Sunday, November 27, 2011

NBC SNF FNIA Pregame Notes - Week 12

From NBC Sports -

“As a coach, you have to talk to your players about this before it happens.” – Tony Dungy on Stevie Johnson’s celebration penalty
I was a young player once and I was very prideful and arrogant, just like Ndamukong Suh, but I didn’t learn until the Commissioner handed me a suspension.” – Rodney Harrison
“This is a remarkable story. I really thought this team had a shot at the first overall pick in the draft.” – Cris Collinsworth on the Bengals
NEW YORK – November 27, 2011 – Following are highlights from Football Night in America. For the first time since NBC began broadcasting the NFL Sunday night game in 2006, Bob Costas hosted the show live from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., and was joined on site for commentary by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. Co-host Dan Patrick and commentators Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Peter King and Mike Florio covered the news of the NFL’s 12th week live from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios in New York. Alex Flanagan reported from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on the Patriots-Eagles game.

EMBED NBC SPORTS VIDEO: Highlights from Football Night and other NBC Sports programming are available to be embedded at Click the following links for:
Bob Costas’ interview with Todd Haley:
Bob Costas’ interview with Mike Wallace & Antonio Brown:
Ryan Clark mini-feature:
Patrick, Dungy & Harrison on Ndamukong Suh
King on Brett Favre
Dungy on Stevie Johnson: “As a coach, you have to talk to your players about this before it happens. You just can’t make these kinds of mistakes in the game…You give your team the momentum and now you’re going to mock another player. Everyone knows the rules; you can’t go to the ground on a celebration, so now this is just giving away 15 yards.”
Harrison: “It is just dumb, it’s immature, and a distraction you do not need on your team.”
Patrick: “It seems like every week we’re talking about one of these receivers being a knucklehead.”
Dungy: “You have to talk to your guys, ‘We’re not going to have this, no matter what you feel like. We’re not going to have you give away free yards.’”
Harrison: “I think he should be suspended two games. I was a young player once and I was very prideful and arrogant, just like Ndamukong Suh, but I didn’t learn until the Commissioner handed me a suspension. Then I really understood the impact of what it did to my teammates in that locker room. Also, I don’t want it to diminish exactly what this kid stands for. He’s a good kid and he works very hard, and don’t want that to diminish what he stands for going forward.”
Dungy: “I played with Joe Greene and Joe told me his first year was very similar to Ndamukong Suh. He’s out of control, wanting to win, playing very aggressively, but the organization, in particular coach Chuck Noll, got Joe’s attention and said, ‘You know what, it has to be about winning. Channel that aggression towards winning.’”
Harrison: “When we think about Ndamukong Suh, we should be thinking about the most dominant defensive tackle, not a dirty player.”
Florio: “Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor has had helmet-to-helmet hits now in three straight games. One happened earlier today against the Redskins. Last week he was fined $40,000 for the second one. The next step could be a one game suspension.”

Patrick: “Tebow shouldn’t get the credit for this win?”
Harrison: “It should be a total team credit.”
Dungy: “It is, but you have to give Tim Tebow credit because we saw Champ Bailey earlier say they believed.”
Harrison: “Yes, because each week that defense is keeping them in the games; each and every week.”
Dungy on his winner for the day: “My winner has to be Tim Tebow. This Denver Broncos team was left for dead. They’ve won five out of six since he started. They are back in the playoff hunt.”
Dungy on Caleb Hanie: “This is the one thing that I’m sure they talked about all week; we can’t have takeaways. Hanie had three bad throws in the first half. The one throw right before halftime really killed the momentum.”
Collinsworth: “This is a remarkable story. I really thought this team had a shot at the first overall pick in the draft. They had a new offensive coordinator. They had a rookie quarterback in Andy Dalton. They had a rookie wide receiver in A.J. Green. It is all falling together in a remarkable way. It now looks like we may well see three teams out of the AFC North going into the playoffs.”
Dungy on Bengals young players: “These guys aren’t only going to be fun to watch, they’re going to be dangerous.”
Michaels: “Wade Phillips -- an ignominious departure last year from Dallas as the head coach midway through the season -- he goes to Houston under Gary Kubiak as defensive coordinator and in good measure (he) is why the Houston Texans are 8-3 right now.”
Collinsworth: “No matter who is playing the quarterback position, with the way that they can play defense and the way that they can run the football with Arian Foster, Ben Tate and those guys, eventually you are going to come down and have to play one-on-one coverage against Andre Johnson. Bob (Costas), I’ve seen your throw, and if they put you in there, occasionally, (if) you threw it up, Andre Johnson would make a play or two.”
Harrison on his winner for the day: “The Texans. They lose two quarterbacks. They’re 8-3 and in first place.”
King: “Everybody is going to be asking now; will the Houston Texans go after Brett Favre? They are down to their third-string quarterback. I talked to both Rick Smith, the General Manager of the Texans, after the game, and texted with Favre, and I don’t see it happening. Smith told me, ‘I don’t see it. I don’t want to bring the circus to town.’ Favre told me, ‘Hey, no one has called me, not that I would consider it, but I don’t think I am up to the media blitz.’ I don’t see this happening because Brett Favre has not thrown a football in nearly a month. This is not a guy who wants to come back.”
Dungy: “There are eight teams that are still alive, but the class of the NFC is the Green Bay Packers. I thought that Thanksgiving Day would be a test for them going on the road on a short week. I think they are going to go undefeated.”
Harrison: “Cincinnati, they are in that number six spot, but for some reason I still believe in the Jets. They have been in this situation before…Cincinnati has a more difficult schedule than the Jets. The Jets have to play Washington, Kansas City, and Philly; all teams that they can beat.”
Collinsworth on fines for illegal hits: “The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t very happy about that at all. They really don’t have issue with the fact that the league is going to penalize the players for illegal hits. Where they draw the line is, when you have an intentional hit, it is one thing; fine the players, no problem with that. But when you have one of those bang-bang kind of plays, and his helmet is slightly here instead of here [points from chin to chest], and now these guys like (Ryan) Clark are getting fined $55,000 dollars over the last three weeks, they are upset as an organization, and I don’t think that is going to change any time soon.”
Costas: “It is a longer discussion for a different day. We know that some of that is going to happen inadvertently. It is the nature of the game. We also know that it is a smart thing for Roger Goodell to try to make the game, which is inherently very dangerous, at least as safe as possible.”
Collinsworth: “And I don’t think anybody can argue that the league has not fundamentally changed how people hit because of the way they are treating this rule right now.”
Flanagan on her postgame conversation with Desean Jackson, who was benched mid-game: “I spoke the Desean in the locker room for a few minutes. He said it was a coach’s decision; a decision he will have to live with, and he doesn’t know what that means for him going forward.”
King: “One note on the trading deadline, which is traditionally in the NFL in Week 6. Talking to Commissioner Roger Goodell the other day, he told me that he is very interested in discussing the possibility of moving the trade deadline to later in the season so that players like Kyle Orton won’t just be released by the Denver Broncos. They could go on the trading block and several teams, like the Chicago Bears, like the Houston Texans, could go for (them).”
Following are highlights from Costas’ interview with Haley, and Wallace and Brown:
COSTAS on Haley growing up as the son of Steelers personnel executive Dick Haley: You’ve got a history with the Pittsburgh Steelers that goes back almost to your very first memories as a child, right?
HALEY: Absolutely…I truly bled black and gold in my daily life for many, many years all the way through college. How I felt that week depended upon the Steelers and how they played.
COSTAS: Being around that as a kid would have been great had it been any one of the 32 teams. But this was one of the greatest teams of all time.
HALEY: To be there at the start of what is still going to this day -- how they built, how they are going to do things – (it) is still intact almost exactly the same way today, and obviously it works. But to be there as a young kid, I didn’t look any different at Jack Lambert and Terry Bradshaw than I did anybody else. I said that I wish now I had collected a few autographs.
HALEY: My father has always said this to me, which I do kind of tend to believe, ‘By growing up and being able to be around the teams you were able to be around and the players, you know what great is.’ And knowing what great is as a characteristic, or the ability to know what great is, is important to have. A lot of guys haven’t been around great to know what it is.
COSTAS on Haley as offensive coordinator for the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII: Do you have any flashbacks?
HALEY: I have many flashbacks to that Super Bowl. I’m very close with Kurt (Warner) and Larry (Fitzgerald) and there’s not many weeks that go by that that doesn’t come up in some way. We were leading in the Super Bowl with just a few minutes left. So I have a lot of flashbacks, especially when we play the Steelers.
HALEY on not being afraid to get in the face of his players: I’m pretty passionate about what I do. I can’t worry about what people think, and I don’t. I always tell the players at the start of any situation that I’ve been in, ‘I’m not here for you to like me or for us to be best friends. That’s not why I’m here. I’m here to get you to play the best you can possibly play whether that’s to be the greatest ever or be great or good or a role player. I’m going to push you in any way that I can, and in the end I hope you respect that.’ I’m in it only to try to get players to be their best, and now, as a head coach, just try to get our team to be the best that it possibly can by any means necessary.
COSTAS on Hines Ward: What has it been like to, in a sense, supplant a guy you grew up watching?
WALLACE: (It’s) different not having him out there, but it’s for the better of the team. I think he knows that. He accepts it. It’s like having an extra coach on the sideline. He’s always telling us where to go. He’s like our big brother. I think he’s happy for us. I think he just wants to win.
COSTAS on Wallace’s speed: Have you ever come up against anybody who can run with you step for step?
WALLACE: No. Not even close.
COSTAS to Brown: You’re the son of Eddie Brown. Astute football fans might say, ‘You mean Eddie Brown, who played for the Cincinnati Bengals?’ No, I mean Eddie Brown, who played in the Arena League for the Albany and Indiana Firebirds.
BROWN: Yes, sir. I’m the proud son of my dad, who really set his standards high as far as what he did in his football career.
COSTAS: Did you follow him?
BROWN: Definitely. He put up some amazing records -- nine touchdowns in a game. He did some great things in the Arena League.
COSTAS: He had a nine-touchdown game? That’s like playing in someone’s backyard.
BROWN: He was killing it.

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