“I think everybody expects Green Bay to be the best team…I remind our team that we are the defending champions.” – Zimmer
STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 18, 2016 – For tonight’s Week 2 edition of NBC’s Football Night In America, the most-watched weekly studio show in sports, Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy interviews Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.. Football Night will also include a feature on two-time NFL MVP and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, as well as highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 2 games.
Football Night airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC. Mike Tirico will host tonight’s program live from inside U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., the first regular-season game at the new stadium. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.
Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1, and is joined by Dungy, two-time Super Bowl champion Rodney Harrison, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and NBC Sports Radio. Paul Burmeister will report from Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo., on the Colts-Broncos game.
INTERVIEW: Below are excerpts from Dungy’s interview with Zimmer. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”
MIKE ZIMMER WITH TONY DUNGY
Zimmer on when QB Teddy Bridgewater got hurt before the season started: “When it happened, it was just devastating. He was dropping back, and all of the sudden – I didn’t even see it – he was laying on the ground. He’s in pain, and the players are upset. Everybody loved the kid’ he’s just an unbelievable person. I think all of those things combined really stuck a dagger into the team.”
On stopping practice and sending the team home after Bridgewater’s injury: “I know we weren’t going to get much done that day. They were in such bad shape and we had to get the ambulance out on the field. I had a quick meeting with [the team] and I said, ‘Hey, we’re going to move on.’”
On what former NFL head coach Bill Parcells told him after Bridgewater’s injury: “He told me, ‘They’re not going to cancel the games, and no one is going to feel sorry for us.’ At the end of the day you have to go out there and play and win football games, and that’s your job.”
On how he has been able to contain Aaron Rodgers in the past: “I don’t know how much success I’ve really had against him. He’s pretty darn good. He’s smart, he’s tough, he’s competitive, he sees everything, he can throw from anywhere. Obviously, we try to get him different looks, everything that you do like when you [Dungy] had Peyton Manning. It’s always a struggle. Everybody thinks how fun it must be, but it’s really a challenge.”
On going into the game as the reigning division champions: “[The Packers] aren’t used to being in second place, and I’m sure that doesn’t sit well with them. I think everybody expects Green Bay to be the best team, and I hear it all of the time how good they are. I remind our team that we are the defending champions and this team has a lot of heart.”
–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–