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“The reason he was hired is because he’s an aggressive-minded coach, and that’s the mindset that you want to have. He’s trying to make a statement to his players.” – Rodney Harrison on Colts head coach Frank Reich’s fourth-down decision

“Fitz was only 1/53rd of the problem today. But coming off a bye, you roll with Jameis Winston.” – Tony Dungy on the Buccaneers

“For the Patriots, everything is okay. Nothing is wrong. It’s another division game with Tom Brady at home. It’s another win. What else is new?” – Mike Tirico

STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 30, 2018 – Mike Tirico hosted the Week 4 edition of Football Night in America tonight from NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., in advance of the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Tirico was joined on the set by analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and NFL Insider Mike Florio.

Liam McHugh co-hosted Football Night on site from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa. He was joined by the SNF team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya. McHugh also interviewed both head coaches – Baltimore’s John Harbaugh and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.

Former Ravens S Ed Reed and former Steelers WR Hines Ward participated in a feature about the Ravens-Steelers rivalry. FNIA also included highlights, analysis, and news from around the league.

Following are Notes & Quotes from the Week 4 edition of Football Night in America:


Dungy: “I am totally frustrated as an ex-defensive coach -- bad fundamentals, bad strategy, poor tackling, penalties. Can anybody stop anybody?”


Michaels: “This has been a rock ’em, sock ’em rivalry.”


Collinsworth on Ravens’ poor rushing offense: “This is a new age of football. You run the football so that you can basically set up the passing game.”

McHugh on QB Joe Flacco: “He’s been throwing to all new guys. The chemistry, it’s been instant. The trust, so far, has been impressive.”

Harbaugh to McHugh on Ravens senior advisor for player development O.J. Brigance, who is suffering from ALS: “O.J. is a miracle. It is amazing not just because of the fact he is doing so well with ALS, but because of what he stands for: resiliency, toughness. Really the holy spirit of God is his faith. He brings it every day. It takes him three hours to get ready to come to work every single day. He is in there every single day making a difference with our players. I think we draw our strength from O.J.”

Harbaugh to McHugh on if Steelers week is different: “I try not to make it different, but somehow it always ends up being different. It’s a great week. It’s a great place. We love playing here.”

Harrison on QB Joe Flacco: “This is the most comfortable I’ve seen Joe Flacco in years. He’s been more aggressive down the field, he’s taking shots.”


Collinsworth on James Connor: “Let’s face it though; James Connor has done the job. He has run effectively; he’s third in the National Football League as far as explosive runs; he’s caught everything thrown to him, 15 for 15 out there; and Ben’s actually saying it’s easier to throw the ball to James Connor (than Le’Veon Bell).”

Dungy on the Steelers “drama” this year: “It feels different, but it’s really not. It’s still about the team and, yes, there has been some drama and you want to eliminate that, but there is always some drama and this is no different than it’s been for the last two or three years. Mike Tomlin is saying to the players, ‘Block that out, do what we do, get some wins, and if we win we are back on track.’”

Harrison on how he’d handle WR Antonio Brown: “I’m trying to frustrate him. I’m trying to get under his skin. The way you do that is you double-cover him because you know eventually he’s going to scream and yell about not getting enough passes. Throw a little trash talk up under there, but also every time you get a chance, you give him a little push, maybe a little nudge. You want to frustrate him. Have him go back to the sideline and become a distraction.”

Florio on Le’Veon Bell: “A lot of talk about a possible trade of Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers have four weeks and two days until that window closes for 2018. And there are two issues here. First, if you’re a team that wants Bell, you have to convince the Steelers to give him up and you have to convince Bell to show up. He’s not going to show up for $855,000 a week. He’s concerned about being overused, so that’s the challenge. And if they don’t trade him, then the question becomes, would the Steelers remove the franchise tender and make him a free agent? And then, the broader question: Week 10, will he show up at all this year or kick everything into 2019?”

Tirico: “This is a difference-making player. It’s Le’Veon Bell, and he’s not there, still.”

Dungy on Bell’s absence and its impact on WR Antonio Brown: “He’s seeing different coverages than he’s used to seeing. As great as Brown was and as great as these receivers are, you said, ‘We’ve got to stop Le’Veon Bell.’ You saw that box loaded up with a lot of linebackers and safeties up there. Now, they’re not seeing that. James Connor is going to have some room to run tonight.”

Harrison on Brown: “He has to stay patient and understand that the game is not all about him.”

Harrison: “This secondary is an absolute mess.”


Harrison on head coach Frank Reich’s fourth-down decision: “I agree. Go for it. Be aggressive…Forget a tie. He’s a former player…The reason he was hired is because he’s an aggressive-minded coach, and that’s the mindset that you want to have. He’s trying to make a statement to his players. You’re never going to hear an offensive player complain about his coach being too aggressive.”

Dungy added: “You said last week on this show, you would rather lose than tie. As a coach, I would rather not lose. I think he has to look at that risk-reward. The reward is, you can go on and try to move the ball down the field. The risk is, if you don’t make it, you’re going to lose the game.”

Tirico: “Where did he get hired from? From Philadelphia, right. What does Doug Pederson do? Philly Special, aggressive, go for it.”

Harrison: “That’s the reason they won a Super Bowl…He’s trying to build that mentality.”

Dungy: “Be aggressive, but be smart.”


Harrison on S Earl Thomas: “I feel terrible for Earl because anytime you continue to get these injuries, get closer to 30, the first thing they want to say is, ‘You lost a step.’ But Earl is a very classy guy, he’s worked very hard, and he has to know that, yes, you’re going through adversity, but you have to be able to handle it a certain way because you have kids that look up to you and people that admire you.”

Dungy: “From a coaching standpoint, you’re putting Pete Carroll in a tough position. It’s really tough to coach players who don’t want to be there, and this was obvious with Earl Thomas missing practices, not coming (in). (To Tirico) As you said, the relationship was just fractured.”


Harrison on Titans head coach Mike Vrabel’s decision to go for it on fourth down in overtime: “I thought it was a great call, a really gutsy call by him…He’s basically saying, ‘Hey Marcus Mariota, I trust you. I trust my offense.’ As a former player, you would rather lose than have a tie.”

Dungy: “He wasn’t planning on losing this. He had great confidence in the play he was going to call…That sends a message to your team -- I believe in you guys.”


Tirico: “For the Patriots, everything is okay. Nothing is wrong. It’s another division game with Tom Brady at home. It’s another win. What else is new?”


Harrison: “The Dolphins are frauds.”


Dungy on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: “Fitz was only 1/53rd of the problem today. But coming off a bye, you roll with Jameis Winston. Go back to some training camp practices and get Jameis back in there.”

Harrison: “…You have to play Winston.”


Dungy on WR Odell Beckham, Jr.: “He wanted to have a big day and they didn’t throw the ball to him down the field. I expected to see those deep shots. That’s where they (Saints defense) had problems.”


Harrison on the Falcons’ injuries on defense: “I think Atlanta’s mindset has to be: we’re going to come out and outscore people.”


Dungy: “They’re playing outstanding ball. A lot of weapons on offense, but this Tyler Eifert injury is really going to hurt them.”


Harrison: “I thought the Jets defense was (supposed to be) improved. They looked lost.”


Harrison on Jaguars defense: “They’re great.”