Sunday, November 26th, 2017


We can win it all. We should win it all. I sense that about the group.” – Mike Tomlin 

“I’m going to embrace the elephant in the room, it’s going to be fireworks.” – Tomlin on their game against New England

 “I believe my mind definitely got sharper throughout this process.” – James Conner on recovering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma

STAMFORD, Conn. – November 26, 2017 – Tonight’s Week 12 edition of NBC’s Football Night in America, the most-watched weekly studio show in sports, will feature Tony Dungy’s interview with Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin and Michele Tafoya’s interview with Steelers RB James Conner. Football Night will also include highlights, analysis, and reaction to earlier Week 12 games ahead of Packers-Steelers tonight on Sunday Night Football.

Football Night airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC. Mike Tirico will host Sunday’s program live from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Penn., joined on site by the Sunday Night Football team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Tafoya.

Dan Patrick hosts Football Night from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1, joined by Hall of Famer Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, and NFL Insider Mike Florio of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. Kathryn Tappen will report from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on the Saints-Rams game.

INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Dungy’s interview with Tomlin and Tafoya’s interview with Conner. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”


Tomlin on what he thought when Ben Roethlisberger told him he was considering retirement: “I was thinking that I hope he doesn’t. [Laughs] We’ve had these conversations, you know, when your quarterback gets into his mid-30s. We go to dinner every year at the end of the year, so I called to check on our dinner plans. We’re going to eat…and by the way.”

Tomlin on whether he had to do anything to reassure the team after Le’Veon Bell didn’t come into camp: “No. And, sometimes your team doesn’t need to be reassured. Just do your job. That’s probably the mentality that I had regarding that.”

Tomlin on Antonio Brown throwing a cooler during a game and Martavis Bryant’s comment on Twitter: “See, I played wide receiver. It’s probably one of the few jobs in all of professional sport where you’re so dependent on others for you to have an opportunity to impact the game. I probably have a little bit more patience for some of that than most. It allows me to kind of navigate and not get distracted, and see those guys for what they really are, which is a hard working team that can get off course every now and then.”

Dungy: “What do you do to bring them back on course?”

Tomlin: “Give them the truth. Often times when confronted with the truth of how they are behaving and how it negatively impacts us, they’re reasonable men.”

Tomlin on how he manages to be honest during his press conferences: “I try to get a couple things done. I want to do my professional due diligence and answer questions, but I also want to talk to the football team.”

Dungy: “So you use that press conference to talk to the team?”

Tomlin: “No question. And that’s probably my primary function.”

Tomlin on how good his team is: “I have a lot of optimism. I think it’s a good mix of guys. I think that mix and their willingness just to share their experiences lends itself in a very positive way.”

Dungy: “How good can they be?”

Tomlin: “Oh, we can win it all. We should win it all. I sense that about the group. In terms of talent, in terms of having enough competition, depth, I think we check all those boxes. But, checking the boxes doesn’t run the race.”

Tomlin on how he keeps from focusing on their game against New England in December: “Man, I’m going to embrace the elephant in the room, it’s going to be fireworks. It’s probably going to be part one, and that’s going to be a big game. But probably, if we’re both doing what we’re supposed to do, the second one is really going to be big. And what happens in the first is going to set up the second one, and determine the location in the second one.”


Conner on being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma: “You think you’re healthy and you hear about someone having cancer, and you say a prayer for them and you go about your day. But, when it’s with you, it never leaves. It was tough. It was heavy on me. I really didn’t expect it. I wasn’t scared.”

Conner on how he wasn’t afraid of his diagnosis: “My faith, the way I was raised with my brothers, Glen, Richard and Michael. They raised me to not be scared of anything, and think that they’re not scared of anything. They built me for it.”

Conner on if there is anything he’s better at since the treatment and training: “The way I think, that definitely helped me. I’ve been in a dark place before. You start thinking things, and you learn how to control your mind and see how you can get that winning edge. I believe my mind definitely got sharper throughout this process.”

Conner on how he came out of the dark moments: “With time. Prayer and time.”

Conner on if there is anything he can’t do that he could before the cancer: “No, not at all. I’m good, I’m back 100%. No limit.”

Conner on going through everything and ending up in the NFL: “Everything happened so fast. I’m thankful for everything, and if I could go back, I wouldn’t change anything. A lot of ups and downs like a roller coaster, but I always just focus on the positive.”

Tafoya: “You would not change having to go through cancer and chemotherapy and all of that?”

Conner: “No, not at all. It made me so grateful, and appreciative of everything. It’s like a movie, almost, the way everything played out. So, no, I wouldn’t change nothing. Everything was meant to be, and I’m a Pittsburgh Steeler, so, I’m happy.”