“That’s the fun part of the game, where you can extend the play and make something positive happen.” – Wilson
“The only guy I can even compare him to is Charles Woodson.” – Cardinals HC Bruce Arians on Mathieu
STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 23, 2016 – For tonight’s Week 7 edition of NBC’s Football Night In America, the most-watched weekly studio show in sports, Mike Tirico interviews Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and Peter King interviews Arizona Cardinals DB Tyrann Mathieu. Football Night will also include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 7 games ahead of tonight’s Seahawks-Cardinals Sunday Night Football showdown.
Football Night airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC. Tirico will host tonight’s program live from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.
Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1, and is joined by Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl champion Rodney Harrison, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and NBC Sports Radio. Kathryn Tappen will report from Pittsburgh, Pa., on the Patriots-Steelers game.
INTERVIEW: Below are excerpts from Tirico’s interview with Wilson, and King’s interview with Mathieu. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”
MIKE TIRICO WITH RUSSELL WILSON
On how his injury has affected his play: “I just haven’t been able to run as much, but I do like throwing it. I’ve got the guys to go and make the great plays out there. Last year, we were able to sit in the pocket and just get it to true playmakers all day. For me, that’s an extended part of the game…that’s the fun part of the game, where you can extend the play and make something positive happen.”
On how he’s kept up his energy and enthusiasm: “My first year, I remember when I was flying and getting ready to go to Seattle, I was writing down my goals. One of the things I wrote down was, ‘Treat every day, no matter if it’s Year 1, Year 5, Year 15, Year 20 – treat every day like it’s the first. I’ve been able to do that, and that’s the great part about it. You continue to build on that knowledge, continue to see things, continue to anticipate and visualize situations, and hopefully capitalize on them.”
Mike Tirico: “Why do you guys play so well here in Arizona?”
Wilson on playing against Patrick Peterson and Mathieu: “You’ve got to find ways to make plays, because they’re as good as they can be. There aren’t going to be too many weak moments for those guys, so you’ve got to find it when you can.”
Wilson on importance of matchups against Arizona: “Every game is important. You just take it one game at a time.”
Tirico: “This was your division. You’re going to tell me this is another game?”
Wilson: “It has to be. Every game is important. From Game 1 to Game 16, we treat every one the same. The goal is to go 1-0 this week, and then we’ll worry about the rest.”
TYRANN MATHIEU WITH PETER KING
On playing many different positions: “When I came in as a rookie, we had a (defensive coordinator) by the name of Todd Bowles. His philosophy was to put his best 11 players on the football field. He would put guys at outside corner, inside corner, box safety, deep safety. His philosophy was to put the best 11 on the field.”
Peter King: “How’d the players like that?”
Mathieu: “We loved it. We took it as a challenge. It made everybody hungry because everybody knew they had a chance to play.”
On how he prepares each week, knowing he can play different positions: “I play slot corner more than I play any other position, so I want to get those (responsibilities) down pat first. As the week progresses, I want to understand my responsibilities as a deep safety. If I’m on the outside, I want to understand what kind of routes I’ll get, what are the route combinations? If I’m in the box, I want to look at the run game and understand the run game and those responsibilities as well.”
On how to prepare for the Seahawks: “When you play against teams like Seattle, they capitalize on every mistake you make. You want your communication to be sharp, you want your fundamentals and your techniques to be sharp, you don’t want to miss any tackles, and you just want to play sound, fundamental football.”
On his approach coming into the NFL: “I didn’t have at true position, which was scary coming in as a rookie. (I thought) ‘What am I going to play? I don’t have a position.’ It was good to know that I found a spot on the field, and that coach would put me on the field because he thought I was one of his best 11.”
Cardinals HC Bruce Arians on Mathieu: “The only guy I can even compare him to is Charles Woodson – a guy that was a dynamic corner and played safety, played in the box, blitzed – did all of the things that Ty does.”
Arians on if more players will play like Mathieu: “I think you’ll see more (players like Mathieu). You have more great athletes in college. We’re not asking them to do as many things in college football as Ty can do. You can get a great athlete, but he doesn’t have the instincts that Ty has. There are a lot (of players) that are bigger and faster, but they’re not Ty.”
–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–