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USC & Notre Dame College Football Playoff Contenders? (Hour 3)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
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August 22, 2023 9:12 pm

USC & Notre Dame College Football Playoff Contenders? (Hour 3)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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August 22, 2023 9:12 pm

What are expectations for USC & Notre Dame this season? l Does Chris Jones have any leverage to get a new deal? l Any faith in Baker Mayfield leading the Bucs?

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Automate your shipping with ShipStation. Go to slash audio for a free 60-day trial. That's slash audio. Yo, yo, hour number three of our radio program. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. So week zero starts this week in college football. Then you'll have week one. So I'll call that the first two weeks of the college football season.

And quite frankly, not a lot of marquee games. Like coming up this weekend, Notre Dame plays, but they play Navy. USC plays, and their 31-point favorite up against San Jose State.

I guess on Thursday, August 31st, you could have a decent matchup. Utah is back-to-back, back-to-all champs. Florida no longer has Anthony Richardson. There's some uncertainty if Cam Rising is going to play. Coming up for Cam Rising, coming off that injury that he suffered in the Penn State Rose Bowl game. And right now, Utah is only a four-and-a-half point favorite, which seems low. But I'm going to assume that's with the uncertainty around Cam Rising, even though we said I think a week or two ago that he plans on playing the first game of the season. Other games, Colorado TCU, Deion Sanders supposed to join us tomorrow.

There's intrigue there. TCU was in the national championship game a season ago. Yes, they've lost Max Duggan.

They lost Quinnen Johnston as well. Everyone wants to see what Deion Sanders is gonna do in year one at Colorado, even though that team does not have high expectations. Boise State, Washington, that could be a good game.

Washington as Michael Pennix and Kalen DeBoer. You look at the rest of the schedule, like I haven't really set a game yet that's maybe said, ooh and ahh. Like West Virginia, Penn State, no one expects West Virginia to be any good besides Neil Brown. Penn State, there's big expectations. You know what a game I have intrigue for? Opening weekend?

North Carolina, South Carolina. I like that matchup with Drake May and Spencer Rattler. I know D.G. Wengel LA won the Oregon State job today, but they go up against San Jose State. Of course, you have LSU and Florida State, but that's on Sunday night at 730 p.m. Eastern. And then on that Monday, you have Clemson and Duke. You look through the schedule, Hickey, the first two weeks of the season, week zero and week one, it's a lot of games. And I know that this is the time of the year where the cupcakes usually get scheduled, but you can make the case the only game that you have to watch, and that's someone that just said, I like the North Carolina-South Carolina matchup, but really the only game that is must-watch, it feels like, unless I'm missing something here, is number five LSU up against number eight Florida State, and LSU could have the best quarterback in the SEC, they have the best defensive player in the SEC, and then for Florida State, I like Mike Norvell a lot, and he showed that last year, and their quarterback is also really good, and he returns. But you look at the rest of the schedule for week zero and week one, unless you've got some skin-in-the-game gambling, a lot of these games are snooze-fests and bad games to start off the college football season.

Yeah, not a premier card, you still got some along the way in September that kind of leave you interested and leave you juiced, but you won maybe one or two other big-time matchups on that Saturday to kind of kick up the season, so a little disappointing there, but you got some ones coming down the pike in a little bit, so. You're going to West Virginia Penn State, is that right? Yep, I'll be there week one. When are you traveling up there? Friday. You're going that Friday, and that's a 730 p.m. Eastern Time kick? Yep. So where are you staying? At a hotel. At State College? Yeah, oh yeah.

How much does that run you? I don't know, my parents got it. They're going to. Oh, it's a parent trip here.

They're going to, yep. So you got the entire Hickey family, your mom, your dad, is your sister going? No, it's just us three. Oh, it's so, okay.

Look who's the favorite child there, Ryan Hotte Kickey. So just the three of you guys are going, staying on campus that Friday night. What are you going to do that Friday night with your parents? You guys going to go out for dinner anywhere? Gonna try.

I mean, that's the only thing I hate about going to a Penn State game is the town is swarmed. You know what you got to do? It is so hard to find places to go eat, get in.

It's kind of one of those where you get in, you stay there the whole night. You know what I need? I have one request that week. I need you to go to Are You Hungry and review the Fat Bitch sandwich.

I think you should do that. I gotta check if it's open. Oh, it's definitely still open. A place like that with all the shenanigans that college kids do. Unfortunately, State College is getting very bougie now.

I hate to say it. A lot of the old taunts that me and my friends used to go to now are getting wiped out. There's no way, a place that is marketed to stoners and just college kids that just get fully intoxicated.

I would be shocked if that place is out of business. It's called Are You Hungry, right? Yes, with the letters, Are You.

Okay. Are you hungry at Penn State? Oh, no, it's open. It's still open. They're closed on Mondays, but they're open Friday until 2 30 a.m. Maybe Papa Hickey gets a little messed up drunk like the skunk and you go get him a Fat Bitch sandwich. I think that'd be good content. Father Hickey and Son Hickey, drunk as skunks at Are You Hungry?

Would be good. Breaking down the Penn State season. You guys go win loss over a Fat Bitch sandwich.

Some father-son bonding right there. Yeah, man, that must be tough because you're right, I've been to Penn State once and I actually stayed in Harrisburg on that Friday night and then made the drive the next day because you just couldn't get a place on campus. It was absolutely crazy. Where are you guys sitting? In the end zone, upper deck. You guys have like season tickets or you just bought? Oh, yeah. You bought season tickets? Yeah. Do your parents go to every game or no? No, we go to one game a year.

So you go to and then you sell the rest of them? Yep. Man, not a lot of good home games this year. Well, Michigan's the one.

Well, that's the one. West Virginia's good at night to start it off. Iowa's gonna be the whiteout game and you got Michigan later in the year. That should be, hopefully, if everything goes to plan, the biggest home game I've ever seen as a Penn State alum slash fan slash student.

That's for sure. So at least at a decade, bare minimum, you're probably gonna go back to 0-5 Ohio State. But even still, that game was... This could be the biggest Penn State home game in my lifetime, possibly.

Two versus three. 30 to 20 loss. So we'll see. It could be the hype going into that game that week could be could be massive.

I hope that's the case. It's so weird because you're confident with Penn State this year, but then when you talk about them on the radio, I feel as if you're just waiting for the letdown to happen. Like, you don't want to count your chickens before they hatch.

I am a little superstitious. I'll be honest, so I don't want to say anything that's gonna cost you know... I'm not gonna touch the money now. If the week comes and they are 9-0 and Michigan's 9-0, I'll touch the money and I'll get excited. Would you lay the 20-and-a-half Penn State West Virginia in week one? Probably?

Yes, I would. Whenever Penn State is a favorite, does Hickey not lay the money? West Virginia stinks. I mean, I'm a little nervous just to see what Drew Allen making his first time.

He made little, you know, butterflies. It's gonna be a big environment, you know, get a slow start, three touchdowns. But they should handle West Virginia easily. If they lose that game, week one jitters like you're saying and they lose, is it just, okay, the season's over even before they really got underway? Well, no, because you have Ohio State and Michigan on the schedule. You sweep those two teams, you're in the playoff no matter what. Yeah, but you're not gonna sweep those teams.

You're at best gonna split. So that's the saving grace, if you will, with a non-conference game. It's, in a way, I mean, you shouldn't lose that game, but you take care of business against Ohio State and Michigan, then that loss is forgiven. And win the Big Ten championship, then. That loss is forgiven. Ah, if you guys lose to West Virginia right out of the gate, man, oh, it's gonna be an awesome Monday when you come on back.

That's gonna be a whole lot of fun. Or that would be a Tuesday, right? Because Monday's Labor Day?

Monday is Labor Day, yes, sir. So you staying Sunday in Penn State? You're gonna drive back Sunday? No, no, coming home. Are you driving back after the game on Saturday night? No, game's at 730. I don't know. It's a four or five hour drive.

I could see your dad who, like, comes off as a man's man, said, I'm not paying another night for the hotel. I'm driving straight through for the five hours back. No way. How much do Penn State season tickets cost? Uh, he doesn't.

I do not know. We used to. Part of the reason why I got him is because I got a student discount for the first five years, so we rode that for a while. And this is, I think because of COVID, this is either first or second year that it's, I think the second year, where it's quote unquote full price.

But it did get a little discount because we've had him now for a few years. So getting into this weekend, you have Navy, Notre Dame, San Jose, State, and USC. Notre Dame should win. The question is, do they just cover the 20 and a half? And USC is going to blow out San Jose State.

The question just is, do they cover the 31 points? I know Notre Dame lost to Marshall last year, so you can't always just assume things are going to happen. But remember, Navy has a new head football coach with Ken Yamatulolo, no longer being with the Navy program. Expectations for Notre Dame and USC this year? I know that you believe USC will be in the college football playoff. That should be their expectation when you have the reigning Heisman Trophy of the Year winner. And you also have Lincoln Riley. I'm going to pick, though, when you say USC against the field in the Pac-12, I'm going to pick the field of the Pac-12. You have some other really good teams, like Washington with Michael Penix, with Oregon, with Bo Nix. And my pick is Washington.

Utah has won the conference the last two years. I know they lost Dalton Kincaid to the draft, right, going to Buffalo in the first round. But you do also still have Cam Rising. It's just how much rust is there to knock off of Cam Rising coming off the injury. So you go through this entire USC conversation. Why are you so confident when last year, Hickey, USC didn't get to where they wanted to go because of their lack of defense?

They really haven't made that many changes on the defensive side of the ball. Why do you think this will be good enough in USC's final year of the Pac-12 to find their way to win in the Pac-12 and get in the college football playoff? Also, you're going to have a lot of Pac-12 teams beat up against one another.

So I do wonder with how good the Pac-12 is on paper if the Pac-12 champion even gets in to the college football playoff as well. Well, speaking of defense, I mean, this is the logic I'm going with and it has to be true. It can't be any worse. It truly cannot be any worse. They were horrendous last year. They could not tackle anybody.

Me and you would have ran for touchdown without a doubt if we had the ball in our hands. So it cannot be any worse. So it's going to get better because you are rock bottom defense. Also, I think a lot of people were overlooking this fact last year with how bad the defense was and some injury and loss of attrition. USC, before Caleb Williams popped his hamstring, was about to run Utah out of the building in the Pac-12 title game and go to the college football playoff. He gets hurt. That game dramatically shifts and all of a sudden Utah wins.

I'm not making excuses, that's a fact. They went right up and down the field. I think it was two or three possessions, either about to go 14-3 or 21-3. They were moving the ball and Utah could not stop them. Caleb Williams all of a sudden pulls up lame.

He's running on one leg the rest of the game and there goes the season. So I'm going to defend or I'm going to pick and ride the best quarterback in college football with a tremendous offensively driven head coach with a defense that can't be any worse. And a team that for the flaws they had last year in piecing an entire brand new team together in the first year under Lincoln Riley was one Caleb Williams popped hamstring away in two and a half quarters away from winning the Pac-12 and going to the college football playoff.

I think things will be better in year number two. I'm going to take the Trojans here to win the conference and go to the playoff. So you think they're going to have two losses or fewer and be Pac-12 champions? Twelve and one.

Twelve and one? And they also get a lot of their, for the most part, big games at home. Oregon's on the road which is tough, Notre Dame's on the road which is tough, Utah comes to town, Washington comes to town.

So they'll be one, two, three, four, five, six and oh. Their first six games are San Jose State, Nevada, Stanford, Arizona State, Colorado, and Arizona. They'll win all those games. You lose any of those games, you don't deserve to go to the college football playoff. But their schedule to wrap up the season, Notre Dame tough, Utah tough. Alright, you play Cal, not going to scare anybody. Then you get Washington and Oregon back to back weeks. And then UCLA. Man, that's a, the way that that schedule is played on out, that's tricky for USC.

But you're not wrong in terms of, they should, like the expectation should be to go college football playoff. But I just, even though they have the best quarterback, when you look at how many other good teams there are in the Pac-12, that's why I go with the field in the Pac-12. Now let's get to Notre Dame. Notre Dame has Sam Hartman, Marcus Freeman improved at the end of the season. You know what concerns me though with Notre Dame? Notre Dame now, in a four team format, this will be different when you go to twelve.

They almost have to have a perfect resume. Because even though previous years shouldn't factor into it, Notre Dame, even though they vastly improved their football program, when Brian Kelly got there, and we know how bad it was before then, and we know the brand of Notre Dame is always phenomenal, but I'm talking about the last like 15, 20 years. But Notre Dame has got to a bunch of big games they have not performed well. And I feel as if the public has lost the benefit of the doubt on Notre Dame in a four team format. Where they have to almost be perfect for them not to get in.

I mean for them to get in. You look at that schedule, they play Ohio State on September 23rd, it's a good early, early game to start the year. Even though you have one, two, three, four games before that. You have USC on October 14th. You got Clemson, part of the ACC, on November 4th. Those three games, and I don't know how good Clemson is going to be, I like Florida State and the ACC, but you could argue that Clemson is going to win the ACC once again. Those three games, you better win two out of three. And if you want to be Notre Dame and go to the college football playoff, you could only have one loss, I think, on your resume. And Ohio State, USC, and Clemson, Hickey, those are three really tough games. If they go one and three, or one and two, it's a win.

Out of those three, you win one of those three, it's a win. But two losses, you're not going to get into the college football playoff. Well, they're not a college football playoff team this year. If they only have one loss, though, they could be. Yeah, that schedule, absolutely, but they're not good enough to beat Ohio State, USC, and or Clemson.

They're not. Those three teams are better. It's impossible for them to win two out of three there. I think so. Like I said, if you win one, I think that's a success.

You go ten and two, nine and three, I think that's where kind of their ceiling is. Yeah, it's a step in the right direction with a newer head football coach, but I can't be celebrating a success winning one game out of three. Like, there's questions about Ohio State this year. Now, Ohio State's loaded a wide receiver. We don't even know who their quarterback's going to be. USC doesn't have a defense. Their offense is phenomenal. And then Clemson, there's major question marks, even though they won the ACC last year.

How elite is that program still? And I never usually advocate for Notre Dame, but that Notre Dame team, their schedule is tough. But because of those three games and having to almost have a perfect resume, I would agree they're probably not going to the college football playoff this year. But man, this opening weekend in college football, week zero and week one, can we get some better games, please? But I do like that LSU-Florida State game.

That's going to be fun. I remember how that ended last year with the missed extra point and Florida State winning. And look how the narrative changed throughout the year on Brian Kelly. And now people love Brian Kelly once again with his family down in LSU. This is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. We'll take a break.

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All right. Zach Gelb show CBS Sports Radio. So Chris Jones, who has one year left on his contract with the Kansas City. How about those cheese has still not showed up to training camp and he's obviously not been a part of the team right now. He's already accumulated, I think, over like a million dollars in fines and he's scheduled to make, I think, just under 20 million for this upcoming season. When when you look at at his contract and this is the final year of his deal and you take a glance at it. He's about to base out his nineteen and a half million dollars this year. And he's playing a tough game right now because he's been saying right now and he tweeted this out today.

So here we go. A fan tweeted him. Chris Jones, so what are you going to show up because you'd be playing too much on Twitter and social media. You've been an all pro on social media during training camp. You're under contract for this year.

Correct. For how much money, man? I bet it's rough to live on 20 million dollars a year. So here's the thing. We can't relate to Chris Jones because Chris Jones is playing a lethal game. Chris Jones is sensational at his job and all of us would love to make 20 million dollars a year.

I get that. Heck, we would all love to make one million dollars a year. But for Chris Jones, if you feel like you're worth more money, you only have such a limited time to get your money in football.

So if you want to hold out, then you could do that and it's going to cost you some money. But he already has a lot of money so he could afford it. So it's one of those things where I know why fans get annoyed at it. But it's tough for me to get annoyed at Chris Jones if he feels like he's getting underpaid. But I just don't know really what's the game here for Chris Jones.

If this does start the seat like at the season starts and he's not there. And he said today that he's willing to sit out until week eight. And then someone said that would be a hefty tab.

And he said he could afford it. So right now, you look at Chris Jones. He's already accumulated a million dollars in fines by missing training camps.

And he would lose an additional one, a little over one million dollars for each game missed. But if you're the Kansas City Chiefs' hickey, even though you'd rather have Chris Jones there. And sometimes you play that game where a player says he's going to show up and then he doesn't show up. Look at what happened with Le'Veon Bell.

We all remember that. And he never showed up. But if you're Kansas City, if he's going to show up by week eight and week eight would be the Denver Broncos game. I'm going to assume that he's not going to have a new contract worked out. And he gets to avoid the first seven games of the year and then you get him back for pretty much the second half of the season to go make a Super Bowl run. Now, I don't know what shape he's going to show up in.

I don't know how much rust there's going to be that he's going to have to knock off. I don't know how committed he's going to be if you don't take care of him financially. But if you're the Kansas City Chiefs, you don't have to pay more money and you get him back for the second half of the season.

It's not like they lose here. And Chris Jones just going to lose out on like almost 10 million dollars. So I don't really see what the benefit is here for Chris Jones to miss the start of the season and miss pretty much the first two months of the season.

And if his demands are just ridiculous, that's one thing. But you've got to think that they've got to find some middle ground here where you could bump up his salary a few million and get him back in and have him there for the start of the season. But I really do believe here that the Chiefs have the leverage because the Chiefs just lost Tyreek Hill and won a Super Bowl.

Now, I get it. You need players at the defensive side of the ball and this Chiefs defense isn't great, but they make timely stops. And Chris Jones is a phenomenal defensive player in this league. But if he's telling you that he would show up week eight, I don't see why Kansas City now needs to rush to give him more money to get him in before then. I know he's sat out now, what, basically a month of training camp going on. So again, he's mentioned that the fines don't matter to him.

He's made a ton of money so he can afford to lose 50K a day. But I have a tough time believing that's actually going to be the case, especially when you start losing game checks. I don't know if actually when push comes to shove if this is a staring contest, he'll make it to week eight. But if you're Chris Jones, you're hoping, I mean, you know, I don't know, I think he would root against his team. You're hoping for the defense to suck. And I get it.

Yeah, Patrick Holmes, see, I would agree it probably doesn't matter that much. But you are probably hoping, hey, look, Mahomes is doing it all. You need me back here.

Now meet my demands. And you have Mahomes, man, I just don't know. And unfortunately for him, the ultimate eraser, if the defense is struggling, you're still winning games, it's not going to help his leverage out. People are questioning the Chiefs to start last year. The Chiefs got off still to a five and two start. Now, they lost to the Colts, which is inexcusable, and they lost to the Buffalo Bills. After that five and two start, which is still not like a bad start to a season, they only lost one game the rest of the way. And that was to the Cincinnati Bengals where they lost 27 to 24. And they did go on to win a Super Bowl.

So let's just play this game here, Hickey. Let's say Chris Jones is true and he's not going to show up until week eight. Just give me win loss with the Kansas City Chiefs.

They open up the season Thursday night at Arrowhead, which is no longer called Burrowhead, up against the Detroit Lions. Win. At Jacksonville, week two.

That can be tricky. That is a tricky game. I'm going to say win, but a very, very tough game.

It's a really good game. I can't wait to see what the betting line is for that game. The Jaguars are a big dog. I made plus the points on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Chicago, week three. Win. At the Jets, week four. Win. At the Vikings, week five. Win. Denver, week six. Short week Thursday night football. I'll say win. That game is actually at Arrowhead, excuse me.

I don't know if I just said at Denver. Week seven against the Chargers. Win.

So there you go. Without Chris Jones, you just predicted them to go 7-0. Worst case, worst case. They lose one or two games. Five and two. I think it's like if all hell breaks loose here, five and two you're looking at the first seven games. Which again, you're still feeling pretty good going forward here.

He really, like he's a phenomenal player. But there's no leverage here for him. There really is no leverage. I'm sure they don't want to miss Chris Jones to start up the season.

Clearly. You'd rather have Chris Jones than not. But right now, his average annual salary is about $20 million. That makes him one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, the ninth highest paid interior defense alignment in the NFL. He should have more money than that. But if this is going to be you need Aaron Donald money at thirty one, thirty two million dollars, I don't think you're going from twenty to thirty two million dollars on the final year of your contract. Like if that could get to twenty six, twenty seven.

OK. But the second highest paid interior defense alignment actually is Quinnen Williams right now, who just got that new deal. Twenty four million dollars a year. So you're not going to be number one. You're going to look for more than twenty four.

What is that? Twenty four and a half, let's just say twenty five. But how much more north of that are you really looking for?

And what do you settle at? Because you're you're going to lose more money. Now, they may bump it up and it may negate it, but if you don't start the season with the new deal. You're going to lose about a million dollars for every game that you miss, plus the already fines that you accrued, which is already over a million dollars.

So I think you got to figure this out before the start of the season. And shouldn't twenty six, twenty seven, even twenty five million dollars for the final year of this deal. You give him a five million dollar raise, Hickey. Don't you think that should be enough for Chris Jones? Look, especially when you have your quarterback, I get I get he's getting half a billion dollars, but getting a quote unquote discount where he is. If Joe Burrow gets paid, it was going to be the ninth highest paid quarterback average annual value. If Burrow gets a new deal by year one, he's currently eighth. So it's like you have a quarterback that is severely underpaid in terms of what everyone else around him is getting.

I get what Chris Jones said. You said ninth, right? In terms of highest paid interior defensive lineman. He's arguably easily top three defensive interior lineman.

And remember that first Super Bowl had the big back down at the line of scrimmage. Last year was a first team All-Pro. So I just I think also to view Chris Jones, I would probably guess that you want to definitely surpass Quinnen Williams, get to number two. But if you're trying to chase an Aaron Donald 31, I think you're the chief. You say, look, my home is the best player on our team is not the highest played player at his position.

You're not going to be either. And also, I know Aaron Donald wasn't healthy last year and he had a bad year for Aaron Donald. But when healthy and this is not diminishing with Chris Jones does Aaron Donald's better football player than Chris Jones. And it's such an outlier that Aaron Donald contract like look at the difference from average annual value from the first interior defensive lineman to the second.

Thirty one point six for Aaron Donald Quinnen Williams at twenty four. But it just shows you just like quarterbacks. And I'm not saying Chris Jones is good football player.

Chris Jones, great football player. But how many good quarterbacks end up getting more than what they're worth and reset the market? Because if you could kind of make the case or say to yourself, oh, I'm good enough, I got to go to the top of the line at the market. Sometimes teams take that. But that usually only happens at the quarterback position. Now, I could say why Chris Jones thinks he should surpass Aaron Donald. But it's not going to happen, especially in the final year of his contract. Right now, they would have to bump you about 12 million dollars to get you to surpass Aaron Donald. That's just not going to happen. And I don't think it makes sense to hold out until week eight. But for him, there's nothing to lose right now to just say that. But when push comes to shove, let's see if he actually goes down that far of a road.

You're listening to The Zach Gelb Show. Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And Todd Bowles announced today that Baker Mayfield is the starting quarterback. And he says Baker Mayfield truly earned the job.

You know, we go through many training camps and OTAs. And we love everything Kyle has done. And he's gotten leaps and bounds better than he has in the spring.

And he's continuing to get better. And we're excited about him. Baker's our guy right now, experience-wise and understanding the playbook just a little bit better. But Kyle's on the come. But we like both guys.

We like where we're at. Baker's one, Kyle's two. So Baker truly earned the job, according to Todd Bowles. But the last 30, 40 seconds that we just played for you was basically pumping up Kyle Trask.

And notice what he said. Todd Bowles said that Baker Mayfield is the number one quarterback right now. I think Todd Bowles knows, and I don't believe in Todd Bowles as a head football coach, but even he knows that Baker Mayfield is not going to make it through the entirety of the season. And that Baker Mayfield entering the year of 2023 is not a good enough starting quarterback from only being a first-round, first overall pick a few years ago. And I think Todd Bowles is cognizant of the fact that, yeah, you could say, you know, Baker earned the job and truly earned the job. But I don't know how much Baker truly earned the job.

It was, you didn't have two good options. You have a younger player in Kyle Trask who's been there for the last few years, but really hasn't had an opportunity because Tom Brady has been the quarterback. And Kyle Trask was, what, a second-round pick, I believe, coming out of Florida.

It may have been a third. I think it was a second, though, for Kyle Trask. But anyway, it seemed like they were hyping up Kyle Trask there to eventually set up Kyle Trask to be the starting quarterback at some point.

And, you know, I'll make a bigger point here. Last year was not a good year, clearly, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They went 8-9 with the great Tom Brady. And Kyle Trask, by the way, was a second-round pick, 64th overall.

But they went 8-9 with the great Tom Brady. Now, it's easy to look at this Buccaneers' roster and still acknowledge that they have some really good players. Mike Evans, all he does is be a 1,000-yard receiver. Chris Godwin, went healthy, a great wide receiver in this league. Offensive line outside of Tristan Worfs, and they got some question marks with some of the injuries there.

And on the defensive side, I like Vida Veo, I like Devin White, I like Lavonte David, I like Shaq Barrett, I like Antoine Winfield Jr. You got some players on this team. But I think something that people aren't realizing here is that you go from the standard of Tom Brady, of what it means to be a quarterback in the NFL, the greatest quarterback of all time. What I think people are underestimating here is just the vibe in that locker room has to be weird, where I wonder how much Tampa Bay is sitting back saying, with a lot of those guys that are veterans, that won with Tom Brady, and Tom Brady changed the culture, instantly walks in right away, was the missing piece. Yet the year before, Jamis wins the turn, all his interceptions, then boom, Tom Brady goes there and wins the Super Bowl, without even playing his best brand of football. And how many times throughout the season are the players going to be saying, only if we had Tom Brady.

Only if we had the greatest quarterback of all time. And Baker is right now technically the starting quarterback and the number one quarterback, but I don't think Baker Mayfield has the respect of that locker room, or I guess the better way to say it is that people in that locker room truly believe in Baker Mayfield. And that Todd Bowles answer, Hickey, man that's a major red flag, that's a major cause for concern, where you can't just say Baker Mayfield is the starting quarterback, he won the job and that's it.

It's almost like you basically said Kyle Trask just isn't ready yet, but we really like what we're seeing from him. And I know Baker controls this and the ball is in Baker's hand first and don't hand the baton over to Kyle Trask, but I have no reason to believe that Baker Mayfield is going to make it through this season and is going to be good enough to get through this entire season. And it seems like Todd Bowles says, yeah, Baker Mayfield is our quarterback one, but he doesn't even believe in Baker Mayfield based off that answer.

That was a bizarre answer. Well, Todd Bowles is part of the only reason, really honestly, why I was hesitant even picking the Buccaneers in the first place. I don't think he's a very good head coach. But you look at Baker Mayfield, look, he's finally now at least in a system where he's had the entire offseason to be acclimated with his new teammates. He didn't have that in 2021, where he did have that in 2020, but got hurt in the first game. And unfortunately, that's where his season went down the shoot. 2022, your trade of the Panthers, was it July 6th?

Something like that. Again, that range of two weeks before your training camp starts is now all of a sudden you have a new team, new playbook, new teammates. So now he's there all offseason. He's someone who does galvanize, I think, an entire locker room and does have people follow him.

You sure about that? How about Odell in Cleveland? Well, one guy, and again, Odell has kind of gone off, and again, it's not been... He had a lot of teammates take the side of Odell Beckham there.

Exactly. Also, too, it doesn't help when Baker Mayfield's playing like crap in part because he has shoulder injuries playing through it. Again, was he better off maybe getting surgery?

Looking back, probably. But was Baker Mayfield ever great in Cleveland? Like, for Cleveland standards, Baker Mayfield won a playoff game.

He did. But was Baker Mayfield ever looking like someone that you said, ah, he's playing to the great level of a number one overall pick, which he was? To that level, no, but also in 2020, 15 touchdowns, two picks the last eight games of the season, including two playoff games. He played his best stretch of football, his career, for the Browns for the biggest part of their season in 25 years.

But it was a small flash. He did something that no quarterback before him has done in a long time in that town. A lot of people have flamed out.

A lot of people have tried. He did it. Totally understand, and he's deserved credit, and we've given him his credit for that. But just because the standard's so low in Cleveland with all the crap and the laundry list of quarterbacks that they've added to that jersey throughout all those years, does that mean Baker Mayfield's actually a good quarterback? I think so. Based off what?

Based off that? His potential. I think he's finally put in a situation. He's not great. Again, he needs help around him. I'm not trying to tell you he's the greatest quarterback to ever live. He's not someone that is going to take a crap team and put them on the shoulders and lift them to a title or a playoff appearance. He needs help around him.

He absolutely does. And I think now you have help in terms of skill talent around him that he did not have as much in Cleveland, and he's also healthy. That, to me, is what he needs in order to be successful, and again, we're also talking about the worst division in the NFL and just winning it with maybe eight or nine wins. I'm not saying they're going 13-4 and he's going to be a top-five MVP candidate.

I think he's going to be, honestly, the best of the worst in that division this year. And Baker Mayfield is replacing Tom Brady, who last year this was the crappiest division in the league. Tom Brady, the great Tom Brady, who was still playing really good football, was only able to get eight wins. Can we talk about that for a second?

Yeah, go ahead. Tom Brady was not great last year. What did I say? I said Tom Brady was playing still really good football. That offensive line was not good last year.

They were banged up all over the place. He had 25 touchdowns, nine picks, 18th in passer rating. Is Baker Mayfield going to do that this year? But I'm saying Brady was an average-ish quarterback last year, maybe above average, but he wasn't... If Tom Brady wasn't on that team, they'd win four games last year. He was not great where all of a sudden you take Tom Brady off the team and the Bucs are a two-win team. You take Bryce Young off Alabama this year.

I think Alabama is taking a step back because they were so quarterback-centric last year with Bryce Young. The Bucs are not quarterback-centric last year, where Tom Brady was the only reason why they even were in any game whatsoever. You mentioned the offensive line was bad.

Yes, they got devastated by injuries, absolutely. And that's the only time when Brady struggles. And that's when Brady looks human when the offensive line stinks.

They have a more mobile quarterback in Baker Mayfield that could ease some of those pains. Again, it's not like Tom Brady let up the world last year and they were still 8-9. He was average.

He was okay. They were 4700 yards, he had 25 touchdowns, nine interceptions. They had no running game whatsoever, so they had to throw the ball 50 times a game. Did they have a run game this year? Gotta work on it.

That should be part of the... They don't have a run game this year! But I'm saying Tom Brady leaving is not the reason why this team is going to stink.

Baker Mayfield replacing Tom Brady, I don't think it's that drastic of a... It's not that much of a downturn. Yes, it is. What? From last year to this year? No, it's not.

It's enormous. That team got vastly worse. They were 8-9 with Tom Brady. Yeah, with Tom Brady. And now you have Baker Mayfield, who, hold on, the only positive thing you can say about Baker Mayfield is like six or seven good games in 2020. By the point, he's not replacing huge shoes. Yes, he is.

He's the greatest quarterback of all time. The only reason he didn't put... Hold on, hold on. The only reason why he didn't put up great stats last year is because the line stunk.

It was the same damn thing. Well, they're injured. Stop. It was the same damn thing in Brady's final year in New England where every jackass, right, when he put up similar numbers said, oh, Brady's declining. Then he gets an offensive line and boom, you go right back to the great Tom Brady where he's putting up MVP-type numbers, throwing 40 touchdown passes in back-to-back seasons. And now you have Tristan Wertz, who I like, who's even talking about the mental struggles going from right tackle to left tackle. You have Ryan Jensen coming off a major injury. This offensive line, you can't even argue, is going to be great. You can't even argue it's going to be good and now you take Brady out of there with still no run game?

I just don't see... It's weird to me, and I don't even like this division, and I was defending you earlier. I don't even like this division whatsoever. This division stinks.

You can make an argument for any of these four teams. But the Baker confidence that you have, it's just interesting. And I'm not a Baker hater. I wish Baker Mayfield nothing the best. I hope he has a good career. I just don't get why you're so confident in Baker Mayfield, of all people, to lead this offense when this offense, on paper outside of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, which are two big pieces, this offense stinks.

It really does. I like the two receivers. Defense is solid.

You got some names there. Again, this division's not good. Again, I'm not praising Baker Mayfield telling you that this guy's going to be the best quarterback ever, but I like the fact that for the first time in a few years, he's settled down. He's now familiar with the people he's working with, and he's healthy.

That's all I'm saying. I thought he was going to have a big 2021 year, played well in the Chiefs game week number one. Unfortunately, week number two hurts his shoulder, and there goes the season. But he played well. Played really well in that game. But he played well. Plenty of games Patrick Holmes plays well, and they lose too. So it's not like a situation where you can't lose a game when your quarterback plays well. Baker Mayfield played well in Kansas City week one, gets hurt week two, and that's been the end of it.

He threw, you know, he stunk. And now you're with a team that doesn't have as much talent as that Browns team had on the offensive side of the ball. I like the receivers that they have. Again, I'm just in a bad division. I'm optimistic.

I don't see Alex Ludacris. We're crazy. But you hear Todd Bowles. You even said it to me before we got back. You said cut six is very interesting. It was interesting. Doesn't even seem like Baker Mayfield really won the job.

It's kind of like the NFC South. You got to pick someone, so let's just go with Baker Mayfield to start off the season. He's the more seasoned guy here. Do you think Todd Bowles has a ton of confidence in Baker Mayfield?

That was an infomercial for Kyle Trask, what we just heard. Well, unfortunately, I don't have a lot of faith in Todd Bowles. And again, that's the biggest reason why I would even hesitate to pick in the Bucks, because this guy does not know what he's doing.

Clearly, again, I don't know what he's looking at. I don't know what the practice tape says. I've watched a preseason game.

Baker looked pretty damn good to me. I don't know what else you need to see, Todd. Well, maybe I'm going to be the coach.

No, you would be an idiot. I am submitting my resume to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers right now. Before the season starts, I will guide them to the playoffs. Baker Mayfield has been in this league for five years, and all you could have to point out to make your best case is what he did in the final seven or eight games of the 2020 season. More times than not, Baker's been a bad quarterback than a good quarterback in the NFL.

That's just the reality. Two teams in 2021, two teams in 2022. I just think he is a quarterback where he has, unfortunately, got in bad circumstances more than being a bad quarterback. So what is Baker Mayfield's touchdown interception ratio this year? How many touchdowns, how many interceptions? 26-10? 26-8?

Okay. And those numbers, pretty similar to what Brady did last year, are going to lead them to more victories when the team got worse. That just does not add up to me when you play that out. Jensen's coming off a bad injury and worse is switching positions.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-24 17:55:28 / 2023-08-24 18:14:26 / 19

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