Sunday, October 16th, 2016


“The official doesn’t want to determine the outcome, but he did by not throwing the flag.” Tony Dungy on Falcons – Seahawks

“The team to beat in the NFC is the Minnesota Vikings.” – Rodney Harrison

 “This is something that is not done in the NFL. The game is over. This is not the time to show you are a tough guy.” – Dungy on Rams-Lions scrum

STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 16, 2016 – Following are highlights from Football Night in America, which aired prior to tonight’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. Mike Tirico opened the show live from inside NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. He was joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth and SNF sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.

Dan Patrick hosted Football Night, the most-watched studio show in sports, from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn. He was joined by Super Bowl-winning and Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison; and NFL Insider Mike Florio of NBC Sports’ ProFootballTalk. Heather Cox reported from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., on today’s Cowboys-Packers game.

Football Night coverage also included Tirico’s interview with Colts QB Andrew Luck.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America on NBC:


Dungy on officials not calling pass interference on the final play of the game: “The problem is that in the first quarter, the second quarter and the third quarter that would be called. Now it’s critical. Fourth and ten. Last play of the game. The official doesn’t want to determine the outcome, but he did by not throwing the flag.”

Harrison: “I was very disappointed in that non-call. You’re Atlanta. You get on a plane and go all the way out to Seattle. You play your heart out. You have a perfect opportunity, and then Richard Sherman pulls Julio Jones down. That should be called.”

Harrison: “These officials need to be held more accountable, because that cost Atlanta the game. Why have them out there if you are scared to make the call. It’s crazy.”


Harrison on Rams’ scrum with Lions on final play of today’s game: “Jeff Fisher-coached teams play tough, but they also at times play cheap. I was on the other end of that. I tore my knee up because of a cheap shot from one of his players. It happens every single year and we seem to talk about it every year.”

Dungy: “This is something that is not done in the NFL. The game is over. This is not the time to show you are a tough guy.”


Harrison on Steelers’ defense: “They didn’t come to play. A lot of times I look at this defense and they’re almost spoiled in a sense. They have such an explosive offense, and sometimes they just sit back and expect their offense to just carry them.”


Harrison: “The team to beat in the NFC is the Minnesota Vikings. In addition to Sam Bradford, they have the best defense in the league and they have stopped some pretty good quarterbacks this year.”


Harrison on Cam Newton’s postgame press conference: “If I was Cam Newton’s teammate, my advice to him would be… the way you conduct yourself in these post-game interviews is not for the guys like Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, and Greg Olsen. It’s for the younger players. The younger players, when you’re going through adversity, they look up to the leaders. You have to be able to conduct yourself. Frontrunners get excited and they pump their chest when you are winning. But when you go through adversity, you have to be that same confident young man and stand up at the podium, answer the questions, and be professional. I think that’s the thing that is missing with Cam. But the one thing I do like about him is he is very passionate and he wants to win. I don’t count them out.”

Dungy: “You’re (Newton) the leader and the face of the franchise. You have to be better than that in those losing situations. No doubt.” 

Florio on the Cam Newton concussion protocol investigation: “I’m told that a decision could be announced as soon as Monday. Expect it to come this week, with an agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association that there was no violation of the protocol. But with further changes to the protocol, to insure their won’t be any loopholes or any other situations that may fall through the cracks in the future.”

Dungy on the Panthers playoff hopes: “I think they’re done because that defense is not stopping anybody.”


Harrison on Odell Beckham’s late game penalty for taking his helmet off after scoring: “I really like Odell. I think he has a lot of potential. Obviously he’s a great player and the type of thing that really sets him apart is he’s capable of taking it 60 yards to the house and really changing the complexion of the game. I love his energy, I love his passion that he brings. But if I’m a guy in that locker room, I would take myself, as well as the rest of the captains, and go to Odell and say, ‘Hey we love it. Keep it going during the play on the field, but all the side show… you got to get rid of that.’”

Dungy: “You cannot do this. This is going to cost you in games down the road. The Giants have to stop this. They’ve got to take this out of Odell Beckman. It’s going to come back and haunt them if they don’t stop it.”


Florio: “News out of Nevada. The senate and the house are both agreed to pass the bill that would contribute $750,000,000 in public money toward a new stadium. I’m told that a decision from the league is roughly six to nine months away. With a 75% likelihood, one source told me, of the Raiders getting the approval from the league to move to Las Vegas.”


Florio on the NFLPA expecting a push for an 18-game season: “It doesn’t get discussed much anymore, but the NFLPA is bracing for the league to ask for expansion from 16 to 18 games in the next round of CBA negotiations. Those could begin soon, and the NFL could soon reach out to the NFL Players Association and say, ‘We got five years left, let’s work on some things and extend the deal even farther.’”


Collinsworth: “Without J.J. Watt, they’ve finally seen Jadeveon Clowney step up and be what they thought he was going to be. He was unbelievable last week. Some devastating plays on that defensive game.”


Collinsworth:“Chicken or the egg, right? Is it the offensive line or is it Andrew? The truth is it’s probably a little bit of both.”

Harrison: “The right side of the Colts offensive line might be the worst in the league.”



“The first half of Dennis Byrd’s life is why we knew him. Football fans old enough remember the 26-year old New York Jets promising defensive end suffering a career ending neck injury in 1992, but the rest of his life is how many of us will remember him. The inspiring courage he displayed after that injury, walking back onto that same field 10 months later. Then for the last two-decades Byrd served as a motivational speaker working to inspire others dealing with spinal cord injuries. A man with strength to admire and a spirit that will endure beyond the number 90 the Jets retired for Dennis Byrd. Our condolences to his wife and four children.”


On his days playing high school football in Houston: “They were great. I loved growing up here around a lot of my mom’s family. My grandparents are here, some aunts, uncles, and cousins – it’s a wonderful place to grow up.”

On whether growing up in Houston makes playing there more special: “I think so. We got to play a high school game in NRG Stadium, so that was a big deal for us. It was my junior year. It’s always neat to come back.”

On missing nine games last season: “It was no fun. It’s certainly no fun to be injured. The worst part is you feel like you’re letting folks down. You feel like you’re letting your teammates down. It does make you appreciate being out there. It may be a little corny-sounding or a little cheesy, but we’ve been talking about Frank Gore, when he was injured he said, ‘man, when you come back, you really do appreciate it in a little different way.’ No fun, but like anything, you learn from it and you keep moving.”

Tirico: “Nobody ever calls you corny, do they?”

Luck: “[Laughs] Yeah, every now and then.”

On the number of sacks he’s taken this season [20]: “Sacks are obviously not a good thing. A few of those I’d like to take back. Holding on to the ball too long, or a miss-read here and there. I think we’ve improved every week. We’re getting better and better, and we’ll go out there and see what happens.”

On his new contract: “Honestly, I haven’t felt any different pressure. I’ve always felt like I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed. So that pressure in my mind hasn’t changed. My old coach used to say ‘pressure is a privilege,’ and it’s true. There’s not many jobs in the world where you do get to feel a little pressure, and that’s special.”