“I just have total, total confidence with Ja’Marr because of our time together. I try to be safe with the football, but I also know I can take some chances that maybe I shouldn’t.” – Bengals QB Joe Burrow to King on his connection with Ja’Marr Chase
“No one in the organization thought when they traded Wilson that Smith would be a 30-percent upgrade over what Wilson would become in Denver.” – King on Seattle replacing Russell Wilson with Geno Smith at QB
“Nothing has surprised me. In fact, I know I can play a lot better.” – Smith to King on his play this season
“The Niners’ 21-point defeat (to the Chiefs on Sunday) showed just how much this team needs an offensive jolt like the one McCaffrey should provide in the season’s final 10 games.” – King on the 49ers’ trade for RB Christian McCaffrey
STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 24, 2022 – Peter King speaks with Bengals QB Joe Burrow, Seahawks QB Geno Smith, and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also discusses the 49ers’ trade for Christian McCaffrey, the Packers’ continued struggles, the Panthers’ win over the Buccaneers, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
GENO SMITH & SEAHAWKS
Seahawks QB Geno Smith to King when he was asked if anything has surprised him about his successful start this season: “Nothing has surprised me. In fact, I know I can play a lot better.”
King on Smith succeeding Wilson as Seattle’s QB: “Smith won over Pete Carroll last year by his confidence when playing three games for the injured Russell Wilson. But no one in the organization thought when they traded Wilson that Smith would be a 30-percent upgrade over what Wilson would become in Denver.”
Smith to King on competing for the Seattle job this offseason: “Over the years, not playing was heartbreaking…But what’s that cliche? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Coming into this year, I wasn’t sure what would happen [after the trade of (Russell) Wilson to Denver]. When Pete Carroll hit me up and was like, ‘Hey I’m giving you opportunity to compete for the job,’ I mean, that’s all you have to say to me. He’s shown faith in me.”
Smith to King on head coach Pete Carroll: “Our success so far starts with the trust and belief of our head coach. Not many coaches would start two rookies on the offensive line, a rookie running back, two rookie cornerbacks. Not many coaches would be comfortable starting a quarterback who hasn’t played in many years. But Pete does it because he knows what he’s looking at.”
Smith to King on the Seahawks’ future: “I think we’re built to last for this season and many seasons. But ultimately, it comes down to what we do, not what we say. It’s about the work we put in…As long as we continue to build together, the sky’s the limit.”
King on what newly acquired 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey could bring to the team: “The Niners’ 21-point defeat (to the Chiefs on Sunday) showed just how much this team needs an offensive jolt like the one McCaffrey should provide in the season’s final 10 games.”
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan to King on San Francisco’s trade for McCaffrey: “You can sit there and not put yourself out there and not do something like this, and then where are you?”
Shanahan to King: “We’ve got a ton of options. We can change the parts all over our offense and put different guys in, to take pressure off everybody. But like I told the team, We just added a really good player. But we gotta play better in all phases to really make it mean something.”
King on the 49ers’ plans for McCaffrey: “Shanahan made it clear they intend to keep McCaffrey beyond this year. To pay McCaffrey $12.7 million for the next 28 regular-season games is money very well spent if he plays most of the games; in that event, the Niners can judge whether to keep or cut him after the ’23 season.”
King on the Panthers trading McCaffrey: “The Panthers are gold right now … (GM Scott) Fitterer got more for a back with McCaffrey’s injury history than he had a right to hope for.”
King on the Panthers’ potentially tanking this season: “If I’m a Panthers’ fan, I want my team to tank so as to gain the highest possible pick next year. What difference does it make if Carolina is 3-14 or 6-11? Winning five or six would mean the Panthers likely wouldn’t have their pick of the litter at quarterback, and that’s all that should matter to the franchise in the next six months.”
Bengals QB Joe Burrow to King on his connection with Ja’Marr Chase: “I just have total, total confidence with Ja’Marr because of our time together. Obviously, he’s pretty far out there. I try to be safe with the football, but I also know I can take some chances that maybe I shouldn’t.”
Burrow to King on his touchdown pass to Chase in the second quarter of the Falcons-Bengals game on Sunday: “You can’t just throw that pass in a game. You have to have reps. Over and over. You’ve got to bank 100, 200 reps to have any confidence it’s going to work. Ja’Marr and I have run that a lot.”
King on the Packers and Buccaneers: “For the first time in six years, (Aaron) Rodgers and (Tom) Brady are on simultaneous two-game losing streaks. I honestly can’t predict which has the better chance to come out of it soon, but I can say it won’t be Green Bay this week. Pack at Bills, next Sunday night, NBC.”
King on Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles’ post-game speech and his message to his team going forward: “The Bucs are pathetic, but for a moment, he told them to forget about skill and greatness and all that. His point this week will be about pride and beating the guy across from you one-on-one and fighting harder than the other team.”
King on the Broncos: “The defense is playing at a top-five-in-the-league level, and every week they see a hyped quarterback, rightfully so, performing at a (Mitchell) Trubisky level as the season slips away after an offseason of enormous hope.”
KING’S WEEK 7 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Kenneth Walker, Seattle, D’Onta Foreman & Chuba Hubbard, Carolina, Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas, Joe Burrow, Cincinnati, & Taylor Heinicke, Washington
King on Foreman’s and Hubbard’s performances in the Panthers’ win over the Buccaneers: “They heard everything. They heard the season was over after the Christian McCaffrey trade, and they knew everyone handed the game to visiting Tom Brady. That, folks, is why they play the game.”
King on Heinicke in the Commanders’ win against the Packers: “Playing for the first time all season in relief of the injured Carson Wentz, Heinicke showed why he’s such a beloved guy in the Washington locker room…Surprisingly, he was just what the struggling Commanders needed.”
Defensive Players of the Week: Frank Clark, Kansas City, Andrew Adams, Tennessee, & Justin Houston, Baltimore
King on Clark: “Made one of the plays of the NFL weekend to clinch Kansas City’s decisive 44-23 win over San Francisco…On third-and-nine from the Niners’ six-yard line and trailing 35-23, this was their last gasp. Clark whipped around the edge, making all-world Trent Williams whiff on his block, and chased down Jimmy Garoppolo for a sack and a safety. All the air was taken out of Levi’s Stadium and out of the Niners, and the game was over.”
Coach of the Week: Pete Carroll, Seattle
King on Carroll: “Here are the Seahawks after seven weeks, alone in first place in the NFC West…and the only team with a winning record in the division. Seattle had lost 11 of 18 entering this season and without Wilson, it looked like a total rebuild. But Carroll never bought into the doom and gloom and never let his team buy into it either.”
Special Teams Players of the Week: Tress Way, Washington, & Marcus Kemp, Kansas City
Goats of the Week: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay, Charvarius Ward, San Francisco, & Andy Dalton & Marquez Callaway, New Orleans
NEWS & NOTES
Colts owner Jim Irsay to King on why he called for Daniel Snyder to be removed as owner of the Commanders: “When I got in this business, some of the greatest owners in the history of the league — Wellington Mara [Giants], Dan Rooney [Pittsburgh], Lamar Hunt [Kansas City] — showed a young man learning the game how to behave under pressure, with decency, with integrity, always putting the game first. The [NFL] shield means something.”
Irsay to King: “When Lamar Hunt died [in 2006], I remember being at his wake. And [former commissioner] Paul Tagliabue turned to me and said, ‘Well Jim, they’re all gone now. It’s your turn.’ And I’ve thought about that.”
King on the Commanders: “Does this franchise actually want credit for hiring decent people and going without scandals for two years? That’s what the other 31 other teams do regularly. And you want credit for being placid while running a 10-14 football team?”
King on the Odell Beckham Jr. free agency signing: “We’re now eight months from the surgery on his second ACL tear, and there’s a growing drumbeat about what team will sign Beckham and get this great offensive jolt from him. When? What if he’s not ready before late December — 10 months after the surgery? How big of a deal will it be to get a player at 30 coming off his second ACL in two years, particularly if he goes to a new team and has to get chemistry with a new quarterback he’s never played with?”Read the full FMIA column here and catch the weekly Peter King Podcast here.
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
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- 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.