FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, December 23rd, 2012
“FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA” NOTES & QUOTES – WEEK 16
NEW YORK – December 23, 2012 – Following are highlights for Football Night in America. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash., where the Seattle Seahawks are hosting the San Francisco 49ers. Costas was joined on-site by Sunday Night Footballcommentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst), and Hines Ward, the former Steelers wide receiver and Super Bowl MVP.
Dan Patrick co-hosted the program from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and was joined by Football Night in America analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and NFL insiders Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Carolyn Manno reported onGiants – Ravens, from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.
Following are highlights from Football Night in America:
Dungy on speaking with Peyton Manning during the off-season: “I couldn’t envision at the time them winning 13 games. And, if he can get a little help from his former team, in Indianapolis with a win against Houston, they are going to be the No. 1 seed. Remarkable year by Peyton.”
Harrison on RGIII: “Today, he proved that he can sit in the pocket and become that pocket passer we expect him to be.”
Dungy on the NFC East: “Mike Shanahan almost conceded it early on and now they’ve got a chance to win it.”
Harrison: “You don’t know week to week which Dallas Cowboys team will show up.”
Dungy: “I’ve been really impressed with Andrew Luck.”
Harrison: “They finally have cornerbacks…my biggest concern, that rush defense; can they stop people in the playoffs?”
Dungy: “They have an opportunistic defense and a great quarterback.”
Dungy on if he was the owner: “First, you back your head coach. He’s taken you to championship games. Stay behind Rex, but get every scout in your organization to look for a new quarterback, please.”
Ray Rice to Manno post-game on why this year’s team can go further than last year’s: “We’re battle tested. We’ve been through a lot this year — injuries, losses, ups and downs, highs and lows. We’re battle tested.”
Harrison on his MVP of the week: “Dean Pees. He’s my former defensive coordinator, now he’s the Ravens defensive coordinator. He texted me and told me had a special plan for the Giants. That special plan worked.”
Dungy: “With 14 seconds left, we had bad coaching and bad play.”
Harrison: “If I’m Houston, I’m concerned offensively. They can’t even score a touchdown at home against Minnesota.”
Harrison: “They’ve got to protect Rodgers. If they do, they can be very dangerous.”
Patrick on win vs. Cardinals: “Bears keeping their playoff hopes flickering.”
Patrick on Christian Ponder: “I don’t think you get too many athletes who say after a big win, ‘Why did you play well? … Marriage.’”
Harrison: “You have to give Cincinnati props. They went into Pittsburgh and won a football game.”
Patrick on Tom Brady’s post-game remarks, which lamented the Patriots mistakes: “Channeling his inner Belichick there.”
King on offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels taking a head coaching job: “I think it’s highly unlikely that he’ll go. First of all, he’ll only go to a place where he can win now because he already figures he has the best job in football – coaching Tom Brady and coaching under Bill Belichick.”
Florio on Michael Vick not accepting a reduction to his salary: “He will be cut. Look for that to happen as early as early February. So where does he go from there? There’s been some talk that maybe Mike Vick and Coach Andy Reid have a reunion in some new city. Forget about that one. I’m told that Mike Vick is concerned about the lack of support that he has received this season from Andy Reid.”
Dungy on Marshawn Lynch: “This guy is a great back…He gives their offense attitude.”
Harrison: “He’s not just a power back, but he’s a finesse back. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, and he’s a lot faster than he looks.”
Collinsworth on Colin Kaepernick vs. Patriots last week: “Physically, he got things done that I just didn’t think possible for a young player like that.”
Ward on Vernon Davis’ lack of production since Kaepernick became quarterback: “I’m proud of the way he’s handling the situation…it shows a great sign of maturity.”
Costas on Davis: “He’s really grown up.”
Michaels: “As long as Cris had that minute to congratulate the Bengals, can I congratulate the Los Angeles Kings on winning the Stanley Cup since we may never see hockey again for crying out loud?
Costas: “They are maybe the eternal defending champions.”
Florio and King: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/22825103/vp/50286599#50286599
INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and 49ers TE Vernon Davis.
RUSSELL WILSON WITH BOB COSTAS
On being a third-round pick and thinking he could be replaced after: “I don’t ever think negative. I can’t. You have to think on the positive. You have to believe in yourself and what you do, and just play the game. You have to go out there and trust your preparation, what you’ve learned and what you’ve done so far. The experience has really helped me a lot.”
On possibly being the “Rookie of the Year”: “Well, who knows. All I’m trying to do is help our football team win. The goal is to obviously play a great game against the 49ers.”
On being a shorter quarterback and how much his lack of size has impacted his carrier: “I think it’s helped me. It’s motivated me. I believe that you have to just step up and change people’s minds. I want to change the game and that’s the way I look at it. There have been so many other great quarterbacks before me who have done such a great job — the Doug Fluties of the world and Fran Tarkentons; Steve Young’s a little bit taller but not by much; Drew Brees, for example, guys like that I really look up to and have watched and studied and learned from. That’s really what helps me and motivates me for all the future generations to come.”
On looking for windows that may be different for taller quarterbacks: “My significant years of playing football, in terms of college and high school, I’ve been my height my whole entire life. So, being used to being this height it doesn’t change for me. I’m used to seeing through the lanes. I trust what I see. I know where the defense is going. Sometimes you have to play on your toes, too. You have to stand tall in there and try to elevate yourself a little bit off the ground. But I have long arms and big hands, and that’s what helps me.’
On why Seattle is so tough on road teams: “There’s no place like home. The fans are just so energetic. The energy that they bring to our football team, and just the atmosphere, is unreal.
VERNON DAVIS WITH BOB COSTAS
On why he went back to Washington, D.C., after last week’s game: “I had a toy drive at my elementary school that I went to as a kid. Through my foundation, I was hoping to give back.”
Costas: “So that was something you planned to do, as it happened, it was just a few days after Sandy Hook?”
Davis: “Yes, I planned to do it, but I wasn’t sure if Coach (Jim) Harbaugh would let me go. So initially, I was just going to do the drive and have someone represent me. I asked Coach thinking he would say yes, and he did.”
Costas: “You drove overnight to D.C.”
Davis: “And I flew back right after the drive.”
Costas: “And you were at practice on Tuesday?”
Davis: “Yes, yes.”
On only getting minimal opportunities to catch the football in the last four games: “In practice, the coaches, they are always putting me in the game plan, but it just doesn’t work out that way. I have faith that it will happen in the playoffs. I will do whatever I can to help this team win.”
On having little chemistry with quarterback Colin Kaepernick who recently replaced Alex Smith: “It takes time. With Kaepernick coming in, he and Alex have totally different styles of play and I know that. But, with Kaepernick, it’s going to take some time and adjustments, but I think it can happen really fast. He’s one of those guys that you want to play for. It’s getting there and I think this week should be much better.”
Throughout the 2012 NFL season, Bob Costas, a 24-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and one of America’s preeminent interviewers, sat down with some of the biggest names in the NFL for interviews that aired each Sunday night onFootball Night in America. On Wednesday, December 26, NBC Sports Network will present back-to-back Costas Uncut programs, each featuring two extended editions of some of these interviews.
At 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network will air the first program, Costas Uncut: The 40th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, which features Costas’ sit-down with Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame RB Franco Harris to relive the play that began the Steelers dynasty of the 1970’s. The two break down the famous catch in-depth, debate the controversy surrounding it, and discuss how the play lives on decades later.
Following the Immaculate Reception show at 9 p.m. ET will be a 60-minute special, 2012 Costas Uncut: The Best of the NFL, featuring extended interviews from some of Costas’Football Night in America interview segments, including New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin, Houston Texans DEJ.J. Watt, Hall of Fame QB and current Denver Broncos executive John Elway, New Orleans Saints S Malcolm Jenkins, Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin, Houston Texans RB Arian Foster and Dallas Cowboys ownerJerry Jones.