Making sense of what they’re saying

The NFL is still busy as ever this first week of May, so another edition of “What They Say and What They Mean” is on tap.

Lawrence Taylor’s attorney, Arthur Aidala, denying charges that Taylor raped a 16-year-old girl:

“Taylor is a loving family man. My client did not have sex with anybody. Lawrence Taylor did not rape anybody.”

He was interviewing a potential babysitter.

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, former coach of now-released JaMarcus Russell:

“He is very talented and he is very intelligent. Intelligence isn't an issue with him.”

He got himself drafted No. 1 and took $40 million from the Raiders. That takes some intelligence.

49ers coach Mike Singletary, after the team rewarded linebacker Patrick Willis with a new deal worth more than $50M:

“I am very proud of what Pat has been able to accomplish. He is the epitome of what a 49er is all about. Before it is all said and done, he may go down as one of the best to play the position.”

They told me I can say this now that we got the deal done. If I said it before, it would cost us another $10 million.

Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, on the recent back surgery of star player Steven Jackson:

“It was a minor procedure; it's really no big deal.”

Man, I sure hope this was a minor procedure and no big deal.

Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, on his expensive defensive tackle, Albert Haynesworth:

“The only frustrating part is talking about people who aren't here versus the great work ethic that 99 percent of this team has shown during the offseason. We're just counting on him to be in great shape when he shows up.”

Can you believe they gave this guy $41M guaranteed last year? You would think he'd at least show up.

Panthers quarterback Matt Moore, on pending competition with Jimmy Clausen for the starting job:

“From what they are telling me, yeah, I do feel like it’s my team now.”

They wouldn't tell me that and then give the job to Jimmy, would they? Uh, I guess they told Jake Delhomme the same thing last year.

Tank Johnson, on welcoming Pacman Jones to the Bengals:

“I know he's settled down. I think you have to settle down. I think he would have been dead by now if he didn't settle down.”

Sure, he's settled down, just like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton have settled down.

Vikings draft pick Toby Gerhart, on whether he expects to play with Brett Favre:

“I hope so. I think so.”

Everyone says he'll show up sometime in August, so I guess he'll be here.

Seahawks running back LenDale White, on the problems with the Titans last year:

“I think what happened was in Tennessee they probably got a little too carried away with the Chris Johnson thing. The year before we split the rock.”

Last year, Chris got the ball. I got a rock.

Saints coach Sean Payton, on rewarding guard Jahri Evans with the largest contract for a guard:

“It's much deserved on his part, and I think it's exciting for us as a club.”

We needed some positive news with this messy lawsuit clouding up our post-Super Bowl glow.

Former Chicago Bear legend Gale Sayers, on the current state of the franchise:

“Cutler hasn't done the job. They need a couple wide receivers, a couple defensive backs. They haven't done a good job. If Lovie doesn't do it this year, I think he's gone.”

I made less than $300,000 for my whole career and these guys have that in their couch cushions. I'm just upset about that.

Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, on his rookie interviewing question process:

“The only unusual question I got was if I was straight or gay. And that was about it.”

At least I never got asked if my mother was a prostitute.

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