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REShow: Trevor Sikkema - Hour 3 (7-5-2023)

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July 5, 2023 3:21 pm

REShow: Trevor Sikkema - Hour 3 (7-5-2023)

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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July 5, 2023 3:21 pm

Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus joins guest host Brian Webber on The Rich Eisen Show.

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Taste some of this. This OMG is the Rich Eisen Show. No other way to put it. With guest host, Brian Weber.

Oh my gosh. Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. I'm not talking to you. I talk to anybody out there, like haters. Rich Eisen.

I talk to the haters right now. And now, sitting in for Rich, here's Brian Weber. Powering our way into the final hour of the program. Hop aboard at 8-4-4-2. 2-0-4-7-4-2-4. That's the number to call. B-W Weber.

Weber with two B's is the Twitter handle. Just one more guest in our final hour together. And just two along the way.

And just two more tomorrow. However you view me. And yes, I'm needy. I want the instant analysis.

I need the referendum. But even if inexplicably, you're not a fan, you can't say, I bludgeon you with guests. You might prefer it.

But I'm not going to go down that road. In 40 minutes, more NFL conversation when we check in. Whichever. Sigma. A pro football focus. The latest on potential landing spots for DeAndre Hopkins. Dalvin Cook.

Is Ezekiel Elliott going to go back to the Cowboys at a discount? Looking forward to having a conversation with somebody who takes the time to come up with data-driven analysis. It's not just lava-filled hot takes when you're chatting with anybody connected to pro football focus. More NBA coming up in 20 minutes. I'm going to get back on the wheel of Damian lowered.

Keep spinning and spinning. Although I think we all know it's going to land in Miami. So if it's Miami or bust for damn, why is this taking so long? Is it going to continue to play out for another week? Another month potentially? And because I don't want you to be completely filled with the same topic. And I'm presuming you've been with me every step of the way since we started this Emmy-nominated show, the Rich Eisen show a couple hours ago.

I want to carve things up with a different slant. So we're going to talk some James Harden in 20 minutes. Is he going to force his way off yet another team? If he stays in Philadelphia, remember he opted in. So the last year the contract has kicked in.

Are there any reasons to believe that Harden would be more engaged, more motivated playing for his next contract than the ups and downs that we all saw throughout this year in Philadelphia? That is coming up. I'm heading back to baseball. And maybe I'm committing a radio crime.

This is a prestigious multi-platform program. I mentioned the Emmy nomination. But because I have the latitude of following the lead of Mr. Eisen, if you check out the program every day, you know Rich actually talks baseball.

And I applaud that because it's not kryptonite. If you know what you're doing, let's just start with if you follow baseball. And I'll take you behind the curtain. I fall into the habit of all NFL all the time. And I'm not trying to be the poor man's contrarian as a fill-in host. Yes, the NFL is a behemoth. I get it.

The audience is never wrong. Some of you would prefer if I just talked football for the rest of the show and then did it again tomorrow and then did it again on Friday. But this is the slowest week on the NFL calendar. A lot of shows still have the slavish connection to the NFL because their hosts don't watch anything other than the NFL, as we all do, and a little bit of NBA playoffs. I'm just letting you know how it is. I consume a lot of sports media. I can tell within 30 seconds, does the person I'm listening to know what they're talking about, whether it's TV or radio.

Now, that's me being a harsh critic. But the point I'm trying to make is, as I watch the talking head TV shows, you rarely see a baseball conversation for this very reason. What's the topic? What's going to be put on the screen? We call it a lower third from a standpoint of graphics.

What's going to be the topic bar? Because if I'm talking Otani, so much of it is a celebration, even though he got dinged up yesterday and wasn't at his best, as it was an Otani night late afternoon local time in San Diego. Best player in all of baseball, back on the mound, and was not at the top of his game. Only lasted five innings, gave up five runs and seven hits, back to back homers, and he was gone with what turned out to be thankfully just a minimal issue, finger blisters after a problem with one of his fingernails. But unfortunately, it looks like that's going to knock him out of the All-Star game coming up Tuesday in Seattle as a pitcher, another missed opportunity for baseball, because the more they can display Otani on the broadest national stage, the better it is for a game that desperately needs stars. We'll talk more about Otani's future coming up, and how it's related to Mike Trout's latest injury. But if this were a two-man radio show, or any one of the mindless talking head shows out there, the problem with venturing down the baseball freeway hinges on this.

What's the topic? If I had the mythical co-host, and certainly I don't need it, I'm just that compelling, I'm Brian Weber, Infrared Rich Isaac, you can be my de facto co-host if you want to give me a call, 844-204-7424, or tweet at me, B.W. Weber, Weber with two B's, in 35 minutes.

We're talking NFL, not because I have to, because I want to, and because I want to keep a lot of you engaged, looking forward to checking in, whichever Sycamore Pro Football focus. But if I had Hackie Magoo next to me, and we had worked out, like professional wrestling, I'm J.J. Dillon, and he's Tully Blanchard, as I take you back to Jim Crockett promotions in 1984. If we had choreographed a conversation, what's the anti-Otani position?

There is none, because the guy is that phenomenal, and that unique, once-in-a-century kind of talent. Now, it will be interesting to see that Otani, as a unicorn, is proving, at least for now, you can do both. Because for decades, we were told, well, you can't do both. Why? You're gonna break down. You're gonna run the risk of injury. And at some point, Otani's gonna have to choose, as he gets older, oh by the way, happy birthday Shohei, turning 29 today.

Not even in his prime. But we know why nobody else has done this. Well, A, it's incredibly challenging. B, no organization in the United States would allow a player to continue doing both. On the mound, and at the plate.

They would make that player choose, or they would choose for that player. You show up one day, and now you're just pitching. Well, the fact that Otani was able to establish a stardom in Japan changed the entire dynamic. And if you care about my background at all, I call a lot of college sports. I've called college baseball going back to 1990.

Damn, I'm old. As a student broadcaster in Palo Alto, Stanford Cardinal went all the way to the College World Series, one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to do this for a living. So I appreciate college baseball, and still am active in that area. There are many players on premier programs across the country who are the best pitcher and the best hitter because they're the best athlete. It's going to be fascinating to see if somebody becomes the next Otani from the United States. Will they have enough leverage? If somebody's good enough, they'll find the team.

The problem is the draft controls their path to the bigs, but they'll find the situation in which a team is going to say yes. Otani has proven to us this is possible. Because the list right now is Babe Ruth and Shohei Otani.

That's a short list. So I think that is an intriguing byproduct to track moving forward. Who's going to be the next person to at least try to emulate Otani? Not going to be a lot of suitable candidates because Otani is just that transcendent. Still, he should be garnering a lot more conversation, but it's just not going to happen. I think one of the fundamental differences that could occur would be if he remains on his torrid home run pace. 31 home runs, he's also top 3 in RBI, top 5 in strikeouts, even though he was not at his best yesterday on the mound. But if we're talking Otani, in September, making a run at Aaron Judge's recently set. American League record just last year got to 62. Although Judge, as a Paul Bunyan-esque character, literally bigger than life, playing for the biggest team in all of baseball, Aaron Judge was still secondary to the NFL.

Right? In fact, there were disputes across social media whenever even a college football game would have a cutaway to go see Aaron Judge try to make history. That's how much we're addicted to football. I was doing games in 1998, college football games, when we would have the Let's Go to the Studio, Mark McGuire's at the plate, and social media didn't exist, but there was never any pushback because in 1998, baseball was still something we cared about. So if Judge couldn't change the national perception last year, can Otani? Well, he should, because if he is sitting on 58 home runs with a week to go, or 10 games to go, and he's still pitching at a high level, wouldn't that be even more incredible and almost unfathomable?

Now, there's a lot of what-ifs there, because we're still in the first week of July, but it gets me back to my central notion. Shohei Otani is the most underrated athlete of my lifetime, and that spans over half a century. I can't even give you a solid number two. Earlier, I threw out Tim Duncan, and that was probably a stretch. I was just trying to provide context.

So we should be celebrating Otani much more, but I understand all the reasons why it's not happening, and I don't want to waste my time and our time together. I'm Brian Weber in for Rich Eisen. Wednesday edition of The Rich Eisen Show, 844-204-7424 is the phone number. Keep the tweets coming. B.W.

Weber, Weber with two Bs. I don't want to go through endless rhetorical exercises for something that probably is not going to change. Now, what could change?

Let's talk tangible developments. Mike Trout was having a rough year anyway. Mike Trout, only at 263. Did have the 18 home runs, but not nearly as reliable at the plate. So Trout gets banged up the other night, fouls off the pitch in San Diego, turns out to be a broken bone in his hand.

Time table for return, typically 48 weeks. Surgery still a possibility, unfortunately, for the man labeled to be the Mickey Mantle of his generation. A lot of Mickey Mantle's out there now because I love watching Elie De La Cruz of the Reds. Well, he's been called Mickey Mantle as well, and I can see the comps, but you don't want to be the next anything. How did it work out for Harold Miner as Baby Jordan?

At least we're not calling Elie Baby the Mick. Mike Trout, in the midst of a less than stellar year from his Hall of Fame perspective, is now going to be sidelined for the foreseeable future. Angels lost again last night. They're hanging around in wildcard contention. And remember, when we're in the first week of July, you're going to have a boatload of teams because of the expanded playoff field.

But since I have no life, and it's also my job, I looked at the upcoming schedule. Angels got to wrap things up in San Diego. Then they head to Chavez Ravine to take on the Dodgers, who are a better team, especially with no trout. Then they take on the reigning World Series champs in Houston. The Yankees, the following opponent, maybe Aaron Judge is back by then.

And the Pirates are better than you think because you're not paying attention to baseball, and Andrew McCutcheon has been terrific to watch back in the Steel City. So I don't think it's a stretch to say Angels could have a big rough patch coming up. And when we get to the final week of July, if they're no longer even sniffing the playoffs, what do they do with Otani?

I think a very strong argument can be made. You deal him and get whatever you can in return. I don't think it's going to happen because the Angels believe, according to people I've talked to here in Southern California, they can convince Otani to stay. And in fact, losing, and this sounds counterintuitive, but hang with me, losing could play into their hand because they can come to Otani and say, whoa, whoa, you can't hold it against us. The trout got hurt. Go back and look at where we were still in the hunt for a wild card before trout breaking the bone in his hand.

You owe it to us to have at least an open mind. We'll match whatever the Yankees or the Dodgers or the Red Sox, whoever wants to write a big check. Now, is Boston going to spend money?

That's unclear because John Henry now suddenly has lost his checkbook. But if Boston remembers they're a superpower, they'll be there on that same conversation as the usual suspects, the Yankees, the Dodgers, maybe the Padres. How about the Mets? Wouldn't Steve Cohen spend whatever it took to get Otani coming off this incredibly abysmal season? But that's all in the offseason. Otani could be dealt in the short term. Angels come to him and say, we have to get more talent for you when you come back as a free agent. Now, there would be CBA implications there, but the wink, wink, nudge, nudge dialogue has gone on in sports for a long time.

So there'd be no paper trail. But the Angels could spin it that way to Otani's people. We're going to let some other team rent Otani. Now, the risk there is Otani, let's say he goes to the Yankees.

I'm just going to be as knee jerk as I can with the analysis. Makes it to the playoffs. Yankees actually do something for the first time in a long time. Problem with letting Otani go any place other than Anaheim is he might like that situation better. His new teammates, the culture of the organization, and he decides to stay because that's the advantage for a team that would be willing to give up significant assets to rent Otani for August and September. In addition to enhancing their probability, or at least possibility of winning a World Series, they are auditioning to keep him.

But if we're talking about who's got assets for a rental, it's the same teams that we're going through and probably one team stands out more than the rest. And that's the Atlanta Braves. And wouldn't that be the most old-timey baseball thing we've ever seen, like the Yankees used to do repeatedly? The Yankees used to run the old Kansas City A's as their unofficial farm team. The A's had no money, and anybody who was good in Kansas City, Yankees would just pluck off the roster and send a bunch of prospects in return. But here are the Braves, just two years away from having already won the World Series with a transcendent star in a CUNY, with the best record of all of Major League Baseball right now.

They finally lost the game, but they're winning at a 670 clip. With eight All-Stars, they would have the resources and the prospects, in terms of a blend of guys currently in the bigs and ascending talent coming up the chain, to make that offer that the Angels would find so attractive that they'd be willing to part with Otani. Do you think it's going to happen?

But certainly a real possibility. Plus, we're still looking for the update, and I will do a little more research coming up. What's the condition now of third baseman Anthony Rendon after he got banged up last night with a shin contusion, as the Angels had one of the worst days in recent baseball memory. We have decisions to make moving forward, with a trade deadline coming up on August 1st. I'm Brian Weber in for Rich Eisen.

You can be a part of the program, 8-4-4-2-0-4-7-4-2-4. Chime in on Twitter, B.W. Weber, Weber with two B's in just over 20 minutes. We talk NFL with Trevor Sikkema, Pro Football Focus, straight ahead. Is it really Miami or a bus for Damian Lillard?

And if James Harden does not force his way out of Philadelphia, are there any reasons to believe the Sixers will do anything other than lose in the second round of the playoffs once more? Brian Weber in for Rich, we continue on this Wednesday edition of the Rich Eisen Show. Thanks for watching. Are you currently enjoying the show on the Stitcher app? Then you need to know Stitcher is going away on August 29th.

Yep, going away as in kaput, gone, dead. Rest in peace Stitcher and thanks for 15 years of service to the podcast community. So switch to another podcast app and follow this show there.

Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen. Welcome back to the Rich Eisen Show Radio Network. Brian Weber with you. I'm 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 clickrainger.com or just stop by. 8442047424 number to call. Looks like we're not going to keep the streak alive. I took a phone call yesterday.

I hit my quota I think for the rest of the year, but I'm reading the number with a purpose in mind. I'm back with you tomorrow and then Friday. Let's get interactive. I realize that I can drone on, that's why I'm here.

Now drone is not the right word. I can come up with thoughtful as now I'm going to speak very slowly. Provocative topics, but I do want to have a conversation if you're so inclined. 8442047424 tweets have been good. Keep them coming. B.W.

Weber, Weber with two B's will keep this concise, which I think is going to be mutually beneficial because I did not want to do another exhaustive. Damn lower to Miami via Utah and Brooklyn getting involved. Coming up in 15 minutes, we'll wrap up the program with gusto talking NFL with Trevor Sikkema, a pro football focus.

But it is interesting, especially as a veteran of this holiday week, what we wind up using as the focal point of a program. So we've had various summers and we've been on various player watch, watch, watch, last year. In addition to all the NBA, it was all Aaron Rodgers all the time. And to draw the comparison, this feels similar to the Rodgers conversation and recently the Rodgers tipping point getting to the Jets. But we've had recently so many summers of is Aaron going to show up? Does Aaron want a divorce? Is Aaron going to be able to force his way out? And when it became clear when he went on the Pat McAfee show and made it official, he wanted to go to the Jets.

He spoke it into existence, but you'll recall that took quite some time to finalize. So I see the direct parallel between the endgame for Rodgers winding up with the Jets and Lillard. I think no matter how long it takes, Lillard eventually is going to wind up in Miami. But it's not because Portland has to send him where he wants to go. There are examples of teams deciding to do what's in their own best interest, largely because the relationship had gotten less than stellar or because they really didn't care about the player. So I mentioned the precedence of Paul George back in his days with the Pacers would let anybody who would listen know and would say things that NBA All-Star Weekend about his future, wanting to come home to Southern California. It was an open secret that the goal was to play for the Lakers. Instead, he got shipped to OKC. Close. Well, at least there's letters, right? If the goal was to go to L.A., you're only off by a few slots in the alphabet and one more additional letter.

But not exactly SoCal when you wind up in glorious Oklahoma City. I was filling in for Rich talking a lot about Donovan Spada Mitchell, and it felt like a done deal. He was going to go to the Knicks, wound up in Cleveland. So there are some precedents that say just because a star wants to go to a certain place, it doesn't happen. This feels different because of all the years of service that Woodward put into Portland, because he stayed probably two years too long, because of the loyalty, because of the respect he has in that community, because of the dialogue that has been established between Lillard, his agent and the franchise.

I think they're going to accommodate him. But if Lillard winds up in Miami, that also crosses off a lot of these what if scenarios I've been going through. And what if James Harden winds up staying in Philadelphia? Because we've had different pundits come on and there have been different theories on social media saying you could have a multi-team deal as a necessity for the exit scenario of Lillard to get him to Miami to get the package that Portland wants in return. Because apparently they want a lot more than Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Pix. And if you're thinking about Pix, it's got to be, lest they are willing to accommodate Deem against their own best interest, the precedent has been set of a superstar generating four first round Pix in return. Most recently in Kevin Durant.

Heck, Rudy Gobert is not even close to a superstar. And that's what Utah was able to get for him when they sent him to Minnesota. But if we're thinking about how these assets come together, maybe it's a deal that involves Brooklyn. Can they finagle their way out of the Ben Simmons relationship?

Can they get anybody to take him? Would the Clippers jump in? Because the Clippers have more dudes than anybody. Clippers have a deep roster. And if Harden wants to wind up with the clips, somehow this all gets thrown together. We're talking now about Philadelphia, Miami, Brooklyn, LA, Portland. That is your coup de gras of summer NBA talk.

That is the Sunday with 17 cherries on top. But let's say nothing changes in Philadelphia. Because while Harden is skilled, he's a Hall of Famer enforcing his way off teams. Did it in Houston?

Did it quickly in Brooklyn. And while I've been critical of James for disappearing in high leverage situations in the postseason, saw it again this year with Philadelphia, blowing a game six closeout possibility at home, and then getting annihilated game seven on the road in Boston. Harden has a particular set of skills, like Liam Neeson. Nobody is able to force his way off a team better than Harden, but I'm going to give him props for reading the toxic room in Brooklyn and saying, thanks but no thanks, I gotta bounce.

Because obviously James is a bright guy, or was so overwhelmingly negative that he didn't hang around. But he's got the good relationship with Daryl Morey going back to their time together in Philadelphia. And let's just say it doesn't work out, and he's got to stay in Philly for one more year. Remember it would be the last year of his current deal so he'd have the incentive to ball out, to get paid by somebody next summer.

What would happen in the short term? Well, because I feel like it's a done deal that Dame is going to wind up in Miami, although I've been giving you alternative paths as well. Lillard plus Jimmy Butler now as your very solid number two, and bam out of bio. And the rest of whatever the Heat can cobble together, I'm getting tired like the rest of you talking about Heat culture, but it's a good summation of how they get the most out of other players that no teams wanted. Seven undrafted guys on that roster that made it to the NBA Finals, and I realize they lost Max Truce and Gabe Vincent, I have faith because you are what you consistently do, Miami can find other guys that we don't know about and plug and play. So it would still be Milwaukee as the team to beat in the East very quietly, Bucks did everything they had to do, namely keeping Chris Middleton and Brook Lopez and they threw in Robin Lopez as well. Lopez twins activate. Milwaukee would not have lost to Miami if Giannis hadn't been hurt.

It's just that simple. There were flukey games in that series. Just a couple years away from having won the title already. So you got Milwaukee, you'd have Dame, Butler, and out of bio right there. Boston for all their quirks. I like the Porzingis deal, and maybe Marcus Smart was not adding to the culture within the locker room. Something was fundamentally wrong in Boston beyond Joe Mazzola being completely overmatched and not knowing what he was doing as a first year coach, but if we're just stacking rosters, Boston's right there, arguably the deepest team in the entire NBA. And then what do we do with the Sixers?

I think they're going to be, unfortunately Philly fan, demonstrating more of the same. And yes, Tyrese Maxey will continue to get better and think about all the hard work he did when he was playing his single year at Kentucky, a gifted three-point shooter. It fell apart for him when he got to the NBA, and then he paid the price, he invested the hours in the offseason, and now he's one of the best three-point shooters in the league. But you throw together and Bede, wherever he is physically, unless he starts coming up with more chatter that he wants out, don't think that's going to happen now, but even with a motivated, and let's hope fit James Harden, alongside Harris, Maxey, and the reigning MVP in Joel and Bede, I don't think that gets you out of the second round in a much deeper Eastern Conference, because wherever Dame goes, all we're talking about are destinations in the East.

So I don't know what is achieved by Philadelphia by not letting Harden go, unless they think they can get a better deal closer to the trade deadline, but ultimately, if you're just going to run it back, as much as I find that phrase tedious and overused, if Lillard comes to Miami, Philadelphia, with the current collection of talent, even with the best player in the NBA in the regular season, and that was Joel and Bede, I don't think anything's changing, and remember, for six of the last seven years, Philadelphia knocked out in the second round of the playoffs after they squandered that lead over the Celtics a few months ago. I'm Brian Weber, Infra-Rich, home stretch on a Wednesday, hit me up on Twitter, I'll check out the old tweet deck coming up, and respond to your tweets after the program. B.W. Weber, Weber 2B, straight ahead, we wrap it up with style points, heading back to the NFL, I went through the list of ESPN's analysis of the best and worst rosters in the league, Arizona the worst, no surprise KC the best as the reigning Super Bowl champ, so, how much separation is there between the Chiefs and everybody else, looking forward to our conversation with Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus. I'm Brian Weber, keeping the chair warm for Rich Eisen as we continue on the Rich Eisen Show. Brian Weber back with you, Infra-Rich Eisen, 844-204-7424, the phone number, hit me up on Twitter, B.W. Weber, Weber with 2B's, let's wrap up the program, talking NFL, looking forward to the analysis, coming up from Trevor Sikkema, Pro Football Focus, Trevor, thanks for taking the time, how are you doing?

I am doing great, appreciate you having me on the show. It is my pleasure, so let's start with some of the big names that are still looking for landing spots, and Dalvin Cook's situation is very interesting, as you know, and your metrics are more advanced than the counting numbers, but casual fans are aware he's rushed for better than 1,000 yards in four straight seasons, gone to four consecutive Pro Bowls. As you survey the league, which offense do you think would benefit the most by adding Cook?

Well, I think there's a couple of teams, right? Any time that you have a veteran free agent who has this much talent, I think this much pedigree that Cook does, you automatically look at the teams that are playoff caliber, right, that you think are going to play for the postseason. The two that I look at are the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins.

Now, Jets fans might listen to this and say, whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on, we got Brie Saul, and I understand that, I love Brie Saul, I'm not taking anything away from Brie Saul at all whatsoever, but of course, you got the season-ending injury last year, you don't know exactly what he's going to be like when he comes back, anytime you have major lower body injury, you talk to guys and they go, yeah, I mean, it almost took me a full year of even playing before my body, my mind could even trust that I was going to hold up. And I think that the Jets are in a situation where they don't want to waste that time, right? So I think the Jets are an interesting team that he could go to. Miami seems to be the most popular one just because the offense is already really potent, they've got a lot of speed on that team already, but you had a player like Cook who's had just continuous success.

I understand that last year wasn't as efficient for him, but he's still one of the top 10 running backs in the league, if you ask me. Those are the two teams where I say, hey, you're making a playoff push, you don't want to say, ah, yeah, we left this stone unturned and it came back to bite us. Nobody wants to be in that situation, especially the way that the AFC is shaping up right now. So those are the two teams immediately that come to my mind for Dalvin Cook's services. And that's all logical.

And I realize that every situation is independent and has its own unique element to it. But with Cook now coming up on 28 years old, felt like finances were the biggest issue that led to his departure from Minnesota. Trevor, overall, what do you think has happened to the running back position?

I understand that analytics says it's plug and play. And as recently as five years ago, conventional wisdom said, if a running back got to 30, watch out moving forward. But if you're just looking at the names available, Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon, these are players who have had outstanding careers. Yeah, there's no doubt about it.

You just, you don't want to get caught up in paying for what a guy has already done, right? You want to pay him, you want to sign him in a contract for what he's about to do for your team. And I think all those guys, you can look back on their history and you could certainly point to years when they were either very productive overall with volume of statistics or even efficiency. So all these guys were very efficient when they were at their peak as well. So whether it's yards after contact or missed tackles, force, whatever, you just want to be able to judge what a guy can do individually. I think a lot of those guys that you listed off, of course, they're still talented, of course, that they can still help out NFL teams. But it just comes down to how much.

Where's the return on investment with the money that you're giving him? And I just think that unfortunately for those guys, it's no slight to them, but at the running back position, there's a lot of really great athletes and the floor for what would be a replaceable running back is so much higher than it is for other positions because the scarcity is not really there. You look at the draft, even you've got players coming out of the draft. Look at Tyler Algier last year from BYU comes in a day three pick for the Atlanta Falcons in that system.

He rushes for over a thousand yards and that just goes to show you there are talented running backs that come through the NFL every single year. That's what drives the price down. It's not the fact that these guys aren't talented. It's not the fact that they can't help teams.

They can. There's just a lot of them who can do it. Now, it's those players who bring you those specialized skill sets, whether it's what they can do in the passing game or maybe home run speed, home run ability, true tackle breaking, true third down red zone situational players. Those are the ones that you go, okay, we really need that kind of player on our team.

We really need that kind of back on our team. That's when you start to see some money get doled out here and there for some of these players and obviously the ones that can do more of that get paid more money. So, yeah, it's not like these guys aren't talented. It's not like running back talents going out the window. There's just a lot of them and there's a lot of them that come through every single year that tends to make a position that takes a lot of punishment and goes through a lot of injury decently replaceable. And that's why you don't want to give a lot of guaranteed money.

The immutable laws of supply and demand. I'm Brian Weber, Infrared Chaz and talking to NFL with Trevor Sikma, Pro Football Focus. Trevor, wherever he goes, maybe New England, maybe Tennessee, where do you think DeAndre Hopkins is at this stage of his career dealing with more injuries and coming off the PED suspension? Yeah, no, I think that DeAndre is still going to be a great receiver, right? I mean, he was regarded even just two years ago as maybe the wide receiver one in the NFL. I don't think that is all of a sudden vanished. Like he was had his talent stolen, like in a movie Space Jam, right?

I still think that it's there. They still think that it's there for him and whatever team that he goes to, I feel like he has the potential to be that wide receiver one. Certainly, if you look at rooms like Tennessee and like New England, he's going to come in and he's going to be the guy right away.

I mean, they're going to start to build their passing attacks around this guy, which you can't often say for a player who's still available at this point in the summer. I thought that DeAndre Hopkins would almost similarly to Dalvin Cook be looking at some playoff teams that could really use a lot of what they're going to be able to bring to the table. And I did not think that he would be mulling over teams like the Patriots, teams like the Tennessee Titans.

And I understand the Patriots could certainly make the playoffs as well. But when you look at the AFC and where a lot of these other teams are going, I really did think that Buffalo, Kansas City, those would have been the teams that he would have been leaning towards, even if it was for less money. Look at what DeAndre Hopkins has had to deal with throughout his career. Sure, there was there was a little bit of postseason success with the Houston Texans, but that was not the case consistently with the Arizona Cardinals during his time there. And so I felt like certainly on the wrong side of 30, it always seems so harsh when I say that, that he'd be going for those teams to have a chance or at least a better chance for a ring. So it looks like that's not the case, but that's where I thought we were going to be with DeAndre Hopkins, because I still think he could bring a lot to the table.

Trevor, Sycamore Pro Football Focus is our guest. Earlier in the program, I went through the highlights of ESPN ranking the rosters across the league strictly from a standpoint of talent. They had the Rams at number 31. Felt a little harsh, but as we take a step back and think about the evolution of this franchise, and I was chanting a la less need, F them picks, F them picks. Has the bill come due on those Super Bowl runs? And with Matthew Stafford now a year older, coming off a season in which he wrapped up the year on the IR, what are realistic expectations for the Rams this year?

Yeah, I recently did an exercise for PFF over at pff.com. I wrote an article for us, and it was identifying the top three players on every single team, and I got to the Rams. It was very easy, very, very easy to identify their top three players. It's Cooper Cuff, it's Aaron Donald, and it's Matthew Stafford. This is after the Jalen Ramsey trade, of course.

But you go to even number four or number five on that list for the Rams. Yeah, who would be number four? Cam Akers? Yeah, maybe. Cam Akers?

I mean, Van Jefferson? They have some nice players. I mean, I'm not saying that their roster is totally void of talent, but there's just not a lot of stars there. It's a lot of even like tier three guys that are going to be elevated into starting positions there for the Los Angeles Rams. So the bill has absolutely come due for them, and I think everybody would tell you the Super Bowl was worth it, and they should say that, right?

When you get the ring, it's totally worth it. But now I do. I think that the Rams are going to be one of the worst teams in the league. It's certainly from a talent perspective. We're really going to see what Sean McVeigh is, I don't want to say made of, because he's certainly proven that he's one of the best head coaches in the NFL. But this is a different season for him. He's got a lot less at his disposal. A lot of the focal points on his roster, you can't really disguise them very well. There's not a lot of distractions that you can have to say, okay, let's take some pressure of coverage off of Cooper Cup. There's not really a lot of threats on offense that are going to be able to do that.

So I do agree with the rankings that the Rams are one of the least talented rosters in the NFL. But that to me, I'm more excited to see now what McVeigh is going to be able to do, how they're going to put Cooper Cup in these certain situations. And I really hope that Matthew Stafford is very, very healthy this year. I don't want to see him end his year or end his career just broken physically. I want him to go out on his own terms. I'd like him to go out healthy, whether it's this year, next year, whenever it is.

So that is my hope for the Rams. Trevor, really appreciate the insights. I enjoyed the conversation. Thanks so much for taking the time.

I hope we can do it again in the future here on the Rich Eisen Show. Yeah, I appreciate it. Anytime. Trevor Sekima, excellent analysis.

Great energy, too. Pro football focus. And the reason that I like to reach out to pro football focus comes down to this. And this, again, might sound like it's obvious. Their analysts really know what they're talking about because they're fully immersed in it. Now, you can listen with a critical ear and sometimes hear somebody who's kind of talking around the answer or getting by with great delivery.

Hey, that's been my crotch for decades. I have a microphone! What you say is as important as how you say it. And Trevor nailed both ends of that double dip. So I appreciate Trevor taking the time to join us. In addition to the conversation we had last hour, both quality guests, when you come up with a skinny rundown, one of the few skinny things in my life, you better hit.

And we were two for two. So Trevor, outstanding NFL analysis. Be sure to read his work, profootballfocus.com. And I enjoyed the NBA conversation we had an hour ago when we said hello to Jonathan Von Tobel, senior NBA analyst for V-Sin. A reminder, if you miss any portion of any program, we got you covered. Check out the podcast at any time. Looking ahead to tomorrow, I'm back with you, and then Friday as well.

So got a lot more work to do together. I'll mix in more NFL. I'm picking topics that hopefully resonate and will draw in casual fans as well. I'm not breaking down the Chicago Bears.

Much as I enjoy Justin Fields and do think they're going to be vastly improved, we're going with the big names and the teams that have a legitimate chance of winning it all. We're going to talk a little bit more baseball, although I felt like I lived up to my responsibility. And what a hot take. This just in. You've never heard this before. Shohei Ohtani is a transcended talent.

We paid homage to the biggest star in all of baseball on this, his 29th birthday. Guess what? More Damian Lillard conversation. I have a whole afternoon to come up with more creative ways of getting us to where I believe he's going. That's Miami, but that's why I'm allowed to sit in for Rich. I want to thank Mr. Risen, Bruce Gilbert, all the great people at Westwood One, our skilled technical producer, Art Martinez for their assistance. My name is Brian Weber. Enjoy the rest of your day. We'll do it again tomorrow here on the Rich Eisen Show. And I think I'm being proven right every minute of the day, 83 weeks on YouTube or wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-05 16:45:09 / 2023-07-05 17:01:59 / 17

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