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REShow: JJ McCarthy - Hour 2

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December 23, 2022 3:07 pm

REShow: JJ McCarthy - Hour 2

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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December 23, 2022 3:07 pm

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The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen

This is the Rich Eisen Show with guest host Tom Pelissero.

The greatest comeback! When they scored to make it 36 to 14, I turned to Scott Landy, who was my spotter, and said they're going to win this game. Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles.

Don't ask me for betting advice brought from parties. I mean Tom, that would have been super nice to get that text. Earlier on the show, Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy. Coming up, Illinois head coach, Brett Villema, Colts interim head coach, Jeff Saturday. And now, sitting in for Rich, it's Tom Pelissero. Chris Brockman just spent the entire break firing more people in New England.

I think they're all out now. I think you might have fired Robert Kraft in there, too. Brockman, the cafeteria lady did nothing, man. Let her keep her job. The driver didn't do anything to you.

That's true. I take that back. Cafeteria lady's back. We got the guy at the pro shop back.

She makes a mean chowder. Everyone else gone! We need to get back to winning, Tom. I don't know what's funnier, the anger or the sadness of Chris Brockman when we're talking about the Patriots right now.

What's the difference? What's more likely, you might even say. Let's do this, Brockman. All right, lay it on me. Bring it on.

Let's go. What's more likely? Hit it. What? What's more likely?

Never say never, but never. Let me write down the time code real quick because Mitch is out enjoying Egypt. Hey, guys, what's happening? It's Friday. You guys good? What's up, brother? Everybody good? It's Friday. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. I love you all. Tom, what's more likely? In case you've forgotten, I think we did this the last time you were here, but Rich was on the phone, right? So I throw out either or you pick more likely to happen.

Very, very self-explanatory. Let's go. More likely to be back in 2023. Brady, Belichick.

More likely to be back anywhere? In the NFL in 2023. Bill Belichick.

Bill has given no indications that he's going to walk away. Now, you're talking about three years where you've gone through a process post-Brady. You obviously have not won at the level that Belichick would like to win at or that the Patriots organization would like to win at.

But they've continued to try to build that thing and bring in younger players. They obviously had the big free agent class as well. Bill is operating like a guy who thinks he's going to be around. With Tom Brady, it's still very much up in the air. He could return to Tampa. He could go elsewhere. He's a free agent. He can sign anywhere, which is the second time that's been the case going back to 2020.

And he could walk. Bill Belichick doesn't have a 200, 300, 400, whatever it is, million dollar golden parachute like Tom Brady does. That potentially also is a factor, though Bill's done very well for himself over the years.

I would say if you had to say who is more likely to be with an NFL team in 2023, give me Belichick. You've got a percentage on what you're hearing about Brady, percentage that he's back next year. No, because his focus is still just trying to figure things out in Tampa.

And there's a lot to figure out. They've not played well. If not for that comeback he had a few weeks ago, they're tied for the NFC South lead.

They're not even on top of the division. So, yeah, I mean, that's what he's been focused on. There's certainly people who know Brady, who believe he's open to coming back, which going into the season was not the case. This was very much going to be the one last run.

Now, we'll see. And you also have to remember, if he's going to play, he's playing for one reason. It's not money.

It's not even really necessarily for legacy, so to speak. It's just to try to go win another championship. Does he think Tampa is the best opportunity to do that? Is there someplace else that he believes he can do that? Whether it's, as you mentioned, Las Vegas.

Is it potentially there? Is it going to Tennessee and reuniting with Mike Vrabel? There's a lot of different scenarios, but then those spots also have to open and a team has to go. We're willing to go in with a 46-year-old quarterback.

Granted, the greatest of all time. But a 46-year-old quarterback very much on a year-to-year type of a plan and run his offense that he's going to want to run. Because Tom Brady's not just dropping in and playing a new scheme he's never played before. Forty-niners next year?

They have to figure out what they're going to do. Garoppolo's a free agent. Trey Lance, to this point, has had the same. He works really hard. Great guy.

Everybody likes him. But the two things that were knocks on Trey Lance coming out of college were, is he accurate enough? And can he stay healthy? Every time he's played so far, he's gotten banged up and he's not been very accurate.

Can they roll with him? Do they bring back Garoppolo and have both of them? The knock on Jimmy's been can't stay healthy too.

And here we are, another in all likelihood season-ending injury. And again, if Tom Brady drops into that offense, are they running the Kyle Shanahan offense? Kyle Shanahan maybe has the offense that everyone in the league, including the Patriots, try to copy. If Brady comes in just running that scheme and all the bootlegs and the play action, that's not really Tom Brady's game.

So is it possible? Sure. Let's see what Brock Purdy does here over the next several weeks.

All right. Big game on Saturday night. They're playing each other. Cowboys-Eagles. Who do you like more likely to make a deeper playoff run? Cowboys or Eagles?

Oof. That's a tough one because they're different types of teams. I think that the consistency of the Eagles is what you like in terms of their chances going into the playoffs. Now obviously there's a question with Jalen Hurts. My understanding is not a long-term injury.

Nothing needs surgery on. He just needs to rest that throwing shoulder. As long as he's okay, he gets that rest and he comes back, they're a dangerous team just because they've got so many weapons all over the field.

And the way that they can get after you with A.J. Brown and Devante Smith and the run game with Miles Sanders, albeit didn't look great last week. And defensively, they got a ton of playmakers as well. With the Cowboys, it's more so if they can capture their potential. You've seen it, but then you've also seen them not play their best over the last couple of weeks and go to the brink with a team like the Jaguars. You know, the Texans taking them to the brink the previous week. The Texans are going to win the South, bro.

They very well might. But you'd still hope, if you're a Super Bowl contender, that even going into Jacksonville, that you're not losing a shootout and that Trevor Lawrence isn't hanging. What'd he put up? They put up 37 in that game? I know Dak had a pick six too, so it wasn't all the defense. But you're hoping you're not going into a shootout and losing to Jacksonville. So I'm not going to answer that one directly other than to say you've got two different types of teams. And I don't know that we're going to get the greatest view of what the matchup is this weekend because Gardner Minshew is one of the top five probably backup quarterbacks in the league.

But he's not Jalen Hurts who's been playing at as high of a level as anybody. Alright, a couple of good matchups with 11 win teams at home this week. So the 11 win team at home to most likely get got. Chiefs or Vikings? To get got in the playoffs? To get got this weekend. To lose this weekend. Chiefs have the Seahawks. The Vikings have the Giants.

Correct. If my plane takes off, I will be at that game on NFL Network bright and early tomorrow morning. Little edgy.

Little edgy with the wind and everything. I mean, Seattle needs that game and the Giants need that game. And somebody who's very smart on NFL Marist told me long ago, when in doubt, look at the team that needs the game more. With Seattle, if they lose this game, they're on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. But that is a tough, tough matchup for them going into Kansas City because it's a road game. With the Vikings, you know, you're just you're talking about a team that they're so talented in terms of the weapons everywhere.

But they also, you know, their play style, there are times where they kind of let teams that may not be as talented hang with them. You know, the the commanders made Kavon Thibodeau look like Lawrence Taylor last week. So they're going to have to the Vikings with Christian Darrisau there.

He's going to have to do a better job than what Washington did in terms of their protection. I still think that's a that's a tough matchup, too. But just based upon the way that the Vikings have allowed teams to hang with them this season, even at home. I mean, I think you'd probably have to say the say the Giants in that one. Team most on upset alert this weekend. Bengals are 49ers.

Bengals in New England, Niners home for the commanders. I mean, it's Brock Purdy. He's played really well to this point. He was also a seventh round draft pick in the third quarterback that they're playing. The commanders get Chase Young back this week. That defense is really tough. They've been playing well. San Francisco still a little bit beat up.

There's no Debo. I'm thinking this out in my head. I mean, I think you probably say the commanders could pull this off as opposed to the Patriots against the Bengals, just because I don't know that you've seen the Bengals offense is so dangerous and the Patriots offense right now is not. And there's a lot of frustration there. It's in New England, right? Right.

It was in New England and the commanders are at San Francisco. Correct. So they're both road games. I don't like either team's chances probably of a of an upset here.

But yeah, I think I'd probably say the commanders just based upon. I mean, they need this one, too. They have to go and get a win or they're going to be in a tough spot in the in the playoff picture, too. They've got weapons. You know, they've got guys who can make plays. They've just got to they've got to give the quarterback time.

Temperature in Foxborough tomorrow. Teens, 16 mile an hour wins. Oh, there's that, too. That's the other reason it's a three point spread.

Sounds miserable. Is that could be to be a 13 to 10 type of game. Yeah, it's insanity. I just want to see. Can they run the ball? Because last week it was not. Joe Mixon never really got going in that game environment like this. You're thinking, OK, we got to pound it. But, you know, we'll also see how Bill Belichick decides to approach the game and what he tries to take away. I would certainly think they're going to gear up on trying to stop Joe Mixon. I have to throw it in that coaching for his job.

Per Brockman, some might say his job. All right. Some might say it's on the line. It's on the line. Right.

This area code here. I might say a couple more here. Six and eight team more likely to keep their playoff hopes alive. Browns or Packers? I mean, the Browns face the Saints. The Packers in Miami are in Miami.

Number 12 is that man, though. Yeah, I just are the Packers going to show up? That's that's what I keep coming back to, because you've seen the glimpses of it. You've seen Aaron Rodgers make some of those throws that only he can make. They've not really gathered that that momentum. I have more concerns about the Packers defense keeping up with the Miami offense.

I know the Dolphins are in a little bit of a downturn here. They've not been as consistent. Well, if you watch that Packers defense this year, it's been pretty brutal for a good portion of the schedule. Coming into the year, weren't they supposed to be kind of on the uptick? People thought that the analytics suggested they were not going to be that great. But they also I mean, the most consistent player on that defense was for Sean Gary, who then tore his ACL. Jair Alexander just made the Pro Bowl. He's not had his best season. They're just you know, who who is your matchup weapon that you have on the Packers defense?

That's been one of the ongoing questions. So I would say in what potentially will be kind of an ugly game. The weather's supposed to be bad, too, right? For the Browns in New Orleans or is it? No, it's in Cleveland, right? It's in Cleveland. It's in Cleveland.

So ugly elements. You got a quarterback who can run for the Browns. Give me give me Deshaun Watson in Cleveland.

What's more likely? Sean Payton still at Fox next year. Coach of the Patriots. I'll take it.

Are you reporting that? Don't tweet it. Don't get his hopes up. This is your idea. Sean Payton back at Fox next year on an NFL sideline.

Great question. Sean's going to be targeted in terms of where he's willing to go. And he's not going to come cheap. And the Saints have to trade him.

It's a lot of moving parts. I believe in the right scenario. Sean Payton is back on the sideline, but he's not just going to take a job to take a job. If the best if he gets offered Houston.

OK, right. And the Texans at this point, they need something to. Lovey Smith is still employed.

I don't mean to jump ahead of ourselves here, but if they were to. That's the only job. I don't know why Sean Payton would do it. He can go to broadcast and continue to wait. You know, he's got to make some decisions.

But I know this. He's been he's refreshed. He's taking his time away.

You know, just golfing, working out, you know, enjoying his family, living out in Los Angeles. You know, he he is in a different place than he was a year ago. And it just you're in a place for 16 years where he can wear you out.

So I believe that he's in the right mind frame to want to do it. And he's one of the best offensive minds that you've ever had. And he took a team in New Orleans that was a non factor and had all kinds of problems and takes over Miss Hurricane Katrina. And turns them into a perennial contender twice wins the Super Bowl. Then, you know, they inevitably go through that rebuild phase. They have a couple of rough seasons in there and then they're back and they're winning 10, 11, 12 games every year again.

That's that's really, really hard to do. So, I mean, I have the utmost respect for Sean Payton. It's just a matter of this everything line up where it's the right spot, because if it's not, he's not just going to take a job to take a job. Last one, every year there's an average of six to seven NFL coaches that lose their job openings. Last year there was 10. So if I put the number at six and a half new coaches in 2023, Tom, we going over or we going under? I'm wondering who the half of coaches who got fired. Well, the same guy who voted in your poll yesterday. That's a good point.

Split that baby. Right now, you'd have to say the under just because there were so many changes last year. You said it was 10.

And that's virtually unprecedented. Right now, there's just there's not a lot of clarity, but that's partly driven by the fact that here we are in week 16. It's December 23rd and only five teams mathematically eliminated. Twenty seven teams still have some type of a chance right now. And so until you know, even though no owner or team president or GM should be looking at this and going, well, if we can win two of these next three, then we keep the coach.

We don't that we should fire. But that's outcome based analysis is a huge piece of this. There's a there's a recency bias to it. There is, you know, I think that inevitably you're going to have people seeing things through that lens. Why? Because you get into the playoffs, the perception, what's said about you on talk radio, everything just feels a little bit different.

So this weekend, I talked about it on the show yesterday. There's so many of those final destination type of games, whether it is, you know, the Browns facing the Saints, whether it's, you know, the Patriots in their game. There's all these teams that it can go one way or another. Last night was one with the Jets and the Jaguars.

You're Robert Sola today. Far-fetched to talk about playoffs. Now it's about finishing strong. That felt like see in 2023 Jets, Jaguars now on the brink. They can beat the Titans in week 18. They're going to be the AFC South champions. They're going to go into the playoffs. Let's see this weekend in particular what happens. And that's going to sort out a lot of other things. But right now, give me the under.

All right. Take it to the bank, guys. This is it. The putt to win the tournament.

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New episodes drop Monday, Thursday and Friday, wherever you get your podcasts. You're hanging out with some friends and putting back a few drinks. A few becomes a few too many. As the evening comes to an end and people start to head out, you think of calling for a ride. Ah, you live nearby. You can make it home, OK?

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It only takes one mistake to change your life or someone else's forever. Drive sober or get pulled over. Paid for by NHTSA. Tom Pelissero in for Rich on The Rich Eisen Show. Rich called in an hour or so ago from Pittsburgh, largely to vent about his quarterback with the Jets, Zach Wilson. A quarterback who's made him happier this year, JJ McCarthy from Michigan, the Wolverines taking on TCU in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Eve. Rich caught up with JJ McCarthy.

Let's play it. Joining me now here on the Rich Eisen Show is the quarterback of the Big Ten champion Michigan Wolverines, getting set to take on TCU in the Fiesta Bowl in the college football playoff semifinal. JJ McCarthy, how you doing, JJ?

I'm doing amazing. Super grateful and appreciative for you having me on, Rich. It's an honor. Well, I want to part of the reason why I want to have you on is I want to also just tell you how how much fun. I am having every single Michigan Wolverine, former student, current student, anybody that I know how much fun they're having. How much fun are you guys having? Looks like you're having a blast out there. Yeah, it really is.

I mean, obviously not losing a football game. You're having the most fun in the world. Just like the camaraderie around this building, the chemistry that's been built since that 2020 year. Everything's just been positive and energetic and everything moving in the right direction.

So it's just a blessing to be a part of the ride and another piece of the puzzle, honestly. Well, let's talk about your journey here. I heard a story about how you got to the University of Michigan. You're from the state of Illinois. How did how did you get to Michigan?

How did you make this choice? I was always a Big Ten fan, you know, obviously growing up in Chicago, the game was always on, you know. And for the longest, I was I was on the other side, you know. So I felt gravitated towards the rivalry and as things went in recruiting and things shaking out and I got to see both schools.

I was like, you know what? After actually being here and being in both places, this is the place to be. It was just that kind of intrinsic feeling that I felt when I was here that it was almost meant to be for me to be here. And whatever it was that was telling me that I'm extremely grateful for it because it's played out in the best way possible. So when you said the other side, when you were watching the game, the rivalry, Michigan and Ohio State, you were you're rooting. I was.

You know, I was a Braxton Miller fan when I was little. And yeah, so I kind of whether it was rooting for him and he was just associated with the other side. But yeah, yeah, that's right.

I'll put that as the root of that. Well, it's for sure. Look, you know, it matters how you finish, right? Is that what you're saying? Yes.

Doesn't matter how you start matters how you finish. And if I'm not mistaken, you know, you were you were going and then you went to Michigan and that's what you fell in love with. Or what? What happened? Like did Urban leave or something like that? You and Donovan were together. Did I read something about that?

Yeah. So, I mean, Urban left and Urban was kind of the guy that was recruiting me. And after he left, it was kind of just Coach Day's show and Coach Day kind of wanted to go a different route at the quarterback position for the twenty, twenty one class. And, you know, I respect him for his decision, but that was just something that kind of jump started a little fire in me. And it was the same way for Donovan and just being able to kind of be experience one of those blessings and disguises, because you really think, you know, at all.

And you think that, you know, what's best for you, but, you know, God God knows what's best for you and he's going to put you in the right situation. So it was it was one of those situations for sure. But after that visit where he kind of told me that he's probably going to go a different route. I came here, like, a week and a half later and Coach Harbaugh showed nothing but love. And it was just like that instantaneous family feel where you felt comfortable right away. And that's that's hard to feel at a lot of places when you're on these college visits, because a lot of it's in genuine. And there's a lot of just like shiny glitz and glamour all this, which here it was nothing like that. And it was just all about if you love football, you should be here.

And if you love the work, you should be here. So what's your relationship with Jim Harbaugh like on a day to day basis? He said publicly, J.J., that he you remind him a little bit of him. And I'm wondering what what vibe you get.

I want to say it's a. It's definitely like a father son relationship. I mean, he treats every single one of his players like his own.

And it's a little bit special when it's the quarterback, because obviously he played here in the same shoes and everything like that. But on a day to day basis, it's just all love. It's all love. But, you know, there'll be some times where I'll try behind the back pass or sometimes I'll try underhand one and he'll grill me a little bit. And it's all love, though, at the end of the day.

And that's something that's really hard to come by in this business. J.J. McCarthy, quarterback of the Michigan Wolverines, getting set to take on TCU in the Fiesta Bowl in just a few days right here on the Rich Eisen Show. So you woke up that day in Columbus, Ohio, feeling what couple Saturdays ago. It was crazy, you know, because it was one of those feelings where I was dreaming of that moment my entire life, but when it actually was playing its course, it was one of those feelings where it's just like, wow, I'm still unsatisfied. I still feel this empty feeling in my stomach that I was not expecting at all. And it was almost super exciting to kind of feel that because there was so much more that could be accomplished when you think that accomplishing that is like a huge stepping stone in one's career. But it was just, yeah, that sense of unfulfilled feeling that there's so much more to be done. And that was just really exciting to kind of feel that and know that we have a chance to do something really special outside of winning that game.

Well, I mean, the conversation surrounding Blake Coram not being there, and obviously Donovan Edwards had a hand and a cast and then your arm and your shoulder and your legs and your heart and mind is what really stood out. And I'm wondering what you said to yourself that day, if anything. Yeah. It's okay if you're just like, hey, man, I'm 19. I just went out and just ripped it. You know, I mean, that's good.

100%. It was kind of more that towards, I want to say the second quarter, but I want to say leading up to it all week, like a lot of guys that played and I can talk about it starts that next Sunday after the previous game where everything starts creeping in. And it was almost like a conversation with my younger self for the whole week. It was just I felt that it was almost a movie like moment where it was something that I was looking forward to for so long. And it was finally here and it felt weird. But when I was out there, it was just. Like I said, it was just talking to my younger self, like, you know, you prepare for this since you were in fifth grade, like, this is everything that you wanted. And it's right here. It's given to you take advantage of that opportunity. And it was just repeating that monster in my head, take advantage of the opportunity and with, like you said, with Blake being out with Donald being short handed on intended. But the opportunity was just right there for the taking. So just being able to kind of stay present in that moment and not just get too caught up in my head and my mental dialogue.

That was just kind of my main focuses throughout the game. I notice you have a smiley face drawn on your hand, sir. Is it there now?

Do you have it right now? It's washed away a little bit. But yeah, what's that about? So that started my sophomore year in high school and it was the first game that I lost. And it was a brutal game.

Not going to lie. Just nothing was going our way. And I was pretty pissed off throughout the whole game. And I was signing autographs at the end for a lot of the kids. And this little girl, I was signing her newspaper and she said, why did you look so mad out there? Like, it didn't look like you were having any fun.

And it was like, one of those conversations didn't feel real because it was really profound conversation for this young girl. And she was just like, you need to smile more. Like, you need to have fun. And she kept saying that and she drew a smiley face on my hand after I gave her the Sharpie back. And from then on, I was like, you know, it's really that simple. Like, you perform your best when you're having fun.

When you're stressed and you're kind of resisting your own inner world, then things are just going to be out of whack and not aligned with your performance and your optimal play. And from then on, I just kept a smiley face on my hand. We went undefeated, won the state championship that year. And I was just like, you know what, this is a really subtle, small gesture that will be very profound later in life, just being able to spread positivity in any way I can. And sometimes you have to look down at your hand and remind yourself during a game?

A little bit, you know, a little bit. Just it brings me back to that moment. Brings me back to sophomore year where really not playing for anything but your pride for your school and obviously your pride for yourself. But just you're playing ball at the end of the day. Like it's just you and your guys, the same 120 yard field and the same plays just drawn up in different ways, more complex, more detail. But it's it's all the same game at the end of the day.

So it just kind of grounds me a little bit. Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, few more minutes left with him here on the Rich Eisen show. What would winning the national championship mean to you? You know, it obviously will mean wonders to me, but for this university, like that's that's what we want it for. We want it for this great university because we want to be the leaders and the best. You know, I mean, like we want to be known as that solidified as that. And that's just everything we're striving for since the Georgia game last year is for that national championship. So it would just mean a lot for all the hard work that's been put in that it's paid off. But ultimately, it's it's for the pride of the school, for sure. And then your personal goals long term.

What do you got for me? I definitely like personally, selfishly, I want to be known as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. And another goal would be to get my foundation to raise over a million dollars and distribute a million dollars.

And the next four or five years, it's already been thirty thousand dollars, which has been amazing. And just being able to make an impact beyond football is my ultimate goal. So let me take that one at a time. The last part first. The J.J. McCarthy Foundation and you're using some of your funds and things like that for. Yes, sir.

Right now. Yeah. So J.J. for the kids dot org is the name of the foundation, the Web site. And it's so all my merchandise that has this on it, all of those proceeds go to the foundation. And last year I did like ten thousand out of money just to hospitals for the away teams that we played, because we didn't have enough money in the foundation yet. So I just wanted to use my own money and I mean, it's been tremendous the amount of support and the donations that came in for the foundation.

And I'm so excited this year. I'm going to expand it just past childhood cancer. Because, I mean, as I've been educating myself here at this great university, I've realized there's so many areas that need help and need assistance in this world. So definitely an expanded mental health, the homeless, the environment, the animals. Just there's so many things that I could put my hands in. But, yeah, I mean, that foundations near and dear to my heart and I'm just really happy with the success so far.

J.J. for the kids dot org. Yes, sir. Okay. Sorry.

And then in terms of being the best ever, when you stroll into the Michigan locker room, there's there's, if I'm not mistaken from when I was there last time, not one, but two pictures of Tom Brady on the wall. Yes. Is that what you're envisioning when you're talking about?

Yes. I have so much respect for that man and everything he's done with what he's been given. But I'm chasing him. I'm chasing him. I texted him right when I got here actually on Instagram and I told him, I want to get the ring that you didn't get. And that kind of goes to this year and winning that national championship.

But ultimately, it's the goal is to have more rings than that guy and do whatever I can to follow his blueprint and hopefully surpass him. Well, did he respond to you? Did he hit you back? He did after the Ohio State game. He did. He said, great job. And how great is that for you? It was awesome. It was awesome.

Yeah, I just can't wait to build that relationship more and more and just pick his brain nonstop. No, that God. Well, speaking of the Ohio State game, I've done my best. I've waited to the very end of the interview to finally get to what's behind your right shoulder on the grease board behind you. Look at.

Yes, what do you got? That's a final score with a red with a red sort of. What it is, like I said, a cross out right there.

What do you got for me right there? That's today and this is for every victory that we have. We have little plaques like this.

Okay. Right, but these ones are special. These ones everyone gets coach hard. We're going to make sure that it's going to be up in our office 1 day because everyone asked how many times you beat state and that's just like Ohio State or Michigan State. So it's kind of as, you know, it's a big deal here. So we like to put it out there. Anyway, we can't.

We're told that kid is rooting for Braxton Miller that you'd be saying that right? Life's amazing. Life is amazing.

You're going any, any way, shape or form it. God's got you at the end of the day. Yes, sir. J. J. McCarthy, what a pleasure to meet you. You keep bawling out, man. You keep bawling out.

Pleasure's mine. I mean, yeah, I look up to you, Rich. I mean, you're one of the Michigan faithful that's just putting on and I really appreciate everything you do. Right back at you, J. J. McCarthy. Best of luck and go blue. Yes, sir.

Go blue. J. J. McCarthy right here on the Rich Eisen Show. J. J. McCarthy and Rich Eisen. A love story, really. Rich was just blushing that entire interview. Really. Really. I felt it. I felt it right here. It's brought Rich a lot of joy. I get it.

I mean, yeah, I get it. I feel every time Irv comes in the studio, I feel a little bit like. I'm a little concerned with Irv, though. Rich told us earlier, may not make it. May not make it for the game tomorrow. He was talking on one of the shows this morning.

He was basically like, you know, my body went through a lot to win those three rings. So, you know, apparently being on a plane that alone. That's enough now. Yes.

In the cold. We're in fantasy playoff season. I know Brother Jefferson's got some thoughts on that. We'll get to all the week 16 games coming up. Brett Bilema, Illinois head coach.

He's got some good stories for us as well coming up at the top of the hour. Stick around here on the Rich Eisen Show. You can listen to the NFL and the NFL app on westwoodonesports.com via Westwood One Station streams or by asking Alexa to open Westwood One Sports. If it's the NFL, it's on Westwood One. Tom Pelissero in for Rich Eisen. Phone lines open 844-204. Rich, let's go to the phones right now.

Sully in Los Angeles. Sully, it's Tom. What's going on? Tom, how we doing, brother? Fantastic. How are you? Well, I'm great. That interview was amazing.

That kid with all his positivity. That's what I'm about, Tom. We've never met, but I thoroughly enjoy your work on the NFL network. Fantastic hair, brother.

Like, you are blessed. I like you already, Sully. Keep it coming.

Brockman, TJ, Del, 2-5. Happy Festivus. Happy Festivus, fellas. You got any grievances?

Erum. Well, my grievance might be at you, Brockman. You've got to be careful, buddy. Belichick is right over your shoulder. He's like Santa Claus. He's always watching. Buddy, I have something for you, though, Brockman, that can help you get through this difficult time with the Patriots.

By the way, Sully was the one who gave us the Belichick cutout. Is it the Boston Bruins? Yes, buddy.

You know where I was going. Hockey! Let's do the hockey. 18-0-2 at home.

26-4-2 overall. Monty has got the boys buzzing. We've got to get some hockey talk somehow going.

I know it doesn't sell, but... The hockey Christianers are out here, boys. We love the hockey. As they say in hockey, let's do that hockey.

Let's do that hockey. But the main reason I wanted to call is I wanted to wish you guys a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year. Same to you, Sully, my brother. You guys know how much I love you and I appreciate everything you guys do every day to help, you know, just bring some joy into people's lives. Mine in particular, so grateful for you guys and what you guys do for a living. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and I'll see you guys on the next calendar flip when I come back to L.A. That was great positivity right there from Sully.

Should we do that in the New Year, guys? Brockman's hockey minute? Each day? Half a minute? Hoskins? 30 seconds?

What do you think? 57 seconds will be about the Bruins. The rest will be the rest of the league. No, it'll just be about what I bet the night before.

All right, so he's got a problem, Tom. We've been leaving that one right there. All right, we need some fantasy gospel here. It is fantasy playoff time.

Every league in the fantasy playoffs now. We are right down to it. I believe this is the 2022 season finale of the fantasy gospel, according to Brother Jefferson.

Rise up. The fantasy church is open. Yes, indeed. OK, my brothers, we are here.

We are at the very end of the fantasy season. I want to first give a shout out to Pastor Pellicero for joining us from our Minneapolis congregation. Can I get an amen? Amen.

Brother Brockman and Brother Del Tufo, along with Sister Aaliyah, she was here today. Basically, this is it, folks, right? We got their fantasy playoffs or fantasy championships.

In some cases, they're here. And I want to help you get to that promised land. Right. I want to help you get to the championship of your fantasy league and with this fantasy hymnal like we've been doing all year.

This is how we're going to make it happen. All right. Now, first and foremost, I'm going to tell you about the people that you might not want to play this week. Tom, if you have the chance, have them sitting on the pew next to you for they are not him. And they will not lead you to the land of righteousness and glory.

Yes, indeed. Brian Robinson, running back of the commanders at the 49ers. Listen, he's split in time with Antonio Gibson. This is a tough matchup against that 49ers defense.

I don't like anybody against them, really. And they're number one in fewest fantasy points allowed to running backs on the season. Matter of fact, only one back a score to touchdown against San Francisco since week seven.

So if you've got a better option, make sure brother Brian Robinson is sitting on that pew next to you. Now for the quarterback, I got Deshaun Watson. Listen, it's going to be a bad weather game in Cleveland as he takes on the Saints in the Saints.

D is really good, as we already know. I predict that this is going to be kind of a running game. I think Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb are going to get the bulk of the carries, do a lot of the work. If you have a better option, sit Deshaun Watson and Derek Carr. Derek Carr is terrible in cold weather.

I don't know if people realize this. Yeah, he's got Davante Adams, but there's something about this game in Pittsburgh this week. And all signs are pointing that maybe this might not be Carr's game. This might not be the Raiders night. If you got a better option, I say sit bench Derek Carr this week. All right. Now for the players who will help you rise up and get fantasy glory and win those championships. You must open up the book to Gardner Minshew.

That's right. Listen, I don't think Gardner Minshew is as good as Jalen Hurts. I don't.

But I do believe this. Look, he could be the fifth quarterback this season to get scored 20 or more points against the Cowboys. And he did start two games last year without A.J.

Brown. He actually had 18 points against the Cowboys in week 18 last year. So I feel like Gardner's probably good for about a 20 point game this week. I feel like there's going to be some points put up.

I wouldn't hesitate if you have the option. If you had hurts and no other quarterback, slide Gardner in there. I don't think he's going to let you down. I think he'll put up some decent numbers. He mostly dolphins against the Packers now. Most had 17 carries for a buck, 36 and a catch for 20 yards last week.

Right. He's a good matchup against the pack because they've allowed the running back to score at least 13 PPR points in each of the last five games. So I like him as a starter. If you if you have the chance to slide him in there and then Marquise Goodwin. I just like Marquise Goodman, man.

And I feel, you know, lock it out, broke his finger. D.K. Metcalf is going to be seeing, you know, a lot of coverage. So got a good feeling about Marquise. Slide him in there. The Chiefs have allowed the fifth most fantasy points against opposing wide receivers. So Brother Goodman, I just got a good feeling about him.

I feel that he might lead you to the land of milk and honey. What percentage of leagues is Marquise Goodwin owned in right now? I'd say I think I saw this 20 percent. It's not very high.

It can't be. He's out there. And that's like said, look, it's all you're saying in the playoffs, in the playoffs, regular season, not the season playoffs. When it's when the money's on the line, Tom, when it's all on the line. Yes, indeed. And if you have a chance, look, he's just a guy that he's sitting out there for sure.

If you have the room, you probably had lock it. He's out. He's going to put them in there. Now we're going to go to the header gut pick, right? This is the one where you just have to look at the stats.

You've got to go with your gut. And for this header gut pick, something happened. As we all know, in the in the football world, Franco Harris passed away and we were going to celebrate that Immaculate Reception.

Now, he's going to get a different type of Immaculate Reception when he reaches the Holy Land, when he reaches the pearly gates. That's going to be the greatest type of Immaculate Reception. I believe the Franco Harris can get as he transitions. I'm going to say in honor of him, let's start Najee Harris against Las Vegas, because the story is already written.

Right. You got the Franco Harris thing. You got the Immaculate Reception. Pittsburgh's going to be buzzing.

There's going to be something about this game. And I feel like Najee has a chance to maybe, you know, stamp put a stamp on the game, honor Franco Harris. And also, I'll give you some stats here. The Raiders have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to running backs this year.

And a running back has scored or gained 100 total yards against Vegas nine games in a row with 12 touchdowns scored over that span. And Najee had scored a touchdown on four of his past five. So I believe the brother Franco is going to look down on him and maybe bless Najee to have a huge game.

And that's what we're looking. Rest in peace, Franco. Can I get an amen? Amen. Can I get an amen?

Amen. Brothers and sisters, I want to thank you for taking this fantasy journey with me this week. And as always, let us play. I thought it was interesting that Rich said that both teams, both coaches showed the Immaculate Reception to their teams, including Josh McDaniels with the Raiders, not the greatest moment in Raiders history there. And I've seen that play probably 100 times in the past couple of days since Franco passed away. And one thing I don't think it's sold enough about it is it's the ultimate example of the way that you want guys to finish plays.

He's so far away from that. He's so far away from the play and somehow makes up that ground. The ball has to take the biggest carrom in NFL history 20 yards to get into his hands, but he continued to play. I mean, that's the embodiment of the attitude the coaches want their players to have in terms of you may think you're out of the play, you're not. So long as that ball's live, you've got an opportunity to do something. I'm also interested to see, you know, in terms of the tributes and things the Steelers may have within the game. From my understanding, they're going to go through all the things that they were going to do in terms of the number of retirement, the ceremonies and everything else. But whether it's, you know, is Najee wearing something?

Are their numbers changing? Are there, you know, whatever it might be. Mike Tomlin, you know, you don't need any extra motivating factor here, but certainly to the extent that Franco Harris was a guy who so perfectly embodied what being a Pittsburgh Steeler is about. You're going to be reminding your team of that. I would think the energy in the building should be electric on Saturday night.

If everyone's not too cold to make noise out there, it's going to be chilly out there. But, you know, we had a call with Tom Cullen the day he passed and he made a suggestion, which I don't know if they can even do this, that Najee wear 32 for the first half of the game just to honor Franco. I'd like I don't know if that's something that could be done. My suggestion was like, have the running backs pull up those hip pads. You remember Franco used to always have the big hip pads. You don't really see that a lot too much. I thought that might be a nice little tribute to as a way to honor him.

But, yeah, it's going to be something else. Have Najee wear his old shoulder pads where Franco's? Those big ones, yeah. Those 70s highlights, man, I just I can't get over it. Like no one looks before before the Immaculate Reception, you know, Ken Stabler has that scramble for the touchdown.

And everybody, you know, he was the snake and he was the guy who was the playmaker. Have you watched that play? Ken Stabler looks like his leg is broken.

Like he's like dragging himself with like the ill-fitting pads and he's just kind of limping toward the end zone. It's like this slow developing play. Just the difference in speed to what the game is now. Now, Franco Harris had speed. He had speed and power.

You watch that play. But some of the other things, especially at the quarterback position. What we thought of as like the mobile quarterback, the guy who extended plays, in a lot of cases was not. Ken Stabler was not, you look at him like athletically, he was not somebody you were really fearing there. But, you know, sure enough, he's running 30 plus yards for a touchdown in a really big spot in that game.

That's going to be just in terms of to the implications for this. Mike Tomlin trying to, you know, defend his streak of never having a losing season 16 years and running here. He's got to keep that alive. Both these teams trying to stay in the playoff picture. A really talented Raiders team.

They are. You look at the upper end of the talent on their roster, whatever they're still trying to make up in terms of the depth and the culture and everything else. They've got the players to be dangerous if somehow they can figure out a way to win out and end up playing well into January.

The rest of the games, too, you know, this weekend, we've talked about it just in terms of these the final destination types of games. You know, do the Seahawks use for a Marquise Goodwin as a potential fantasy option? The Seahawks, when you look at them, you don't say this is a team that's built for this.

They shouldn't be around it. So what I said off the top of the show about the New York Jets, there is a danger to playing above the level to winning too much too soon for the Seahawks. They're still in it and they're playing for a potential playoff spot here. They're in that position right now.

But if they went win, loss, win, loss, win, loss the whole season, you probably perceive it differently than, OK, they've had a little rough little rough patch here toward the end of the season. But be careful, have them showing up. There's no doubt about that. They're going to show up.

They're going to be competitive. You're talking about one of the best defensive minds in modern NFL history. And Pete Carroll going against one of the greatest offensive minds in all of NFL history in Andy Reid. But to the Seahawks, do you have a pass rush? Do you have enough to be able to disrupt what the Chiefs are able to do? The Chiefs office doesn't seem to matter.

Who else is out there? You know, it's Jerick McKinnon, you know, dust him off. And all of a sudden he's scoring touchdowns and making plays. But there's a got to have it game for one team. And generally speaking, I don't overlook any team that's in that type of a you must win spot. Although the Jets were in that spot last night.

Didn't exactly work. Jet Wars were two. Two of those teams. Brett Bielema, Illinois head coach, going to join us after this. What would he do to fix his old quarterback Russell Wilson?

We'll ask him. How wrestling really works and how you get the ratings. Eric Bischoff and Conrad Thompson explain on 83 weeks. You're either growing or you're dying. I think it'd be hard to recreate the kind of growth that WCW experienced between 95 and 98. This audience should be growing. The character should be coming more and they're not. Everybody's gradually losing audience. People will say, well, but AEW is 15 percent ahead of where they were last year. But there's variables there. Let's see where we're at year from now. Watch 83 weeks on YouTube or wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-23 16:29:04 / 2022-12-23 16:50:36 / 22

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