“One of the most impartial, fair, biting-when-necessary columnists ever to write about pro football.” – King on Don Banks
“Problem is, (the injury has) been lingering since April, and after three MRIs found nothing more severe than a strain…It’s still there.”
– King on Luck’s calf injury
FMIA Also Features Training Camp Visits to the Jaguars and Buccaneers
STAMFORD, Conn. – August 5, 2019 – Peter King pays tribute to longtime NFL reporter Don Banks, who passed away this weekend in Canton, Ohio where he was covering the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies, in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com.
In addition, King continues his training camp tour with a stop in Indianapolis, to speak with Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and head coach Frank Reich about Luck’s lingering calf injury.
King also travels to Jacksonville, where he speaks with defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and chats with Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston and head coach Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
REMEMBERING DON BANKS
Peter King: “Don Banks, one of the leading NFL reporters in the country, died suddenly on Sunday in Canton, Ohio. He was in Canton to cover the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies over the weekend, and his first story in his new job, as NFL columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was published in Sunday’s editions.”
King: “When he least expected it, the Review-Journal called this summer, and it was just what Don wanted – another shot at covering the NFL as one of the most impartial, fair, biting-when-necessary columnists ever to write about pro football…he was known for his absolute impartiality.”
King: “Friends are fleeting in this business. It’s competitive, and there are jealousies, and you’re lucky if you have four or five really good ones. Don was one of those for me.”
ANDREW LUCK’S CALF
King: “On the surface, the calf strain keeping Andrew Luck from practicing in training camp this week shouldn’t be too concerning…Problem is, it’s been lingering since April, and after three MRIs found nothing more severe than a strain, and after Luck has previously taken some time off to help it stop barking, it’s still there.”
Luck on if he’s worried about his recovery: “At times I do worry about it. It can be frustrating. The arc of an injury, whether it’s a big surgical one or something you’re rehabbing through. But no, because I’ve improved. Maybe I’m not improving as fast as I want and missing things is no fun. It eats at you.”
King: “I sense the only reason why the Colts aren’t more nervous this morning is because backup Jacoby Brissett is having a very good camp, and the franchise considers him a serviceable starter if he has to play.”
Frank Reich on Luck: “I think Andrew’s been in some really, really good offenses. But I don’t know if he’s ever been in an offense that wants to turn him loose like we’re going to turn him loose this year.”
Reich on player injuries: “As a former player and as a coach, it’s just always my instinct to trust the player. I really don’t lay awake at night thinking about it. When our players have injuries, I’m not the guy who’s asking every five minutes how they’re doing.”
Calais Campbell on rookie Josh Allen: “This guy’s flashin’. He’s flashin’…The real deal. The real deal.”
Allen speaking to Campbell: “He’s teaching me everything! Everything…I’m not gonna disrespect you. But every time I watch you on film bro, just knowing you, knowing how you are…Damn. I watch you play, and you still got it. You got it! I watch you, and you’re like lights out. Still.”
King: “For Campbell, this is passing along what he knows to the next generation. If Allen down the road takes his job or even some of his playing time, Campbell will live. It’s what an unselfish veteran does with a promising rookie, and it will pay off for Allen long after Campbell retires. It’s a pay-it-forward thing.”
Jalen Ramsey on if he thinks he’s the best cornerback in football: “I know I am…A hundred percent.”
Ramsey on if he will play his whole career in Jacksonville: “(Smile, smirk.) ‘Maybe.’”
King: “This has to be the most diverse coaching staff in NFL history. Thirty coaches. Eleven are African-American, including all three coordinators. Two are women.”
King: “One coaching staff already got fired because, among other things, coaches couldn’t turn the franchise quarterback around. The first pick in the 2015 draft, Jameis Winston, is in his crucial fifth season here. If Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich and quarterbacks coach Clyde Christianson can fix him and eliminate some of the mindless errors on his pro résumé, then Winston gets signed to a rich deal and leads this team into the future.”
Arians on what he tells Winston: “Twenty-one other guys are gonna play their tails off with you. You don’t have to do it all…Learn to take your checkdowns. Don’t try to be Superman on every play because you were the number one pick in the draft. You don’t have to be elite. Just play quarterback.”
Winston on the new staff’s emphasis: “Doing my job. Be a quarterback. Be a game manager when I need to. Be a playmaker when I need to…Cut my losses and throw the ball away when I need to. It’s a part of learning the game – understanding a throwaway is okay. If a defense gets you on a play, it’s okay.”
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 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 NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.
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