Sunday, December 9th, 2012


BOB COSTAS INTERVIEWS LIONS WR CALVIN JOHNSON & PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE MCCARTHY “Never would have fathomed.” - Johnson on possibly breaking Jerry Rice’s record for receiving yardage this year “To be the head coach of the Green Bay Packers is just such a special, special opportunity.” – McCarthy

NEW YORK – December 9, 2012 – Bob Costas interviewed Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson and Packers head coach Mike McCarthy for tonight’s Week 14 edition of Football Night in America, which will preview Lions-Packers, and will also include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 14 games.

Football Night In America, the most-watched pre-game studio show in sports, airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Costas hosting the program live from inside the stadium. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst), as well as NBC NFL analyst and former Steelers WR Hines Ward, for reaction to the afternoon games and to preview tonight’s match-up.

Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on Carolyn Manno will report on SaintsGiants, from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Johnson and McCarthy. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”


On possibly passing Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving yardage record: “It’s crazy to me. Never would have fathomed. Never knew exactly what the record was before this point. A couple of weeks ago, my trainer told me, ‘You have to average 150 yards a game throughout the rest of the season to reach 2,000.’ At that point, I still didn’t know that I was closing in on Jerry Rice’s record. I thought he just wanted me to get 2,000.”

On the impact on fantasy teams of being caught at the one-yard line five times: (laughs) “I definitely hear it through various media outlets about how fans feel about that.”

On playing in the snow: “I would much rather play in the snow than the rain.”

Costas: “And Lambeau in the snow kind of has that classic feel to it.’

Johnson: “It does…Lambeau is historic. To be able to play there, it’s a great feeling and then to play in the snow, not many people can say that.”

On the Lions losing 21 straight road games to the Packers: “The only person that knows fully everything about that is Jason Hanson (who has played 21 years with the Lions)…I’m going to ask him, how does it feel to be in that situation? What does it really feel like to go up there every time? And gain a little perspective from his view.

Costas: “Here’s your rallying cry, win one for Jason.”

Johnson: “No doubt.”


On the difference between last year’s offense and this year’s: “Well, No. 1, we’re definitely a different team. Last year was a special year. We were almost a fast-break offense. It was wide open. I don’t know if it was always the best thing for the rest of our team, particularly our defense.”

Costas: “So some of it’s by design?”

McCarthy: “I hate to say that we’re designing to score less points, but I think we’re a little more conscientious of field position, time of possession, things that will make us a more well-rounded football team.”

On the reaction from his hometown (Greenfield, Pa., a neighborhood in Pittsburgh) on the Packers beating the Steelers in the Super Bowl: “It was definitely positive, don’t get me wrong. But Greenfield is a proud neighborhood in the city of Pittsburgh. My parents still live there, so I would have preferred to have played someone else in the Super Bowl, frankly. That was a tough week…it really was more like, ‘Hey, obviously we would have wanted to win it, but if there was anyone else, we’d want it to be you.’”

On being a tollbooth taker on the Pennsylvania Turnpike after college: “I just graduated from college. My father was a Pittsburgh firefighter for over 30-plus years. He didn’t understand the concept of a college education, first job (as a coaching assistant), you don’t get paid. So, he had the opportunity to get me on the Pennsylvania Turnpike through some friends. It was my summer job before we went to training camp.”

On the monotony: “I worked the graveyard shift…I had the playbook. Paul Hacket was the offensive coordinator. He just came from the Dallas Cowboys. It was a pro system. I had never seen anything like it, so I definitely had a lot of studying to do.”

On being near iconic franchises (Steelers as a kid; Packers as a coach): “I feel very blessed. To be the head coach of the Green Bay Packers is just such a special, special opportunity. I just can’t say enough about this organization.”

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