"Get back to the playoffs."
-Jim Kelly, speaking to current Bills players
When Jim Kelly quarterbacked the Buffalo Bills, they enjoyed an unmatched run of four consecutive trips to the Super Bowl. However, the franchise has fallen on hard times since, and Buffalo hasn't reached the playoffs since 1999. Now, it is the cancer-battling Kelly who is inspiring the team, per SiriusXM radio:
"[He told us to] continue to fight and play like Bills," linebacker Johnathan Meeks said. "Jim had the opportunity to go to multiple Super Bowls. That's what he wants to see again. That's what the Bills community and the Bills mafia wants to see again. That's what we want to bring back to the NFL. So that was his message and that's what we received from him, to put the Bills back in the playoffs and back where they need to be in the AFC."
The Bills are off to a tough start, losing star linebacker Kiko Alonso for the season with a torn ACL.
"Be your own man"
No player will be more under the microscope in 2014 than Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. Despite all the media coverage, Jets running back Chris Johnson does not want Manziel to change his ways during the offseason, according to the Dave Dameshek blog on NFL.com.
"Be your own man, do what you gotta do. It's the offseason ... live your life."
Manziel has been involved in all sorts of parties, including time spent with Justin Bieber and Floyd Mayweather. However, Manziel has been caught doing nothing illegal and continues to maintain that he can have fun off the field while performing on it.
"I feel good about our team making a Super Bowl run."
-Jets quarterback Geno Smith
Geno Smith is feeling very confident these days, saying that he believes the Jets are poised to reach their first Super Bowl since 1968, per Ian Rapoport.
Smith started out of the gate for New York last season, but struggled for a majority of it. The 2013 second-round pick threw for 3,046 with 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. The Jets still went on to surprise many experts with an 8-8 record, narrowly missing the playoffs.
"He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer."
-Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, speaking about Chris Johnson
After the Tennessee Titans released Johnson this offseason to save $6 million against their salary cap, the Jets pounced on the shifty back with a two-year contract. It is a deal that has many around the team excited, including offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who believes Johnson will be in the Hall of Fame one day, per ESPN.
Johnson currently has 7,965 rushing and 2,003 receiving yards to his credit. He ranks 48th all-time in rushing yards and with another 1,000-yard campaign, would move into 35th, directly behind Ahman Green.
"I'm strong enough to bully them."
Along with nice weather and seeing a collection of veterans with names such as Charles Woodson, LaMarr Woodley and Justin Tuck, the former standout at the University at Buffalo is getting acclimated by asking questions and taking notes. Woodley has already given advice by telling him to bully tight ends, while Tuck has instructed Mack to use his hands effectively when pass rushing.