Sunday, November 13th, 2016


“They’re the best team in the NFC. I don’t see why they can’t go to the Super Bowl.” – Tony Dungy on the Dallas Cowboys

You accomplish nothing when you go in front of a podium and you start finger pointing.” – Rodney Harrison on Aaron Rodgers’ post-game comments

“He does look like he’s throwing it at least as well as we’ve ever seen him throw it.” – Cris Collinsworth on Tom Brady

“He plays the whole game as well as any defensive back in football right now.” – Dungy on Richard Sherman

STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov., 13, 2016 – Following are highlights from Football Night in America, which aired prior to tonight’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots. Mike Tirico opened the show live from inside Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. 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. Paul Burmeister reported from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa., on today’s Cowboys-Steelers game.


Football Night coverage also included Tirico’s interview with Seahawks CB Richard Sherman.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America on NBC:


Dungy on Aaron Rodgers’ post-game comments: “We’re used to hearing Aaron Rodgers say ‘relax.’ Now he’s saying the Packers are too relaxed and they’re not worried about losing their job. They’re not playing with fire. It sounds like he’s pointing at the coaching staff.”

Harrison: “The key is to keep everything in house. You accomplish nothing when you go in front of a podium and you start finger pointing. I played with Tom Brady for six years, and Tom Brady would never go up to the podium and publicly criticize his teammates. If anything, he would say, ‘Hey, I’m to blame. I’m the cause of all our issues and problems.’ It’s so important for Aaron Rodgers not to lose that locker room. They respect him a lot because he’s a great football player, but the easiest way is to continue to criticize your teammates and your coaches, and everyone in that locker room will lose respect for you…he talks about not being a vocal leader. You have to be a vocal leader. You’re the quarterback. You have to gather those guys and they have to be able to trust you.”

Dungy on the Packers’ playoff prospects: “They’re not done because of the division they play in, but they’re on life support because they can’t stop anybody and they can’t run the ball.”

Harrison: “The most important thing they have to do is get that locker room back together.”


Dungy: “They’re the best team in the NFC. I don’t see why they can’t go to the Super Bowl.”

Florio on likelihood of an Ezekiel Elliott suspension: “I’m told the Cowboys are not worried about it. At this point, they understand the league is trying to be thorough. One thing to keep in mind is, if the NFL did believe there was reason to conclude that something may have happened, the Commissioner’s Exempt List is available. That’s paid leave for the player. That hasn’t happened yet. I think that contributes to the team’s confidence that ultimately this will be resolved.”


Collinsworth on blocked PAT: “That is my favorite rule change of all time. I love the idea that you have to earn everything in the National Football League, even extra points.”


Tirico: “Every time you think they’re building momentum, they take a step back.”

Harrison: “They have too many designed quarterback runs. Cam Newton missed some time because of a concussion. Why are you running your quarterback like that? You’re going to need him long-term, down the stretch.”


Dungy on how the Vikings can improve: “I don’t know that they can run the ball better. Sam Bradford is going to have to come through. They’ve got to protect for him, but they’re going to have to score some points to take some pressure off this defense.”


Harrison on Darrelle Revis: “He’s no longer a top-five cornerback because, in this league playing defensive back, injuries make you old quickly, and trust me, I know. He’s lost speed, he’s lost quickness, and he’s also lost his confidence. There was a time when no one would even attempt to throw at Darrelle Revis. Now the game plan is attack Darrelle Revis. I think the long-term plan for Darrelle Revis — if he wants to continue to play in the league — I think he has to make a switch to free safety.”


Harrison: “It’s time for the Bears to move on from Jay Cutler. He gives you just enough to get excited about, but then he reverts back to his old ways. Disappointment as usual.”


Dungy: “Jameis Winston is a franchise quarterback. They’re going to build that team around him, and he played very well today.”


Collinsworth on Tom Brady: “He does look like he’s throwing it at least as well as we’ve ever seen him throw it.”

Collinsworth to Tirico on asking Brady if the suspension was motivating him: “…He wasn’t giving that up at all. But you know him, I know him, and you know, 1000% yes, it’s driving him this year.”

Harrison: “We always talk about pressuring Tom Brady, but it’s not just good enough to pressure Tom Brady. You have to hit Tom Brady. I have practiced against Tom and the two things he hates are when you put pressure on him and hit him, and when you jam his wide receivers.”


Collinsworth on Richard Sherman’s blocked FG attempt last week: “I didn’t see him put his hand on the ball when it was live…I just didn’t see it, and then I saw the tweet (picture displayed of Sherman’s tweet that shows his hand on the ball) and the picture and his hand is on the ball, and I said, ‘Oh, my goodness. He played it exactly right.’ If he didn’t hear the whistle, it was his obligation to his teammates to continue to play, go put his hand – at risk – on the ball and make sure he didn’t get the ‘free throw’ as he described it. He played it the right way and I probably would not have fined him for that play.”

Harrison on Richard Sherman: “I think he is the best cornerback in the league. I think if he gets overlooked a little bit maybe it’s because he has two other All-Pros in that secondary. His teammates respect him because he plays extremely hard. He’s the best tackling cornerback.”

Dungy: “He talks a lot and I do think people focus on that. But this guy covers people, he makes tackles, he plays on the field goal block team, he plays on the punt return team, he plays the whole game as well as any defensive back in football right now.”


Tirico on Seahawks Jimmy Graham and Patriots Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett: “We’ve got three of the best in the league on this field tonight.”

Collinsworth: “There’s just no question about it. The thing that makes it so unusual is these guys are the deep threats on their respective teams.”



Sherman on attempted FG block against Bills: “It was just like any other play. If they didn’t blow the whistle, they were going to continue to play. If I stopped, then it just became an easy free three points, just like a free throw. And the guy (Dan Carpenter) proceeded to try and kick it, and you know I guess the rest is history.”

Tirico: “You got fined and you said that you thought the league reacted to public perceptions. Do you think that happens often?”

Sherman: “It happens more often than not these days. I think they are so hyperaware of what the fans think and the opinions that a lot of times undermined their own officials.”

Tirico: “You’ve been critical of the league on a regular basis this year. If I put you in charge, what’s the one thing that needs to happen right away for things to get better in the NFL in your mind?”

Sherman: “A simplification of the rules would be great. You have the referees out there doing quantum physics. This rule book is bigger than most text books. That’s the first problem. Obviously, a relationship between the players and the league would be fantastic, but that’s not something that seems reasonable in the near future with the way things have gone.”

Tirico: “What can improve that relationship?”

Sherman: “Honesty, transparency, sensibility.”

Tirico: “There was a time when athletes were reticent about sharing their personal views on social issues, ‘we’re not role models.’ But, I feel, and you’re part of this, that generation is changing a little. You’re very willing to talk about All Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, ‘the election results might show the true colors of our country.’ Why are you comfortable sharing your thoughts in a more public forum than others before you?”

Sherman: “The reason a lot of people aren’t comfortable with it is because of fear of judgment, fear of criticism, fear of backlash. I’m not fearful of those things. I think that I’m comfortable in my own skin; I’m comfortable with my opinion. That’s what allows me to continue to speak on these issues. Once I do get the backlash, it’s not like I fold up and go in a corner and cry. I don’t really worry about it.”

Tirico: “Playing New England has provided a couple of interesting mileposts in your career. The 2012 game – that was the ‘You mad, bro?’ game with Tom Brady. And then, in 2014, the Super Bowl. Talk about those two games and the experiences of being a part of really significant games in the Seahawks history.”

Sherman: “In 2012, nobody really knew who we were. Nobody knew who Bobby Wagner was. Nobody knew who Richard Sherman was. Russell Wilson was a third-round undersized quarterback. Move forward to the 2014 game [Super Bowl XLIX], guys are established, guys understood who we were, what we stood for, what kind of players we were. We gave a great fight, it came down to the final minutes like most of our games usually do, and here we are.”

Tirico: “What does it mean to measure where you guys are against the team that is always good and looks like they’re as good as ever this year?”

Sherman: “I would say we’re always good, and they have to measure themselves against us as well. It should be a good game.”