The NFL season is almost over. In nine days we'll have a Super Bowl champion and the 100th NFL season will be over.
From opening night in September to now, 266 regular-season and playoff games have been played and a whole lot of words have been said.
That was Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield's response to 850 WKNR radio host Tony Grossi following an October loss to the New England Patriots. In a year that started with so much hype; included watches on the field, a cleat controversy, and a helmet-swinging brawl; and ended 6-10 with a fired coach and general manager, this might just sum up Cleveland's season.
With that out of the way, here are some of the other top quotes of the season:
Start the season right
"I like football. I like football season and all the things that go with it."
-- A clearly buoyant Bill Belichick, a day before the season started.
We all like football too, because otherwise, why would we be here? But do you love it like Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio? Would you show up to work with a kidney stone that hadn't yet passed?
"[The pain] wasn't too bad. By the time I left the hospital things were under control. I don't believe I've passed it yet, but it had done most of its traveling by the time I left there -- if you know anything about a kidney stone."
-- Fangio, who coached the Hall of Fame game just hours after leaving the hospital.
"... I am going to retire. This is not an easy decision, honestly it's the hardest decision of my life, but it is the right decision for me. For the last four years or so I've been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab, injury, pain, rehab. It has been unceasing and unrelenting both in season and in offseason, and I've felt stuck in it, and the only way I see out is to no longer play football."
"Don't like other guys bulls---ting for me."
-- Colts QB Jacoby Brissett on negotiating his own contract extension, following Luck's retirement.
Jones would then give Elliott a six-year, $90 million contract extension, making Elliott the league's highest-paid running back.
Let's heap praise on Lamar Jackson
The Baltimore Ravens quarterback will likely be named the NFL's MVP on Feb. 1. His season was one for the record books. He set the NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback (1,206) and led the league in touchdown passes (36) and yards per carry (6.9). Even the numbers don't tell the story of his season full of whirling, awesome runs and deep touchdown passes.
"There's not another quarterback in the league like him."
-- Belichick, prior to facing the Ravens.
"He's a bit of a Houdini back there with the football, really so deceptive with whether he's handing the ball off or he's keeping it or potentially passing it."
-- Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
"... There's not a lot of Lamar Jacksons being born."
"It still is low."
-- Jackson on his 96 speed rating in Madden, highest ever for a QB in Madden history.
It's a fair critique. This season, Jackson's 93 rushes of at least 15 miles per hour are 20 more than any other player's, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
Then again, Jackson's passing was pretty great too. He completed 66% of his passes and finished first in the league in QBR.
"Not bad for a running back."
-- Jackson, after a Week 1 performance where he threw for 324 yards and five touchdowns, trolling the critics who had said he should switch positions during the draft process.
"We got our face peeled off."
It might be a sentiment held by a lot of teams.
Eagles fans: the best
The most Philly soundbite goes to this guy who helped catch children thrown from a window during a fire. pic.twitter.com/3rH69gU2fL— Steve Lindsay CBSPhilly (@SteveLindsayCBS) September 23, 2019
That's Philadelphia resident Hakim Laws, a former fireman, who helped save children from a building fire, but also didn't let his TV time go by without roasting Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor. In a September loss to the Detroit Lions, Agholor had two drops and a fumble.
"My man just started throwing babies out the window," Laws said. "And we was catching them. Unlike Agholor."
Agholor heard about the critique and invited the fan to attend a game with him.
Two dissertations on glass fullness
The origins of the rhetorical logic of being a glass half-full or glass half-empty person are hard to trace. The phrase, however, might have reached its peak this season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Between quarterback Jameis Winston and coach Bruce Arians, do we even know what the phrase means anymore?
"The glass is always full. It might be half-full with water, it's still full with air."
-- Winston, following a 40-34 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 5. Winston would strike his own kind of balance this season by becoming the first QB to have 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same season.
"My glass is full as hell. And it's gonna get real full in a minute."
-- Arians, following a win over the Atlanta Falcons where Winston threw two interceptions.
Fun with live mics
"I'm seeing ghosts."
"Oh! spicy nuggets are back"pic.twitter.com/XClOIUCIZL— Surf & Turf Podcast (@surfandturfpod) September 24, 2019
Year of the mustache?
Rookie QB Gardner Minshew II was a sixth-round draft pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars. When Nick Foles got hurt, Minshew came in and won six games for the Jags. He also became a national cult hero for obvious reasons.
"There's a lot of bad mustaches out there ... but hopefully we'll get 'em right."
-- Minshew on inspiring mustache growers.
"Mine curls up, his [mustache] is a sad face."
-- Saints DE Cam Jordan comparing his mustache to Minshew.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think if you have a mustache, you are one step ahead of the average dude."
-- Jaguars owner, and mustache-wearer, Shad Khan on Minshew's mustache.
However, it wasn't all good for mustaches. Mayfield shaved his beard into a handlebar mustache prior to the Browns' game against the Broncos. After the Browns lost 24-19, Mayfield shaved again.
"I was undefeated before Sunday with the handlebar mustache. ... I shaved it off because I didn't deserve it."
-- Mayfield, after the game.
Summing up the Redskins in four quotes
"If the key works on Monday, I'll keep working."
-- Jay Gruden, in a postgame news conference following a loss to start the season 0-5.
The proverbial key did not work. Gruden was fired at 5 a.m. the next day.
-- Redskins president Bruce Allen, the same day Gruden was fired. Allen was also later fired.
"It was an honest mistake, and it won't happen again."
-- Redskins rookie QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. after taking a selfie rather than being on the field for the final victory formation snap.
"Happy Thanksgiving, everyone."
-- Washington owner Daniel Snyder, announcing the hiring of Ron Rivera as the new head coach, 35 days after Thanksgiving.
"I know we need to run the ball more. I'm not an idiot."
"Me not being an idiot."
-- Rams coach Sean McVay after getting Todd Gurley more involved in a few games at midseason.
Some final words of wisdom
"Hey, not all Mozart's paintings were perfect, huh? And hey, that end result, though. That sucker's gonna sell for a million dollars."
-- Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, following a 34-30 win over the Detroit Lions.
"Worry about your frickin' meat."
-- Saints coach Sean Payton to a butcher at Whole Foods after being questioned about a failed 2-point conversion.
"Start taking care of y'all mentals, y'all bodies, y'all chicken, so when y'all ready to walk away, walk away and you'll be able to do what you want to do."
-- Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, offering advice to young players after Seattle's season ended.