FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, October 21st, 2018
“FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA” – WEEK 7 NOTES & QUOTES
“That’s a bunch of garbage saying that the pressure is off. You’re defending Super Bowl champions. The pressure is always on you.” – Rodney Harrison refuting Eagles head coach Doug Pederson’s claim
“I really believe it started this summer in the offseason with Jalen Ramsey doing a lot of talking about other teams and who wasn’t good. Just take care of your business.” – Tony Dungy on Jaguars’ struggles
“He is a very talented guy, but at times he is very dirty. What he has to understand is it hurts your team and it becomes a distraction.” – Harrison on Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict
“I’m going to go with the Chiefs. My mom has Mahomes on her fantasy team, so I need him to have a good night tonight to make momma happy.” – NASCAR on NBC analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Pick for Bengals-Chiefs
“This town and this team has ‘Mahomes Fever.’” – Al Michaels
STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 21, 2018 – Mike Tirico hosted the Week 7 edition of Football Night in America tonight from NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., in advance of the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs. Tirico was joined on the set by analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison and NFL Insider Mike Florio.
Liam McHugh co-hosted Football Night on site from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. He was joined by the SNF team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya.
FNIA looked back at the childhood of Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, and included interviews with his mother Randi Mahomes and his father and former MLB pitcher Pat Mahomes. Click here to watch Randi Mahomes’ interview. Click here to watch Pat Mahomes’ interview.
NBC Sports celebrated a Kansas City Sunday doubleheader on NBC with NASCAR Cup Series racing from Kansas Speedway today, leading into tonight’s SNF matchup at Arrowhead Stadium. NASCAR on NBC analyst Dale Earnhardt, Jr. drove 23 miles from Kansas Speedway to Arrowhead Stadium following today’s race on NBC and was interviewed by McHugh during FNIA. Additionally, Tafoya rode shotgun with NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton as he gave her a tour around Kansas Speedway at 100 mph. Click here to watch Tafoya’s trip around the track with Burton.
NBC Sports’ Week 7 edition of FNIA also included highlights, analysis, and news from around the league.
Following are Notes & Quotes from the Week 7 edition of Football Night in America:
Earnhardt’s pick to win tonight’s game: “I’m going to go with my buddy Clint Bowyer and I’m going to go with the Chiefs. My mom has Mahomes on her fantasy team, so I need him to have a good night tonight to make momma happy.”
McHugh: “You’re coming to a football game – you might see a track meet.”
Michaels comparing the 2018 Chiefs to prior Chiefs teams: “This does feel different and a lot of it has to do with the quarterback. We talked the other day to Travis Kelce…he said, ‘That was a tough loss last week in New England, but nobody is hanging their head. There is a different energy here with Patrick Mahomes in the huddle.’ He can throw it a mile and a half, it’s a quick strike attacking offense, and you can feel it all around town. This town and this team has ‘Mahomes Fever.’”
Dungy on impact of Mahomes growing up around professional athletes: “I do think growing up in that type of environment definitely helps him be an NFL quarterback. I know from my boys, growing up in the locker room and being around Peyton Manning – things just don’t seem so big. Third-and-5 when you’re facing the blitz doesn’t really matter after you’ve shagged balls with A-Rod and Derek Jeter.”
Dungy on Cincinnati’s drafting pattern: “Even when I was coaching 10 years ago, we’d be in our draft meetings and there would be a guy who was very talented and had off-the-field issues. We would always say, ‘Cincinnati will take him.’ That’s what they did. They believed guys like Vontaze Burfict, Joe Mixon, guys that many in the league had off the board, they would draft them and say talent is going to win out.”
Harrison on Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict, who was fined $112,000 for multiple plays in Week 6 vs. Pittsburgh: “He is a very talented guy, but at times he is very dirty. What he has to understand is it hurts your team and it becomes a distraction. Any time any of your teammates have to answer questions about you it becomes a distraction. It hurts him professionally. No matter how well you go out there and play, it’s always going to be overshadowed on those types of antics. He’s too good of a player to continue that.”
Florio on Burfict: “There were some in the league office that wanted to suspend Vontaze Burfict. He’s got a history of suspensions, but I’m told that there was a concern that if they suspend him, the appeal process, which is independent, could possibly overturn it. The concern was the message to the locker rooms would be, ‘The league is trying to overreach.’ But Burfict was told that in no uncertain terms in writing that any further offenses will result in a suspension, not a fine.”
Dungy following Eagles’ loss to Panthers: “I want to know what’s happening with that Super Bowl championship defense. They are up 17 points at home and lose the ballgame today…big trouble in Philly.”
Harrison responding to head coach Doug Pederson’s comments that the pressure is off the Eagles: “That’s a bunch of garbage saying that the pressure is off. You’re defending Super Bowl champions. The pressure is always on you. This is a trick by head coach trying to reverse everything to say, ‘You know what, we’re struggling right now, and we are underachieving so now we’re the victim.’ You’re not the victim.”
FNIA covered the Panthers-Eagles pre-game events that took place between Panthers DB Eric Reid and Eagles DB Malcolm Jenkins. The segment featured both players’ post-game comments about the incident, which included Reid’s displeasure with Jenkins’ role in the movement started by free agent QB Colin Kaepernick. Reid was one of the first players to support Kaepernick. Click here to watch the segment.
Florio: “This isn’t the first time that Eric Reid has had strong comments about Malcolm Jenkins, but Jenkins has always taken the high road. Back when Reid was unsigned, Jenkins went public and said, ‘I think Eric Reid is being blackballed the same way Colin Kaepernick is.’”
Dungy: “For Eric Reid, no matter how you feel about that, you’ve got to leave that off the field. You can’t take that out there in the pre-game coin toss.”
From halftime of Sunday Night Football:
Dungy on illegal snap call against Dallas prior to field goal attempt at end of fourth quarter (illustrating both snaps using side-by-side footage): “This was a terrible call. An illegal snap has to be an abrupt movement or something unusual. The Dallas center does neither one of those. It’s not abrupt nor is it unusual. That is his normal motion. He did it on the snap before that. You look at the next snap and he does the exact same thing.”
Tirico: “That might have been good from 47 (yards away). If that was offside on Washington instead of the snap infraction, that field goal would have been from 42. (Long snapper) L.P. Ladouceur has been around for a long time. He said that’s been his natural motion all the time. Surprising to see it called in a game-deciding situation.”
Harrison following loss to Texans: “They are definitely in trouble. They benched their starting QB, they lose three straight, and their defense is playing very soft …if you want to know what’s going on with the Jacksonville Jaguars, just take a look at the tape. They are flat out soft.”
Dungy on the Jaguars’ struggles: “I really believe it started this summer in the offseason with Jalen Ramsey doing a lot of talking about other teams and who wasn’t good. Just take care of your business. I know in our locker room, or (to Rodney) in your Patriots locker room, that talk would have been stopped by leaders on the team.” (Watch Dungy’s comments here.)
Harrison on Jaguars’ leadership: “You have all of this talent. Talent is one thing, but when you start facing a little bit of adversity, now you start to see. You hear about the bickering locker room, the back-and-forth. This is where it’s time for the true leaders like Calais Campbell and those guys to stand up and really take control of this locker room.”
Harrison on Washington’s defense following win vs. Dallas: “I know Josh Norman is a big name of the defensive side of the ball, but D.J. Swearinger had an interception and forced a fumble. He’s all over the field every single time I watch the tape.”
Dungy on impact of RB Adrian Peterson: “What he’s given them is identity. ‘Hey, we can run the football,’ and that helps Alex Smith with the play action and the quick passing game. They’re going to be tough.”
Tirico on K Justin Tucker addressing the media after missing game-tying extra point at end of fourth quarter: “Good for him. A lot of credit to him to bring himself to the podium and face the music.”
Tirico on the Niners’ 39-10 loss to the Rams: “You see Jerry Rice and T.O. on-hand, it was an alumni weekend (in San Francisco). They could have used some of the old players.”
Harrison on DE Aaron Donald: “How do you even hesitate to pay a guy like that? Give him $200 million if you have to.”
RANDI, PAT AND PATRICK MAHOMES ON PATRICK’S CHILDHOOD
Randi Mahomes: “Patrick had it set in his head that he was going to be a professional athlete. It was not like, ‘It’s a dream of mine.’ It was, ‘I’m going to be that.’ And I knew he had the talent to be that.”
Former New York Mets P Pat Mahomes on bringing his son to Shea Stadium: “He was four years old the first time I started taking him up to Shea Stadium. I had the clubhouse manager make him a little uniform. I was watching him run around and I knew he was having a great time.”
Patrick Mahomes added: “Being able to go out there and shag (batting practice) and doing all those things was something that I’ll never forget.”
Pat Mahomes on Patrick participating in batting practice: “He was out there diving, catching balls. I started thinking to myself, ‘A normal five-year-old does not do stuff like this.”
Randi Mahomes on Patrick Mahomes’ competitiveness: “Patrick was very competitive even as a kid. He wanted everything to be a ball. Wherever we were, he was going to try to toss something at you.”
Patrick Mahomes on being around baseball: “I loved being in the locker room and at the field, so I would go in there every single day.”
Pat Mahomes on Patrick being around Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and other stars: “Patrick got the chance to be around a lot of great guys – (Alex Rodriguez), Derek Jeter – icons of the game. He got to go there and see the way they worked and what they did to prepare themselves for the games. He was always a student.”
Pat Mahomes on his son playing football: “A friend of mine named Willie Banks, he was playing catch with Patrick with a football and Willie told me, ‘This boy is going to be a quarterback.’ And I was like, ‘No, he’s going to be a baseball player. And if he’s not going to be a baseball player, he’s going to be a basketball player. He’s just messing around with football.’ Evidently, I was wrong.”
Randi Mahomes on Patrick Mahomes being drafted by Kansas City: “To see your child get to live his dream and to know that he’s happy, that can’t be replaced. I prayed for him to go somewhere that felt like home. And I will say, Kansas City feels like home. I wanted him to be in a place that he could feel home.”
—FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA—