Sunday, September 30th, 2012


“To me, they look like the most complete team in the National Football League.” – Rodney Harrison on the Texans “It wasn’t quite a Ryder Cup collapse, but it was close” – Cris Collinsworth on the Bills “Right now, New Orleans does not have confidence. That’s the difference between last year’s team and this year’s team.” – Tony Dungy on the Saints

NEW YORK – Sept. 30, 2012 – Following are highlights for Football Night in America. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia where the Eagles are hosting the New York Giants. Costas was joined on-site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst), and Hines Ward, the former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Super Bowl MVP and newest addition to NBC Sports’ NFL team.

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

Following are highlights from Football Night:


Harrison: “The Atlanta Falcons are finally showing the maturity and the belief that they can win close games in the fourth quarter. I don’t know if they would have been able to win games like this a year ago, or even two or three years ago.”


Ward: “Every time you play a divisional game, the opposing team dissects everything about you. Your releases, your tendencies, they know everything about your game. You have to adjust your game a bit. For Cruz, he has to add some new wrinkles into his game. Add some double moves, some speed releases. There is one guy in Philadelphia who knows his moves, Nnamdi Asomugha. If Nnamdi doesn’t adjust his play to Cruz, look for a long day today.”


Ward: “Any time you talk about someone’s mama, that usually upsets them and gets them out of their game. They take it personally. So you don’t want to use a mama joke.”


King: The LA City Council unanimously approved, 9-0, a new 75,000 seat stadium for Los Angeles, and I am told the three leading candidates to begin play in 2016 are San Diego, Oakland, and the St. Louis Rams.

Florio: And don’t rule out the Bills and the Jaguars—folks in Jacksonville will love to hear that. I am told if they can get a deal in place by 2013, they can actually start moving dirt and building that stadium by next June.


Harrison: “It’s the same thing every week. Special teams last week. Special teams this week. It’s not about talent. They have plenty of talent. I played on kickoff teams for 15 years. I was 35 years-old, running down on a kick off. There is no excuse for the lack of passion and enthusiasm that they are showing.”


Harrison: “They are not ready for the show.”


Dungy: “They are still San Diego. They are going to have those performances that you can’t explain, but I think they are the best team in the AFC West.”


Dungy: “Everyone is going to want to take Mark Sanchez out, but I don’t think you can. As a coach, if it doesn’t work, then what do you do?”

Harrison: “Tim Tebow can come in and provide a spark and some type of optimism.”


Harrison: “He’s a great quarterback. Obviously he’s a Hall of Fame quarterback, but he needed this game. He started doubting himself. He started saying ‘Do I have still the arm strength? Can I get it done?’ This was a confidence building game for him. He needed this one.”

Dungy: “Don’t worry about the arm strength. He’s going to get those balls where they need to be. The accuracy and the timing, that’s what has got to come for him.”


Dungy: “We had three undefeated teams coming into today. We expected them to stay undefeated since they were all playing at home, but they won in different ways. The Houston Texans are dominating. They played really well.”

Harrison: “To me, they look like the most complete team in the National Football League. They are able to throw the ball down the field, and defensively, we know they can get to the quarterback. But that secondary—creating turnovers, getting to the end zone, just making plays, time after time.”


Dungy: “They are. They are playing complete games. Winning these games, that’s going to do a lot for their confidence”

Harrison: “I questioned Matt Ryan’s ability to throw the ball down the field. He proved to me today that he can get the ball down the field. They can run, they can do it all.”


Costas: “It has been pointed out to me that I seem to be wearing Giants colors of red and blue tonight. As an objective observer, this was entirely inadvertent Besides, I don’t own a green jacket, having narrowly missed winning the Masters back in 82.”


On the nine turnovers at the beginning of the season: “I think it’s just a coincidence, but the thing I get out of it when I go back and look at it is that they all can be corrected. I have to be conscious of who I throw the ball to, when and where. Last week we had no interceptions but I had two fumbles and I just have to do a better job of protecting the ball.”

On whether Coach Andy Reid’s comments at the beginning of the week hurt him: “I understand that turning the ball over is something that you just can’t do. As a coach you don’t have to say the right things all the time. Sometimes he can express what he’s feeling.”

On whether he talked to Reid after the comments: “Yes, we talked about it. The one thing about Andy and I, we just keep it all the way at one-hundred with each other. Meaning, we talk to each other. We are realists about each and every situation. If he feels a certain type of way he can tell me, and I can tell him what I’m feeling without him getting sensitive about it.”

On if he feels there is a special bond between him and Reid that goes beyond coach and quarterback, and if the commonality of tragedy and adversity in their lives brought them closer together: “Yes it has. Coach and I don’t even have to say anything to each other for me to know what he’s thinking or for him to know what I’m thinking. He’s just a great man, and has been very inspirational in my life and has been a great individual that I have gotten to know. It means the world to me that God has placed him in my life and that we have that bond.”

For complete interview:


Tuck on how Vick is different to rush than any other QB: “When you have a guy like Michael, who can put long plays at his feet, you have to be careful. Vick is not one of the taller quarterbacks, so if you keep him in the pocket it makes it tough for him to see downfield. You start seeing that quarterback rating go down a little bit more when he has to be subject to be in the pocket all night.”

Umenyiora: “I concur.”

Umenyiora on the worst thing he’s heard from the Philadelphia crowd: “I can’t even repeat it, they are bad. They throw stuff at you and apparently they were throwing Gatorade bottles at the bus when we were leaving last year after the team won. So it’s Philly, I mean this is how they’ve always been, there’s nothing new and this is what we expect.”

Tuck: “As an opposing player you kind of respect that because they have so much passion for their team.”

Umenyiora: “But they’ll talk about their own team too. They’ll let everybody have it.”

Umenyiora on his feud with Eagles RB LeSean McCoy: “It started on the field and it progressed to off the field, but you know everything is okay now. We’re cool, we’re alright.”

On being called a ballerina by Eagles RB LeSean McCoy: “I laughed when I heard that. I didn’t know he had that in him. We’re going to settle this on the football field. He’s said some things to me and I’ve said some things to him, and I took the low road. Usually I take the high road but I took the low road and responded and that was out of my character and I’m just going to try to stay out of all that.”

For complete interview: