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Football Night in America Notes and Quotes From Week 15 of 2009 NFL Season

Monday, December 21, 2009 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 5:41 PM, under , , ,

Here are the Football Night in America Notes and Quotes from Week 15 of the 2009 NFL Season, as released by NBC Sports.


Dungy: “I have to take my hat off to the Dallas Cowboys. They played great.”

Harrison on the Eagles: “This is the best team in the NFC East.”

NEW YORK - December 21, 2009 - Following are highlights from NBC Sports’ “Football Night in America.” Bob Costas hosted the show live from Bank of America Stadium. He was joined on site for commentary by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. Co-hosts Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann and analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison were live from NBC's 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios, covering the news of the NFL's 15th week. Peter King reported from New Orleans and Tiki Barber reported from Qualcomm Stadium, site of the Chargers-Bengals game.

Cowboys QB Tony Romo to Peter King in New Orleans after the game last night: “Our special teams coach, Joe DeCamillis, showed a tape (earlier in the week) of Tony Dungy saying, ‘No chance,” about us (winning) this football game.”

King: “I thought Tony (Dungy) was a TV guy. I didn’t know he was a motivational speaker. Going through that Dallas locker room last night, it was clear what Tony said meant something. There’s no question Tony’s words affected them.”

Patrick: “You said they had ‘no chance.’ Do you want to respond?”

Dungy: “Obviously a bad choice of words. I have to take my hat off to the Dallas Cowboys. They played great. I don’t think you need motivation from anybody else. you need to play because it means something to you and that’s what they did.”

Patrick: “You don’t know how powerful you are. You can jump on the Dallas bandwagon now.”

Dungy: “No. But that Dallas-Philly game (in two weeks) is going to mean an awful lot.”

Michaels on the Cowboys win over the Saints: “That was gigantic.”

Harrison: “They lost one game and everybody wants to panic. It’s no blueprint (to beat them) after losing one game. They had four key starters out of the game.”

Collinsworth: “We can quiet the talk on Randy Moss. Today, he made the plays.”

Costas: “You know how these things go. You can quiet it, but you can’t turn it completely off. It will turn back up next week if something else happens.”

Olbermann: “Here’s Mr. Moss, who decided to show up again this week despite all the abuse. If Tom Brady had a day like, I don’t know, 11 for 23, 115 yards, would you accuse him of quitting?”

Patrick: “Who created the adversity?”

Harrison: “He (Moss) did.”

Dungy: “They were going to go to him early. They know they need him. If they’re going to win a Super Bowl, they’ve got to have Randy Moss performing at a high level.”

Olbermann: “Mike Shanahan, is he going there? Is he going to Cleveland? The BC Lions? Is he going to coach in Europe? Has he made up his mind?”

King: “I talked to Dan Snyder the other day. he said to me, ‘Bruce (Allen) is going to make the decision.’. Dan Snyder believes he’s made a ton of mistakes in the last 10 years. He’s finally owning up to it, hiring a guy who, yes, will hire Mike Shanahan when the dust settles in January.”

Collinsworth: “For Mark Sanchez, welcome to the Meadowlands in December. No matter how good you are coming out of Southern California, until you have played in THAT. He made the mistakes that he’s going to have to learn to play through if he’s going to be the Jets quarterback.”

Costas: “Eli Manning told me once that when it’s really windy in the Meadowlands, it’s tougher to throw the football there than it was in that sub-zero NFC title game between the Giants and Packers a few years ago (in Green Bay).”

Harrison: “Why in the world would you play an eight-man zone, dropping eight guys into zone coverage, as opposed to playing man-to-man on Tony Gonzalez?”

Dungy: “And not have anybody get to him. He’s caught a hundred of these balls for touchdowns. This could be the deathblow for the Jets.”

Harrison: “Tony Gonzalez, the best tight end in the history of the league, you need to double team this guy in the red zone.”

Patrick: “We’re sitting there watching the game and you guys both said, ‘They’re going to Tony Gonzalez.’”

Harrison: “Everyone knew it except Rex Ryan.”

Harrison: “Peaking at the right time. No question, this is the best team in the NFC East.”

Michaels: “Craziest team in the league. They can be anything.”

Harrison: “I need to see a string of victories to know if this team is a true contender.”

Harrison: “They couldn’t make the critical play when they had the opportunity. Very disappointing.”

Patrick: “Steelers first play: Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace. Not 60 Minutes, 60 yards.”

Dungy: “They have saved their season. Somewhere my buddies on the Steel Curtain are not happy (with over 800 yards passing in the game).”

Harrison: “Ben Roethlisberger, that’s the story. He was very resilient. He didn’t give up. Five-hundred and something yards. He played an unbelievable game.”

Dungy on Pittsburgh’s onside kick: “The only thing I can figure is that Mike Tomlin didn’t have confidence that his defense could stop them. It was still surprising. I was shocked.”

Harrison: “Pittsburgh saved their season today.”

Collinsworth: “You have to stop and reflect a little bit the fact that Tennessee is in the playoff hunt. It’s unbelievable. It looked like Vince Young was going to be forever to the bench and not really a factor in the National Football League. He’s found a way to quietly come back and have a tremendous year. It’s been amazing.”

Dungy: “. He is a better quarterback than what he’s showing.”

Harrison: “Are you kidding me? You say this each and every week. Are you Facebook buddies with the guy or something?”

Olbermann: “If you had him on your fantasy team, the odds were 49-1 that, like me, you had him on your bench.”

Patrick on Jim Schwartz’s postgame press conference: “These scripts are pretty good that he writes after games. They’re not meant to be humorous but they are.”

Costas: “Because of (recent) rule changes, players are being coached to play through the whistle, instead of playing to the whistle, contradicting football instinct and years of training. If a play doesn’t end with the whistle, when exactly does it end?”

Dungy: “I did not like it when they put it in. As Bob said, we coached our guys - if the ball is on the ground, you’ve got to get it. Don’t worry about the whistle, keep scrambling, keep fighting. That’s contrary to everything you learn as a player. When the whistle blows, your tendency is, ‘hey, the play’s over.’. Right now, the whistle does mean the play is over unless the ball is on the ground, and then you have to keep playing.”

Harrison: “As a player, we’re taught to play to the whistle, not through the whistle. Now all of a sudden they want us to play through the whistle. I wish they would have had that when I was playing. I played to the whistle and through the whistle and it cost me $300 thousand. It’s very confusing as a player because, yes, injuries can happen but also penalties.”

COSTAS INTERVIEWS DEANGELO WILLIAMS & JARED ALLEN: Bob Costas interviewed Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams and Vikings Jared Allen prior to the game.

Williams, whose mother had breast cancer, on wearing pink apparel to support breast cancer awareness: “That was an emotional day for me. My mother came out. It gave me a chance to not only represent her, but a lot of people around the world that have been affected by this disease.”

Allen on the preseason Brett Favre hype: “It’s phenomenal. I was a huge fan of Brett, a lot of respect for him. But when you get 13 or 14 text messages a day coming in asking, ‘What do you think of Brett?’ Can anybody read the paper? Read the last column. Now the roles are reversed. Now, everybody wants to do a story on what kind of a teammate he is. People, he’s a normal guy. We’re all in the NFL. We play football. He’s in the locker room. He shows up. We show up. We play football together. It’s great.”

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