Only difference is, Ben won two Super Bowls and Romo hasn’t yet.” – Hines Ward on comparisons between Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo
“He’s the best pass rusher on the planet.” – Rodney Harrison on Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul
“Instead of being nervous in those circumstances, I’m excited.” – Eli Manning to Bob Costas on the end of close games
NEW YORK – Sept. 5, 2012 – NBC’s coverage of the 2012 NFL season began tonight with NFL Kickoff 2012. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants were hosting the Dallas Cowboys in the first game of the 2012 NFL season. Costas was joined on-site by Hines Ward, the former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and newest addition to NBC Sports’ NFL team.
Dan Patrick co-hosted the program from inside the stadium and was joined on-site by Football Night in America analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and NFL insiders Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.
As part of the NFL Kickoff 2012 celebration, Michelle Beadle hosted NBC’s coverage of a pre-game concert from Rockefeller Plaza in New York City that featured performances by Grammy Award-winning artists Mariah Carey and No Doubt.
Following are highlights from NFL Kickoff 2012:
TONY ROMO WITH BOB COSTAS
Costas interviewed Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo.
Romo on his newborn son: “It’s real easy to look at your son smile and know that life’s going to be okay. Football’s a tough sport and it’s a hard deal. It’s great to just have your son and see him smiling.”
Click here for a full version of this interview:
ON TONY ROMO
Ward on similar styles between Romo and Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, Ward’s former teammate in Pittsburgh: “Only difference is, Ben won two Super Bowls and Romo hasn’t yet.”
Harrison: “The time is now.”
ON JASON WITTEN
Harrison: “He’s Tony Romo’s security blanket. Whenever we played against the Cowboys, we felt like, if we shut Jason Witten down, we shut their offense down.”
ELI MANNING WITH BOB COSTAS
Costas interviewed New York Giants QB Eli Manning.
Manning on the few Giants distractions this off-season: “It’s a good thing. That’s the way we like it around here. We have discovered that the less drama, distractions and different things going on, the better off we are.”
Manning on which was the better throw and which the better catch between the David Tyree play in Super Bowl XLII and the Mario Manningham play in Super Bowl XLVI: “The Tyree catch is the better catch. The Manningham play was a great catch, but it was a better throw, just to a spot where you had to put it in the right place to execute on that.”
Manning on excelling at end of games: “I’m looking forward to it. This is the fun part. Our guys know what we’re doing. We should be able to play fast and we have a chance to go and win the game right here. Instead of being nervous in those circumstances, I’m excited.”
ON ELI MANNING
Dungy: “Here’s how far Eli has come. Peyton told me that when they talk now, Peyton never gives advice to Eli. There’s nothing he can tell him about playing quarterback.”
ON VICTOR CRUZ
Ward: “His coming out party is over now. He’s not a secret anymore…He’s going to command the No. 1 cornerbacks.”
ON JASON PIERRE-PAUL
Harrison: “He’s the best pass rusher on the planet.”
ON PEYTON MANNING
Dungy, who attended Broncos practice this week and interviewed Peyton: “I saw a lot of the same things. Him going 100 miles an hour during practice, talking to the receivers in between drills and showing them things. But the big thing I noticed…. He delayed (our) interview 25 minutes because he was having a (hand) signals meeting with all of his receivers and backs. That’s the old Peyton Manning, the Manning that I know.”
Harrison on Manning’s hand signals: “I think half of those calls were dummy calls…Close your eyes. Don’t pay attention.”
ON REPLACEMENT OFFICIALS
King: “I talked to lead negotiator Scott Green, an NFL official. He said, ‘I’ve never seen our guys more solid and stronger.’ So no real officials this first weekend.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–