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Dungy regrets kicking to Hester

TONY DUNGY, LOVIE SMITH Football Dungy and Smith

TONY DUNGY, LOVIE SMITH
Football
Dungy and Smith were the first black coaches to reach the Super Bowl in 2007. The Colts beat the Bears, making Dungy the first black coach to win the Super Bowl.
(Credit: AP)

While I was busy watching Rex Ryan's movie acting debut Thursday night, NBC Sports Network was televising "Costas Tonight: Live from the Super Bowl," including a panel discussion involving assorted movers and shakers.

Highlights, via the hard-working NBC p.r. staff in Indy:

ROGER GOODELL ON NEW OVERTIME RULE: “I think people are comforted that in a big game like the Super Bowl, you're not going to end it on some kind of a penalty and a long field goal and never see the other team get the ball. You score a touchdown, you deserve to win.”

GOODELL ON REACHING HGH TESTING AGREEMENT: “I hope so, I think we're making progress...I'm confident that the players want to reach that. It's important for the integrity of the sport and I think it's important for the health of the players.”

GOODELL ON HEAD INJURIES: “We're in a leadership position in sports. People look up to the National Football League. We do have a game that's rough, there are inherent risks playing it. But the second-highest incident of concussions is girls’ soccer. So what we're learning about concussions in football is helping other sports. Not just every level of football, but every other sport...Now the NFL is sharing our research with the Defense Department to help treat our military personnel in the field.”

GOODELL ON NFL TEAM IN LOS ANGELES: “Really, we want to keep our teams where they are and that's the dilemma because not only do we have to get the stadium in L.A., then we have to find out how to get the team.”

GOODELL ON NORTHERN CITIES HOSTING SUPER BOWLS: “The biggest challenge we have putting on an event like this is it takes 25,000 hotel rooms. And that's a heavy lift for a lot of communities to be able to do. But this community has really put out the hospitality for us. They know how to do great events and they're proving it to the world.”

DWIGHT FREENEY ON ROB GRONKOWSKI INJURY AND HIS OWN HIGH ANKLE SPRAIN IN SUPER BOWL XLIV: “The halftime killed me...the thing stiffened up, the pain came back and I was probably 30 percent less than when I started the game.”

MICHAEL STRAHAN: “Only thing I'm thinking is I'm going to tell Madonna to sing two extra songs.”

PETER KING ON PEYTON MANNING'S FUTURE: “It’s almost certain that he won't play here (in Indianapolis). I don't think Jimmy Irsay, the owner of the team, wants to take the $28 million risk on Peyton Manning.”

JEFF SATURDAY ON REDUCING FULL PAD PRACTICES: “I heard all kinds of coaches and everybody, ‘Football is never going to be the same.’ We got the two best teams playing in the Super Bowl. We've got some of the greatest football we've ever seen played, so obviously that [previous full-pad practice regulations] didn't make that big of a difference.”

ALAN SCHWARZ (N.Y. TIMES) ON CONCUSSIONS: “The reason that the NFL was put under such a microscope was because of the influence that it has on children and why the statements that the league made from 2007-2008 up to the middle of 2009 were under such scrutiny was because of that influence.”

TONY GONZALEZ ON BIG HITS: “There's no way you can tell me that these guys aren't trying to put you out of the game.”

JERRY JONES ON PLAYER SAFETY: “We are going to make great strides as we go forward in years to come. A lot of it helped start with the labor agreement we negotiated.”

SATURDAY ON 18-GAME SEASON: “I don't think it's a possibility right now...from a player's standpoint I think we give the fans exactly what they want at 16 games.”

COSTAS ON PRESEASON: “Shouldn't the fans not have to pay for that as part of the season ticket package?”

JONES: “I agree, but that's why we need 18 games.”

SATURDAY ON NUMBER OF PLAYERS CURRENTLY USING HGH: “Not very many.”

GONZALEZ ON PRESENCE OF HGH: “It's there. There's no doubt about it. It's there.”

COSTAS ON HGH TESTING: “Will we have an agreement before next season?”

SATURDAY: “I don't think so, still in doubt.”

GONZALEZ ON NEW BREED OF TIGHT ENDS: “It's something you're going to see a lot more NFL teams...they're all going to go to it. And I think the reason, also, it's become a glamor position because they're seeing these guys like Antonio (Gates), guys like Shannon Sharpe that I saw. It's becoming a position where you can score touchdowns...you can catch 85, 95 balls a year. Maybe Gronkowski, back in the day, he probably would have played defensive end.”

SATURDAY ON THE STADIUM VERSUS TV EXPERIENCE: “The greatest game I ever played, AFC Championship Game, in the RCA Dome here in Indianapolis. I can tell you this: not one person, no matter how much they paid for that ticket, would have not wanted to be at that game. That's a fact.”

TONY DUNGY ON COACHES POST-GAME HANDSHAKE: “I think it is a great lesson to our young men, that you can go out there and compete, and at the end of the day, one team wins, one team loses, but we can still be men and handle it appropriately.”

DUNGY ON HIS BIGGEST MISTAKE: “Kicking off to Devin Hester in the Super Bowl (laughter).”

DICK VERMEIL ON WORST DECISION HE EVER MADE: “To retire from the Rams right after the Super Bowl. Yeah, that was not a good thing to do. I thought it was the right thing to do and I think most of us make decisions based on what we think is the right thing to do. I was drained. I'm an emotional, intense guy and I was tired. My family wanted me home and I felt that's where I belonged.”

JOHN HARBAUGH ON CONTINUING PLAYER SAFETY EMPHASIS: “Let's keep moving in that direction because the doctor is right, it filters down...everything our guys do filters through college, through high school, through pee wee. They are role models, they are great men. We talk about them being mighty men all the time. Kids look up to them.”

CRIS COLLINSWORTH ON COSTAS TONIGHT: “I say, thank God you've got another show because we never see enough of Bob Costas.”

AL MICHAELS AND BOB COSTAS ON RAPPERS: “I wouldn't mind seeing Eminem performing at halftime next year since he gave me a shout out as his favorite announcer. (laughter) I can be bought.”

COSTAS: “I was once name checked by Ludacris, pal, so we're even.” (laughter)

MICHAELS: “I have rapped with 50 cent and we're going on tour as 49-and-a-half cent.”

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