NFL GameDay Morning: Jerry Jones on Phillips’ status in Dallas

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, NFL Network.

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. Former 49ers head coach Mike Nolan also joined the team as a guest analyst.

1-on-1 Interview with former 49ers coach Mike Nolan: Dedes sits down with former 49ers head coach Mike Nolan in-studio for Nolan’s first national interview since his release as head coach in San Francisco.

“It’s unfortunate, but at the same time that’s part of the business. You take the good with the bad when you accept the job and that’s just the way it is. As head coaches, you’re held accountable to winning. We did a lot of good things and set a foundation, but you have to win.” — On being released as coach of the 49ers.

“I knew we had to win early.” — On his job security coming into the season.

“I’ve never looked back until this week when I had some time to reflect. It’s hard to say if the information would have been different … what we would have done…choosing Aaron Rodgers, that sort of thing. At the same time, we made the decision based on the information that we had at that time. It’s been unfortunate in Alex’s case because he’s been hurt for two of his four seasons in the NFL. He did play a lot early, but we never seemed to get over the hump. He’s had some outstanding coaches, several different (offensive) coordinators, which you could look at as a negative, but when you’ve had coordinators such as Mike McCarthy, Norv Turner and Mike Martz, you’ve had some outstanding coaches and that should only bode well for you and make you a better player.” — On choosing Alex Smith with the No. 1 overall pick in 2004.

“It was a very emotional conversation. Mike (Singletary) and I are very close friends. I have the utmost respect for Mike and I feel that he is the best choice to bring the team together. When you pick an offensive or defensive coordinator, you can sometime divide the house. Players start to pick sides and you don’t want that to happen. Right now, one of the strongest parts of the 49ers organization is in the locker room. Those players have stuck together very well, through thick and thin and I feel Mike will do an outstanding job keeping them together. He has tremendous leadership skills and the players respect him and that’s a big key in going forward right now.” — On Mike Singletary being named 49ers coach.

“There’s no question that I thought about him when I was leaving my office. There’s a lot of pictures of my father in my office with the 49er decor. I’ve missed him, he’s been gone a year now and it was always nice to talk to him because he knew the business.” — On his late father, former 49ers coach Dick Nolan.

“Very much so, yes.” — On whether he would like to return to coaching.

Video: Dedes’ discussion with Nolan

Live Interview with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: Prior to the Cowboys game against the Buccaneers, owner Jerry Jones speaks with Dedes and Faulk LIVE from Texas Stadium. Jones shares his insight on the state of the Cowboys organization and head coach Wade Phillips calling the shots on defense:

On the current state of the Dallas Cowboys:

“This is disappointing, but not discouraging at all. We’ve got a lot of ways we can improve our football team and anyone who’s been in this business and understands football knows that it’s a marathon and you have to keep improving your football team along the way.”

On the leadership within the Cowboys locker room:

“A lot of people say, ‘where is your Michael Irvin?’ Michael was special. He led in a way that was unique, but we have leadership that understands how important it is to our team and how important it is for us to get to work.”

On Wade Phillips:

“There’s no question that Wade Phillips is going to be our coach. I don’t know of anybody that I’d rather have on the defensive side of the ball than Wade Phillips calling the shots.”

Video: Interview with Jones

Schefter’s news reports:

  • Based on the hard-line stance the league is taking on cheap shot and Vince Wilfork’s prior record of controversial hits, the New England defensive tackle is staring straight at the possibility of being suspended for next Sunday night’s game at Indianapolis for a hit he delivered Monday night vs. Denver. During the first quarter of Monday night’s win over the Broncos, Wilfork threw a blatant elbow at Jay Cutler after Patriots S Rodney Harrison knocked down the Denver quarterback. As Cutler attempted to get up, Wilfork drilled the quarterback in the head with an elbow that caught the attention of the Broncos and the NFL. Ironically, the only penalty called on the play came against Broncos OT Ryan Harris – who defended Cutler, knocked down Harrison and drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. ESPN cameras failed to capture Wilfork’s hit. But the coaches’ tape caught it and the league noticed it. Disciplinary action against Wilfork could come as early as this week for a player who has another controversial hit on his resume. Last September, the NFL fined Wilfork $12,500 for landing his right elbow on Bills QB J.P. Losman’s left knee. The elbow drew a penalty and knocked Losman out of the lineup, paving the way for Bills QB Trent Edwards to take over and the league to be monitoring Wilfork. This time Wilfork could be facing a fine and or a suspension.
  • Getting summoned to New York to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is the equivalent of a school kid getting summoned to the principal’s office. Well, Kansas City’s talented but troubled RB Larry Johnson now is going to the principal’s office. Johnson is scheduled is scheduled to meet with Goodell at the league offices on Tuesday, according to a Chiefs source. Earlier this month, Johnson was involved in an incident in which he spit in her face multiple times, according to the police report. Formal charges could be brought against Johnson as early as Monday, which will not help his case with Goodell on Tuesday. But Johnson will have the chance to fight any charges and chances are, he will. He has plenty at stake. The Chiefs still have not paid him $5.5 million worth of guaranteed bonuses. If Goodell suspends Johnson, then the running back runs the risk of having the Chiefs argue that they do not have to pay him.
  • More changes could be coming in San Francisco. The 49ers have said that they are in the market for a front office executive and the United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is interested in listening. Rice could be a perfect candidate to become the 49ers president, helping the team try to procure the new stadium they desperately need. One high-ranking 49ers official said last week, “If she’s interested in talking to us, I’m interested in talking to her.” Rice has told friends as recently as last week she would love to become president of an NFL team. Even better, she is planning to return in January to California. The two sides were trying to connect over the weekend, but both sides think the issue is worth exploring.
  • The Bills and Dick Jauron have agreed to what is believed to be a three-year contract extension that will tie the head coach to Buffalo through 2011.

Quotes from NFL GameDay Morning:

On Giants-Steelers matchup:

“This could be the matchup we see in the Super Bowl.” — Faulk.

“When you play the Giants, if there’s an area of the field you want to attack, it’s right down the middle.” — Faulk.

“‘Psycho’ Ward plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played, between the lines, whistle to whistle.” — Sapp on Steelers WR Hines Ward.

On Buccaneers-Cowboys matchup:

“Dallas just doesn’t have enough fire power with all the guys they have hurt. This game is going to be tough for them to compete defensively.” — Faulk.

“(The Tampa defense) is going to make Brad (Johnson) earn every yard.” — Sapp.

“One guy does not beat this (Tampa) defense. It’s never been done and it never will be done.” — Sapp.

“He must be a great head coach compared to a so-so defensive coordinator.” — Faulk on Rams head coach Jim Haslett.

Report from London for Chargers vs. Saints: NFL Network’s Mary Strong reports from London that the field at Wembley Stadium has been growing for 18 months in preparation for today’s Chargers-Saints game vs. six months prior to last year’s game in London.

“The Saints cannot afford to lose this game.” — Faulk on Saints vs. Chargers.

“He’s an outstanding quarterback who’s playing at a very high level.” — Nolan on Saints QB Drew Brees.

“Drew Brees is playing out of his skull. He’s playing about as good as any quarterback in this league. If you ask any defensive coordinator what quarterback they don’t want to face, it’s Brees and he’s doing it with backup players.” — Faulk on Saints QB Drew Brees.

Quick quotes …

“They will win today and go to 6-1. The Buffalo Bills are going to go to the Super Bowl.” — Sapp.

“He has to be careful throwing against the grain against Jim Johnson’s defense because Philadelphia will intercept those passes.” — Faulk on Falcons rookie QB Matt Ryan’s challenges facing the Eagles today.

“Cheap, Cheap, Cheap. That’s all that is. When you are that big of a man, impose your will on the game between the lines and between the whistles.” — Sapp on Patriots DE Vincent Wilfork’s hit on Broncos QB Jay Cutler.

“I never fell off the wagon. I was on the wagon, but just not enjoying the bumpy ride.” — Faulk on Rams’ early struggles.

“Brady Quinn is not going to come in and make Braylon Edwards catch the ball or make Phil Savage handle the [Kellen Winslow] situation better. Those are the things that tear a team apart.” — Faulk on Browns possibly switching quarterbacks.

“You can never count Peyton Manning out.” — Faulk on the Colts making the playoffs.

“They are soft.” — Sapp on the problems with the Colts defense.

Extra points

  • A two-hour edition NFL GameDay Final with Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders and Steve Mariucci will air live tonight on NFL Network at 7:30 p.m. ET, due to the absence of Sunday Night Football.
  • NFL GameDay Morning analyst Warren Sapp continues to sport his dancing shoes on Dancing with the Stars on Monday night.
  • Thursday Night Football media conference call with announcers Cris Collinsworth and Bob Papa will be on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. ET. Call in number is 1-877-420-3727.

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

NFL GameDay Morningbegins 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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