Leadership Quotes

“It’s simple.  My body makes me money.” – Steelers LB James Harrison

Ruben Brown, Buffalo Bills guard (1995-2003):

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If it’s said to a player who will respond, then, yes, there is a line. But when it’s a pro like Tom Brady, this is just going to roll like water off a duck’s back. He’ll say ‘There’s another crazy guy, talking smack.’

“You’re totally wasting your time. It’s like trying to call Peyton Manning out. Tom Brady and the elite, elite players, there’s no real need to trash talk. Would he say that to Ray Lewis? No, because Ray would knock his block off. Those guys’ work speaks for itself. What has Cromartie done compared to Tom Brady? Cromartie’s not a Tom Brady, so Tom doesn’t have to worry about him.

“I don’t know if he really hates Tom or he’s just getting himself pumped up for the game. I know plenty of times I’ve been psyched up for a game. You get tired of hearing the same questions over and over and you just lash out and say ‘Screw that guy. I’m sick of hearing about him.’

 “Ken O’Brien, New York Jets quarterback (1984-92):
“I think there definitely is a line and things that should not be said. I just think, regardless of the parties involved, that it’s a common-sense thing. It comes down to the way you would want to be treated and the way you’re raised. Just because you get asked a question, there’s no need to sensationalize. In that situation, I think if you had time to think about it, you wouldn’t want to say that.

“I don’t even look at it in terms of being professional or affecting competition. It’s not going to affect the outcome, and knowing Tom a little I’ll bet he didn’t think about it for two seconds. I look at it as how you represent yourself to people. I just think there’s no place for that. Life’s way too short. Talk about things that are positive, and you’ll serve yourself a lot better.”

Sam Madison, Miami Dolphins cornerback (1997-2005):
“It’s the heat of the moment, and right now you’re talking about the playoffs. You see the way their leader, Rex Ryan, is treating the situation. His players are taking the same approach their coach is dishing out. That’s something that’s brewing in the locker room among those guys, and [Cromartie] just had the nerve to say it.

“But when you get into it with one of the best quarterbacks in the league, you have to be ready to back it up. It gives Tom Brady more bulletin-board material. But all year, when wasn’t there bulletin-board material coming from that Jets regime? It’s just the way everybody’s building up for a big football game.”

11/13 College Gameday 

Players are taught to internalize things and then deal with them.  But when it affects your family, that’s different. – Desmond Howard

I knew when I took the job at Notre Dame there would be a great deal of scrutiny of the leadership position. – Brian Kelly

The main issue (for ND) is recruiting.  They get style points for recruiting skill people but recruited very few quality lineman. – Lee Corso

Don’t ask a player to do something he can’t do.  Don’t get into a urinating contest with a skunk.  You’re going to lose. – Former Ohio State head coach Jon Cooper

9/17  Peter King (KC) Coach Todd Haley stopped micromanaging every detail of the team in the offseason, importing a proven offensive coordinator, Charlie Weis, and defensive boss, Romeo Crennel. Haley handed Weis the offensive play-calling duties, but retained final say on that front.

“chester taylor is my new favorite player. I asked him why he signed w/Bears&he said, “the money, first and foremost.”  — SI_JimTrotter, ace NFL writer Jim Trotter
“I’ve owned the franchise for 17 years. During that time I’ve had one wife and two quarterbacks.” — New England owner Robert Kraft

8/31 Peter King The new way in the NFL, modeled by the Bill Belichick way, is a one-voice philosophy.

8/24  Peter King “This is the most unselfish team (New Orleans Saints) I have ever seen,”  Jon Gruden told me. “Sometimes a highlight tape doesn’t do a season justice. But I saw so many plays over the course of the season that showed how important that aspect of the team was.”

8/23 Peter King “There are no sacrosanct rules in this business. You do what you have to do to win, and I’ve got no problem with that.” – Brad Childress on the Brett Favre recruitment.

“One thing for sure that is clear to me is that Albert (Haynesworth) has gotten away in the past with playing without practicing. That will not happen under this regime. If he’s going to play, he’s going to practice, and that is the same with every player here. The days of him playing without practicing are over. And that, to me, says it all.” – Mike Shanahan

8/16 Peter King “I’ll tell you one of my goals with this show (Hard Knocks),” said Rex Ryan. “I want every player in this league to watch this show and say, ‘One day, I want to be a Jet.’ ”

“After the season I (Bob Sanders) won defensive player of the year, I went back and looked at the film and I realized I wasn’t as good as everyone thought I was…I would never feel like I’ve made it, I’ve arrived and I’m this great player and I can’t get any better.”

Football, Glen Coffee told Barrows, “was a struggle for a long time. Actually when I look back I feel I never should have entered the draft in the first place. Football was no longer my dream. I found Christ in college. It changed my views on everything. But I still was a football player because it was expected of me, it was something I did all my life. I was basically wasting the [49ers’] time … His [Christ’s] will, I felt, wasn’t football. He told me a long time ago to walk away from the game.”

8/19 Peter King “I’ve always said Tom Coughlin is one of the four or five coaches I’d want to play for if I were a free-agent trying to make an NFL roster. He goes by what he sees.”

8/9 Peter King “Keep the game in perspective,” K Nate Kaeding said the message was. “Don’t make it bigger than it is. There’s going to be peaks and valleys, and just accept them.”

“My goal is to be the greatest coach of all time.”
— San Francisco coach Mike Singletary

8/6 AJC An unnamed executive from one team was quoted in Pro Football Weekly as saying: “He (Sean Weatherspoon) never shuts up. He gives me a headache. I don’t want him in my locker room.” To all of the detractors, the Falcons say: Thank you. Activity vs. Accomplishment “In my mind it was worth [researching], whether it was contrived or it was truly his personality. We came to the conclusion it was never a negative-driven enthusiasm.” – Thomas Dimitroff  “Positive. Passionate. Perserverance.” He added a “12” (Weatherspoon’s uniform number at Missouri) after each word.

8/6 Peter King “I want to be the best tight end in football, but more important than that I want us to win” – 49ers TE Vernon Davis

8/4 Peter King “The challenging thing about this job is sitting across the table from a man like Mr Blank & saying this cat (Dunta Robinsons) is worth $50 million” – Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff

7/27  Peter King of MMQB on www.si.com  QUITE A BIT, ACTUALLY. “Do you see a number of similarities between the Packers handing the reins to Aaron Rodgers and the Eagles doing the same to Kevin Kolb, feeling that the time is right for a title within a few years?”
— Mark G., Folsom, Pa.

Yes, there are a few similarities. Obviously, the organization has faith in Kolb to take the reins and keep the Eagles a playoff team, same as the Packers with Rodgers. And, yes, he’s been developed by a coaching staff that doesn’t fear the unknown. That was the biggest thing in Green Bay when it decided to go with Rodgers, even when Brett Favre wanted to come back. Mike McCarthy had watched Rodgers in practice and interacting around the team every day for two seasons. He knew Rodgers the same way Andy Reid knows Kolb now.

But there’s one difference: The Packers would have let Favre return for the 2008 season had he chosen in March to say he’d play rather than retire. By the time he was certain he wanted to play, it was early July 2008, and the Packers, who’d already promised the job to Rodgers, felt they’d had enough of Favre’s waffling and wouldn’t reverse course. So yes, Favre was traded eventually, but only after he’d retired and changed his mind. That didn’t happen with Donovan McNabb.

7/19 An average leader will try to make people drink while great leaders make people thirsty.

7/5 “He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” – Harold Wilson

“If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.”

7/3 “It’s the darkest night that you see the most stars. It’s the darkest night that the starts shine the brightest.” – Kay Arthur

6/26 “So instead of just making the decision with our eyes and taking a guy out when he starts to lose his stuff, we’re taking them out based on pitch counts, and our [rears] are covered.” unknown from Buster Olney’s column regarding pitch count and who is responsible if someone gets hurt.

6/23 – Churches need to become part of the fabric of their city, not just part of their city. – NorthStar Church Senior Pastor Mike Linch

6/18 – The thing that has made Jamie Moyer last so long is his ability to adjust and come back from a bad outing…The most important thing he did was win. – Rick Sutcliffe

6/13 – The more you sweat in peace the less you bleed in war.

6/8 – “”A major league career is made 5 days at a time. And then made daily during the off-season.” – ESPN Orel Hershiser on Stephen Strasburg.

6/3 “Elgin Baylor had great moves at the basket but I wonder how he got to the basket.” – Kobe Bryant

6/1 “Football is a simple game.  It’s coaches who make it complicated.” – George O’Leary

5/31 “Many times pastors are the answers to their own prayers.” – Shawn Lovejoy

5/30 “It is never suprising that someone’s talent takes them further than their character can sustain them. However, I am constantly surprised at how little character some talented people have.” – Brian Dodd

“We all sit down to a banquet of consequences.” – Ike Reighard

“For God to use a person greatly, He must first break them deeply.” – Ike Reighard

“It is one of the true compensations of this life that a man cannot help another without also helping himself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A leader’s success is determined by those around him.” – John Maxwell

“The only true purpose of power is to serve others.” – President George H.W. Bush

“The solution to any problem is a person.” – Ray Johnston

“What my other teams have done doesn’t matter. What matters is what this team is capable of doing.” – Coach K of Duke

“Life consists of what a man is thinking about all day.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I’m not looking for Pro Bowl players. I’m looking for Super Bowl players.” – Marv Levy

“All smart coaches listen to their best players.” –  Jeff Van Gundy

“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. However, no machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” – Unknown

“Fans spend the entire week focusing on last week’s game.  The team spends the week focused on the next game.” – Atlanta Falcons  Head Coach Mike Smith

Pressure is what you feel when you don’t know what you’re doing.”- Oregon Duck Head Coach Chip Kelly

Talent hits a target no one else can hit.  Genius hits a target no one else can see.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

“A great idea will never die. Events or others may suppress it, but if it is a truly great idea, it will have life.” – Brian Dodd

“Leaders should never confuse silence with compliance.  Just because your staff seems to have alignment, doesn’t mean you have attunement.” – Brian Dodd

“You get hurt. They cart you off. They blow the whistle. The game continues.” – Tom Brady


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