“I know San Diego is kicking themselves in the butt saying, ‘Why did we get rid of this guy?’” – “Football Night’s” Rodney Harrison on LaDainian Tomlinson
“They are about three plays from 0-4.” – “Football Night’s” Tony Dungy on the Saints
Bob Costas interviews Tom Coughlin, Mike Martz & Jay Cutler
NEW YORK – October 3, 2010 – Following are highlights from NBC Sports’ “Football Night in America.” Bob Costas hosted the show live from New Meadowlands Stadium and was joined on site for commentary by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. Co-host Dan Patrick, analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and reporters Peter King and Mike Florio, who made his debut, covered the news of the NFL’s fourth week live from NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios. Alex Flanagan reported on Donovan McNabb’s return to Philadelphia from the Redskins-Eagles game at Lincoln Financial Field.
EMBED NBC SPORTS VIDEO: Video highlights from “Football Night” and other NBC Sports programming are available to be embedded on media websites at NBCSports.com. Click on the following links for:
Costas’ interview with Coughlin:
Dungy, Harrison and Patrick’s reaction to Coughlin interview:
Costas’ interview with Cutler:
Costas’ interview with Martz:
Dungy, Harrison & Patrick on Coughlin
Harrison: “Now all of a sudden Tom Coughlin can’t coach? Three years ago he was in the Super Bowl and over half of the players on that Super Bowl team, including Eli Manning who’s the quarterback, are on the team right now…Eli Manning is leading the league in interceptions and Brandon Jacobs is still at the ATM counting his money. It’s the players. It’s not the coach right now.”
Dungy: “I know one thing, Tom Coughlin hasn’t changed. He’s preaching discipline. He’s preaching the same things he always has. Maybe the players aren’t listening. I know what Tom Coughlin is all about. We practiced with them when I was in Tampa and he coached my team (laughs). He wanted to discipline our guys: no sunglasses, your owners can’t walk on the field because that’s the way he runs his practices.”
Collinsworth: “I kind of went in (to watch tape) thinking, ‘These guys aren’t very good.’ But Perry Fewell and their defense have really made some jumps over the past couple weeks.”
Michaels on criticism of Coughlin: “Coughlin said he got criticized for the way he parked his car at the complex this week.”
Collinsworth: “Antrel Rolle talked to us about that a little bit and he was screaming for more fun. ‘We got to make this fun out here.’ It was almost you got the feeling he didn’t say it but they’re kind of looking across the way at the New York Jets, looking at what Rex Ryan’s doing and they seem to be having a great time. Of course, Tom Coughlin probably hasn’t been at the head of the fun list as far as NFL coaches go. So believe me there’s a little bit of juxtaposition going on.”
Following are highlights of Bob Costas’ interview with Tom Coughlin:
Costas: Have you ever been as frustrated with your team as you were this past Sunday?
Coughlin: I don’t think so. And disappointed as well…The first two times we went down the field with the ball, we turned it over. That does not excuse the frustration that evolved and the way we conducted ourselves with the personal fouls and that type of thing. It was an exasperating loss to say the least.
Costas: What do you do (to correct it)?
Coughlin: First of all, you address it. You tell everyone to lose the sensitivity issue. You’re a part of a team. If you’re apart of this commitment to our football team, you understand that no one has the right to put our team in jeopardy…No one has that right.
Costas on Antrel Rolle’s statements: Did that irritate you?
Coughlin: It did because of the way he went about it. We’re a family. A team is a family. If you have some issues which you want to discuss, come on and talk to me about them. You’ll hear my opinion. I’ll hear your opinion. The unfortunate thing is that it sounds like an excuse and Antrel does know that. Whenever you make an excuse, it’s a sign of weakness. If you have something that’s worthwhile to discuss, then let’s do it internally.
Costas: You’re the oldest coach in the NFL…It seems to me you come to work excited each day.
Coughlin: I am excited. I am excited about this football team…The whole world is down on the New York Giants. Fine. As long as that locker room is all together, our coaching staff is all together, we have an opportunity to go out and prove it again next Sunday. That’s all that matters to me is to know that if we come together as a team and we put forth a great effort as a team, we’ll be okay. We’ll be fine.
Julius Peppers on Brian Urlacher: “He’s a great leader. The best player I ever played with. That’s an honor to play with him. That’s one of the main reasons I wanted to come to Chicago to play.”
Dungy on Martz and Cutler: “You’re talking about the perfect offensive coordinator for his quarterback. Mike Martz wants to do the same thing that Cutler wants to do and that’s gets big plays.”
Harrison: “Cutler doesn’t want the field goal. He wants the big play.”
Patrick: “But with Mike Martz, he can be stubborn. He wants to prove that he can do it his way. Does it come back to haunt him?”
Dungy: “It can. This is Mike’s offense: deep throws and big plays. But, it also leads to sacks and interceptions.”
Costas: “With new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, Cutler seems like a new quarterback in his second year with the Bears.”
Following are highlights of Bob Costas’ interviews with Mike Martz & Jay Cutler:
Martz on Cutler: He’s such a talented guy. I wrote him when he came out of college and gave him the best grade I’ve ever given a quarterback.
Costas: So you had actually given him a higher grade than any quarterback coming out of college that you had ever graded?
Martz: In 19 years, yes.
Costas: It seems as if you and Mike Martz have clicked.
Cutler: Yes. The very first meeting with Mike here, we just kind of clicked.
Martz: It was really kind of an instant connection. I got so excited. The things we talked about he understood immediately.
Cutler on airing it out: We’re going to press the issue. We’re not going to devise plans and plays for four and five yards. We’re want to get some big chunks. We want to score in a hurry.
Costas: What of the criticism has been valid?
Cutler: You throw 26 picks in a season, that’s going to be a valid criticism. You get traded from a team, have high expectations and you don’t go out there and produce, you’re going to get criticism. Bringing Mike in has rejuvenated everybody.
Costas: You seem more relaxed.
Cutler: Absolutely. I think all that comes from Mike Martz. The game plan he puts together. He gives us answers. That’s probably one thing he’s done throughout his entire career. He’s going to give you the right answers and it’s your job to go out there and do it.
Costas: The image of the Bears (as a running team)…the script this year might be different.
Martz: Might be. Let’s look forward. Let’s create our own history.
Donovan McNabb to Alex Flanagan: “Emotions stay with you. It depends on how you’re able to display those emotions. I tried to keep it up my sleeve a little bit and not really show the guys in the locker room that anything affects me.”
Flanagan: “Fans here in Philadelphia might just be wishing that Donovan McNabb was also back here in Philly and playing.”
Dungy on Redskins: “They looked terrible last week. They realized how important this game was to Donovan. They came out with some energy and their defensive line got after the Eagles offensive line.”
Harrison to Dungy: “I guess after that visit with the Jets you didn’t realize that LaDainian Tomlinson is a No. 1 legitimate back. The guy had over 130 yards today, a couple of touchdowns. I know San Diego is kicking themselves in the butt saying, ‘Why did we get rid of this guy?’”
Dungy: “They are about three plays from 0-4. I love Drew’s (Brees) optimism but they got to get real. This offense is not scoring like they did last year. They’re moving the ball but they need to get back to scoring to eliminate some of those mistakes.”
Harrison: “We seem to forget that Joe Flacco, he’s a young quarterback…tremendous confidence building game for him.”
Harrison on allowing game-winning TD: “Terrible technique by the cornerback playing outside coverage. It’s man-to-man. You’re supposed to play inside technique and not look in the backfield.”
Dungy: “It’s a little bit alarming. The Colts are used to these good starts because they play consistent football all the way through. But this year, the turnovers in the red zone, dropped balls, we saw some shaky red zone coverage and some touchdown passes there.”
Dungy: “They’ve been dominant two weeks in a row at home but, as Tom Brady said last week, you’ve got to win on the road to be a champion…I am waiting until I see a good road win from San Diego.”
Harrison on Terrell Owens & the Bengals: “He should be a first ballot Hall of Famer…Not a playoff team. If you’re the Cincinnati Bengals, if you want to get to being a playoff team, you have to win games like this. You can’t lose to the Cleveland Browns…I said it last year, they’re a bunch of frauds. It’s just disappointing to see.”
Michaels: “That’s as gut-wrenching a loss as a team can have today.”
Harrison on Nate Clements’ INT and fumble: “Every single day since training camp, we go over situational football. You got to be smart, Nate Clements…I’ve had several picks like that. You catch the ball, I want to run a little bit but I know the situation. You’ve got to get down on the ground and secure the ball for the victory.”
King on Singletary: “I think the front office is going to have patience. But I’ve been told that they will be evaluating Mike Singletary in the coming weeks.”
Harrison: “Arizona is a team that’s built to pass the ball. I think we finally realized how important it is to have a star quarterback in this league. Derek Anderson is no Kurt Warner.”
Patrick on Chuck Cecil’s gesture towards officials: “One finger. Six-figure fine perhaps.”
Patrick: “A question on how much Stephen Jackson would play with that groin injury. Looks like he’s groin, groin, almost gone here.”
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