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Mike Pritchard, Colorado Buffaloes National Champion

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
September 26, 2023 8:28 pm

Mike Pritchard, Colorado Buffaloes National Champion

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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September 26, 2023 8:28 pm

Mike Pritchard joined Zach to discuss his thoughts on Colorado's loss to Oregon on Saturday and why the Broncos have struggled to start the season. 

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Shop in store or visit Ashley.com today. Mike, appreciate the time. Good to see you. How are you? I'm great, Zach. Great to be with you. How are you?

Well, I'm doing fantastic. I know it was a rough one for Colorado on Saturday to say the least. Just when you were watching that game and the reaction afterwards, what really stood out to you from Colorado's performance up against Oregon? I mean, the lead-in too, right? We got to televise the locker room of Oregon. That was fascinating.

No, it's the prime effect. We're looking at the overnights. We're looking at some of the ratings and Colorado's on top. And I just talked to some officials at Colorado yesterday in terms of their social imprint and certainly their viewership that they're enjoying right now. It's outstanding.

It really is. But I think the reaction is to Deion Sanders. The reaction is to the celebrity of Deion Sanders. The reaction is to the attention that Deion Sanders is garnering for his student athletes. And there's nothing wrong with that. I mean, Deion is trying to build a program and they went up against a well-established program and a program in Oregon that has national championship aspirations.

And certainly Deion is trying to build a foundation for CU. So I was not happy with the outcome. That's for sure. I thought the bus would move the ball a little bit and get into the end zone more than they did. And so it was disappointing that way. But all in all, Oregon's a really, really good football team.

Well, it's funny to me the wave of emotions. And I've always been someone that has said, I want to see Coach Prime get a big-time job. I was saying he should have got the Auburn job last offseason. So he winds up at Colorado. People say, oh, if he wins two, three games this year after the team had one win from a year ago, he would be lucky. And he starts off the year 3-0 and then they finally look the way that most people thought they would look before the year.

And now it's up. See, Coach Prime, he's no good. This is going to be a disaster at Colorado. It's like when you're winning, all right, everyone's praising you. You lose one game and now it's, all right, this is going to be a disaster, which that's the farthest thing from the truth.

Right, right. I mean, sometimes expectations get out of whack, right? And the start for Colorado has been phenomenal. Nobody could have predicted Coach Prime and his success to 3-0 start.

Sridhar Sanders playing into a spotlight into which, okay, he's being mentioned for the Heisman. But attrition takes over, right? Injuries happen. And then teams kind of figure you out later on in the year and you get into a highly competitive Pac-12 situation.

And then you truly find out what you have. You know, there's an element of surprise in college football in a non-conference in the beginning of the year. But once teams look at you on film and they kind of figure you out and certainly understand your tendencies, what else do you got? And so that's what we're about to find out with Coach Prime and his coaching staff and these players right now.

What else do they have? Can they run the football? Can they protect the quarterback? Can they play defense and stop the run? I mean, we're about to find that out quick, fast and in a hurry, which is exciting as well for Colorado football. I think Oregon is a more well-rounded team compared to USC. We know Oregon can play defense.

We've not really seen that going back to last year with the Trojans. So I think Colorado is going to be able to move the ball in this game. But what response do you think we'll see Colorado going up against the Trojans back in Boulder this weekend?

Yeah, I mean, I think Coach Prime will have them fired up. We didn't hear a lot from Colorado this week, right? We heard a lot going into TCU. We heard a lot going into Nebraska. We heard a lot and saw a lot going into CSU. But didn't hear a lot about going into Oregon, you know, because they're all over YouTube and everybody knows. And that's been spectacular, the following that they've been able to create. So I'm wondering if we're going to start hearing a lot or they're going to keep quiet and see what happens. But I think the spotlight has been shining on this football team and they embrace it.

So they're more comfortable that way. I want to continue to see a lot from this team and I think they'll respond. It's a tough place to play. There's phenomenal athletes.

I think Chidor will play better. It's his first taste of Pac-12 football. I mean, really, really big time competitive football where a team knows you, right?

Or they're familiar with you. So we'll see if they can evolve. And I think Chidor is good enough to evolve and Sean Lewis, offense coordinator for Colorado, is good enough to evolve.

And if they can do that and move the ball, then this can be a competitive matchup for sure. When we go back to the Oregon pregame speech with Dan Lanning, I didn't have a problem with it. He's speaking to his team. The moment gets broadcasted, right?

Those things are going to happen. But how did you kind of process it, Mike Pritchard? Well, you know, Zach, I mean, I'm not mad at it. One of the things on our way to winning a national championship, we played Notre Dame twice back to back years. The first year we went, we were undefeated and Sal Nesse had passed, our quarterback. And Lou Holtz, who was the head coach of Notre Dame at the time, was caught on a mic saying that we're living a lie.

Like we're riding a motion more so than we're a good football team. Now, Notre Dame ended up beating us that year. That was my junior year. But the next year, when we faced Notre Dame, we remembered that. In fact, we played that recording and everybody would remember that. So we kind of use that as motivation. We were able to win and beat Notre Dame that year for the national title.

So I think what what Lanning did was OK, but I also think Colorado is going to file that away. Because that's always that's going to be ever living. That's going to live forever.

And so I know it was the moment and I know he was caught up in the moment. But just remember, come around next year or the year after that, who knows what the schedule is going to be like. Maybe Colorado uses that. Who knows? But it's out there forever. Maybe another team uses it.

Zach, who knows? But it was a bit arrogant. But also they backed it up.

So you can't you can't fault them for that. Mike Pritchard here with us. Let's get to some NFL topics.

I'll start you off with the team that you first played your career with. The Atlanta Falcons coming off a loss, but they are two and one. I think there's a lot of talent on this team, but we're all starting to wonder, can Desmond Ritter be good enough for this team to go make the playoffs this year?

And when a division that it's going to be up and down and bunch of ways you're going to have to ride with with the four teams in the NFC South. Right. Right. And can Arthur Smith figure out the talent level? Right. I mean, they got talent all over all over the field right now. And it doesn't seem like they are clicking all cylinders.

Right. And, you know, could it go on the quarterback? Could it go on Ritter? I mean, a lot of it could. I mean, you're hearing Heineke stuff and I don't know if that's the case or not, but the substance is there. I mean, Atlanta's got a great offensive line.

I believe that's going to travel well. It's just can they put it all together and can it be consistent? A lot of young players. And and that's what we see in the National Football League even today when teams get upset or teams aren't playing well, it's because they're not consistent yet. So it's at the point of the season going into week four where you think the consistency will show up and you really try to find out what type of what time a team you have. And the same thing with Jacksonville, too. I mean, a very, very talented team.

But can they put it together and can it be consistent? And in the teams that are able to do that, you know, those are the teams that I look for from a betting standpoint. And certainly a team that looks to get hot in a rhythm and compete for the playoffs as well. I know that there's so many things that change from week in and week out with the NFL. But I talked to one Lions player after the game and he's like, I was surprised that they barely ran the ball with Bijan Robinson and Tyler Algier for those two guys.

They were down for most of the game, but it was within reach for for a little bit was 13 3 for a while. For those guys to only get a combined 17 carries, it's like, OK, now you're playing away from your strengths, which are the two running backs on the offensive side of the ball. Right. Exactly.

It's a great point. And that's the dilemma that Arthur Smith has as a play caller. You know, do I do I feature the run, which I know I can and I'm used to. I mean, think about Tennessee days, Tennessee Titans days, but then also got Pitts, who I don't believe he's 100 percent yet watching him play. And then I have London and then, you know, I need to find out what my quarterback's capable of because I can't run my way to the playoffs. We have to be dynamic. We have to develop a passing game. And, you know, that's in the back of the mind or or or certainly the thought process of a head coach. And you've got to develop something in terms of a passing game. You can't you can't just run the football back like we did, you know, way back in the day. And OK, listen, we're going to get to playoffs that way. So I see the dilemma. But in this division, you may be able to like you might any other division.

Sure. This division only gets eight or nine wins, I think. That's true. I mean, they want seven. They won seven. Right. I mean, can they get can they flip it and go 10 and seven this year, which I think they can.

I think they can go from worst to first, which is easy to do when you win seven games last year. But yeah. Yeah. Just figuring it out, kind of like Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, starting to figure it out as well. They they want to run the football. They want to be physical, but they also want to let Pickett throw the football down the yard because they got some really good talent players out there.

All right. Last thing I'll bring up to you, Mike Pritchard, lead NFL analyst at Vison, former NFL wide receiver at the Falcons Broncos Seahawks played his college ball at Colorado. The Broncos are worse this year than they were last year.

And I never thought I'd be saying that into a microphone. And I had no expectations for this Broncos team. But, man, they've been brutal this year.

Zach, I used to cover the Broncos when I was in Denver for one or four three to fan. And at that time, certainly we thought they hit rock bottom, you know, firing coach after coach. And we thought they finally hit rock bottom years ago, but they keep finding a way, you know, it's the opposite of breaking through the ceiling, create new ways to lose. Right.

They keep crashing through floors and it's like, OK, what are they going to hit bottom? And I don't know if 70 points means that you hit rock bottom. We'll see. But that team quit that team. They feel like they're a bunch of losers. And that's sad to say. I mean, Russell's playing better, but yet the team around him and the team that they have right now, they have zero confidence.

And again, that's that's embarrassing. And they don't have a lot of talent on offense. And going into the year, we talked about how great that secondary should be. This defense, Mike, has been atrocious. Yeah. Yeah.

You know what, Zach? I mean, they spend a lot of money in free agency, though, on that offense. I mean, you think about McGlinchey, you think about some of the other players they acquired through free agency. And I think the Broncos actually felt like they drafted well defensively and let some pretty pretty good players go to.

But yet, no, the fabric is just not there. They got a new ownership group, which will hopefully help. I mean, the messages, strong messages from the top. They transcend, you know, Pat Bolen when he was there for so many years. He he had more playoff appearances in losing seasons.

Right. I mean, that guy was phenomenal because the message was so strong from the top. And that's why the Broncos were so successful. But the Broncos clearly lost their way.

I don't I don't know how they find it, especially without confidence. Do you have any confidence in this coach? I know Sean Payton won a Super Bowl.

Right. He's looking like he's well on his way to the Hall of Fame, but he ran his mouth this offseason, bringing up Nathaniel Hackett, taking shots. And to be this bad, you know, a lot of heat is going to be directed his way, even only three games in. Yes, Zach, the analyst Sean Payton forgot the fact that he had the analyst hat still on. He should have had his coach's hat on and not say those kind of things, because as a coach, you know, you have a lot of work to do. You have to turn over that roster.

You have to earn credibility with that roster. And he hasn't done that. And he was popping off at the mouth, like you said. But he was doing that as an analyst because for a whole year he was an analyst.

And, you know, we tend to kind of get trapped that way sometimes. Not me, because I'm not a coach. I don't have to worry about that. But he has to back it up. And certainly he has to earn credibility right now before the Broncos have any level of success. Would you want to remove the analyst hat and maybe join Coach Prime on his staff somewhere? That's been the big topic of conversation any time you get a former player on that has Colorado ties. Yeah, yeah.

Or Miami ties, right? I mean, no, I've entertained coaching before. And it takes a special person, a special talent. And that's why I have so much respect for coaches. They really put the time in to kind of develop kids, in this case, in college.

And, you know, I commend them for that. I don't have the patience for it. And I certainly don't have the time.

You know, I find other things that pique my interest a little bit more. But I'd rather be an analyst and be fair about everything. But certainly respect. A high respect level for coaches out there, though.

Yeah, you keep the app in with Visa. It's a much easier lifestyle, Mike. Right, it is. I appreciate you joining us. Thanks so much, Mike. Zach, my pleasure.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-01 06:39:00 / 2023-10-01 06:46:33 / 8

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