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Carr Stalled (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
December 28, 2022 4:14 pm

Carr Stalled (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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December 28, 2022 4:14 pm

Derek Carr officially benched, but his future is clear | Austin Ekeler swings by as the Chargers are postseason bound | Uncharacteristic faith in Carson Wentz?

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There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. Live from the police show, yet not overly ostentatious, studios of CBS Sports Radio here in beautiful New York City, sitting on top of the tenth floor of 345 Hudson Street, welcome on in to a Wednesday edition of Maggie & Perloff across all of our great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM channel 158, and that free Odyssey app. I'm Zach Gill, been all week for Maggie & Perloff as they're on some vacay. As you can always hit me up at 855-2124 CBS, 855-212-4227.

You can also tweet me on the good old cesspool of Twitter at Zach Gelb, or find me on Instagram where I'm straight flexing at Zach Gelb, Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. We have a loaded show for you today, Austin Eckler is going to stop by 20 minutes from now, Mike Doss is going to join us, the college football hall of famer who played his college ball at Ohio State to get you set for Ohio State and Georgia in the semi-final this weekend, that will come your way at the top of the hour. And then the final hour of the show at 5.20 PM Eastern, 2.20 PM Pacific, Ari Mirov will join us from my sports update, but we got to start the show off today with the news, and this was inevitable, I was actually recording a sports minute while this was going on about how the Raiders were going to bench Derek Carr, and then I get a text from Emmanuel Babari saying, breaking news, the Raiders have benched Derek Carr. So I've been talking about this since late September, because I think a lot of people looked at the extension this year just on the surface that Derek Carr got and said, okay, Josh McDaniels and Derek Carr are going to be tied to the hip. Well, that couldn't be further from the truth, because if you read that contract, or if you got the notes about the contract, I think a lot of us forgot about this. If the Raiders wanted to move on, it was very easy for them to do so after this season, and they would save a whole lot of money, but they would need him to be healthy.

And with two games left in the season, I know the Raiders technically aren't eliminated yet, but they're not going to make the playoffs. If he would have got injured in one of these last two games and now he's not starting, he would have had to have passed the physical by the third day of the waiver wire period right after the Super Bowl, so three days after the Super Bowl. And if he couldn't pass that physical, he would be guaranteed 40 plus million dollars and the Raiders could not move on from him in a very easy fashion. You look at the dead cap, it's not that difficult to move on from him, but you don't want to pay someone 40 something million dollars guaranteed if you're going to part ways via trade, which could be very difficult.

Or it's more likely that it's just going to go the way that he's going to be flat out cut at the end of the season. So that's why the Raiders, regardless of what Josh McDaniels will admit today when he did speak to the media and say, oh, this doesn't close the door and slam the door shut for Derek Carr with the Raiders, it does. You're not making this move if you didn't intend to get rid of Derek Carr after this year because it's very embarrassing to get benched as a quarterback of the Raiders or any team in the NFL. So Derek Carr is done.

He's finished. It's over with the Las Vegas Raiders. It felt like for the last three, four years, we would do this segment and we do cheesy radio each and every year on CBS Sports Radio. Will Derek Carr be back with the Raiders next year?

8-5-5-2-1-2 for CBS. And it felt like almost every year we said no, but last year Derek Carr showed you a lot in circumstances that no one could imagine, in horrible circumstances, and he got that team to the playoffs. But here's been my stance always on Derek Carr on the day that the Raiders officially parked the car on the bench is that he's not a franchise quarterback. Now that's not me saying he's this awful quarterback and he's a putrid quarterback in this league. He's solid.

He's above average. But anytime Derek Carr takes a step into the top 10 conversation for a few weeks, shortly after that he takes three or four steps back and he's kind of a 15th or 14th type of quarterback, even though in tough circumstances this year he's not playing like that. And he's had 14 interceptions, but he's not a guy that you have to have. And I know Raiders fans should be extremely skeptical of this regime with Josh McDaniels and David Zeigler, and you shouldn't trust them, but someone was going to have to pay for this year. And we know even though they gave him that extension, you got Devante Adams with the Raiders, it was very easy to get out of this deal. And the Raiders basically set that up today to get out of this deal because they need Derek Carr to be healthy.

So that's why they have officially benched him and they're going to Jared Stidham for the final two games of the season. The question just becomes, who's going to be next for the Raiders? Because it's one thing to say like me, I don't believe in Derek Carr. I don't think Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback. But can you vastly improve that position this offseason when you would think Josh McDaniels' butt is going to be on the hot seat and the seats going to be on fire? Let's first start off with Tom Brady. I know there's an easy connection.

I know there's a relationship. I would still think it's more unlikely than likely that Tom Brady is going to be joining Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas. I don't think it's likely that Aaron Rodgers gets dealt this offseason. I still think we're a year away from that happening so we could stop the reunion tour of Aaron Rodgers and Devante Adams, this time with the silver and black. And from there, the guys that you're going to bring in, like some people I'm sure will suggest Baker Mayfield today, I can't get excited over that. I would look at probably Jimmy G as there is a Josh McDaniels relationship going back to their time together in New England.

That's probably the most likely. And does Jimmy G scream that you vastly improved your quarterback position from Derek Carr? No. Like I would rather have Jimmy G over Derek Carr, but it's not as if I think Jimmy G is this great quarterback. He's someone, if he's put in the right system, can win you games.

It's not always through his arm. He does a good job managing the game, but he's hurt every other year. So yes, we know McDaniels and company are moving on from Carr, but is it really going to make the Raiders that much better next season? And barring a crazy deal for Brady or Rodgers, they don't think it's going to happen.

I don't think there is a name out there via trade, via free agency that we view as realistic right now that you're going to bring in and instantly it means the Raiders are going to be in the postseason next year. So probably what will happen is they'll probably turn to the draft because right now they have a top 10 pick. Right now they're positioned at nine. We'll see how much further up they move in these final two games of the season.

And maybe they have to find a way to pull a trigger on a deal to get into the top five if they're not in the top five. Just because of how terrible they've been this year, because other than Bryce Young, is there really a quarterback that you love in this NFL draft? I don't. Like I like CJ Stroud. People seem to love Will Levis, but I can't tell you Will Levis is going to be a slam dunk. But if you're McDaniels and Zeigler, you may draft the quarterback because it may actually buy you more time because it kind of does reset the clock when you bring in a rookie quarterback. So this offseason, it's going to be fascinating because we know McDaniels is going to get rid of Derek Carr.

That was set up today. But who's the name that you're going to bring in? And the first name that I go to and that I'll circle to is Jimmy G. But just because you circle Jimmy G does not mean that Jimmy G is definitely going to pick you. And if that's the case, then it's like, oh, Jacoby Brissett. Oh, Baker Mayfield. Like none of those guys are better than Derek Carr.

So I get why they feel like they have to move on. And I'll be curious to see who they go to this offseason. But the realistic names that are available, if you swing and miss on one or two of them, you could have a really ugly situation next year on your hands at the quarterback spot, barring if you find your guy in the draft. And if you find your guy in the draft, then you set yourself up for hopefully years and years of success. But with the way that your number one went with Josh McDaniels, with the Raiders, with some of the talent they have on that roster, I'm not going to sit here and be that naive thinking that this is going to be wonderful and this is going to have some happy ending. Because as easy as it is for me to just suggest that Jimmy G could be the guy next year in Las Vegas, what happens if Jimmy G says, OK, even though I know Josh, I do have a relationship with Michael Fleur. I do have a relationship with Robert Salah from my time together in San Francisco and the Jets need a quarterback. So I'll go join the Jets.

Like all that stuff is on the table as well. Now, as for the future of Derek Carr. I think Derek Carr for some teams will be attractive because I don't think you're going to have to commit a ridiculous contract to go get Derek Carr. And I do think it's very unlikely that he is going to get traded. And if it is, I don't know what the return's going to be, because what's the leverage that the Raiders really have? The Raiders want to get rid of this guy.

I know there could be a little bit of a bidding war, but with how quickly they're going to have to make this decision, I find it unlikely that he's going to get traded. So the first name that I look at for Derek Carr's future are really the commanders. That's the first team that I thought of when I said, where could Derek Carr go next year?

It's the commanders. Not that Derek Carr is this great quarterback, but look how poor the quarterback play has been for the Washington commanders throughout the last few years, that this organization was dumb enough to go give up significant assets to think Carson Wentz was going to be the guy. When we all knew Carson Wentz had zero shot to be the guy, even though they're going back to him this week, as Taylor Heinecke has finally lost a few games. So for some reason, the commanders are going back to Carson Wentz.

And I think a lot of it's because of the money and the resources that he gave up. But there's no way if you're the commanders with the good roster, when you have Bryan Robinson Jr., when you have Antonio Gibson, when you have Terry McLaurin, who we should probably start with, when you have Jahan Dotson, when you have a very good defense, you need competent quarterback play. Not that Derek Carr is this great quarterback, but as I said, he could be anywhere at his best, like top 10 in the league to probably 15th or 16th in the league. So it wouldn't surprise me on the cheap if the commanders swooped in this offseason and signed Derek Carr.

Other destinations. I know the Jets and Giants will be floated out there. If I'm the Giants, I like what I've seen this year from Daniel Jones throwing the football to Isaiah Hodgins and James, who are not number one, not number two wide receivers in this league. If I'm the Giants, I would bring back Daniel Jones next year, not get Derek Carr, and surround Daniel Jones with the proper pieces. Now, the Jets could be an option for Carr, but I don't know.

I can't see, and I know if you win, it does push everything aside. But I have a tough time seeing the personality of Derek Carr and the New York media really meshing with Derek Carr. I don't know if Derek Carr could handle New York because Derek Carr always seems to be the guy that says this is our year.

It's put up or shut up time. Well, if Derek Carr is brought in by the Jets, people are going to think he's the guy. And he's going to be the guy with a good roster that gets this team to the playoffs. You have a season like this or other seasons like you've had in your career where you're not good enough to make the playoffs.

New York will turn very quickly on you. And I just don't know if Carr could handle that spotlight. And I am extremely hesitant of Derek Carr being able to handle the pressure of New York. Other spots for Derek Carr. I do think Tennessee wants to get rid of Ryan Tannehill this offseason. I don't know what they think of Malik Willis. It's not like you have to start Malik Willis next year.

He was a third round draft pick, even though most of us thought he was going to go in the first round. It wouldn't surprise me if Tennessee on a short deal brings in Derek Carr. And then, oh, yeah, by the way, I'm sure Indianapolis will be players for Derek Carr as well. But any team in the NFC South may be players for Derek Carr, too. Carolina would be an instant upgrade. The Saints would be an instant upgrade. The Falcons, if you don't love what you're seeing out of Desmond Ritter, maybe you bring him in. Or if Tom Brady leaves this offseason, Tampa Bay, which we all expect to do, if you need to find someone to weather the storm and be that stopgap guy from Brady to whoever your next guy is into the future, Derek Carr is not a bad stopgap option. So those are some of the options that I thought of for Derek Carr.

I first circle to the commanders, and I actually think it would be the best one for him. Now, if you're a Derek Carr sycophant, you may be saying, oh, he had to deal with all the toxic things that happens with the Raiders organization. Now you're dealing him with Dan Snyder. I don't know how much longer Dan Snyder is going to be an owner in the National Football League. And not that I'm a fan of Dan Snyder. I can't stand the guy. I just think he's a joke. But you look at that roster, you'd be walking into a good roster with the coach that's well respected in Ron Rivera.

So that's at least what you would have going for you. And I do think it'd be a good opportunity for him. So here's my reaction to the Derek Carr stuff.

It's not surprising. I've been talking about the contract ever since late September. I'm just not sure if the Raiders, even though he's not the franchise guy, if they're going to be able to find someone better. Because I don't think Brady's going there.

I don't think Rogers getting traded there. If you get Jimmy G, yeah, he's better, but it's not that much better. Baker Mayfield to Brissett, you can't really rely on those two quarterbacks. So you probably turn your attention to the draft. And if you're drafting a QB, you better love the quarterback. Because if you just like the quarterback and feel like you need to draft the quarterback, that's usually when a few years from now we're looking at a quarterback that ends up being a bust. And for Carr, I think even though this is a moment and he loves that Raiders franchise, like no one questions how much Carr has loved the Raiders franchise, even though you're frustrated today and probably annoyed, you have to be relieved a little bit. Because now you see the writing is on the wall that you'll be able to move on from the Raiders and get another opportunity somewhere else.

The question is just where. And once again, I think the first destination that comes to mind is the Washington commanders. So what's your reaction to the Raiders benching Derek Carr and probably moving on from him this offseason? 8-5-5, 2-1-2 for CBS, 8-5-5, 2-1-2, 42-27. And where could you see Derek Carr landing next? Where is the Carr moving to into the future? Zach Galbin from Aggie and Perloff on CBS Sports Radio will take a break when we come on back. The Chargers, go Chargers go, are going to the playoffs.

A big reason why they're going to the postseason is because of Austin Eckler and he'll join us next. What makes your skin crawl? No matter how absurd, I want to know.

Tails without fur on them, such as rats or possums. I'm Larry Mullins, the host of a new podcast called Your Weirdest Fears. You send me your fear.

I'm just so weirded out about the texture and how they can just move around and flop. And then I go to the experts to learn how to overcome them. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. Add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to.

So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm in a rush to making money.

I'm not in a rush to hurting people. Fifteen years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio.

Season two, the Dixie Mafia, available now on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Zach Gelb here with you on CBS Sports Radio. The Los Angeles Chargers are off to the playoffs. And a big reason why is because of their star running back in Austin Eckler.

He's closing in on 100 catches for the season and is looking to go back-to-back years with 20 total touchdowns. And he joins us right now. Austin, first off, congratulations on making the postseason. We appreciate the time. How you been? Yeah, thanks for having me on, Zach.

I appreciate it. Man, how have I been? Well, it's been up and down. Body is definitely feeling the toll of the season. But we're in the playoffs, so that makes it a little bit better. Yeah, when you hear Chargers are going to the playoffs, what's the first thing that goes through your mind? That's good for the Chargers. That's good for us. Man, look, we got two games left.

And so I can't jump ahead. I cannot pass up these games because so much can happen in these games. So much needs to happen for us, especially offensively. We played okay well enough to win the game last week, but we need to be a lot better if we're going to make a run how we want to make it.

I know that you still want to focus on these final two games. But when you look back at this season so far, there were a lot of excuses that could have been built in because of how many guys that you lost throughout the year and are starting to get back. How do you kind of reflect up until this point on what this team has been able to accomplish? Yeah, I think it starts from Coach Staley and his messaging to us as a team. And that getting instilled in us as players and really what it comes down to is relationship, competition, and effort. Those are the things that no matter what your role is that you can buy into, I think we have as a team, which has allowed us to be able to play at a consistent enough level where even when we've met some of our starters, our highest paid guys on the team, we've been able to still come together and get wins. They haven't always been the cleanest, but it's been a win, right? And at the end of the day when we're looking at playoffs, it's how many ticks do you have in the W column. And so for us, it's really coming down to, look, whoever is out there on the field, we've been practicing enough, we have enough of a game plan put together, everyone's bought in on it, everyone's bought into us as a team, our team dinners, all that.

Let's go out there and see what happens. It feels like just with all the injuries, and you even talked about how there were some things you had to clean up on offense that you probably still feel, Austin Eckler, that this team hasn't played their best game yet. As a competitor, I'm not sure you ever do. I feel like we're far away from our capacity of level of play, but I don't think you could ever play the perfect game, the best game, where everything worked for you.

And I think that's one of the beauties in competition, and just in life in general, is that you can continue to push towards being more efficient, more consistent. And we're definitely searching for that, because I know we have a ceiling that's pretty high with our guys that we have back, Keenan and Mike being a big part of that, and Corey up front for us. And we have a high ceiling. And yeah, like you said, we haven't been there. I don't think we'll ever be there, but we can get closer. And I think we need to get closer if we're going to make the run we want to.

Do you feel like, though, you guys are getting close to being the team that you guys realistically think you could be this year? Man, it's really a week-to-week type of thing, because you could have a game where, you know, if you go out and you play, you play well. You play closer to your capacity, but can you do it again, is the question, right? And so it's not necessarily a thing where, sure, you can do it one time, and then now you're good.

Now you're going to be able to do it next week, because that's not how the NFL works. It's really hard to play at a high level consistently. That's why you don't see a lot of teams that are able to do that. There's usually a few, a handful, usually less than a handful every single year that can do that.

But for the most part, it's a grind as far as ups and downs and adversities and things like that that teams have to play through, and we're right in the middle of that. Austin Eckler here with us. Justin Herbert has been unbelievable once again ever since he's got into the NFL his first three years. You know, when you're not getting the playoffs, though, people then put that all on the quarterback. Just what has Justin showed you this year? Because he just keeps on getting better and better when I watch him play.

Yeah, man. Even going back to last year, you know, we were, you know, over time, field goal, you know, kicked miss away from going to the playoffs last year. And so, you know, this guy, he's going to give us a chance. And, you know, a lot of teams are searching for a quarterback that will be able to do that. For us, Justin just continues to get better.

And I think that's mostly because of the experience, right? He has the physical talent that's there. He can get it done. But now it's like, okay, what separates some of these, you know, generational quarterbacks from the others where it's their decision making, right?

And they're clutch teams. How good is this guy under pressure? And he has shown just with his growth mentally and understanding the game. He finally had, you know, back to back same offense. He's grown within the mental scheme of football. And that's made him even better this year. We've seen undrafted guys in this league, as you know, go on to have a lot of success. We've also seen top ten draft picks that have a lot of success. You just never know until you see them in enough games.

When did you know, going back to your time with Justin, that this guy was the real deal and he was as good as advertised? You know, it's taken time. It's taken time, especially at the quarterback position. Because, sure, you can have a stretch of good games here and there, but like we see with some of these other guys that are getting benched now, it's like, well, you know, can you continue to do that? That's what this league comes down to, consistency. The moment you are inefficient and inconsistent, your organization will try to replace you without hesitation. They will try to get you out of there.

And so what does it come down to? Can you do that? And so, you know, Justin had a solid first year. Say, okay, can he do it again?

That's what I want to know. That's what the entire organization wants to know. Boom, we come back next year, barely missed the playoffs.

All right, okay, this guy's got it. He's got some skills. So coming into third year, now we're making a playoff run. It's like, okay, this guy's an absolute stud. And, you know, the physical talent's been there, but it's like, can he keep up that level?

And he has been, and so makes it a lot more exciting to be his back foot buddy back there. I know that you're still focused on the task at hand. You don't want to celebrate too much, but I saw some of the videos that the Chargers did put out with your great social media team.

Just what did that moment mean in the locker room to finally know, okay, we got the victory, we are going to the playoffs, and you get to celebrate that briefly in the moment. Yeah, man, like you said, we don't want to look too far ahead, but you still take time to appreciate what you've done. You know, this is not an easy season. Like, I'm sitting here right now talking to you.

My body is in a lot of pain. And so there's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that's got into this. And not saying teams that, you know, haven't made it, that haven't done the same thing, but you just appreciate it more. So we definitely appreciate what we've done for each other up to this point. So we definitely took a moment to celebrate, you know, getting back to the playoffs for four years.

For me, some of these guys, it's their first time. And so it's a blessing. And like you said, we do have two more games left, so we'll focus on those. But definitely proud of our guys for getting us an opportunity to play in the postseason. You brought up the pain that you're experiencing. You make it look so easy on the field when you play.

I think a lot of us sometimes just forget and kind of go about this in a robot way that Austin Eckler is always going to be there. What is your week like after coming off a game when you're preparing for another game, but also you need to get your body right first? Hey, that's why they pay me the big bucks, man. Make things that are hard look easy. That's what you got to go do.

Well, you do that. And your story is unbelievable. Do you think you get the respect now that you deserve?

Because everyone gives you positive words of praise. And I know the Pro Bowl is what it is now. It's a flag football game.

But then I look and I see that you're not even going to the Pro Bowl with the season that you have. You know, respect is the interesting thing. And why I say that is because I think there's too much perspective in respect, right? It depends on what lens you're looking through.

It depends on if you agree with this person's message, who they are as a person, what they're doing, their story. Do you even know all of it? Maybe you don't know.

Maybe you just know the tip of the iceberg, right? So respect comes with a lot of different, I guess, things that I can't necessarily control. So if someone respects me, if fans know who I am, that's amazing.

I really am cherishing those moments where I can try to make a connection to people and show people my story and how far I've come and things like that. But for the main part, like, respect is something that has to be earned. So you never stop trying to earn people's respect, you know, because you have to keep up with it. Because if you stop doing the things that you're doing, then you're going to lose it. So for me, everything in my life has just been an uphill climb.

I love that. And if I don't have an uphill climb, I'm looking for things to continue to climb towards. So, look, I didn't make the Pro Bowl this year. I can't necessarily control that, but what I can control is trying to come back next year, right, and try to earn even more respect by continuing to play at a high level. And so, look, I don't lose sleep over it, but I will control what I can control, and hopefully that will be a result one day for myself. Well, you have a great story, and we've talked about this before, but what do you want people to know about that Austin Eckler story and what it took to get here? Man, I really hope what people know about my story is that I actually hope they learn something for it from themselves, knowing that, look, I came from a small town, but the things that I did, they weren't complicated. They were actually simple, but simple is not always easy, because it's hard to be consistent with the simple things. And I was able to find things that I was able to be consistent in, me working out, me pursuing my education, me caring about playing my sport that I played, and those three things, doing those and not making it too big or focusing on results, just focusing on trying to become the best in those things, the fundamentals, the principles of my life allowed me to build up this entire finished product of what you see today, but it started by just doing very simple things, and it still is simple things today, but it just takes time, right? And so I think what I want people to get, going back to that, is understand that the journeys that we travel aren't as complicated as we might think.

If you look at finished results, yeah, it is, but really it starts with us just putting our foot in front of another and getting going in a direction with something, step by step, brick by brick. Austin Eckler here with us, wrapping up with the Chargers running back as the Chargers have clinched their postseason spot. There's been a lot of rumors and a lot of conversation about your coach Brandon Staley this year, a lot of inevitable conversations about Sean Payton and his future as well. Now with you guys going to the playoffs, what did Coach Staley show you this year, and what's your relationship like with your football coach? Yeah, you know, Coach, he's not going to change, man. This man's not going to change, and if he did change, then that would have concerns.

He's going to be who he is. He's going to preach the same things he preaches. He might put a little twist on it, depending on what we need to emphasize for the week and what was lacking, but he's going to preach competition. He's going to preach relationships and effort. That is what he's going to preach, because those are the things that we can control.

He's the same mindset as me, but just different upbringings and different times in our life. But control the things you can control, the results you can't always control, but you can control all those things that I just said, and if you do that, good things will probably end up happening. We have to do that better than someone else does, because we're all trying to do the same thing.

Who's the most consistent? You're going to hear me say the same things over and over again, because that's what life's about. It's about doing the simple things consistently. That's the things he wants us to focus on. My relationship with him, man, it's more on the business side, just because we don't see us in a football sense.

We don't see us at the facility, really. But I'm really appreciative of his message and the way he leads by example and then also leads with his intelligence. Just being in this guy's team meeting is super special. Just knowing how he diagnoses the game, gives us a plan, and puts that plan into effect during the week. I know that there's always pressure and motivation in this sport, but with the narrative that was around Brandon Staley, did you guys at all sense that pressure and get a little extra motivated? I know you always want to win, but really with his job status that was up in the air, you guys didn't want to let him down, right? You know the answer to that question. For me, I don't even know.

I know nothing about anyone's job security at the NFL level. I don't know who's on the hot seat. We're not paying attention to that, man.

That's all the smoke and mirrors from media, right? Like, hey, look at this. This is some controversy. Come look over here.

That's just trying to catch clicks. We're out here. We have our lives and our jobs on the line. If I don't play well, if the O-line does not play well, often that's when we'll get hurt. That's how serious it is for us.

We're not worried about who's done that. No, we're trying to protect each other and win games at the same time. For us, we don't really get caught up in it. We're going out there trying is best for all of us because there's so much for all of us on the line. As an individual, as a team, as an organization, you can bring fantasy into it. There's so much that depends on us going out there and playing. We feel all that pressure, and so we're just going out there to be the best of us, man. Well, I know you made a few people happy this weekend with your performance, especially with the fantasy playoffs.

Yeah, man. Look, fantasy's been great. I freaking love fantasy because there's some toxic people in the community. There's toxic people in any community, but there's more support out there, especially if you're doing well, obviously, there's definitely more support. But here's the thing.

Take the toxicity and the support away. These guys are passionate. People are passionate about fantasy football, right?

And why am I attracted to that? Because now people know who I am because they're so passionate about this and I'm on their team. They don't even care about the Chargers, most of these people, but they care about Austin Eckler.

They hope Austin Eckler does well because they have him on his team, and to me, that's special. That's a connection that I can't get anywhere else. I can't even get that with the Chargers.

Yeah, they're fans of the team, but if I go away, they're still fans of the Chargers team, right? I'm on your fantasy team. You need me regardless, right? You need me. You don't care where I'm going. If I'm on your team, you need me. Like, come on, Austin. That's so unique. And so I think multiple players should embrace that and get through, push through the toxicity, man, because it's out there.

It's everywhere in our lives, but there's more good in it than best. Well, congratulations on making the playoffs. Good luck the rest of the way this year. Always do appreciate our time, and happy holiday season to you and your family, Austin Eckler. Awesome. Thanks, Zach. Appreciate you, man. Have a good one.

You got it. There's Austin Eckler carving out some time for us on CBS Sports Radio. Always do appreciate when he joins us. We'll take a break. When we come on back, earlier in the show, we talked about Derek Carr getting benched. Now Carson Wentz is coming off the bench and back into a starting role for the Washington Commanders.

We'll discuss about that when we return if it's the right move by Ron Rivera. Zach Gelb here with you on CBS Sports Radio. You can always follow me Twitter and Instagram at Zach Gelb, Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B.

You can always give me a call, 855-212-4CBS, 855-212-4227. Do appreciate Austin Eckler joining us in the last segment and coming up in 15 minutes from now. College Football Hall of Famer Mike Doss is going to stop by as his Ohio State Buckeyes get set to battle this weekend in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as they will be in the college football semifinals going up against the defending national champions in the Georgia Bulldogs. And the game before that is going to be Michigan going up against TCU. And after Saturday, as you get ready to get to the new year, we will know by the end of Saturday who's going to be off to the college football playoff. The poll question today, which you can find on Twitter, at Zach Gelb, at CBS Sports Radio, Georgia or the field to win it all?

60% right now, early return say Georgia, 40% say the field. I'll give you my answer later on during the show. So, we open up the show right out of the gate talking about Derek Carr getting benched.

And we'll get back into that conversation coming up later on in the program. I got to, though, now get into the Washington commander's decision to go back to Carson Wentz. Now, I've been more of a fan of Taylor Ham Heineke if you listen to my show, the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio than Carson Wentz. If you've listened to me before, you know I'm not a fan of Carson Wentz. I used to be a big believer in Carson Wentz when I covered the Eagles in Philadelphia. And everything that I thought I knew and I thought was being said about Carson Wentz was true. But then, towards the end of his tenure in Philadelphia, you started to hear things. You're like, I don't know how valid those things are because you're around someone, not that I was around him every day, but a few days out of the week. And you had someone that played really well in his second year into the league, where if he didn't tear up his leg in L.A., he would have won a Super Bowl.

And you start to read some of the things that were being said anonymously and some of the things that were being reported, and you go, I don't know how much that is true. And then, with the way that it ended in Philadelphia, it all ended up being true. And I remember last year, when the Colts traded for Carson Wentz, I said, this is not going to work. Because in the biggest moment, even though you were reconnecting him with Frank Reich, who he won a Super Bowl with, when Frank Reich was the offensive coordinator for the Eagles, even though Wentz didn't play in the postseason, so I guess he still won a Super Bowl, but he wasn't the starting quarterback. So the better way to say it is, where Frank Reich had Carson Wentz play an MVP ball, even though he was going there, it took away all the excuses. And you saw in the biggest moments last year, whether it was up against Tennessee or if it was up against the Jaguars in the final game of the season, he just didn't step up and deliver. And what's so confusing about Carson Wentz is people go back to that year where he looked like he was the MVP, and people think they could recreate that. Because how many times in the NFL do we have scenarios playing out where a guy doesn't work out one place or another place, and there's always a coach, there's always an owner, there's always an offensive coordinator that thinks, okay, I could turn that guy around. I'm so great at my job that I'll find what that guy used to have and get it back out of him. And the Colts tried to do that.

It didn't work. Jim Irsay said we have to move on after one year. And I don't think Frank Reich, when he was the coach there, wanted to move on from Carson Wentz after one year, but your owner gave you no choice.

If your owner says to move on from someone, which he was right in doing so, you got to move on from him. The surprising part always to me was that the commanders, with what they've seen from Carson Wentz recently, and where his stock was at, which it was so low, gave up all that they did to go get him. Where they had to swap twos, and they got the lesser of the twos, and then it was two third round picks, and one of those third round picks, I know that he missed a lot of games so it probably won't conditionally hit, could have turned into a second round pick. Now they're going back to Carson Wentz, where Taylor Ham-Heinecke, he wasn't this great quarterback, but he won games. Like they were 2-4 when Carson Wentz was their starting quarterback, and after the last two weeks, where they lose to the Giants and the 49ers, you pull the rug out from underneath them and say no?

When they're in a position right now to control their own destiny. So this decision, I don't think it's popular, but I can't say I'm stunned, because two weeks ago, when they were still having the training wheels on Carson Wentz and the kitty gloves on, they were saying how there's still an opportunity maybe for Carson Wentz to come back. So now you back it up with the back to back losses to the Giants and the 49ers, I can't say I'm shocked that Carson Wentz is now getting back under center. And even with how negative I've been about Carson Wentz, and pessimistic I've been about Carson Wentz, and in the big moment I always expect him to crumble, I actually don't think he's getting put into that bad of a spot.

Where if he doesn't weather the storm the next two weeks, it's going to be on him, and only him. Because you look at that team, the commanders have a good roster, the commanders have a highly respected coach in Ron Rivera. You look at who Carson Wentz is throwing the football to, it is Terry McClorn. Jahan Dotson, when he's been on the field, has had a phenomenal rookie season out of Penn State.

You have two solid running backs in Bryan Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson, and you have a defense that's really good. You just can't turn over the football, now easier said than done, and that's been a problem because I've seen many games where Carson Wentz has made inexcusable interceptions, and has just fumbled the ball over and over and over again. I'm not a believer long term in Carson Wentz, I haven't been a believer long term in Carson Wentz since probably a second to last year in Philadelphia. But in this spot, even though it goes against everything that I've said, and everything that I've known to believe in Carson Wentz about crumbling in the big moment, for two games, could he play well?

It wouldn't shock me, if it does. I don't know if you've listened to me throughout the years, you're probably saying, who is this Zach Gelb, and what have you done with the real Zach Gelb? And maybe I'll end up having some egg in my face, but you look at the two games that they have with the team that the commanders have, if he just protects the football, they should be going to the playoffs. Now I personally would still go with Taylor Ham Heineke, but since they're going with Carson Wentz, I don't love the decision, but it may actually end up working out. And if it doesn't, the only one that you will have to blame is Carson Wentz, because that means he turned the ball over a lot, like you're going up against the Browns this week. The Browns stink.

Deshaun Watson has a lot of rust to knock off. I know they have some talent on that roster, with Nick Chubb, and with Myles Garrett on the defensive side of the ball, like there's some talent, but this football team's already eliminated from the postseason. So you have a good defense with the commanders, not like this Browns defense is unbelievable, it's not a great defense, it's not a good defense this year.

You should be able to have your way. You should be able to do enough to get this team to 23 points, where you could walk out of this game at FedEx Field this weekend with the victory. Because you look at this Browns offense recently, they scored 10 and a loss to the Saints, they scored 13 and a win up against the Ravens, they scored 10 and a loss against the Bengals, they scored 27 against the Texans, but remember, the offense didn't really score 27. There were two touchdowns on defense and a punt return. So the offense did crap in that game. So you look at the last just four weeks, this offense for Cleveland has been pathetic, and now you're going up against a solid defense, and the commanders, advantage commanders on defense up against this Browns offense, but can Carson Wentz do enough, where he just gets in these next two games past 20 points, and he doesn't turn over the football and doesn't throw a pick six or doesn't fumble the ball up to five, that the team cashes in for a touchdown.

So they control their own destiny. You win these next two games, you're in. If you win one, depending on everything else breaks out, but because of that tie, you still may get in. But the last week of the season, they go up against the Cowboys. And I don't know what that game is going to mean for the Dallas Cowboys, it probably will mean nothing. Because you would have to assume by then the Eagles will have already clinched everything.

So it's just then coming down to the wild card positioning. I think it's pretty clear what's going to happen, that the Cowboys basically, like the Cowboys, if they don't win the division, which they're not, they're going to be locked into the fifth seed. So barring an outside chance that they end up winning the division, which all Philadelphia has to do is just win one more game, and they win the division, they clinched the number one overall seed, that game, the final week of the season for the Cowboys is going to mean nothing.

So if you're Dallas, if let's say it's going to be whoever wins the NFC South going up against you, wouldn't you lean more so on the side of resting your starters in the last game of the season? And then of Carson Wentz, I know he lost to the Jaguars last year at the number one overall pick. If he can't beat them when they're playing all their backups, then he's worse than I even thought, and I think Carson Wentz is horrible. So yes, I disagree with the decision to go to Carson Wentz. I still think Taylor Heinecke should be the quarterback of this team. But with the way that it's laid out for him, controlling his own destiny with the roster that they have and the opponents that are in front of him, a Browns team that's bad and a Cowboys team that's good, but probably is playing for nothing in the final week of the season. It would not shock me, even though I've been one of the biggest Wentz haters or just realists that there is. If Carson Wentz is with the commanders, I can't believe I'm saying this in the playoffs this year.

They really don't make it any easier than this. Carson, we'll see if you mess it up. We'll see if he could take command. Zach Gelb here with you on CBS Sports Radio. We talk college football playoffs next with Mike Doss. You care about like leagues and teams, pause or rewind your local sports and news and add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to.

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If I ever saw one of those giant statues, I probably would poop my pants. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app, your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown and millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience. Follow topics you care about, like leagues and teams, pause or rewind your local sports and news and add shows to your queue to catch up later.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-28 18:27:22 / 2022-12-28 18:47:30 / 20

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