March 17, 2023 6:04 am
NFL Network Analyst Rhett Lewis joins the show to talk QB movement, free agency, and all the latest around the league.
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BetQL.com today to start your three-day free trial. NFL network host analyst Rhett Lewis joining the show for the first time from Los Angeles and just a shameless plug, my favorite show Sundays during the NFL season is NFL Game Day and he is one of the hosts. Now Rhett, you went to a school that's known for its basketball. I know you played football in Indiana but it's known for its basketball in a state that is hoops crazy. So let's start with a little March Madness on the hard court. What's your favorite thing about the tournament?
Oh gosh, so much. I think as an Indiana alum and you know rabid fan as you mentioned, I think the opportunity to hang banner number six is always what brings me back to loving the tournament. It's the optimism. It's the opportunity right and especially for a school like ours that has such high expectations each and every year and you know with the exception of a little bit of a down period there in the last couple of years, we're back and we're back in the tourney in a big way and so that always gets me excited because it's like it's brand loyalty right. It's you know you are out there showing your colors for your school. Like I'm wearing Indiana Hoosiers shoes.
I am absolutely wearing my cream and crimson on my sleeve so I guess on my feet but that to me like it brings out the best of everyone's loyalty about who they love and then of course you know the surprises right. The ferments of the world are what keep us coming back. So yes it is March Madness and still the NFL cannot go away. Never takes a break. I called encroachment by the NFL. They're just they're creeping on everybody else in every other sport. Exactly. Seriously. I know you've covered the sport for a long time but I like asking people their perspective. Did you ever think it would become this this year-round behemoth that really never takes a breath?
You know it's actually a really good question because I kind of always felt like it was and I'll tell you why. My dad was a head trainer in the NFL for 40 years. And 32 of them were with the Saints and so I grew up in New Orleans. And you know he was a member of an NFL franchise for my essentially my entire life before I moved away to college.
And so like I knew that he was always working like the 10, 12, 14, sometimes 16, and 18 hour work days like didn't stop just because the season was over. So every time everybody would ask you oh you get to see your dad a lot more now in the off season I was always like yeah no I don't because there really isn't an off season. So I was quite prepared for this when I took this job at NFL Network. Did you spend a lot of time on fields in stadiums in locker rooms then with your dad?
Oh you better believe it. I was a part of way too many how should I put this way too many locker room conversations that I shouldn't have been or I should say training room conversations that I shouldn't have been at the age at which I was at the time. But it was it was so much fun and it would foster it's truly what fostered my love for this game and my desire to remain a part of it as much as I could in everything that I've done both from following football and going to I don't know 150 Saints games growing up in the Superdome and then you know playing high school football playing college football and then when my hamstrings you know weren't going to allow me to play in the NFL how do I find a way to cover the NFL and that's that's basically what I've been trying to do ever since. I've never been to the Superdome for a football game been there for other events what's it like when the Saints fans are at full throat? I mean it's unlike anything I've ever been a part of I mean I literally remember I remember sitting in section 253 on the second level of the Superdome in the right at about the goal line of where the Saints used to come out of their locker room and come onto the field and in the early 90s when the Saints were competing for NFC West then division titles and you know playing the 49ers the Falcons and the Rams twice a year in a convoluted division obviously it was like when something good would happen and when the Saints were thriving you couldn't hear anything because of the noise in the stadium like it's hard to describe it's like it's so loud you actually can't hear anything and it all just becomes one noise that is the loudest place I've ever been the second loudest is Austin Stadium in Oregon when I was a player it's the only other time I've been able to look at somebody right next to me and not hear them talk to me and watch their their mouths move right and so like my mom and I would like look at each other you know we're up in the stands you know in these games are like and you know like she would be talking and like I don't know what the heck are you saying but this is awesome and so it's it is a phenomenal atmosphere the fans are the best and especially when they get a little extra time to get quote unquote ready for the game if it's a prime timer Rhett Lewis is with us from NFL Network in Los Angeles where he's one of my favorite hosts of NFL game day during the season but part of path to the draft and total access now that it's the quote-unquote off-season it's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio we'll give in your ties to New Orleans what's your reaction to the Derek Carr signing yeah I think I love it on for Derek I'm happy for his family I think they'll they'll love New Orleans it's such a it's such a great city and you know look I think with any with any city in America these days it's not perfect but it's imperfection is also what makes it beautiful and I think it also it's also a way to describe what the saints are right now which you know is is imperfect but on their way to to getting better and I think this will be one of the best defenses if not the best that Derek Carr has ever played with and I think now if you get a healthy and motivated Michael Thomas and by all accounts from Derek Carr himself that's what he believes the saints are going to get that's what the saints believe they're going to get that's why they reworked his contract to keep him around so you throw a couple of Buckeye wideouts right there and Chris Olave was fantastic last year Michael Thomas you know back healthy man Alvin Kamara rolling again like this is this is fun and then you got a touchdown score now in Jamal Williams so I think there's a lot to like about this saints team at this point I feel like they are the team's best position to win the NFC cell right now I know from my listeners and my audience that the Aaron Rodgers fatigue has grown greatly over the past not just the past couple weeks but really the past couple years but I want to hear it from your perspective because I am in my little bubble with my sports radio show do you believe that's the case around the league or do you believe that Aaron Rodgers because of his past and his potential is still one of those players that brings people to games or brings people to their TV sets and their radio stations I think for sure he is especially in New York where they've been searching for a quarterback since Joe Namath left if you remember I think was like 1968 so I don't remember but thank you yeah I mean Amy like here's the here's the craziest stat of this whole Aaron Rodgers thing like when he joins the Jets this year and and starts the year as their quarterback in week one and then finishes week 18 with four thousand four hundred and fifty yards through the air he will be the first Jets quarterback with a four thousand yard passing season since Joe Namath in 1967 like come on so I think automatically he becomes an absolute star I mean obviously he already was in Green Bay but he will and he's got great talent around him too and great young talent so it's a matter of them getting on the same page in a timely manner so he's worth it then yeah I think so there's still not a whole lot going on between the Ravens and Lamar Jackson at least no movement that we know of publicly if they come to you and ask you and I mean the Ravens front office what do we do here what do you think Rhett what's the best course of action they're essentially putting the ball in Lamar's court right they're like okay we've given you a number of offers and the only one that we really know of is one that at some point included three years on 33 million dollars fully guaranteed like Lamar tweeted the other day and I we assume that that was the offer we also assumed he turned that down otherwise like what are we doing here right the Ravens are saying okay this is where we stand right now and other teams you are free to try and offer Lamar more and they're basically hoping another team essentially sets the market for Lamar in which they will more than likely match the offer and they'll have five business days to do it if and when it comes in if it doesn't they're essentially playing chicken with Lamar like okay you're gonna play in the franchise tag or what not play at all um I don't know if that's good for either party so I think at some point this comes to a resolution I'm not certain that it's going to happen today or tomorrow or even in the next week or so I think we what what's going to ultimately happen is we'll see the negotiations between the Ravens and Lamar pick up ahead of that summer deadline to get a long-term deal done for players that were given the franchise tag because at this point if somebody was going to sign him to an offer sheet we'd know by now like I don't know that anybody's out there like oh well we'd like to sign it but we got to do a little more homework no the homework has been done and it's either you know we're all we're not going to offer him or we just don't have what he wants at this point and so then it goes back to the Ravens. Rhett Lewis of NFL Network is with us here after hours CBS Sports Radio and yes we know March Madness is going on but this is March Madness of a different kind so Rhett you're part of Path to the Draft and we know it's all building up now too what's to come in a couple of months the Panthers made this big move they jumped to number one what should they do with that overall number one pick which quarterback do you think is the best fit? So this is a complicated question but I think oftentimes when we're trying to decide fit because that I think that's a great way that you ask that question right is because it's not necessarily the best quarterback or the best player but who is the best fit at that position for that team and like when I think about Carolina think about new head coach Frank Reich and think about the players that have played quarterback for him in the past um let's just go back Matt Ryan you know big strong quarterback look he was past his prime at that point when joining the Colts it didn't work out fine uh Carson Wentz kind of same type right a little bit more mobile than Matt Ryan for whatever reason still didn't work out um you go back Nick Foles Carson Wentz before that in Philadelphia when Frank was there you go further back to when he was in San Diego with the then Chargers or the then San Diego Chargers you talked about Philip Rivers CJ Stroud fits that mold of quarterback that Frank Reich has been with virtually his entire coaching career even going back to when he played by Jim Kelly in Buffalo that's the type of player um that we're kind of talking about in CJ Stroud who I think is more mobile than we probably give him credit for as he showed us in that Georgia game this past year so I tend to think that they are trending towards CJ Stroud big arm uh accuracy and ball placement are his calling cards I think Frank Reich will love that in his style of offense so that's generally where I'm leaning at this point but I think Bryce Young's weight will probably last another seven minutes once CJ Stroud's name gets called if that is in fact how it goes it is incredible with the retirement of some of the greatest quarterbacks we've ever seen certainly this generation that includes Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and you mentioned Philip Rivers obviously Eli Ben Roethlisberger the position seems younger and younger doesn't it Rhett and yet we've got some pretty amazing young studs at that position yeah I mean that's what makes you know what the Houston Texans do at number two so important I think because you're sitting there in the AFC and you're like all right um do we have a Josh Allen do we have a Joe Burrow do we have a Justin Herbert or Lamar Jackson you know if the Sean Watson comes back to the player that he was um you know a couple of years ago like uh if we don't we better go find that dude and do whatever it takes to get him otherwise what do we you know like what are we really doing here right I mean like that's what this has become it's like um it's like a royal rumble cage match situation where you're coming off the top ropes trying to find your quarterback right I mean like you gotta go get that guy Amy and so like that's why I think you know even even in the NFC where or maybe it's a little bit more difficult to identify the top five quarterbacks you still have to have that guy to compete in this league and that's why the Panthers moved all the way up to number one um that's why the Colts are going to take a quarterback or figure out a deal to get a marquee quarterback because they can't keep playing Band-Aid at that position like they have so I truly think maybe you're going to see four quarterbacks off in the top five picks once we get to April 27th wow what's another position in this NFL draft that you think could be very impactful in years to come yeah edge rusher is the next one and I think um I think edge rushers and quarterbacks will ultimately occupy six of the first seven picks that's really all you need to know to tell you what this game has become it's become a game where if you don't have a quarterback you're not going anywhere and if you can't get after the quarterback you know you're also you know in a bit of trouble so that's why we're going to see that type of emphasis on those players early in this draft I think you'll see Will Anderson and Tyree Wilson come off the board um one two uh Jalen Carter depending on how comfortable teams get with what's going on off the field with him uh will will then be the next guy um so you're talking about defensive front players and quarterbacks that are going to dominate the top 10 and then beyond that you're looking at corners I think you could see a cornerback go in the top 10 I think you'll see a bunch go you'll probably see five maybe six go in the first round and then for the first time in gosh as far as I can remember we're going to see five tight ends go in the first round so that's not typically a position where we see that happen but you're going to see some combination of Dalton Kincaid from Utah Darnell Washington from Georgia Michael Mayer from Notre Dame Luke Musgrave from Oregon State and probably one or two others that are going to get their names called on April 27th like it's going to be a really fun draft it's interesting too because that tight end position while we have a few incredible stars Travis Kelce Mark Andrews of course Darren Waller uh getting traded it really is top heavy it's not a super deep position in the NFL currently no you're right it's like it's why if you play fantasy football feels like we're always talking about oh my gosh the tight ends are killing my team yeah if you don't if you don't have Kelce or if you don't have Kittle um or or yeah like a Waller who's been injured by the way and played you know missed 14 games the last two years right you're in trouble like you're just constantly trying to find you know a matchup guy and so I think in a sense that's where fantasy meets reality this year because you know I think teams understand that you know the team that's now won the Super Bowl twice in four years is the best tight end in the game and that probably means something and we probably got to be trying to find one of those guys you know there is a player like that in this draft in Dalton Kincaid I'm not saying he's going to beat Travis Kelce but he kind of fits that mold where he's not a sixth offensive lineman but but could be a third wide receiver yes before I let you go Rhett in the spirit of March Madness and Underdogs and Dark Horses and Cinderella's and it's March but we know that half the NFL playoff field turns over every year so coming off of last season maybe looking at some of the moves they've made to this point who do you think is a team out there that is putting itself in position at least to come roaring into 23 and really make some noise oh man I actually think and this is going to sound kind of crazy but like I really think the Houston Texans are putting some serious building blocks together here and I think they've been doing it kind of meticulously over the course of the last couple of years and you found a running back in Damian Pierce last year you've got one of the marquee left tackles in the game in uh Laramie Tunsil right so that is one of the top four premier positions overall in football it's quarterback it's left tackle it's edge rusher and it's cornerback they've got the corner in Derek Stingley they drafted him last year I truly think if he was healthy we'd be talking about his play along the same lines we were talking about Sauce Gardner this year so you got Stingley you've got Laramie Tunsil locked up two of those positions you've got some really good pieces outside of those marquee positions as well that are young John Mechie who you know is coming back from from cancer hopefully he's going to be good to go and then you've got uh Christian Anderson the linebacker but if they can find a quarterback this year and Bryce Young if that's the guy at two or whomever the guy is at two now you're talking about three of those four positions you go out and find that edge rusher then you know beyond and and now we're talking about the team that can really start to make some noise in a division you know I know Jacksonville's on the come up but I still think that that division's got some some competitiveness there and I think the Texans are gonna have something to say about it. Rhett Lewis is part of NFL Network and I gotta say as a disciple of NFL Game Day one of my favorites to watch on Sundays yeah I'm telling you well I don't know if it's a secret but it it can hold its money or hold its own I should say on Sundays next to red zone and so and I love the story about your dad working in the NFL that certainly gives a unique perspective too so you can find him on Twitter at Rhett R-H-E-T-T NFL it's great to catch up with you it's weird because it felt like the season never ended and yet that is the NFL these days so thank you for a couple of minutes. Oh my pleasure Amy anytime a big fan of your show as well and appreciate all of our loyal NFL Game Day live viewers hope to see you again next year.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-17 08:08:14 / 2023-03-17 08:16:31 / 8