. Revis admitted Thursday that he is still “in a fog” after suffering a concussion in the season opener, but also claimed he feels “pretty good.” Revis added, “It’s not my call. It’s the doctors’ call. Whatever they say goes. I would try to be out there with a broken leg. They know that. It’s a competitive spirit in me that just wants to go out there and play. If I feel fine, which I do, then we’ll go from there.”
Coach Rex Ryan said, “I know this coach would never put a player out on the field if there was a higher risk of him getting injured. There’s no way in heck I’d do it. I’m sure every coach in the league feels the same way.”
The reality is that for Revis to be cleared he first has to pass the concussion baseline test and then be cleared by an independent doctor. That is highly unlikely to be accomplished in time to leave with the team Saturday.
*Might running back Trent Richardson be a good “play” decision for this week’s game against Cincinnati. Perhaps so, if he is a tad more motivated after hearing what Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga said this week. Maualuga said of Richardson, “He can run you over and you can miss a tackle, at the same time, from what we’ve seen he didn’t do nothing spectacular. From running screens, missing passes, trying to find a hole when he’s running the ball. He just didn’t do anything spectacular from what I’ve seen. I’m pretty sure he’s going to want to get after it once he plays us.”
Richardson weirdly called the comments “very encouraging” and added, “When somebody wants to talk mess, I mean, hey, that’s them. I let my game speak for itself, so if they want to see how mad I am, or how upset they got me about the comment, you’ll see Sunday.”
By the Numbers
*Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed less than 50 percent of his passes against Washington in the season opener, just the second time in the last 96 regular-season games that has happened. It was just the sixth time in his career, one that spans 155 games. With New Orleans, Brees was below 50 percent on the road against the Giants on Dec. 24, 2006 on a windy day. Brees did throw a touchdown pass against the Redskins, leaving him three short of the NFL record of 47 consecutive games with a touchdown pass held by John Unitas.
*When the Rams waived defensive tackle Darell Scott Thursday that left only seven players on the roster that were with the team at the end of the 2009 season: running back Steven Jackson, wide receivers Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson, defensive end Chris Long, middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, cornerback Bradley Fletcher and safety Craig Dahl. Only Jackson and Long joined the team prior to 2009.
*With a win over Arizona Sunday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick will move into eighth place on the league’s all-time win list with 194. Belichick is currently tied with Chuck Knox. Only seven coaches won 200 or more games, and next is the 201 games won by Dan Reeves and Marty Schottenheimer’s 205. He’ll probably need the 2013 season to reach Chuck Noll and his 209 victories, although since playoff wins count, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Patriots could go 14-2 and then win the Super Bowl for a 17-win season. At the top of the list are Don Shula, 347; George Halas, 324; Tom Landry, 270; and Curly Lambeau 229.
*Redskins coach Mike Shanahan on running the “West Coast Offense:” On the West Coast Offense: “They say we’ve been running that offense for the past 15 years. I’m not even sure what the ‘West Coast Offense’ is anymore. It used to be a stereotype system and it is so different because so many people have gone in different directions with the West Coast Offense. But we are doing it a little bit different. We are going to have some options in our attack. We are going to roll out and drop back, and Robert (Griffin) gives us the ability to do some things that other teams haven’t done. A lot of people want to keep it inside 15 yards; other people take chances and go deep. I think a lot depends on the supporting cast and what type of speed you have at the wide receiver and tight end positions. What is your quarterback’s strength and weaknesses? You have to look at your talent and make decisions on what you want to do.”
*Saints interim coach Aaron Kromer, asked if there was an overreaction to the opening-day loss to Washington: “Absolutely. We talked about that on Monday. We talked about it being overreaction Monday in the National Football League. Half the teams lost and half of the teams won. Every team that won was crowned a Super Bowl Champion and every team that lost wasn’t going to make the playoffs. We know that is far from the truth. I made the statement on Monday that the New York Football Giants went 9-7 and won the Super Bowl. We feel good about our progression as we go out through this year of getting better and better and peaking at the right time.”