NOTES & QUOTES FROM “FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA” – WEEK 8

FNIA-nbc-nfl“If I was in that position, I would take a little less money and continue to play with one of the greatest quarterbacks of our generation. He was better off staying in Green Bay.”  – Hines Ward on Greg Jennings

 “I have never come to a game and still been trying to memorize the receivers who were going to play in the game. Rodgers has to take it by himself and make something happen.” – Cris Collinsworth

“I can’t remember him looking this bad.” – Rodney Harrison on Tom Brady

“I’ve seen this from Dez before. He’s got to be under control.” – Dungy on Dez Bryant

NEW YORK – Oct. 27, 2013 – Following are the highlights for Football Night in America, the most-watched pre-game show in sports. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside Mall of America Field in Minneapolis, Minn., where the Vikings are hosting the Green Bay Packers. Costas was joined on site by Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst), and two-time Super Bowl winner 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 Redskins-Broncos game.

Costas interviewed Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former teammate, Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America:

ON PACKERS

Collinsworth on Packers: “I have never come to a game and still been trying to memorize the receivers who were going to play in the game. You have got Jordy Nelson. Jarrett Boykin, who had a great game last week, but prior to last week had six career catches. Andrew Quarless, who has four catches in the last two years. And the other two tight ends, Brandon Bostick and Jake Stoneburner, have never caught a ball. The other two receivers, Myles White and Chris Harper, had never played until last week. This is one of those times that Aaron Rodgers has to take it by himself and, with Jordy Nelson, make something happen.”

ON VIKINGS

Ward on Greg Jennings: “It’s hard for me to feel sorry for Greg Jennings. He made the decision to come to Minnesota and face his former team two times a year. If I was in that position, I would want to be relevant. I would take a little less money and continue to play with one of the greatest quarterbacks of our generation. With Aaron Rodgers, you always have the opportunity to win a Super Bowl and you are going to be in the playoffs. For Greg Jennings, there are no more Old Spice commercials coming his way here in Minnesota. He was better off staying in Green Bay.”

Dungy on Vikings and Adrian Peterson: “They can’t do what they did last week and only give him the ball 12 times. No matter who the quarterback is, and how many guys are in the box, you have to give it to Peterson. They have to give him the ball tonight. It doesn’t matter who the quarterback is, I’m starting with Adrian Peterson.”

ON PATRIOTS

Harrison on Brady: “I can’t remember him looking this bad. He talked about feeling good physically, but he can’t feel good about this offense. He has been under constant pressure and duress, and just does not look comfortable in there.”

Dungy: “It was defense and the running game today. That’s how they might have to play for a while, until Brady gets that hand healthy.”

Dungy: “The Patriots are going to be fine. They play situational football enough where they are going to win the division.”

Florio: “Officially, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady does not have a hand injury. Unofficially, his hand was noticeably swollen during Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. Afterward, he said he’s fine. He will play next weekend.”

ON COWBOYS

Harrison on Dez Bryant: “I love his emotion. I love his energy. He’s one of the best wide receivers in the game. Part of being a pro is being able to handle your emotions in critical moments of the game. Jason Witten was telling him, ‘we have got 12 seconds left, we still have a chance to win this game.’ He just has to control himself.”   

Dungy on Bryant: “I had some passionate guys. You have got to channel it the right way. And they need to help Dez channel it the right way. I’ve seen this from Dez before. He’s got to be under control.”

ON CHIEFS

Harrison: “This team showed me mental toughness today. In the fourth quarter of the last two weeks, they have been winning football games.”

ON FALCONS

Dungy: “I really think it is over. I thought getting Steven Jackson back might help them, but they would have to throw 60 times a day. They just don’t look like a good football team.”

Harrison: “When you look at the Falcons and all of the injuries, I think it’s just too much for them to overcome. They have no vertical threats. Steven Jackson came back, but he still looks injured. And their offensive line is not good.”

ON SAINTS

Dungy: “Watch out for New Orleans. They had one slip up in New England, otherwise they would be undefeated. They are battling for that first round home field advantage.”

ON JETS

Harrison: “That was really disappointing watching the Jets. After beating the Patriots, to come back and lose the way they lost today, that was very disappointing.”

ON EAGLES

Harrison: “The high powered Eagles couldn’t score one touchdown against the Giants, one of the worst defenses in the league. I couldn’t believe it.”

King on Michael Vick: “Vick had missed two weeks before playing against the New York Giants today.  He restrained his hamstring today. He said that he had heard it pop. He’s probably going to miss more than two weeks now.”

ON DOLPHINS

King on Mike Pouncey: “Sports Illustrated has reported tonight that the Massachusetts State Police served Dolphins Center, Mike Pouncey, a grand jury subpoena after Miami’s game in Foxborough on Sunday. A source with knowledge on the investigation said the subpoena involves Aaron Hernandez, Pouncey’s teammate at the University of Florida. Indications are that police are focusing on Hernandez’s potential involvement in interstate gun trafficking. Now to be clear, a grand jury subpoena does not mean Pouncey has been charged with a crime. Rather, law enforcement officials regard him as a material witness that could advance their case against Hernandez.”

ON LONDON

King: “I was told this weekend that one of the options the NFL will consider is not moving a team to London full-time in the next few years, but rather playing a full slate of games, maybe up to eight games. They would sell season tickets, but games would be spread among all the teams in the league.”

Florio: “One of the options does remain putting a team in London. On Saturday, Commissioner Roger Goodell said he’d like to have a team both in London and in Los Angeles. But, that would happen by the relocation of an existing team. I am told there are no plans to expand the NFL, somebody would be moving into each market.”

INTERVIEW: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Rodgers and Jennings.

AARON RODGERS WITH BOB COSTAS

On one of the young receivers on the team calling him sir: “It’s a reminder of how old I’m getting. You feel a little bit older. The prime years for a quarterback are in his 30’s, but people are starting to look at me as the old guy on the team.”

On having the lowest interception rate in NFL history: “I have a strong desire to not let those other guys get their hands on the ball. I have a responsibility as a quarterback. I touch the ball every play. I would like to be perfect, but more than anything I don’t want to turn the ball over. I want to end each drive with a kick.”

On the comments Greg Jennings made about Rodgers and the Packers: “None of that stuff factors in to my preparation process. I don’t have time to think about those things. They don’t bother me.”

On filming the State Farm “Da Bears” commercial with George Wendt and Robert Smigel: “We had a blast doing that. It was fun to work with those two guys. I really enjoyed it. I still have some slobber on my neck from George.”

Aaron Rodgers sits down with Bob Costas:

http://www.nbcsports.com/football/nfl/rodgers-had-blast-filming-da-bears-commercial

GREG JENNINGS WITH BOB COSTAS

On his comments about Aaron Rodgers and the Packers: “When it came to Aaron, I was jabbing at him. With me calling him No. 12, and not calling him Aaron Rodgers, it went too far. What I regret most is how it continued to go. The brain washing comments were taken out of proportion a little bit.”

On his current relationship with Rodgers and the Packers: “He is a great quarterback and a really good person. Sometimes you get thrown into a situation, and everyone expects even more of you. They pull on you a lot more, and you start to distance yourself.  I’m not at odds at all. I still talk to a lot of guys over there. Aaron and I never really talked off the field anyway.”

On Rodgers being fueled by Jennings comments: “He is not the only one who is fueled by things. Everything fuels me. The fact that we are 1-5 fuels me. It gives me that much more of an edge to go out there and make plays for my team.”

Greg Jennings sits down with Bob Costas:

http://www.nbcsports.com/football/nfl/jennings-not-odds-all-rodgers

FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA

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