“After spending 30 minutes with Joe Flacco, I changed my mind. He’s the real deal.” – Tony Dungy, who changed his pick from Broncos to Ravens
“He will be playing like a madman.” – Hines Ward on Ravens LB Elvis Dumervil
“You try to move on and move forward, but it stays with you.” – Peyton Manning on last year’s playoff loss
“It’s not a bad thing to not be liked.” – Joe Flacco on the Ravens lack of respect despite winning the Super Bowl
STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 5, 2013 – NBC’s coverage of the 2013 NFL season began tonight with NFL Kickoff 2013. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo., where the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens visited the Denver Broncos to kick off the 2013 season with a rematch of last season’s AFC Divisional Playoff. Costas was joined on-site by NBC analyst and former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward.
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 Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com., Peter King of Sports Illustrated, and former NFL Executive of the Year Scott Pioli, who made his debut with the NBC team.
As part of the NFL Kickoff 2013 celebration, Michelle Beadle hosted NBC’s coverage of a pre-game concert from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Md. that featured performances by Grammy Award-winning artist Keith Urban and a championship salute to the team.
Due to a lightning delay prior to kickoff, Patrick, Dungy and Harrison reported from the field while holding umbrellas. Sunday Night Football’s Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya also covered the delay. Tafoya reported on conversations with numerous officials about the delay, including fluctuating starting times.
Patrick: “I can’t understate the wind and how powerful it is down here.”
Collinsworth: “To some extent, I think the Baltimore Ravens have a bit of an edge here because their entire team went through that strange Super Bowl timetable and schedule that they have for that game.”
Following are highlights from NFL Kickoff 2013:
Dungy on lightning delay effecting Peyton Manning’s routine: “He has a routine and he likes to do things the same way…It will be interesting to see how all the players respond to this delay.”
Pioli on the importance of the center for Peyton Manning: “It’s critical. Never underestimate the importance of the center position to any quarterback. When I spoke to Dan Koppen this week, he said one of the biggest differences in playing center for Peyton Manning is that you have to go to the line of scrimmage and make the mike call…If you don’t make that call, then there is a problem.”
Dungy: “He is definitely the leader of this team now. The players believe in him. The whole organization believes in him. I believe in him now. I went there (to the Ravens facility) feeling like I was going to pick Denver tonight. But after spending 30 minutes with Joe Flacco, I changed my mind. He’s the real deal.”
Ward on Elvis Dumervil: “He can’t wait to get this game started. He will be playing like a madman. He’s hitting everything in orange and blue tonight. He’s taking this game personally.”
Harrison on LB Daryl Smith: “He’s replacing Ray Lewis, but you can’t replace 17 years of emotion and leadership. Physically, it is an upgrade. He’s more athletic than Ray Lewis and he’s faster from sideline-to-sideline.”
ON TIM TEBOW
King: “It has been five days since the New England Patriots cut Tim Tebow. I talked to the Tebow camp today, here is what I know. He wants to keep the NFL dream alive. He is only interested in playing in the NFL, not in Canada. And he is only interested in playing quarterback.”
JOE FLACCO WITH TONY DUNGY
Dungy interviewed Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco. Following are highlights:
Flacco on beating Peyton Manning last year: “That is something I do think about when you’re sitting on the couch watching TV…how cool is it that I’m actually playing against him.”
Flacco on winning the Super Bowl: “It does change your life in some way, forever, but I don’t really think that it changes you.”
Flacco on Steve Bisciotti saying that the Ravens are an offensive team now: (joking) “I think you have to say that when you’re paying your quarterback as much as he’s paying me.”
Flacco on if a lack of respect for his team bothers him: “It doesn’t bug us. It just motivates us at some level. It’s not a bad thing to not be liked. It must mean that we’re doing something right.”
PEYTON MANNING WITH BOB COSTAS
Costas interviewed Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning. Following are highlights:
Manning on last year’s playoff loss to Ravens: “I’m not sure you ever forget…I think you try to move on and move forward, but it stays with you.”
Manning on read-option in NFL: “I think it’s great for the game of football. It’s here to stay, but I do think there’s always a place for the drop-back quarterback.”
Manning on growing comfortable with newcomers, including new wide receiver Wes Welker: “By no means are we this well-oiled machine…the key is trying to win games while you’re getting on the same page.”
Click here for video of this interview: http://www.nbcsports.com/
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–