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NFL Pregame Show Week 14 Sound Bites: NBC's 'Football Night in America'

By Ken Schott
Sunday, December 9, 2012

Here are the sound bites from NBC Sports' "Football Night in America" pregame show. The quotes are provided by the NBC Sports PR department.

ON COWBOYS TRAGEDY
Tony Dungy: “As an NFL coach, you’re coaching very, very young men. So I would always talk at the first team meeting of the year. I would talk about decision making, about drugs and alcohol, and parties, and late hours. You just constantly preach to them all year: make good decisions. Every Friday, I used to tell our team after practice, be smart, get home early, don’t drink and drive. But you come in Saturday morning, and every coach says this, not just me, but you come in Saturday morning and you just hope everyone gets there.”

Rodney Harrison: “You coaches do a great job relaying that message each and every Friday. But at 25 years old, I’ll have to admit, I was a guy who went out, I partied on Friday. I had three or four drinks, and I got behind the wheel and drove home. Why? Because I thought I felt invincible. ‘Oh, nothing would happen to me.’ But the older I got, I started gaining perspective. I started realizing what was important. Suddenly, I became that guy who would preach to the younger players about family, about career, and about the dangers of DUI.”

Dungy: “I couldn’t tell them not to go out, because I knew they were going out. But be smart; come home at 12 o’clock. If you’re going to drink, use the vehicles, the car service, and be smart about it. But you just don’t know if they’re listening.”

Peter King: “Yesterday, Josh Brent told a friend, ‘I do not want to get out of jail.’ He was despondent. But, today, one hour after the Cowboys victory in Cincinnati, he did get out of jail. He was released on $500,000 bail. The Cowboys are very concerned about his mental state. And Jason Garrett, I talked to him after the game, and he said to his team today after the game in Cincinnati, ‘Every one of us in this room, regardless of how you feel about the situation, is going to have to take turns to put our arms around Josh Brent, because he’s going to need us.’”

Mike Florio on DUI discipline: “I’m told the NFL has been pushing and will continue to push for a first offense resulting in a two-game suspension. The NFLPA has resisted. But now that a member of the NFLPA has died as a result of an alleged DUI committed by another member of the union, we’ll see if the NFLPA changes its position.”

ON CHIEFS TRAGEDY
King: “I’m told that in the last seven days, at least seven players around the league have gone to their team’s security officers to turn in the firearms that they possess from their homes. I’m also told that one of these players had multiple firearms -- as Jevon Belcher did, he had eight – that one of these players who had multiple firearms told his security officer, ‘I don’t trust myself with these guns in the house. Please take them away.’”

Dungy: “That to me is very, very impactful because I can say that over my career in talking to players about not using guns, I never had a player turn one in. That means this incident has had a big, big impact on our players.”

ON COWBOYS
Dan Patrick: “You saw them do something we had not seen them do in a while: the two-minute drill.”

ON FALCONS
Harrison: “They’re a very aggressive defense, but they miss a lot of tackles in the open field…This defense, they create a lot of turnovers, but at the end of the day, if they want to go far in the playoffs, they’re going to have to stop the run.”

Dungy: “This is not a great formula for going into the playoffs: giving up hundred-yard days week in and week out, running the ball…they’re putting so much pressure on Matt Ryan, he’s got to be perfect every game. He was off today and they got behind, 23-0.”

ON STEELERS
Dungy: “It doesn’t matter who plays quarterback, if you drop passes, if you let guys run through your secondary wide open, if you can’t pass protect…they have issues they’ve got to get solved in Pittsburgh.”

Harrison: “When you lose your best cornerback, Ike Taylor, teams are going to attack those young cornerbacks.”

ON VIKINGS
Patrick: “Adrian Peterson told Peter King after the game that 2,000 yards will be easy. He’s going after Erick Dickerson’s single-season record of 2,105, and that’s coming off major knee surgery.”

Dungy: “Adrian Peterson, no question, was the most valuable performer today.”

ON COLTS
Patrick on Andrew Luck’s post-game comments: “He does mention just about everybody on the roster. I think the water boy gets mentioned there with Andrew Luck.”

Harrison: “It’s not the best defense we’re going to see this year. However, they do a good job at playing fast, always having three or four guys around the line of scrimmage, and the cornerbacks have really improved. They’re very aggressive, they’re physical, they’re making plays, and they’re good tacklers in the open field.”

Dungy: “They get a lot of plays out of secondary. This might be my favorite guy, Robert Mathis. Dwight Freeney gets a lot of attention, but Robert Mathis is a great football player.”

ON SEAHAWKS
Dungy: “Let’s not give this division title to San Francisco too fast. They still have to go to Seattle and play. Seattle is playing very, very well.”

ON THE BEARS
Dungy: You saw Brian Urlacher on the sidelines. That really hurts them. Their defense is not coming up with the turnovers they did earlier in the season and their offensive line is not protecting Jay Cutler. They have Green Bay next week. Big, big problems in Chicago.”

INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Bob Costas’ interviews with Johnson and McCarthy. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”

CALVIN JOHNSON WITH BOB COSTAS

On possibly passing Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving yardage record: “It’s crazy to me. Never would have fathomed. Never knew exactly what the record was before this point. A couple of weeks ago, my trainer told me, ‘You have to average 150 yards a game throughout the rest of the season to reach 2,000.’ At that point, I still didn’t know that I was closing in on Jerry Rice’s record. I thought he just wanted me to get 2,000.”

On the impact on fantasy teams of being caught at the one-yard line five times: (laughs) “I definitely hear it through various media outlets about how fans feel about that.”

On playing in the snow: “I would much rather play in the snow than the rain.”

Costas: “And Lambeau in the snow kind of has that classic feel to it.’

Johnson: “It does…Lambeau is historic. To be able to play there, it’s a great feeling and then to play in the snow, not many people can say that.”

On the Lions losing 21 straight road games to the Packers: “The only person that knows fully everything about that is Jason Hanson (who has played 21 years with the Lions)…I’m going to ask him, how does it feel to be in that situation? What does it really feel like to go up there every time? And gain a little perspective from his view.

Costas: “Here’s your rallying cry, win one for Jason.”

Johnson: “No doubt.”

To watch the interview, click here.

MIKE MCCARTHY WITH BOB COSTAS

On the difference between last year’s offense and this year’s: “Well, No. 1, we’re definitely a different team. Last year was a special year. We were almost a fast-break offense. It was wide open. I don’t know if it was always the best thing for the rest of our team, particularly our defense.”

Costas: “So some of it’s by design?”

McCarthy: “I hate to say that we’re designing to score less points, but I think we’re a little more conscientious of field position, time of possession, things that will make us a more well-rounded football team.”

On the reaction from his hometown (Greenfield, Pa., a neighborhood in Pittsburgh) on the Packers beating the Steelers in the Super Bowl: “It was definitely positive, don’t get me wrong. But Greenfield is a proud neighborhood in the city of Pittsburgh. My parents still live there, so I would have preferred to have played someone else in the Super Bowl, frankly. That was a tough week…it really was more like, ‘Hey, obviously we would have wanted to win it, but if there was anyone else, we’d want it to be you.’”

On being a tollbooth taker on the Pennsylvania Turnpike after college: “I just graduated from college. My father was a Pittsburgh firefighter for over 30-plus years. He didn’t understand the concept of a college education, first job (as a coaching assistant), you don’t get paid. So, he had the opportunity to get me on the Pennsylvania Turnpike through some friends. It was my summer job before we went to training camp.”

On the monotony: “I worked the graveyard shift…I had the playbook. Paul Hacket was the offensive coordinator. He just came from the Dallas Cowboys. It was a pro system. I had never seen anything like it, so I definitely had a lot of studying to do.”

On being near iconic franchises (Steelers as a kid; Packers as a coach): “I feel very blessed. To be the head coach of the Green Bay Packers is just such a special, special opportunity. I just can’t say enough about this organization.”

To watch the interview, click here.

 
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