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Football Night in America: Notes and quotes – Week 11 (VIDEOS)

By April MacIntyre Nov 19, 2012, 8:05 GMT

Football Night in America: Notes and quotes  – Week 11 (VIDEOS)

Michael Vick - © Paul Froggatt / PR Photos

“The owner said Andy Reid had to make the playoffs. They are not making the playoffs.” – Tony Dungy

“Sounds like the definition of a bad team.” – Rodney Harrison on the Eagles’ struggles

“Chip Kelly is going to be the most desirable candidate in the off-season for NFL openings.” – Peter King

“If the Jets run the ball and don’t get into a throwing match, I think they can win the ballgame.” –Dungy on Thanksgiving night’s Jets-Patriots game 

Bob Costas opened the show live from inside Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa., where the Steelers are hosting the Baltimore Ravens. Costas was joined on-site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst), and Hines Ward, the former Steelers wide receiver and Super Bowl MVP.

Dan Patrick co-hosted the program from Studio 8G at NBC's 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and was joined by Football Night in America analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and NFL insiders Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Carolyn Manno reported on Colts-Patriots, from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

ON COWBOYS

Michaels: “I saw that whole game. It took them four hours to beat the Cleveland Browns. They lost that game like 15 different times…Overtime was crazy. It’s a gigantic win.”

Dungy: “Again, not being able to do the ordinary things…They’re going to try and protect a four-point lead, 1:10 to go and they can’t count to 11 (nine men on the field that led to Browns TD). They created this problem themselves just not being able to line up.”

Dungy: “The Dallas Cowboys are alive. With all the trauma and drama in Dallas, I’m just saying they’re alive.”

ON EAGLES

Florio: “Michael Vick most likely won’t be back in Philly next year as the quarterback, but we could see him back as soon as next week given the fact that Nick Foles didn’t play that well. I am told that the team has overstated Mike Vick’s concussion symptoms. He is not hurt as badly as believed. We could see him next week.”

Dungy: “What we saw is Michael Vick wasn’t the only problem. Bad coverage, bad tackling, dropped balls, a lot of problems in Philadelphia.”

Harrison: “Sounds like the definition of a bad team.”

Dungy: “I’m sure they’re going to have a new coach and a lot of new players next year. The owner said Andy Reid had to make the playoffs. They are not making the playoffs.”

ON JETS

Dungy: “This was the right formula for them. Twenty passes for Mark Sanchez, not 40 or 45, and getting things done…This is what they need to do, run, play defense, and a little bit of Mark Sanchez.”

Dungy on Thanksgiving night game vs. Patriots: “If the Jets run the ball and don’t get into a throwing match, I think they can win the ballgame…I think the Jets have a shot to win.”

ON PATRIOTS

Harrison: “The one thing we know about the Patriots, they can score offensively. But I think you look at this game (vs. Colts) and see that they’re a much improved defensive team. They are scoring touchdowns on defense, they’re creating turnovers.”

ON COLTS

Harrison on Andrew Luck: “It was just bad decision making. It wasn’t anything fancy, any fancy scheme or anything that confused him. He just made bad throws.”

ON TEXANS

Collinsworth: “The question was could Matt Schaub carry that team with the passing game if he had to? 527 yards later today, the answer is yes.”

Harrison on if today’s performance was a letdown or showed some flaws: “I think it was more of an emotional and mental letdown.”

Dungy: “I really do think that that win against Chicago took something out of them.”

ON SAINTS

Dungy on playoff chances: “They have a chance. This offense can allow them to string together four or five wins in a row, but we’ll find out next week (when they play the 49ers).

ON BUCCANEERS

Harrison: “They showed a lot of mental toughness today, overcoming some early mistakes.”

ON PACKERS

Patrick on Aaron Rodgers’ performance despite team’s rash of injuries: “Pretty amazing if you consider what he’s done.”

Dungy: “A lot of noise, great pass rush, but when they needed it, Aaron Rodgers made the big drive.”

ON FALCONS

Harrison: “The winning formula to me is they have to get back to running the ball with Michael Turner…throwing the ball 40 or 50 times a game, they can’t win like this…You can beat the Arizonas of the world but when you start playing against good quality teams, like Green Bay, you are not going to be able to win those games.”

ON COACHING

Florio: “Six weeks until the end of the regular season and coaches will be fired. Let’s start in Cleveland where (head) coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert are virtually certain to be gone as soon as Cleveland’s season ends. In San Diego, Norv Turner could be gone as soon as this week unless the Chargers find a way to avoid going three games behind the Broncos. They are playing Denver today. Finally, in Philadelphia, it is no longer ‘if,’ it is definitely ‘when’ owner Jeffrey Lorie will pull the plug on Andy Reid.”

King: “(Oregon head coach) Chip Kelly is going to be the most desirable candidate in the off-season for NFL openings.”

ON CONCUSSIONS

Florio: “In that huge concussion lawsuit brought by nearly 4,000 former players against the NFL, there was news this week of a supposed ‘smoking gun’ given that the NFL’s Disability Board had paid payments of benefits to former players who had brain damage due to concussions. But, if this means the NFL knew about the connection between concussions and brain damage, it also means the players knew because NFLPA representatives are on that Disability Board.” 

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ON STEELERS

Ward: “All the guys love Byron’s attitude. He always brings that positive attitude. He’s got to be one of the most confident guys on the team, and that’s a great trait to have as a backup quarterback.”

ON RAVENS

Ward on Terrell Suggs, who surprisingly told Bob Costas he was going to miss Ward, who retired, in tonight’s game: “I miss the guy too. I love everything about him. I think he epitomizes what this rivalry is all about.”

Ward on the rivalry: “For me, when I was playing, I was the ‘tempo setter.’ I always wanted to set the tempo for the game and try to play into the Ravens players’ minds to get inside their heads. On the first play in the AFC Championship game in 2008, I went after Ed Reed. Next thing I know, I have three Ravens players beating me up. Unfortunately, I come out with the penalty, but throughout the whole game those guys were trying to retaliate and get me back.”

TERRELL SUGGS WITH BOB COSTAS

On his disappointment that Hines Ward (retired) and Ben Roethlisberger (injured) won’t be playing: “I’m a little bummed. If you’re going to throw on a performance, you need the players. I’m going to be a little bummed not to see 86 (Ward) and, to be totally honest with you, 7 (Roethlisberger). But once the whistle blows, it’ll be business as usual.”

On what he said to the doctor when he was told he wouldn’t play in 2012 after an Achilles tear last year: “I’m not going to accept that. He could be wrong, and then I got a second opinion and they told me nine-12 months. I said, “You’re wrong. You don’t know me.” I said I was going to do something and I did it. My whole life I lived by the motto, if I can’t do it, it can’t be done. So I went out there and did it.”

On if he feels like the window to win a championship is narrowing now that he’s 30: “Not really, because I don’t feel like I’m 30. I don’t feel like I’m 30, I feel like a young kid feels just playing football. For my first two years in the league, I was the youngest guy in the NFL. But I don’t feel that way, my body feels great. Do I feel the window closing? No, but I’m starting to get a little itch. I’m starting to get a little draft…We better get this done and soon, if we’re not only going to win multiples, but we’ve got to get the first one very soon.”

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FRANCO HARRIS WITH BOB COSTAS

Costas on the Immaculate Reception and reports that Harris would regularly “go to the ball” in practice: “Even though there’s a huge element of chance in this play, part of it is not chance, because you went to the ball.”

On why he practiced ‘going to the ball’: “That part I credit Joe Paterno with because at practice he’d be hollering, ‘Harris, go to the ball.’ From that first pass in practice where the ball was caught, I ran to the ball, and I ran to the ball every time in practice not knowing that something like this was going to happen.” 

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BYRON LEFTWICH

On the impact of losing Ben Roethlisberger: “I understand that when you lose Ben, a guy who’s been to three Super Bowls in nine years, that that’s a special football player.”

On trying to duplicate Roethlisberger: “Why on Earth would I try and go do something I know I can’t do? At that the same time, I feel as though I can play a little bit. I feel as though I can go out here and execute this offense well.”

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