Let’s now preview the interviews you’ll see on Football Night in America in advance of tonight’s Detroit-San Francisco game. Bob Costas will speak with players from both the Lions and the 49ers.
In addition, Carolyn Manno from Comcast SportsNet New England will make her Football Night in America debut reporting from the New York Jets-Pittsburgh Steelers game.
Here’s partial transcripts of the interviews.
“FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA” PREVIEW – WEEK 2
BOB COSTAS INTERVIEWS 49ERS QB ALEX SMITH, TE VERNON DAVIS; LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD, DE KYLE VANDEN BOSCH
“We can’t get caught up in the hype of Harbaugh and Schwartz. We can’t do that because this game is about us as a team.” – 49ers TE Vernon Davis to Bob Costas
“I think we grew up a lot last year. We’re a team that’s ready to go.” – Lions QB Matthew Stafford to Bob Costas
NEW YORK – September 16, 2012 –Bob Costas interviewed San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith and TE Vernon Davis and Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford and DE Kyle Vanden Bosch for tonight’s Week 2 edition of Football Night in America, which will preview 49ers-Lions and also include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 2 games.
Football Night, 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) 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 from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on the Steelers-Jets game.
INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Smith, Davis, Stafford and Vanden Bosch.
ALEX SMITH AND VERNON DAVIS WITH BOB COSTAS
Smith on getting so close to the Super Bowl last year: “It’s tough. It’s a tough pill to swallow to get that close, to work that hard. I think it’s a lesson and you try to learn from it for sure, but it’s tough, tough to accept.”
Smith on if he watched the Super Bowl: “I didn’t watch it.”
Davis: “I didn’t watch it either.”
Davis on if the Mike Singletary incident in 2008 benefited him: “I think it did because what I learned from that is how to put the team first. This game is not about me or any individual. What we do together, everyone will see it and everyone will be lifted.”
Davis on what he was doing then that he no longer does: “I was selfish. It was all about me, so I had to change some things. That’s why I say that having a guy like Singletary around was a blessing because I learned from it and I learned how to be a team guy. Everything I do, I always put my team first.”
Smith on maintaining a belief in himself: “I just looked around at the league and especially the quarterback position and you start to realize that nobody has it easy. I played a lot of years and really tried to prove to everybody on every single play that I was worth the No. 1 pick, to show everybody on every single play what I was worth. I hated playing like that, looking back. It’s a miserable way to play. It’s tough, tough to succeed like that.”
Smith on the handshake: “Really, we haven’t talked about it.”
Davis: “We can’t get caught up in the hype of Harbaugh and Schwartz. We can’t do that because this game is about us as a team.”
MATTHEW STAFFORD AND KYLE VANDEN BOSCHWITH BOB COSTAS
Stafford on being a “paper lion” in 2011 (Lions were 9-1 against teams with non-winning records): “Obviously, we grew a lot last year as a team. We were a young team in some spots and hadn’t really played a ton together. I think we grew up a lot last year. We’re a team that’s ready to go. We’re experienced now and excited about the challenges ahead of us.”
Stafford on the handshake between Schwartz and Harbaugh creating additional meaning for the game: “I don’t think it does…for us, it has to do with the fact that they (49ers) are a really good football team. They were a football team, last year, that we wanted to be. You’ve got to go out there and play those teams, and beat those teams…they came to our place and beat us. We’re hoping to do the same to them.”
Vanden Bosch on the handshake being discussed in the team meeting: “There was nothing addressed in the team meetings. I think coach Schwartz does a good job making it about us and our preparation, regardless of who we play. If anything, it’s two really competitive coaches, and their players feed off of their energy. There is going to be a lot of excitement.”
That’s going to do it for the quotage until tonight.