NOTES & QUOTES FROM “FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA” — WEEK 4

FNIA-nbc-nfl“Seattle and Denver clearly are the best teams in the league.” – Rodney Harrison

“He is the best quarterback I have ever faced. He is the best quarterback period.” – Harrison on Peyton Manning

“You can’t let this keep going. If you are the head coach, you have to tell your owners, ‘we have to cut bait and be one team here.’” – Dungy on the Buccaneers and Josh Freeman

NEW YORK, NY. – Sept. 29, 2013 – Following are highlights for Football Night in America, the most-watched pre-game show in sports. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga., where the Falcons are hosting the New England Patriots. Costas was joined on-site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst), as well as NBC NFL analyst and former Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward.

Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from famous Studio 8H at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios in New York City. He is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison; Peter King of Sports Illustrated; Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on NBCSports.com and NBCSN; and Scott Pioli, the former NFL Executive of the Year and newest addition to the NBC NFL team. Alex Flanagan reported from Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo., on the Eagles-Broncos game.

Harrison interviewed Falcons wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones. Tonight’s program also included a feature on QB Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America:

ON BRONCOS

Harrison on Peyton Manning: “He is the best quarterback I have ever faced. He is the best quarterback period.”

Dungy on Peyton Manning: “They are not nearly as good right now as they will be in November. These receivers are still learning him and are going to be even better in a month.”

ON SEAHAWKS

Harrison on the Seahawks and Broncos: “Seattle and Denver clearly are the best teams in the league.”

ON BUCCANEERS

Dungy on QB Josh Freeman: “I live in Tampa. All I have heard is Josh Freeman this, Josh Freeman that. You can’t let this keep going. If you are the head coach, you have to tell your owners, ‘we have to cut bait and be one team here.’”

King on Buccaneers S Dashon Goldson: “Mike and I believe that if Goldson is found to have hit the helmet of another defenseless receiver, he will be suspended and this time it will stick.”

ON CHIEFS

Harrison: “They are a legitimate contender in the AFC West.”

ON BROWNS

Dungy: “Who is the hottest team in the AFC North? The Cleveland Browns.”

ON BILLS

Harrison on the Bills and QB EJ Manuel: “I’m buying in to Buffalo. They are a young team. They play very hard each week. They are competitive and loaded with talent. It starts each week with their quarterback EJ Manuel. He’s so mature.”

ON TITANS

Harrison: “They are one of the best defenses in the league. They play with a lot of enthusiasm. They are very aggressive. I like what I see.”

ON STEELERS

Dungy on the Steelers starting the season 0-4: “I’m not sure they can fix this. I don’t know that they have the talent. I think they just have an old defense that does not have playmakers. They don’t have a takeaway in four weeks.”

ON JAGUARS

Peter King on Jacksonville playing more games in London: “They are obligated to play one game for each of the next three seasons, and they may be interested in playing a second one in each of those seasons. But I’m told that their ardor has cooled because of a tough road schedule this year.”

ON LIONS

Dungy: “They are not the same old Lions. They proved it today. They came out strong.

ON FALCONS

Dungy on Osi Umenyiora: “They wanted to get help with the pass rush, but they got more than that. They got a versatile guy who brought some leadership.”

Harrison on Roddy White and Julio Jones: “You can’t stop them. You have to double-team Julio Jones as well as Roddy White.”

ON PATRIOTS

Pioli on rumors that Rob Gronkowski’s handlers didn’t want him to play tonight: “I think it’s comical to think that for one minute the handlers are going to make Bill Belichick make decisions or help him make decisions. Bill is going to deal with the players, the trainers, and the medical people. That’s it.”

INTERVIEW: Below are excerpts from Harrison’s interview with White and Jones. Also listed are excerpts from tonight’s FNIA feature on the Patriots. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”

RODDY WHITE AND JULIO JONES WITH RODNEY HARRISON

Jones on his relationship with White: “Roddy is like my big brother. He has shown me the ropes since I got to Atlanta. If I mess up on one play, he reminds me to not worry about it and get the next play. He’s been very supportive and has shown me the right way to improve.”

White on the Patriots’ defensive backs: “They have some good players. We just have to go out there and be us. Every time we go into any game, we don’t believe anyone can cover us.”

White on playing with Jones: “We go to practice every day and it’s a competition.  We never sit down and talk about itWe just go out there and compete against each other. When we are in the game, I know he’s going to beat his man every time. He knows I’m going to beat my man every time.”

White on the biggest weakness of the Falcons: “We are a really good football team, but I don’t think we finish the way we should finish. There is not a big sense of urgency the way it should be. We don’t get urgent unless our back is against the wall.”

TOM BRADYJULIAN EDELMAN AND NATE SOLDER ON THE PATRIOTS

Brady on the strengths and weaknesses of the Patriots this year: “I think there are different strengths and weaknesses to the team every year. Our defense is playing great, that’s a positive. Our special teams is doing well, we had some key kicks last week. Offensively we definitely need to make some improvements.”

Brady on the Patriots’ young receivers: “I have never been upset with the young receivers. I think that it’s just more of a frustration with the offense not producing more points. We are trying to score points, but we have not done that as well as we had hoped to.”

Julian Edelman on Brady: “You know Tom Brady is a fiery guy. He will be on you if things did not go right. That’s why he’s so good. He’s a big competitor and he wants to be perfect.”

Nate Solder on the Patriots’ offense: “For any team, it’s a building process throughout the season. We have adopted the philosophy that we need to keep getting better and better.”

Brady on his role as the leader of the team: “Developing relationships and being a leader for your team is a very important role for any veteran player and quarterback. I’m trying to do the best that I can do, but also have the guys understand the different things that I’ve experienced over the years.”

FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA

RODNEY HARRISON INTERVIEWS FALCONS WIDE RECEIVERS RODDY WHITE AND JULIO JONES

Football Night in America Preview – Week 4

“We never sit down and talk about it. We just go out there and compete against each other.” – Roddy White on playing with Julio Jones

Football Night in America Analyzes the Patriots Offense and Tom Brady’s Relationship With His Receivers

NEW YORK – Sept. 29, 2013 – Rodney Harrison interviewed Atlanta Falcons wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones for tonight’s Week 4 edition of Football Night in America, which will preview Patriots-Falcons — including a feature on QB Tom Brady the New England Patriots offense — as well as highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 4 games.

Football Night, the most-watched pre-game show in sports, airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC with 25-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas hosting the program live from inside the stadium. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst), as well as NBC NFL analyst Hines Ward, for reaction to the afternoon games and to preview tonight’s match-up.

Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from famous Studio 8H at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios in New York City. He is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison; Peter King of Sports Illustrated; Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com and NBCSN; and Scott Pioli, the former NFL Executive of the Year who is new to the NBC NFL team this season. Alex Flanagan will report from Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo., on the Eagles-Broncos game.

Tonight’s program will also include a spotlight feature on the New England Patriots offense and QB Tom Brady’s cast of receivers. Brady, WR Julian Edelman and T Nate Solder discuss the developing chemistry of the Patriots offense.

INTERVIEW: Below are excerpts from Harrison’s interview with White and Jones. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”

RODDY WHITE AND JULIO JONES WITH RODNEY HARRISON

Jones on his relationship with White: “Roddy is like my big brother. He has shown me the ropes since I got to Atlanta. If I mess up on one play, he reminds me to not worry about it and get the next play. He’s been very supportive and has shown me the right way to improve.”

White on the Patriots’ defensive backs: “They have some good players. We just have to go out there and be us. Every time we go into any game, we don’t believe anyone can cover us.”

White on playing with Jones: “We go to practice every day and it’s a competition.  We never sit down and talk about it. We just go out there and compete against each other. When we are in the game, I know he’s going to beat his man every time. He knows I’m going to beat my man every time.”

White on the biggest weakness of the Falcons: “We are a really good football team, but I don’t think we finish the way we should finish. There is not a big sense of urgency the way it should be. We don’t get urgent unless our back is against the wall.”

TOM BRADY, JULIAN EDELMAN AND NATE SOLDER ON THE PATRIOTS

Brady on the strengths and weaknesses of the Patriots this year: “I think there are different strengths and weaknesses to the team every year. Our defense is playing great, that’s a positive. Our special teams is doing well, we had some key kicks last week. Offensively we definitely need to make some improvements.”

Brady on the Patriots’ young receivers: “I have never been upset with the young receivers. I think that it’s just more of a frustration with the offense not producing more points. We are trying to score points, but we have not done that as well as we had hoped to.”

Julian Edelman on Brady: “You know Tom Brady is a fiery guy. He will be on you if things did not go right. That’s why he’s so good. He’s a big competitor and he wants to be perfect.”

Nate Solder on the Patriots’ offense: “For any team, it’s a building process throughout the season. We have adopted the philosophy that we need to keep getting better and better.”

Brady on his role as the leader of the team: “Developing relationships and being a leader for your team is a very important role for any veteran player and quarterback. I’m trying to do the best that I can do, but also have the guys understand the different things that I’ve experienced over the years.”

FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA

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