NFL playoffs, CBS’s ‘Dan Marino’ and ‘Bill Cowher’ inside look




THE NFL ON CBS, home of Super Bowl XLIV and celebrating its Golden 50th year broadcasting the NFL, continues its coverage of the 2010 American Football Conference Playoffs with the national broadcast of the AFC Divisional Playoff games on Saturday, Jan. 16 (8:00 PM, ET) and Sunday, Jan. 17 (4:30 PM, ET) live on the CBS Television Network.  The No. 6-seeded BALTIMORE RAVENS (10-7) visit the AFC South Champions and No. 1-seeded INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (14-2) in prime time on Saturday night, while the No. 5-seeded NEW YORK JETS (10-7) travel to play the AFC West Champions and No. 2-seeded SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (13-3). 

THE NFL ON CBS’s coverage begins with THE NFL TODAY, the Network’s one-hour studio show (7:30 PM, ET) and (4:00 PM, ET), respectively, live from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City.

THE NFL ON CBS lead announce team of Jim Nantz, who this year is marking his 25th with CBS Sports, and Phil Simms call the action live on Sunday from Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif.  Lance Barrow is the coordinating producer and lead game producer and Mike Arnold is the lead game director.  Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf call the Ravens-Colts game live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday night.  Mark Wolff is the producer and Bob Fishman is the director.

Throughout the 2010 AFC Playoffs and Super Bowl XLIV, THE NFL ON CBS will broadcast all of its games each week in HDTV, the highest definition television format – 1080i lines of picture resolution – along with 5.1 digital audio.
Sean McManus is President, CBS News and Sports, and serves as executive producer of CBS Sports’ coverage of THE NFL ON CBS.  Harold Bryant is Vice President, Production, CBS Sports. 

(On Divisional Playoffs Week): I’m a fan first and foremost.  And this is the greatest pro-football weekend of the year to me…There is not one game that doesn’t intrigue me on many, many levels.  You name it, and I can give a lot of reasons why I want to watch it.  I cant wait to see Minnesota’s offensive line against maybe the most athletic front – powerful, fast, defensive front that I’ve seen in awhile in the NFL – the Dallas Cowboys.  And of course I’m anxious to see Rex Ryan and our game, and what can he show to steel down the San Diego Chargers.  And the Chargers in their way have been one of the most, if not the most, impressive teams in the league this year.

We all have our ideas of who we think is going to win but I think we’ll be shocked too…I did the New England-Baltimore game.  I thought it would be very close to the end, but nobody saw what was coming.  So something like that always happens.  And I do think all the games will be very competitive and very close.
(On New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan): What he has done is all his way.  It’s real and absolutely filters down to the players…It keeps you loose, and a confident loose player pays attention and practices well, and it shows on weekends.

(On San Diego): Their deep fear is they don’t want the other team just to dominate the game with their running game against their defense.
(On Vincent Jackson vs. Darrelle Revis): I can’t wait to see Vincent Jackson against Darrelle Revis…If Revis has a great game, I don’t know what it ensures because there are too many other guys who can catch and win the football game for the San Diego Chargers.

(On San Diego’s chances): It’s the playoffs.  There are no guarantees here…You’re going to need a break, most likely along the way, because you can’t just dominate every game from start to finish. So get a break, and then it comes down to match ups…In this league now there are so many guys that can make it happen with the football that you have to get a little fortunate in the draw, and like I said, you need to have one break.  You need Ben Roethlisberger to make an unbelievable twisting, turning tackle against the Indianapolis Colts (in 2006).  Look back, almost every team seems like they get one of those breaks or they make one of those breaks for themselves to win the Super Bowl.  I don’t think this year will be any different. 

(On Jets and Ravens): We always say Sanchez and Flacco need their running games, and if that doesn’t work, they can’t win. Let’s think of Phillip Rivers and Peyton Manning. If their passing game isn’t working, how big of a chance do they have to win the game?  You have to look at it both ways…We’re going from arguably the two best passing teams in the NFL and comparing them to two different teams that do it an entirely different way.  So, can the Jets win if they don’t have a great running day?  Sure they can. They can still make plays on defense. There can still be a few big pass plays in the passing game from Sanchez. And the same goes with the Baltimore Ravens.  I expect the Jets and the Ravens both to try and sneak a few more passes in their game plan to keep it a little balanced because the competitive level is going up and so is the environment they’re playing in.  

(On Arizona QB Kurt Warner): He is about as relaxed playing the position as I’ve seen anybody in a long time.  There are a lot of ways to play it, a lot of ways to get it done.  Peyton Manning has high energy and everything is a little frantic, that’s the way he operates.  And Kurt Warner is just the opposite.  

(On Baltimore Head Coach John Harbaugh): John Harbaugh is the complete package as a head coach.

(On New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan): He (Rex Ryan) is a breath of fresh air.  You ask him a question and he’s got a direct answer to your question.  So many coaches are concerned about speaking in “coach speak.” They don’t want to give away anything that they think may help the other team. They’re very guarded in what they say…When he thinks it, he says it.  And quite frankly, his production meetings are a lot of fun.

A personality is great, but it’s an incomplete package if there’s not discipline involved as well.  Rex demonstrated over the course of this season that he’s not afraid to call out a player who’s not playing well, to sit somebody down. He has shown that he is the complete package in terms of he’s got a nice personality but he’s not afraid to crack the whip either. 

(On Jets vs. Chargers): If the Jets can’t run the football effectively against San Diego, they can’t win the game. I just don’t think their passing game is capable of stirring them a to a playoff win. So, how aggressive will the Chargers be in trying to stop the Jets running attack?…The Jets are so one dimensional offensively that that’s where the whole game turns.  Can the Jets run the football against San Diego?  Because if they can’t, I don’t see anyway they can win.

(On Jets defense): The Jets are the real deal defensively.  They are that good.  It’s just hard for me to imagine anyone lighting the Jets up, unless they are continually put in a bad field position, spot, time after time, drive after drive.
(On Baltimore): Baltimore is a team I just don’t want to see in the playoffs if I’m the opponent because they just bring such a physical style.  Baltimore is finding themselves right where they were last year. They had to go play the number one seed in the AFC last year with the best record in football in Tennessee and they knocked them out of it.  Baltimore goes to Indianapolis with a lot of confidence.


(On N.Y. Jets-San Diego Chargers): We’re all going to be interested in seeing how Darrelle Revis matches up against Vincent Jackson.  You’re talking about the No. 1 defense in the National Football League going up against probably the hottest offense and the hottest quarterback in Philip Rivers.  Rex Ryan has seemed to have been able to dial up a defense each week, but this may be his toughest challenge.  


(On Baltimore Ravens): In order for Baltimore to get by Indianapolis, they can run it but Joe Flacco is going to have to make some big plays in their passing game in order for them to have a chance.

(On N.Y. Jets): With a rookie quarterback in Mark Sanchez, he’s going to have to play a near-perfect game in order for them to have a chance.  The Jets are going to want to run the ball and keep Philip Rivers and the Chargers wide receiver corps off the field.  I just don’t think the Jets have the type of big-play capability to be able to stay with San Diego.

(source: information provided by CBS)