Sunday, September 16th, 2012


“That’s why you pay Tom Brady $18, $20 million a year, because of these situations.” – Rodney Harrison on the Patriots being conservative at the end of the game “In pee-wee football, you don’t throw a football at a guy in this situation.” – Tony Dungy on Redskins WR Josh Morgan’s penalty “I don’t think it’s a fluke. This is a defense that can play.” – Cris Collinsworth on the Cardinals “There’s no illegal contact penalty in college so they’re not looking for it. A lot of wrestling.” – Dungy on replacement officials “That front seven is unbelievable.” – Harrison on the Texans

NEW YORK – Sept. 16, 2012 – Following are highlights for Football Night in America. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside Candlestick Park in San Francisco where the 49ers are hosting the Detroit Lions. Costas was joined on-site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst).

Dan Patrick co-hosted the program from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and was joined by Football Night analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and NFL insiders Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of Carolyn Manno reported on Jets-Steelers from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

Following are highlights from Football Night:


Harrison: “It’s a credit to this Houston defense. After losing Mario Williams, you never thought that this team would be this good. That front seven is unbelievable.”

Dungy: “They did lose Mario Williams but they kept their defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, and that’s been huge. He’s turned this defense around in two years.”


Michaels: “I thought we saw the best of Eli today and the worst of him.”

Patrick on RB Andre Brown: “What can Brown do for you? Win the game!”


King on Buccaneers not respecting the victory formation: “As one Giant told me about victory formations, if the Buccaneers keep doing this, their risking getting some cheap shots on their own players and maybe risking further injury.”

Harrison on Greg Schiano trying to establish a play-hard culture even against the victory formation: “You don’t do it on the last play of the game. You do it for quarter one through quarter four.”


Collinsworth: “This team is 2-0. They probably should be 0-2 and yet they have the impressive wins now, and they look ahead.”

Dungy: “You mentioned nine turnovers. They’re still undefeated. Wait until they learn how to take care of the ball.”


Dungy on Joe Flacco’s comments about replacement officials: “I think he will regret saying this tomorrow. He’s frustrated because he lost what was the game-winning touchdown pass.”

Harrison on Flacco’s frustration with the offensive pass interference call against the Ravens in the 4th quarter: “I understand his frustration, but this is not the only play in question. He had four quarters and opportunities to make plays. I think he will look back at the film and say, you know what, we didn’t quite play that well.”

Dungy on the call: “I think this was the right call because there was a lot of jostling out there.”

Harrison: “(Nnamdi) Asomugha should have turned around, but he clearly didn’t touch him.”


Collinsworth on Ray Horton and the defense: “Here is a guy who spent all those years under Dick LeBeau and the Pittsburgh Steelers. To go into New England and to shut down that offense, which is basically what they did there today, is very impressive. I don’t think it’s a fluke. This is a defense that can play.”


Harrison: “I felt like they should have stayed aggressive. They had a first down and 15, 46 seconds left, and they settle for a 42-yard field goal…That’s why you pay Tom Brady $18, $20 million a year, because of these situations. I felt like they got very conservative and it’s going to cost them in the end.”

Dungy: “Let Tom win the games.”


Dungy on WR Josh Morgan throwing the football at Rams CB Cortland Finnegan: “That is selfish football. Throwing a ball at a guy with the game on the line.”

Harrison: “That’s the problem that you have with young players. You love them because they’re fast, they’re athletic. But at critical moments like this, they lose their composure.”

Dungy: “In pee-wee football, you don’t throw a football at a guy in this situation. You’re trying to win the game. You can’t let ego get in the way.”

Harrison: “You need to know the situation.”


Harrison: “I’m very disappointed in Dallas…Why is it so hard for them to go on the west coast and win one game?”


Dungy on offseason distractions affecting play: “It has…I think we’re seeing how valuable coaching is in the NFL.”

Harrison on Saints defense: “Where are the defenders at? Missing tackles in the open field. Just plain old soft.”


Dungy, after commenting on Andrew Luck’s poise: “One thing he’s going to learn, if he sets up Adam (Vinatieri) for game-winning field goals, he’s going to win a lot of games.”


Dungy: “Now I know why Peyton Manning picked Denver. That might not be a bad division to play in.”


Dungy: “One area where they are struggling is downfield contact. There’s no illegal contact penalty in college so they’re not looking for it. A lot of wrestling.”

Harrison on contact between receivers and defenders: “The problem the players are having is consistency.”

Harrison on downfield contact between receivers and defensive backs: “This is why Flacco and other quarterbacks around the league are frustrated…If I’m a defensive back and they’re not calling it, I’m going to do it the entire day.”

King: “(On) that official yanked off the Saints–Panthers game today for being a Saints fan. Ray Anderson, vice president of the NFL, who has been in charge of the replacement officials, has told me not only is the guy not getting fired, he’s going to work a game next week… Just not a Saints game.”

Click here for a video of King and Florio on the victory formation, injuries and officials:

Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Smith, Davis, Stafford and Vanden Bosch.


Smith on getting so close to the Super Bowl last year: “It’s tough. It’s a tough pill to swallow to get that close, to work that hard. I think it’s a lesson and you try to learn from it for sure, but it’s tough, tough to accept.”

Smith on if he watched the Super Bowl: “I didn’t watch it.”

Davis: “I didn’t watch it either.”

Davis on if the Mike Singletary incident in 2008 benefitted him: “I think it did because what I learned from that is how to put the team first. This game is not about me or any individual. What we do together, everyone will see it and everyone will be lifted.”

Davis on what he was doing then that he no longer does: “I was selfish. It was all about me, so I had to change some things. That’s why I say that having a guy like Singletary around was a blessing because I learned from it and I learned how to be a team guy. Everything I do, I always put my team first.”

Smith on maintaining a belief in himself: “I just looked around at the league and especially the quarterback position and you start to realize that nobody has it easy. I played a lot of years and really tried to prove to everybody on every single play that I was worth the No. 1 pick, to show everybody on every single play what I was worth. I hated playing like that, looking back. It’s a miserable way to play. It’s tough, tough to succeed like that.”

Smith on the handshake: “Really, we haven’t talked about it.”

Davis: “We can’t get caught up in the hype of Harbaugh and Schwartz. We can’t do that because this game is about us as a team.”

Click here for video of the complete interview:


Stafford on being a “paper lion” in 2011 (Lions were 9-1 against teams with non-winning records):“Obviously, we grew a lot last year as a team. We were a young team in some spots and hadn’t really played a ton together. I think we grew up a lot last year. We’re a team that’s ready to go. We’re experienced now and excited about the challenges ahead of us.”

Stafford on the handshake between Schwartz and Harbaugh creating additional meaning for the game:“I don’t think it does…for us, it has to do with the fact that they (49ers) are a really good football team. They were a football team, last year, that we wanted to be. You’ve got to go out there and play those teams, and beat those teams…they came to our place and beat us. We’re hoping to do the same to them.”

Vanden Bosch on the handshake being discussed in the team meeting: “There was nothing addressed in the team meetings. I think coach Schwartz does a good job making it about us and our preparation, regardless of who we play. If anything, it’s two really competitive coaches, and their players feed off of their energy. There is going to be a lot of excitement.”

Watch a video of the complete interview: