“Watt is one of the best players in modern NFL history.” – King on Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt, who announced his retirement last week
“Best player on the best defense in football, and consistently intimidating as a rushing force.” – King on 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa
“Jones is in the right place. He needs to sign with the Giants for the near-term this offseason. He fits.” – King on Giants QB Daniel Jones
“Too many grandiose words, too little grandiose play.” – King on Broncos QB Russell Wilson
“I think if Brady plays (in 2023), he’ll play for another team. I also think he’ll have to join a team that he thinks has a chance to win a Super Bowl. Is that Vegas? Indy? Some team that partners with Sean Payton? We shall see.” – King on the playing future of Buccaneers QB Tom Brady
STAMFORD, Conn. – Jan. 2, 2023 – Peter King speaks with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, and longtime NFL television producer Fred Gaudelli in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also discusses the career of three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt as well as that of Gaudelli, recaps Week 17 of the NFL season, the Giants’ playoff-clinching victory over the Colts, Patrick Mahomes’ continued excellence on the field, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
J.J. WATT (WILL PLAY HIS FINAL NFL GAME THIS SUNDAY IN WEEK 18)
King: “Watt is one of the best players in modern NFL history.”
Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt to King on his brother J.J. Watt’s influence on him: “When J.J. got into the NFL, he always allowed us in to see everything — and not just the good stuff. I’d look at him and see a guy who ate the same cereal I ate, grew up the way I grew up, and if he did it, why couldn’t I do it? The blueprint was there.”
Titans center Ben Jones to King on Watt’s impact on his career: “I got drafted in 2012 by Houston, and I learned so much. I watched J.J., Duane Brown, Andre Johnson put everything into the game. Their sleep, the food they ate, massages, and offseason work. Your body makes your money. Treat it right. And that year, I played right guard, and my welcome-to-the-NFL thing was blocking him every day at practice. He made my life miserable. But he made me better, a lot better.”
Former Ravens guard Marshal Yanda to King on Watt’s effort: “The thing that I respected most about him is his effort. Not even the very elite players played like him. Every play — run, pass, field goal — his drive was unmatched.”
FRED GAUDELLI (WILL PRODUCE FINAL NFL GAME IN WILD CARD ROUND, AFTER 33 SEASONS AS LEAD NFL GAME PRODUCER FOR ABC, NBC AND AMAZON PRIME VIDEO)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to King on longtime NFL television producer Fred Gaudelli: “Freddie’s been the ultimate coach in the truck, calling all the plays for years. I have so much respect for him for a few reasons. One is just his constant desire to improve the experience for the fans…I remember when we were talking to [NBC’s] Dick Ebersol about starting Sunday Night Football, Freddie’s name was one of the first he mentioned. Dick really wanted him. Matter of fact, I think it might’ve been before [John] Madden.”
Goodell to King on Gaudelli leading Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football: “Knowing that Freddie was in the seat…I knew he knew what to do, how to do it and I knew he was going to produce a fantastic product for our fans. That was really one of the most significant things for me in discussions with Amazon even before the deal was over.”
Goodell to King: “At the end of the day, you knew the guy was the best in the business. He was going to make sure your product was better and what else could you ask for ultimately, right?”
Gaudelli to King: “If you’d asked me at 18, ‘How do you want your career to go?’ I couldn’t have written it any better.”
King on Giants QB Daniel Jones: “Jones is in the right place. He needs to sign with the Giants for the near-term this offseason. He fits.”
King on Giants head coach Brian Daboll: “State the facts to the players, work with them, and keep working with them till they do the job right and you win. Teaching, coaching, persistence — those are things that go a long way with Daboll. And they’re going a long way with (Daniel) Jones too.”
King on Broncos QB Russell Wilson: “He’s been awful this year, and his play more than anything else got a rookie head coach fired after 15 games. It’s time to shut up, take the medicine that an elite player who makes truly elite money and then plays at an F level has to take and figure a way to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Too many grandiose words, too little grandiose play.”
King on Raiders QB Jarrett Stidham: “Stidham has one game left, against Kansas City Saturday, and then will be a free agent. The Raiders would be smart to sign him short-term and draft a young quarterback to compete for the job — for 2023 and beyond.”
KING’S MVP WATCH – WEEK 17
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City, 2. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia, 3. Josh Allen, Buffalo, 4. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati, 5. Nick Bosa, San Francisco
King on having Mahomes over Hurts: “You could argue, and many will, that Hurts’ value is accentuated by the Eagles losing both games missed by Hurts with his shoulder injury. I can’t argue with that, except to say I cannot vault a player who doesn’t play over an extremely valuable player who continues to play.”
King on Bosa: “Best player on the best defense in football, and consistently intimidating as a rushing force.”
KING’S WEEK 17 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco, Jarrett Stidham, Las Vegas, Tom Brady & Mike Evans, Tampa Bay
King on McCaffrey: “If there was any doubt about the value of dealing for McCaffrey at the trade deadline this year, they should be erased this morning.”
King on Stidham against 49ers: “Making one’s first start in the NFL against the (far and away) best defense in football is a tough ask. But after the mayhem of the week in Vegas, with Derek Carr watching on TV from home (presumably), Stidham looked like a 10-year vet. He very much belonged.”
Defensive Players of the Week: Kyle Dugger, New England, Cameron Jordan and Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans, Chris Jones, Kansas City, & Nick Bosa, San Francisco
King on Jordan and Lattimore’s performance against the Eagles: “Hurts would have made a difference, for sure, had he played instead of Gardner Minshew. But Jordan’s three sacks and Lattimore’s nifty bait-and-pick of Minshew for a 12-yard pick-six to round out the scoring were the results of a great team defensive day.”
Coach of the Week: Brian Daboll, New York Giants
King on Daboll: “Remember where the Giants were four months ago? In Nowheresville, just trying to be competent. Now they’re 9-6-1 and headed for the playoffs, with Daboll’s leadership a huge key.”
Special Teams Players of the Week: Keisean Nixon, Green Bay, Jake Camarda, Tampa Bay, & Richie Grant, Atlanta
Goat of the Week: Carson Wentz, Washington
NEWS & NOTES
King on Eagles QB Jalen Hurts’ availability for Week 18: “You can bet Eagles coach Nick Sirianni won’t want to go into the playoffs with his starting quarterback idle for five weeks unless (Jalen) Hurts is just unable to throw it next week. So it’ll be an intriguing story to watch this week.”
King on Buccaneers QB Tom Brady’s playing future: “I think if Brady plays (in 2023), he’ll play for another team. I also think he’ll have to join a team that he thinks has a chance to win a Super Bowl. Is that Vegas? Indy? Some team that partners with Sean Payton? We shall see.”
King on QB Derek Carr leaving the team after being benched: “I think I don’t understand a player, such as Derek Carr with the Raiders, getting replaced as the starting quarterback of a team and then leaving the team so he won’t be a distraction…It’s just weird that a guy loses his job and it’s fine and dandy for the player and the team that he simply becomes a non-person.”
King on the Broncos’ front office structure: “The new coach will report to the owner, owner’s rep Greg Penner, not the GM. That sets up the coach going over GM George Paton’s head, whether the owner thinks it does or not. What, is the owner going to want to meet with the coach every Monday after the game? Will Paton be invited? I mean, why invite a separation like that?”
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio (Mondays) and Florio and Chris Simms (Tuesday-Thursday) streams on Peacock from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET on weekdays & is available on-demand. The Dan Patrick Show streams at 9 a.m. ET, Fantasy Football Happy Hour with Matthew Berry at Noon ET, Brother From Another at 3 p.m. ET, PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET. At 6 p.m. ET, Chris Simms Unbuttoned streams Tuesday-Friday.
- ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest news and updates.
- NBC Sports EDGE’s Rotoworld Football Show continues the NFL discussion and Bet The Edge Podcast provides daily betting insights.
- 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.