Quotable from NFL Network’s
Thursday Night Football Conference Call
Comments from Play-By-Play Announcer Bob Papa
& New Game Analyst Matt Millen
Q: Can you compare the pressures of being a general manager to the pressure of being an analyst?
Matt Millen: “When you’re in the big seat, that job never ends – ever. There’s no off time. There are always problems – there’s always something that has to get taken care of. From the analyst side, when the game’s over, the game’s over. Certainly all the preparation stuff goes into the front end of it, but when it’s over, it’s done. You go home and you can sleep. The other one, you don’t sleep.”
Q: With regards to the Redskins, is there any way that you see them being able to get anything positive out of the season under the circumstances?
Matt Millen: “When everybody starts going in the same direction, the season’s not lost. There’s still time. There’s time to get back. There’s time for each individual to get better and collectively to get better… When it looks like the tires are falling off, what do you do? And what you do as a team and as an individual is you go back to basics, you go back to fundamentals. You simplify things as much as you can so you do them well and you do them fast. When that happens, you’ll have success.”
Q: What are some of the reasons for the disparity between the great and the struggling teams this year?
Matt Millen: “A few weeks ago I looked at the league and I went through all the rosters and looked at all the quarterbacks. Of all the times that I can remember over the last 30 years, this might be the most [skilled] group of quarterbacks that I’ve seen at one time. … It doesn’t all come down to the quarterback, but this is a quarterback-driven league.”
Bob Papa: “When you keep changing philosophies and changing regimes, you change what your prototype is for what you think a good player is… if you’re constantly changing, you get caught in that hamster wheel. This year is more of an anomaly than a trend.”
Matt Millen: “It’s one of those things where you have to have consistency and you have to have a good base. If you look at the best teams in this league, that’s what they do. They’re consistent in their philosophy and their approach and it pays dividends.”
Q: You have the big Giants-Broncos game on Thanksgiving coming up. What do the Broncos have to do to keep their edge through a tough schedule and how can the Giants rebound from the funk they are in?
Matt Millen: “What they’ve done in Denver is create an atmosphere where they believe in each other. That’s the main thing. The main ingredient for a winning season is confidence, always. Defensively is where they made the big change. To me that’s been their biggest key – they’ve been able to blend all those guys and they’re playing very good defense. [On the Giants] Sometimes there is a tendency to do too much and you want to fix the problem by adding more to it. You just create more of a problem. A lot of times the best thing to do when things are out of kilter is to go back to the basics and back to what you do well.”
Bob Papa: “[The Giants] need to go back to doing what they do well, and perfect the things that they do well.”
Q: After the criticism you took in Detroit, did you find it difficult to rebuild your credibility as an analyst?
Matt Millen: “I just stick with the game and stick with what’s going on the field and talk about that, that’s all I can do. The rest of it is all somebody else’s opinion. If there’s credibility, there’s credibility. But that can only be given from you, not from me. That’s how I approach it.”
For the fourth straight season, NFL Network is home to Thursday Night Football featuring eight live regular-season primetime games and the anticipated return to the booth of highly acclaimed NFL analyst Matt Millen as he joins Bob Papa calling the action. The schedule kicks off November 12 at 8:00 PM ET with Bears-49ers.
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