Sunday, November 16th, 2014


I’ve seen enough. I don’t think he fits in the system. I think you have to get rid of him.” – Rodney Harrison on Robert Griffin III

“He’s the best all-around running back in the game.” — Hines Ward on Jamaal Charles

I really think it’s time the NFL starts to think about shrinking the goal posts a bit. There’s no drama to it. It’s just too easy.” – Cris Collinsworth on field goals

STAMFORD, Conn. – November 16, 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 Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. Costas was joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, NBC NFL analyst Hines Ward, and NBC Sports’ Josh Elliott.

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, and NFL Insider Peter King. Carolyn Manno reported from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., on the Eagles-Packers game.

In addition, Harrison spoke with New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and received an on-field demonstration at Gillette Stadium on how Gronkowski derails defenders’ attempts to cover him. Elliott interviewed Indianapolis Colts WRs T. Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America:


Collinsworth: “Be careful about the Kansas City Chiefs right now, too. They can play defense and run the ball — pretty good formula come a little cold weather.”

Ward on Jamaal Charles: “Right now, he’s the best all-around running back in the game. What was so impressive about that game: Kansas City has no wide receivers, so Seattle played eight guys in the box and they still couldn’t stop him.”

Dungy: “Kansas City is playing the best ball in that division (AFC West), and Denver still has to go to Kansas City.”


Dungy on loss to Chiefs: “They weren’t able to run the ball effectively when they needed to.”

Patrick on Earl Thomas: “You brought up the great point that with Earl Thomas, it’s feast or famine. He’s either going to force a fumble or, if he (the opposing player) gets behind you, it’s going to be a touchdown.”

Harrison on Thomas: “He’s the free safety for a reason. He’s the last line of defense. He has to make the sure tackle.”


Collinsworth: “It’s not a fluke. It’s time we all start paying attention to this football team.”

Dungy on Cardinals defense: “It is great.”


Dungy: “They do not have good pass protection. They do not have good coverage. They’re just struggling in all areas.”

Harrison: “They’ve surrounded him (Robert Griffin III) with great weapons. I just think it comes down to RGIII. I don’t think he can read coverages. The offensive line is really bad. Defensively they gave up a lot of plays. They have a lot of issues on this team.”

Harrison on RGIII: “He’s been in the league three years. If you need six more games to determine if he’s going to be your future quarterback, you need a new coach and a new scouting department. I’ve seen enough. I don’t think he fits in the system. I think you have to get rid of him.”


Dungy on Aldon Smith’s return: “He’s the one guy who can create his own rush on the 49ers…and this comes at just the right time. You talk about teams that need to get on a roll. San Francisco does, and Smith just might be the sparkplug for that.”

Harrison on Aldon Smith: “He had Eli (Manning) confused and worried about that rush all day.”


Harrison on Odell Beckham, Jr.: “He is going to be special.”


Harrison: “The one thing we know about the Rams – they can rush the passer. They played Peyton (Manning) exactly how you have to play him: you have to pressure him and you have to beat up the receivers, and they were very aggressive and physical.”


Dungy: “It’s not just another game.”

Harrison: “What it comes down to is home-field advantage, and that’s what Bill Belichick and the Patriots are thinking.”

Harrison on Rob Gronkowski: “He’s a silly guy. He likes to have fun. But the maturity level, early in his career, he had a lot of off-the-field issues. You don’t see those issues. I’ve gone through a lot of different injuries, and injuries have a way of giving you perspective and making you humble.”


Dungy: Usually you say, ‘One of these teams is going to get hot and get on a streak.’ I don’t see that happening. I think seven wins wins this division. First team to seven wins.”

Harrison on Falcons: “I don’t trust this team moving forward.”


King: “Adrian Peterson’s punishment under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy will come as soon as tomorrow. I believe the NFL could come down hard. Two reasons: The NFL has no information or proof that similar corporal punishment will not happen again. Number two: The NFL does not believe that the nine games Peterson has missed constitute time served because he’s been paid.”

Florio: “There’s a separate track here because on Monday an arbitrator will hold a hearing on the question of whether Peterson should remain on the Commissioner Exempt list where he’s essentially suspended with pay. Now a ruling will be required by Saturday, which means Peterson could be eligible to play by next Sunday when the Vikings host the Packers. So if the league is going to suspend him under the Personal Conduct Policy, they need to move quickly. It needs to be resolved or Peterson could be back by next week.”


Collinsworth on field goals: “I really think it’s time the NFL starts to think about shrinking the goal posts a bit. There’s no drama to it. It’s just too easy. At least for the top guys it is. There is a point in time where you have to say, ‘We’ve got to change a little bit.’”

Below are excerpts from Harrison’s interview with New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, and Elliott’s interview with Indianapolis Colts WRs T. Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne.


Harrison, a former New England Patriots safety, joined Gronkowski on the field at Gillette Stadium to discuss how he shakes off defenders who try to cover him. The two went through several scenarios, including when Gronkowski faced Broncos LB Von Miller during New England’s 43-21 victory over Denver in Week 9.

On his one-handed catch during the Broncos-Patriots game, which Patriots QB Tom Brady said was “the best” catch he has ever seen: “[Tom Brady] told me he was just throwing the ball to get rid of it so he didn’t get sacked. So, he just threw it up in the air and I was running that way. It was just a natural reaction. I wasn’t thinking ‘I’m going to one-hand that.’ I was just running and saw the ball and stuck my hand in the air and caught it.”


Wayne on having a teammate take his job for the greater good of the team: “That’s the way it goes. That’s part of the process. It’s my business to make it a hard decision. When guys come in, I don’t mind giving them my two cents. I don’t mind sharing the wealth. In my mind, I’m giving it everything. I’m practicing as hard as I possibly can, and if he [Hilton] is trying to top that, we’re going to be awesome.”

Hilton on how hard it was to see Wayne hurt last season: “It was very hard. Coach always said, ‘Prepare like you’re a starter.’ When he went down, all of that went out the window. I thought, ‘Oh, no. Oh, no. 87 is down!’ I saw him go into the locker room, and that’s when I grew up quick. I thought, ‘you’re prepared, you’re ready.’ But at the same time, that really hurt, to see your big brother go down. But, I had to step up and become a man.”

Wayne on watching Hilton start: “I enjoyed watching him progress. He made it exciting for me. That’s also one of the main reasons why I wanted to make sure I was on the sidelines for every game. I wanted T. Y. to see that, ‘I’m still here with you.’ If he needed to come to the sideline and ask a question, nothing changed. I’m still there.”

Hilton on Wayne: “I’m blessed to have him. A big brother like this, what more can I ask for? I’m not going to let him leave [laughs]… Whatever it takes, I need him with me.”