FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 22nd, 2022
PETER KING ADDRESSES DESHAUN WATSON AFTERMATH AND SPEAKS WITH SEAN MCVAY, AARON DONALD AND MATT RYAN AS TRAINING CAMP TOUR CONTINUES IN THIS WEEK’S “FMIA” COLUMN
“If [Watson] doesn’t play great in years two through five of the deal, the decision to trade three first-round picks and to sign him to a ridiculous contract will be viewed in history as a desperate move without a moral compass.” – Peter King on Deshaun Watson’s contract with the Browns
“The league doesn’t like the 11-game suspension, but they wouldn’t have liked the continuing soap opera of this story if Watson had been banned for a season.” – King on Watson’s suspension
“I won’t be surprised if, at the end of this season, he’s considered the best receiver in football.” – King on Vikings WR Justin Jefferson
STAMFORD, Conn. – August 22, 2022 – Peter King addresses the aftermath of the Deshaun Watson suspension in Cleveland and speaks with Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan as his Training Camp Tour continues in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also visits with the Chargers and Vikings, discusses his opinion on preseason games, the new Big Ten media deal, and more.
For more NFL coverage, Peacock offers daily programming on the NBC Sports channel for free, including Pro Football Talk at 7 a.m. ET every weekday, Chris Simms Unbuttoned, The Peter King Podcast, Fantasy Football Happy Hour with Matthew Berry, Brother from Another, and The Dan Patrick Show. To learn more about the NBC Sports on Peacock channel and how to sign up, click here.
The NFL on NBC YouTube channel offers daily football content for free, with exclusive videos from Peter King – including his interviews with players and coaches at training camps – Mike Florio, Chris Simms, and more. To access all of these videos and more, click here to subscribe.
“Fantasy Football Happy Hour with Matthew Berry,” NBC Sports’ new, daily fantasy football and sports betting show, debuts today at Noon ET on Peacock and the NBC on NFL YouTube channel. Click here for more.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
Peter King on Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s apology: “How does one person say—sort of—I’m sorry, and two hours later say, I’m not sorry for anything? It’s disingenuous absurdity.”
King on the Browns’ QB plans for 2022: “I would expect the Browns will look hard at adding a quarterback to supplement Jacoby Brissett. But tamp down the expectations that Jimmy Garoppolo is on the way. Not saying it’s impossible, but I don’t sense the Browns think the conditions are right for it.”
King on the Browns’ thought process regarding Watson’s contract: “If you’re [Browns owner] Jimmy Haslam, who had been through a slew of failed quarterbacks in his 9.5 years as owner, you might think: Taking an avalanche of criticism for a year will be worth it if I have my long-term QB on opening day 2023.”
King on the length of Watson’s suspension: “The league doesn’t like the 11-game suspension, but they wouldn’t have liked the continuing soap opera of this story if Watson had been banned for a season.”
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski to King on Watson’s readiness to play on Dec. 4 after missing almost two years: “In his young career, he’s had so many big moments that I think he’ll be ready to go. I’m not naive enough to say there won’t be some rust or whatever it may be because that’s a long time.”
Browns QB Jacoby Brissett to King on staying focused amidst all of the Watson drama: “I tell myself to stay ready and actually believe it. I knew what I was getting myself into when I signed up for this job. We set a plan when we first started this thing, and we’ve been going along with our plan.”
King on the potential outcomes for Watson and the Browns: “If Watson doesn’t come through counseling on this tremendous flaw a changed person, and if he doesn’t play great in years two through five of the deal, the decision to trade three first-round picks and to sign him to a ridiculous contract will be viewed in history as a desperate move without a moral compass. I know why the Haslams did it, but they’d better be right.”
LOS ANGELES RAMS
Rams head coach Sean McVay to King on QB Matthew Stafford’s arm health: “Looked like Matthew Stafford to me. No restrictions, throwing it all over the yard, all different kinds of launch points.”
Rams defensive tackle and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald to King on his future plans: “I got a two-year commitment right now, so I’m going to do everything I can while I’m here to help the organization win and be successful. I’m gonna last as long as I can, as long as I can play at a high level.”
McVay to King on his future plans to keep coaching or leave for TV: “[I’m] just living in the moment and I know I’m loving coaching right now.”
Donald to King on Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris: “When you get a new coach, it comes down to trust. He let players he trusts give feedback, and he learned his players. It was real good as the season went on.”
Morris to King on his years as a position coach in Washington and Atlanta: “Going to the offensive side in Atlanta, I got to coach and learn from one of the greatest wide receivers to play the game, Julio Jones. I talked to him through a defensive lens, and I learned so much about offensive football at the same time—and remember, I was with Mike Shanahan, Kyle [Shanahan], Sean [McVay], Matt LaFleur in Washington. Honestly, those years were an outstanding turn of events for me.”
Former Rams WR Robert Woods to King on winning the Super Bowl but being unable to play due to injury: “This is worth everything. It’s worth my ACL injury. It’s worth Odell [Beckham Jr.]’s ACL injury. You see the smiles. After the Super Bowl, when the confetti’s coming down, the parade, when we get our rings – it’s all worth it.”
- Watch Now: Click here to watch King interview McVay at Rams training camp
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Chargers QB Justin Herbert to King on his work ethic in practice: “After practice is where if I need to focus on something, I need to work through something, that’s where I’m gonna make that throw again and again. I just feel like it’s something I have to do. I just have to.”
King on Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams: “Seeing Mike Williams lay out in a practice, fully parallel to the ground, for a Herbert deep ball that went just off his fingertips, says a lot about his ethos.”
Linebacker Khalil Mack to King on working with fellow Chargers linebacker Joey Bosa: “You talk about two guys still learning the game and wanting to play it at a high level. It’s been so much fun studying film with this guy. It’s a good mix of finesse and power. We’re gonna try to break records.”
Colts QB Matt Ryan to King on being traded to Indianapolis after 14 seasons with the Falcons: “When you’re going through it, it hurts. Obviously it does. You wake up every day for a decade and a half and you’re giving it everything you can to try and help that organization. But at the same time, I’m not going to let four, five days mar the experience that I had for 14-plus years of enjoyment.”
Ryan to King on his future plans to keep playing: “My mindset is not for one year. I still feel like I’m playing very well. Obviously you never know what’s gonna happen. But I would say it’s more likely six [more seasons] than it is one.”
Colts head coach Frank Reich to King on coaching five different QBs in five years: “The crazy thing is, I never thought any of them would be one-and-done. Andrew Luck was gut-wrenching, obviously. Jacoby Brissett, we made a tough decision after one year. Philip [Rivers], I thought he’d play a couple of years. Carson [Wentz], that was gut-wrenching too. Now with Matt [Ryan], I definitely don’t think it’s only one year.”
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor to King on individual records: “You can have all the yards and all the records, and if you don’t get the wins, what does it all mean? I just don’t care.”
Vikings first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell to King on his team-building approach: “From day one here, we talked about building a positive culture…I learned it from, in my opinion, one of the best at cultivating that culture, Sean McVay. Not that we’re going to duplicate everything that happened in L.A. or try to, but I’d be a fool not to want that type of work environment for these players.”
King on Vikings WR Justin Jefferson: “I won’t be surprised if, at the end of this season, he’s considered the best receiver in football.”
King on Vikings QB Kirk Cousins: “I think he got tired of the [Mike] Zimmer negativity and should thrive under [Kevin] O’Connell, who will run a completions-based offense (aren’t they all?), likely with two or three more downfield throws per game, or at least chances for them, than Cousins is used to.”
Vikings WR Adam Thielen to King on the O’Connell offense: “What’s cool is that we’ve learned you never know when the shot’s coming. But we all see that it could be on any play, and to any of us. That’s a great offense to be in.”
NEWS & NOTES
King on preseason games: “I think preseason games, mostly, are a gigantic waste of time…The games should be eliminated. In their place: The league should televise the joint practices more and more teams have now.”
King on the Big Ten’s new media deal: “I think that’s a fascinating media deal by the Big Ten, giving the conference the best football deal in college sports and boosting the exposure of both men’s and women’s basketball.”
King: “I think putting a football tripleheader on the big networks every Saturday, football from noon to 11:30 p.m. ET, is precisely what the NFL did, right down to NBC now owning the prime-time football windows on Saturday and Sunday nights.”
King on the Steelers’ QB battle: “I think when [Steelers head coach] Mike Tomlin says he wants to see Kenny Pickett in more ‘varsity action,’ that’s a signal his mind is a sliver open about his QB1 decision…Mitchell Trubisky is very likely the opening-day starter, but good on Pickett for making it interesting.”
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- “Fantasy Football Happy Hour with Matthew Berry,” NBC Sports’ new, daily fantasy football and sports betting show, debuts today at Noon ET on Peacock and the NBC on NFL YouTube channel. “Fantasy Football Happy Hour” discusses the most newsworthy fantasy football and sports betting topics as the NFL season approaches and fantasy football drafts heat up. The one-hour, weekday show is co-hosted by Jay Croucher and will feature analysis and advice from regular guests including NBC Sports’ Chris Simms, Mike Florio and Peter King, NBC Sports EDGE’s Denny Carter, Pat Daugherty, Vaughn Dalzell, Lawrence Jackson, and more. The show, which will also be available on all major podcast platforms and via NBC Sports Audio on SiriusXM Radio, will feature fantasy football rankings, start/sit suggestions, waiver wire advice, betting futures, player props, and more.
- PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio (Mondays) and Florio and Chris Simms (Tuesday-Thursday) streams on Peacock from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET on weekdays & is available on-demand. The Dan Patrick Show streams at 9 a.m. ET, Fantasy Football Happy Hour with Matthew Berry at Noon ET, Brother From Another at 3 p.m. ET, PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET. At 6 p.m. ET, Chris Simms Unbuttoned streams Tuesday-Friday.
- ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest news and updates.
- NBC Sports EDGE’s A Good Football Show continues the NFL discussion and Bet The Edge Podcast provides daily betting insights.
- The NFL on NBC YouTube channel offers daily football content for free, with exclusive videos from Peter King – including his interviews with players and coaches at training camps – Mike Florio, Chris Simms, and more. To access all of these videos and more, click here to subscribe
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.