Collinsworth on disputed Lions-Bears call: “I thought they got it right.”
Michaels on Redskins: “Over the past decade, they have spent like drunken sailors on players.”
NEW YORK – September 12, 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 first week live from NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios. Alex Flanagan, making her debut on “Football Night in America,” reported from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on the Eagles-Packers game.
ON THE COWBOYS FUMBLE JUST BEFORE THE HALF
Harrison: “What are they thinking? There’s absolutely no chance of scoring. This has to be one of the dumbest plays that I’ve ever seen.”
Dungy: “You’re absolutely right. They’ve got to take a knee…Not smart football.”
ON DISPUTED TD RECEPTION DURING LIONS-BEARS
Collinsworth: “I understand that I may be in the minority position here. I’m not sure but it has been pounded into our heads, time after time after time, that if you make a catch and there is contact when the catch is made, you’re in the air, contact is made, now you have to maintain complete possession over that football all the way to the ground…I thought they got it right.”
King on his conversation with Carl Johnson, the new head of NFL Officiating: “I talked to him minutes after this call was made on the field and he told me, ‘What has to happen when a ball is caught in the end zone is that a receiver needs to retain possession throughout the entire process of the catch. When the action stops, he needs to have complete possession of the ball.’”
Dungy on if he were the coach: “I’m mad because I just lost a game that I should have won. That’s a catch. That may be the rule and that may be the interpretation of it and Cris Collinsworth thinks it’s an incomplete pass, but that’s a catch…the official who was right on the spot, signals touchdown. He knew he caught the ball.”
Harrison: “This is one of the most ridiculous calls that I’ve ever seen. If I’m coach Jim Schwartz, I’m very upset. I understand that you don’t want this negativity lingering on with your team but this cost me one of the four victories that my team will have this year…A touchdown all day.”
King on speaking with Calvin Johnson: “I talked to him and he was fairly despondent as you think he would be…he definitely believes that should have been a touchdown.”
Click here to view video of this exchange: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/22825103/vp/39140739#39140739
Bob Costas devoted his halftime essay to the call:
“As Week 1 moves towards its conclusion, everybody’s talking about what happened in Chicago today. You’ve surely seen the play by now — what appeared to be a game-winning touchdown pass from Detroit’s Shaun Hill to Calvin Johnson. Was ruled a no-catch. A call upheld by video review. Carl Johnson, the League’s new vice-president of officiating, agreed the referees interpreted the rule correctly, as did our Cris Collinsworth. So the complaint here is not — nor should it be — that the ruling was improper. It was correct.
“It just wasn’t right — because the rule in this case isn’t quite right. What rules in sports should aim for is to enforce fairness and common sense. Take the PGA Championship last month, when Dustin Johnson lost a chance for a major title when he was penalized for grounding his club in a so-called bunker. In that instance, and this one, the outcry is the same: applying the letter of the law seems to work against common sense. In the case of Calvin Johnson, the officials were apparently correct in interpreting the rule. And a league official told me tonight, the NFL has no problem with the rule as written. And that it applies exactly the same in the end zone as in the field of play.
“But perhaps, that rule should be re-visited and re-thought. So that what looks and feels like a touchdown can be called a touchdown.”
Michaels: “Over the past decade, they have spent like drunken sailors on players.”
Collinsworth: “Maybe more so than any position in sports, your quarterback has to have some magic to him. He has to be a guy that when he walks in the huddle, you believe, you think you’re going to win the football game. So now, not only do you have Donovan McNabb, you have Mike Shanahan, you have Kyle Shanahan, you have this ‘swagger’ to this offense that truly did not exist a season ago. I remember Jim Zorn wasn’t even calling his own plays, this whole place was upside down. When you walk in the building of the Washington Redskins, it feels like a professional football organization.”
Bob Costas interviewed Redskins QB Donovan McNabb and head coach Mike Shanahan about their relationship.
Shanahan: “Those relationships do take time. You know when you talk about relationships, usually you’re talking about relationships about playoff games, big wins, shared history. Its kind of hard to have a relationship with somebody until you do something special.”
McNabb: “We’re at a point where we have a great relationship. Just not just head coach-quarterback, but just two individuals who are getting to know each other. That’s something that we’ll continue to grow…that’s one that I had built, obviously, in Philadelphia and I see that growing to that position right now.”
MCNABB ON EAGLES: “…you know the best of luck to them. I’m just happy about this opportunity.”
ON REDSKINS-EAGLES GAME: “I’ve heard that a lot but being in the NFC you’re going to play teams twice a year. It just so happens that I’m playing against a team that I played for for 11 years. But before that game in October, we have a couple more games before that, and that’s where my focus will be.”
ON AGE: “Absolutely, a lot of gas in my tank, 33 is not old. Seeing Brett at 41, 42, for a lot of us who are still playing and playing at a high level, we still have a lot of years left.”
ON HIS GOAL: “The clocks over, you win the game, and the confetti’s flying. Are you at that podium, holding up that trophy? Are you that guy? And I want to be that guy.”
Click here for video of McNabb’s interview: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/22825103/vp/39138074#39138074
Bob Costas interviewed Cowboys QB Tony Romo.
ON THE SUPER BOWL BEING IN DALLAS: “There’s a little more talk from the outside circles. For us, January and February are so far away you just have to have the narrowing of focus.”
ROMO ON MATURING: “The greatest tool for improvement is just experience. You look at your experiences, good and bad, and you just ask yourself why you did certain things. And over time, if you take your job seriously and you want to be great at what you do, you learn why you did dumb things sometimes.”
ROMO ON MISTAKES: “It wasn’t just one thing. A lot of it was just the thought process in certain moments. When I was younger, sometimes you just threw the ball poorly. You learn, there is a time and a place for it but it can cost your team. The ball matters it really does.”
Click here for video of Romo’s interview:
Dungy on McNabb trade: “I might trade a player but I wouldn’t trade my quarterback to a team I’m going to play twice. The quarterback knows too much about your operation…I wouldn’t trade him within that division to a team that I feared.”
Harrison: “I got a chance in the off-season to talk with some of the players and they said they love Donovan McNabb, they respect him. But they felt like Kevin Kolb gave them the best opportunity to win and go to the next level. After being at one place for such a long time over a decade, some people stopped believing in Donavan McNabb.”
King on Kevin Kolb: “Confirmed concussion. That puts Michael Vick in line, perhaps, to start his second game in four years at Detroit next Sunday.
Flanagan: “The question becomes here in Philly, who will be the starting quarterback in Week 2 if Kevin Kolb is, in fact, cleared to play?”
Harrison: “This is what the Pittsburgh Steelers missed last year without Troy Polamalu. His leadership ability, his instincts, his play-making ability, and the fact that he makes everybody around him a lot better…I think they’ll be 3-1, with the defense that they have right now. It looks like their back with Troy Polamalu.”
Dungy: “I think they’ll be 4-0. I think they’re going to play Steelers football.”
Collinsworth: “Their pass rush was electric. Their running game was tremendous.”
Harrison: “This game was won and lost up front on the line. The Houston Texans completely dominated. Mario Williams and that offensive line completely bullied the Colts.”
Dungy: “It was a huge psychological win for them…They know they can beat the Colts now. That’s going to help them down the road.”
Patrick on Tom Brady: “One car accident and one new contract.”
Dungy: “It was great seeing Wes Welker back doing what he did best, and that’s catching the ball on third down.”
Harrison: “I know Randy Moss is upset right now, but this is not the time and place.”
Dungy: “I love Randy Moss, but you can’t talk about next year now. You’ve got to say, ‘hey, we won this game.’ You’ve got to move forward.”
Costas (joking): “Dan, even if you ace this next set of highlights, Dick Ebersol has, in fact, ruled out any negotiation.”
Dungy: “This was a statement game.”
Patrick on Carroll being restrained after a score: “A little college enthusiasm.”
Dungy: “Pete Carroll accomplished something today. The hardest thing I thought I had to do as a first year coach was get your players to believe. And watching them play, they believe in Pete Carroll.”
Michaels: “Let me sum up the game in a way, Chicago is now closer to Detroit than they are to Minnesota and Green Bay in the NFC North. Detroit is a team on the rise despite the loss today.”
Michaels: “Hakim Nicks is a star in the making.”
Patrick: “Tom Cable still looking like John Goodman.”
Tony Dungy used his Coaches Clicker to break down plays by Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Wes Welker.
Follow NBC Sports PR on Twitter at Twitter.com/NBCSportsPR
Follow “Sunday Night Football” on Twitter at Twitter.com/SNFonNBC
Become a fan of “Sunday Night Football” on Facebook at: Facebook.com/SNFonNBC