NFL Today on CBS AFC Championship Preview

From CBS Sports –

“THE NFL ON CBS” TRAVELS TO FOXBOROUGH FOR
2012 AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AS
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS HOST BALTIMORE RAVENS LIVE ON CBS ON SUNDAY, JAN. 22
EXCERPTS FROM AFC CHAMPIONSHIP CONFERENCE CALL ON JAN. 17
THE NFL ON CBS, celebrating its 52nd year broadcasting the NFL, travels to Foxborough, Mass. for the 2012 American Football Conference Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 22 (3:00 PM, ET) as the AFC North Champions and No. 2-seeded BALTIMORE RAVENS (13-4) take on the AFC East Champions and No. 1-seeded NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (14-3) live on the CBS Television Network. 
CBS Sports’ lead announce team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms call the action, along with Steve Tasker reporting, from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.  Lance Barrow is coordinating producer of THE NFL ON CBS and lead game producer and Mike Arnold is the lead game director.
            CBS Sports’ coverage of the AFC Championship Game begins with THE NFL TODAY, the Network’s pre-game studio show, on Sunday (2:00 PM, ET) with host James Brown and analysts Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher, as well as NFL TODAY “General Manager” Charley Casserly, and Lesley Visser reporting, live from THE NFL TODAY studio at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City.
            Eric Mann is senior producer and Bob Matina is director of THE NFL TODAY.
            Sean McManus is Chairman, CBS Sports and serves as executive producer for the Network’s coverage of THE NFL ON CBS.  Harold Bryant is Executive Producer and Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.
* * * * *
EXCERPTS FROM AFC CHAMPIONSHIP CONFERENCE CALL
SEAN McMANUS, Chairman, CBS Sports and Executive Producer, THE NFL ON CBS
(On anticipation of AFC Championship Game): It seems that almost every weekend one of the networks is making a statement about how great their NFL ratings are, and the fact that all three broadcast partners have had such a good year in the NFL, I think is just good news for the NFL in general, and certainly good news for the NFL on television.  It is a sport that seems to get bigger and better and stronger every single year.
There is great anticipation based on what has happened in the playoffs so far to see what is going to happen this Sunday.  We are excited about Sunday, and in a more generic way, we are excited about the NFL and for what the future holds for the NFL and CBS. 
PHIL SIMMS
(On Tom Brady): I think his play speaks for itself.  I think what is interesting is that he’s had a tremendous career with three distinct, different-style offenses.  I think that says a lot about him.  It says a lot about the coaching up in New England.  When I watch them now, and see their offense, the tight ends and how they use them, I mean, really, it’s like going back 25 years in the NFL.  That’s the way it used to be.  The tight ends were such a big part and then they got phased out by wide receivers…I think the week off, he let his body heal and it showed in his play.  It really showed in his ability just to throw it and pinpoint everything.  
(On Joe Flacco): I thought he played very well (against Houston), not good, not well, very well.  It’s just the way it is.  They are a team not built and designed for the quarterback to be the superstar.  And I think he does a very good job of handling everything that is given to him and the opportunities that are presented to him.
(On Baltimore’s defense stopping New England’s offense): The only way I think to completely stop the New England offense, to do what people want to get done, it’s all about the pass rush.  That’s hard to do when you have an offense that can get rid of the football.  They can hurry-up.  They have a library of plays that is second-to-none.  There are a lot of good plans and good thought processes.  The reality is, they (New England) are good and they are going to make their plays. 
(On memories of Giants-49ers rivalry during his career): The games were awesome.  It was a great setting out there.  Of course that hasn’t changed.  That stadium is still the same.  Those locker rooms are still as bad, probably.  But there was something very good about it, all those great stars.  I remember our playoff victories in our stadium.  And of course, I remember the playoff losses out there, too, which were pretty rough.  When we lost out there, we took beatings and we knew when the game was over, they were the better team.  I always told people, and I mean this in a light-hearted way, when my career was over I’ll never get over the Dallas Cowboys and I’ll never get over the San Francisco 49ers because it just seemed like there were so many big, high-profile games against both. 
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