“It was crazy, though. I’ve never had anything like that happen before. And I’m talking about both the New England game and at George’s house. But it was crazy man. Like, I woke up, and you know how sometimes you have a dream and then you wake up and you feel like you can’t move for like maybe four or five seconds, whatever it is?”
“And you know, I felt that, and I woke up, it was like 3 a.m., went to go take a pee and, you know, came back, fell right asleep. And then, that next night, the same thing happened, and I couldn’t, like, I had to keep focusing on this thing … there was something else in the room.”
“It was very creepy, and I had never dealt with anything like that before,” Darnold said. “I know a couple people who have had situations where there have been … whether it was like [an] old Civil War place where there is now like a hotel or a dorm and people have certain experiences with that.
“But it was just like super, super weird, and it just felt like when I woke up there was something, like, holding on to me, and then that next night, I … felt that something was in the room with me, and it was … the freakiest thing. I’m like getting chills talking about it right now, but that’s never happened to me before.”
“Then there was a snowstorm in [the] New England area,” Snead shared.
The Rams were there to speak with the offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator of the Patriots—Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia. Unfortunately, they couldn’t leave town. Their plane was grounded. They couldn’t get to Atlanta to meet with Shanahan.
“And at that point, they were rolling in the playoffs,” Snead continued. “... We couldn’t get there. We did ask Kyle, ‘Hey, would you like to FaceTime?’ He really didn’t want to do that. So at that point in time, we passed on the interview.
“I remember when I transferred to Texas, and we had finals during our bowl practices,” Shanahan shared. “We’re all supposed to miss the practice because we had a final, and I was the only one who was red-shirting because I transferred there. I’ve been waiting for this scrimmage, and I had a final on that day, and I just showed up to the scrimmage, and everyone was trying to make me leave, saying I’ll fail the class.
“And I had to argue with everyone there. Like, ‘I know I’ll fail the class, and that’s a decision I’m making right now. I’m not missing this practice.’ And even though I had a C in there, it turned into an F because I would not miss the practice. And it wasn’t that I was trying to show the coaches how committed I was. It was just how one-tracked my mind was.”
“[He] made a huge jump,” one NFC executive told Fowler. “Relentless, extremely physical, and took a big jump in coverage. Obviously benefits from the guys around him, but he made so many big plays this year.”
“But Lance broke his finger in that game, and in retrospect it’s clear that the injury ultimately scuttled any creative plans that Shanahan had for him in 2021. Remember that Lance threw the season’s first touchdown pass at Detroit and ran in a score against Green Bay two weeks later, but that was it outside of the two starts he made in place of an injured Garoppolo.
If Purdy does land in the top quarterback role, Shanahan will have another opportunity to deploy Lance creatively — and that may also be a way to get him much-needed game reps.”