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Kurt Warner: Still Have Questions About JJ McCarthy

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen
The Truth Network Radio
April 25, 2024 4:20 pm

Kurt Warner: Still Have Questions About JJ McCarthy

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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April 25, 2024 4:20 pm

4/25/24 - Hour 2

Rich and the guys are live from the NFL Draft in Detroit where they’re joined by LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly to discuss Jayden Daniels’ evolution into a top NFL Draft prospect, what NFL teams are getting in Tigers’ wide receivers Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr, and if College Football is heading down the read to forming a super league.

Pro Football Hall of Famer/NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner and Rich discuss the recipe for success as a quarterback in the NFL, where UNC QB Drake Maye could land in the NFL Draft, and explains why he likes Washington QB Michael Penix Jr over Michigan QB JJ McCarthy.

USC Head Coach Lincoln Riley tells Rich what Caleb Williams has in common with his previous #1-drafted QB’s Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, how Williams compares to Patrick Mahomes, and more.

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Find out how to bring your ideas to life at slash welcome to now. Coming up, LSU head coach Brian Kelly, pro football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, USC head coach Lincoln Riley, co-host of Good Morning Football, Kyle Brandt. And now, it's Rich Eisen. That's right, back here on the Rich Eisen Show Draft Week Special, live from Detroit at the Total by Verizon Studio, hour number two of day number two of our three-day residency. It is draft day in Detroit and lots to talk about on this program.

We just had a great fun first hour. Hour number three, we'll have Kyle Brandt of Good Morning Football, got two head coaches coming here in this hour. Later on, USC's Lincoln Riley will be here, but to kick things off, sitting here on the Rich Eisen Show set is the head coach of LSU football. Although I should say, with the draft in the state of Michigan, the former head coach of Grand Valley State and Central Michigan. Thank you so much.

I appreciate giving the proper due. Detroit was, it got me to where I am today. This state was so good to me with the players that we recruit in, in particular right here in Detroit itself. In Detroit? Yes. Now, were you going toe-to-toe sometimes with Michigan and Michigan State, same guys?

Not really. I would say the only time there was a little bit of a battle is that I got a chance to recruit Kirk Cousins before he ended up going to Michigan State when I was at Central Michigan. But he was such a great guy. I think he just gave me lip service when I was at Central Michigan. He's a nice guy.

He's such a nice guy, so I'll kind of attribute it to that. But there weren't many battles as much as was the opportunity to have really good high school football here. And like I said, my roster was chock full of kids from right here in Detroit. And it really, I mean, because you're from the Massachusetts area.

Correct. How did you wind up in the state of Michigan again? I took a job at Grand Valley State after leaving state politics. I was working in the state house in Boston and wanted to get back into what I loved, which was football, and took a job at Grand Valley State.

And next thing you know, I ended up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The head coach of football programs is a little political as well, right? You can lean on some of your political leanings from back in the day. Well, you're recruiting voters all the time. The ballot box is always open from the fan base as well. And before we get to the here and now, I just want to take a shot.

I don't even know the answer to it, and I usually ask questions I know the answer to. Were you at Cincinnati prior to the Kelseys? Were any of the Kelseys there? I had them both. You had them both? I had them both. I recruited Travis. Travis was a quarterback for me. That didn't last very long. As you can imagine, there was a bit of an attention deficit there.

Very precocious. So we moved them to tight end. And, you know, Jason was a defensive tackle, and we moved them to offensive center.

And obviously, the career obviously speaks for itself. But two great men, and really enjoyed coaching both of them. Were you in the Kelseys' living room? Did you go there or no? I didn't go into the living room for Travis. Jason was already on campus at that time. Travis I met, we met off campus. But, you know, Cleveland Heights is important to them and their family.

And they're very strong in their love for the state of Ohio. And it was really good to get both of them. So you took a defensive tackle and a quarterback and turned them into future Hall of Fame centers and tight ends. I like the way that story goes. Take the credit, man.

Sounds good to me. Brian Kelly here on the Rich Eisen Show. So when did Jayden Daniels first show up on your radar screen? Because you both arrived on campus in the same time. Well, my time at Notre Dame, we knew him, you know, because we're recruiting all over the country. So I knew him as a high school player in the state of California.

He was a heralded player. Obviously went to Arizona State. So I knew of him there. And then kind of followed him at Arizona State.

And then clearly when I left to go to LSU, you know, everybody had that COVID interruption. And so there was then that opportunity when teams started to kind of look at transferring as an option, it presented itself. And that's when he found himself in the portal. And so I already knew about him and what kind of football player he could be. Right. And so did he immediately take?

I mean, did you see the ascension right then and there, right off the bat? Well, I saw what a lot of people saw was somebody that was still in that process of developing. Physically, he was a lot thinner than he was today. He's 210 pounds.

He was probably in the 175 pound range. So a guy that could be developed. You know, and again, I knew a lot of the people that he had been working out with. Had been trainers and developers of talent that we had taken from before. So I trusted their evaluations of where he was and where he needed to go. And just felt like we had the resources at LSU to develop him as a quarterback.

Because he wanted that. And so I just felt like it was a great match for us. This past year. I mean, that's the conversation I've been hearing since the combine, prior to the combine. And obviously Heisman Trophy weekend helps as well. Just the ascension, the absolute rocket ship from last year to this year.

And not as if last year was a slouch in any year as well. Right. What do you attribute that to? Well, I think there's a lot of things there. I think one maybe would be him finally realizing the true potential that was there.

What do you mean by that? I think there was a transition, you know, coming to a new offense. So there was a lot of ability there that wasn't coming out. And I think we put him in a system that really fit who he was. I think the second thing was he became a decisive person with his maturity. And I think that that had to happen over time. And I think the third thing is that he finally went to work on a lot of the weaknesses that he had.

He came in first person in the building at 5.30 in the morning and the last person to leave. So there was development. I think there was confidence. And I think that there was a lot of talent there that just needed to open up. And I think that comes sometimes with just maturity.

So how is this going to translate to the next level? Oh, I think it just continues to grow. I think he is a unique talent. I've seen so many over 33 years of being a head football coach that, you know, the things that he has done on the field, just a couple of examples. I mean, you know, he's thrown a total of 20 interceptions over 1,400 attempts. I mean, that's like one every couple of games.

I mean, that's over five years. And he's just so good with the football. He is so careful with what he does and so thoughtful. But yet can be one of the most accurate throwers off platform, getting out of the pocket, and the best deep ball thrower. So he can make the big plays, but yet he's not sloppy with the football. So there's some real high markers there that for me as a football coach, when I watch quarterbacks and have been with quarterbacks, he really checks a box for me.

And where's he going? Look, I've talked to all the GMs, as you can imagine. Look, I will tell you that all of them, you know, feel strongly about his ability.

Right. You know, if I was to guess right now, I would say that, you know, Chicago's made their decision with Caleb and that, you know, he slots right now to go to Washington. But, you know, I clearly know that Drake May is highly coveted as well.

I think it's a one, two, three battle for those spots. And, you know, from there, I think McCarthy fits in there as well. I think he's highly regarded.

Right. I think I was saying before we went on the air to Greaney and Reese, you know, I like them all. You know, when I'm watching him as a football coach, you know, nicks and panics, there's some really good quarterbacks in this draft.

It's a unique draft. Well, you know, all of us in our industry are saying that he's going to Washington because you said he's going to Washington. Yeah. Now it's going to be out there. Right.

To me, I think it's much more about where does it logically look to take quarterbacks at this time. You don't get many chances at a guy like this. And it just makes sense. I have no firsthand knowledge of it. You don't? I do not. I have no firsthand knowledge. Other than meeting with GMs just like everybody else has. Okay.

But they have not given me any firsthand information that they're taking. Okay. Just wanted to clear that up. Yeah.

Because, you know, there's a lot of chatter that's going on in this. We're just looking for anything right now. Yeah. No.

No. Ready for the draft to head here. This will still be about, you know, what decision needs to be made in terms of, you know, what's the next quarterback?

Who do you embrace? Beauty is still in the eye of the beholder when it comes to quarterbacks. Who is Malik Nabors? Tell me about him because there's so much of a conversation about him physically being better than Marvin Harrison Jr. And also just whether he's a good fit for certain organizations, personality-wise. What can you tell me about him?

To me, I love his personality. He's such a competitor. You know, the one thing that I think separates him is his versatility. He can play in the slot. He can play out at the X. He can play into the boundary as a singled-up receiver. He has the ability to beat one-on-one coverage.

And obviously his ability to run after the catch and his explosiveness. But I think the best thing about him is who he is as a competitor. He loves to compete. In practice, he's diving for balls in the red zone and one-on-one. You know, there's never a time that he doesn't want to compete. Do you tell him to dial it back when he's doing it?

Yeah, I try to. But sometimes with these ultra-competitive kids, it doesn't matter. They want to win the drill. And we played in the bowl game and he played in the bowl game. I mean, when some of the kids choose not to play in these bowl games, he wanted to play in the bowl game. And I just think that says a lot about a guy that understands competition and team and how that importance is to him. And that's what you're going to get with Malik Nabors. Well, where do you think he's going?

I mean, if he makes it past number six, I'd be very surprised. But again, I don't have any firsthand knowledge. Other than talking to schools or programs, excuse me, that are very, very, I think, committed to that kind of player.

And I know New York really, really likes him and his makeup. Okay. And I mean, obviously I know you're biased, but I'll still ask the question anyway. Pound the table for him to go the first receiver.

I mean. Yeah, I mean, again, I think how do you go wrong with a Marvin Harrison or a Malik Nabors? Look, they compliment what is on your roster so you can't double one of them. Whoever that other NFL player is on your roster who's going to be a big time player, you can't double them because now whoever gets doubled, the other guy is going to tear you up on the other side. So either one of those guys, wherever they go, compliment that roster so well.

So I just don't think that there's that much of a difference between the two. They're both premier players. I think if either one of them fell to either NFL team, they're going to be high-fiving in that draft room no matter who it is. LSU head coach Brian Kelly here on the Rich Eisen Show.

And then Brian Thomas Jr. obviously lost amongst all of this burning spotlight for these two kids that we just discussed right here. I'll give you the floor on him. Well, ascending in my eyes. Long, athletic, and he's not a guy that just runs the nine route. I mean, everybody kind of looks at him as a deep ball threat. But elusiveness, difficult to bring down. I think a couple of times people talk about maybe a drop here or there. Those are focus drops.

Those aren't. He doesn't have great hands. He will make the acrobat catch down the field, and he will be another nightmare matchup for anybody when the ball is thrown down the field. And I think he's only going to get better. Yeah, I think he's going to hear his name called tonight. I think they're going to hear that. I do, too. You do believe that, right? I really, truly believe it based upon conversations that I have that he will be a first runner as well. Okay.

Would you please share with me who did you have these conversations with? Because I'm sure tons of fans would love to know about this kid, too. Well, I don't think he gets past the mark of Philadelphia, for example.

Where they're currently sitting right now. Yeah, I don't think it gets any deeper than that, but that's the kind of player he is. He's going to be available no deeper than that, and maybe somebody says, you know what, we need this guy on our roster, and he goes sooner. Before I let you go, Brian Kelly, do you think college football is going to a Super League? Do you think one day we're going to be there? I know that's a big macro question to hit you with as I send you out on your draft day door, but do you think we're going in that direction?

Here's what I know. College football is as healthy as it's ever been as it relates to the popularity of the game. That's true. The issues are governance and rules, and so the league, to me, is not the most important thing. It's how do we continue to find ways to take care of those that are at the center of this game, and that's the student athletes. Right, and the issue is, though, is in order to get to those rules, where there is some regular playing field, or leveling of a playing field, for rules to be made not only for the protection of the student athletes, who are being told things that don't sometimes come true based on NIL conversations that have nothing to do with you as a head coach. Correct. And so you as a head coach also want the rules to level the playing field for you when you're going to recruit and try and figure stuff out.

The way to get to that is to have a smaller group of like-minded or similar, needy in terms of getting those questions answered with the same economic stresses or riches, together. That's where the Super League comes in, you know what I mean? Yes, conceptually, I think that is one way to look at it, or it could be the AFC and the NFC. It could be two, it could be three that all share a same common denominator, and that's how we do business.

Correct. And so, yes, it's going to go that way, it has to go that way, because right now we can't operate the way we're operating because there are simply, well, there are no rules relative to salary cap, poaching, scheduling, all of those things. So we'll have to get there, and that's the most important thing right now in front of college football. Good to see you, Brian Kelly. Good to see you, thanks for having me on.

Enjoy tonight. So you're going to be in the green room tonight? Yeah, I'm going to be on college game day.

Oh, cool. With the guys for a little bit. So you're working some TV tonight? I'll do a little TV tonight, and then I'll go into the green room with the guys and be the biggest cheerleader.

Enjoy it. Thank you, thanks for having me. That's Brian Kelly of LSU football here, that's a Hall of Famer sitting there in the Rich Eisen Show green room couch right here on the Roku channel. Kurt Warner, good to see you, Kurt.

Good to see you, buddy. Another guy I'm going to be spending way too much time with, certainly tonight. That's next, this is the Rich Eisen Show.

Boom. That's pretty presumptuous to assume that this is going to be their favorite podcast, by the way. Anyway, that wasp that you just heard interrupt me is my husband and co-host Benjamin Wallin. Listen in as we discuss relationships and keeping our sweet baby kid alive.

Fly on the wallin' wherever you listen. Look who's here on the Rich Eisen Show on the Roku channel. Radio audience rejoining in less than two minutes. My pro football Hall of Fame friend, part of our NFL Network's draft coverage tonight, Kurt Warner. How are you, Kurt?

I am good. The weather's nice. I was told it was going to be freezing cold.

Beautiful day today. It's going to be a fun night. There could be a lot of excitement, a lot of fireworks.

Could stay status quo, but either way it's going to be fun. A lot of quarterbacks. Five quarterbacks and then Bo Nix could make it six. Yes. So that's like a record number of quarterbacks for you to talk about her first night.

I know. The only question is are they going to go like six in a row and then the whole back end of the draft you'll never see me. Or, you know, I know we're going to get a few at the beginning, but hopefully they sprinkle in later in the round so I can have a little bit of a presence. Sometimes, you know, Kurt will be sitting there on the draft set or you're inside, you're in the draft hall. I'm in the theater.

You're in the theater. You're right there. And then there's only like two quarterbacks or three quarterbacks and he's just like, all right, do I just get something to eat? Exactly. You know?

What are we going to do? Can I talk about something else other than quarterbacks? And you can. I can. I can, but, you know, you guys. No, don't you guys.

That's not me. Well, you guys got such a great crew that they don't really go to me for anything else except quarterbacks, but I could. Like if I get bored over there, like send it over to me and we'll talk running back. You know, I am the host that can just send it wherever I want, Kurt. Okay, well now I'm going to hold you to that. If it gets boring over there, I'm going to be like, Rich, you told me. Send it to me.

Exactly. But you've got to look, you've got to have your head in a swivel. You got to look alive, man. I'm good. You know, I'm here for one night.

I'm here for one night. Anytime? Come on over. Yes. Okay. Come on over. All right. So stay tuned. I'm told. These guys know I could throw it to them at any possible time. You guys are always ready.

You guys are always ready. Not always, Kurt. Sometimes I'm off in the dark world.

Don't even ask about Del Tufo. He's in his own little world, that's for sure. Kurt Warner here on the Roku channel. And guess what? Back on the Rich Eisen Show radio network, sitting at the Rich Eisen Show desk, furnished by Grainger with supplies and solutions for every industry. Grainger has the right product for you.

Call or just stop by. Pro Football Hall of Fame friend, Kurt Warner, here on the Rich Eisen Show set. You will be part of NFL Network's coverage this evening, focusing obviously on the quarterback group that could comprise, I guess, what would you say?

Like almost 20 something percent of tonight's draft. That's it. This is coming. I mean, it's going to be fun. We know that four are going to go.

Do we get up to six? How does that play out? Somebody trading up. I mean, that's the thing that's beautiful about it is that we always know it's such a hot commodity when you have good quarterbacks because everybody needs a good quarterback. And so, you know, do some of those teams lower down, have the fireworks and firepower to go up and get their guy?

Do they get them later on? Does somebody jump back into the first round? But we've got six guys that can obviously play and had great college career.

So it is going to be fun to talk about them and see where they end up. And I know this is so your lane, it is so up your alley when you're breaking down tape or film and evaluating a quarterback. How do you do it from the collegiate level to the pro level? What is the code that you think needs to be cracked? I don't know if there is a code that can be cracked from the standpoint that all of these guys have to get better. I don't care how good you are in college. You have to get better if you're going to be great at the NFL level.

So that's the part of it that you can't crack. I don't know which one of these guys, I mean, I continue to always look back at Tom Brady. He's 45 and he hasn't hit a ceiling yet, right? We throw around the word ceiling all the time. They've got a high ceiling, but we don't know what somebody's ceiling is until they get there. But the great ones always get better and better and better even at the NFL level. So all of these guys are going to have to get better. So what is the ability that a collegiate quarterback needs to show on tape that would at least lead you to believe that this guy has X to succeed?

Well, you know me. I'm first and foremost all about processing. I still believe the quarterback position at the NFL level is played processing information and getting the ball out of your hands. I know we've got some tremendously athletic quarterbacks in the National Football League now, but you watch them and I watch the tape week after week after week. The teams that have the best chance to win are the quarterbacks that make the layups, that do the things they're supposed to do most consistently. So that's what I'm always trying to see at the college level is when I have a play that I can decipher, okay, where I would go with the football, how I would coach this play.

I watch that quarterback run the play over and over again. Do they stay consistent with it? Do they read it the same way? Do they understand with a different coverage where they're going with the football? So I'm always trying to figure that piece out first because I believe no matter what, no matter how physically talented you are, if you can mentally process information and you've got enough physical talent, you can be successful at the NFL level.

And so that's where it all starts with me, but it's hard. You know, the college game is played differently. The hashes are different. The plays are different.

It's more simplified than at the NFL level. And so trying to figure out enough of those pieces for these guys is where it gets really, really hard. And also some of them aren't even asked to process. They just say, stop, take a look. I will show you a photograph of a hammer, Paul Feinbaum on a box of Wheaties, and that's your read right now. You know what I mean?

That's essentially what sometimes it is. So in terms of processing, would that make Michael Penix Jr. number one? Is he the best processor of the quarterbacks that you've seen?

Well, I'll tell you what. Jaden Daniels just had the best season on tape of all of these guys. He did.

And he did everything. So you saw the processing, you saw the NFL-type reads and throws down the field. So this season, I believe he was the best quarterback in college football. Obviously he won the Heisman, and rightfully so. So he had the whole body of work this year.

You were just talking to Coach about it before. The question becomes, is that Jaden Daniels who you get every year moving forward in the NFL? Is he the next Joe Burrow who had kind of that one breakout season and becomes this great quarterback?

Michael Penix was phenomenal. And for two years, he's been really, really good, really consistent. Throwing the ball down the field, which is another parameter for me. At the NFL level, you have to be able to make those chunk throws consistently. 15 to 35 yards down the field, you've got to be able to make that throw. Michael Penix, as good as anybody in college football at doing that. Now the question becomes, how do these guys in the room deal with his medical?

What do you do with that? If you're going up to get a guy and you want him to be your franchise guy, how do you treat that? So I believe the only reason that he falls down the draft boards is because of the medical. Because if you watch what he did on tape the last two years, you could argue that he's number three on this list. Just behind Caleb, who obviously had a great three-year run in college football, winning the Heisman, all that stuff. And then Jaden, who had the best season last year, you'd slot him right behind them, I think, when you watch the tape at the number three spot.

But will he get picked there? You've got some people saying five, maybe even six on the list. To me, it's all because of just the physical part of it. And the thing I love about this conversation, Kurt Warner here on the Rich Eisen Show among many reasons, we're layering here because there are so many layers to this evaluation process from the tape. And then the parts of the tape that you see and how processing needs to be crucial.

And now you see a guy who's not only great at processing but also making the chunk plays that you need to get with penics. But there's a medical issue. And then just the ultimate coup de grace or cherry on top is fit. Fit. Is it a fit with what a team is running for a system?

Is it a fit for a running of a system that could change because the coach is coming in on a hot seat or anything like that? So Jayden Daniels, you said had the best season on tape. Is he a fit, the best fit for what Washington is about to attempt to do offensively in your estimation? Well, just knowing that Cliff Kingsbury is there and what they did in college. And, you know, he's I watched him a lot, obviously, when he was in Arizona.

You know, we're at home for me and watching the offense that they ran. They run a lot of what we call pure progression type stuff, which simply means no matter what the coverage you get, this guy's number one. This guy's number two. This guy's number three.

And you're just working through your progression. That was, you know, similar to what Jayden Daniels did a lot at LSU. And so I believe from a fit standpoint, what they want to do, Jayden Daniels would fit very, very well in that system. But I will say this, because we talk about system a lot and there's no question system can play a part in how we see the game as quarterbacks, because we all see the game differently. I say this all the time.

You could take three Hall of Fame quarterbacks and give them the same play. One might love it. One would say, you know, I'm OK with that. And another guy goes, I don't like that because it's all based on how we see the game. Some guys see it from low to high.

Some guys see it from top down. And so I say that because, you know, you're going to have different coaches that teach it a different way. But the plays primarily within most offenses are very similar.

And so it's about understanding how you're going to read that play, no matter what system you're in. Like 65, 75 percent of offensive playbooks around the NFL are going to be exactly the same. You're going to have the same plays. You're going to call them differently. They're going to be run a little bit differently, but they're going to be the same basic plays. So it's not like this is, you know, rock like, hey, I've got this system over here, which is so dramatically different than what you're going to get over here. That's not necessarily the case, even though it might be coached and taught a little bit differently.

A lot of it comes down to how you're going to process that information. What about Drake May? What about him? I mean, your assessment for him to go to Washington tonight? You know, what everybody's and again, this is kind of the interesting thing with Jayden Daniels, too, is that he wasn't necessarily the guy we saw last year until last year. We look at Drake May and a big part of our evaluation is going to be last year, you know, because he has some technical issues, some things that has to be cleaned up.

But what needs to be cleaned up? Well, so, you know, from our perspective, like you'll see his feet come close together. That's not what we want as a quarterback, because when our base gets tight, it creates more movement. There's times at the top of his drop where he's bouncing and you always know as a quarterback, you can't throw when you're bouncing.

You've got to come back into your base and throw it. So the timing aspect of things, getting a better and more solid base to get the ball out on time and quicker and more accurately are things he's got to work on. But we saw the physical ability this year as well as last year. But if we took this draft class and we moved it back a year and it was, you know, a year ago, where would Drake Bay be in the mix? He would probably be number two on the mix because of what he did in the season he had two years ago.

So which one are you getting? And how are you evaluating these guys? Is it the guy we saw last year?

Is it the guy we saw earlier in their career? And so that to me is, you know, one of those questions that I think different teams will see it differently. Oh, it was a different system last year, different offense coordinator, different team around him last year. We're going to go back to two years ago and they may have him elevated a little bit higher than they may off of last year's tape. So very good quarterback, has all the skill set.

And I like comparison. So Jayden Daniels compared to Joe Burrow. That one great year, is that what we get in the NFL? How about Josh Allen? Josh Allen, Drake May, very similar. In college, ups and downs.

There were some accuracy issues, all that stuff. Josh Allen got with the right coaches, worked on his craft, now is one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League because he's got that physical to go with the technical stuff and obviously the mental part of it, which I think are all things Drake May has, but we can't project for it if he's going to learn and get better with that accuracy aspect of things that, you know, kind of wavered sometimes issues. So I'm just going to go here with you and I hope you go with it with me, Kurt. So Caleb Williams, first overall, who would you counsel Washington to take second overall? Again, yeah, I always have to put a caveat because I don't get the room. I don't get to be in a room with these guys and interview them and get them on the board. But this is sports talk radio, how dare you be nuanced? I'm taking Jayden Daniels.

How do you not? After the season he had last year, how good he was, I could pull out a couple games, Mississippi State game, the Ole Miss game, where I looked at those games and I'm like, that is about as NFL type play as I saw from anybody in college football last year. So to see that a couple times, coupled with a season like he had, like to me it's a no brainer that you have to go there based solely on that. Then New England's sitting there. Do they take Drake May? I think they do. You would counsel them to take Drake May?

I think they do, yes. You know, if you're going quarterback at that spot, I think you have to go Drake May there. And you have to believe that you can correct some of those flaws and he can become, you know, your Josh Allen. Would you counsel the Giants or Vikings to make some sort of monster offer to get New England to not do that and then move up to get Drake May?

Would you counsel that? You know, I don't know if I would counsel that for the Giants, just because they have Daniel Jones, they've invested in him. You really believe in him? Well, I don't know if I believe that he's that franchise guy, but I don't know if they're in that situation where they feel like they're a quarterback away.

Okay, got it. And because of that and you've got, you know, how much are you willing to give up without being able to build the team around the quarterback, which is kind of what we've seen a little bit with Daniel Jones. If you're Minnesota, I think you look at the roster and you say, we may just be a quarterback away, a good quarterback away for a number of years. You want to get Justin Jefferson signed on for the long term. And you have the capital with the two number one picks that if I'm Minnesota, I'm definitely considering it more than if I'm the New York Giants, get up there and make sure I get my guy. What if McCarthy drops to six and you're the Giants? Do you counsel they take him there? You don't have to give up anything and you get J.J. McCarthy. I don't. I still think there I go and try to find another game changer there at that position. Like Malik Nabors or something? Yeah, exactly. You go there.

I would probably go there to make sure. Now, do you like Daniel Jones that much or you just don't, you know, we haven't even touched on JJ. We haven't touched on JJ yet. You know, I still have questions about JJ, but I have questions about all of these guys. But I think I would have to be if I'm going to make that pick that high or go up to get a guy, I would have to be convinced that he could be a guy that could carry my team. And with JJ, I'm not convinced of that now simply because I haven't seen it.

Now, again, I'm using all these analogies with other guys. C.J. Stroud. C.J. Stroud was a great college quarterback. I did not see from C.J. Stroud on the college tape what I saw from C.J. Stroud last year.

Last year he was a different quarterback playing for Houston and a top five quarterback in the National Football League. So I say that to say I know they didn't ask JJ to do that stuff. Right. They didn't ask him to carry the team.

He didn't have to because they were so good. So it doesn't mean he can't do it. But for me, I would have to be confident that I believed whoever I drafted at that position could carry my team throw after throw after throw and do it week after week after week because that's what the position entails. And I'm just not sold that JJ can do that because I haven't seen it. I just haven't seen it at the college level. And that's what worries me.

Even though we've seen other quarterbacks that are better NFL quarterbacks than college quarterbacks, JJ might be one of them. I just don't know the answer to that. So if the Vikings are sitting there at eleven and both JJ McCarthy and Pennix are there, what would you suggest they do?

I mean, again, I'm not in the room. I don't have the medical. I'm taking Michael Pennix. I mean, what I've seen the last two years, if that's the quarterback that I get coming right into the NFL, I think he was a better passer and more consistent throwing the football than JJ was. And I would go Pennix. You would? I would. But again, I don't have to make that decision when I'm sitting there going, hey, three years he lost a season because of injuries.

How do you rectify that? I'm just talking about. But Pennix. Yeah, I'm going Pennix. So then obviously if Pennix is there at thirteen for the Raiders, you would count. I mean, I might even argue against Drake May. If I didn't have that question and it was Drake May against Michael Pennix, I might make the argument that Michael Pennix to me was the third best quarterback on the field in college football this past year.

And so I would argue that I might make that decision if I felt good with the medical way up there. You know, that's how much you like Michael Pennix. I do. I think he's really good. Yeah.

And I like what he what they asked him to do. Yeah. And the funny thing is we talk about the combine. Right. We go to the combine every year.

Oh, what is the combine worth? What does it mean? I tell you what, when he showed up and he decided to throw, there wasn't a lot of guys throwing. He decided to throw. Watching the ball come off his hand live was a difference maker for me to see the pace that he put on the football. And that's the ability to have a firm throw. But but not overthrow it, not throw it too hard to have the ability to have touch to allow guys to adjust to it. That was a difference maker because I would not have got to see him throw in person.

That elevated him on my board because the ability to understand how to throw to me is just as important as can you make every throw? And before I let you go, Lincoln Riley is about to join us. He's settled. He settled in a couple of minutes ago. Good to see you, coach.

USC just about to join us in a second. What would you counsel Chicago Bears fans for their expectation level for the quarterback that this coach is about to send to the next level? Well, to get another exciting quarterback like they had in Justin Fields. I think, you know, how I would say it to them is what I saw with Justin Fields is they threw him in so quickly that he never got a chance to grow into the quarterback that maybe he can become. He was thrown out there and it's like, just go play football and try to win games for us.

And we saw a guy that just had to be a playmaker 24 seven. Caleb can do all of those things, but he also can do this stuff inside the pocket. My counsel to them was is kind of force him inside the pocket first, allow him to grow as a passer and then allow the creative piece to be the second part of it. And I think they've built a team that will allow him to do that more than Justin Fields was. But I think that was the biggest thing with Justin Fields. He never got a chance to grow into the position because they threw him out there, put a ball in his hands and said, do what you can to try to be successful. And it was all about playmaking and not about playing the position.

It's also, you know, run for your life quite a bit, too. And that's obviously a better situation that Caleb's about to be drafted into. Great to see all of you tonight, sir. Pro football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner joining us next. The head coach of USC football, Lincoln Riley, is here in Detroit. That's how we're rolling the break on The Rich Eisen Show.

Back here on the Roku channel, it's kind of funny. This man's been on our show multiple times on Zoom and on phone. You kind of have to come to the state of Michigan for me to have you in person. I'm in El Segundo. You're sitting there in downtown L.A.

But it's great to have the head coach of USC football, Lincoln Riley, here on the program. Good to see you, man. You, too.

Glad to be here. Okay. Has your blood thinned out yet being in Southern California resident just for a couple of years where you come here and, like, it's cold? I'm totally spoiled. Yeah, completely. Right? Completely. I'm a total weather snob now. Aren't you?

Yes. Right? Well, first and least, I went to school here up the road in Ann Arbor. And when I first took the job at NFL Network, and we were indoors all the time.

Like, we were just doing nonstop, you know, meetings and I just would one studio show after another that we were creating. And I just went outside and I'm like, man, it's such a beautiful day. I can't believe I'm indoors. And then I just finally decided to realize it's kind of going to be that way tomorrow, too.

That's right. I don't know if you've had that sort of feeling yet. Yeah, coming in and, like, we'd have a day and it would be 60 degrees. And, you know, the people that have been in L.A. for a while would come in and they'd be, you know, they'd be, like, in parkas and have their scarves on. We're like, what are you doing? And now we're like, oh, probably somewhere.

I'm the same way. You know, you go to a gym and somebody's working out in a ski cap. And I'm like, no, no, no. Where I grew up, that's a necessity, not an accessory. Exactly.

They wear winter clothing as an accessory. Exactly. I shouldn't say they. I do it now myself.

It's kind of sad. Have you been, have you gone to a Dodger game yet? I have. I got to throw out a first pitch when I first got there and I'm going to make a couple other games.

So, yeah, I love it. Have you, do you stay to the last pitch or now you leave early to beat the track? No, we stayed. No, we stayed. We stayed. Yeah, we had to be loyal.

It's not loyal. It's just you want to get home, you know, within an hour and a half. There's that, too. I'm that guy now. I always made fun of Dodger fans. No, I'm like, yeah, seventh inning, they got to get it.

Yeah, that's right. You'll be there. You'll be there soon enough. Give me a few more years.

Absolutely. Lincoln Riley here on the program, back on the Rich Eisen Show radio network. One big happy family with the Roku Channel feed. The head coach of USC football, essentially a number one overall quarterback maker. Lincoln Riley here on the Rich Eisen Show.

Good to see you, sir. Are you aware of that when Caleb goes one tonight, you set a record? Are you aware of that fact? Yeah, I don't set a record. It's good.

They do. How about this? You're part of having set a record. There we go. Okay.

Yeah. That Baker and Kyler and now Caleb Williams, is there a through line for anything but these three guys? Because in the NFL level, everybody's trying to crack a code to see how we can evaluate and translate. So is there a through line?

There is. One thing that I've touched on with some of the guys that I think is really important is like the way that they all came into our programs at the time. Baker chose to come to OU when they – I wasn't there at the time, but a really good quarterback, Trevor Knight. He had just beaten Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. He was kind of a guy and Baker really didn't care about that situation.

He believed in himself, went to the place he wanted to go and didn't worry about the competition. So Kyler, in my mind, did the same thing when he chose to come to us even though Baker was on the roster. And then Caleb came in into a situation at OU where we had Spencer Rattler who had played very well for us the year before. And these are situations where in recruiting, quarterbacks are aware of who else is on the roster and the situation that they put themselves in. And you come across guys that are like really concerned about it, like it's a major deal to them and where did they fit in.

And then you get some like these three that they don't care who else is on the roster. And I think – I've just always put a lot of stock into that because I think the inner belief you have in yourself is so critical to this position because it can be a very lonely position. And you just catch kind of like those little data points, like you put them in those situations and you feel something a little bit different than maybe the average guy.

Interesting. In Caleb's makeup that the people keep – are referring to and just who he is and marches to his own beat or you know, is this the first NIL quarterback to be drafted in the NFL? What can you tell me about Caleb Williams that maybe some people you think need to know on this front here? Well, I think he's incredibly comfortable in his own skin, which again I think goes back to that inner belief and that true inner confidence that you have.

I've always been impressed and I thought he had this at a young age when we started recruiting him in high school. He can walk into like any situation, any room, any – the different demographics, different age. He knows them.

He doesn't know them. And he can walk in and like be totally present and engaging and can really kind of transform himself to whatever room it is. And he's very extremely comfortable, can communicate well with anyone.

And I think that's important. He obviously made the transition well at OU. He made the transition happen almost seamless at USC.

I think it bodes well for him going into – if it is Chicago, that he's going to be able to handle that well. I appreciate you saying if. I noticed that too. No, I never counted it. You pick up on that. I'm like, if?

I'm like, what? Never counted it until it's done. When Baker Mayfield got taken, he didn't go to the draft.

He did it at his house. So we get there and I have not talked to the Browns any. I'm talking any. They didn't reach out to you?

Zero. And I was – and so when we got there, I pulled Baker off to the side about 30 minutes before the draft started. And I said, hey, how you feeling, you know, this, that, each other. I think they might take me number one, the Browns.

And I was like, oh, that's great, all that. And deep down, I'm like, there is not a chance in hell they're taking because I haven't talked to these. I've talked to 20 other franchises about this guy, nothing. So I'm like, no way that's going to happen.

And then he gets a call. So you never know. The Browns never tire kicked you about Baker Mayfield. We didn't have one conversation.

I've never heard that. I'm not saying they didn't do their due diligence or not, but I mean, you would think that the guy that coached them for a few years would have been a conversation at some point. But they obviously believed enough in them that they didn't need to hear from me. Provide an insight or two. So and again, the insight on Caleb, I think, is crucial prior to tonight. And then obviously prologue to what's to come for him in Chicago.

I'll say it definitively, because I mean, even today, all the prospects who are going to be in the green room were brought together by the NFL. They're being, you know, shepherded around town. And all the players were dressed in the same zip up, I guess, league issued tracksuit or sweatsuit or whatever. And Caleb was dressed in his own clothes. Somebody's like, oh, that's Caleb just doing his own thing because it's that's him.

And and not in a positive way. It was just like he's all about himself. And and there is an eye and two eyes and Williams or whatever. So I I place that in front of you to, you know, give us some insight on on him and who he is on that front.

Yeah. Well, I've seen him as members of a member of his high school team and obviously to two different teams in college. And he was very present with the team.

I mean, the small things, the big things. I mean, here's a guy that would take, you know, NIL opportunities that a lot of people gobble up for themselves and he would, you know, do things for the linemen, do things for the entire team. He was extremely team conscious. So yeah, I don't know if this this these couple of days here in Detroit is truly a team, right? They're gathering some guys together.

I wouldn't read too much into that, in my opinion. My experience with the guy has been he's very present with his teammates and very much just wants to be a part of it. He turned the lights out at the combine. Basically he stayed on the field because some of his teammates were out there working out.

And then he shook the hands of everybody that was working the event on the field. So I saw that with my own two eyes, you know, Caleb Williams getting ready to be drafted tonight. Lincoln Riley here on the show. So did any other teams reach out about Caleb to you or they just assumed this is a done deal? Not too many.

Not too many. I think there's a, I do think there's an assumption. We've certainly had some talks with a few of the groups up there towards the top, but I do think there's certainly a pretty big assumption that he's going to be a Bear. And I think you heard Kurt Warner as you were on our green room couch here to your left talking about how he thinks Caleb needs to work in the pocket and the Bears need to make sure that he's comfortable and growing there. Is it true that the pro day was designed to have him make those throws for everybody that was there? That you specifically wanted to hammer that point?

It was. Which I think is smart because you can turn on the film and see all of the, you know, off platform, out of pocket throws, all the scrambles. I mean, the guy clearly has that and can do that at a high level and that is going to be part of his development. And certainly when you look at the freshman year at Oklahoma through his final year, he really improved in those areas.

He really improved from the pocket. Now what's getting ready to happen and what, you know, he's been preparing himself for and what we've been trying to get him ready for is look, you're getting ready to have some of the best defensive minds, unquestionably some of the best defensive players in the world that are going to scheme against you. They're going to try different ways to beat you.

People are going to try to keep you in the pocket. There's going to be people that are really good at doing that and you have to be able to win different ways like that. That's one of the things I respect most about Mahomes is he can win so many different types of games now and he can win no matter what people do to him and no matter what they try schematically and that will be a climb for Caleb.

It has been. He's got the potential to do it, but I totally agree with Kurt. I mean, I think you have to continue to build that part of his game because you know people are going to try to keep him in. That said, one of the first throws that he had at the pro date with his left hand.

I mean, and he threw a pretty nice spiral doing that too. Is it a fair comparison to keep bringing in Mahomes' name because we do it and I know you just mentioned his name. The physical skills, I think there's a lot of similarities.

I do. Now, you know, Pat has continued to progress throughout his NFL career. Like I said, he has really refined his game and every part about it, his mental capacity, like his decision making. So listen, Caleb's got a long ways to go to be in that conversation. I think he would be the first to admit it, but you know, Pat had a long ways to go when he started too. This kid has the skills to do some special things. He certainly has the inner belief and now he's got to go to work and hopefully end up in his greatest situation as Pat did in Kansas City. Have a little bit less than two minutes left.

Do you want a table pound for any other Trojans that are available? Well, we got a lot of great ones that are going to get drafted. Kaitlyn Bullock, the safety has been really tremendous for us. We're excited for Brendan Rice, Marshawn Lloyd. The guy that's hard not to really stand on the table for us is Taj Washington, who has been a phenomenal player for us. I think he'll get drafted a lot higher than what maybe he would be projected to, but been an incredible receiver for us, a great leader. He's an unbelievable special teams player, so I'm excited to see where he lands. And who's the next quarterback at USC?

We'll find out. We've had a good battle. You know, Miller Moss came in in the bowl game and played outstanding.

He was lights out against Louisville. We brought in a transfer from UNLV, Jade Maeva, that had a really strong spring for us and started for UNLV last year and played very well. So we've got a nice room right now. We've got three guys in there we like quite a bit.

You ready? Do you have cold weather gear? Is there such a thing for USC?

I had to go back and find it. Yeah, this is like sort of a ski cap or something? Yeah, this is like our winter trip this year. You're in Big Ten country. Yes, we are.

You're in Big Ten. Might as well get used to it. I still can't get used to it either. I'm getting there, but I catch myself. It's kind of crazy. Here in a handful of months, we'll be playing in Ann Arbor.

You are, that's right. Yeah, week three. You can go up to the big house and just to give a little look-see. Have you ever been in there?

I haven't, no. I bet not. This will be the perfect setting. First USC Big Ten game ever there will be pretty cool.

Wow, amazing. Thanks for coming on here. You know, we're in El Segundo. If you're ever in that area, we'd love to have you on in person there as well.

Let's do it. You got it. That's Lincoln Riley right here and that's our number two of the franchise and show where you're live on the ground in Detroit at the Total by Verizon Studio. Number three coming up in a matter of moments.

Still on Roku for another minute and a half. What is it like to have Jerry Rice in the parent group at USC? It's a very L.A. thing.

It's a very USC thing, right? Yeah, it was kind of random. Yeah, you show up like a parent meeting or something and, oh, there's the greatest receiver that ever lived, you know, like, oh, hey, you know, let's talk about moving your son into the dorm or, you know.

But it was cool. It was good to have him around. You know, you look over some of the games and, you know, you got him and Ronnie Lott over there yucking it up on the sidelines, you're like, this is pretty cool. Yeah, right?

This is pretty cool, yeah. And Jerry, you know, with his 7-Eleven pendant because he's always open, even at this stage, but and he's as competitive as they come. I imagine, is his son just like his dad like that? He is. He's very competitive. He was maybe surprisingly a little bit underdeveloped when we got him, but he improved a ton throughout the last few years and really became a good player for us. But an elite practice player, which I know everybody talked about his dad, the way his dad worked and trained away, you know, outside of Sundays and Brendan certainly has a lot of that.

Yeah, that is pretty wild. Like, hey, parent group, everybody, everybody coming around and, oh, yeah, there's, that's Jerry Rice. That's it. Did you have to, did, was he already there when you got there? No, we brought him in as a transfer from Colorado.

So you've been in the, have you been in the Rice home? It didn't happen that way. It happened really fast. They actually came up for a quick visit and then he decided to do it.

So yeah, it was kind of right there in the blur. Thanks for being here on the show, sir. Greatly appreciate it. Happy to do it.

Lincoln Riley right here, hour three, Kyle Brent coming up from Good Morning Football. Mike Carruthers shares little pieces of intel and interviews you can use to improve your life on the Something You Should Know podcast. The next time you're looking for a job and have to write a cover letter, here's some advice from Skip Freeman, author of a book called Headhunters Hiring Secrets, add a P.S. to the bottom of that cover letter. That can actually increase the chances of that letter being read by up to 75%. Some people actually glance down and read the P.S. first. Something you should know. It's on YouTube or wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-25 19:31:18 / 2024-04-25 19:55:23 / 24

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