Former NFL Coach Dennis Green's Outburst

Kevin WhitesellCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2009


“They are who we thought they were!”

These are the now-infamous words of then-Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green.

How did this unusual compilation of words come together? Let's set the stage.

It was October; not the “October” we hear Dane Cook shouting for the Major League Baseball playoffs. It was Oct. 16, 2006, Week Six of the NFL Season.

The site was the University of Phoenix Stadium, the home of the Arizona Cardinals.

The Arizona Cardinals were hosting the Chicago Bears. Bears QB Rex Grossman was having a Rex Grossman-type game: Abysmal (six turnovers). Late in the third quarter, the Cardinals had the game well in hand, leading 23-3.

Then it happened. Well, actually, three things happened.

Mike Brown started it off with a 3-yard fumble recovery for a TD. Then Charles Tillman returned an Arizona fumble 40 yards for a touchdown. Finally, the speedy Devin Hester took an Arizona punt back 83 yards for the six.

This all happened with just over a quarter left in the game, mind you. And it's just now going to get really interesting.

Both coaches went back to their respective locker rooms; then they came out to conduct their standard post-game interviews. Lovie Smith was his usual collected self, while Dennis was the equivalent of a ticking time bomb.

Green was calm at first, but after an innocent question regarding Rex Grossman’s performance, Green erupted:

“The Bears are what we thought they were,” shouted Green.

He was referring to a preseason matchup between the two clubs, which Arizona won 23-16.

He went on to say:

"If you want to crown 'em, then crown their asses!''

Then he reiterated:

"They are who we thought they were! And we let 'em off the hook!''

After taking a few seconds to collect himself, Green walked off the stage and returned to the Cardinals locker room.

But the damage had been done. And the now-infamous words by Dennis Green leave us with a chuckle or two, and every now and again a reminder of his tirade appears in those Coors Light commercials.