“Today, I’m here to say Aaron Donald joins Lawrence Taylor on my personal two-player Mount Rushmore of Defense of the last four decades. Donald, truly, is probably better, and I can’t believe I’m saying that.” – Peter King on Rams DT Aaron Donald
“(He is) the epitome of what a Philadelphia athlete is. He’s the ultimate underdog, and this city loves underdogs.” – Eagles C Jason Kelce to King on QB Jalen Hurts
“You’d be naïve to think the NFL isn’t concerned about its long-term talent pool. And think of parents of young athletes who saw (Tua) Tagovailoa get knocked down, return to play, then get stretchered off the field four days later. What must they be thinking?” – King on how the NFL’s concussion protocols could affect its future
STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 3, 2022 – Peter King recaps NFL Week 4 and speaks with Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, who is the signal caller for the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL, Rams defensive tackle and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, and former linebacker and two-time Super Bowl champion Rob Ninkovich in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also discusses the Packers’ overtime win over the Patriots, the Jets’ comeback win against the Steelers, Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion situation, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
Peter King on the Eagles’ Super Bowl chances: “Just five years ago, the Eagles were basking in the glow of their first Super Bowl win. Now, with almost an entirely new cast led by the 53rd pick in the 2020 draft, they might contend to win number two. Just as Doug Pederson trusted Nick Foles in 2017, Nick Sirianni trusts Jalen Hurts in 2022.”
Eagles center Jason Kelce to King on Hurts: “(He is) the epitome of what a Philadelphia athlete is. He’s the ultimate underdog, and this city loves underdogs.”
Kelce to King on Hurts: “You want your quarterback to be confident in his ability but almost stoic. He made everyone feel he was in complete control. Ever hear that saying that 80 percent of how you communicate is by body language? Jalen’s definitely one of those 80-percent body-language guys.”
Hurts to King on his mentality: “Never get too high, never get too low. I just always try to keep the main thing the main thing and control what I can and try to be the best quarterback and best man I can be for my team.”
Hurts to King on what he’s learned from his coaches: “I learned something from Lane Kiffin, from Brian Daboll, from Mike Locksley, from Steve Sarkisian, at Alabama. Learning all those different ways of thinking of football conceptually really helped me. Then coach (Lincoln) Riley at Oklahoma. Then coach (Doug) Pederson. Now my coaches here. I’ve been a sponge. I’ve observed and learned. I apply their lessons to the way I think.”
King on Hurts’ future with the Eagles: “It’s too early to think the Eagles are certain that Hurts is their quarterback for the next 10 years. Why make that call now anyway, when there’s no real reason to? It’s certainly trending that way – that Hurts will be the franchise guy here. But until he is, and until the Eagles have to lay out the money for Hurts, they can build a more complete team.”
King on Aaron Donald: “Today, I’m here to say Aaron Donald joins Lawrence Taylor on my personal two-player Mount Rushmore of Defense of the last four decades. Donald, truly, is probably better, and I can’t believe I’m saying that.”
King: “If I had to draft one of them at 22, I’d take Donald. I can’t think in my little football world of a bigger compliment to give a defensive player than to say I’d choose him over Taylor…Aaron Donald is at least as destructive, and at least as impactful, on a game as Lawrence Taylor was.”
Donald to King on how he views his position: “I’m an edge rusher playing inside.”
Donald to King: “I think what people forget is, my sophomore year at Pitt, I played the edge…And I played pretty well. So if I had to do it now, I think I could do it. I don’t know how successful I’d be, but I know I could it.”
Donald to King on his career accomplishments: “My expectation entering the league was never this. It’s so hard to talk about it, honestly, hearing my named mentioned with all the greats. I’ve surpassed anything I’ve ever dreamed of, but I have so much more to do. I won’t let it all soak in till I’m finished, whenever that is.”
King on the Packers’ season so far: “Weird season for the Packers, who are 3-1 despite missing Davante Adams desperately. Lucky season too, because the Pack is in the midst of the most generous six-game stretch – Chicago, at Tampa Bay, New England, Giants (in London), Jets, at Washington – on its schedule, by far.”
King on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s interactions: “It was cool to see Bill Belichick and (Aaron) Rodgers, in what is very likely their last meeting on the field, spend significant time talking before and after the game. Belichick, 70, and Rodgers, 38, would have to meet in a Super Bowl unless both hang on till the next Pats-Pack meeting in 2026.”
King on Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s decision to bring in QB Kenny Pickett: “The fact that (Tomlin) yanked starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky less than three-and-a-half games into his Steeler trial is another big deal. Now it’s Kenny Pickett’s turn to try to justify the faith the Steelers placed in him by drafting him 20th last April.”
King on the Jaguars: “I was highly impressed with the Jags Sunday. Competitive team, hustle to the ball at all times, good edge presence led by Josh Allen. Trevor Lawrence needs to have a better sense of pressure in the pocket and he must take care of the ball better, obviously…But Duval wasn’t built in a day.”
KING’S WEEK 4 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Cooper Rush, Dallas, Saquon Barkley, New York Giants, Zach Wilson, New York Jets, & Rashaad Penny, Seattle
King on Rush: “He’s now 4-0 as a Dak (Prescott) relief pitcher, including three wins in a row since Prescott went down opening day with the broken thumb. He’s also the first Cowboys quarterback in history to win each of his first four starts…Will Dak Prescott be ready to regain his job next week? Suddenly, it’s not so vital.”
King on Wilson: “Wilson powered the Jets to the fourth-quarter comeback: Down by 10 in the fourth, he went 10-of-12 for 128 yards and a five-yard TD pass to Corey Davis. More amazing, perhaps, than winning in Pittsburgh: the Jets are 2-2.”
Defensive Players of the Week: Jordan Poyer, Buffalo, & Haason Reddick, Philadelphia
King on Poyer: “Late in the fourth quarter of a game tied at 20, the veteran safety picked off Lamar Jackson in the end zone on fourth and goal, arguably the most pivotal moment of the Bills’ 17-point comeback and 23-20 win over the Ravens”
Coach of the Week: Bill Belichick, New England
King on Belichick and the Patriots’ OT loss to the Packers: “The Patriots are 1-3, but if Belichick ever coached a game that was a moral victory, this was it.”
Special Teams Player of the Week: Ryan Wright, Minnesota
Goat of the Week: Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville
NEWS & NOTES
King on how the NFL’s concussion protocols could affect its future: “You’d be naïve to think the NFL isn’t concerned about its long-term talent pool. And think of parents of young athletes who saw (Tua) Tagovailoa get knocked down, return to play, then get stretchered off the field four days later. What must they be thinking?”
King on how the NFL should change their concussion protocols: “Force a player to the bench when he suffers a major blow to the head and can’t stand or walk straight. In this case, that’s where the fix must start.”
Former NFL player Rob Ninkovich to King on head injuries: “I think if 54-year-old Tua (Tagovailoa) could talk to 24-year-old Tua, he would ask him, ‘What were you thinking?’ Twenty-four-year-olds think they’re indestructible…Head injuries are the hardest injury for athletes to accept. You don’t know the effect of most of them till later in life.”
Ninkovich to King: “What really bothers me is Tua is a highly talked-about person in a highly sought-after position, so this gets a ton of attention. Rightfully so. But what about offensive linemen or lesser-known players when this happens to them? Nobody notices. It’s brushed under the rug.”
King on the NFL’s decision to change the Pro Bowl format: “I think the NFL doesn’t deserve praise for changing the Pro Bowl to a skills competition and flag-football event. The NFL dallied on this decision for years while an embarrassing display of non-football with players giving 36-percent effort was shown on national TV.”
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio (Mondays) and Florio and Chris Simms (Tuesday-Thursday) streams on Peacock from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET on weekdays & is available on-demand. The Dan Patrick Show streams at 9 a.m. ET, Fantasy Football Happy Hour with Matthew Berry at Noon ET, Brother From Another at 3 p.m. ET, PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET. At 6 p.m. ET, Chris Simms Unbuttoned streams Tuesday-Friday.
- ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest news and updates.
- NBC Sports EDGE’s Rotoworld Football Show continues the NFL discussion and Bet The Edge Podcast provides daily betting insights.
- The NFL on NBC YouTube channel offers daily football content for free, with exclusive videos from Peter King – including his interviews with players and coaches at training camps – Mike Florio, Chris Simms, and more. To access all of these videos and more, click here to subscribe
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.