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Harry Douglas, Former NFL Wide Receiver/ESPN College Football Analyst

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The Truth Network Radio
September 6, 2022 9:37 pm

Harry Douglas, Former NFL Wide Receiver/ESPN College Football Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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September 6, 2022 9:37 pm

Harry Douglas joined Zach to discuss his biggest takeaways from Week 1 and the ceiling for Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. 

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Harry, been a while. How you been? I'm doing well. How about yourself, bud?

Well, I'm doing great. I got to start you off with Clemson. The offensive line was horrible, receivers dropping footballs left and right, DJ Ungola did not play well. How do you look at the future of Clemson football for this season?

I'm trying to take some things into consideration because I was actually at that game last night right here in Atlanta. The offensive line, like you mentioned, did not play well. The Georgia Tech defense, or they made the Georgia Tech defense look like all-stars, but I also got to give credit to the Georgia Tech defense as well because they stepped up and made plays and made that Clemson offense look silly. And about 953 in the second quarter is when Clemson finally got their first touchdown, but I think if it wasn't for a block punt, I think they would have struggled throughout that game, the rest of that game, just to be honest. When it comes to the receivers, those guys have to be better.

DJ Ungola, he has to be better as well. The defense for Clemson actually held that team down. Moving forward, and I'm trying to take this into consideration, they have a new offensive coordinator, they have a new defensive coordinator, but the defense didn't miss a beat. The offense missed everything, just like they was missing last year early in the season. Now they found their group last year late in the season, I would say middle of the year toward the end, still won 10 games, but if they were playing an opponent, I would say top 15 worthy last night, they would have lost the first game of the season, just being honest. Moving forward, I'm hoping that they can get it together, but it has to be more consistency at the quarterback position, and we've actually seen it a little bit in the third quarter, mid-third quarter on end, within that game, third and two situations, DJ U made an outstanding play.

Not getting set, flipped the ball back to Will Shipley, was able to go down and get a first down, and they actually scored a touchdown on that drive and made it 24-10. But right now, if I'm any other team in the ACC, I'm looking at Clemson last night and saying, you know what guys, just like last year, we have a chance to win the ACC. Do you think it's inevitable that Cade Klubnick will eventually take over for DJ Wengalue this year? Listen, he looked good when he came in last night, and I understand it was garbage time, but if DJ can't be consistent and start fast in football games, if you're Dabo Swinney and you have this Clemson offense, you have to take a look at him. Talking to Harry Douglas right now at his Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio, it's so bizarre when you get impressed by the national champions on the first game of the season when they're defending their crown. I'm not telling you Oregon is a great team this year, clearly they weren't the 11th best team in the country with their AP ranking was, but man, was I impressed with what Georgia was able to do.

Me and you both, and I think it was Stetson Bennett mainly for me. The defense looked like that defense from last year, not with the talent, but still being able to make plays and thrive and make Bo Nix look silly. I'm wondering at what point is Bo Nix going to be able to grow up and be the quarterback that everyone expected him to be.

And I think the worst thing that happened to Bo Nix's career is him having that win when he was at Auburn against Oregon in the first game of the year. So everyone had these high expectations and I grew up watching his father throwing that touchdown to Frank Sanders in the end zone to beat Florida or whatnot. But when I look at Georgia and I look at Stetson Bennett, the young man, his confidence is on another level more so than it was last year. And this confidence that he has this year, I've seen and literally in one game last year in the national championship. You know, he got a new fresh cut.

He's walking around with a different pizzazz to himself. And I just love to see it. And I even tweeted, I got kind of joking a little bit, but kind of being serious, too. I said Stetson Bennett for Heisman and I threw my little arms up emoji. And if this young man continues to play like this and they have the running backs in Milton and McIntosh, and then you have three tight end deep with Gilbert, Bronfowers and Darnell Washington, then the receivers, Ladd-McConkey, Mitchell, those guys stepping up, making plays in another year within the system playing standout football. I think, man, this offense is going to at some point have to pick up some of the slack defensively because they did lose a lot of guys to the National Football League. You've got to take that into context as well. You know, it's a fascinating point that you bring up because usually when a team wins a national championship, we just wonder if they're going to be complacent the next season. Stetson Bennett got disrespected even headed into this season.

And I think that motivates that team a little bit because they're saying we just won a national championship with the guy and he still doesn't get his credit. Well, you know, it was Labor Day weekend, right? Monday was Labor Day. You know, usually on holidays and Sundays and Saturdays the mail delivered, but they say the mailman don't deliver on holidays, right?

I'll tell you one thing, Stetson Bennett and the mailman delivered this weekend, so in my eyes, he delivered the mail on Monday, which was yesterday, Labor Day. Harry Douglas here with us. When we get to LSU, what a demoralizing way to lose a football game. What do you got to see from Brian Kelly here in your number one with the Tigers, with his family, as he would say? I say body language. I think body language is everything.

Your energy is everything, right? I don't like when players have bad body language and I damn sure don't like it when coaches have it. And every time they put the camera on Brian Kelly, it's like his body language wasn't exciting.

It wasn't energized. And sometimes that could rub off on your football team. And then in the postgame interview, I understand players got to go out there and make plays, but I need more accountability on the coaching side as well.

Now, he said they got to coach better, but I need more of that tone to be a little stronger towards the coaching staff. Special teams was horrible, and I think the only guy that actually came with him from Notre Dame was the special teams coach. So special teams lost them that football game, but then you see a guy like Keesha Butte. That's your best player offensively. You need to find ways to get them to football. I don't care how you do it from the moment you start the game to the moment the game is over. You need to figure out how to get your best player to football by any means necessary. No one questions if Brian Kelly is a good coach, but you just wonder if he's the right fit at LSU.

It seems as if he's trying too hard. Well, I'm from down south, and I've been up north to places. Down south is a total different ballgame than up north.

I'll be the first to tell you. In southern hospitality, people eat, sleep, and poop football, and they want you to win. We don't care about all the antics down here. It's about winning. Yesterday, LSU lost a football game that they should have won, and now, right now, fans are on another level. Talking to Harry Douglas right now, I loved what I saw from Anthony Richardson. What do you think the seal against Florida this year? A lot of people are just now getting on the Anthony Richardson train.

I was on the train early last year. When I said Dan Mullen should not have been playing Emory Jones, and he should have been playing Anthony Richardson. The young man, 6'4", 230, between 230 and 235, reminds me of a guy named Cam Newton. I think he is more athletic than Cam Newton.

I think, mechanically, he's a little bit better than Cam Newton as well. But when you have a guy who's running that spread option, Billy Napier, I think it's the perfect marriage between him and Anthony Richardson. This Florida team can surprise a lot of people. They have a game coming up this weekend against Kentucky, and we all remember what happened last year up in Lexington when the Kentucky Wildcats went crazy. Florida didn't remember that game.

You know who else didn't remember that game I met? It's Anthony Richardson, the quarterback. He's looking forward to this game this weekend at the Swamp, two ranked opponents, SEC East Showdown.

I can't wait to see it. Anthony Richardson will be a top ten pick in next year's NFL Draft, mark my words. You say top ten pick. Could he be maybe the number one overall pick? Could he jump a Stroud? Could he jump a Bryce Young?

There's a possibility. The thing about those two guys is that you have a C.J. Stroud who I think is phenomenal. You see Notre Dame go cover zero blitz to end the third quarter when Ohio State was down seven to ten and C.J. Stroud deciphered, throw a post for a touchdown at a moment where they really needed it.

You see them scrambling, making unbelievable plays and throws to continue drives. I think C.J. Stroud from a mental standpoint is a little bit above everybody else and to put the physical tools with it. Bryce Young, he has the tools.

Size is a little bit questionable by a lot of people. Anthony Richardson, he has it all. I think more so on the mental side, needs to get a little bit better.

Not saying that he doesn't have it, but just need to get a little bit better and show people, show organizations, show GMs, owners that he does have it and has it in full stride. And I think he has the potential to be a number one pick overall. Harry Douglas, how do you rank the three best teams in the country? We know the three best teams are Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia. How do you rank those three?

Just the way you mentioned it. Well, I will go Alabama. I will go number one, Georgia number two and then Ohio State number three. And the reason why I got Georgia number two is that Stetson Bennett, this offense, I think is going to be a lot better. I know one thing, their head coach is not going to let that defense fall off. Alabama is going to be number one for me.

I think they have, if not the best roster in college football, one of the top two, top three. You have playmakers and a guy that can win the Heisman defensively, a guy that can win the Heisman at the quarterback position. But remember back when Matt Leonard won the Heisman and then the following year Reggie Bush won the Heisman? Don't sleep on Jameer Gibbs. I'm telling you, he's a guy that can do it rushing the football. He can do it returning the football and he also can do it in the pass game.

So don't sleep on Jameer Gibbs either. Wrapping up with Harry Douglas right now on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. Getting back to that Florida-Utah game, what a game that was. And the flip side for Utah, you had people talking about college football playoff.

You start the year off, throw an interception right down at the goal line. Where do the Utes go from here? First thing first, they got to understand, that game came down to the end so it's not over for them. If they run the table and Florida continues to win and Florida's ranked in a nice position to end the season, they still have an opportunity as the Pac-12 champions. Now, granted they still have to play USC and I believe they still have to play Oregon as well, but Oregon didn't look good. USC has Caleb Williams and Addison who won the Villitnikov award and then Travis Dot who transferred from Oregon at the running back position. And Lincoln rising, the quarterback whisperer.

So it's going to be a tough sledding for them. You don't want to lose your first game. I think I was more disappointed than Cam Rising that last drive, more so than anything. That's a mistake I would probably expect from a guy like Anthony Richardson who didn't make the mistake and did show up in key moments. But Cam Rising, when you have a field goal basically in your back pocket through orthodox football, they got to intercept it.

They didn't even get a chance to fight it out in overtime. When we get to Michigan, I think Harbaugh and Neville is going to go to J.J. McCarthy. I know they have three cupcake games to start the year. I just don't get why they don't go to McCarthy right now and they're continuing to rock and roll with Cade McNamara.

Yeah, I don't like the way they're doing it. If you want to go with a guy, go ahead and go with the guy now. And I understand what the issue is because Cade McNamara was a guy who led them to the college football playoffs last year and they won the Big Ten. But as a head coach, if you feel like J.J. McCarthy is the guy for you and you feel like he's the guy that can get you over the hump, then you start off the year with him. If you see all this back and forth and we never know if it possibly, not saying it is, but it could possibly defy the locker room some kind of way at some point, just go with who you're going with and tell everyone else they got to live with that decision. I would rather him do that than trying to play Cade this game, J.J. McCarthy that game. Because it may create some kind of friction, not just between the quarterbacks but between teammates in the locker room as well. And I respect the loyalty to some extent that Jim Harbaugh has because he just won a Big Ten championship and came back the matter when no one thought you were going to do so entering last season. But if he can't win the job outright after doing that, it's so obvious he wants to go to McCarthy.

Yeah, and I'll tell you this. So last year I was at the Michigan State-Michigan game where they were winning by a lot. He tried to experiment putting J.J. McCarthy in, I call it B&Q, and got a ball, intercepted. Next thing you know, Michigan State has this comeback and they come back and win the football game. I don't want to see Michigan doing things like that this year. Choose who you're going to go with. When that quarterback is done playing, the game is out of reach, then you play the backup.

You know what I mean? If someone gets hurt, then you go to the backup. But pick a quarterback, stick with that quarterback, and live with your decision. Harry Douglas, by the way, who's the third best team in the SEC? You know, you're like Alabama and Georgia. Is it A&M or you go someone else?

I think right now I will go A&M. The thing about the SEC right now, when you have a Florida who did what they did this weekend. You have a Kentucky. I'm interested to see how they're going to be this weekend versus a Florida. You have an Ole Miss. You have a Mississippi State.

You have an Arkansas. I want to see about two or three more weeks from now how these teams start to pan out as we go to see their identities and what they're really made of. In all three phases, that's offense, defense, and special teams. I can't wait also for Tennessee-Pittsburgh. I think that's going to be a good game this upcoming weekend. Well, that might be an upset because I was at the backyard brawl and I thought Pittsburgh was at another level. But seeing the way West Virginia played them and knowing how Tennessee loves to use tempo with Josh Heifel as their head coach and calling plays. That's something that Pittsburgh might struggle with. And Tennessee might end up coming out of this thing with a victory. Let me get your thoughts on two more games for this weekend. South Carolina-Arkansas.

I'm going to go with Arkansas. I love what Sam Pittman is doing. KJ Jefferson, he's a guy I'm looking forward to. I love the way he played in Game 1 against Cincinnati. Now I want to see him do it against the Sacramento Gamecocks. What was the second game you mentioned? The other game I was going to throw at you, we know Alabama is going to win or I think they're going to win. How does Texas keep a close up against Alabama? It's not going to happen. It's not going to happen.

Go to church is what you're saying? I had a chance to watch Texas in their film. Last night I watched the game three times and one of the things I noticed is that Quinn Ewers is going to have to start throwing the football with anticipation. Right now he's young and he's waiting to see guys open and then trying to throw the football versus throwing with anticipation and it probably cost him about three touchdowns. Now you fast forward that to a team like Alabama if you do that, you have a guy over there named Will Anderson Jr. and every second that you waste holding that football and not throwing with anticipation, that's a situation for him to sack you or cause a sack fumble. You're also going to have a more complex defense that you're going against versus, I think they played Louisiana Monroe, right? Then that defense. So he's going to have to throw with anticipation.

I'm pretty sure Sarkeesian is in there telling him, hey, you can't wait. The receiver ran a 10 yard out and up double move. And as soon as that receiver hits that inside foot and hits that outside foot and goes back up field, that ball is supposed to be gone.

He held it for about another five or six yards that receiver ran and ended up throwing that ball out of bounds instead of it being a touchdown. Last thing I'll ask you, Harry Douglas, wrapping up always is a great job from ESPN. When we get to this inevitable 12 game expansion that's going to be happening in 2026, maybe sooner than that, do you like the 12 team college football playoff?

I do. And I think one of the main things that that's going to do is kind of save the ACC, the Big 12 and the Pac 12, right? It's also going to solidify that Notre Dame doesn't have to join a conference because if you can make the college football playoffs, why would you do that if you Notre Dame? They're independent.

They make all kind of money right now as they stand. I also think it's going to be good in the regards of you watch these bowl games and when these players who are going to get drafted in the first round, second round, see that they don't have an opportunity to play for a national championship. They sit out the games.

Now you have more teams and you have guys that's going to want to play because there is a common goal. And I equate it to when I played for the Atlanta Falcons, right? 2010, we had the number one seed. The Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers got in winning the last game of the year. They were the last seed.

Well, they came into the Georgia Dome, blew us out and went on to win the Super Bowl versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. You just want to make the tournament at that point if you're in any school. You just want to make the tournament and have an opportunity because you never know. A team that you may be playing who may be ranked very, very hot may have a down game. They may lose somebody to injuries. It's no telling what can happen. And you may be able to prevail and win and move on and possibly go play for a national championship.

So it's no telling what can happen during that time. The one thing though that I can't stand about it and why I leaned on the side of more no than yes when you hear the number is 12. Is like last year you got Michigan and Ohio State. That was an all or nothing game in the regular season rivalry week. The winner is going to have a chance to still get into the top four. Now, I know that game is always going to be important to the Michigan and Ohio State fans. But nationally, I feel as if the importance of that game goes down a bit because the loser probably still gets in the college football playoff when you go to 12.

No, I don't agree. I mean, I'm gonna tell you why. Being a former athlete, there's this thing called pride. And when you have a pride, when you have pride as a teammate, as a player, the name on the front of your jersey, the name on the back of your jersey, it's a different ballgame. And then these two schools don't even like to mention each other's names.

Right? The Ohio State called them a team up north. You don't want to lose that game because that's one game that you want to win within that rivalry.

Trust me, I promise you. It's not going to bend down the game at all. I don't think so. No, but obviously the fans of each school are still going to want to win. But I'm talking about the person that's not a Michigan fan, not an Ohio State fan.

Just as a neutral viewer, that game isn't as important anymore because the Ohio State could lose and they could still then go play Michigan a few weeks later. But isn't that even better? You get a round two?

Round two for the Marbles to go see who's going to go play for the Marbles? But isn't that the beauty of college football, that all these regular season games matter? Yes, but here's the thing. And I learned this from Arthur Plank, who's the owner of the Falcons and the Atlanta United soccer team.

He has a book, Good Company. And one of the things in his books, his bullet points is you have to innovate continuously. And that's just the way our world is working. You have to innovate. You have to adjust. You have to grow.

That's all college football is doing right now. Harry Douglas, appreciate the insight as always. Thanks so much. Not no problem at all, but.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-02 06:32:20 / 2023-02-02 06:41:19 / 9

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