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Sights & Sounds from the 1st NFL Sunday of 2018

What a way to start an NFL season (excluding the Philly/ATL Thursday Night matchup of course)! From Aaron Rodgers’ limping come-from-behind victory and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s barn burner victory in NOLA, to Andrew Luck’s return and the Cleveland Browns… well… NOT LOSING! Here are some of TWN’s best snippets from Sunday’s postgame news conferences across the NFL- and don’t forget to follow @TheWrightwaySportsNetwork on Instagram for 24/7 breaking news on all things football. The Wrightway Podcast with Austin & Malik will be back on Tuesday as well to recap the past week in football and preview week 2, plus discuss the latest news in basketball, golf and more.

Jalen Ramsey (JAX) on if the Jaguars’ 20-15 victory over Odell Beckham Jr. & the New York Giants was more important than OBJ’s numbers against him (11 catches, 111 receiving yards)

“Oh that win matters, the wins matter. We won so I’m good. We’re going home 1-0, they’re going home 0-1. Like I kind of kept saying, we knew it was going to be a show out there. We knew it was going to be a good individual matchup, but that’s not all the game is about, that’s not what the game of football is about. It’s not me versus another guy or one man versus another man. It’s about our 11 guys versus their 11 to see who can do better and our 11, we were able to come out on top.”

Saquon Barkley (NYG) on his first game in the NFL

“I was excited, obviously. It was fun to get out there and play in my first NFL game, it was a dream of mine, but I feel like that we left it out there. We could’ve done a little bit more as a team to finish the game and win the game, but you have to give credit to Jacksonville and that team over there. They’re a heck of a defense and a heck of a team and we have to continue to grow from this game and get better.”

Josh Gordon (CLE) on the Browns’ 21-21 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Cleveland

“Disappointment. Pure disappointment. That’s a tough way to end the game. Nobody wants to do that. As much work as everyone puts in, and the changes that have been made here, and the time that’s been put in. I mean, it’s better than a loss for sure, but we came in here ready to win. So anything else is not good enough.”

Cornerback Richard Sherman (SF) on the 49ers defense following the loss to the Minnesota Vikings

“We had our moments, there were a few plays that we would like to have back obviously. I think we played sound in moments, but I think we took too long to get comfortable out there. There were moments where we could have been sounder and more disciplined in order to get off the field. There was a third and long where we let Kirk Cousins run for it, and we have to have that. Those are plays that we covered and we’ve executed the play but we have to get off the field and they had a couple of those. Hats off to Kirk [Cousins] for being ingenuitive and making a play. But those are things we need to learn in the future and we’ll be better for.”

QB Kirk Cousins (MIN) on his thoughts as he ran out of the tunnel for the first time as a Viking

“I don’t know if I’m really deserving going last there. I think they should reserve that for [Stefon] Diggs, or Adam [Thielen], or Riley [Reiff] or Dalvin [Cook] – anybody but me. It just is an example of the team welcoming me with open arms and so grateful for this opportunity I’ve been given and I just want to make good on it with every chance I get.”

OLB Von Miller (DEN) on matching up against Seattle QB Russell Wilson

“I still don’t like playing against Russell. Running around out there, 20 yards, getting everybody tired, luckily we were able to get him before he could get it started. That was in our scheme. We wanted to keep him in the pocket. We wanted to let him beat us with his arm, which he is capable of doing. But we really picked that position, and that strategy worked for us. He got out of the pocket a couple of times. That’s Russ. He’s a great player. He’s an elite player. He’s going to get out of the pocket. But we kept some of the greater plays to a minimum.”

Head Coach Pete Carroll (SEA) on having FS Earl Thomas back on the sidelines

“It was great having him back. He is a terrific football player. He handled the return and the players handled the return perfectly. He worked really hard and they have embraced him coming back in. We knew we could not play him the whole game, but we wanted to give him a great chance to contribute and he did, immediately. He really just handled it as well as you could possibly handle it and so did our players. So, we are off and running and I look forward to next week.”

TE Rob Gronkowski (NE) on his questionable catch in the closing seconds of the 1st half of the Patriots’ game against the Houston Texans

“Yeah, when I was running up the seam I had two guys on me and when I saw the ball in the air I literally thought first thing, “What is Tom [Brady] thinking?” When that ball was in the air I had a guy grabbing me and I was just like, “I’ve just got to go for it.” I can’t let them make a play on it, so just went up for it, made the catch. I did make the catch. I don’t know how. When I went to the ground I had it stable in my hand, so it was definitely a catch, but Tom went up to the line really quick just to make sure. We got the play off, which was nice.”

DE JJ Watt (HOU) on why it is difficult to beat Tom Brady & the New England Patriots

“He gets the ball out of his hands very quickly, they chip, I mean, they use Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] to chip, they use Dwayne [Allen] to chip, they use their backs to chips. You know, they’re going to have the guards slide out to help on the edges, they’re going to have double teams, they’re going to find ways to protect and then you got to find ways to win. It’s all part of the game and they do a great job making sure that Tom’s good back there and he knows where he’s going to be and his depth and all that. They know what they have to go up against and they do a great job of playing against it.”

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