Ben Roethlisberger And Pittsburgh Steelers Host Joe Flacco And Rival Baltimore Ravens On NBC’s Sunday Night Football

FNIA-nfl-nbcCoverage Begins with Football Night In America at 7 p.m. ET on NBC

NBC Sports Live Extra to Live Stream Ravens-Steelers

NFL Turning Point Airs Tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Pro Football Talk Weekdays at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

NBCSN Sunday Sports Report Has Comprehensive Post-Game Coverage Sunday Nights at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Stamford, Conn. – Oct. 29, 2014 – Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) look to build on last weekend’s record-setting offensive performance, when they host Joe Flacco and the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens (5-3) this Sunday, Nov. 2, on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Sunday night’s pre-game coverage begins with Football Night In America at 7 p.m. ET.

The Steelers enter Sunday night’s game following a 51-34 win over the Colts last weekend, in which Roethlisberger passed for a career-high 522 yards, the fourth-most in league history, with six touchdowns and no interceptions. With the performance, Roethlisberger became the first player in NFL history with two 500-yard passing games (503 yards vs. Green Bay, 12/20/09), and now boasts a 100-50 (.667) record as a starter in the regular season. With his 100th career regular-season win, Roethlisberger joins Tom Brady (116), and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana (108) and Terry Bradshaw (102) as the only QBs to win at least 100 games in their first 150 career starts (since 1966).

The Ravens look to rebound from a 24-20 loss to the division-leading Bengals in Cincinnati. Earlier this season in Week 2, Flacco threw for two touchdown passes, and the Ravens rushed for 150 yards in a 26-6 win over the Steelers, holding Roethlisberger without a touchdown pass. Baltimore and Pittsburgh sit deadlocked in a tight AFC North race, where all four teams hold winning records.

This Sunday marks the sixth consecutive year that NBC will televise a Ravens-Steelers game, matching Eagles-Cowboys (2009-Dec. 14, 2014) and Eagles-Giants (2007-12) for the longest such streak in NFL history on the broadcast primetime package (ABC 1970-2005; NBC 2006-present).

Calling Ravens-Steelers is seven-time Emmy Award-winner Al Michaels (play-by-play), in his 29th season as the voice of the NFL’s premier primetime package; 15-time Emmy Award-winner Cris Collinsworth, who has won the Emmy for Outstanding Event Analyst in each of his five seasons in the Sunday Night Football booth; and two-time Emmy Award-winning sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.

NBC’s coverage of Sunday Night Football is led by Emmy Award-winning producer Fred Gaudelli and Emmy Award-winning director Drew EsocoffSunday Night Football has won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Series for a record six consecutive years.

Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports, is hosted by 26-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas, who will report from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Sunday. Costas will be joined on site by Collinsworth, Tafoya, and two-time Super Bowl winner Hines Ward.

Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 and will be joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN and NBCSports.com, and Peter King of Sports Illustrated. Kathryn Tappen will report from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on the Broncos-Patriots game.

VIDEO: TONY DUNGY PREVIEWS RAVENS-STEELERS

Dungy on Roethlisberger and Steelers: “He’s gotten confidence in Le’Veon Bell. They’re running the ball – the protection is so much better and shored up – and Ben Roethlisberger has played outstanding the last two weeks.”

Dungy on Ravens-Steelers and AFC North implications: “I really like Baltimore. Right now, they’re the most complete team (in the division). This game will do a lot in determining where these teams go. Pittsburgh cannot afford to go 0-2 against Baltimore. They need to break even if they are going to have a chance to win this division.”

NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

For the seventh consecutive season, Sunday Night Football will be streamed live online. NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product, will stream all SNF games to desktops and tablets. The full HD-quality video stream will come directly from NBC’s broadcast of SNF. For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available at the App Store for iPad and iPod touch, and on select tablet devices within Google Play.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL DIGITAL COVERAGE

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ALL-ACCESS SNF All-Access includes exclusive photos and videos of the Sunday Night Football production team, look-ins on SNF production meetings, Michele Tafoya’s “Ten With Tafoya” interviews with NFL players, and conversations with SNF and FNIA talent.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SOCIAL MEDIA:

NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive social media coverage includes the Sunday Night Football Facebook page, providing exclusive behind-the-scenes SNF content & digital content from NBCSports.comSNF All AccessProFootballTalk.com, and Rotoworld.com, @SNFonNBC, using tweets, photos, Vines and videos & real-time tweets from Michele Tafoya, and a look at SNF through the filters of Instagram.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BUS

NBC Sports Group’s Sunday Night Football bus returns this season to travel the country visiting the host cities of all 17 Sunday Night Football games and postseason games, including Super Bowl XLIX. The bus arrives in each city two to three days prior to the game and stops at local landmarks and events, where fans have the opportunity to interact with America’s most-watched primetime television show via exclusive memorabilia, and an interactive 55-inch touch screen housing social media elements, photos and video. Fans can digitally follow the Sunday Night Football bus at NBCSports.com/FollowSNF.

“THE SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL”

For the third consecutive season NBC Sports presents “The Sunday Night Football,” a custom-made football from Wilson, which will travel with the SNF crew all season. Fans of SNF on Facebook and Twitter can keep up with “The Sunday Night Football” on the SNF Facebook page, and at the end of each SNF game, “The Sunday Night Football” will be signed by the player of the game.

For more information on Sunday Night Football’s comprehensive digital coverage, click here: http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/08/28/nbc-sports-group-surrounds-week-1-of-2014-nfl-season-with-nfl-kickoff-2014-and-sunday-night-football/

NFL TURNING POINT – TONIGHT AT 10:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Tonight’s all new edition of NFL Turning Point, NBCSN’s Emmy Award-nominated weekly NFL show co-produced by NFL Films, will feature in-depth analysis of some of Week 8’s most compelling matchups, including the New Orleans Saints upset over the Green Bay Packers. Airing tomorrow night at 10:30 p.m. ET, the episode will also review the key moments that defined the Eagles-Cardinals, Falcons-Lions and Bengals–Ravens contests.

In addition, NFL Turning Point will bring viewers inside an NFL film study session with Miami Dolphins DE Cameron Wake.

Click here for more info: http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/10/28/packers-saints-headline-new-episode-of-nfl-turning-point-tomorrow-night-at-11-p-m-et-on-nbcsn/

PRO FOOTBALL TALK ON NBCSN WEEKNIGHTS, 5:30 P.M. ET

Pro Football Talk, NBCSN’s daily NFL studio show co-hosted by Mike Florio and Paul Burmeister, airs at 5:30 p.m. ET every Monday through Friday. Pro Football Talk provides all-encompassing coverage of the NFL, and features a roster of NBC Sports football commentators who share a combined eight Super Bowl titles and 169 seasons of NFL experience, including Cris Collinsworth (Thursdays), Tony Dungy (Tuesdays), Hines Ward (Wednesdays), Doug Flutie (Fridays), Jason Taylor, Takeo Spikes, Brian Westbrook, Ross Tucker, Jon Ritchie, NFL coach Kevin Gilbride, and longtime NFL athletic trainer Mike Ryan.

FANTASY FOOTBALL LIVE ON NBCSN TUESDAY – THURSDAY NIGHTS, 6:30 P.M. ET

Fantasy Football Live is a live and on-demand, multi-platform, fantasy football program that airs Tuesday through Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, combining the best fantasy football expertise from Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports, including unique metrics from Yahoo! Sports’ leading fantasy football platform, and full integration with NBC Sports’ premier fantasy sports information site, Rotoworld.com.

Hosted by NBC Sports’ Dave Briggs,  Fantasy Football Live features a roster of Yahoo Sports, NBC Sports and Rotoworld fantasy analysts, including Rotoworld’s Kay Adams, as well as Yahoo Sports’ Brad EvansBrandon Funston and Andy Behrens.

NBCSN SUNDAY SPORTS REPORT SUNDAY NIGHTS, 11:30 P.M. ET

NBCSN Sunday Sports Report, a new, weekly, one-hour program that showcases the news and highlights of the sports properties that are carried by NBC Sports Group, airs every Sunday night at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Hosted by Liam McHugh, NBCSN Sunday Sports Report goes in-depth into the high-profile sports properties that primarily air on NBC and NBCSN, including the Olympics, NFL, NASCAR, NHL, Premier League, golf, Triple Crown horse racing, Notre Dame Football, Formula One, IndyCar and more.

Click here for more info: http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/07/14/nbcsn-sunday-sports-report-premieres-august-17/

NBC SPORTS RADIO

NBC Sports Radio will surround the 2014 NFL season with daily coverage on 439 radio affiliates, highlighted by McNabb and Malone; an all-sports show that leverages the unique perspective of two former NFL quarterbacks, and Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison; featuring three-time All Pro and two-time Super Bowl-winner Rodney Harrison.

To listen to a live stream of NBC Sports Radio, or find your local affiliate, visit www.NBCSportsRadio.com

NBC SPORTS REGIONAL NETWORKS

NBC Sports Regional Networks, which serve top NFL markets such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Houston and San Francisco, will surround the 2014 NFL season with in-depth news, analysis and original programming on the teams that matter most in more than 43 million U.S. households.

2014 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

NBC will broadcast 19 primetime NFL games during the 2014 regular season including NBC’s annual Thanksgiving night game, featuring the heated NFC West rivalry between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.

2014 NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
DATE WEEK MATCHUP
*Sun. Nov. 2 Week 9 Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
*Sun. Nov. 9 Week 10 Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
*Sun. Nov. 16 Week 11 New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts
*Sun. Nov. 23 Week 12 Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
**Thurs. Nov. 27 Week 13 Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
*Sun. Nov. 30 Week 13 Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
*Sun. Dec. 7 Week 14 New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers
*Sun. Dec. 14 Week 15 Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
*Sun. Dec. 21 Week 16 Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
*Sun. Dec. 28 Week 17 TBA

*Flex Week

** Thanksgiving Night Game

Follow “Sunday Night Football” on Twitter @SNFonNBC

Become a fan of “Sunday Night Football” on Facebook at: Facebook.com/SNFonNBC

Follow “Sunday Night Football” on Instagram @snfonnbc

Visit SNF All-Access at: http://snfallaccess.nbcsports.com/

For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

Brady vs. Manning Features Highlight Week 9 NFL Content on ESPN

Sunday NFL Countdown logoBrady vs. Manning Features Highlight Week 9 NFL Content on ESPN

Sunday NFL Countdown: Brady and Manning – Best of SNL; Cardinals WR John Brown; Seahawks Gnome; and More

Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis will preview week 8 on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 10 a.m. Anchor/host Wendi Nix will handle select segments, while NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news.

ESPN reporters at game sites:

·         Cardinals at Cowboys (Ed Werder and Ron Jaworski)

·         Eagles at Texans (Josina Anderson)

·         Chargers at Dolphins (Britt McHenry)

·         Broncos at Patriots (Sal Paolantonio)

Features:

·         Brady and Manning – Best of SNL: Off the field, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have both served as guest hosts of Saturday Night Live, America’s premier sketch comedy and variety show. Countdown presents some of the best moments of these two quarterbacks hosting SNL.

·         Playing with Manning and Brady: In their own words, some of the players who have played with both quarterbacks – WR Wes Welker, C Dan Koppen and DT/FB Dan Klecko – share the similarities, differences, strengths and weaknesses of these Hall of Fame-bound quarterbacks.

·         Brady-Manning – Through the Years: Countdown relives the journey for Brady and Manning with a vignette dating back to their childhood, through pee wee football, high school, college football, and their careers in the NFL.

·         Aqib Talib: In a one-on-one conversation with Countdown’s Michelle Beisner, Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib, formerly with the Patriots, discusses being teammates with Manning and Brady, playing for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, and more

·         Arizona Cardinals’ John Brown: After watching his half-brother James Walker die following nine months in a coma after being shot, John Brown vowed to make it to the NFL – a dream that bound the two brothers together. SportsCenter host Jade McCarthy, in her first report for Countdown, tells how the Cardinals rookie receiver has turned the tragedy into a motivating force behind his success in the National Football League.

·         The Seattle Gnome: After the Seahawks won the Super Bowl last season, a Seattle couple had the Seahawks gnome in their garden stolen. The gnome mysteriously re-appeared on the opening night of the 2014 season, along with a calendar of pictures showing the many places the gnome had travelled – San Francisco, Yellowstone Park, Las Vegas, and more. ESPN.com’s Greg Garber chronicles the mysterious off-season journey of a Seahawks gnome.

·         Frank Caliendo – Jon Gruden, The History Teacher: Countdown comedian Frank Caliendo plays ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl winning coach Jon Gruden as an American history teacher, including a Bob Ley cameo role as the school principal.

Andrew Luck and the Colts Face Eli Manning and the Giants on ESPN’s Monday Night Football

Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts will face Eli Manning and the New York Giants on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on Nov. 3, at 8:15 p.m. The MNF booth team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will call the game from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., with sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

MNF is also televised on ESPN Deportes and available on WatchESPN for fans with video subscriptions from affiliated providers.

The ESPN NFL lineup Monday begins with NFL Primetime (2 p.m.), followed by NFL Insiders (3 p.m.), NFL Live (4 p.m.) and the MNF pregame show Monday Night Countdown at 6 p.m. Countdown will originate from New Jersey with Suzy Kolber and NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young and from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., with studio host Chris Berman, NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter.

Monday Night Countdown features:

·         Soundtracks – Andrew Luck: In his third NFL season, Luck leads the league in passing yards and touchdowns and has thrown for 300+ yards in six straight games.  Luck, wired for in-game audio during the Colts’ week 5 win over the Ravens, is the subject of this week’s Soundtracks.

·         Gruden’s Grill Session with Ahmad Bradshaw: MNF’s Gruden sits with Colts running back Bradshaw, who talks about the matchup against his former team in this week’s Grill Session.

·         Rick Reilly’s Feature – Steve Weatherford: Weatherford might not only have the best physique on the New York Giants team, the punter is arguably at the top among active NFL players. Countdown’s Reilly reports on Weatherford’s non-stop energy in the gym, as well as his service to the community.

NFL Matchup – Patriots Defense vs. Manning; Carson Palmer to John Brown; Roethlisberger Throwing with Anticipation; and More

NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge preview the weekend’s key matchups via fill room Xs and Os analysis Saturday, Nov. 1, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3:30 a.m.).  Highlights:

·         Inside the Matchup – Patriots Defense vs. Manning: Jaworski and Hoge take a deep dive into how the Patriots will mix up their defensive schemes against Broncos receivers to stall the Peyton Manning-led offense.

·         X and O Files – Tom Brady Sack vs. Chiefs: In a key matchup versus a speedy Broncos pass rush, the Patriots offensive line must protect Tom Brady better than they did against the Chiefs’ in week 4.

·         Blitz Breakdown – Redskins Pressure Confuses Romo: The Redskins were able to bring pressure and disrupt the Cowboys passing game – something Tony Romo and his offensive line must fix before their matchup with the heavy-blitzing Arizona Cardinals defense.

·         Game Changer – Carson Palmer to John Brown: The Cardinals designed a perfect play to beat the Eagles defense last week, creating a matchup for speedy rookie wide receiver John Brown for the winning score.

·         Anatomy of a Play – Ryan Tannehill to Mike Wallace: Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill shows his development as a passer by throwing a perfect touchdown to receiver Mike Wallace in the back of the end zone.

·         Hoge Breakdown – Roethlisberger Throwing with Anticipation: Hoge shows how the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger found his groove against the Colts, making perfect throws to his receivers by trusting they would be open against tight coverage.

·         Between the Lines – Luck to Hilton Touchdown: Jaworski explains how the big play ability of receiver T.Y. Hilton, and the downfield passing attack of the Colts, will be key in this week’s matchup against the Giants.

·         Coaches Clicker – Arian Foster’s Big Numbers: Jaworski and Hoge contend that if Houston wants to beat Philadelphia on Sunday, they will have to feed the ball to running back Arian Foster, who is compiling an impressive season in a well-designed running game. 

NFL on ESPN Radio: Nick Foles and the Eagles at J.J. Watt and the Texans Sunday

On Sunday, Nov. 2, at 12 p.m., ESPN Radio will broadcast Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles visiting J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans. Play-by-play voice Mark Kestecher will describe the action with reporter Ian Fitzsimmons.

Mike & Mike Celebrate Halloween in Foxborough on Fall Football Tour

ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike will broadcast live from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Halloween, Friday, Oct. 31, as part of ESPN Audio’s annual Fall Football Tour.  The show will preview the New England Patriots game against the Denver Broncos this weekend, and will feature Greeny and Golic dressed in Patriots-themed costumes.  Mike & Mike airs weekdays 6 – 10 a.m. on ESPN Radio via terrestrial stations, ESPNRadio.com, the ESPN Radio app, SiriusXM, iTunes Radio, Slacker, TuneIn and is simulcast on ESPN2.

Also, the show launched its “Who’s In? Mike & Mike at the College Football Playoff” contest earlier this week, in which listeners have the opportunity to win a trip to the College Football Championship game in Dallas.

ESPN.com NFL “Hot Read”

Ahead of the matchup between the two top NFL quarterbacks – Tom Brady and Peyton Manning – ESPN.com features a three-pronged “Hot Read” on the matchup. Highlights:

·         Brady-Manning Finish Line: Insight from a roundtable of eight ESPN experts – Mike Reiss, Jackie MacMullan, Jeff Saturday, Bill Williamson, Kevin Seifert, Tedy Bruschi, Jeff Legwold and Field Yates – on what to expect in the last few years of the Hall of Fame careers of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

·         The ESPN Stats and Info blog delves into numbers and analysis via a “Next-Level” look inside the matchup of Brady vs. Manning.

·         Broncos-Patriots Salary Comparison: While Denver seems to have gone all-in on quarterback Peyton Manning’s championship window, New England seems unwilling to mortgage the future for Tom Brady. ESPN.com NFL Nation writer Kevin Seifert on how both organizations are building their teams to take advantage of the championship windows of their Hall of Fame-bound quarterbacks.

E:60 Profiles Cam Newton

ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine, E:60, will profile Carolina Panthers quarterback and 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton on Tuesday, Nov. 4 (8 p.m., ESPN). Summary:

Cam Newton is used to being number one. He was the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He led his Auburn Tigers to the 2010 BCS National Championship. That season he also won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the nation’s top quarterback. Even his jersey with the Panthers is #1. It’s been this way since his father pushed him into youth football, and since he starred as a high school quarterback in Atlanta, GA. Greatness has been always been expected of Newton. But now in his fourth season with Carolina, many are wondering if he will reach the same heights in the NFL. Reporting for E:60, ESPN First Take host Cari Champion tells the story of the immensely talented Cam Newton, to whom much was given, and of whom even more is expected. Newton recounts, along with his father, the past incidents that cast doubt upon his integrity, and describes the maturation that could ultimately deliver the NFL success so many expect. Preview.

 

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Peyton Manning Wired-For-Sound As “NFL Turning Point” Reviews His Record-Breaking Performance Tonight at 11 P.M. ET on NBCSN

NFL-Turning-PointAnalysis of Manning’s Record Breaking 509th Touchdown Pass and Scoring Drive

NFL Films Reviews Manning’s 507th, 508th and 510th Touchdown Passes

QB Matthew Stafford Wired-For-Sound During Lions Comeback Against Saints

Head Coach Gus Bradley Wired-For-Sound During Jaguars Win Over Browns

NFL Films Reviews Chargers QB Philip Rivers’ Season

NFL Turning Point Hosted by Football Night In America’s Dan Patrick

Stamford, Conn. – October 21, 2014 – Wednesday night’s edition of NFL Turning Point, NBCSN’s Emmy Award-nominated weekly NFL show co-produced by NFL Films, will feature in-depth analysis of Peyton Manning’s record-breaking performance on Sunday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers, in which Manning broke the NFL’s record for career touchdown passes.

Airing tomorrow night at 11 p.m. ET, NFL Turning Point will review Manning’s first two touchdowns, analyze the scoring drive that led to the historical moment, and showcase the celebration that followed. The show will also feature in-game audio from Manning, who was wired-for-sound during Sunday’s game.

In addition, this week’s installment of NFL Turning Point will study some of Week 7’s other compelling matchups. The episode reviews Saints – Lions, Browns – Jaguars and includes a spotlight feature on the play of San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers.

Hosted by Football Night In America’s Dan Patrick, the hour-long program will air throughout the entire NFL season, including the playoffs and Super Bowl.

This week’s episode features:

  • 49ers-Broncos: NFL Films reviews Peyton Manning’s historic performance, and highlights the key plays that allowed Denver to win the game against San Francisco. 
  • Saints-Lions: Lions QB Matthew Stafford is wired-for-sound as NFL Turning Point breaks down Detroit’s game against New Orleans. NFL Films examines how Stafford was able to throw two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the game, leading the Lions to a fourth quarter comeback win over the Saints.
  • Browns-Jaguars: Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley is wired-for-sound, as NFL Films captures the team’s first win of the season. NFL Turning Point studies how the Jaguars have struggled this season, and highlights the key plays that allowed Jacksonville to beat Cleveland on Sunday.
  • Philip Rivers: NFL Turning Point takes a look at the first seven weeks of play for San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers, and analyzes his season. The segment includes wired-for-sound highlights from Rivers during the Chargers game on Sunday against the Chiefs.

Each week Emmy-nominated NFL Turning Point is built around select NFL matchups from the previous weekend, and focuses on the crucial “turning point” moments that ultimately defined the outcome of each game. The show also features anatomy-of-a-play type segments and long form, Game-of-the-Week style narratives that include the pre-game and post-game access, sideline sounds, jaw-dropping cinematography and incredible storytelling that is synonymous with NFL Films.

In 2014 NBCSN will air a total of 22 episodes, running throughout the entire NFL season, including the playoffs and Super Bowl. The season finale, scheduled to air on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, will look back at the turning point of Super Bowl XLIX.

-NBC Sports Group-

ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Notes and Quotes: Week 7

Sunday NFL Countdown logoESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Notes and Quotes: Week 7

ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis previewed today’s NFL games with insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Some comments from today’s show:

 

On being surprised wide receiver Percy Harvin was traded …

Jackson: “He is a difference maker. I’m trying to imagine the magnitude of the problems and baggage that he would have to bring to the Seattle locker room in order for them to get rid of this difference maker … They were willing to give him away – ‘we want him out of our locker room.’ I am hesitant to be the next team to bring him into the locker room. Seattle is less of a football team today than they were on Friday because of letting this guy go. They are less dangerous because this guy is not playing for them.”

Lewis: “You are talking about a very, very special talent – home run hitter when it comes to breakaway speed and what this guy can do. He is a mismatch problem for a lot of teams. He’s one of the biggest reasons Seattle has so many misdirection plays … The players have to understand this is a business at its highest level. Going into these locker rooms, you have to understand that you don’t have to get along with everybody. But you have to find a way to work with anybody. Percy (Harvin) – as well as other guys – needs to understand that.”

Ditka: “There’s nothing worse than a fractured locker room. I’m not sure I agree that they have the big loss here. With production on the field, yes. But, what he’s doing in that locker room is undermining what the coach and that football team is all about. They won a Super Bowl last year, not because of Percy Harvin. The leader of this football team is the quarterback.”

Carter: “For any player that has previous issues, there is always a moment in time that you get the chance to change or alter your history. It is all in your hand. There is always a fork, right on the road, that stops you and you have the opportunity to either go left and go about doing things your own way. Or to go right and make the right decisions and try to do something special with your life. Percy Harvin is not a bad person, but he has had issues in high school, in college and now, with two professional teams. I’m not looking at the scheme, I’m looking right at Percy Harvin because it is really up to him. He is a phenomenal talent. Right now, this league, we have less tolerance for people with great athletic ability and the inability to work in an environment. Everyone should feel safe at work, especially, one of your teammates, who you trust.”

Berman: “(Seahawks head coach) Pete Carroll, if you can’t play there, and he has a winning team, where are you going to play? Now the Jets, hopefully, can give him support, both on- and off-the-field.”

 

On the Dallas Cowboys and their turnaround …

After showing video from a past Countdown segment where Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis ranked the Cowboys as one of the league’s worst teams, the panel today discussed the team’s turnaround.

Johnson: “(QB) Tony Romo is doing more with less in terms of attempts … You go back to the Super Bowl winning years of Troy Aikman, they had 30 or less attempts per game for Troy Aikman. That is what Tony Romo is right now. He is completing 71 percent of his passes, the highest in the National Football League since week 3. This is why the Cowboys have now gotten up there with Seattle on potential talks about going to Arizona (Super Bowl XLIX).”

Jackson: “What Jason Garrett, that coaching staff, Tony Romo, have all accepted is that ‘we have something that we can depend on,’ and we can depend on it everywhere. They are patient. That’s what the running game takes. So, San Francisco, the four turnovers, they lose that game. But they turned it over three times against the Texans. They stick with the run. They are down 21-nothing to the Rams. They stick with the run. They were down 10-0 in Seattle. That tendency to go back to Romo throwing the ball 45-50 times in order to win the game, it didn’t happen. So, they are patient and confident in what they are doing. The defense is benefitting because they are not on the field as long. Tony Romo benefits because of play action pass.”

Lewis: “History proved exactly what Key (Keyshawn Johnson) and I said. For many a years, the Dallas Cowboys was a very bad football team when it comes to making it to the playoffs. What has changed? What has changed is they went back to the Super Bowl formula. Tony Romo is not throwing 30-plus passes per game. Troy Aikman won three Super Bowls doing the same thing. DeMarco Murray, what this guy does with the football in his hand, is the reason why the Cowboys are winning.”

Ditka: “You can’t win in this league without a defense. I know what we said about the Dallas defense over the years, and everybody was right. They’ve really changed. They are playing much better. The Cover 2 they are playing makes sense – playing with a man under. The middle linebacker is able to get depth. It is a different looking football team. That enables the offense to do what they want to do. They are not trying to catch up all the time.”

Carter: “The thing that is most important is what (defensive coordinator Rod) Marinelli is doing with the defense. He has these players, not better players than they had last year, playing in a scheme that they can perform … Also, (OL coordinator) Scott Linehan and how he has put the stamp on this offense as far as what they are going to be.”

 

On whether Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray’s workload will eventually catchup up to him …

Johnson: “I don’t care beyond this year, if I’m in the Dallas Cowboys staff. I will run him till his feet start bleeding, till the wheels fall off. Because, I have an opportunity now, with my best football player touching the ball on offense, of doing something we’ve been trying to get to for a very long time which is the playoffs, winning the Division, playing in the Super Bowl. If you’re talking beyond this year, we can deal with that in the off-season. I played with Curtis Martin back in 1998, he led us to the AFC Championship game carrying the football 367 times, touching it 400-plus times. You want to be able to get the ball in the right guy’s hands that can help you.”

Jackson: “This is a team that’s been 8-8 for two decades, we’ve got a chance to win the Super Bowl, I agree with you, I am going to run him and I’m not worried about what the aftermath is going to be. I want him to get paid. Jerry (owner Jerry Jones) has always rewarded guys when they produced for him. You hope he is one of those special guys down the stretch who can carry the ball. The number that we’re looking at, 400-plus carries, usually changes a back’s life – not for the better.”

Lewis: “When you talk about hard-running players, you think about Larry Johnson, Jamal Anderson, Eric Dickerson, even Eddie George. After that year (with max carries) their numbers dropped drastically and throughout the rest of their careers. I get it. This year is special. Use him how you can use him. There was a formula the Baltimore Ravens had in 2000. They had the same type of beast with Jamal Lewis. The complement to that beast was a Priest Holmes. Anytime you can have a two-headed monster that can take a little bit of that, who has almost the same ‘it factor,’ it can be huge for the team.”

 

On the cusp of Peyton Manning breaking the touchdown record, Tom Jackson reflects on the quarterback’s place in history …

“I was around when Johnny U (Unitas) played football. People think that quarterbacking is exciting now. Back then quarterbacks called their own game. We don’t have enough time to go into his entire legacy, but part of his legacy is that he is the last of these guys who basically are calling the game from the line of scrimmage. When he’s gone, we are not going to see it again, and that’s just part of his legacy.”

 

Ray Lewis on 49ers defense vs. Peyton Manning’s attempt at the touchdown record … 

“The first thing you are saying is – ‘it is not on my watch. It will not happen on my watch. People can talk about these records all day long or you throw fireworks.’ But if you are (49ers defensive coordinator) Vic Fangio, you’re talking about ‘we’re going in to win a football game. Do not get flustered with what’s going on with this record.’

“I had this same opportunity in 2006, I looked at Rex Ryan and said we’ll go to the Super Bowl if we hold Peyton Manning without a touchdown. We gave Peyton Manning five field goals that day. So, it can be done. But they have to have the right mindset to go win the game. And to do it and not worry about the record.”

 

Inside Slant: The thin line between playing hard and playing dirty …

Following a report by NFL senior analyst Chris Mortensen that Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is appealing a league-imposed $25,000 fine for twisting the ankles of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and tight end Greg Olsen last week, Carter, Jackson, Johnson and Lewis discussed the fine line between aggressive play and hurting opposing players.

Jackson: “I don’t think you want to be habitually creating plays that could be defined as dirty. People need to understand a dirty play doesn’t make you a dirty player. Very few of us have been on a football field for any number of years and not done something that you didn’t feel bad about … Burfict did some dirty plays. Let’s not make too much of it.”

Lewis: “There’s a lot that goes on underneath that pile … Is he such a bad player? When you watch an offensive lineman dive at somebody’s knees, I always say: ‘Listen, don’t go to my knees. This is where I make my money.’ There are certain things that you don’t go that far.”

Jackson: “We used to police our own game.”

Johnson: “I was always trying to take advantage or get an advantage for me and my team the best I could on the football field. I’m not going to hit somebody, 30 yards away, who had nothing to do with the play. I am not going to peel back on him and knock him out. That, to me, is a dirty play.”

Carter: “So, we all believe in playing a little bit beyond the whistle. But the one thing we all agree on — no hit that is going to cause an injury, to stop a guy from making a living, that’s where you cross the line. And that’s what you call dirty.”

 

–30–

NFL Media Programming Notes: October 21-26

NFL_Network_2012_LogoNFL Network Shows and Scheduled Guests

For a full description of each show, please click the show’s link

  • Thursday Night Football – Chargers vs Broncos at 8:25 PM ET

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: NFL Total Access Kickoff at 6:00 PM ET on NFL Network; NFL Thursday Night Kickoff at 7:30 PM ET on CBS & NFL Network

  • Sound FX: Peyton Manning #509

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: A special edition of Sound FX featuring wired sound of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning during his record-setting game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7 on Friday, October 24 at 10:00 PM ET

  • Undrafted – Advance Premiere Thursday, October 23 Following Chargers-Broncos; Premieres Tuesday, October 28 at 9:00 PM ET
  • Finding Giants – TONIGHT at 9:00 PM ET
  • Terrell Davis: A Football Life – Premieres Friday, October 24 at 9:00 PM ET
  • NFL Now
  • Week 7 NFL Replay & Sound FX

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, and San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers on Sound FX Friday, October 24 at 3:00 PM ET 

  • NFL AM

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: Atlanta Falcons wide receivers Julio Jones & Devin Hester and Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee on Wednesday, October 22

  • NFL Game Rewind
  • The Aftermath
  • NFL Fantasy Live

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: All-time leading rusher for the Green Bay Packers Ahman Green on Thursday, October 23

  • Around the NFL
  • NFL Total Access

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson on Thursday, October 23; ‘Friday Night Spotlight’ – Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco           

  • Playbook & Playbook Primetime
  • Inside the NFL

 NFL Network’s Day-by-Day Programming

 NFL.com Content

  • NFL.com Editorial Content
  • NFL.com Podcast Central

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: St. Louis Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis and Dallas Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar on the Dave Dameshek Football Program; Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell on the Moving the Sticks Podcast; West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen on the College Football 24/7 Podcast;   

  • NFL Mobile from Verizon
  • NFL Network Live Streaming

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Thursday Night Football – Chargers vs. Broncos at 8:25 PM ET on CBS & NFL Network

Thursday Night Football on CBS and NFL Network kicks off Thursday, October 23 at 8:25 PM ET when quarterback Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos host quarterback Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. Play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz and analyst Phil Simms have the call, with Tracy Wolfson providing reports from the sideline.

Coverage begins at 6:00 PM ET with NFL Total Access Kickoff on NFL Network. Host Rich Eisen and analysts Steve Mariucci, Michael Irvin, Terrell Davis, and Kurt Warner are live outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado to provide analysis of Chargers-Broncos and highlight the atmosphere and festivities outside the stadium.

Provided below is a list of topics they will discuss:

  • Wired sound of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning from the record-setting game
  • Recipients of Peyton Manning’s milestone touchdowns, including Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, speak about Manning
  • How does the touchdown record impact Peyton Manning’s legacy?
  • Last year on Thursday Night Football the San Diego Chargers beat the Denver Broncos and held them to their lowest point total of the year. How do they do it again?
  • Which San Diego Chargers offensive weapon will be toughest for the Denver Broncos to stop?
  • Are the Denver Broncos the best team in the AFC?
  • Michael Irvin and Kurt Warner demonstrate how Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has gotten on a three-game hot streak

At 7:30 PM ET on NFL Network and CBS, James Brown, Deion Sanders, Tony Gonzalez and Bill Cowher host NFL Thursday Night Kickoff from inside the stadium. Eisen, Mariucci, Irvin, Davis and Warner will also appear on the show.

During halftime, Brown, Sanders and Cowher host the Lexus Halftime Show on CBS, providing first half highlights and analysis. Following the game, Eisen, Mariucci, Irvin, Davis, Warner and Sanders host the Mazda Postgame Show, which features complete game highlights and analysis, as well as on-set interviews with players from the winning team.

Sound FX: Peyton Manning #509

A special edition of Sound FX featuring wired sound of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning during his record-setting game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7 on Friday, October 24 at 10:00 PM ET.

Undrafted

Every year, thousands of college football players leave school with dreams of achieving a career in the National Football League. Of those thousands, 256 players are selected in the NFL Draft. The remaining – the undrafted – are forced to overcome another obstacle to pursue their dream.

NFL Network presents Undrafted, a six-part series premiering Tuesday, October 28 at 9:00 PM ET and airing each Tuesday through December 9. All six episodes tell the stories of players who were undrafted and are currently working to make their dream of playing in the NFL a reality. Each week on NFL Network, an advance premiere of the new episode will air following the Thursday Night Football game, beginning Thursday, October 23 following the Chargers-Broncos game. Digitally, Undrafted will be made available on NFL Now through the service’s premium tier, NFL Now Plus. ($1.99 per month)

Undrafted goes inside the lives and tells the stories of various athletes as they try to fulfill their dreams of playing in the NFL. The series follows each as they prepare for the league’s Super Regional Combines, an alternative showcase for lesser-known college players and older free agents. These Combine events have taken on greater importance in recent years as numerous undrafted players — including current starters on the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys — have earned important roles on NFL rosters. Each Undrafted episode provides compelling personal and on-field footage of six long longshots angling to create a life in the NFL.

Undrafted is a continuation of a new line of programming for NFL Network, following in the steps of Finding Giants, which offered an in-depth look at the scouts and front office of the New York Giants. All six episodes of Finding Giants are available on NFL Now.

Featured on Undrafted are:

  • Harvey Unga – All-time leading rusher at BYU; selected in the seventh round of the 2010 Supplemental Draft by the Chicago Bears
  • Terrance Lewis – Wide receiver from Alcorn State University; complied 12 receiving touchdowns, three kickoff return touchdowns and one punt return touchdown in four seasons at Alcorn State (2009-12)
  • Jonathon Sharpe – Linebacker from North Greenville University; totaled 132 tackles, 23.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks and three interceptions in two seasons as a starter (2011 & 2012)
  • Akeem Davis – Safety from the University of Memphis; played in 34 games (2009-12) and recorded 162 total tackles and had 13 tackles for loss
  • Elijah Anderson – Linebacker from Morehouse College; during the 2011-12 season at Morehouse, he led the team with 72 tackles with 12 tackles for loss for 53 yards, 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles
  • Nnamdi Obukwelu – Defensive tackle from Harvard University; played in 39 career games at Harvard (2010-13) and registered 109 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 9.0 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery

Undrafted was produced by NFL Network in association with Mandalay Sports Media, DG West and Indigenous Films.

To view the trailer for Undrafted, visit:

https://www.interdubs.com/r/nflfilms/?al=LJ0RQ5&an=sPCjNH

Finding Giants

Before an NFL team can achieve success on the field, it is up to the hard work of the team’s scouts to scour the country to find the future players of the organization. For the first time ever, NFL Network – in association with NFL Films and Moondog Films – provides a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of professional scouts and follows the long process of what it takes to build a championship team.

NFL Network presents Finding Giants, a four-part series airing each Tuesday through October 21. All four episodes provide an intimate look into the New York Giants organization, one of the most successful NFL franchises with eight championship titles, including four Super Bowls. Each week on NFL Network, a first look of the new episode will air following the Thursday Night Football game. Digitally, Finding Giants will be made available on NFL Now through the service’s premium tier, NFL Now Plus. ($1.99 per month)

On NFL Now Plus, the full six-episode, “director’s cut” edition of Finding Giants will be available. NFL Now is the League’s next-generation video service and provides fans access to the largest digital library of NFL video anywhere accessible through apps and browsers across an array of Internet-connected devices. Offered for free with a premium tier, NFL Now allows fans to customize their own video stream of short-form videos and highlights from NFL Media and all 32 NFL clubs.

Finding Giants offers an in-depth look at scouting and team building in today’s NFL and shows what it takes to find and draft the best players to fit an organization. Finding Giants will also give fans a unique look at the personal side of working in the NFL as scouts and their wives balance life on the road with family life at home.

Additionally, Finding Giants will show footage inside the Giants’ draft war room during the 2014 NFL Draft, in which the Giants selected such players as Odell Beckham, Jr., Weston Richburg and Andre Williams.

To view the trailer for Finding Giants, visit:

http://on.nfl.com/1uzEjW6

Terrell Davis: A Football Life – Friday, October 24 at 9:00 PM ET

Throughout Terrell Davis’ football life, one surprise has followed another. After walking on at Long Beach State, Davis eventually found himself at the University of Georgia – a football powerhouse. A sixth-round pick of the Denver Broncos, Davis found himself the opening day starter his rookie season. Two Super Bowl championships, one Super Bowl MVP, one league MVP, one 2,000-yard rushing season and 7,607 total rushing yards later, Davis hopes that next step is enshrinement in Canton.

NFL Network’s series A Football Life continues Friday, October 24 at 9:00 PM ET with a profile of the three-time Pro Bowl running back. The one-hour, NFL Films-produced documentary features interviews with Davis, his mother Kateree Davis, former teammates John Elway, Rod Smith and Shannon Sharpe, former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan and more.

Following the premiere of Terrell Davis: A Football Life on NFL Network, the episode – along with the entire A Football Life series – will be available on NFL Now, the League’s next-generation video service. Providing fans access to the largest digital library of NFL video anywhere, NFL Now dynamically personalizes each fan’s viewing experience, allowing them to follow their favorite NFL teams and players. Visit NFL.com/now for more information.

Every episode of A Football Life – as well as all NFL Network programming – is streamed live on NFL Mobile from Verizon, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Among the topics discussed in Terrell Davis: A Football Life are:

  • Growing up the youngest of six children and how the passing of his father affected him
  • His history with migraines and returning in the second half of Super Bowl XXXII to win MVP
  • Surpassing the 2,000 rushing yards mark in 1998
  • Walking on the football team at Long Beach State in 1991 and transferring to the University of Georgia
  • Almost quitting the Broncos during the preseason of his rookie year
  • The reason behind his popular “Salute” which followed every touchdown he scored

Emmy-nominated actor Josh Charles narrates.

This season, A Football Life airs Friday at 9:00 PM ET on NFL Network. Below is the broadcast schedule for the October and November episodes:

  • October 31 – Ricky Williams
  • November 7 – Earl Campbell
  • November 14 – Csonka, Kiick & Morris
  • November 21 – Lyle Alzado
  • November 28 – Dick Butkus & Gale Sayers

NFL Now

NFL Now is the League’s next-generation video service, providing fans access to the largest digital library of NFL video anywhere, accessible through apps and browsers across an array of Internet-connected devices. Offered for free with a premium tier, NFL Now allows fans to customize their own video stream of short-form videos and highlights from NFL Media and all 32 NFL clubs.

The NFL…Personalized: Fans can select their favorite NFL teams and players and upload their NFL.com Fantasy roster, and NFL Now dynamically personalizes each fan’s viewing experience. The customization grows over time, as the content engine learns each fan’s preferences and fine tunes the video stream, to the point where no two registered fans will have the same experience on NFL Now.

Provided below is a weekly schedule of NFL Now content:

  • Live streaming of NFL Fantasy Live on NFL Now

o   Monday – Friday at 4:00 PM ET,

o   Sunday at 5:30 – 7:00 AM ET

  • Live streaming events and select news conferences
  • Michael Fabiano personalized fantasy analysis
  • Daily, personalized NFL analysis from Brian Billick, Charles Davis, Daniel Jeremiah, Brian Baldinger, Bucky Brooks and others
  • Instant in-game highlights for every game as wells as a personalized highlight Game Center for NFL.com fantasy leagues
  • In-depth analysis for all 32 teams every day
  • 1,200 new NFL Club-produced segments available per week
  • Over 1,000 NFL Films titles available on NFL Now Plus

NFL GameDay on NFL Network – Sunday Starting at 7:00 AM ET

NFL Network’s ‘GameDay’ coverage kicks off Sunday, October 26, providing more than 15 hours of live programming every Sunday during the regular season.

Start each Sunday with NFL GameDay First at 7:00 AM ET, the first NFL pregame show on television. Host Melissa Stark and analysts Sterling Sharpe, Shaun O’Hara and Michael Robinson provide the first analysis and news reports of the day’s games.

NFL GameDay Morning, the most comprehensive pregame show on television, airs at 9:00 AM ET and takes viewers right up to kickoff. Host Rich Eisen and analysts Steve Mariucci and Kurt Warner are joined by Hall of Famers in Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin and Warren Sapp to discuss the upcoming games four hours prior to kickoff. NFL Network reporters stationed around the league provide up-to-the-minute reports and interviews from the game sites, while NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport offers the latest on what is making news around the league. Additionally, Michael Silver, Andrea Kremer, Mark Kriegel and Steve Cyphers provide in-depth feature stories each week.

At 1:00 PM ET, NFL GameDay Live is the only show that delivers in-progress highlights of all of the 1:00 and 4:00 PM ET games, as well as live fantasy updates and reports, live press conferences and 1-on-1 interviews, and live reports from game sites. Kevin Frazier and Dan Hellie host, and are joined by analysts Heath Evans, Brian Billick, LaDainian Tomlinson and Daniel Jeremiah.

At 7:30 PM ET, host Chris Rose and analysts Deion Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson and Steve Mariucci recap the day’s action thus far with highlights, postgame press conferences and commentary on NFL GameDay Highlights, leading up to kickoff of the Sunday night matchup.

NFL GameDay Final provides the final word on Sunday’s games at 11:30 PM ET with host Chris Rose and analysts Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk and Michael Irvin. With postgame press conferences, game highlights, player and coach interviews, expert analysis, a preview of Monday’s game and more, NFL GameDay Final provides everything viewers need to know about the week in the NFL.

Week 7 NFL Replay & Sound FX

NFL Replay offers an exclusive look at the previous week’s games in a condensed, high-octane format. With the use of bonus NFL Films and NFL Network footage, including never-before-seen camera angles and coaches’ commentary, combined with exclusive wired sound from the field, locker rooms and sidelines, viewers will experience the game like never before.

Sound FX offers a compilation of the best on-field sights and sounds from around the NFL each week.

Week 7 NFL Replay & Sound FX schedule:

Wednesday

  • 8:00 PM ET – NFL Replay: New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions

Friday

  • 3:00 PM ET – Sound FX: Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, and San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers

NFL AM – Daily Episodes at 6:00 AM ET; Re-Aires at 10:00 AM ET

Start the day off with the NFL. NFL AM airs Monday – Friday at 6:00 AM ET offering analysis, reports from correspondents in several NFL cities, interviews with players and coaches, and game highlights. A two-hour edition of NFL AM airs Monday – Friday starting at 10:00 AM ET.

Hosts Rhett Lewis and Erin Coscarelli are joined by analysts Eric Davis and LaVar Arrington each morning, setting the football conversation for the day.

The following guest will join the show this week:

  • Wednesday – Atlanta Falcons wide receivers Julio Jones & Devin Hester and Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee

 

NFL Game Rewind

Re-live every week one game with Game Rewind – a condensed 30-minute edition of each game. Game Rewind airs on Monday from 12 Noon – 3:00 PM ET & 8:30 – 11:30 PM ET, and on Tuesday from 12 Noon – 2:00 PM ET.

The Aftermath – Mondays at 3:00 PM ET

Every Monday at 3:00 PM ET, get up to speed on everything that happened in the NFL with highlights, news, information and analysis on The Aftermath. Host Rhett Lewis and analysts Brian Baldinger, Steve Wyche and Nate Burleson look back at all of Sunday’s games, along with player and coach press conferences.

NFL Fantasy Live – Daily Episodes at 4:00 PM ET on NFL.com/NFL Now/NFL Mobile & 5:00 PM ET on NFL Network

NFL Fantasy Live, the premier show for fantasy football players, has returned with daily episodes for the entire 2014 NFL Season.

Continuing throughout the NFL season, the one-hour show airs Monday through Friday. Catch it first on NFL.com, NFL Now and NFL Mobile at 4:00 PM ET and then on NFL Network at 5:00 PM ET.

Additionally, each Sunday at 11:30 AM ET, NFL Fantasy Live airs on NFL.com, NFL Now, NFL Mobile and the NFL RedZone channel.

This Thursday, NFL Fantasy Live airs at the special times of 4:00 PM ET on NFL Network and 5:30 PM ET on NFL.com, NFL Now and NFL Mobile.

On Thursday, October 23, former Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green joins the show.

Fantasy Experts:

o   Michael Fabiano

o   Adam Rank

o   Matt “Money” Smith

o   Akbar Gbajabiamila

o   Elliot Harrison

o   Marcas Grant

o   Molly Qerim

o   James Koh

Additionally, catch the NFL Fantasy Live podcast: http://www.nfl.com/podcast/nflfantasy-podcast

Returning this year is NFL Fantasy’s Fantasy Genius – the collaborative community for shared fantasy football information.

Around the NFL – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at 6:00 PM ET; Thursday at 2:00 PM ET

Around the NFL provides all of the latest news and information surrounding the National Football League Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:00 PM ET, and Thursday at 2:00 PM ET on NFL Network.

Hosts Andrew Siciliano and Lindsay Rhodes are joined each day by a rotating roster of NFL Network analysts including Kurt Warner, Steve Mariucci, Brian Baldinger, Solomon Wilcots, Jamie Dukes and Charley Casserly.

In addition to the NFL Network analysts & NFL players joining Around the NFL, team beat writers from around the league join the show on a regular basis to provide their unique perspective.

NFL Total Access – Monday-Saturday at 7:00 PM ET; Thursday Following Thursday Night Football

NFL Total Access returns to the time of 7:00 PM ET Monday – Saturday on NFL Network (airs on Thursday following Thursday Night Football).

Hosts Dan Hellie and Amber Theoharis anchor the NFL’s show of record each night and are joined by NFL Network analysts Willie McGinest, Heath Evans, Nate Burleson, Michael Robinson, Warren Sapp, LaDainian Tomlinson, Steve Mariucci, Brian Billick, Daniel Jeremiah, Brian Baldinger and Shawne Merriman.

Tuesday, October 21

  • Hosts: Dan Hellie & Amber Theoharis
  • Analysts: Willie McGinest, Nate Burleson and Kurt Warner

Wednesday, October 22

  • Hosts: Dan Hellie & Amber Theoharis
    Analysts: Willie McGinest, Heath Evans

Thursday, October 23 – After Chargers-Broncos

  • Hosts: Dan Hellie & Amber Theoharis
  • Analysts: Willie McGinest, Heath Evans
  • Guests: Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson

Friday, October 24

  • Hosts: Scott Hanson & Amber Theoharis
  • Analysts: Willie McGinest, Daniel Jeremiah
  • Guests: Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco

Saturday, October 25

  • Hosts: Scott Hanson
  • Analysts: Jamie Dukes, Heath Evans, Daniel Jeremiah

Playbook – Friday at 4:00 PM ET; Playbook Primetime – Friday at 8:00 PM ET

See the game the way the pros do each week with two editions of the show Playbook, the ultimate X’s and O’s football show on television.

Playbook airs every Friday at 4:00 PM ET with former players Sterling Sharpe and Shaun O’Hara, and former Super Bowl-winning head coach Brian Billick bringing the viewers the inside information for every game each week. With the help of “All-22” footage – the same film used by NFL teams each week – Playbook breaks down all of the games and tells you who will win on Sunday. The one-hour show also recaps the previous night’s Thursday Night Football matchup.

At 8:00 PM ET, Sharpe, O’Hara and Billick return for Playbook Primetime, which breaks down the week’s biggest games and explains which teams will win and why.

 

Inside the NFL – Wednesday at 9:00 PM ET

Showtime’s popular show, Inside the NFL, comes to NFL Network for the first time. Each week’s episode will re-air on NFL Network Wednesday at 9:00 PM ET following its original airing on Showtime.

Host Greg Gumbel is joined by analysts Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason, former Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed and current Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall cover every game, every week, with trademark highlights from NFL Films, special, in-depth features and spirited debate on the hottest topics in the league.

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NFL Editorial Content – Daily on NFL.com

  • Michael Silver

o    To read his columns: http://on.nfl.com/1lwmZ3q

  • Judy Battista

o   To read her other columns: http://on.nfl.com/17S17El

  • Elliot Harrison’s Weekly Power Rankings

o   Every Tuesday, Elliott Harrison ranks NFL teams from No. 1 through No. 32 in his weekly power rankings. His power rankings will be a staple on NFL Network and NFL Digital Media’s programming throughout the week.

o   To view the weekly power rankings: http://on.nfl.com/17CaPue

  • NFL.com’s Around the NFL Blog

o    Get the latest news & information from around the league with NFL.com’s Around the NFL blog

o    Follow on Twitter: @AroundTheNFL

  • NFL.com’s College Football 24/7

o    Get all of the news and analysis from around college football with NFL.com’s College Football 24/7

o    Follow on Twitter: @NFL_CFB

Catch all of NFL Media’s writers work here:  http://www.nfl.com/news

Back to Top

NFL.com Presents Six Weekly Podcasts

  • Dave Dameshek Football Program – St. Louis Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis and Dallas Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar
  • Around the NFL
  • The Coaches Show
  • College Football 24/7 – West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen
  • NFL Fantasy Live
  • Move The Sticks – Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell

To listen to all six of NFL.com’s podcasts, visit:

http://www.nfl.com/podcast

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NFL Network Programming Schedule 

Day-by-Day Programming Schedule:

To view the entire NFL Network programming schedule, please visit: http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/networkschedule

NFL Mobile from Verizon

With NFL Mobile, stream more live games than ever before. Get Thursday, Sunday & Monday Night primetime NFL games and for the first time, local Sunday afternoon games live on your smartphone. Plus, stream NFL Network 24/7 and NFL RedZone every Sunday live, exclusively from Verizon.

NFL Mobile is available to Verizon Wireless customers with a premium subscription for $5/month. Verizon customers can access live games and NFL Network included with the MORE Everything Plan. NFL Redzone is not included with the More Everything Plan, but can be purchased through NFL Mobile for $1.99/mo. For more information about NFL Mobile from Verizon, visit www.verizonwireless.com/insiders-guide/inside/nfl. Data usage applies for app download use & blackout rules apply.

NFL Network Live Streaming

Watch NFL Network anytime, anywhere at NFL.com/Watch.  Live streaming is accessible on PCs, tablets and Xbox for authenticated NFL Network subscribers via AT&T U-verse, Charter, Cox, DirecTV, Dish, Optimum, Verizon FiOS and many more distributors.  In addition, Verizon Wireless customers can access live streaming on smartphones via NFL Mobile.  Learn more by going to www.NFL.com/watch

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Notes & Quotes From NBC’s “Football Night In America” – Week 7

FNIA-nfl-nbcThe Seattle Seahawks are not invincible. They don’t look like the defending Super Bowl Champions.” – Tony Dungy on the Seahawks

Julius Thomas is the best tight end that Peyton Manning has ever played with.” – Hines Ward on Broncos TE Julius Thomas

The history we might get a chance to see tonight, in my opinion is the biggest of the big. This is like the home run record in baseball.” – Cris Collinsworth on Peyton Manning and the NFL’s all-time record for most career passing touchdowns

“If I were the owner, I would be doing everything I could at this moment to go, ‘Guys, I don’t care what your differences are, we’re fixing this. We’re keeping this team together because it works.’” – Collinsworth on the 49ers

STAMFORD, Conn. – October 19, 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 Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo. Costas was joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth and 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, and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com. Kathryn Tappen reported from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on the Giants-Cowboys game.

Costas interviewed Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning, while Elliott talked with TE Julius Thomas.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America:

ON SEAHAWKS

Dungy: “The Seattle Seahawks are not invincible. They are 3-3 right now and they don’t look like the defending Super Bowl Champions.”

Collinsworth: “It’s possible that success is tearing this team apart more so than when they were trying to get to the Super Bowl.”

Harrison: “They have to get back to that cockiness that they had. They’re trying to be too perfect. They need to relax, start having fun and go back to the fundamentals.”

ON RAVENS

Dungy: “They’re pretty good. Joe Flacco has gotten used to his new weapons, and their defense is starting to play like they did in their Super Bowl year. When these guys give pressure, Ngata and Suggs and those guys, they’re awesome.”

Harrison: “Steve Smith has been awesome this year, but you can’t forget about Torrey Smith, because he can stretch the defense.”

Florio on Ray Rice investigation: “Rice continues to be indefinitely suspended by the NFL. The appeal hearing is tentatively set for early November, but there’s a dispute over whether or not Commissioner Goodell will testify at that appeal hearing. The NFL Players Association believes that he should; the NFL is resisting. I’m told that former federal judge, Barbara S. Jones, who’s been appointed to handle the appeal, will make a decision this week on whether or not Commissioner Goodell will be required to testify.”

ON REDSKINS

Dungy: “Colt McCoy came in and gave the team a spark, that’s what he does. He can move around. He makes things happen, and he took care of the ball today.”

Harrison on Colt McCoy: “He played one half of the game great. Let’s control our expectations a little bit, but I do believe that he deserves to start next week.”

ON PANTHERS

Harrison: “The Carolina Panthers have not looked good. Cam Newton is not 100 percent. Their defense looks average, but the Panthers are still in first place in their division. This is a crazy league.”

ON BROWNS

Harrison: “They are not good enough to just show up. They have to play hard. They have to play smart. They can’t make the mistakes they made today.”

ON CHIEFS:

Dungy: “Alex Smith was good all day. Then on that last drive, he was great. He moved around, he got away from the rush and made big plays. He gives them what they need, when they need it.”

ON BILLS

Florio on CJ Spiller’s season-ending injury: “I’m told that C.J. Spiller is going to have surgery tomorrow to repair his broken collarbone, and he is done for the year.”

ON JETS

Florio on Percy Harvin: “As stunning as it was that the Seahawks traded Percy Harvin, it was just as surprising that the Jets decided to give him what amounts to a third chance. Some in the league, along with coaches who have known Harvin for a long time, believe that his temperament, his belligerence, and his fighting with teammates makes him unfit to play in the NFL.”

ON BRONCOS

Collinsworth on Peyton Manning: “Not only does he have a great sense of the history of the game, but he also has a way of creating history. The history we might get a chance to see tonight, in my opinion in football, is the biggest of the big. This is like the home run record in baseball.”

Dungy on Manning breaking the all-time record for most career passing touchdowns: “I promise you he [Manning] will not be focused on that record tonight, he will be focused on the 49ers defense.”

Ward on Julius Thomas: “Julius Thomas is the best tight end that Peyton Manning has ever played with. The only knock that I can make on Julius Thomas is that he needs to improve upon his blocking skills, because he can’t block anyone.”

ON 49ERS

Collinsworth: “This franchise needs to be very careful right now because they have it good. They have the coach. They have a very successful general manager. They have a young quarterback. They have a good, young owner.  It all fits right now, but to think that you’re going to pull the head coach out of that equation and have it continue to run in the same fashion, I think is a little bit arrogant. If I were the owner of this team, I would be doing everything I could at this moment in time to go, ‘Guys, I don’t care what your differences are, we’re fixing this. We’re keeping this team together because it works.’”

Florio on Aldon Smith: “I’m told there’s a chance Smith could actually be reinstated sooner than expected. He could be back one or two games early.”

Note: On tonight’s Week 7 edition of NBC’s Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports, Bob Costas interviewed Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning. Manning needs three touchdown passes to set the NFL’s all-time record for most career passing touchdowns. Costas and Manning discussed the record, and all of the NFL QBs who have held the mark since Sammy Baugh.

In addition, Josh Elliott spoke with Broncos TE Julius Thomas.

MANNING WITH BOB COSTAS

On spending a day with Sammy Baugh: “One of the greatest days in my professional sports career was an afternoon I got to spend with Sammy Baugh in Rotan, Texas. It was about 15 years ago. An interesting story about how I got there. We flew in to Snyder, Texas, but there were no rental cars in Snyder. So we drove from Snyder to Rotan in a hearse. I did sit in the front seat though. A lot of records will be broken in the NFL. One record that will never be broken:  No quarterback will ever lead the league in touchdowns, interceptions as a defensive back, and punting average. Sammy Baugh did that.”

Bob Costas: “After that, the [TD] record was held by Bobby Layne. He was a different kind of guy than Sammy Baugh or yourself.”

Manning: “I never knew Bobby Layne, but my dad knew him and said he was great guy with great charisma. When I studied him, I found out what a great competitor he was. Maybe one of the great competitors of all time, at quarterback.”

Costas: “Then Y.A. Tittle.”

Manning: “I met Y.A. Tittle a number of times. That great picture of him on his knees, bloodied, tells you how tough he was. From what I studied, he was ahead of his time. He threw for seven touchdowns in a game. He was a special quarterback.”

Costas: “After Y.A. Tittle, then came Johnny Unitas. He held the record next.”

Manning: “I had an evening with Johnny Unitas at a banquet. I presented him with a pair of black high-tops. I wore black high-tops at Tennessee, and of course I knew Unitas did. We have a picture of him holding the high-tops, and he really liked it. That moment was very special for me. He was arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and the first pure timing passer.”

Costas: “Unitas finished at 290. Eventually Fran Tarkenton got to 342 and held the record for a long, long time.”

Manning: “I never met Fran Tarkenton. He and my dad are good friends, and he keeps up with me through my dad. I didn’t realize what a great passer Fran was. I knew he was a great scrambler. The fact that he threw for so many touchdowns, he was ahead of his time, and that record held for 20 years.”

Costas: “And then Dan Marino. He was the first to go past 400, and it looked like that mark was going to last for a long, long time.”

Manning: “My dad has always been my favorite player. You have to have a current favorite player, and Eli is obviously my current favorite player. Marino was my guy. I loved the way he competed, managed the game, and controlled the game. One of my very first games in the NFL was against Marino. We didn’t win, but I always remember that he hugged me after the game and said ‘Keep your head up, you’re going to play a long time in this league.’

I‘ve never forgotten that. He was probably the greatest passer of all time.”

Costas: “And then Brett Favre. No matter how you battered him and knocked him around, he showed up every Sunday and got the record.”

Manning: “I think that all players would like to be able to say that they played with as much passion as Brett Favre. I don’t know anybody else that can say it. I hope you can say that about me, but I’m not sure it does justice to Favre. Nobody had more passion than he did. There will never be anyone quite like him.”

JULIUS THOMAS WITH JOSH ELLIOTT

On not playing football in high school: “In high school I really didn’t [play football]. My friends would say come play football, and I would tell them that I was focused on basketball. My goal was to get a college scholarship. I thought I needed to invest all of my time in basketball.”

On joining the football team in college: “When I got to college and I reached that goal, the first thing that came to my mind was that I never gave football a shot. I went and asked the football coaches if they wouldn’t mind a 6-foot, 4-inch wide receiver? And they said ‘Of course. We don’t turn those down.’ Basketball coaches are not normally thrilled about their players running around on football fields, so it had to wait.”

On work ethic and size: “Being one of the smallest power forwards in Division I basketball, it gave me my work ethic. Every night you are going up against guys who are taller than you, and you are thinking ‘How am I going to find a way to have success tonight?’ You have to find a way to outwork them and find a way to do more. Being able to translate that work ethic to football has helped a lot. Now I’m the prototype size. I take that work ethic that I learned when I was the undersized guy, and put it together with my size, and it allows good things to happen.”

On being on pace to have 29 touchdown catches this season: “That 29-touchdown pace is a long time away. To be in this position now, and to be able to do things that help out my team, is a blessing for me. They are doing all they can to put me in a position to score, and I just need to go out there and find a way to catch the football.”

FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA

 

“Chasing 509″ – Peyton Manning Aims To Set NFL Record For Most Career Passing Touchdowns When Broncos Host 49ers On Sunday Night Football

FNIA-nfl-nbcManning Needs Three Touchdown Passes To Set NFL All-Time Record For Most Career Passing TDs

Coverage Begins with Football Night In America at 7 p.m. ET on NBC

NBC Sports Live Extra to Live Stream 49ers-Broncos

NFL Turning Point Airs Tonight at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Pro Football Talk Weekdays at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

NBCSN Sunday Sports Report Has Comprehensive Post-Game Coverage Sunday Nights at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Stamford, Conn. – Oct. 15, 2014 – Peyton Manning looks to become the most prolific quarterback in NFL history this Sunday when the Denver Broncos (4-1) host Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers (4-2) on Sunday Night Football on NBC. Pre-game coverage begins with Football Night In America at 7 p.m. ET. Manning is currently “Chasing 509,” needing just three more passing touchdowns reach 509 for his career, which would break the NFL record for most passing touchdowns (Brett Favre, 508).

The Broncos enter their Sunday Night Football showdown with San Francisco following a 31-17 victory over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. The 49ers have won three straight games, including a 31-17 win over the St. Louis Rams on Monday night. Sunday night’s game is only the third meeting in the last 10 years between the 49ers and Broncos, and the first-ever meeting between Manning and Kaepernick.

Calling 49ers-Broncos is seven-time Emmy Award-winner Al Michaels (play-by-play), in his 29th season as the voice of the NFL’s premier primetime package; 15-time Emmy Award-winner Cris Collinsworth, who has won the Emmy for Outstanding Event Analyst in each of his five seasons in the Sunday Night Football booth; and two-time Emmy Award-winning sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.

NBC’s coverage of Sunday Night Football is led by Emmy Award-winning producer Fred Gaudelli and Emmy Award-winning director Drew EsocoffSunday Night Football has won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Series for a record six consecutive years.

Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports, is hosted by 26-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas, who will report from Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo., on Sunday. Costas will be joined on site by Collinsworth, Tafoya, two-time Super Bowl winner Hines Ward, and NBC Sports commentator Josh Elliott.

Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 and will be joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN and NBCSports.com, and Peter King of Sports Illustrated. Kathryn Tappen will report from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on the Giants-Cowboys game.

PEYTON MANNING “CHASING 509” ON SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

With three more passing touchdowns this Sunday night, Manning would reach 509 passing TD’s in his career to eclipse Brett Favre (508) for the most career passing touchdowns in NFL history. Some of Peyton Manning’s most memorable moments “Chasing 509” have come on Sunday Night Football on NBC. Manning boasts a 17-6 all-time record on SNF (including NFL Kickoff), the most wins of any quarterback on Sunday Night Football on NBC, including a 10-3 home record in those contests. Following are some of Manning’s top performances on NBC over the past eight-plus seasons.

  • Sept. 10, 2006 – In the first-ever Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Manning throws for 247 yards and a touchdown in “The Manning Bowl,” leading the Indianapolis Colts past younger brother Eli and the New York Giants 26-21 at Giants Stadium.
  • Nov. 5, 2006 – Peyton Manning throws for 327 yards and two touchdowns, as the Colts improve to 8-0 with a 27-20 win over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
  • Sept. 6, 2007 – Manning and the Colts follow their Super Bowl XLI victory with a 41-10 win over the New Orleans Saints on NFL Kickoff, as the Colts QB throws for four touchdowns at the RCA Dome.
  • Oct. 11, 2009 – Manning goes 36-for-44, including a perfect 14-for-14 in the second quarter, with 309 yards and three touchdowns, in a 31-9 win in Tennessee over the Titans. In the game, Manning passed Fran Tarkenton for third place on the all-time TD pass list behind Dan Marino and Brett Favre.
  • Nov. 15, 2009 – Following Bill Belichick’s stunning gamble on fourth down in Patriots territory, Manning leads the Colts on a game-winning drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne with 13 seconds remaining in a 35-34 win, keeping Indianapolis undefeated at 9-0.
  • Sept. 9, 2012 – In his return to the NFL and debut with the Broncos following neck surgery in 2011, Manning throws the 400th TD of his NFL career in a 31-19 win over the Steelers.
  • Sept. 5, 2013 – Manning throws a NFL record-tying seven touchdown passes and 462 yards, the second-highest total of his career, in a 49-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
  • Oct. 20, 2013 – Manning returns to Indianapolis for the first time since joining the Broncos, and throws for 386 yards and three touchdowns in a 39-33 loss to Andrew Luck and the Colts.
  • Sept. 7, 2014 – Manning defeats Luck and the Colts to open the 2014 Sunday Night Football schedule, throwing three touchdown passes to Julius Thomas in a 31-24 win in Denver. With the win, Manning joined Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks to beat each of the current 32 NFL franchises.

VIDEO: TONY DUNGY AND RODNEY HARRISON PREVIEW 49ERS-BRONCOS

Tony Dungy on 49ers keys to success against Broncos: “Power running – take time off the clock, and keep Peyton on the bench…do what you do best, and you’ve got a chance…if they don’t get pressure on Manning, he will torch this secondary.”

Rodney Harrison on 49ers: “It’s very important to keep your identity, and that’s running the ball with Frank Gore. Don’t allow Colin Kaepernick to pass the ball 40 times.”

Dungy on difference in Manning now from 10 years ago: “He plays within himself. He looked for big plays so much in the past, and now he’s content to throw the little slant, throw the screen pass…every pass doesn’t have to be 50 yards.”

NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

For the seventh consecutive season, Sunday Night Football will be streamed live online. NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product, will stream all SNF games to desktops and tablets. The full HD-quality video stream will come directly from NBC’s broadcast of SNF. For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available at the App Store for iPad and iPod touch, and on select tablet devices within Google Play.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL DIGITAL COVERAGE

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ALL-ACCESS SNF All-Access includes exclusive photos and videos of the Sunday Night Football production team, look-ins on SNF production meetings, Michele Tafoya’s “Ten With Tafoya” interviews with NFL players, and conversations with SNF and FNIA talent.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SOCIAL MEDIA:

NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive social media coverage includes the Sunday Night Football Facebook page, providing exclusive behind-the-scenes SNF content & digital content from NBCSports.comSNF All AccessProFootballTalk.com, and Rotoworld.com, @SNFonNBC, using tweets, photos, Vines and videos & real-time tweets from Michele Tafoya, and a look at SNF through the filters of Instagram.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BUS

NBC Sports Group’s Sunday Night Football bus returns this season to travel the country visiting the host cities of all 17 Sunday Night Football games and postseason games, including Super Bowl XLIX. The bus arrives in each city two to three days prior to the game and stops at local landmarks and events, where fans have the opportunity to interact with America’s most-watched primetime television show via exclusive memorabilia, and an interactive 55-inch touch screen housing social media elements, photos and video. Fans can digitally follow the Sunday Night Football bus at NBCSports.com/FollowSNF.

“THE SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL”

For the third consecutive season NBC Sports presents “The Sunday Night Football,” a custom-made football from Wilson, which will travel with the SNF crew all season. Fans of SNF on Facebook and Twitter can keep up with “The Sunday Night Football” on the SNF Facebook page, and at the end of each SNF game, “The Sunday Night Football” will be signed by the player of the game.

For more information on Sunday Night Football’s comprehensive digital coverage, click here: http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/08/28/nbc-sports-group-surrounds-week-1-of-2014-nfl-season-with-nfl-kickoff-2014-and-sunday-night-football/

NBC SPORTSWORLD – FROM MONTANA & ELWAY TO KAEPERNICK & MANNING

Earlier today, NBC Sports Group announced the launch of NBC SportsWorld, a new micro-site within NBCSports.com dedicated to long-form storytelling. The new site launches today and will be populated with compelling long-form stories, essays, short films and documentaries, including select archived Olympic video. In advance of Sunday night’s 49ers-Broncos game, CSN Bay Area Senior Insider Ray Ratto connects the dots from Joe Montana and John Elway to Colin Kaepernick and Peyton Manning.

Click here for more information on NBC SportsWorld: http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/10/15/nbc-sportsworld-is-new-long-form-home-of-nbc-sports-digital/

NFL TURNING POINT – TONIGHT AT 11 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Wednesday night’s all new edition of NFL Turning Point, NBCSN’s Emmy Award-nominated weekly NFL show co-produced by NFL Films, will feature in-depth analysis of some of Week 6’s most compelling matchups, including the Dallas Cowboys upset over the Seattle Seahawks. Airing tonight at 11 p.m. ET, the episode will also review the key moments that defined the Packers-Dolphins and Giants-Eagles contests.

In addition, this week’s installment will include a wired-for-sound feature on Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, as well as a spotlight feature on the play of Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt.

Each week Turning Point will be built around select NFL matchups from the previous weekend, and will focus on the crucial “turning point” moments that ultimately defined the outcome of each game. The show will also feature anatomy-of-a-play type segments and long form, Game-of-the-Week style narratives that include the pre-game and post-game access, sideline sounds, jaw-dropping cinematography and incredible storytelling that are synonymous with NFL Films.

Click here for more info: http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/10/14/cowboys-seahawks-headline-new-episode-of-nfl-turning-point-tomorrow-night-at-11-p-m-et-on-nbcsn-3/

PRO FOOTBALL TALK ON NBCSN WEEKNIGHTS, 5:30 P.M. ET

Pro Football Talk, NBCSN’s daily NFL studio show co-hosted by Mike Florio and Paul Burmeister, airs at 5:30 p.m. ET every Monday through Friday. Pro Football Talk provides all-encompassing coverage of the NFL, and features a roster of NBC Sports football commentators who share a combined eight Super Bowl titles and 169 seasons of NFL experience, including Cris Collinsworth (Thursdays), Tony Dungy (Tuesdays), Hines Ward (Wednesdays), Doug Flutie (Fridays), Jason Taylor, Takeo Spikes, Brian Westbrook, Ross Tucker, Jon Ritchie, NFL coach Kevin Gilbride, and longtime NFL athletic trainer Mike Ryan.

FANTASY FOOTBALL LIVE ON NBCSN TUESDAY – THURSDAY NIGHTS, 6:30 P.M. ET

Fantasy Football Live is a live and on-demand, multi-platform, fantasy football program that airs Tuesday through Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, combining the best fantasy football expertise from Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports, including unique metrics from Yahoo! Sports’ leading fantasy football platform, and full integration with NBC Sports’ premier fantasy sports information site, Rotoworld.com.

Hosted by NBC Sports’ Dave Briggs,  Fantasy Football Live features a roster of Yahoo Sports, NBC Sports and Rotoworld fantasy analysts, including Rotoworld’s Kay Adams, as well as Yahoo Sports’ Brad EvansBrandon Funston and Andy Behrens.

NBCSN SUNDAY SPORTS REPORT SUNDAY NIGHTS, 11:30 P.M. ET

NBCSN Sunday Sports Report, a new, weekly, one-hour program that showcases the news and highlights of the sports properties that are carried by NBC Sports Group, airs every Sunday night at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Hosted by Liam McHugh, NBCSN Sunday Sports Report goes in-depth into the high-profile sports properties that primarily air on NBC and NBCSN, including the Olympics, NFL, NASCAR, NHL, Premier League, golf, Triple Crown horse racing, Notre Dame Football, Formula One, IndyCar and more.

Click here for more info: http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/07/14/nbcsn-sunday-sports-report-premieres-august-17/

NBC SPORTS RADIO

NBC Sports Radio will surround the 2014 NFL season with daily coverage on 439 radio affiliates, highlighted by McNabb and Malone; an all-sports show that leverages the unique perspective of two former NFL quarterbacks, and Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison; featuring three-time All Pro and two-time Super Bowl-winner Rodney Harrison.

To listen to a live stream of NBC Sports Radio, or find your local affiliate, visit www.NBCSportsRadio.com

NBC SPORTS REGIONAL NETWORKS

NBC Sports Regional Networks, which serve top NFL markets such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Houston and San Francisco, will surround the 2014 NFL season with in-depth news, analysis and original programming on the teams that matter most in more than 43 million U.S. households.

2014 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

NBC will broadcast 19 primetime NFL games during the 2014 regular season including NBC’s annual Thanksgiving night game, featuring the heated NFC West rivalry between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.

2014 NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
DATE WEEK MATCHUP
*Sun. Oct. 19 Week 7 San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos
*Sun. Oct. 26 Week 8 Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints
*Sun. Nov. 2 Week 9 Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
*Sun. Nov. 9 Week 10 Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
*Sun. Nov. 16 Week 11 New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts
*Sun. Nov. 23 Week 12 Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
**Thurs. Nov. 27 Week 13 Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
*Sun. Nov. 30 Week 13 Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
*Sun. Dec. 7 Week 14 New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers
*Sun. Dec. 14 Week 15 Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
*Sun. Dec. 21 Week 16 Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
*Sun. Dec. 28 Week 17 TBA
   

*Flex Week

** Thanksgiving Night Game

Follow “Sunday Night Football” on Twitter @SNFonNBC

Become a fan of “Sunday Night Football” on Facebook at: Facebook.com/SNFonNBC

Follow “Sunday Night Football” on Instagram @snfonnbc

Visit SNF All-Access at: http://snfallaccess.nbcsports.com/

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

“One-Hit Wonders” Who Caught a Touchdown Pass from Peyton Manning Highlights ESPN’s Week 7 NFL Content

Sunday NFL Countdown logo

Sunday NFL Countdown: Peyton Manning’s One-Hit Wonders; Smashing Records – The DeMarco Murray Story; Special Guest Jim Cramer; and More 

Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis will preview week 7 on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. ET. The three-hour program will feature reporter/host Wendi Nix during select segments, while NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news.

ESPN reporters at game sites:

  • Bengals at Colts (Lindsay Czarniak and Ron Jaworski at “The Big Early Game”)
  • Saints at Lions (Sal Paolantonio)
  • Panthers at Packers (Bob Holtzman)
  • Giants at Cowboys (Ed Werder)
  • 49ers at Broncos (Josina Anderson)

Features:

  • One-Hit Wonders: Peyton Manning has 506 touchdown passes and needs just three more to surpass Brett Favre’s record 508. Seven players caught only one touchdown in their careers with the lone pass coming from Manning. Reporter Jim Trotter tracks down some of the lucky seven.
  • Smashing Records: Breaking rushing records is in DeMarco Murray’s DNA. The Cowboys running back is on the precipice of several NFL rushing records this season, including Jim Brown’s record for six consecutive 100-yard games to open a season. Murray broke Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith’s Cowboys single-game rushing record with 253 yards in October 23, 2011, vs. the Rams. At the University of Oklahoma, Murray set several school records, surpassing Sooner greats Billy Simms, Marcus Dupree and Adrian Peterson. Greg Garber reports on Murray’s history with breaking records.
  • My Brother’s Keeper – The Joe Haden Story: Browns cornerback Joe Haden has always shared a unique bond with his younger brother Jacob, who has special needs and is unable to communicate verbally. That bond was further strengthened when Joe, at nine years of age, dove into their aunt’s swimming pool to save Jacob’s life. Josina Anderson reports. (Ed note: This piece was moved from last Sunday’s show to this week.)
  • Soundtracks – Earl Thomas: Seahawks safety Earl Thomas of the vaunted “Legion of Boom” defensive unit was wired for in-game audio last Sunday against the Cowboys and will be featured on Sunday’s “Soundtracks.”
  • Jim Cramer – Buy or Sell: Jim Cramer, star of CNBC’s Mad Money joins the Countdown crew for a segment, measuring the stock of AFC North quarterbacks.

ESPN’s Monday Night Football: JJ Watt and the Texans Visit Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers

JJ Watt and the Houston Texans visit Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on October 20 at 8:15 p.m. The Steelers enter the matchup with the longest MNF home win streak in the series’ 45-year history – 15 games.

The MNF team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters will call the game from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The NFL’s week seven finale will be televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and available via WatchESPN for those with video subscriptions from affiliated providers.

Monday Night Countdown begins at 6 p.m. on ESPN. Suzy Kolber and NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young review Sunday’s games and preview the MNF matchup from Heinz Field. Studio host Chris Berman, NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter join the show from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn.

Monday Night Countdown highlights:

  • Soundtracks: Best of J.J. Watt: The Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, J.J. Watt’s dominating performance this season has his name being mentioned in MVP discussions. Countdown features the best of Watt’s in-game audio in Soundtracks.
  • Gruden’s Grill Session with JJ Watt: MNF’s Gruden visits with Texans All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt in this week’s Grill Session.
  • Ben Roethlisberger Conversation: Two-time Super Bowl Steelers winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sits for a one-on-one conversation with MNF reporter Salters.
  • Rick Reilly’s Feature – Bill O’Brien: Family and football is a tough balancing act for any head coach. Rick Reilly tells the story of how Jack O’Brien, the son of Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, helped give his father a renewed perspective on pressure and life beyond the football field.

NFL Matchup – Colts Play Action; Cowboys Run Game; Struggling Seahawks Offense; and More

NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge preview the weekend’s key matchups via film-room X’s and O’s analysis on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.).  Highlights:

  • Jaws Playbook – Colts Play Action: Jaworski takes viewers through a play-action pass that the Colts offense will execute against the Bengals defense on Sunday.
  • Inside the Matchup – Chargers Bunch Formation: Jaworski explains how the Chiefs man-to-man defense can be nullified by the Chargers’ bunch formations.
  • Coach’s Clicker – Cowboys Run Game: Hoge illustrates the staples of a versatile Cowboys run game, giving the Cowboys a more balanced offense that wears down opposing defenses.
  • X and O Files – Jets Defensive Game Plan vs. Manning: The Jets defense was able to slow down quarterback Peyton Manning’s decision-making process by playing a variety of defensive coverages, something the 49ers will look to replicate this weekend, argues the NFL Matchup panel.
  • Hoge Breakdown – Suh to Disrupt Drew Brees: Hoge explains how the Lions will rely on their defensive line, led by Ndamukong Suh, to create pressure on quarterback Drew Brees and slow down the Saints passing attack.
  • Let’s See it Hoge – Struggling Seahawks Offense: The Seahawks offense is having trouble on third downs and when defenses are able to keep quarterback Russell Wilson in the pocket, Hoge explains.

NFL on ESPN Radio: Drew Brees and Saints vs. Matthew Stafford and Lions

ESPN Radio will broadcast the matchup between two exciting NFL quarterbacks – Drew Brees vs. Matthew Stafford – on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 1 p.m., when the Detroit Lions (4-2) host the New Orleans Saints (2-3) on ESPN Radio.  Ryan Ruocco, Bill Polian and Ian Fitzsimmons will be on site for the broadcast. Pre-game coverage begins at 12 p.m.

E:60 – Profile on Cowbpys’ Jason Witten Airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. 

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has six All-Pro selections, played in nine Pro Bowls and owns the franchise record for receptions during his 12 seasons. But what sets him apart, are his toughness and resilience, traits he learned those at an early age, although not by choice. Witten grew up haunted by an abusive father until, at the age of 11, he and his battered mother moved to live near their maternal grandfather, a legendary high school football coach who helped Witten heal and emerge as a star football player. The Cowboys star has established a foundation that mentors boys whose mothers are victims of domestic violence.  E:60’s Jeremy Schaap reports (Trailer).

ESPN.com – On Jim Irsay’s Shadow Life and Cowboys Unexpected Success

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Preview of Week 7 Editions of NFL Network’s ‘NFL GameDay First’ & ‘NFL GameDay Morning’

NFL-GameDayMorning‘NFL GameDay Morning’ Sunday at 9:00 AM ET

Brett Favre with Steve Mariucci

Cowboys TE Jason Witten with Michael Irvin

‘NFL GameDay First’ Airs Sunday at 7:00 AM ET

Sunday is ‘GameDay’ and every week NFL Network provides more than 15 hours of live coverage, beginning at 7:00 AM ET with NFL GameDay First. NFL Network’s coverage continues at 9:00 AM ET with NFL GameDay Morning leading viewers into the early games. At 1:00 PM ET, NFL GameDay Live provides in-progress highlights and analysis of the day’s games, and at 7:30 PM ET, NFL GameDay Highlights recaps the entire afternoon. At 11:30 PM ET, NFL GameDay Final provides complete analysis on the entire football Sunday.

This week on NFL GameDay First

Host: Melissa Stark

Co-host/Analyst: Sterling Sharpe

Analysts: Shaun O’Hara & Michael Robinson

Featured this week on NFL GameDay First:

  • NFL GameDay Morning’s Steve Mariucci joins NFL GameDay First from Brett Favre’s house to discuss if this is the week Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning breaks Favre’s all-time passing touchdown record
  • Sterling Sharpe – the recipient of Brett Favre’s first career touchdown – explains when he knew Favre was destined for greatness, and how Peyton Manning’s career parallels that of Favre’s
  • After a Week 6 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Michael Robinson breaks down the status of his former team, the Seattle Seahawks. Is it time to panic in Seattle?
  • Shaun O’Hara takes to social media to find out the more impressive unit in Dallas this season: the offense or the defense?
  • NFL Media’s Michael Silver’s all-access feature with quarterback Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals
  • Live reports from Jeff Darlington for Bengals-Colts, Alex Flanagan for Panthers-Packers, Albert Breer for Saints-Lions and Steve Wyche for Seahawks-Rams
  • NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport provides the latest news from around the league
  • Picks for every game on Sunday

This week on NFL GameDay Morning

Host: Rich Eisen

Analysts: Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner, Warren Sapp, Michael Irvin & Terrell Davis

NFL Media Insider: Ian Rapoport

Featured this week on NFL GameDay Morning:

  • Steve Mariucci joins Brett Favre at Favre’s home in Mississippi to discuss the following topics
    • Brett Favre’s thoughts on Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning approaching his all-time passing touchdown record
    • Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are all approaching the age of 40 – how much longer can they play at a high level and any advice for them?
    • Thoughts on being inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame next year, and thoughts on the current season for the Packers
    • Who is the best young quarterback in the game today?
    • Thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys’ 5-1 record and quarterback Tony Romo
  • NFL Network analyst and former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin sits down with Cowboys tight end Jason Witten for an interview
  • Warren Sapp explains why the Dallas Cowboys defense is dominating
  • Are the 5-1 Dallas Cowboys the best team in the NFL?
  • Terrell Davis joins NFL GameDay Morning in-studio to discuss Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray’s quest for 2,000 yards and his edition of A Football Life airing Friday, October 24
  • Marshall Plan Marshall Faulk analyzes why Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray is excelling
  • What are the biggest concerns for the defending Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks?
  • Warner’s Corner Kurt Warner breaks down the play of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers
  • NFL Media’s Michael Silver was granted unique access in meetings and the film room with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson
  • NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport has the latest news from around the NFL
  • Week 7 Bold Predictions & picks for every game on Sunday
  • Live reports
    • Albert Breer from Detroit for Saints-Lions
    • Stacey Dales from Chicago for Dolphins-Bears
    • Jeff Darlington from Indianapolis for Bengals-Colts
    • Alex Flanagan from Green Bay for Panthers-Packers
    • Kim Jones from Dallas for Giants-Cowboys
    • Steve Wyche from St. Louis for Seahawks-Rams

NFL GameDay Live, NFL GameDay Highlights and NFL GameDay Final Conclude Sunday Coverage

At 1:00 PM ET, NFL GameDay Live provides in-progress highlights and analysis, as well as live fantasy football updates for all of the 1:00 and 4:00 PM ET games. Hosts Kevin Frazier and Dan Hellie are joined by analysts LaDainian Tomlinson, Heath Evans, Brian Billick and Daniel Jeremiah providing 6.5 hours of coverage.

At 7:30 PM ET, Chris Rose hosts NFL GameDay Highlights, along with Tomlinson, Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and Steve Mariucci.

At 11:30 PM ET, Rose and analysts Sanders, Marshall Faulk and Michael Irvin recap all of the day’s action on NFL GameDay Final with game highlights, player and coach press conferences, post-game interviews and analysis of every game.

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College Football: Transcript of Media Conference Call with Lou Holtz and Danny Kanell

2010 -- ESPN College Football LogoESPN held a media conference call with college football analysts Lou Holtz and Danny Kanell on Thursday, Aug. 16. Holtz and Kanell – who were members of the Notre Dame and Florida State teams, respectively, that faced off in the 1993 Game of the Century – touched on a variety of topics, including Saturday’s No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Florida State matchup (October 18 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC). They also talked about the College Football Playoff, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Michigan State, memories of College GameDay’s first road show and more.

A transcript of the conference call follows:

Q.) Danny, how would you compare the two quarterbacks? They’ve both had their share of off-the-field issues, but it seems like this is a game where Everett Golson could make his legacy? 

Kanell: Absolutely. Everett Golson is a completely different quarterback this year than he was his freshman year when he took Notre Dame to the national title game. That game, I think you could safely say he was a game manager, whereas this year he’s a difference maker on the field. He’s probably the biggest reason why Notre Dame is undefeated to this point because of his play on the field.

Q.) If I could follow‑up, obviously Notre Dame is a 12‑point underdog going in here. Do they need Everett Golson’s A‑plus game to win? 

Kanell: Yes, I absolutely do think that. I think Florida State’s a different team where they have more talent around Jameis Winston where they can overcome if he has a poor game. But I think Everett Golson is an X‑factor in this game without question. He has to play well. He has to have a strong performance in order for Notre Dame to win.

Q.) About Jameis, you obviously played at Florida State and had a great career, what is your take on how they’ve handled everything with him? 

Kanell: It’s pretty clear now Jimbo Fisher has pretty much fallen behind Jameis Winston, and he knows him better than anyone. That coach‑to‑quarterback relationship is a unique bond. When he goes to Jameis Winston, asks him something and looks him in the eye, clearly he’s put a lot of faith and trust in Jameis Winston. From the outside looking in it could look questionable because of some of the mistakes and transgressions that Jameis has had off the field, but Jimbo knows him better than anyone.

I think that’s what I would look at and say, all right, it’s the coach‑quarterback relationship. The trust is there, and Jimbo’s made it very clear that he believes Jameis on multiple fronts.

Q.) For Coach and Danny, when you played in that 1993 game, there was a very different postseason for college football, and there was a sense that if you lost a game that was it for National Championship hopes. I guess I should spin it, did you get the feeling going into that game it was a sort of this is a game we have to win or we have no National Championship hopes? Do you think that change now in college football has been fundamentally changed by the college playoff because it looks like these teams could conceivably meet down the road? 

Holtz: Definitely. We felt that if we didn’t win that game we could not win the National Championship. We also knew by winning the game that wasn’t for the national champion, we still had another game, a Top 10 team. We had a bowl game to play. It would have been much better in ’89 and ’93 as well as a couple other years for us had it gone to the final four and said, okay, we’ll take four teams because there is a good chance Florida State and Notre Dame would have met again. But you could not win it if you didn’t win that game. It didn’t mean you were going to win it because you won it.

Q.) Danny, Florida State was so good that year, it had to have been even more pressure to win that game, and it must have been pretty stunning when you didn’t? 

Kanell: Without question. The plane ride home was a long one, and it was quiet. We really felt like our season was over. The chance to win the national title and give Bobby Bowden his first championship was out the window. It was a long week of practice. Our coaches tried to harp on us and say, hey, look, there is still a chance that we could get back in it. I don’t know if we even believed them at the time. But I vividly remember because at the time we lived in an athletic dorm and the entire football team lived at Burt Reynolds Hall. When Notre Dame came to Boston College, you could hear the shouts and celebration across Tallahassee, for sure, because that’s the minute we felt like we were back in the hunt.

Q.) Coach, I know Brian Kelly and Jimbo Fisher would never admit this, but from your position as a coach, would you handle things or at least maybe internalize things a little differently if you had a four‑team playoff back then? Maybe pace your team a little differently? Not feel quite as much pressure to win every game? How does that work from a coaching standpoint on what you impart to your team, but how do you handle your own business knowing that one loss doesn’t necessarily eliminate you? 

Holtz: Well, I would have approached it the same way. You play it one team, you don’t have to be the best team in the country, we do have to be the best team in the stadium today. But when you do lose, like Danny said, it isn’t the end of the world. It isn’t like we don’t have a chance now. I think it’s much better now. I think coaches feel a lot of pressure now to be one of the final four teams rather than just be the one. Your goal is to be in the top four right now. Your goal then was to be number one all the way through so there was a great deal of pressure. But it’s a little different. All you want to do is get in the playoff. If you can you get in the playoff, you’ve got a chance. If you don’t get in the playoff, you have no chance.

Q.) Coach and Danny, I’m curious for both of you to look at Brian VanGorder, Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator, his team and his personnel, what your impressions of those are and are they good enough to really factor into the outcome of this game? 

Holtz: I disagree with what Danny said before, and I have great respect for him, but I just have a difference of opinion. I don’t think Golson has to play an A‑game. I think Notre Dame’s defense does. The one advantage that Notre Dame has is the offense and defense. I think Notre Dame can run the ball and protect the pass. I’m not sure Florida State can. I think Notre Dame’s secondary plays the ball much better than Florida State.

With that being said, that was my observation before they gave up 43 points to North Carolina. Now is that an enigma or did somebody finally attack them? I know Brian VanGorder, when he was at Georgia, he’s an excellent coach. They’re very sound in what they do. But I would be concerned after the North Carolina game. Up until then, I felt Notre Dame’s defense was definitely for real.

Kanell: I’ll piggyback on what Coach said and specifically on Brian VanGorder. I think he’s one of the strongest defensive coordinators in the game with what he brings to the table. He brings a ton of stuff. I mean, you have to have a very smart, intelligent defense to pull off some of the schemes that he does, and that can present some challenges for Florida State. I would agree with Coach where in the trenches Notre Dame does have an advantage. Florida State has struggled mightily running the football, and that is one area where Notre Dame can absolutely go toe to toe with Florida State.

Q.) Just curious of your impressions of how Notre Dame handled suspensions of players involved in the academic probe, and just kind of your takeaway from all of that? 

Holtz: Having been at Notre Dame, it doesn’t surprise me that they would investigate everything seriously. I was at the University of Notre Dame, I am surprised it took them so long to make the decision. How long could it take to investigate something? One thing I learned as a Coach at Notre Dame for 11 years, Notre Dame is going to march to their own drummer, they don’t care what people on the outside say, as a matter of fact, they don’t even care what the football Coach says. They’re going to do what they feel is in the best interest of the university, and uphold the integrity of the university. I’m just surprised it took that long.

I’m not surprised what they did, the manner they did, the decision they reached. I have no idea on anything involved but that’s just Notre Dame.

Kanell: I would say this is why Notre Dame is truly an elite academic institution with the standards they hold their student‑athletes to. It’s just a different set of rules that they expect their students to go by. I think that speaks to the challenge and how hard it is, not only to get top‑tier athletes into the University, but to keep them there. It’s extremely rigorous. The expectations are extremely high, but I think that’s why it’s a special place as well.

Holtz: In ’89 we’re defending national champ. I’m getting ready to go to the press conference to start the fall camp. Notre Dame informs me at noon that day that Tony Brooks drove his car on campus and emptied his clothes. He was not allowed to do that because he had parking tickets, he would not play for the entire year. He never set foot on the football field.

They informed me that Michael Stonebreaker had a car accident during the off‑season where he had been drinking.  He was not charged with drunken driving or anything else. He, again, an All‑American linebacker, would not play the entire year. Neither one of them set foot on the field the entire year of ’89. And just that when Tony Rice came in, and I promised Tony that I thought he could get in, not knowing Notre Dame. They told me that they would admit Tony Rice, however, his freshman year he would not set foot on the football field or the Coach’s office. It would be the one year for spring practice, but have nothing to do with football until he could prove he could handle the work academically. That’s just the way Notre Dame is, and you accept it. When you go there, you understand that’s the way Notre Dame operates.

Q.) If you could just let me slip in a quick question about Minnesota. This might be near and dear to Lou’s heart.  But the Big Ten west looks wide open right now. I’m wondering if either of you see any scenario where Minnesota could end up playing in Indianapolis at the end of the year? 

Holtz: Well, I went on TV the first week of the season and I picked Minnesota as a dark horse in the Big Ten. I like what Jerry Kill has done, and yes, they have a chance.  The last three games have been difficult.  I think they play Ohio State, Wisconsin and Nebraska the last few games. We also have Iowa, but they’ve got Illinois, they’ve got Indiana in there. The thing I like is they can run the ball. They’re physical. They play good, sound defense. They play old‑fashioned football and they do not beat themselves. They did get beat up pretty good at TCU but just the way they play and looking at them, I pick them.

Kanell: I would say they absolutely have a chance in the Big Ten West. When you look at what they’ve got, they’ve got maybe one of the most underrated coaches in the game with Jerry Kill and the job he’s done building that program a consistent identity behind David Cobb running the football, and being able to do it successfully and basically coming out and saying all right, we’re going to establish the run and getting that done. Then you throw it in there that they’re playing in the division that is completely wide open right now, they absolutely have every chance.

Q.) I wonder if you guys can talk a little about the ’94 game and also the Orange Bowl, the ’95 season. I know those games are almost 20 years ago, but have you talked about those matchups as you’ve been on the ESPN campus? 

Holtz: Well, let me start. In ’94 we were in a rebuilding mode. We had a freshman quarterback. We went down played in Orlando. We didn’t play really well, Florida State did. We were in the game because Bobby [Taylor] picked up a fumble, ran in for a touchdown and we were in the game in the fourth quarter. But we really were in a rebuilding year. The Orange Bowl, we lost our starting quarterback and had to go with a back‑up front crew to replace very little. Florida State had an excellent football team. We jumped off to a pretty good lead early in the game. We ran the ball well and came out with the one‑back set. First play we ran, I think we picked up about 40 yards. But we built up the momentum.

What I remember off that game is they got the momentum right before the half. We had the ball on our 20‑yard line, 4th and 8. I ran a fake punt and it was successful. We picked up the first down. But I had noticed with five minutes to go in the game we’re up by 11 and could not hang on to it.

The play, I’ll never forget it, it was right in front of me. The receiver, I don’t know who it was, came down, ran a post corner post route and beat our corner for a long 55‑yard touchdown pass. Very well‑executed, very well‑thrown.  But it was a very, very good game. We had a chance to win it, but we just couldn’t hang on. Tom Krug did an excellent job considering everything. Florida State beat us up pretty good with their pass rush. Tom Krug took a beating, but Derrick Mayes had a tremendous game that day as wide receiver. I don’t remember much other than that.

Kanell: I vividly recall Bobby Taylor’s corner blitz where he hit me upside the head and had to scoop and score for the touchdown.  ’94, for me personally it was a time where I was still very much growing as a quarterback and trying to figure out my way and trying to establish myself as a guy who could help lead Florida State to a championship. That game I had faced a lot of adversity because of that play and because we had sputtered along offensively.

There was a signature play in that game in ’94 in Orlando. It was maybe a 30 or 40‑yard gainer, and that one kind of just for me allowed me to breathe a big sigh of relief and it got some momentum for us. I think Mark Richt, the play caller at the time, said hey, we’re going to try to mash them a little bit toward the end of the game, and we really did on the ground. Then just coming out of there with a win was a big one.

Then the Orange Bowl. That was my last game as a senior at Florida State and I remember the pressure leading into that game. There were a bunch of streaks that were on the line for Bobby Bowden and the program as far as consecutive bowl wins, 10‑game winning season, and I wanted to go out with a win as a senior being my last game.  It was a very physical game. I remember that. I remember getting knocked down several times. Then I recall coming back in the fourth quarter from behind and having Andre Cooper was the MVP of that game. That was my wide receiver. We had a real knack for each other for being able to throw the jump ball. We were always on the same page, whether I would put it up high or behind on his back shoulder or lead him down the field.

Then I would say that one of the most rewarding experiences for me in my career was after the game being able to bring my family on the field, my parents. I’ve got a photo still up in my office with my dad and I and the smile on both of our faces might be the biggest smile you’ve ever seen from both of us.

Q.) I cover Oklahoma and I’m trying to get a fix on the Sooners. They looked awfully good the first four weeks of the season and have really evened out. They lost to TCU and statistically were dominated by Texas. Won the game but didn’t look very good winning it. Do you have a sense of where this team is headed under Coach Stoops? 

Holtz: I think that I picked Oklahoma. I happened to do the bowl game. It was the pregame show with the Sugar Bowl and I was shocked at how well Trevor Knight played. I mean, he had averaged about a 50% completion for the year. He had like five touchdowns and six interceptions. Then for him to put on that performance and the Oklahoma team, the way they played together and focused and being on that sideline and seeing them, every time Alabama scored, they responded well. I don’t see that same thing in the last couple weeks. I don’t see the total togetherness.

I’m sure Coach Stoops will try to get that back, but they just started making the plays on defense, but the big thing, they aren’t making them on offense as well. You go the first half against Texas, I have great respect for [Texas’ Vance] Bedford. He played safety at Texas when I was at Arkansas, and he runs the same type of defense. But they only gained 19 yards against us. You’ve got to sit back and say, man, we’ve got some problems. But this happened during the middle of the year. I want to tell you, your chemistry changes, guys aren’t playing, guys get injured, guys have girlfriends. You don’t know what that locker room’s like.

I can tell you the locker room before the Sugar Bowl had to be tremendous because of the way they played. I’m not sure everybody’s on the same page right now. But that happens. Is it a reflection on Coach Stoops? These are the situations that you have to cope with as a Coach, and right the ship, and I’m sure he will.

Kanell:  I would say with this Oklahoma team, it wasn’t that long ago that most of the analysts around Bristol and around the country were saying that Oklahoma might have been the one elite team because it didn’t look like they had a lot of weaknesses.

The good news for Oklahoma is they may not be the elite team now, but there truly isn’t an elite team. Mississippi State right now is making their case and they’ve had an impressive run. But Oklahoma has run into a tough part of their schedule. They’re facing better teams and getting challenged more. You can look at the TCU game and say we’ve lost. But TCU is a good squad. They lost on the road and were able to contain a TCU who just loss with 58 points on the board against Baylor. Against Texas, I watched that game pretty closely. I was in studio with Mack Brown who had a lot of interest in that game, and it was the first half. Like Coach said, they didn’t do anything in the first half offensively, and Texas pretty much dominated that game from a physical standpoint. They had played better.

But in a rivalry game, you find a way to win. In today’s era, there are a lot of parities. It’s all about finding a way to win. And Oklahoma, even with the one loss, I’m sure there is in panic around Norman saying what’s going on?  We’re not blowing people out. You’ve got everything sitting right in front of you. Your biggest games remaining are at home when you look at Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State, so everything is there for the taking.

Holtz: The other thing Oklahoma had is they have to be happy TCU lost because if they win out, they’re going to at least be tied for the conference championship. So they still control their own destiny.

Q.) Obviously the winner of this game controls its destiny for a playoff chance. But what do you think the chances are if either team loses to get back and be found? And which one has a better chance because of the schedules and all of getting into the playoff hunt where they lost? 

Holtz: I think Notre Dame, both of them have an excellent chance with this loss. I think the team that wins this game is really punching their ticket to the final four. You look at their schedule remaining at Notre Dame. They have an open date after this game. Then they play Navy, Arizona State is having severe problems on defense. They have to travel out to this other town which is always a rivalry game. But they should be okay.

I think looking at Florida State and Notre Dame, both of them, regardless of the outcome of this game should win out. If both sides do that, both of them will be in the game again and have a chance to possibly repeat this performance.

Kanell: I do feel like it’s more of a must‑win game for Florida State. I’m sure if Florida State lost this game the immediate reaction after would be well, they’re done. Because they play in the ACC which is one of the weaker conferences in college football, because the remaining schedule, there aren’t too many tests where they can make a statement down the road as it looks now.

Now if you’re Florida State and you did lose, you’d immediately start rooting for Miami and Florida to play well so you can have stronger wins. But I think the team that probably has the best chance to move on with a loss and get back in the hunt is Notre Dame, just because of the schedule that they’ve got set before them and because of their signature win against Stanford at home. Then significant road tests, where if they can pull that off and go on the road at Arizona State and at USC, in the middle of those is Northwestern and Louisville, two pretty good Power Five schools that would absolutely be back in the hunt.

Q.) I know it’s probably unlikely, but can you come up with any scenario where two teams in the SEC West could make it to the final four this year? 

Kanell: I personally don’t think it happens, but there is absolutely a scenario where it could. Right now the state of Mississippi, which has been the hottest thing in college football this year, if they continue to run the table and they’re undefeated going into their egg bowl, their rivalry matchup, and they play a tight, tight game that comes down to a field goal, and both look impressive against each other, then the winner would go on to the SEC Championship game and dominate that game and beat whoever the SEC East representative is, so you’d have two really impressive looking teams from the SEC, there would be a chance.

But I think you would have to have a collapse around the country as far as Florida State would probably have to lose so you would open up a spot there that wouldn’t have been taken by an undefeated Florida State. The Pac‑12 would have to have a down year where you could have a two or even potentially a three‑loss champion. There are just a lot of different scenarios that have to play out.

I personally don’t think it will happen. That, for me personally has something more to do if I was on the committee, I would want to see conference champions represented in there as opposed to somebody who would lose the last game of the season and be represented.

Holtz: I think that for the SEC, I do believe the SEC has two of the four best teams in the country. But I think the rest of the conference, I think winning your conference championship should be mandatory. That’s just how I feel. If you don’t win your conference championship, you shouldn’t be in the National Championship. That’s just happened too much in recent years. North Carolina State was good with David Thompson, and they played Maryland in the finals of the ACC Tournament. Maryland had John Lucas and Tom McMillen. N.C. State wins in overtime. Maryland cannot go to the NCAA Tournament because the conference champion should go. I think that’s the way it should be. We have five major conferences. Four of them should send a representative. And if Notre Dame proves they’re better than any of the conference champions, they should be considered as well.

I just don’t like it. You don’t win your conference, you shouldn’t be a national champ. That’s just how I feel today.

Kanell: I would add to what Coach said, the perfect solution is to have eight teams, five conference champions and then you could have three at‑large. So you could have two teams from a strong SEC or strong Pac‑12 or whatever conference was having a good year. But that would just make way too much sense for college football right now.

Holtz: It would make more sense if we went back to January 1, after January 1, we’ll take the top four teams in the country, because at that time they’d have eight teams and consequently every bowl game would be very important.  I promise you, the Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl with the semifinal stage is going to have the national interest.  There are going to be a lot of other great games. I don’t know who will be in it, but you’ll have a lot of other great games and an awful lot of interest. You said we’re going to take a bowl game that will have great interest in it.

Q.) I want both of your thoughts on the final drive of the 1993 game and the significance of that game overall for both programs. Just what it meant to college football in general, the 1993 matchup? 

Holtz: The final drive should have been completely irrelevant. We’re ahead 21‑7, and we draft some passes wide open.  We’re at 21‑7 halftime.  The first 26 minutes of the second half we scored ten points, Florida State scored 10 points, and we’re up 31‑17. Four minutes or less to go in the game, Florida State has 4th and 20 on our 20, 4th and 20. They throw a pass, it hits our linebacker in the helmet. If he doesn’t have a helmet on, he would have had a concussion. Ball bounces up in the air. Florida State catches the ball. That made it 31‑24. We get the kickoff now, we’re fighting the clock. We run the ball three times. We don’t get a first down, we punt, we hold on. We had a prevent defense, so to speak, some people call it prevent, some call it victory, I call it prevent victory. But with the speed that Florida State had, and the elusiveness of Charlie Ward, we didn’t want to give up the big play.

But if we did get down inside on the 20, now we can clamp on you. We don’t have to worry about you getting behind on it, et cetera, and that was the nature of our defense. Florida State was a great football team. Bobby Bowden was a great coach, but more importantly a great person. I’ll say this about Florida State, they’re class people with a class name. Florida State may have beaten us seven out of 10 times. That’s very, very possible. I honestly felt on that particular day we were the better football team. If it’s not 4th and 10 and our linebacker just knocked it down, then everything else is irrelevant, and they aren’t talking about that last play.

Kanell: I guess I would go along with Coach. I didn’t play in the game. I was a holder for the kick, but I remember the incredible atmosphere. When you think about college football and the types of games you want to play in, there is not one you can picture being much better than that, especially the way the game played out. That was my first time in South Bend. There is definitely an aura about that stadium, about that environment. I can never get out of my mind how close the fans were to being on the field. Just the coaches told us, hey, make sure you have your helmet. Don’t put them down on the bench. The fans can grab them.

If you go back and watch the last play of the game, you can see fans and their toes are on the field. Now we’re so paranoid and they have coaches that keep people away. But it was great. We loved it. We were excited about going into that environment. Just from the standpoint from our end, even though we trailed most of the game because of Charlie Ward, they brought us back so many times in the fourth quarter or whenever we trailed, there was never a sense of panic, no matter how late in the game it kept going. Then there was sort of a feeling of shock because we felt like we were the best team in the country, and felt like we let it get away from us. Like we talked about before on the call, we felt like our season was over when we lost that game.

But it was such an incredible environment. For me personally, I had actually played the week before against Maryland. Charlie was hurt. And I’m sure there was some gamesmanship from our coaches saying we’re not sure what Charlie Ward’s status is and would he play, and I was terrified. I had just started my first game as a collegiate quarterback the week before. I had watched Charlie closer in that Notre Dame game than ever before and just kept praying that I would not have to go in that game because it was a different speed of athlete on the field for that one.

Holtz: I won’t dispute that Florida State was the best team in the country. You were a great football team.

Q.) Coach, obviously Florida State riding a school record 22‑game winning streak, and 25 years ago you were in the middle of a 23‑game winning streak. I’m curious, what is the mood of the team when things are really rolling along like that. Do you feel invincible? How does that confidence build? 

Holtz: Well, to have a 23‑game winning streak, it takes two seasons. So you look at your football team, and we never talked about the streak. But to do that streak, you’ve got to play well on the road. Once you go on the road, and we told the team all the time, make sure before you pack your pads, let’s pack our discipline. Let’s pack our togetherness. Let’s pack our defense. Let’s pack our kicking game. If we took those with us, we’d be okay. But you expect to win.

But I tell you what you do. You reach a point, and this is what Nick Saban faces, Urban Meyer faces, all coaches that are used to winning, and even Jimbo Fisher, when you win it’s a relief. You can’t celebrate a win because everybody expects you to win. Thank goodness it’s over. When you lose, it’s absolute, complete rejection, dejection, disappointment. I can’t tell you how painful a loss is when you’re used to winning. That’s when people get out of coaching.

When I left Notre Dame, I never thought I’d coach again, but it got to the point where you couldn’t enjoy a win. You didn’t win big enough. You didn’t do this, you didn’t do that. We finished second in the country, and everybody calls you an idiot. You just keep going with it. I’m sorry it didn’t continue, but we lost to a very good Miami team down there.

Q.) It sounds like the pressure builds faster than any joy as you continue to win? 

Holtz: Absolutely. There is no joy in that winning streak. It’s just oh, we got by that one. I don’t care if you’re playing Navy. You’re scared to death. You can’t enjoy a win because everybody expects you to win. So you’re not enjoying the winning streak, et cetera. You’re not even aware of it as you go along. But I can tell you this, losing is an absolute catastrophe.

Q.) As you look back now, how great of an accomplishment was that? 

Holtz: Well, you think of all the great teams that have been to Notre Dame, you think of all the great coaches at Notre Dame, and nobody’s ever won 23 games in a row. Now I think the streak is longer being undefeated, but there are some tie games in there. But you have to look at it and say you know ‑‑ but you have to remember this.  When that streak was going on, you count how many were in top 20 football teams. You’ll find the majority of those wins. In ’89 when we’re doing that, we beat seven conference champions.

In ’88, we beat the number two, the number three, and the number four team in the final poll. I think we end up beating six teams in the Top 10. So when I look back, I say it was really incredible, not that we won 23, but we won those 23 was impressive.

Q.) Connor Cook has had a pretty solid season so far. He’s a junior. Do you think there is any chance that he leaves early for the NFL? And if he does, what are his prospects? 

Holtz: I think that depends upon him and the Coach and how they approach it. I always told seniors that you had a great career because our seniors were here to guide you and direct you. And you have that same obligation to the players coming up, plus we had a chance to win a championship. I would not pull Michigan State out of that championship race right now either. I think they’re playing very well.

Connor Cook is 16‑2 as a quarterback starter, which is an unbelievable record if you look at Winston and Golson.  But I think he’s an excellent quarterback. I think you have to look at what other quarterbacks would be coming out.  I think Marcus Mariota is really talented, et cetera. I think you have to look at where you’re going to be drafted and where the future is. But I’ve told this to other quarterbacks and other players and it’s turned out to be true. If you stay ‑‑ and this was Todd Lyght, Todd Lyght was an All‑American junior ‑‑ Todd, if you stay, I’m going to pay you $5 million if you’ll stay at Notre Dame one more year. Because, you see, Todd, you’ll probably go in the second round this year. Next year you may be a Top 10 pick.

He ends up being the sixth player in the draft, so he ended up making more money by staying for us. Now I didn’t pay him, but he ended up making more money. So I think you have to look at the family background. Rocket Ismail came and said if I’m offered $18 million, if I stay another year, do you think I’ll get a better deal, a better job? I said no, I don’t think so. And his family was such that they felt they needed the money. So I think there are many so circumstances. Danny can talk about it more from an athlete. I can only talk about it from a Coach.

Kanell: I think Connor Cook’s an exceptional quarterback. I’ve been impressed with his development through the latter portion of last season where I really felt Michigan State should have been talked about more as potentially playing in the national title game. I thought they got completely overlooked and should have at least been considered throughout that process. When you look at it, I used to be hard core, you have to stay your entire career, and the most important thing is your degree.

But as I’ve grown older and hopefully wiser, I think you have to look at every situation individually and look at what your opportunities are. Like Coach said, who else is coming out? Where your own comfort level is. How is your maturity as a young man? Are you ready to step into the professional ranks and step into a franchise where you might have to lead grown men that are ten years older than you? Where are you personally? I think a lot of that has to come into the picture. If you do stay now, there are some benefits to staying which you’re seeing more and more guys. A lot of people aren’t aware of it, but you’re seeing schools will pick up the premium payments for an insurance policy. If so if you come out, you decide to investigate, you load up on an insurance policy where if you did have an injury and you weren’t drafted or even as high, you can go and get insurance for that and the school can assist. I think it comes with the entire process. You have to weigh your options and make the most informed, best decision for you personally.

Q.) Where do you see Michigan State standing in the whole playoff conversation? What is needed out of Michigan State to overcome their reputations? That’s been something a lot of people talked about so far this year? 

Holtz: I think as I evaluate it, I think the Big Ten is a little underrated or at least it’s improved. I think you look at Indiana and Illinois, they play good defense. Indiana can run the ball, Illinois can throw it. But I think Ohio State is vastly improved. They get better each and every week. Their quarterback has improved tremendously. Their defense is getting better. Ohio State plays Michigan State. I think the winner of that game has a chance to be one of the final four provided they win out and win the championship.

But I think Michigan State is a very good football team. I can’t believe how many points they gave up to Purdue.  That’s a shocker. Because one player has been constant, it’s a Narduzzi defensive team at Michigan State is not going to give up many points. That surprised me. But I do believe they run the ball well. Connor Cook, and the receiver. Remember this, two years ago they had quarterback problems. They also had receiver problems. Nobody talked about the receivers, but they couldn’t catch a cold.

Kanell: I absolutely think they have a chance. I think it’s been Ohio State and Michigan State, and the winner of that game has an outstanding chance to represent the Big Ten and the College Football Playoff. When you look at Michigan State, I think you have to win out. You have to root for Oregon, and hope that Oregon wins the Pac‑12 and has an impressive year. You go out and take care of business. Everybody wrote off the Big Ten. After that loss to Oregon, that was that first weekend when Ohio State lost to Virginia Tech.

There were some ugly losses across the board for the Big Ten. Everybody was down on them. There was still so much football left and there still is. You can’t get caught up and worry about it. I think Coach Dantonio has done an outstanding job of getting his team back on track. You talk about teams with identities. Even last year’s defense which was exceptional, they lost a lot of talent, but it wasn’t for the NFL. He has a defense that’s always going to come ready to play now they have this three‑pronged attack on offense between Connor Cook, Jeremy Langford, Tony Lippett, where they’ve got three solid weapons that bring really good weapons on the offensive side of the ball. So this team could be in the top four when it’s all said and done.

Holtz: I must say, don’t underestimate Ohio State. That’s not to say they lost to Virginia Tech, because they’re getting better each and every week, and I’m anxious to see that game.

Q.) This week the win percentage of Jameis Winston and Everett Golson they’re both a combined in college, your thoughts on how these two can continually find ways to win, and what it means to have a quarterback that’s wired that way? 

Holtz: Well, if you don’t have a quarterback, you don’t have a winning team. I’m going to tell you. There is no other position in baseball, maybe a goalie in hockey or soccer, that dominates the game more than quarterback does.  But they also are surrounded by some very good talent. Everett Golson, as Danny mentioned earlier, he just managed the game, now he’s a play maker. The reason I think both these players win is they have good talent around them. They have good coaches, and they realize talent.

But these quarterbacks can beat you four different ways. They can beat you with their arm, they can beat you with their head, they can beat you with their feet. Some of the plays that Jameis made last year was incredible as well as Golson does on a consistent basis. The other way they can beat you is with their heart. They’re winners.  They’re competitors, and Danny knows that’s inbred in certain quarterbacks and not in others.

Tony Rice had that, that he was going to find a way to win. One time Tony Rice held the record for the most consecutive passes completed. Just something about it. People underestimate the leadership, the heart, whatever you want to call it. They had their head, but their heart and leadership is critical.

Kanell: I’m with Coach. I think that’s the most important thing when you look at the quarterback. Evaluation is he a winner? And I think these young quarterbacks who have done that as well as anybody in the country. I’d rather see a guy who comes out of a game and his stat line might not be that great, but he found a way to get it done and lift the play of the players around him. And that’s probably what both of these guys do better than most in the country is they really lift the players around them on the field and in the huddle.

I think they both have a presence. I’ve gotten to sit down with both of them. They have a presence about them, sort of an intangible quality that you’re drawn to them. You want to play for them. You feel confident when they’re under center and they’re taking the snap that something good with happen. But I will say this, both quarterbacks have to play better than they have as of late. If you look at the last two or three games, both have been a little sloppy with the football.

Everett Golson started off the year exceptionally well protecting the football. He fumbled the ball six times, lost it five times, got a little sloppy with interceptions. And the same thing with Jameis Winston where the first half of games whether it was N.C. State, going back to the Oklahoma State game he’s been a little careless in the first half too. This is a game where it could come down to the final possession. And every possession is going to count.  There is no meaningless possession where you can afford a bad mistake. So they both have to clean up their play, in my opinion, to get it done in this game.

Holtz: The thing about Golson, you’re playing North Carolina. Gave up 70 points to Carolina, 50 to another opponent. This is my Heisman game. Put up big numbers, make the great plays, do all these things and do things that you don’t normally do. Against Florida State, I’m sure Coach Kelly’s going to say we don’t need the great play.  We need to eliminate the bad play. Forget about everything. Go out, play the game, play intelligent, and don’t try to do stuff you aren’t capable of.

Q.) I was wondering if you could reflect on the first College Gameday, first one going on the road and what a big deal that was at the time and how it spawned sort of this show that sort of intertwined in the fabric of college football? 

Holtz: Well, I remember vividly. People say what do you remember most about the game against Florida State? The first time GameDay went to the site. I knew Lee Corso since 1961 when he was an assistant at Navy and I was an assistant at William & Mary. He said would you come to our GameDay set. Now they didn’t have it at the stadium. They had it up in the Joyce Center, which was just outside my office up one flight of stairs. I said, yeah, after I get done. So as soon as I get done, I go up there and they put the ear piece in, I do the interview. Now in my life, and I’m an old man – my birthday candles cost more than the cake – I’ve never had an earache in my life, but that Sunday my ears started hurting. Monday I had a very bad earache. Tuesday it was excruciating. They called the team physician, he came over and looked at my ear, took a pair of tweezers and pulled the ear piece that ESPN left in my ear out of my ear. That’s what I remember about GameDay.

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