“You have to suspend guys.” – “Football Night’s” Rodney Harrison on rash of helmet-to-helmet hits
“Revis Island is getting crowded.” – “Football Night’s” Tony Dungy on Jets CB Darrelle Revis
“The Jets really need to consider resting this guy.” – “Football Night’s” Harrison on Revis
Peter King speaks postgame with Ben Roethlisberger & Kevin Kolb
NEW YORK – October 17, 2010 – Following are highlights from NBC Sports’ “Football Night in America.” Bob Costas hosted the show live from FedExField and was joined on site for commentary by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. Co-host Dan Patrick, analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and reporter Peter King covered the news of the NFL’s sixth week live from NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios. Alex Flanagan reported from Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on the Cowboys-Vikings game.
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Patrick, Dungy & Harrison discuss helmet-to-helmet hits
Patrick, Dungy & Harrison discuss Eagles QB situation
Costas’ interview with Shanahan:
Costas’ interview with Freeney & Wayne:
ON HELMET-TO-HELMET HITS
Patrick to Harrison on the DeSean Jackson collision: “You played defensive back. You were one of the most penalized, considered a dirty player…how would you police these kinds of hits, helmet on helmet?”
Harrison: “I’ve had plenty hits like this and fining me $5 or $10 grand really didn’t affect me. But I got to a point where they suspended me and I knew the effect on my teammates, the disappointment of me not being out there; not the $100,000 that got taken away from me, but the fact that I wasn’t out there. That’s what they are going to have to do if they want to change the nature of these hits. You have to suspend guys.”
Dungy: “I agree with Rodney. It’s not the fine. Dunta Robinson, I don’t think he meant to do this. But DeSean Jackson, may not play for a couple of weeks. If you take that playing time away, that’s how you stop it.”
On helmet-to-helmet hits
The helmet-to-helmet hits were addressed again later in the show…
Harrison: “You didn’t get my attention when you fined me $5 grand, $10 grand, $15 grand. You got my attention when I got suspended and I had to get away from my teammates and I disappointed my teammates from not being there. But you have to suspend these guys. These guys are making millions of dollars. Until the NFL takes time and says, ‘You know what, we’re going to really protect our players. We’re going to suspend these guys, not one game, but possibly two or more games.’”
Dungy: “It’s not the fine that’s going to do it. These guys are not doing this on purpose, but they’ve got to lower their strike zone, change it. We had this with the quarterbacks a few years ago and we got the defenders to change. You have to protect these receivers. Some of these guys may be out two or three weeks and the only way to make it fair is have these defenders sit out if they damage someone”
Patrick: “We’ve already defined where you can hit a quarterback, do we really have to define where we’re hitting everybody now?”
Dungy: “It’s tougher with these receivers because they are moving. But if you say, ‘You’re going to lose playing time. You are going to be out of the game,’ they’ll hit them differently.”
Harrison: “Our normal mark, when I used to hit a guy, my normal mark was right on the chest. You’re taught to separate the guy from the ball. Your normal mark is right here [points to chest]. Now all of a sudden, as your coming, you start raising up a couple inches. Now its helmet to helmet. Now they’re going to have to re-program these players to start hitting lower by the waist.”
Dungy: “We talked to Carl Johnson, the head of the Officiating Department, and he said they wanted to take away the launch, take away striking with the head and the shoulders. They’ve just got to do it differently.”
Patrick: “These guys have also grown up in a highlight culture. This is how you make the highlights, when you blow people up.”
Dungy on Andy Reid saying he has two good quarterbacks: “Most people don’t have one good quarterback. He does have two…I would stay with Kevin Kolb. He’s been hot.”
Harrison: “Vick is just now starting to gain confidence. Why would you set him down on the bench?…If he’s healthy, he’s going to start.”
King, who spoke to Kevin Kolb postgame: “A couple things that Kolb said to me. Number one, he said after the game Michael Vick came up, gave him a big hug and said, ‘I’m proud of you.’ Now a lot of people might hear and say, ‘Oh, that’s so hokey.’ These guys are legitimate friends. They’re not just bogus friends for the cameras. They are legitimate friends that back each other.
“Number two, after the game in the locker room, usually it’s the coaches saying something, ‘Hey let’s say a prayer. Let’s give out the game ball.’ Asante Samuel took a ball off the field, walked into the locker room and said, ‘Game ball to Kevin Kolb.’ Kolb said, ‘I’m tearing up telling you that story right now.’ I’ll tell you one other thing. Tony, you might give the job to Kevin Kolb. We might give the job to Kevin Kolb. He’s been a 73-percent passer in the last two weeks. Andy Reid will not. He said after the game, ‘The job is Michael Vick’s when healthy.’”
Dungy: “That’s exactly what Mike Tomlin was saying, ‘We’re a good football team. Ben makes us a great team,’ and he did. He gives them the confidence throwing the ball now to go with their running game and their defense.”
King, who spoke with Roethlisberger postgame: “He said two things that interested me. Number one, he got very emotional during the National Anthem when he looked up at his mother and father in a luxury box upstairs and realized how much he’s put them through. He was really happy he was able to play well enough to give them a win. But I asked him, ‘Grade yourself Ben, how do you think you did today?’ He said, ‘I’m hard on myself. I’d give myself a B- or a C+. I left a lot of plays out on the field today.”
King on Favre’s upcoming meeting with NFL security on Tuesday: “We’re in Day 10 of the investigation. They (the NFL) know almost nothing more than when they started. Milt Ahlerich interviewing Brett Favre on Tuesday is going to be the start of what the league hopes is going to be a solid investigation into Favre because right now they know nothing.”
Dungy: “Revis Island is getting crowded.”
Harrison on Darrelle Revis: “The Jets really need to consider resting this guy. As a defensive back, your hamstring is the most important thing…if not, it’s going to linger on the entire season.”
Dungy: “I’m off the bandwagon. I used to talk about how talented they were and how good they were. You lose four games like this, you’re not that talented, you’re not that good. I’m off the bandwagon.”
Costas: “They are now an almost inexplicable 1-4.”
Patrick on Cowboys-Vikings before the highlights: “The Panic Bowl.”
Flanagan: “Jerry Jones told me today that he never dreamed his team would have only one win after five games. He said that his team fully understood the urgency that they needed to play with today, yet in the end, the Cowboys once again beat the Cowboys…Jerry Jones was very clear with me after this game saying that he will not attempt to fix any of the Cowboys problems by making any coaching changes.”
Romo to Flanagan: “You play this position because you want to have more control. I’m frustrated as heck, I promise you that…We’ll figure something out. We are going to find a way to dig ourselves out of this.”
Costas on Randy Moss: “How many catches had Randy Moss had as a Patriot? Nine. (Deion) Branch equaled the season total today.”
Harrison: “Everyone talked about this defense and picked on the secondary, in particular, on how young and inexperienced this team was. But if you look at what they did today, they stopped these guys from five straight possessions, especially in critical moments towards the end of the fourth quarter and in overtime.”
Michaels: “Maybe more key injuries than any team has sustained.”
Collinsworth: “More surprises in this surprising year in the NFL. The Packers got off to a good start and everybody said, ‘See, they’re going to the Super Bowl.’ Now they’ve lost three out of four. This season everything seems to be upside down, including the Green Bay Packers.”
Harrison on if they are in trouble: “Yes. I think they are. This team has been decimated by injuries, but I think the most important one was linebacker Clay Matthews, who I think is the best defensive player in the game. He currently leads the league in sacks and they couldn’t generate any sacks today.”
Dungy: “They’re having trouble stopping the run and they’re having trouble running now with all the injuries.”
Patrick: “The much-maligned Saints running attack. They found their answer. From Tiffin University, Chris Ivory. He rushed for 158 yards…The Saints played their best all-around game of the season.”
ON CONTROVERSIAL PASS INTERFERENCE LATE IN TEXANS-CHIEFS GAME
Dungy during highlights: “You’ve got to be kidding. You’ve got to be kidding.”
Harrison: “The defensive back, he was in a perfect situation where this is what he’s taught — to turn around, look at the ball, don’t touch the receiver. And you just can’t have this play (call). It changed the course of the game.”
Dungy: “It did. Andre Johnson pushed off. He created the separation. That’s how he got free. That is the description of offensive pass interference and to call it defensively, that’s just awful.”
Patrick: “Peyton’s skills haven’t diminished have they? I heard Ron Jaworski say they may have diminished.”
Dungy: “He’s on pace to break Dan Marino’s all-time record for passing yardage. I don’t think he’s diminished at all.”
Harrison: “I don’t think so either.”
Collinsworth on Haynesworth: “He would have preferred to play tonight but I think that Mike Shanahan thought that the extended break to go to the funeral might have hurt him a little bit. And so Albert made a decision. So did Mike Shanahan.”
Collinsworth on Redskins changing McNabb’s habits: “It’s so interesting. You’ve got Mike Shanahan here and Donovan McNabb, obviously one of the best quarterbacks that has ever played the game. Donovan is sort of being taught new tricks around here. They want him to change his footwork. They want him to spread his feet out and get a wide base and make throws. And there’s detail after detail after detail. Donovan, the other day, said, ‘You know, did I do anything right in 11 years in the league?’ It’s like he’s starting from scratch here in this whole thing it’s making him laugh. But I think he’s paying attention. I think he’s learning and I think he’s having fun.”
Following are highlights of Bob Costas’ interview with Mike Shanahan:
On if he can build a Super Bowl-caliber team in time for McNabb to still be close to his prime.
Shanahan: I had the same question when I went to Denver. Denver was 28th, 29th in defense and 10th or 12th in offense, and people asked me the same question. I said, ‘Hey, we’re going to take this year by year, hopefully rebuild this football team, give yourself a chance to get to the playoffs and once you do, you got a chance.’ Hopefully we’ll have a chance.
On if his two Super Bowl rings help with credibility with the Redskins players.
Shanahan: I think what they do is, they understand that you have a system, that you’ve have had success and I think that gives you credibility. Collectively, I have been a really surprised, not really surprised, but I’ve been impressed with how our players have handled themselves on the day I got in here because they worked extremely hard to give themselves a chance to win those tight games.
Costas: Peyton represents a tremendous challenge, doesn’t he?
Shanahan: He does. You’ve got to be on top of your game to rattle him. And you have to keep him a little bit off balance. Sometimes, even if you do in the first half, he figures it out in the second half. You’ve got to have a plan for the first half and a plan for the second half and execute your defense extremely well.
Costas: You worked with Montana, Young and famously with Elway. How does Manning compare with those guys?
Shanahan: It’s always hard because when you don’t actually work with somebody. I never had a chance to work with Peyton but was with him at the Pro Bowl. You can just tell that he loves the game. He’s like a coach. You’d be by the pool (at the Pro Bowl) after we’d work out and he’d want to pick your brain for two or three days. He doesn’t give a lot of information out. He wants to get information in return so he’s pretty smart.
On if his year off rejuvenated him.
Shanahan: It really did. You don’t think you really need the rest but after that many years in coaching, I did enjoy myself.
Costas: Did it change your perspective?
Shanahan: I’m not sure if it changed my perspective on the game, I just knew that it gave me some extra energy to just relax a little bit and do things you’ve always been wanting to do and never been able to do. You find out how much you miss football too, being away from it.
Following are highlights of Bob Costas’ interview with Dwight Freeney & Reggie Wayne:
Costas: That was an especially tough Super Bowl defeat. How long did it take you to shake it off, if you have?
Freeney: I don’t think you ever completely shake that off. Some guys use it as motivation. Some guys try to forget it, but I don’t know if you can ever just completely forget it.
On the Tracy Porter interception in the Super Bowl.
Wayne: It was a situation where I ran that same route a few times. You can tell that he was expecting it. He jumped the play and made a pick…
Costas: Some people say that you broke off your route. What happened?
Wayne: I saw him jump the route before I even came out of my break. So I’m trying to do my best to be a defender at that point in time. He got there too quick. I’m from New Orleans so I get it all day, everyday. He made a great play on it. I couldn’t stop him. The rest is history.
On if Peyton’s gestures at the line really have meaning and how much pertains to Wayne?
Wayne: I’m going to say about 98.5 percent is all real. Somewhere within all those gestures and theatrical moments it probably has about five percent somewhere in there for me.
Costas: So there’s always something in there for you, at least potentially.
Wayne: Your attention needs to go right to him because you can blink and miss something that’s directly for you. It can be a pass where you’re the first read and you’re totally lost, and all of a sudden you get to the sidelines and you get that stare. You know what the stare is. Somewhere in there, you messed up.
Costas: Do you ever feel like just once (you would like to flatten Peyton in practice)?
Freeney: Absolutely. I think it’s D-linemen. The one thing we take pride in is hitting the quarterback whenever we can. We understand that when Peyton’s back there, there’s a five-yard halo. We can’t get in that five-yard halo or, you know, someone’s going to get upset – him or an offensive lineman or coordinator, receiver. Someone’s going to get upset.
Costas: You get to critique the coach. Have you caught Tony Dungy on Football Night in America?
Freeney: For me, I’m so used to seeing him in the team meeting room heading up the team meetings. It’s kind of strange to see him actually in front of the camera but he does a good job.
Wayne: One thing about him, he hasn’t held his tongue.
Costas: No. Does that surprise you? He’s been pretty outspoken.
Wayne: It does a little bit. You’re used to seeing him laid back, not saying much. But I guess when the camera’s on you have to say more.
Costas: Did Tony ever curse?
Freeney: Never. Never. He is what he is. What you see is what you’re going to get. I think one time he got a little raised his voice just a little bit. Not really a yell.
Wayne: One time. He got close. He got close. Real close. I think he got everybody’s attention.
Costas: You hear that Tony. You almost did it. You came ‘darn’ close. (laughter)
Dungy: “We were actually in San Diego and we got behind 23-0 and I just didn’t feel like we were playing that well. Rex Ryan would have been proud of me.”
Harrison: “Come on, coach. Not even in high school?”
Dungy: “I was terrible in high school.”
Harrison: “You had a foul mouth?”
Dungy: “A very foul mouth.”
Harrison: “So he is human.”
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