“Doug Pederson has changed this environment. He’s the father figure that these young guys needed.” – Tony Dungy
“Arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL. He’s going to make a huge impact. He’s going to make everyone better.” – Jason Garrett on Raiders WR Davante Adams
Football Night Team of Maria Taylor, Matthew Berry, Tony Dungy, Jason Garrett, Chris Simms, Jac Collinsworth, Rodney Harrison and Mike Florio were On-Site in Canton, Ohio
Sunday Night Football Announce Team of Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth and Melissa Stark Calling First Game Together for Tonight’s Hall of Fame Game
Football Analyst Matthew Berry Makes NBC Sports Debut
STAMFORD, Conn. – Aug. 4, 2022 – NBC Sports kicked off the 2022 NFL season tonight with a special edition of Football Night in America leading into coverage of the 2022 Hall of Fame Game, as Davante Adams and the Las Vegas Raiders took on Super Bowl-winning head coach Doug Pederson and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Kickoff for the game was delayed 40 minutes due to a lightning delay.
The special on-site edition of Football Night included the NBC Sports debut of football analyst Matthew Berry as well as the FNIA debut of former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. The show also featured Maria Taylor in her debut as lead host, Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, and NFL Insider Mike Florio. Co-host Jac Collinsworth and two-time Super Bowl champion Rodney Harrison provided on-field analysis and reports.
Pre-game coverage also included Taylor’s interviews with Jacksonville quarterback and 2021 first overall pick Trevor Lawrence and rookie linebacker Travon Walker, who was the first selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. Click here to watch the Lawrence interview and here to watch the Walker interview.
Coverage also included an interview with 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee defensive end/defensive tackle Richard Seymour and profiles of the remaining inductees – tackle Tony Boselli, wide receiver Cliff Branch, safety LeRoy Butler, official Art McNally, linebacker Sam Mills, coach Dick Vermeil, and defensive tackle/defensive end Bryant Young.
The new Sunday Night Football team of Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst), Melissa Stark (sideline reporter) and Terry McAulay (rules analyst) are calling their first game together during tonight’s 2022 Hall of Fame Game.
Following are highlights from tonight’s special edition of Football Night in America on NBC and Peacock:
Jason Garrett on Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams: “Arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL. He’s going to make a huge impact. He’s going to make everyone better.”
Chris Simms on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr: “Underappreciated, one of the ultimate field generals in all of football. I’m excited to see the tools at his disposal in this offense.”
Tony Dungy on Doug Pederson’s effect on the Jaguars: “Coaching is more than just the quarterback. It’s changing the environment. Doug Pederson has changed this environment. He’s the father figure that these young guys needed. Josh Allen, their great defensive player, came up to me and said, ‘We are going to be a different team this year.’”
Dungy on Jaguars second-year running back Travis Etienne Jr.: “What he’ll bring is big plays. He can hit the home run from the backfield, and they can play him out and he can catch like a wide receiver.”
Dungy on comparing Trevor Lawrence’s rookie year to Peyton Manning’s: “He reminds me so much of Peyton [Manning]. Coming out with a lot of fanfare, coming to a team that has the first pick. Didn’t do well, didn’t win a lot of games his rookie year. But I know from talking to Peyton, [he] learned so much that first year and that experience you can’t replace…He wouldn’t trade that year for anything because it helped him develop.”
Garrett comparing Lawrence to Manning and Troy Aikman: “If you’re building quarterbacks, that’s what you want to build. Trevor Lawrence, Troy Aikman, Peyton Manning — they’re big, they’re athletic, they can throw, they’re smart, they got a feel for playing. But the distinguishing trait for these guys? Their mental and physical toughness – to fight through the adversity early on. I know both Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning, when they were holding that [Lombardi] Trophy over their head, they looked back fondly on those lean years.”
ON UPCOMING 2022 NFL SEASON
Dungy on coaches getting back to a normal routine after two pandemic-impacted seasons: “That puts some pressure on you because I think the football is going to be better coming out of the gate. So, there is pressure to get off to a great start.”
Garrett: “No question. (The football is) going to be much better coming out of the gate.”
Garrett: “By far, the number one priority is to get the quarterback right in an environment where he can succeed. Derek Carr is in the prime of his career. Trevor Lawrence is just getting started. They want to do everything they can to give these guys a chance to have success.”
Simms on what he’s most excited about this upcoming NFL season: “Can it be three in a row? [Tom] Brady goes to the Bucs – wins a Super Bowl. [Matthew] Stafford – just an ‘okay’ quarterback (sarcasm) – goes to the Rams and wins a Super Bowl. Like Jason Garrett said, we got some quarterbacks on the move this year. Russell Wilson to Denver, Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts. Can that possibly happen three years in a row?”
Rodney Harrison on the new-look Colts: “I look at Matt Ryan and he’s definitely an upgrade at the quarterback position. You look at the leadership, the experience, the consistency, and then he has a running back like Jonathan Taylor. I expect the Colts to make the playoffs.”
Harrison on the Packers: “I look at the Packers, and offensively, I don’t worry about them scoring a lot of points because of Aaron Rodgers, even with the loss of Davante Adams. I look at them as being a better team now because of the defense. You look at what they’ve done via free agency, the draft, they got the number one cornerback in Jaire Alexander. I expect them to dominate on defense.”
Matthew Berry on Jalen Hurts’ fantasy outlook: “With a second year of DeVonta Smith this year, the No. 1 QB in fantasy is within the range of outcomes for Jalen Hurts…I’m not saying he’s got Josh Allen’s arm, but I think the passing improves a lot and he’s going to be a top-five fantasy quarterback.”
Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels on playing in his hometown of Canton, Ohio: “It’s a blessing. My family and I spent so many nights in this stadium, this area of the country, and this town specifically has so much to do with why I’m involved in the game of football. Being able to follow my dad on this field forever – that’s why I fell in love with coaching.”
Doug Pederson to Jac Collinsworth on Travon Walker: “To be as young as he is, he’s a very mature individual. He takes the game seriously; he takes his game seriously. He’s really off to a good start here in training camp.”
2022 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE INTERVIEWS
Richard Seymour on what it means to be inducted into the Hall of Fame: “This honor is my legacy. It’s about the people who sacrificed for you. To be able to share that with them this weekend, I’m truly honored.”
ON DESHAUN WATSON
Mike Florio: “…The most important thing to remember from the judge’s ruling – her findings of fact. They are binding on the appeal. She concluded that Deshaun Watson did it; specifically, she found that he engaged in multiple acts of non-violent sexual assault with four massage therapists, three violations of the policy, and she also concluded that he wasn’t truthful. You put all that together and there’s a chance it’s going to be a much longer suspension than six games…I don’t think there’s any chance (that we’ll see Deshaun Watson play in Week 1) because the union didn’t appeal the six-game suspension. So this is Week 7 that’s in play. He won’t be playing Week 1, but I’m told he will be playing in the preseason. So, we’ll see him, then we won’t for at least six weeks.”
Lawrence on the mentality going into the 2022 season: “I’ve got a little bit of a chip on my shoulder…This organization, fan base, everybody here in Jacksonville, has invested a lot in this team and myself…We have a lot to prove.”
Lawrence on his improvement heading into his second NFL season: “I’m really confident in taking better care of the ball, but also still taking chances and being the same player without putting the ball in harm’s way…also my confidence and knowledge of the playbook.”
Walker on Lawrence’s leadership: “(Lawrence) set that example for a lot of Georgia kids…He was just a great player that did everything he had to do to get in the position that he is. Now that I’m on the team with him, I can really see why he’s in the position that he is.”
Sunday Night Football — America’s No. 1 primetime television show for an unprecedented 11 consecutive years — debuts on Thursday, Sept. 8, with the NFL Kickoff Special, when Super Bowl LVI MVP Cooper Kupp and quarterback Matthew Stafford of the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams host All-Pro quarterback Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Coverage begins with Football Night in America at 7 p.m. ET, leading into kickoff at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.
–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–