NFL Network’s NFL Total Access Kickoff & NFL Thursday Night Kickoff Notes & Quotes – New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers

NFL Total Access Kickoff aired from outside Bank of America Stadium tonight at 6:00 PM ET on NFL Network, with host Rich Eisen and analysts Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin, and Steve Mariucci providing pregame analysis leading up to Saints-Panthers on Thursday Night Football.

At 7:30 PM ET on NFL Network, James Brown, Deion Sanders and Bill Cowher hosted NFL Thursday Night Kickoff from inside the stadium. Eisen, Irvin, Faulk and Mariucci appeared on the show.

Quotes from NFL Total Access Kickoff & NFL Thursday Night Kickoff:

“You wonder why [the Carolina Panthers] would release a Steve Smith for a guy like Kelvin Benjamin – because leadership. They wanted Cam [Newton] to have this locker room. But [Kelvin Benjamin] is no comparison to Steve Smith.” – Deion Sanders on Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin

“Drew Brees can’t do anything but throw a few footballs around. Cam Newton does it all! He throws it, he runs it, he scores it, he gives it to the kids after he scores.” – Michael Irvin on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton

“Steve Smith is gone. One reason he’s gone is because they really wanted Cam [Newton] to have this locker room – this is to be Cam’s team. Alright Cam, it’s time for you to put up because folks are starting to talk. Are you really that guy who can beat this [New Orleans] team and take it to the next level?” – Deion Sanders on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton

“[Kelvin Benjamin] needs to listen. I’ve heard his work ethic isn’t really that good. He needs to learn how to be a professional. One of the reasons they acquired him also is because Cam [Newton] has the propensity to throw the balls high and he’s a huge target for Cam Newton. This guy, if he listens to the coaches that he has, this guy is going to do really well in this game.” – Deion Sanders on Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin

“I think [Kelvin Benjamin] could be the steal of the draft. This kid works hard…he gets better each week.” – Michael Irvin on Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin

“[Kelvin Benjamin] is really looking good. My rookie of the year.” – Michael Irvin on Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin

“These Carolina Panthers are in place to be the first team to repeat as division champs in the NFC South…they will repeat. They have the defense to do it and they have Superman.” – Michael Irvin on the Carolina Panthers   

“[Jimmy Graham] is everything to this team…he’s probably the most valuable player on the team.” – Marshall Faulk on New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham  

“[Jimmy Graham] is a big playmaker. To me, he is the guy that makes this offense go.” – Bill Cowher on New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham

“There are a few tight ends in this game that you don’t have an answer to and [Jimmy Graham] is one of them. You cannot cover him with a linebacker and he’s too big and physical for a [defensive back].” – Deion Sanders on New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham

“I think the New Orleans Saints are the best team talent wise. I think they’re close to getting on track…The biggest thing that they’ve got to do is find a way to win these games on the road.” – Bill Cowher on the New Orleans Saints on who will win the NFC South

“[Luke Kuechly] is the kind of linebacker that I would spend all week just trying to learn everything about him. Just watching the film, you know he’s a leader. You know he plays the run very well – but he gets there with an attitude.” – Marshall Faulk on Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly  

“[Luke Kuechly] sets the tone and he is the attitude of the [Carolina Panthers] defense…one of the best in the business and one of the best we’ve seen in a long time.” – Michael Irvin on Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly

“If you can get what you got last week out of Mark Ingram…then everything opens up in this New Orleans Saints offense and everybody can get to their role because it all starts with that running game.” – Michael Irvin on the New Orleans Saints offense

“I’m looking forward to Mark Ingram playing tonight…I believe he opened the eyes of head coach Sean Payton because 172 yards is the most rush yards in Sean Payton’s career as a head coach with the New Orleans Saints. They are going to feature him tonight.” – Marshall Faulk on New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram

“Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams are the identity of this football team. They need to set the tone tonight.” – Bill Cowher on the Carolina Panthers running backs  

“This is the best team [Peyton Manning’s] had.” – Bill Cowher on the Denver Broncos

“This is the best team that [Peyton Manning’s] ever brought to Foxborough. This team with the Broncos right now gives him the best chance to win.” – Steve Mariucci on the Denver Broncos matchup against the Patriots in New England  

On NFL.com the following video clips from NFL Total Access Kickoff & NFL Thursday Night Kickoff is available for viewing:

– Cam Newton Reunites With ‘Sunday Giveaway’ Kids – Stacey Dales investigates Cam Newton’s special touchdown celebration in Carolina

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– Who is the Midseason MVP? – Host Rich Eisen and analysts Michael Irvin, Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci and Deion Sanders discuss who their midseason MVPs are

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– Who is the Comeback Player of the Year? – Host Rich Eisen and analysts Michael Irvin, Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci and Deion Sanders debate their selections for their comeback player of the year

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NEXT WEEK ON THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ON NFL NETWORK:

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS — 8:25 PM ET

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