NFL GameDay Morning: Saints welcome back stars

NFL GameDay Morning, the first information packed show on the air Sunday mornings, checked in at 10 a.m. ET on the only network dedicated entirely to football. Warren Sapp, Marshall Faulk, Adam Schefter, Alex Flanagan and host Spero Dedes bring fans the latest news, injury reports, pregame analysis and game previews on NFL Network. NFL GameDay Final analyst Deion Sanders also joined the team for the final segment to give his thoughts about the Cowboys.

Live interview with Saints coach Sean Payton: Payton speaks with Dedes and Faulk for an exclusive on the field chat prior to the Saints matchup with Carolina. Payton talks about London, regaining two offensive weapons and QB Drew Brees’ hot hand:

On the Saints upcoming trip to London to face San Diego:

“We’ve traveled before. We had to travel to Indianapolis earlier in the season when we were relocated due to the Hurricane, so I think we do okay in those environments. Most importantly this is a division game today. Carolina is a good football team, they’re 4-2, so our focus is on Carolina today and we’ll worry about London afterwards.”

On WR Marques Colston and TE Jeremy Shockey returning to the field against Carolina:

“Both (Marques) Colston and (Jeremy) Shockey are going to dress and play today. We just have to watch how much we play them in their first game back.”

On QB Drew Brees:

“I have never seen anything like it. He’s having a MVP type year.”

Adam Schefter‘s news reports:

  • The Cowboys fascination with Roy Williams goes back to last season when they began speaking to the Lions about Williams. A lot of people around the league believe that when the Cowboys lost to the Redskins, it set off concern. But a loss the next week to the Cardinals set off alarms that resulted in the trade for Williams. One knowledgeable source said that, had the Cowboys beaten the Cardinals, he doesn’t think Dallas would have done the deal for Williams. All along, the Lions had been shopping Williams around the league, but they could not find anything close to what the Cowboys were offering. They were talking to the Tennessee Titans and the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Cowboys came in with by far, the strongest offer for Williams with a first-, third-, and sixth-round picks. Then on Saturday night at 10:00 PM CT, they signed Williams to a five-year, $45 million extension that included $27 million in guaranteed money. They signed the deal on the 18th floor of the Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis. People say the $27 million in guaranteed money is similar to Terrell Owens deal, however in the first three years of Owens’ deal he makes $27 million. Williams averages $9.9 million in his first three years, so he’s making more than Owens in the first three years.
  • Chiefs running back Larry Johnson will not play today. At least twice this month, Johnson was late for a team function. The first time Johnson was late for the Chiefs chartered flight to Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 4. Then, six days later, Johnson was late for a team meeting the Friday before the Chiefs’ bye week. After Johnson arrived late the first time, the Chiefs fined him and gave him the warning that they would not accept him being late again. After Johnson was late the second time, the Chiefs fined him again and told him they would take further action. The action was deciding to deactivate Johnson for Sunday’s game against Tennessee.
  • Kansas City and Green Bay played let’s make a deal last week, and the Packers thought they did make a deal. In the days leading up to Tuesday’s trade deadline, the Chiefs were asking the Packers for a third-round pick for perennial Pro-Bowl TE Tony Gonzalez. All along, the Packers balked. But then, roughly one hour before the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Packers called the Chiefs to notify them they would be surrendering what Kansas City had requested. They would give up a third for Gonzalez. Green Bay was convinced Gonzalez would be in its lineup today against Indianapolis, and beyond. But then, about five minutes before the deadline, a high-ranking Chiefs official called the Packers to notify them that Kansas City president/general manager Carl Peterson now wanted a second-round pick for Gonzalez. Green Bay was, in a word, miffed. Not only could it not alter the paperwork before the deadline, but it wasn’t willing to go to a second-round pick when it had been a concession to go to a third-round pick.
  • After attending the NFL owners meetings in St. Petersburg on Monday through Wednesday, Steelers owner Dan Rooney returned to Pittsburgh, where he and his wife, Patricia, hosted a fundraiser at their own house for Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle. The home is the same one that Rooney grew up in with his father, Art, the founding owner of the Steelers. It is practically a historical sight in Pittsburgh, and it gained a little more history Thursday with the wife of the Democratic presidential candidate. But John McCain should not feel too bad. He has his own supporters amongst NFL owners. New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is one of the single largest contributors to the McCain campaign.

Quotes from NFL GameDay Morning:

On Adam Jones’ suspension:

“It’s a privilege to play in the NFL. I want him to recognize that. If he doesn’t recognize that, he won’t play in the NFL. It’s up to Adam. Adam has to earn his way back into the NFL. He has to do the things we’ve asked, the things the Cowboys have asked and do them consistent with the standards that we set for everybody.” — Commissioner Roger Goodell in interview with NFL Network‘s Scott Hanson.

“He understood the circumstances in which he was allowed back in the league. The Commissioner said it best – sometimes we forget it is a privilege to play in the NFL and that privilege no longer belongs to Pacman.” — Marshall Faulk.

On Dallas trade with Detroit to acquire WR Roy Williams:

“They overpaid … That’s a lot for a guy (Williams) who, on his team (Detroit), became the second option because Calvin Johnson became the go to guy.” – Faulk on the Cowboys giving up three draft choices in the trade for Williams

“This move is like putting lipstick on a pit bull. You’re not fixing the problem, you’re just covering it up.” – Marshall Faulk on trade not being the answer to issues in Dallas

Bob Papa 1-on-1 interview with 49ers head coach Mike Nolan: NFL Network game announcer and Giants play-by-play voice Bob Papa catches up with 49ers head coach Mike Nolan prior to San Francisco’s matchup against the New York Giants:

Nolan on the Giants running game:

“It’s difficult because they all bring a different change of pace. They all present a different problem and they’re all very good. I believe the running game all starts with the Giants offensive line, which is outstanding. They play together very well, they mix up the runs and don’t just run inside all the time. They go outside-inside and the backs change it up. I think the running game for the Giants is a collective effort on their part. Even the wide receivers are very good blockers.”

“You have to give him a couple more years. (Nolan) can coach. You need to get him some players. They missed on the quarterback and you can’t miss on the first pick of the draft.” — Faulk on 49ers head coach Mike Nolan

Scott Hanson 1-on-1 with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: NFL Network reporter Scott Hanson sat down with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at the owner’s meeting in Tampa for a candid conversation on the current state of the Dallas Cowboys:

On the current state of the Dallas Cowboys:

“We hope we can address issues both mentally and physically and get some guys back at the end of the year to have a big run at it in the playoffs. That’s what the NFL season is all about – how you handle those challenges.”

On the storylines that surround the Cowboys:

“There is a lot of visibility as far as the Dallas Cowboys are concerned. That’s what makes it exciting and entertaining. I’ve gotten to be a part of three world championships with a lot of characters. Characters that would make the current group (of Cowboys) look like child’s play.

“But you find that out and talk about it after you win the championships because during the time, those teams were just trying to get there the first time. Then you didn’t have the benefit of looking back and saying, ‘now that’s character.’ Character is something that evolves.”

On his confidence in the 2008 Cowboys:

“I like to think that we make our best waves in the times of adversity. What looks bleak today can really create an asset for tomorrow. These things breed in my mind, an opportunity and that’s what I think we’ve got with the Cowboys.”

Quick quotes …

“This is a guy who comes in to steady the ship and plays football the way it’s supposed to be played.” — Sapp on Cowboys QB Brad Johnson.

“Some of fiercest pass rushers in the game have been after Brett Favre for many years and those two tackles have been right there holding it down.” — Sapp on Packers LT Chad Clifton and RT Mark Tauscher.

“The Colts feel just as comfortable with (Dominic) Rhodes in the game as with (Joseph) Addai.” — Faulk on conversation with Colts RB coach Gene Huey regarding Dominic Rhodes starting in the place of Joseph Addai.

“Sounds like Bucs ball to me.” — Sapp on Titans winning with defense

“Owen Daniels is going to be a star in this league.” — Faulk on Texans TE Owen Daniels.

“You don’t shake it, you just have to learn to deal with it.” — Faulk on Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson’s toe injury.

“Anyone can lead, but if the leadership isn’t good, you’re not going anywhere.” — Faulk on the lack of quality player leadership in Dallas.

“It was ‘Boy Wonder’ not the genius label. He is not a genius.” — Sapp when asked if Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden is a “genius?”

“The cake was already in the oven.” — Sapp when asked a follow up question if Gruden won the Super Bowl with Tony Dungy’s team?

Extra points

  • Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers will stream live on Sunday Night Football Extra on and Complementing that stream will be a number of extra features to enrich the viewing experience including additional camera angles, in-game highlights, picture-in-picture technology, live statistics and other interactive elements. Sunday Night Football Extra will also include in-game studio updates from the NBC Football Night in America team and NFL Network talent.
  •  NFL GameDay Morning analyst Warren Sapp continues to sport his dancing shoes on Dancing with the Stars on Monday night.

On the following video clips from NFL GameDay Morning are available for viewing:

NFL GameDay Morning begins the NFL Network schedule on Sundays, which will now be called NFL GameDay. Following NFL GameDay Morning will be NFL GameDay Red Zone at 1 p.m. ET, NFL GameDay Scoreboard at 4 p.m. ET, NFL GameDay Highlights at 7:30 p.m. ET and NFL GameDay Final at 11:30 p.m. ET.

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