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“FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA” PREVIEW – WEEK 16

NEW YORK – December 23, 2012 –Bob Costas interviewed Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis for tonight’s Week 16 edition of Football Night in America, which will preview Seahawks-49ers, and will also include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 16 games.

Football Night In America, the most-watched pre-game studio show in sports, airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Costas hosting the program live from inside the stadium. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst), as well as NBC NFL analyst and former Steelers WR Hines Ward, for reaction to the afternoon games and to preview tonight’s match-up.

Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com. Carolyn Manno will report on Giants-Ravens, from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.

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

RUSSELL WILSON WITH BOB COSTAS

On being a third-round pick and thinking he could be replaced after: “I don’t ever think negative. I can’t. You have to think on the positive, you have to believe in yourself and what you do and just play the game. You have to go out there and trust your preparation, what you’ve learned and what you’ve done so far and the experience has really helped me a lot.”

On possibly being the “Rookie of the Year”: “Well who knows. All I’m trying to do is help our football team win. The goal is to obviously play a great game against the 49ers.”

On being a shorter quarterback and how much his lack of size has impacted his carrier: “I think it’s helped me. It’s motivated me. I believe that you have to just step up and change people’s minds. I want to change the game and that’s the way I look at it. There have been so many other great quarterbacks before me who have done such a great job. The Doug Flutie’s of the world and Fran Tarkenton’s, Steve Young’s a little bit taller but not by much. Drew Brees for example, guys like that I really look up to and have watched and studied and learn from. I think that’s really what helps me and motivates me for all the future generations to come.”

On looking for windows that may be different for taller quarterbacks: “My significant years of playing football in terms of college and high school, I’ve been my height my whole entire life so, being used to being this height it doesn’t change for me. I’m used to seeing through the lanes, I trust what I see; I know where the defense is going. Sometimes you have to play on your toes too, you have to stand tall in there and try to elevate yourself a little bit off the ground, but I have long arms and big hands and that’s what helps me.’

On why Seattle is so tough on road teams: “Well there’s no place like home. The fans are just so energetic, the energy that they bring to our football team, and just the atmosphere is unreal.

VERNON DAVIS WITH BOB COSTAS

On why he went back to Washington, D.C., after last week’s game: “I had a toy drive at my elementary school that I went to as a kid. Through my foundation, I was hoping to give back.”

Costas: “So that was something you planned to do, as it happened, it was just a few days after Sandy Hook.”

Davis: “Yes, I planned to do it, but I wasn’t sure if Coach (Jim) Harbaugh would let me go. So initially I was just going to do the drive and have someone represent me. I asked Coach thinking he would say yes, and he did.”

Costas: “You drove overnight to D.C.”

Davis: “And I flew back right after the drive.”

Costas: “And you were at practice on Tuesday?”

Davis: “Yes, yes.”

On only getting minimal opportunities to catch the football in the last four games: “In practice, the coaches, they are always putting me in the game plan, but it just doesn’t work out that way. I have faith that it will happen in the playoffs. I will do whatever I can to help this team win.”

On having little chemistry with quarterback Colin Kaepernick who recently replaced Alex Smith: “It takes time. With Kaepernick coming in, he and Alex have totally different styles of play and I know that. But, with Kaepernick, it’s going to take some time and adjustments but I think it can happen really fast. He’s one of those guys that you want to play for. It’s getting there and I think this week should be much better.”

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