10 Quotes and a Cloud of Dust: Week 1

Patriots-Jets. What better way to kick off the 2007 season? 10 Quotes and a Cloud of Dust is back to translate the best quotes of the week.

The Patriots were forced to watch the Colts celebrate on the field after losing the AFC Championship Game 38-34 last season. If they could have made just one more play, it could have been the New England players once again hoisting the Lombardi trophy two weeks later.

Seven months later and the Patriots enter the 2007 season having reloaded on defense with Adalius Thomas and on offense with an entirely new receiving corps. Tagged as the favorites to win it all, the Patriots must also contend with injuries, Rodney Harrison's suspension and a difficult schedule.

Meanwhile, the Jets pick up right where they left off--against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year. Their 37-16 loss at the hands of the Patriots ended what had been a terrific season. A season that included a late win over the Patriots in Foxborough.

Here are the top 10 quotes of the week, heading into Week 1, Patriots-Jets:

10. "I want to make it clear that not once did I ever use steroids. My purpose was never to gain a competitive edge. Rather, my use was solely for the purpose of accelerating the healing process of injuries I sustained while playing football."
~ Patriots safety Rodney Harrison

Translation: "Steroids? I never used steroids. Human Growth Hormone. It's different. So don't make it out like I'm Shawne Merriman. That dude's 6'4?, 270 pounds, and on steroids. That ain't me, OK?"

9. "I don't think it really matters. I don't have anything more to add to the situation…I said all I had to say. I don't think there's any more to add to it."
~ Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, in response to back-to-back questions about Rodney Harrison

Translation: "Rodney's going to miss four games. Which he might have missed anyway because of his injury. Now, he'll be rested and ready to go in Game 5. I'm not condoning it. But it is what it is."

8. "I'd like to just say that there are a lot of those questions and I'm sure you want answers, but I'm really here to talk about football and that's why I'm here."
~Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, when asked about the birth of his child

Translation: "Who told you that I'm a father? Is that sort of thing on the new injury report? I don't think coach will let me talk about that."

7. "Right now we're playing the Jets on Sunday and that's where all of our focus is. Not what happened last week or last year or five years ago or 10 years ago. A lot of people that were involved in that aren't even here. I don't think it makes any difference."
~ Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

Translation: "I know the Jets beat us at home last year, but we already got revenge against them in last year's playoffs. You all know I hate Mangingi, but how much more do you want me to rub it in?"

6. "I think there are a lot of new weapons that New England has added in Donté Stallworth, Wesley Welker. Both those guys create some problems with Randy [Moss] as well. I think that what Tom [Brady] has been able to do and spread the ball around and his understanding of defenses, it makes it difficult and they'll be able to test the whole defense."
~ Jets head coach Eric Mangini

Translation: "Let's see, Tom Brady was 7th in passing yardage last year and his number one guy couldn't crack the lineup this year. How do you think he's going to do? I just hope we get out of this one alive. I'm scared to death."

5. "We're all in this together. Whatever we can do to win, whether it's throw the ball, run the ball, whatever it is. That's what we're focused on."
~ Jets quarterback Chad Pennington [The Star-Ledger]

Translation: "I'm still the quarterback, right? You guys haven't heard anything about Kellen Clemens replacing me, have you?"

4. "Chad's doing a really good job of drawing from the experiences that he had in the system last year…I like the way that he builds on information. I like his huddle presence and his work ethic is so consistent."
~ Jets head coach Eric Mangini

Translation: "I'll replace Chad Pennington in a heartbeat if I think it will help us win. I used to coach under Bill Belichick. He taught me how to handle quarterbacks."

3. "It's Indy and New Orleans? That's tonight. I might see some of it. I'm sure we'll get the tape of it eventually. But that's not really a high priority for me, put it that way. The much higher priority is the preparations for the Jets."
~ Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, when asked if he'd be watching the season opener Thursday night

Translation: "Watch football on TV? You guys have awful camera angles, boring announcers. No, I'll be watching three years of game film on the Jets' new running back, Thomas Jones."

2. "…it's also a long season and nothing is going to be decided after this weekend, so nobody is going to clinch anything. It's a big game obviously, but it's one of 16. There's 15 after that. Some of them are in the division. Some of them are out of the division. Right now, we'll just take them one at a time. The Jets, that's plenty on our plate."
~ Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

Translation: "Don't go all ga-ga over one game, guys. Remember, we lost 31-0 to the Bills a few years ago on opening day and then won the Super Bowl. We'll take it game-by-game. Day-by-day. Minute-by-minute. Second-by-second."

1. "This is football."
~ Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, appearing in an NFL commercial promoting the new season

Translation: "Can I get back to work now? I have a game to prepare for. Cut."

The preseason is finally over. The talking ends at 1:00 Sunday afternoon. The Patriots and Jets renew their rivalry in Week 1 of the 2007 NFL season. There are high expectations on both sides of the field. As coach Belichick said, "This is football."

Darren is a regular contributor to Patriots Insider. You can find him in the forums under the name: DestinationSuperBowl. You can also find archives of his columns on the Insiders by searching for "Darren Kelly"

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