Sunday, December 18th, 2016


“It is a wonderful opportunity that we can take advantage of and make the most out of it.” – Winston on tonight’s game


STAMFORD, Conn. – Dec. 18, 2016 – For tonight’s Week 15 edition of NBC’s Football Night in America, the most-watched weekly studio show in sports, Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy interviews Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. Football Night will also include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 15 games ahead of tonight’s Buccaneers-Cowboys Sunday Night Football showdown.


Football Night airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC. Bob Costas will host tonight’s program live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.


Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1, and is joined by Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl champion Rodney Harrison, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, and NBC Sports Radio. Kathryn Tappen will report from Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo., on the Patriots-Broncos game.


INTERVIEW: Below are excerpts from Dungy’s interview with Winston. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”




Tony Dungy: “Now, you and I were at a charity event, you were 2-3, and now you have gone on this streak. What has been the difference?”


Jameis Winston: “That event. Probably seeing you [Laughs].


Dungy: “You know what though, we did have a conversation. We talked about Peyton Manning, and the difference between being aggressive and protecting the ball, and being reckless.”


Winston: “Absolutely, you told me how you had to tell Peyton at first ‘check it down there first, check it down and then take the shots.’”


Dungy: “Thursday night against Atlanta, probably one of your worst games as a team, but since then it is night and day difference. What changed after that game?”


Winston: “After that game, I asked the guys, ‘really go home and just reflect on how you were when you were young playing this game, not how you are as a professional, because being a professional didn’t get you to where you are at right now.’ A lot of guys just woke up. Then we just kept building, we kept going. We started getting closer together as a family. We started building this connection that we had as a team where we were connecting on all cylinders. We took a stand because we wanted to be great.”


Dungy: “Everyone on this team talks about you being a leader, even though you are one of the young guys. How was that transition for you, from last year stepping in as a rookie to now being the leader of the group?”


Winston: “I think a lot more people are more welcoming to me having a voice in this locker room. We weren’t looking for a leader, but I just stepped right in. I think this year I am comfortable in my skin, I’m comfortable communicating to everyone and everyone is just listening to me.”


Dungy: “Tell me about the letter you wrote to the team?”


Winston: “The letter was just explaining how grateful I was to this team. Letting them see that this is an opportunity of a lifetime and the only people we have in this opportunity are each other. We have to use each other to help all of us to get to where we want to be. Ultimately that goal is to win a Super Bowl one day. As long as we have the same mindset, as long as we are thinking the same thing, dreaming the same thing, envisioning the same thing, we can achieve it.”


Dungy: “People are saying this might be the biggest game the Bucs have had in the last 10 years. Does it feel that way to you?”


Winston: “It doesn’t. It feels just like another one. Our goal is just go 1-0. We are playing against one of the best young quarterbacks, he is having an amazing year, and one of the best young running backs, he is having an amazing year, and one of the best teams. We are excited. It is an opportunity that we have. It is a wonderful opportunity that we can take advantage of and make the most out of it.”