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REShow: Kirk Ferentz - Hour 3

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August 31, 2023 3:30 pm

REShow: Kirk Ferentz - Hour 3

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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August 31, 2023 3:30 pm

Iowa Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz and Rich discuss the ever-expanding Big Ten Conference with Oregon and Washington coming over from the Pac-12 along with UCLA and USC, what former Michigan Wolverines QB Cade McNamara brings to the Hawkeyes, the need for a uniform set of rules to govern NIL and the Transfer Portal, and reveals how a suggestion from his wife made Iowa ‘Tight End University’ sending players like George Kittle, Dallas Clark, TJ Hockenson, and Noah Fant to the NFL.

Rich revisits his list of the top NFL offseason storylines from back in March including what the Bears would do with the #1 pick in the NFL Draft, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ contract standoff, if Aaron Rodgers was going to retire, if Jalen Ramsey and DeAndre Hopkins would find new teams, how the NFL QB carousel would play out, Sean Payton revitalizing the Broncos’ offense, the 49ers’ QB competition, where RBs Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette and Kareem Hunt would land, the Ravens’ new-look offense, this year’s rookie quarterbacks crop, Nick Bosa and Chris Jones’ holdouts, and Joe Burrow’s next big contract.

Rich reacts to the passing of longtime Dallas Cowboys scout and executive Gil Brandt at the age of 91, and the guys predict how the NFC East will shake out this season among the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Commanders, and New York Giants.

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This is the Rich Eisen Show. It's also fantasy football season.

Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. In a fantasy league, you need one quarterback, two running backs, a couple of tight ends. So, clearly, New England Patriots are playing fantasy football. One quarterback on the Patriots depth chart. Matt Jones, two running backs.

Is this a PPR league? I hope so, because Devante Barker, you know, he might have a lot of catches. Earlier on the show, Florida State head coach Mike Norvell, NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Chris Collinsworth. Coming up, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. And now, it's Rich Eisen. Our number three of the Rich Eisen Show is on the air live here on the Roku channel.

844-204-RICH is the number to dial here on our program. If you missed any of the first two hours, Mike Norvell of Florida State Football was on the program. Chris Collinsworth of NBC Sports on as well. We re-air as soon as this hour is over on the Roku channel. We're here on Radio Terrestrial, Sirius XM, and Odyssey. Our podcast is out there as well.

For anybody who misses anything, we can't be missed is basically what we're saying. 844-204-RICH is the number to dial once again. But joining us here on the program, 301 games into his head coaching career at Iowa in the Big Ten. And in his 25th year at that storied program, Kirk Ferentz back here on the Rich Eisen Show. How are you, coach? Rich, doing well. How about yourself?

Well, I'm just sitting here in Big Ten country in Los Angeles, you know, out here on the West Coast. What would Hayden Fry have to say about this, Kirk? What do you think? I'm not sure exactly what he'd say, but it'd probably be pretty witty and entertaining.

He's pretty quick on his feet. But I can't believe it. What's your perspective on, I guess, the Big Eighteen right now?

Yeah, I'll start with the Big Sixteen. You know, it was a year ago, July, when they made that announcement. Two things really kind of hit me right off the mark was, number one, I was amazed how quietly they were able to keep it. It really was quietly done, executed. I don't know how many people were in the loop, but in this day and age, for something like the leak out prior to the announcement, it was really impressive. And second, takeaways are pretty obvious. It's been maybe even further substantiated since that time. But pretty much now, I think what you can do with college football is take tradition and take geography, kind of throw it out the window, and it's a whole different game than it was even 10, 15 years ago.

Do you like it? It really doesn't matter. I mean, you learn to love whatever you're doing and whatever the circumstances are. I think from a fan standpoint, selfishly, it was probably a better deal when you could travel geographically. Our conference, we have great fan attendance, great support, and our fans travel really well. It's going to put a little bit more pressure on them, and maybe the novelty aspect will be really attractive to them, and I'm sure they'll find ways to justify hitting their budgets up a little bit. But I think it is what it is, and we'll deal with it.

I guess my other takeaway a year ago, and I really didn't hear many people talk about this over the course of the last 12 months, but I'm starting to hear it now. One of my first thoughts last year, too, was how would you like to be an Olympic sport coach on one of those two West Coast teams, the California and the L.A. teams? And thinking about playing a volleyball game on a Thursday night in New Jersey or Maryland, your flying charter commercial, and your student athletes are going to class on top of it. So the reality is, in football, it's a little bit easier.

We fly a charter. We miss five Friday afternoons a year, basically. Maybe we'll have to do more to go to the West Coast, but our class interference is pretty minimal. It's not much fun coming back from a night game anywhere, certainly if you're going time zones west to east, but again, you're talking about such a small number of days in a year compared to the Olympic sports.

I think that's really where the hardship's going to be, and it's going to be maybe not the most financially prudent thing to be doing either. But there obviously is a bigger picture here when all these decisions get made. And I know I'm asking down-the-road questions to start our conversation here, and you're on the eve of a playing season and a big one at that for Iowa. But what are the conversations being had about the schedule for future years? Do we have to tear up the Big Ten schedule that you just got because Oregon and Washington's coming in, and are there divisions?

Is it just going to be one 18-team mosh pit coach? Yeah, I'm only laughing because we just spent a better part of a day and a half back in February arguing and left everybody unhappy about what the schedule's going to look like whenever the next two teams join us. And I'm pretty sure they can just tear all that up and start over again. But that's part of coaching. So anyway, all that stuff, I mean, you deal with it.

Ultimately, it's not like we got a lot of seeing how that stuff comes down anyway. And to your point earlier, really kind of where I think most of us are directing our energy and thoughts right now is to whatever opponents it is that we're going to face. And in our case, we're just thinking about Utah State right now.

So let's get to it. I'm familiar with your quarterback, being the Michigan guy that you know that I am. Tell me what Cade McNamara is bringing to the table for your team right now. Oh yeah, fortunately or unfortunately, we're familiar with him too.

We got to watch him the entire 2021 season on crossover tape, and then we played those guys in December. And we were very impressed with him coming into that game and then left even more impressed. And now that he's been on campus here, a better part of nine months, even more impressed.

He's just a tremendous young man. And, you know, it was an unusual circumstance. You know, we're clearly in a, you know, portal transfer era, a new phrase of football, if you will, college football. But even before that, it went on characteristic for a quarterback, maybe the transfer. You know, if you end up coming out in the short end of the competition and, you know, we ironically, you know, send a quarterback up to your alma mater, whatever year would have been 2015.

That did very well. We had one go to Louisiana Tech that did very well. I think he won nine games as a starter his senior year. So that's not like a new thing. But, you know, long story short, we're just really thrilled kids here, a tremendous young person. And, you know, it's done a lot of great things during his career already. And we're just really thrilled to have him on our football team and anxious to watch him play this year. And he has been through a lot, you know, in terms of getting an opportunity, having the opportunity, crushing the opportunity, losing the opportunity, and now having another one coming off of a reconstructed knee.

So how do you think that informs him when he gets into the huddle, Coach? Yeah, you know, I spent some time in the NFL and I looked at it this way. It's pretty uncommon to get a guy in the NFL through free agency who's a proven playoff winning quarterback. And in Cade's case, he led his team to the college football playoff, you know, top four teams in that 21 season. So to get a guy with a resume like that to come to your team in the NFL, you know, unless he's 38 years old or however old Aaron Rodgers is, you know, it doesn't happen very often.

So that's kind of what I'm looking at. We're really excited. Certainly had medical challenge last year and has worked through that. We were careful with him in the spring. And, you know, he's had a great August.

He's fighting a little bit of a ninja right now, but we expect him to play Saturday. And I'm just thrilled to have him here. He's got great leadership. And the other part he's got that you can't give a guy, he's got game experience. And not only game experience, but, you know, high quality game experience. So we're just really thrilled to have him join our football team and hopefully bolster our attack. Yeah, and the Big Ten experience.

I mean, you just can't just find kids like this just walking around. So it's how would you tell Hawkeye fans how the offense might look different to previous years, coach? As you might imagine, a lot's been made of him and his, you know, arrival here. The other part we have not been, you know, where we want to be offensively the last two years, especially last year. It was just one of those years.

It's not much fun to go through. But, you know, I've been around long enough and we went through one of those in 89. We were in the Rose Bowl the next year.

So one year to the next year is a very different circumstance. And I guess probably the thing I would accentuate right now is that we're pretty much better, not pretty much, I think we're better as we sit here today without playing a game better than a year ago at this time at every position. Offensively, we've got for the first time in two years, we've got good competition in the offensive line. We've got eight or nine guys that we feel could go in and play and play pretty effectively. You know, that hasn't been that well two years.

And then same thing at the receiver court last year. We had one scholarship receiver for the first opening game. And, you know, right now we've got, I think, five, six guys that are probably better than anybody that we had last year at that position.

A couple of guys are in that group that are back. They're healthy and more experienced. And, you know, feel good about our tight end position. We lost a great one in Tampa, Florida, but picked up Eric Hall as part of the Cade McNamara transaction, if you will.

And then same thing at the running back position. We got the same guys back, but a year older. And I think you're better and more mature. A couple of things you just said. I think I just want to pull on a little bit in the final minutes I have left here with Kirk Ferens, the head coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes here on the Rich Eisen Show.

You mentioned transfer portal, NIL, and things of that nature. Would you welcome government help, federal government help, on coming up with guidelines that everybody in college football say on the same level, Division I, as you? Would you welcome that as help on this front? You know, that's a scary thought to say, you know, to repeat those words. But it may be, you know, it may be in this case our best chance. And I say that in jest. I mean, I'll take help from anybody.

But I'm not sure where it's going to come from or what form it's going to, you know, what it's going to look like. The one thing I'm sure of is at this point right now, we lack structure in this area. And, you know, you coach in the NFL, it's a whole different deal.

Everything is very structured. Everybody, all 32 teams, play by the same rules and the enforcement is the same for all 32 teams. So, you know, that's a really, you know, it's a competitive league and that's one good thing about it. Like it's equal across the board in terms of opportunity. There's also a salary cap. There's transparency. And right now we lack all those things in college football. There is no uniform set of uniform rules or policies.

There is no transparency. And, you know, at some point I think we have to develop a way to have some structure, some framework. And so everybody kind of knows what the landscape is. And right now I think there's a lot of, you know, a lot of exaggeration, a lot of embellishment.

There's a lot of opportunity for tampering, things like that. And, you know, on the short term we're all dealing with it. But I think if you want to look at it to sustain the game and sustain it in a level where everybody can find it to be palatable, I think, you know, I think those are things that are going to have to be addressed.

And, you know, where that help comes from, you know, I really don't care just as long as it does in some form or fashion. So are there meetings that you have at some point where somebody on your staff goes, hey, we're hearing this about one of our guys and talking to these schools or this individual, or these schools are approaching our guys, and how do you handle stuff like that? Is that happening, Coach, for you?

I don't know the answer to it. And, you know, I'll give you a quick for instance if I did a non-Power 5 team. I don't know if I'd play a Power 5 team because, you know, all you're doing is giving them a firsthand exposure to some of your good younger players and, you know, just you're inviting those guys to get poached off your roster. Not that it's not going to happen anyway, but it's a real concern. But, you know, I think the bigger concern, again, is just, you know, there's no structure at all. So basically a player can pick up and leave whenever he wants and, you know, get a free pass to the next university. And I think there's a lot to be said for player movement and the ability. And, you know, personally if a guy's not fully on board here, you really don't want him to be on your team because it's not going to help you move forward. But, you know, I think there's got to be some form of structure and that's, you know, maybe smarter people than they can try to figure that out. But that's what we've got to get right now.

It's just it's a little bit out of control. And then the last one for you, Coach Kirk Ferentz. You mentioned, you know, Sam Laporta and replacing him. He's now on the Detroit Lions a week from tonight.

We'll see him out there on the kickoff against the Kansas City Chiefs. T.J. Hawkinson just signed a $66 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings. We all know the number of tight ends you sent to the next level.

What do you do there to keep creating this position so well for players to hit the next level? What makes for a good Iowa Hawkeye tight end in your estimation? I always tell the story of the origin of that is, you know, back in the 80s, any time we'd lose a game, I'd go home and my wife Mary would say, you know, he didn't throw the ball to the tight end enough.

And, you know, the thing that pushed you off was she was usually right. So one thing one thing about it, we may be part of the reason our guys do well. We don't have a preconceived notion of what a guy has to look like coming in.

And every guy's got a different story. George Kittle was going to Weber State. I coached his dad 100 years ago. So that was our connection.

And his mom's an All-American basketball player, Drake. So that was kind of the, you know, the caveat there. But we keep an open mind. And I think the other simple thing is that we use our tight ends extensively. They do a lot of things for us.

So if a guy's good enough, he's going to get great exposure and hopefully have an opportunity maybe to keep playing and do the same things in the NFL that he does here. All right. So then the last request, if you don't mind. It's not a question.

It's a request. I need your favorite George Kittle story, please. What do you have for me, Coach Fracks? You know, he was great here.

But he's really become more colorful as he's gone. You know, I can just tell you this. Whatever it would have been, they played the Packers in a playoff game. And the guys in my office, you know, we don't get to watch football when we're coaching in college and vice versa.

It kind of works the same way. So all the guys here are saying, you know, you don't realize what level he's at. And then I got to watch that game against Graham Vann.

Now we'll see unbelievable. Obviously, he's got great ball skills, makes, you know, a lot of wild catches. But, gosh, his blocking that day was just unreal. So it's just that the great story about him is that he was a legitimately a six, two and a half, six, three guy, two or five out of high school and just morphed into this guy was a really good player when he got here or left here. But he's clearly just kept on rising.

And I think that's one thing, you know, the draft experts. People forget some of these guys keep getting better as they go. He certainly has done that. I mean, so he just keeps getting better with every year. And he's such a high energy guy. And you just love to watch him play because he's having fun out there and really competing at Iowa. It's just fun to watch him. He's pancake blocking people and smiling, you know.

But he's also finding the sky cam, you know, while he's doing it. So he knows he's unbelievable in that regard. But so he wasn't that guy at Iowa? Was he? Was he like? He was colorful. You know, that's a direct gene from his dad.

His dad's a little bit like that, too. But they love playing and love competing. And that's really what you're hoping for. Coach, thanks for the time. Good luck in your season opener and beyond.

Let's do this again. I truly appreciate it when you take my call. Thank you. Always good to visit with you, Rich. Thank you.

Right back at you. That's Kirk Ferentz, everybody, right here on the Rich Eisen Show. Always love having him on, especially when he does not take on Michigan, as they will not this year.

I love it. Yeah, it's never great to, you know, leave a night game. I'm like, tell me about it. Leaving a night game in your spot is a friggin' nightmare. Suzy tells stories about doing the sideline at Iowa and how you can't get around, you can't get around, you can't walk the stadium as a sideline reporter in a circle because the benches are so far up against the stands, you can't get through.

Oh, interesting. So you're on the sideline, you're on the visiting sideline at that stadium on a night game? It's like Hoosiers. I've been in the game there on the field, and it is. The fans are right on top of the bench.

They're right there. So whenever I see Michigan's at Iowa, I'm like, please tell me it's not under the lights. Please tell me it's not a night game.

Because that's where Michigan seasons go to die. You know. Heath Miller, right? Wasn't he an Iowa Hawkeye as well? Oh, Heath Miller.

Yeah, good one. Was he? Wasn't Heath Miller an Iowa Hawkeye? No, he was Virginia. I think Heath Miller was not Iowa. Heath Miller was Virginia. Yeah, Virginia.

He looks like he should have went to Iowa. Dallas Clark. Dallas Clark. Dallas Clark, oh yeah. Yeah.

I mean, there's a whole list of them, man. Tony Mayoki, remember him? Eric Jensen. Yeah. Brandon Myers. Scott Chandler.

Yeah. George Kittle, baby. Kittle.

Hawkinson. 66 million bucks, man. Cha-ching. And, honestly, I don't know what they're going to do. What's the Big Ten going to do? Two conferences, two divisions of nine?

Is that what it is? And then you play only your one division and then your two in the other ones? How many conference games can you play? Usually it's eight.

That sounds about right. So you do not play anybody in your other division? I guess not. Well, you can't do that because you would imagine they'd separate it by some geography. Michigan's got to be in a division with Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State. That's because that's who they play every year. Unlike the other schools they just mentioned. They don't play Michigan.

Not geographically sound. They don't play each other. Michigan's got to play them. I'm sorry, I grinded. Geography.

I go back into that axe grind. But you got to have USC and UCLA play some of these teams. Oregon, Washington. They're not going to play Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, or Michigan State because they're only playing their teams in their conference, their division.

I mean, you can't do that. Geographically it makes the most sense. I know what you're saying geographically. I know, but UCLA, you want them to go play Maryland?

Listen, it's clearly not about geography anymore. So the Big Ten's going to bring in UCLA and USC. But it's not just about football, right?

Like Kirk brought up. I know. The volleyball team has to go all the way across the country. I know that. And then go all the way back to go to class the next day?

I don't know. I guess what they have to do is play in football stadiums like Nebraska's volleyball team in front of 90,000 people and make a ton of change. That was super awesome. Yeah, that was cool. I honestly do not know what the answer is, and that's why they're ripping up the schedule they just sent out for 2024. Hey, I was all excited. I'm like, I'm going to buy tickets for Michigan at USC. Maybe they're not coming now.

I have no idea. And you can't bring in USC and UCLA and Oregon and Washington into the Big Ten and they don't play the traditionally powerhouse Big Ten schools. They're not going to do that. Geography be damned. You guys ever see a situation where these teams, maybe the football programs kind of separate, right? And they do their things with the conferences and the teams like the volleyball team, the tennis team, the swimmers, the golf. Maybe they have their own type of, so maybe, you know, they don't have to travel across the country. Maybe they're playing schools that are more rivals.

USC's used to playing at Oregon and at Washington and vice versa. Anything like that could ever happen? I don't know.

Maybe. There are no rules. The football programs are the ones pushing this forward, right? Tradition's over.

There are zero rules. Well, the one rule is Michigan's got to play Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State. USC's got to play UCLA. Oregon and Washington's got to play those two teams. I mean, come on.

You got to play up the rivalries that you've already built. Right? Do you have to? Yeah, because that's what the TV networks are paying for. That's what they're paying for.

Yeah. OK, so Fox, you paid us all this money. You know what we're not going to do for one year off Michigan, Ohio State, one year off. Get out of here. You know what we're going to do?

You're paying all this money. NBC for the night Big Ten game. You know what? We're not going to send a Midwest team out west for that perfectly timed five o'clock kickoff Pacific time Big Ten football on Saturday night. It'll just be USC versus Oregon, like that Pac-12 game that nobody wanted to see anymore. With the playoff going to 12, we've already established that Ohio State, Michigan probably isn't going to matter as much in the standings anymore.

Well, it will. The reason why it didn't is because it was one big 16 team mosh pit. Now you've added two more. What are you going to have 18 teams play it out for two spots? Or nine teams play it out for one and nine teams play it out for one.

I guess it's the same ratio. I don't know what the hell they're going to do. Or it's going to be nine teams, you add two more, and it'll be ten teams play it out for two, ten teams play it out for two, and they have their own Big Ten tournament. Yeah, at the Rose Bowl. Why not? When did we used to do that? All the time. Let's take a break.

844-204-rich, number to dial. We're going to review some of my storylines from the offseason and see how they played out. See if I was on anything or not.

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Eligibility and deposit restrictions apply. How are you, George? I'm happy to be here, Rich.

I'm happy to talk to you again. Are you really, George? We saw your Instagram, George. We saw it. We saw it. You saw it?

I don't mean to interrupt what's going on. You know, you're on vacation with your wife, right? They're in Cabo. Is that what's going on right now?

Did I see that? Hey, between you and me, and don't tell anybody else, I am actually back in Nashville. That's from last week.

I was in Cabo. Whoa! Don't tell anybody. And here I was, you know, go say hi to McVeigh and go say hi to, you know, Stafford. But there you are. Okay.

So this was last week. You were on the Okie-Doke. No, I was saying I was Kyle Shanahan instead, but that's kind of my... That's your speed. Okay. Well, okay. Good. Now I don't feel as bad. I don't feel... I feel like... Rich, I'll go to Cabo with you too, man.

You look like you know how to have a good time. Well, here's my deal, George. George, here's my deal. And this is... It's not just because I'm a 51-year-old, man. This is the way I've been my entire life. Tequila is a night ender for me. Like, literally, if it's two in the afternoon, which I would never really do these days anyway, it's over. My night's over.

Finished. I know it's something like a blast, but, you know, it's true. Tequila and... I just don't mix with tequila. Never have.

Rich, you should see the look that my dad just gave the phone after hearing you say that. Tequila is my day start when I... What are we doing? All right.

You should just come to Tennessee and we'll get that fixed for you. Okay. So what is your... It's a mindset and you just power through it. Okay. It's a mindset.

I never really thought about that. So what is your libation of choice when on vacation, George? What is it? Ooh. What's your go-to? Well, besides Bud Light, I'm a big pina colada guy and I absolutely... I love tequila just in general. Okay.

I can't think of anything. I love George Kittle. I love him. Good times. Back here 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. Robert in Texas. Let's take Robert in Texas' phone call. Robert. What's up, Robert in Texas?

Hey, Rich. I don't know if you remember me. I'm the one that called about the Aaron Rodgers to the patient trade. How could I ever... Robert, how could I ever forget you?

You had me at hello. After a couple weeks from that, I had read that the Patriots were actually interested, but that Rodgers shut it down. I don't know. That'll be one of those storylines that comes out maybe mid-season. That could be like a week one information man slash woman report on a Sunday morning show.

I enjoy watching Rodgers. That could be a Monday night football Schefter nugget, you know, before he takes on. Hey, before you all enjoy him, New York, guess what?

He could have been in New England. I don't know. Bill said that was bunk. He said he never talked to him about it. Okay. Oh, okay.

I hadn't seen that. Sounds good. All right.

What do you want to talk about today, Robert? I wanted to do the Cowboys win laws because I'm ashamed by what T.J. did. Oh! Ashamed! Ashamed. Wow. It's like Game of Thrones. Shame.

Red Wedding. Shame. We're like following you around the NFL kingdoms. Robert, please don't be the Cowboys fan who gets up here and say we're going to like 16-1. The Cowboys' King's Landing, where it's shame. Okay, here we go.

I need some America's team type music. All right, here we go. I just want to say first, this is the year we get rid of some demons.

Okay, this is going to be off the rails. Robert, at the Giants, Sunday night to start. When? Home for the Jets.

Naturally. One of the demons, when? That's a demon. He just called Aaron Rodgers a demon. At the Cardinals. When? Home for the Patriots. When? At the Niners. Another demon, when? 5-0 at the Chargers. When? Kellen Moore, is he a demon?

You just took care of him. All right, 6-0, into the buy. Out of the buy, 6-0 against the Rams.

This is one of those noon games where we don't wake up for it and we just leave. Giving him a loss against the Rams. All right, at the Eagles.

When? That doesn't lead to the Eagles. 7-1, home against the Giants.

He doesn't lead to the Giants either. 8-1 at the Panthers. A win. 9-1 against the commanders on Thanksgiving at home. Oh, those are always tricky, but I'll go with a win. 10-1 against the Seahawks at home.

When? 11-1 against the Eagles at home. Again, we don't lose to them. 12-1 at the Buffalo Bills. We don't lose that way.

Oh, good for you. You're so forgiving. I lost track. 7-8, 9-10, 11-12. 12-2 at the Dolphins. Miami in December, left a loss. 12-3 home against the Lions. A win. 13-3 at the commanders. And we'll have Cooper rushing there for that one.

We'll lose. 13-4 in a demon-exercising season for the Dallas Cowboys. Thank you, Robert.

Look, I appreciate Robert and his record. What did you say, TJ? 11-6. I thought that was, you know.

Yeah. TJ had losses home against the Jets. Demon. At the Niners. Demon. At the Eagles. Demon. At the Bills.

And at the commanders. You had the demons demonizing. Look, yeah, you know. When you get beat with a rolled-up newspaper enough, of course. Do I love the win-loss game or what?

It's just so fun. The thing is, and this really epitomizes where we're at right now, Rich. You mentioned the four-letter word earlier in today's show, hope. It's hope and optimism because we're still a week away. No games have been played.

We have no idea if these guys are good or not. Who sucks? Who's awesome? We've got a whole show tomorrow.

It's great. And four more until hope starts dying. Hell yeah, man.

For some. Or five, if you want to include, you know, whoever's not losing Thursday Night Football. We've got a lot of win-loss games left in us. It's awesome. I love it. Keep them coming. Now, we also hear quite a bit.

We hear quite a bit here on this program, certainly on our Twitter feed, X feed, however you want to put it. Why don't we revisit the what's more likelies to see if I was right or wrong? The problem with that is a lot of the what's more likelies are beyond just the weekend.

Right. Especially in the off-season, they're kind of like big picture items that we're just kind of having fun with. We'll see you tomorrow. But let's give that crowd something to chew on.

I want to revisit two top five lists. The top five storylines entering the NFL off-season that I delivered the week after the Super Bowl, and the top five training camp stories that I delivered the day training camp opened. And let's start it off. Let's go. Yeah, there we go.

Very good. Let's do the top storyline entering the 2023 off-season was what will the Bears do with the number one overall pick? And we found out they did, in fact, flip it to Carolina for Bryce Young.

And we will see how this all plays out. Carolina, how will they do with Bryce Young? And the Bears, I think wisely, wisely betting on Justin Fields and then getting all the draft picks they got for the first overall pick, rather than just using the first overall pick and seeing what they could get for Justin Fields. I ask you, don't you think they would have gotten less for Justin Fields than what they got for the first overall pick without anybody being named? The unnamed person, just the opportunity to choose whoever you want, they probably got more than they could have gotten for Justin Fields. They got a pretty good deal from Carolina. I think that was smart. You know what I mean? Yeah.

So I think they did that right. Number two was Lamar's franchise money tree. And man, it took a while for this story to play out. The Thursday draft night is when the Ravens finally came to terms with Lamar Jackson and the number of things that happened from him tweeting out, I demanded a trade just as John Harbaugh's cheeks hit the seat at his press availability at the owner's meeting in March. There was a ton, a ton of conversation about why shouldn't this team go after Lamar? Remember the sort of portable gym that he was doing with his friend who was apparently the one... And there was a commercial that came out? The entire gym that you bring your...

It's a portable gym, the entire gym. And the guy who he's partners with was the one who was reaching out on his behalf. It was a weird off-season. So at the end, Lamar got paid, the Ravens kept him, and his mom's not that bad of an agent, if that is who his agent is.

Got a good deal. Number three on the list, Aaron Rodgers' latest career decision. We found out what it wanted.

What did he want? Look at that photograph. That's old Rodgers lid right there. Look at that lettuce.

Yeah. What he wanted was to play for the Jets. And what he wanted was for Gudekunst to know to FaceTime him, don't call him.

He's got bad reception in his house. I can't believe he's a Jet. I just can't believe that his career decision wound up with him going to the Jets. Two and three were part of the same thing. The Jets people were saying, should they give up two number ones to go get Lamar themselves?

Yeah. So number four on this list is which major player could get traded? And radio audience, we put Jalen Ramsey, Aaron Rodgers, and DeAndre Hopkins up on the screen back in that February 21st show, and all three of them got traded.

All three of them. Well, then D-Hop got released. Oh, that's true.

That's right. D-Hop got released. Yeah, he got released.

And then he went on a tour. Yeah, we didn't see that one coming. Right.

Traded. That was like, whoa. Yeah. That's one of those Miller show things, right? They just let him go.

Like, wait a second. So everybody hoping to see that Colt McCoy to DeAndre Hopkins connection for week one at Washington for the Cardinals? Nah.

It's not going to happen. Clayton Toon to Hollywood Brown coming your way. Number five was the quarterback carousel.

Where's everybody going to go? Baker Mayfield on the left wound up in Tampa. Derek Carr, we all knew how to go somewhere else by this point because he was sent home for Christmas by the Raiders. He wound up in New Orleans.

Ryan Tannehill stayed put. Remember there was a conversation? What are they going to do with him? Yeah. Yeah.

Thought he was out. Could Rodgers go there? Remember? There was an old conversation. Rodgers had a home in Nashville.

Oh, he's building a new house or something. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's right.

And Jimmy G wound up in Vegas. Didn't somebody call us? And they're like, I know the contractor who's in a subdivision and Rodgers is building a house. Yeah. Yeah. That's right.

That's great. And then the one more for that was what will the Sean Payton Broncos look like? And you're picking them to lose week one. Well, no, no. I don't know. Do we know? Do we know what they're going to look like?

We have no idea what they're going to look like. We know Russ looks thinner, right? We know that.

We know that it would be more braggadocious. Check that box with what he had to say about Nathaniel Hackett, no Gilligan hats and all that business. But the injury bug has hit them again. Jerry Judy hamstring injury, Tim Patrick Achilles out for the year.

You know, kind of undermanned a little bit offensively. So we don't know, but we'll find out against Jimmy G and the Raiders. Now let's look back at my top five training camp stories that were, let me just say right here, July 26th.

So a month and change away. Number one on this was the 49ers quarterback competition. Purdy won it just showing up and then Darnold beats out Trey Lance and who would have thought Lance would be traded. I thought they would hold on to him, but I guess the way that this all played out, he was not interested in staying there anymore and they obliged him to Dallas.

What if I told you on July 26th, TJ Trey Lance was coming to Dallas. I've been like, what? Yeah, exactly. We'll remember Dana Jeremiah early on put the Falcons bug in our ear. You thought that that would be a spot as nice Desmond Ritter insurance.

Yeah. Dallas. Number two is running back landing spots. The four that we put up on the screen, Dalvin, Zeke, Fournette, and Kareem Hunt. How about here we are one week before the season and the two guys on the right are still ATC at the crib, Dalvin with the jets. I thought he was going to wind up with the dolphins and Zeke.

I thought he was going to stay in Dallas. Yep. Man.

Are we going to be talking week two, week three after Zeke's got four touchdowns for the Patriots when they're two and oh, and the Cowboys are O and two. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Honestly. Oh, Rich.

They could, they could really, they could really use him. Relax. From your mouth. Relax. Number three is the Ravens offense.

Good one. And we had Odell's photograph up there and sure enough, we, we don't know. And the guy on the screen called in yesterday, Odell Beckham and he kind of, did you hear he gave, he dropped the nugget? Must have been a throw the ball. Here it is.

Monk incoming from Georgia. And I seen that he aired it out. I know that Lamar wants to air it out and not to say that it's going to be an air raid. It just didn't seem like that was the energy. It was that, you know, we're going to throw the ball and you know, being on the other side and, you know, even take away the NFL, but other business opportunities and you hear the thing that they tell you, but then you get there and it's not exactly what it is. It was definitely kind of me winging it on a freely on a feeling. And I took it hard the other day. I was like, you run a world-class operation around here.

It's been like, it's been very refreshing, you know, it's been a breath of fresh air for me. It's definitely not just going to be all run game. I'll tell you that much, I won't give away any game plans, but I'm, I'm truly excited. I mean, he's excited and it's not going to be as much of a run game and they're not going to call it air raid. What if it's a quick passing game? What if it's quick to Zay, quick to him, moving it along and then hit you in the mouth with JK Dobbins and Gus and then Lamar says, screw it, I'm taking off.

And then Mark Andrews down the scene. Can't wait for on the top five training camp stories. How many reps for the rookie quarterbacks on the answer is enough for them to start all of them, except for Will Levis, who's been kind of banged up in this preseason. But there you got three star Anthony Richardson today named a captain. Go figure that they named him a captain, a Serrano line right there like that for him. Are they naming more players, captains than ever before? I thought they used to be like two captains.

Two guys went out for the coin toss. Every team does a different way. Nine captains should be one offense, one defense, and maybe a special team. I mean, just think about it.

Jalen waddle could have been a captain in the cults. Number five. Wow. Well, that brings you to number five was holdouts. Who's going to hold out? Who's going to hold out?

And how about this? You got Chris Jones and Nick Bosa up on the screen, they're still holding out right now. This was July 26th. We're here on the last day of August.

They are still holding out. We're not talking about this. Joss Jacobs came in from the cold just a couple of days ago and Zach Martin got paid after the less pie suddenly showed up with more pie.

Jerry knew he better get a nice baker in the house or something because we need the less pie. Right. And then the one more was the contracts. Can't wait to see about the contracts of Burrow and Herbert. And right now, only Burrow remains on signed long term. Herbert got paid. He hit it and the highest paid quarterback in the NFL at present until this guy gets his deal.

But we're hitting September, it looks like, and his deal's not yet done. Any chance? No. His? No. Calf. Calf. No. Zero. Oh, my arm.

Oh, my arm. This gets done. If you pay me. Dude, he will be paid in time for week one's start against Cleveland.

Isn't Cincy notoriously tight walleted? Please, don't worry. This is going to happen. Okay. No one's worried. Just throw another.

I'm not. Let's take a break. 844-204-rich number to dial here on the show. We are going to take your phone calls to wrap this show up.

Everybody wants to play the win-loss game. 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. It's time for kickoff and the Believe podcast will get you ready for the new season. How do you live through this as a different sports fan? Believe has podcasts covering all 32 professional teams and many of your favorite college teams too. You slid it by your defense.

You got better. Sideline to sideline. End zone to end zone. If you don't do those things, then you're not even trying your hardest to win at football and I don't know what we're doing. There was a lot of great players on those teams that I was fortunate to be part of.

Search BLEAV podcasts wherever you listen. It's the 20th anniversary season of NFL Network and when we first started, there was a lot of old guard people in the NFL that were wondering, what is up in Los Angeles with the NFL Network and who are these people coming in? And we got a little bit of flack from some of the old guard who was giving us the Heisman a little bit.

Not Gil Brandt who passed away today at the age of 91. He could not have been more giving to all of us at the NFL Network and he wanted in. He wanted to be part of it. He wanted to know what was going on and he could not have been more welcoming to all of us, which was very important to all of us and his contributions to the NFL are the stuff of legend. It's why he has a bust in Canton. We all know about how Gil, along with Tex Schramm and Tom Landry, was the architect of those America's team cowboys, but Tex and Landry leaned on Gil considerably to find out who these players are because Gil knew it all. Gil also knew for everybody in the NFL to figure out who these players are and to know if these players were healthy enough to play in the NFL, they needed to share medical information and bringing all the players in one spot to get them there and to see them work out and be there is how the combine was born. And Gil Brandt essentially gave birth to the NFL Combine. I always asked him when I saw him, because you know he's of advanced age, what Abraham Lincoln's 40 time was and he always laughed and so then I felt followed. What was Julius Caesar?

How fast was he in his toga? He couldn't have been greater and I say to him and to his family, our condolences and rest in peace. Talking about Gil Brandt passing away at the age of 91, the great scout of the Cowboys and I'll never forget our first combine that we covered at NFL Network, I noticed sitting at the 40 yard dash start line, three guys, Al Davis, Bill Parcells, Gil Brandt. They sat there and I just wanted to be a fly on the wall. What were these guys talking about? And very few coaches went up to talk to them.

They just gave them their space. Al Davis, Gil Brandt, Bill Parcells. So rest in peace to Gil Brandt. And as you know, Rich, he was like the forerunner of using computers, looking through other sports to find athletes that he thought could be come football players, which he did. And you know, taking flyers on guys and like Staubach and Chad Hennings, who had to finish up Air Force time, but like drafting them and kind of sitting on them and waiting. He was an amazing evaluator of talent.

Passed away at the age of 91 today. Let's get to our NFC East predictions, shall we? Let's do it. Do it. Do it. Do it. Do it. See, that was a text message I did respond to yesterday.

Christopher, you go first. Rich Eisen, it's the Eagles' world and everyone else just lives in it. I think the Eagles are going to win the Super Bowl this year, but they're sure as hell going to win the NFC East. Dallas is a playoff team.

I really like them as well. I could see them in the NFC Championship game. Giants, a little bit of a regression to the mean and the commanders are a shrug emoji. That's why I have them fourth.

Well, I mean, the commanders are starting a first time starter, you know, in week one. And that's why I've got them in fourth place. The Giants, I just need to see what they look like in year two.

Was last year an outlier or not? The Eagles are just too damn stacked. It's just that simple. You know, I'm right, I'm riding with that fantasy and riding with that period. I came for this man, but I just think the Eagles are too much. So I'm the same way. Eagles, Cowboys, Giants, commanders and you bringing up strong, TJ.

What do you got for me? All right. Well, this hurt my soul, but I kind of agree with you there. I got the Washington team finishing in fourth, the Giants and third got the Cowboys finishing second. I think we're going to have a great season. I just think that the Eagles are probably going to finish with a better record. I'm OK with that. And I don't know that I necessarily believe that there are better. OK, maybe there are better. I mean, Devontae Smith alone, I think, is going to be vastly improved.

Yeah, I mean, J. Brown, they they might they've got a great. They've got the best receiver to all. Don't forget, Tyreke and Waddle Manano.

They drafted incredibly the last few years, and I think Dallas has, too. But I'll give it to the Eagles based upon how they finished last year and say, though, I'll give them the nod, even though it makes me sick to say it out loud. Don't forget Wilson and Cobb.

That's a good debate next week. If we want to do that, pass catcher, pass catcher, quarterback, who's got the best tree? Obviously, you say pass catcher. So someone like Kelsey could be right. You didn't even get my Wilson versus Commie just went straight over it. I mean, I heard you say in the car.

Yeah, Wilson, Wilson and Cobb, what about Lazard, Lazard and Hardman? Wow. All right. What are we doing here? Allen Dallas.

Let's finish up strong since we're talking to NFC East. What's up, Al? How are you, brother? I'm doing great.

What he should have said to TJ is what a shonda for you picking the way that you predicted the Dallas Cowboy record. Look at you dropping the Yiddish. Yeah. Listen, I'm going to New York in a couple of weeks, so I got to get back to my East Coast groove. So, yeah. Listen, Gil Brandt, that's a shame.

And I would say that you guys are all right, man. Like the Eagles, you know where I live, but the Eagles, they're going to be tough to beat this year. I mean, really. I mean, you could just see the NFL is great, right? You see the trajectory of teams as they get better and stronger every year, and that team was almost there last year. I would find it hard to see anybody beating the Eagles. Well, with the Eagles too, and thanks for the call, Al, I mean, what do you need to win in this league? You need to rush the passer, you need to run the football, and you need to have a game changing quarterback. They can do all three. They can protect, they can run, they can defend, they can rush. I mean, and if the best team in college football in the conference that sends a ton of players to the next level consistently wins back to back championships and you keep taking some of the best players that they have, I mean, Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter, Nicobe Dean, what's going on? Nolan Smith, if he's healthy, get out of here. And they already have Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox. Come on. Tough squad. You know, Kelsey came back. There Kelsey came back. He's going to the Hall of Fame.

I think. The offensive line, it stays healthy. They're one of the best in the league. DeAndre Swift might be with Rashad Penny, with the same gain well in Boston Scott twice a year. Al knows Boston Scott's coming for him. And Jalen Hurts. And by the way, Dallas Goddard. I mean, come on. Stacked. Yeah. And deep.

And playable. Thanks to our guests, Kirk Ferentz, Mike Norvell, and Chris Collinsworth will set up Friday's very busy show on the Roku channel in a moment. For over three decades, nobody has had a wrestling career like Arn Anderson.

Conrad Thompson gets all the stories with Arn. After watching AEW's Double or Nothing, Amy wants to know, what's this dinosaur taste like? It ain't chicken. It's like biting into a sinewy charcoal briquette, but chewy. That's disgusting. It sure is. Check out Arn every week, wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-31 17:20:45 / 2023-08-31 17:43:43 / 23

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