FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

NOTES & QUOTES FROM NBC’S “FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA” – WEEK 9

“There is nothing like this the entire year. So exciting.” – Cris Collinsworth on Ravens-Steelers rivalry

“There was a genuine dislike for the Ravens in the Steelers organization.” – Hines Ward

 “He didn’t care about everyone else’s feelings about Mark Sanchez.” – Tony Dungy on Chip Kelly

“This defense is playing fabulous.” – Rodney Harrison on the Dolphins

STAMFORD, Conn. – November 2, 2014 – Following are highlights from NBC’s Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside the Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa. Costas was joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, and NBC NFL analyst Hines Ward.

Dan Patrick co-hosted Football Night from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1. He was joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com, and NFL Insider Peter King. Kathryn Tappen reported from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on the Broncos-Patriots game.

In addition, Costas interviewed Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, while Ward spoke with his former rival, Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell Suggs.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America:

ON BRONCOS-PATRIOTS

Patrick on Patriots finish: “Extreme gamesmanship there towards the end. It looked like (Bill) Belichick wanted 50 points.”

Dungy: “He’s trying to put up points, John Fox is calling time outs, they’re throwing the ball at the end of the game. I’m not sure what all that was about.”

Harrison: “He preaches they play 60 minutes.”

Harrison: “This is a big win for the Patriots, not just to build confidence but…this is a win for home-field advantage. You don’t want to have to go to Denver in January.”

Click here for Tappen’s interview with Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski: http://www.nbcsports.com/football/nfl/today-nfl-gronk-helps-patriots-top-broncos

ON SEAHAWKS

Harrison: “Seattle’s special teams have been really bad this year.”

ON 49ERS

Harrison: “Frank Gore had 14 rushes today. It’s not enough.”

Dungy: “The San Francisco 49ers are in trouble. I don’t know what’s wrong with them. They fall to 4-4, they’re three games behind Arizona, and they’re not playing good football.”

ON EAGLES

Dungy on Mark Sanchez: “I have to credit Chip Kelly. Chip played against Mark Sanchez in the Pac 12. He knew what he could do, and he didn’t care about everyone else’s feelings about Mark Sanchez. He did some things that Mark could do, and Sanchez played well today.”

Harrison on the Eagles being his winner of the day: “Winning on the road, winning with a backup quarterback. They’re now in first place.”

ON CHIEFS

Dungy: “They used the formula they were using last year: solid offense and special teams to get the lead, then they’re turning some great pass rushers loose.”

ON DOLPHINS

Harrison: “This defense is playing fabulous.”

ON REDSKINS

Patrick on RGIII not running for a potential first down: “Do you think we’ll ever get back to that RGIII or is that guy gone that would have run for the first down?”

Dungy: “Two knee surgeries, he may be gone.”

ON VIKINGS

Dungy on Teddy Bridgewater: “Have to give him credit. We all focused on RGIII, but Bridgewater brought them back time after time. He really showed a lot of poise, and I think the Vikings have a keeper.”

ON AFC NORTH

Costas: “Every team in the division is over .500. The loser tonight will still be over .500, but will be in the basement in the division.”

Collinsworth: “It would not surprise me to see any of these teams win the division.”

ON RAVENS-STEELERS

Collinsworth on rivalry and cold weather: “There is nothing like this the entire year. So exciting, and we got a little hitting weather out here tonight.”

Ward: “This was one of those games you circled. No one in the building was allowed to wear purple. James Harrison, he pulled Mike Wallace’s (Air) Jordans off because they had purple and threw them in the cold tub…There was a genuine dislike for the Ravens in the Steelers organization.”

Ward on where the intensity of the rivalry started: “I really think it starts back with Tony Siragusa. When he said, ‘When you see a Steeler fan in the stands, beat the crap out of him,’ that just resonated with all the players and that began the rivalry.”

Dungy on Steelers retiring Joe Greene’s number: “I played with him. We had nine guys, Hall of Famers, on that team. He was unquestionably the leader; the best leader I’ve ever been around…He was Chuck Noll’s first draft choice and he changed the whole tenor of the organization.”

ON ADRIAN PETERSON

Florio: “Adrian Peterson can’t play until his pending felony child abuse charges are resolved, and they could be resolved fairly soon. There is a hearing on Tuesday, and I’m told that the lawyers are working on a potential plea bargain that would reduce the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor…And the question would be what punishment, if any, would the NFL impose on Adrian Peterson over and above the time he has already missed?”

ON RAY RICE INVESTIGATION

Tafoya: “The investigation by former FBI Chief Robert Mueller into the NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice case is ongoing. I spoke with Steelers’ President Art Rooney II, who along with Giants’ owner John Mara is overseeing the investigation, and he told me those three men are meeting several times a month, either via conference call or face-to-face. While there is still no timeline for completion of the investigation, he hopes it will be finished by year’s end.

“Meanwhile, Rice’s appeal of his indefinite suspension will begin Wednesday in New York where his legal team is expected to argue that he was punished twice for the same incident. They will also seek immediate reinstatement, as well as back pay for the games that they believe Rice could have played.  Testifying at that hearing will be Ray and Janay Rice, Roger Goodell, Ravens’ President Dick Cass and GM Ozzie Newsome, along with four other people who were present for Rice’s disciplinary hearing before the Commissioner back in June.”

Following are Costas’ interview with Roethlisberger, and Ward’s interview with Suggs.

TERRELL SUGGS WITH HINES WARD

Note: NBC Sports commentator Hines Ward had a spirited on-field relationship with Ravens LB Terrell Suggs when Ward was a WR with Pittsburgh (1998-2011).

Ward: “Let’s get right to it…do you still hate me?”

Suggs: “Get back to me tomorrow after the game. I can’t answer that right now.”

Ward: “Even without the jersey on?”

Suggs: “Even without the jersey on. No matter what Peyton Manning is doing right now with Denver, he will always be a Colt. Tom Brady will always be a Patriot. You will always be a Steeler. I don’t know what it is, I can’t like you. You know what I mean? You seem like a real cool dude right now, but I just can’t.”

Ward: “Do you even know my name?”

Suggs: “Oh, I know your name. [Laughs] I have more than one for you, but I know it.”

Ward: “Is there someone on the team now that you hate just as much as you hated me when I was playing?”

Suggs: “Oh, there will never be another 86…because you didn’t just do it with your mouth, you did it with your pads and with your playing. You always did something to affect the emotion of the game, and a lot of times, it won the game for you. As your opponent, I had to hate you because it’s a rivalry, but I do respect it…you would have made one hell of a Raven.”

Ward: “How do Steelers fans treat 55?”

Suggs: “They do a good job of welcoming me in Heinz Field. It’s very vivid on not only what they would like to do to my team, but to myself. There’s no bigger stadium to me than Heinz Field. I love it every time I come here, and I love the opportunity that I have in front of me.”

Ward: “Is the Ravens-Steelers still the best rivalry in the NFL?”

Suggs: “Yeah, it still is. That’s why when the scheduling came out, they gave this the Sunday Night game. Ravens-Steelers, this one is going to stick to you not just the rest of the year, but I bet you can remember every time you beat us and every time you lost to us, too…how you felt walking off of the field. These games are kind of personal. Everything that goes on around you, your whole atmosphere, it’s like, don’t talk to me until after the game…it’s the biggest thing in the world.”

http://www.nbcsports.com/football/nfl/terrell-suggs-roethlisberger-still-elite

BEN ROETHLISBERGER WITH BOB COSTAS

On his failed pooch punt against the Colts last week: “You know what, the crowd was getting extra loud because it was fourth down, and [Maurkice] Pouncey couldn’t hear me give him the snap count. We were a little late with the delay. I told [Kelvin] Beachum I was mad at him because he’s ruining my pooch punt average…he brought it way down…it’s killing me.”

On turning the season around after losses to Tampa Bay and Cleveland: “We don’t listen to ‘elevator music’ as Coach Mike Tomlin would call it. Those outside people talking, we have a lot of people comment and doubt. We just go out and give it everything we have every week and try and get wins.”

On whether he feels overlooked compared to QB match-ups such as Drew Brees vs. Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady: “Nah, it’s alright. I know what I mean to this team and the franchise and the organization. Joe Flacco and I will have our game this week.”

On what makes the Ravens-Steelers rivalry so special: “It probably started even before I got here, but I really felt like [it was guys like] Joey Porter, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs…I’ve really tried to help carry that on and I think guys are understanding that this rivalry is something special. Two like-minded cities that are tough…it’s a fun rivalry.”

http://www.nbcsports.com/football/nfl/ben-roethlisberger-rivalry-something-special

FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA