“It’s a new era… We have to get accustomed to making sure that we start fast and make certain we finish.” – Jim Caldwell on the 2015 Lions
“People keep saying that the Broncos’ offense is struggling and Peyton is struggling, but all I know is that he keeps winning.” – Caldwell on Peyton Manning
STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 27, 2015 – For tonight’s Week 3 edition of NBC’s Football Night In America, the most-watched studio show in sports, Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy interviews Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell. Football Night will also preview NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Broncos and Lions, and include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 3 games.
Football Night airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC, with Bob Costas hosting the program live from inside the stadium. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, and NBC NFL analyst Hines Ward.
Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn., and is joined by Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison; Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com and NBCSN, and NFL insider Peter King. Paul Burmeister will report from Century Link Field in Seattle, Wash., on the Bears-Seahawks game.
INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Dungy’s interview with Caldwell. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”
JIM CALDWELL WITH TONY DUNGY
Note: Caldwell spent 10-seasons working with Dungy in Indianapolis as the Colts’ quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach, before ultimately being assigned as head coach following Dungy’s retirement.
Caldwell on why this year’s team should not be considered “the same old Lions”: “It’s a new era, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes you go through the ebb and flow of the season. Sometime you start slow. When you start slow in this league, you will usually end up with an L and not a W. We have to get accustomed to making sure that we start fast and make certain we finish.”
Caldwell on the similarities between Lions QB Matthew Stafford and Broncos QB Peyton Manning, when he was younger: “I absolutely do see it. There are a lot of similarities. He’s a strong-arm guy. They both love to play the game with enthusiasm and toughness. He can throw the ball all day long, but really needs to refine some things. That was one of the reasons I thought it was so important to get Jim Bob Cooter here. Jim Bob obviously worked with Peyton and I in Indianapolis. He’s teaching the exact same rhythm of throws, exact same drills and technique that we worked on through those years. I think you will start to see some of those things begin pay off.”
Caldwell on coaching against Manning for the first time, after working with him in Indianapolis for 10-years: “One of the things that we know about him is that he’s the most diligent worker there is… and understands what makes his unit go. People keep saying that the Broncos’ offense is struggling and Peyton is struggling, but all I know is that he keeps winning. It’s our job to stop him.”
“The other thing that we need to eliminate is the run on the other side as well. We need to create a one-dimensional atmosphere for them. I think you’ll start to see things balance out if we can do that. Peyton can get pretty hot, and if the running game is going for him, then you really have a problem because he’s going to play-action you to death.”
Caldwell on his communication with Manning this week, who he regularly shares texts with during the season: “It has been dead silent, but that’s the way he operates (laughing). He’s focused in on what he’s doing. That is exactly what I expect.”
–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–