via press release:





NEW YORK (Nov. 30, 2011) – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joins Phil Simms and Cris Collinsworth via satellite on tonight’s episode of INSIDE THE NFL.  Brady discusses his relationship with Bill Belichick, and what he thinks of fellow quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning.


Also in tonight’s episode, James Brown, Simms, Collinsworth and Warren Sapp discuss the continuing problem with helmet-to-helmet contact in the league.  Plus, should Stevie Johnson be punished for his controversial touchdown celebration. The episode premieres tonight, Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.


INSIDE THE NFL, now in its 33rd season, airs every Wednesday night through the NFL season on SHOWTIME for a total of 23 episodes, with multiple replays each week on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME EXTREME® and availability on SHOWTIME On Demand.

INSIDE THE NFL is produced by CBS Sports and NFL Films. The executive producers are CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus and NFL Films President Steve Sabol.  Pete Radovich Jr., the Emmy Award-winning Creative Director for CBS Sports, serves as coordinating producer.



Following are excerpts from this week’s episode:


Tom Brady Interview


On his relationship with head coach Bill Belichick…

BRADY: I think the great part about playing for him is, as a player the expectations that he has for me are very similar to what he has for everybody on this team.  He doesn’t treat me any differently than he treats the other guys, which actually is great for me because I can be one of the guys.  And I can get yelled at just like the other guys get yelled at.  He usually has a low-lights clip either from practice or a game with all the plays that we could have done better, and usually I’m the one that leads it off.  So he sets the tone for the whole meeting with me throwing a hitch into the dirt and him screaming at me saying, ‘Foxborough High School could complete this pass.’  And some days I want to look at him and say, ‘God, don’t you know how many games we’ve won or how many Super Bowls we’ve won?’ And then the other part of me says, ‘You know what?  That’s what you need.’  Because he has to be able to tell me, ‘You’ve got to be able to complete this.  We can’t take this penalty.’  Because that is what he expects for the entire team.  So when we’re in the off-season and stuff, maybe we have some more candid conversations about the team and what he thinks or what I may think about where our team is at.  But for the most part, he is the coach and this is a dictatorship here.  There are not a lot of people that get to make decisions here other than him.



On Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his currently undefeated team…

BRADY: It’s so impressive when you watch a team that can string together that many victories going all the way back to last season.  It really tells you what the character and the make-up of the players on that team are.  So them getting off to the start that they’ve gotten off to is very impressive.  And the way Aaron’s playing, it’s impossible to play the quarterback position any better than he is playing it right now.


On Indianapolis’s Peyton Manning…

BRADY: The NFL misses guys like that… I know how much football means to Peyton.  He and I have developed a real friendship over the years.  I remember when I got hurt, he was one of the first people that called me and kind of expressed his disappointment that I wouldn’t be out there.  And I feel the same way.  And hopefully he’ll be back out there next year.



On League dealing with helmet-to-helmet hits


COLLINSWORTH: The Steelers feel like there are certain plays…when guys are just playing football, the idea that you are going to fine somebody and take out of their family $55,000 for a play that they don’t think they can really do anything about, is really infuriating to the Steelers.


SIMMS: The have to change it…The penalty is not enough.  If it’s (just) a penalty, then the teams will go, ‘Let’s take a 15-yarder and let’s knock so-and-so out or let’s deliver a message.’  So it has to be more.  And what other way [than] to fine.  You have to deter it, the teams.  Fine the team.  There has to be more than just a penalty.  Because the penalty, you can take calculated times in the game and go, ‘Let’s head-hunt.’  And don’t think they don’t.  They would.


COLLINSWORTH: Warren brought up the best point about this whole thing when we were talking about this a little before, he said, ‘Okay, you don’t want me to hit them in the head?’, they’re going to start hitting them in the knees and then you’re going to see wide receivers say, ‘Please hit me in the head again.’…


SIMMS: It’s about players’ safety…We’re talking about health.  We’re talking about people’s lives and how we can change it.  You say, ‘They can’t change.’  Yes they can.  It’s going to take a while.  What we have to do, they’re going to change, slowly it will.  What we’re going to do, we’re going to build a generation of college and high school and pee wee kids who are going to learn to tackle the proper way instead of, ‘Hey, go to the head, knock’em out and get the ball loose.’  That will be gone.


SAPP:  How can I lead with my shoulder if my head is two inches in front of me?…It’s impossible to lead with my shoulder without my head there.


COLLINSWORTH: Here’s the problem I have with it.  It doesn’t impact the team that was fouled enough.  Okay, you’re going to get the 15 yards out of it, but it’s highly likely you’re going to lose a player…The foul in the game isn’t enough.  I think the disqualification has to be in the discussion.  If you go back, review it under replay, if it’s determined that it was definitely a helmet-to-helmet shot, you take that player out of the game.  All of a sudden, now, you’re going to start changing your thinking in this thing.  If you’re really dead serious on how important this is to take the head-to-head hits out of it, then you have to think about disqualification.



On Buffalo Bills Stevie Johnson’s controversial touchdown celebration…


COLLINSWORTH: The Stevie Johnson thing was worse than Ndamukong Suh because it was premeditated.  Because he planned it out.  And the reason they don’t let them do all this stuff, the NFL, is because it will always get away from them.  It will always go too far.  And to plan on a celebration where you’re going to shoot somebody, shoot yourself in the leg to mock another player, but the other one was even worse.  To do the jet thing and fall down like a jet falling out of the sky.  To me it crossed so many boundaries.   It makes you want to eliminate all celebrations together.  Ndamukong Suh, he got mad.  There was a fight and it’s happened to every one of us. Every one of us.  We’ve jumped over and slammed somebody down.


SAPP: …You have got to know how far you can take that by knowing the rules. That’s the only thing I have a problem with Stevie Johnson.  There is a clear-cut rule and he said, “I didn’t know the rule.”  Then son, you don’t know what you’re doing.  You can’t do that.  That’s something you were taught as a little boy.



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