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NFL Pregame Shows Week 3 Sound Bites: ESPN's 'Sunday NFL Countdown'

By Ken Schott
Sunday, September 22, 2013

Here are the sound bites from ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" pregame show. The quotes are provided by the ESPN PR department.

On suspended Broncos linebacker Von Miller:

ESPN NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter reported that suspended Broncos linebacker Von Miller unsuccessfully attempted to corrupt the NFL’s drug testing program, explaining why his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy was likely increased to six games.

Countdown analysts discussed the news by Mortensen and Schefter:
Keyshawn Johnson: “When you look at the organization as a whole, they’ve had some off-the-field problems with the front office; now Von Miller. They have to get him back on the football field, get his mind right, because you don’t want him lingering out there thinking that he can continue to do these things and get away with it.”

Tom Jackson: “He better start to understand that you have to take responsibility for what you do … He has hurt the football team, himself, his money, the organization, the city and the fans. I like Von Miller, this may do damage to our relationship, but he needs to understand his responsibility to the Denver Broncos, to himself and his family …”

Cris Carter: “You have to be a grown man to make grown decisions. If you want to play in the NFL, it’s not your right, it is a privilege. He has a problem that is bigger than playing right now.”

Mike Ditka: “He’s flirting with disaster. If the Broncos can keep winning without him, they’re going to figure out, maybe, we don’t need this guy around here. Maybe, we can save that money and give it to somebody else that is going to appreciate it.”

Carter: “Trey (Wingo), you said something very important. You said the word trust. Buddy Ryan (former Eagles head coach) said to me before he cut me, he said, ‘I can’t trust you.’ You talk about some hurt … That’s what you want to be. You want to be dependable, no matter what you do. You put your heart into it and you want to be good at it. But when people don’t trust you, they don’t believe in you, that is hard to overcome.”

On whether RGIII should sit:
Johnson: “The coach’s job is to make sure that the team is winning football games. If the coach can clearly see that this quarterback is not giving us the opportunity to win these games, then you’ve got to get him healthy because we need him later on down the line.”

Jackson: “We have to get him healthy while he’s on the field … Adrian Peterson, first six weeks – 499 yards … it took him six weeks to get right. Last 10 weeks, he was 1, 598 yards on the field. This dude needs to get right while he’s playing.”

Ditka: “Smells good, tastes bad. The only reason they were a good football team last year, excuse me, is RGIII. Now, he’s not playing the way he did last year, but the defense stinks.”

Carter: “He’s not going to get healthy in practice because there is no contact. The only way he’s going to get used to running in traffic is being in traffic.”

On who is to blame for the Redskins’ drama:
Johnson: “You can’t win football games in this league without a healthy quarterback. Until RGIII gets healthy or they find some solution for that position, they are going to struggle.”

Jackson: “Everybody has to pick up the slack when your star is injured. That’s what is happening to RGII now. How would he benefit if you had a solid run-game? He would be better protected … The football team is to blame. In particular, the defensive side of the ball which is putting so much pressure on him to have to do so much so early after this injury.”

Carter: “Dr. (James) Andrews … he has done thousands of knee surgeries. He can tell you when you are healthy. But what he can’t do is look inside an athlete’s heart and know when he has the confidence. So, when RGIII gets his confidence back, the Redskins will be back.”

More Carter on Redskins’ drama: “… You guys are only watching half of the game. It looks like their defense is playing with two knee braces on.”

Cover 2 – Johnson and Jackson on Tom Brady’s frustrations:
Johnson: “This is the same Tom Brady when they had Randy Moss, the Wes Welkers, but these guys delivered. In the offseason, he expected for these young guys to deliver and they delivered in the preseason. When the lights come on and it is for real, you have to carry the same energy and passion as you did in the offseason and preseason.”

Jackson: “This is not Randy Moss. This is not Wes Welker. These are undrafted free agents who are unproven. Wes Welker eventually proved himself to be a great receiver. I thought that Tom Brady’s behavior was deplorable. If he didn’t have three Super Bowl rings and wasn’t a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, none of us would feel comfortable with what we saw.”

On Trent Richardson’s trade and debut with the Colts today:
Ditka: “They’ve (Cleveland Browns management) got a philosophy that you can find a running back in the grocery store. They’re right beside the receivers – running backs beside receivers in the grocery store … Coach (Chuck) Pagano and (Colts owner) Jim Irsay have put another key piece in their puzzle for success.”

Carter: “I have to address something that Adam (Schefter) talked about – How Trent Richardson might have isolated himself from his teammates. My son played at Alabama one year. I know Trent Richardson very well. I spent a lot of hours with Trent Richardson. There’s no harder worker in Alabama football program than Trent Richardson. He has built that body into what you see. And as far as his character, you don’t have to worry about Trent Richardson.

“Now, Trent hangs out with his brother who’s his best friend. He might seem a little isolated, but he is a quiet guy. He likes to hang by himself. Trust me, that losing in Cleveland made him miserable.”

On whether 49ers Aldon Smith should play today after his DUI arrest on Friday:
Ditka: “You get what you tolerate. What message are you sending to young people in sport? Go ahead, do anything. Be a bum, act like a clown, I’m going to play you on Sunday. I disagree with it totally.”

Jackson: “This is where your play takes priority over the value we’d like to instill in you. It is the catch 22 of the National Football League.”

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