Best Highlights and Quotes From NFL’s First Week of OTAs: ‘They’re All Orphan Dogs’

With Week 1 of NFL OTAs in the books, let's revisit some of the more notable quotes that came out of the first wave of spring practices.

Football fans didn’t even need to wait until training camp for great soundbites.

The first full week of NFL OTAs provided plenty of news and highlights for fans to sink their teeth into. The initial slate of spring practices also offered a slew of notable quotes from around the NFL. Let’s look at some that really stood out.

Revisiting Best Quotes From Week 1 of NFL OTAs

Matt Eberflus Compares Caleb Williams’ Arrival to Dak Prescott’s in 2016

Quote: “Once [Tony] Romo got hurt, when he went down in that preseason game out in Seattle, the team just rallied around [Prescott],” Matt Eberflus told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

“And I feel that already in our building here. Everybody’s rallying around him. You can feel that with the reps that we got with some of the first on-field stuff we’ve done, with the veterans. You can see the offense, they’re real supportive, and same with the defensive guys. And his personality is infectious. He gets along with everybody; he’s very easy to insert into a locker room.”

MORE: 2024 NFL OTAs Tracker: The Latest News, Holdouts, Injuries, More

It’ll be a long time until we can say whether Caleb Williams deserved to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. At the end of the day, NFL OTAs don’t mean much beyond team building. However, given the pre-draft concerns about Williams’ personality, Chicago Bears fans must be thrilled to hear their head coach and players speak so highly of the rookie QB.

Prescott Opens Up on Contract Status

Quote: “I don’t play for money,” Dak Prescott said, via John Machota of The Athletic. “I’ll leave that to the businesspeople to say what it’s worth, what they’re supposed to give a quarterback of my play. It’s about controlling what I can control. Handle that part, and everything else will take care of itself.”

Prescott is entering the final year of his contract. Whether the Dallas Cowboys will sign their franchise QB to an extension or let him hit free agency will be one of the NFL’s top storylines in the coming months. As for the quote, it doesn’t really matter whether Prescott was being honest. Contracts matter to all NFL players, but Prescott would’ve been harshly criticized if he’d said he does play for money.

Dan Campbell Asked If It’s Super Bowl or Bust for Lions

Quote: “I don’t see bust. I see Super Bowl. I don’t know what the bust is. Here’s what I know, man: Every team oughta have that. Every team oughta be like, ‘Man, what are you playing for? You’re playing for a Super Bowl.’ So, we’re no different than that.”

Another hard-but-likable quote from Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, who might be the best quote in the NFL — ultimately, it is Super Bowl or bust for the Lions, who collapsed in last season’s NFC Championship Game. The good news is Detroit will enter the season as one of the projected favorites.

Sean Payton Has Odd Nickname for Broncos QB Room

Quote: “It’s kind of the orphan group. They’re all orphan dogs. They come from somewhere, but they’re doing good. And it’s a good room.”

Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton was referring to Jarrett Stidham, Zach Wilson, and first-round rookie Bo Nix, the former two of whom offered their takes on the quote in the video below. We’re still not sure what Payton was getting at, but the Broncos surely hope they didn’t use the No. 12 pick on a player who’ll ever be likened to an “orphan dog”.

Doug Pederson Comments on Trevor Lawrence Contract Talks

Quote: “Obviously the sooner you get it done, it’s behind everybody, and now we focus on football, and so that’s not lingering and that’s not out there.”

Trevor Lawrence’s potential contract extension is the top storyline surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars, and it reportedly could be hammered out in the near future, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler recently reported the two sides were working on a deal that would pay Lawerence over $50 million annually. Also, credit to head coach Doug Pederson for actually answering the question.

Patriots’ Keion White Misses Bill Belichick

Quote: “We don’t got Bill (Belichick) cursing us out every play anymore, but it’s still pretty similar. I miss it. I like Bill. He’s my type of coach, like a hard-ass. I like that. I respond well to things like that. But (Jerod) Mayo’s done a pretty good job, too. It’s all different. Mayo’s doing a really good job of staying true to himself, not trying to fill somebody else’s shoes but create his own path, and I really respect that.”

The first sentence of this quote made the rounds early in the week and led some to believe second-year edge rusher Keion White was criticizing Belichick. Obviously, the full context reveals he was praising his former head coach. It also further underscores how different things will be in New England with Mayo running the show — for better or for worse.

Daniel Jones Gets Candid on Giants’ Reported QB Interest During Draft

Quote: “Yeah, I mean, I wasn’t fired up about it,” Daniel Jones said with a laugh. “But I think it’s part of it at this level. What I can do is focus on myself and getting healthy, play the best football I can play and that I know I’m capable of playing … I wasn’t sure what was gonna happen or how it was gonna play out, so I was just watching and waiting to see like everybody else. I don’t think you can take anything personally at this level.”

Jones also said he was “fired up” over the New York Giants selecting receiver Malik Nabers with the No. 6 overall pick. While Jones clearly is relieved not to have a rookie first-rounder breathing down his neck, his future in New York remains uncertain due to his contract details.

Aaron Rodgers Confirms Interest in Joining Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Campaign

Quote: “Yeah, I love Bobby (Robert F. Kennedy Jr). We had a couple really nice conversations, but there were really two options. It was retire and be his (vice president) or keep playing — and I want to keep playing.”

This quote kind of speaks for itself. While the idea of Aaron Rodgers running for vice president of the United States is comical to many, he clearly takes it seriously. Nevertheless, Rodgers’ focus appears to be on playing football for the New York Jets — for now, anyway.

Justin Fields Acknowledges QB Competition With Russell Wilson

Quote: “Definitely competing. … Russ (Russell Wilson) knows that. We’re competing against each other every day. I definitely don’t have the mindset of me just sitting all year.”

This might be a no-duh quote, but Justin Fields’ candor is still refreshing. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Wilson would begin the offseason as Pittsburgh’s No. 1 QB but also acknowledged Fields will be given an opportunity to win the job. This will be a storyline to follow all offseason.

Bobby Wagner Impressed by Jayden Daniels

Quote: “It’s early, but he shows the potential,” Bobby Wagner said, via Ben Standig of “You see the throws. You see the decisions that he’s making. You see the confidence that he has. You see the work that he’s putting in, too. He’s coming in early — whether it’s working out or putting in the film. That’s the thing you look for as a vet, someone who wants it. And he definitely does.”

KEEP READING: 7 Revenge Games That Will Be Must-See TV in 2024

Jayden Daniels, the No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, will be under a lot of pressure this season. He likely will start for the Washington Commanders in Week 1 and be given a long leash. All indications are he’s off to a great start in the United States’ capital.

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