Sunday, October 20th, 2013


“A rousing welcome.” – Bob Costas on Peyton Manning taking the field for the first time

 “Jim loves Peyton. Peyton did a lot for that city. Jim did not mean it that way.” – Tony Dungy on Jim Irsay’s remarks earlier this week

 “The officials did a good job of calling it.” – Dungy on controversial overtime call in Patriots-Jets game

NEW YORK – Oct. 20, 2013 – Following are the highlights for Football Night in America, the most-watched pre-game show in sports. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., where the Colts are hosting the Denver Broncos. Costas was joined on site by Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst), and two-time Super Bowl winner Hines Ward.

Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from famous Studio 8H at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios in New York City. He is joined by Super Bowl winning head coach Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison; Peter King of Sports Illustrated; Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on and NBCSN; and Scott Pioli, the former NFL Executive of the Year and newest addition to the NBC NFL team. Carolynn Manno reported from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on the Texans-Chiefs game.

Costas interviewed Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who is in his second season with the Broncos after serving as the Colts signal caller for 13 seasons, and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. In addition to the interviews and analysis, Football Night extensively covered Manning taking the field for the first time and the Colts’ pre-game tribute to Manning. There was also a remembrance of former Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints head coach Bum Phillips, who died Friday at the age of 90.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America:


Dungy: “This is going to be so tough because this is going to be emotional…Peyton likes to prepare for everything…But you can’t prepare for being emotional. That’s what he’s going to have to deal with.”

Dungy: “I never, ever expected Peyton Manning to be in a different uniform.”

Costas on Manning taking the field for the first time: “A rousing welcome from what used to be, and I guess in a sense what always will be, his hometown fans.”

Dungy: “The only time I was ever worried about him being too emotional was when we went back to New Orleans for the first time…He threw six touchdown passes. He was ready.”

Harrison on how to defend Manning: “The way you play him is, from a defensive line standpoint, you put pressure up the middle, try to force him to his left, jam and beat up the receivers, and when they catch the ball, you’ve got to punish them.”

Al Michaels comparing tonight’s game to Willie Mays returning to San Francisco, Wayne Gretzky to Edmonton, and Michael Jordan to Chicago: “This is different because Peyton Manning right now is playing as well maybe as any quarterback ever.”

Collinsworth: “We’re going to see a great tribute to Peyton Manning here tonight. But, I’m not so sure the greatest tribute that was ever paid to Peyton Manning wasn’t that time on the 28-yard line in the game right here in Indianapolis that (Bill) Belichick, with a six-point lead, decided to go for  it on fourth-and-two… I’ve seen a lot of things in the NFL; I went, ‘Wow! That’s quite the tribute.’”


Harrison: “If you’re Jim Irsay, why would you take a shot at Peyton Manning? He’s the best player in the National Football League, and he’s already motivated.”

Dungy: “It came out wrong. I took it as a slap at Peyton Manning. But, I know Jim Irsay well enough. Jim loves Peyton. Peyton did a lot for that city. Jim did not mean it that way. But unfortunately, that’s the way it came out and Peyton has a long memory. He’s going to make this personal tonight.

Dungy on Irsay mentioning Tom Brady: “That is going to rub Peyton the wrong way. It rubbed his teammates the wrong way. I talked to some of the ex-players, and they didn’t take that right. But, believe me, Jim Irsay didn’t mean it that way, but I think he might feel the brunt of it tonight.”

Dungy on the effect on him personally: “I didn’t take it personally because I wanted more than one Super Bowl. I understand what Jim was saying.”

Harrison: “It was disrespectful.”


Dungy: “He’s got that youthful enthusiasm. He’s oblivious to everything. Reggie Wayne told me he doesn’t know there’s a circus going on.”

Harrison on comparisons between Manning and Luck: “The biggest difference is that when a play breaks down, Andrew has the ability, with his strength and his power, to get outside that pocket and keep the chains moving.”

Ward: “He’s a loosey (goosey) guy. He wants to win, but he wants his team to be very relaxed and very loose.”


Collinsworth: “It’s a very important game in the AFC between two teams quite likely to meet again in the playoffs sometime down the road. It is big, this is big. So, what do they do? I think they’ve had their roof open twice in their history with Peyton Manning here; (he) hated it, absolutely hated it. So he comes back; there you go.”


Dungy: “This is a new rule and a rule that the player’s asked for, a rule for safety. You cannot push in the middle of the line of scrimmage. Chris Jones comes in from behind and pushes his teammate. This should be called and it had to be called…It doesn’t say anything about second level…It says you cannot push into the line of scrimmage. The officials did a good job calling it.”

Patrick: “That’s the first time that new rule has been called.”


Harrison: “The Patriots have other issues. If you look at Tom Brady, he’s been so inconsistent…They’ve got a lot of issues, especially on the offensive line.”

Harrison on Logan Ryan’s touchdown gesture: “There’s no place in the game for that.”


Dungy: “They were in disarray, gave up 50 points to Peyton Manning, and they’ve come back the last two weeks and played great, won a big road game today…This was a big win for Dallas, going on the road, getting that road win and taking over first place.”


Dungy: “These guys are playing great defense right now.”

Patrick: “Maybe the best defense in the NFL right now.”

Harrison to Patrick: “Will you leave Alex Smith alone; keep calling him a game manager. He’s playing well.”

Patrick: “I said he’s economical.”

Harrison: “It’s the same thing…He’s playing well, just compliment him.”


Dungy: “A lot of teams made statement wins, but look out for the San Francisco 49ers. They had a complete win and look like they’re back.”


Dungy on Mario Williams: “This guy is an athlete and a force.”

Harrison: “When he’s healthy, he is a different player.”


King: “I’m told by a highly-placed league source that there is no chance of that happening. But that same league source said that by 2015 he expects the Thursday night package to be split between the NFL Network and another network in a big-money deal for the league.”

Florio on NFLPA: “I’m told they would oppose this. They are not interested in exposing players to more short-week games. And the only way it would be a discussion point would be, if, in some way, the player’s share of the total revenue would be adjusted in their favor.”

INTERVIEW: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Manning and Luck. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”


On his return to Indianapolis: “There’s no question it will be different. I can’t tell you exactly sitting here on Saturday night, what it will be like, but I have such wonderful memories of my 14 years here, playing for the Indianapolis Colts. I really feel like I have those memories bottled-up in a time capsule that they are there and nothing can change the way I feel about my time here.”

On playing for a different team: “There is an awkward time when you are still a current player playing for another team. It’s so much easier to answer some of these questions when you’re retired, and you talk about we and we. It was pointed out to me that I don’t say the word Colts very often. I think the reason why is because I never had to say (it). I always said we. I always said us. It’s different. Forgive me for that. Give me some time. I think it will always be we once I retire, just like Denver will be we as well.”

On tonight’s game: “It’s a game that I never wanted to play. I always wanted to play for the same team for my entire career. I wanted to play for three teams: Newman High School; the University of Tennessee Volunteers; and the Indianapolis Colts because they were the team that drafted me and that was a goal of mine. I got injured, things change and I have transitioned into this second chapter of my football career. The Denver Broncos have welcomed me warmly and helped me with that transition.”

On showing his appreciation: “I hope in the game (tonight) that I can have a moment there to show how appreciative I am of the support that I had when I was playing here (in Indianapolis). It’s a great place to play football, great fans. It’d be so much easier though if all you had to do was come out and wave and smile, but unfortunately, I’ve got to figure out how to dodge Robert Mathis all night and try complete a few passes. So I hope I can win that challenge, but there’s no question it will be a special night.”

On going to the visitors’ locker room: “I’m going to do my best to follow those directions. There’s no question that I have great memories of this stadium (Lucas Oil), the old RCA Dome. I’m sure some of those will come up but I’m going to do my best to help my team win a game though at the same time.”

Click here to watch the video:


On constantly hearing that he’s the successor to Peyton and that Peyton is returning this week: “It’s not been too bad. I’ve resigned in my mind that it’s part of the job, and, honestly, it’s the same questions I’ve been hearing for about a year-and-a-half now when coming to Indy. In my mind, it’s just part of the job description now. It’s not been too bad.”

On what quarterback did he model himself after growing up: “I loved watching Peyton. I just always thought he was really tough, somewhat of a warrior out there, and he could chunk the ball all over the field. So I always enjoyed watching him.”

On the Luck and Manning intersection (Oliver Luck briefly backed up Archie Manning in Houston): “I remember growing up and sitting watching games on Sundays as an elementary school kid or a middle school kid and any time the Colts were on, my dad, unfailingly, saying Archie used to make him drive Peyton and Cooper around, or go get McDonald’s, or do the rookie grunt work for the old veteran. In our family, we always rooted for them because there was a connection, whether it was Eli or Peyton.”

On interacting with Peyton as a youth: “I was very fortunate to go to the Manning Passing Academy as a camper going into high school, and then as a counselor for a couple of years in college. I’ve always had the highest respect for him and he’s always been so classy and gracious to me.”

On if this can just be another game: “I think so. I do. I may sound naïve, but we realize as a team it’s a good Denver Broncos team coming in here. From an offensive perspective, it’s a really good defense coming in here and we know we need to score points. So there’s enough to worry about there than to get into anything else in the game.”

Click here to watch the video