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855-212-4227, you can always get at me on Instagram, where I'm straight flexing, or via the good old cesspool of Twitter, at Zach Gelb, that's Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. Action packed show for you tonight, coming up 40 minutes from now, long-time Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker Lavonte David will join us at the top of the hour. Former All-Pro Sean Merriman will stop by in studio once again at 820 p.m. Eastern, 520 p.m. Pacific. From the Florida State football team's star defensive lineman Jared Verse, before their big game this weekend up against Clemson in the final segment of the show, we'll be joined by Oregon State quarterback, DJ Uwe Unga Lele. But first up, producing the extravaganza for the next four hours is no other than Hot Take Hickey.
This dumb producer, Hot Take Hickey. So I gotta start the show off today talking about the Cleveland Browns. The Cleveland Browns are a team that I just don't believe in.
And it's kind of crazy with the impression that they made week one, beating the snot out of the Cincinnati Bengals, that that is the takeaway a week later. We all know the importance that Nick Chubb has to that football team. It's rare in the year of 2023 that a running back could be a team's MVP. But Nick Chubb, at least on offense, and maybe for the entire team, you could argue Miles Garrett, who was a no-show last night, that Nick Chubb is the MVP for the Cleveland Browns.
And that's kind of alarming to say. It does show the respect that I have for Nick Chubb, who's now lost for the season with that devastating knee injury that we all saw last night. But when you're paying your quarterback $230 million and it's fully guaranteed, you would think he'd be the star of your offense.
You would think he would be the star of your team. And even in a win last week up against Cincinnati Bengals, Deshaun Watson was average at best. And then up against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was the main reason why they lost that game last night. Turning over the football.
Unsportsman, you know, conduct penalties and personal fouls. Deshaun Watson was just brutal in the game last night. And I sit back, and I know it's tough to envision the Cleveland Browns without Nick Chubb.
But I try to envision the Browns without Nick Chubb, and I ask myself this question. Is Deshaun Watson going to carry this team? Is Deshaun Watson going to elevate this team? And is Deshaun Watson going to revert back to being a great quarterback?
And my answer is just no. I'm thinking about that last night, and I just don't believe in Deshaun Watson the quarterback anymore. And it's kind of crazy that this is where we're at. Because three, four years ago, he was well on his way to being an elite quarterback. And he was well on his way to being a top seven quarterback in the NFL.
And I know that there could still be a lot of rust to knock off. But I look at him, and I think the ceiling for Deshaun Watson is just going to be a good quarterback now in the NFL. But the last two games, when you try to make a good impression, first full year in Cleveland as the starter, no suspension, you got to go out there, and you got to show me that you can be serviceable.
And through the first two games, he just simply hasn't done that. Sloppy play, turning over the football, taking dumb penalties, you know, through two games he's completing 55% of his passes, has two passing touchdowns, a rushing touchdown, and two interceptions. And now, he's going to be asked to do even more, because Nick Chubb isn't there. Like it was one thing before the start of the season, I had a question, well how much are you going to take the ball out of Nick Chubb's hands to kind of insert and make this Deshaun Watson's team? Now you don't even have that dilemma, because unfortunately, Nick Chubb is gone for the season. And is Deshaun Watson, even with the roster that's good, is he going to be able to carry this team?
I just don't think so this year. And it's kind of nuts that with both these quarterbacks, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson, where they got paid a ton, and these teams gave up so much draft capital, and they've trusted their franchises with these quarterbacks where we're at today with both of them. Like three years ago, if you would have said I'd be hosting a national radio show and saying the ceiling for Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson is just to be a good quarterback, and they can only be a good quarterback for the rest of their career, I wouldn't even believe that.
I would say what kind of contrived radio are we doing? Because both of those guys a few years ago were great quarterbacks in this league and looked like there was a window to continue to see that greatness for years and years to come. Now it's two totally different situations. We did not know a lot about Deshaun Watson as the way that we thought we did with what he was allegedly doing off the field, but he still skated free from all that stuff.
And I didn't like this summer when he brought it back up. He's like, oh, you don't know what I've been through and the way that the media portrays me. Like you got a free pass and you got paid 230 guaranteed million dollars.
So I don't want to hear him play the victim card and the woe is me card. And then for Russell Wilson, it's just like ego got in the way. He stopped wanting to be a football player and wanted to be like this global icon. And both of them are now in a spot where both of those teams, if you ask the Browns and if you ask the Broncos, if they would get a do over in these in those deals, would they take it back? You know, the Broncos would.
And I would still venture to say that the Cleveland Browns would as well. And that's not me saying, oh, they should have kept Baker and all Baker Mayfield is great. But it doesn't help when Baker Mayfield is 2-0 and everyone in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers locker room is talking about him in a positive way.
I just don't trust. I just don't believe in Deshaun Watson anymore. And this is not me saying he's going to be a terrible quarterback and he's going to be a bottom five quarterback in this league. But you're paying this guy really unprecedented money when it comes to the guaranteed dollars that he's getting. And he needs to be that.
He needs to be great. So I don't want to hear. And it sucks that Nick Chubb is out for the year. It's a horrible injury and it was frightening to see last night. But I don't want to hear, oh, there goes the Browns season just because Nick Chubb is done for the year. Like, you may not be wrong in that point, but if Deshaun Watson is worth the money, he'll prove that. He'll show that.
And he'll lead this team to the playoffs. But I just can't believe and I can't trust Deshaun Watson right now that he's going to do that because it's one thing to play a bad game. It's another thing to visibly show that you are frustrated. And to make mistakes that are glaring and obvious and mistakes that are avoidable, like you got to protect the ball better. You can't be grabbing the other team's face masks.
I've never seen that hickey. I've never seen a quarterback get called for those two penalties the way that Deshaun Watson got called last night and just doing stupid things with fighting. And, you know, it's just not what a leader of a team is. And maybe we should have seen this coming with Deshaun Watson because you have to call it into question his character and you have to question his leadership skills. But one thing that we usually never question about Deshaun Watson is that this guy was really damn good at football. And now I don't know if Deshaun Watson is still really damn good at football. And you wonder how much rust is there still to knock off and all those things.
But if this takes like another eight or nine weeks to knock off the rust and get the full version of Deshaun Watson, it's going to be too little, too late. And think about it. Like I was listening to local Cleveland radio today at 92-3 the fan. It sounded like it was a funeral.
It really did. It seemed like we were mourning the brown season and they're one and one. But you just watch that team and there's just not a reason to believe in the quarterback right now. And that's with their next three games. It's tough. Like, you know, Tennessee, I don't think the Titans are a great team, but they're competitive.
They'll give you all you got. Then you play Baltimore, you have a bye week and then out of that bye week, you got the 49ers. You know, I hate to say it at this point, you sign up for winning one of those next three games.
I'd sign up for that. But if Deshaun Watson is really worth the money, go on out there and take two out of those three games. But he just doesn't have that it factor anymore. And when I watch him and I sit on the couch last night and I just look back and go, do I believe he's going to get the job done?
My instant reaction was just no. And that's the crazy part about this. When you just look at the football player, that was a dude that was supposed to be all that. He was supposed to be, without a doubt, unquestioned franchise quarterback, you know, someone that even with the disgusting things that happened off the field, even if you trade in three first round picks for him, at least you knew you were getting this heck of a quarterback. And I'm honest, but I know NFL teams, there's always going to be one that looks the other way for the off the field issues, even with how disgusting and disturbing they are, because ultimately this is a business that it comes down to. Can you help the football team? And even with everything that happened with Deshaun Watson and how sick it made you feel, you knew that Deshaun Watson or you thought that Deshaun Watson was going to hold up his end of the bargain, at least bare minimum on the football field.
But there are two games. He was bad up against the Bengals and they won. But then up against Pittsburgh last night, they didn't win and he was even worse, which it's kind of crazy because you look at all the turnovers, you look at the way that the Steelers won that game. It's not like the Steelers had this high octane, high opponent offense. The Steelers offense stunk as well. But that defense for the Pittsburgh Steelers last night, really, and I mean really got to Deshaun Watson. And you look back at that game, it just keeps on circling back to that question, do you believe in Deshaun Watson?
Do you believe that he's going to be able to put it all together this year? And I just keep on looking at the Browns with their quarterback and say, nope, I'm not a believer. Hecke, I know you were very optimistic on the Browns heading into this season. And this is not me just bringing this up when they come after a loss.
You know, I'll give you credit. You thought Tampa Bay was going to be good there 2-0. You were a believer in the Rams.
They've been serviceable so far, one and one, even without Cooper Cup. But you look at this Cleveland team and you look at their quarterback, where's your confidence with the Browns, now without Nick Chubb, that this guy Deshaun Watson, who's supposed to be all that on a football field, when you pay him the money that you pay him, $230 million fully guaranteed, that he's going to be able to lead this team, he's going to be able to elevate this team to get to the postseason. We're bare minimum in a tough AFC. You're going to need 10 wins out of this squad this year. I'm not saying the season's over, but I think by far he's been the most disappointed quarterback so far through two weeks. Worse than Russell Wilson because, look, last year, nothing was expected. By the time he came back after the 11-game suspension, the season was over. By that point, you're using those last six games to knock the rust off.
Fine. He looked terrible, not going to hide from it, but I didn't take much from it because that was just more of trial by fire and trial by error. This year's really where it's supposed to come into his own and get back to the 2019-2020 version of Deshaun Watson. And so far, even last week, weather's a big factor. We saw Joe Burrow play terribly. So even last week, I throw that out. Yeah, but when you're a $230 million quarterback, you've got to show up in those games. I know you could say, oh, Burrow didn't show up either.
I'll play Joe Burrow. But that guy, Joe Burrow, has been to a Super Bowl, has been to an AFC title game. So he gets one of those bad games. Deshaun Watson has to reprove himself that he's worth this deal and he has to carry this team. And I just don't see how he does so the rest of the way.
And the reason why I said wow when you said it, because I just set it up for 10 minutes, why I don't believe in Deshaun Watson anymore, is usually, and this is the impressive part, Hickey, when he believes in someone or believes in a team, he will wait until the team embarrasses him and they back up the truck over his body and rides right over him. But for you to basically be saying the season's over after two games, it speaks really volumes to how bad it was last night and how alarming it was last night for the Cleveland Browns and how it's a wake-up call. I'm not saying the season's over. That's what it sounds like. No, I think through two weeks has by far been the most disappointing. Do I think change is going to come?
I think so. I'm still going to bank on that. Not backing off my Browns making the playoffs prediction. But I think through the first two games, and especially week number two, when you need your quarterback to make plays, he was flat-out awful yesterday.
And he lost in the game. Forget about even just not scoring more points on offense and not making more throws and barely completing 50% of his passes. How about not turn the ball over? How about just not making stupid plays? If he doesn't turn the ball over, they still probably win that game. I don't think the Steelers offense is going down the field and scoring a touchdown, even getting in field goal ranges, how bad they were all game, especially in the fourth quarter. You just hold on to the ball if you're sacked.
You still win the game. He costs in the game. He's been disappointing. And he's got to turn around fast or it's going to get ugly. And not only does he turn around fast, he has to play great. Just being good now without Nick Chubb won't be good enough.
And that's my main point. I don't think we're going to see consistent greatness this year from Deshaun Watson. And that's why I think this team is screwed, even with the roster that's very talented, because they lost arguably their most valuable player in Nick Chubb. And now the quarterback, who still has Russ to knock off and has been brutal through the first two games of the season, has to elevate his game. And he can't elevate his game in four weeks, in six weeks, in ten weeks.
He has to elevate his game right now. And when I watch him, I just don't believe when I ask the question, is this going to be a great quarterback once again? Is he going to be unbelievable week in and week out? When I'm watching it last night and thinking about that, knowing Nick Chubb's going to be gone for the season, I just didn't have the answer that was yes there. And it was a resounding no for me in terms of I don't believe in Deshaun Watson, the quarterback, anymore, that he's going to have an apex of being a great quarterback. And I think he could just be a good quarterback once again. But when you're paying someone that much money and it's all guaranteed, you need him to be great.
You need to get what you paid for. And I just don't think that's going to happen for Cleveland. Entertain me, though, real quickly, and then we'll take a break. Just give me win-loss the rest of the way. This upcoming weekend, they're playing Tennessee. You go win or you go lost? Win.
All right. Baltimore the following week. Where's that game? Cleveland. Win.
Oh, wow. You think they're winning the next two? I think they split. San Francisco. Loss. At the Colts. Win. At the Seahawks.
Toss-up, I'll go loss. Cardinals. Win. At Baltimore. Loss. Steelers.
Win. At Denver. I'll give the Broncos the win because they're in Denver, but boy, oh, boy, that is... You said Denver win? I'll say Denver win. Let me tell you, I want to watch that game with you Thanksgiving weekend. 405 on Fox. Turn that off my screen right now the way these two teams are going. And then follow it up with another hickey matchup at the Rams. Win for the Browns.
That wasn't all that convincing. I think they split those two games. Jaguars. Win.
Really? Close. Bears. Win. Texans. Win.
At the Texans, that is. Win. Jets. Win.
Bengals in Cincinnati. Loss. So you still have this team at 11 wins. 11 wins for this team without Nick Chubb. Yeah, the schedule's not awful.
No. If they lose a Jaguars game, 10 wins, there still should be a playoff team. The schedule is actually somewhat favorable for them. The next few weeks, the next three weeks, it's tough. But after that, it's not murderer's row when you do look at the schedule.
But with that being said, whenever people hype up Cleveland and believe Cleveland's actually going to be good, they end up being what Cleveland's pretty much been for the last 20 years, which for the most part has been a disappointing football team. We're going to learn a lot about Deshaun Watson this offseason. The rest of the season.
And when I look at him once again, the first two weeks, he's been brutal. Now we're going to see if he's worth the money. If they don't get to the playoffs this year, there's going to be major, major questions. I think Safanski's out. And then you look at Deshaun Watson, the Heat's really going to get turned up on Deshaun Watson in terms of the quarterback and what he's going to be able to do for the Cleveland Browns moving forward. Zach Gelb here with you on CBS Sports Radio. A little surprise in the NFC South.
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Alrighty, this is Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio. When we look at the NFC South, I've been impressed through the first two weeks of the season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and also the Atlanta Falcons. Now I picked the Falcons to win the NFC South. So like I shouldn't be impressed with them because they are 2-0 and I thought they were going to be a good football team this year. But I've been really impressed with them is actually their defense. In week one that defense was awesome and then in that fourth quarter they did a good job where their backs were up against the wall with no margin of error. Down 24-12 entering that quarter to shut out in the fourth quarter an offense in the Green Bay Packers that I do believe can be a good offense this year. Even though there was no Bakhtiari, Elton Jenkins got hurt, no Aaron Jones in the game, no Christian Watson.
But when they needed to, they were serviceable. So I look at that team, I still don't know what Desmond Ritter is, but you have enough weapons around him. Whether that's Bijan Robinson, Tyler Algier, you go to Drake London who got in the end zone last weekend up against the Packers. Kyle Pitts, we got to see if he could become a star in the NFL.
Cordarrelle Patterson, who's a Swiss Army knife, they have enough there where when you're in a division that 9-8 maybe wins it. And I know it's kind of out of whack right now, Panthers stink, we knew that going in, they're 0-2. But you got the Saints at 2-0, you got the Bucks at 2-0, and then the Falcons at 2-0. But I like what I've seen so far with the Falcons. Now, when you get to the Bucks, this defense, which was a championship defense and a great defense when they won the Super Bowl. And then after that there was some hiccups, like in that playoff game when Brady has that great comeback up against the Rams.
And then you had the terrible coverage and you allow Matthew Stafford to find the wide open Cooper Cup and you lose the game after Brady did a great job leading him back on that charge. Last year, that entire team was an absolute mess and they still won the division at 8-9. But you look at this team, Lavonte David's going to join us coming up in about 10 minutes, you have some talent there.
Whether it's Shaq Barrett, Antoine Winfield Jr., Vida Veja, who's still going strong with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Devin White. You go on and on and on when you look at the defensive side of the ball with this team even after losing some pieces. Now, I got to see moving forward as the season goes on where the offensive line is at. You got to see if Baker's able to sustain.
I know he's been better than a game manager through the first two games, but basically being a game manager. And you know this, that Mike Evans is a stud and Chris Godwin is a heck of a player as well. But I'll give credit to Tampa Bay, a team that, you know, I'm not sugarcoating this. I didn't really believe in going into this season after losing Tom Brady, even with some of the talent that they have, to win their first two games of the season.
And I know, right, the second matchup was the Bears, but you can only play who's on your schedule. To take down Minnesota in Minnesota and then to open up the home schedule up against the Bears, it just shows you that they could be good enough to win this division this year. Now, I think some people will say, Zach, you didn't pick the Saints. Are you impressed with the Saints? I'm not because my biggest point with the Saints was they have probably the most talent and the most well-rounded team. When you look at all these teams inside the NFC South, I don't believe in the quarterback.
And I know Derek Carr, he stepped up against Tennessee, made the big throw last night, had the big throw as well as they put that game out of reach. Regardless of what the final score says on that big touchdown drive towards the end of the game to distance themselves when it was squared up at 13-6 for a while. But I just look at the Saints and when I evaluate them, they just don't have that it factor for me. I've just been more impressed with the Falcons, I've been more impressed with the Buccaneers as well. You see the Saints, it's like, alright, they won two games, you give them credit, and hey, Tennessee's no pushover and the Panthers aren't a good team, but alright, they went toe-to-toe with Tennessee, you gotta win, but last night, that game should have been a blowout. And again, it's a divisional game, divisional games tend to be close, but that Panthers team does not have much on offense.
They have a young quarterback, they have a bad offensive line, they have no number one wide receiver, they have an overrated running back. And you look at that Saints team, it's not like I walked away last night saying, wow, I was really impressed with the Saints. So, Hickey, this NFC South may be better than what people thought, and I'm not ready to go say it's going to be this great division because I don't believe that, but you have three teams here now that it's legitimate intrigue on who is going to win the division, and I know that we both took the field when it was Saints for the field, I went with the Falcons, you went with the Bucs. Now, I think this could be a fun race, and we'll see if the Saints can continue this, and they should be able to continue this with the talent that they have, but I've been a lot more impressed with the Falcons and Tampa Bay through the first two weeks of the season than I have been with the New Orleans Saints. I'm not just saying this because I picked them, but I feel like right now, the only team I've been, again, not impressed with, because I thought they would get off to this, I thought they would win the division, is the Bucs just because they've actually played well.
The Saints, the first two games are ugly, you barely get past the Titans and need Ryan Tannehill's three picks to win that game. Yesterday was a snooze fest, for me, I came away more disappointed with the Panthers and how they played versus impressed with the Saints and how they were able to dominate an inferior opponent. I don't get why anyone thought that the Panthers could be competitive this year.
You have a new coaching staff coming in, you have a defense that can be solid, there's no doubt about that, Brian Burns a heck of a player, but offensively, their line is not good, and they have no weapons for Bryce Young to throw the football to. I don't get why anyone thought that the Carolina Panthers could be decent this year. And so that's been a disappointment so far, and you see, okay, their two losses are in division, Falcons, Saints, and the Falcons, look, nice comeback win over the Packers. Packers, after a week one show, they're maybe a decent team and they don't push over, but again, also down 13 in the fourth quarter, nice comeback, or 12 in the fourth quarter, but it's like, they've not played a really wow game yet either.
Bucks were really the only team that at least played well so far through two weeks and they showed you something. Well, they got off to that slow start up against Minnesota and then they came back, so if you're going to say that, and I know that, right, we'll probably view Minnesota as a better team than Green Bay, but I think that's kind of equal in terms of being impressed with Atlanta and being impressed with the Saints, but then that week one match up with the Falcons, it's like, you look at that week one match up against the Panthers with the Saints did last night, I thought the Falcons put a much better game up against the Panthers than the Saints did, they both won, but the Falcons looked more convincing to me up against the Panthers than the Saints did. So we'll see how this does play on out, but it should be a fun chase here, in a division I didn't think was really going to get us intrigued at all, when you have three teams starting out the year 2-0, you moderate, you see who's going to be able to prevail between the Saints, the Falcons, and then the Buccaneers, and then it's just like, the Panthers are there, you know, year one is a wash and then year two you better improve, but I just hope they don't get this quarterback killed and Bryce Young and ruin him really before you can get things started, because I don't know what the Panthers thought you could go into this year with this line and then also with no weapons around your young quarterback and thought that was going to be a good idea, we're not going to, I'm not going to say ruin the quarterback, but you could potentially ruin the quarterback early on, and this was a guy I know who was at Alabama last year and Bryce Young, but it wasn't as if he had a plethora of talent around him, but it's still being at Alabama in the SEC, even when Alabama doesn't have the best roster in the world, it's still a good enough roster, but man there are big holes on the offensive side of the ball for the Carolina Panthers. Zach Yelp here with you on CBS Sports Radio, Lavonte David of the Buccaneers is going to join us on the other side, we'll talk to him about their big matchup against the Eagles on Monday night, and also what we got to see with his defense up against the Chicago Bears making Justin Fields look silly at the end of the game, and I don't know how they ran the same play three plays in a row, but they did and it came back to bite the Chicago Bears, and you saw a great moment with Shaq Barrett in the end zone. What's up everybody, I'm Danny Parkins based out of Chicago, this is my buddy Andrew Filipponi, he's based out of Pittsburgh, you really got to check out our podcast First in Pod. Twice a week we're going to break down the NFL after Thursday Night Football and Sunday Night Football, it's every team, it's every game, it's all 32 teams, we give you a complete picture, and we get into it, we don't kiss each other's fannies on this show.
New episodes of First in Pod available when you wake up every Monday and Friday morning throughout the football season, in the Odyssey app, or wherever you get your podcasts. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2-0, coming off a big win up against the Chicago Bears, and on Monday night there is a huge matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, another 2-0 team, we go out to the guest line right now and welcome in long-time Buccaneers linebacker and captain in Lavonte. David Lavonte, always great when we have you on, appreciate the time, how are you? Thank you guys for having me, I'm good, I can't complain.
How are you? Well I'm doing fantastic, and I remember last week when you said right after the Justin Fields pick-6 that everyone knew what was coming, we've all seen the videos that they ran the play three straight times in a row, when you look back at that, is it still like amazing to you, how they just kept on running the same thing up against your great defense? I mean I'm not sure, I can't really go on about what they're thinking or what their thought process was, maybe back up thinking we're just going to send pressure, kind of get one out on us, but like I said, when you're playing this game for a long time you kind of catch on to certain things, formations that kind of hurt you early in the game, so for them to run three screens in a row, that's on them, but we were able to capitalize on the Shaq deck, we were able to capitalize on it and make a huge play for us. I've always been a big fan of Shaq Barrett, and we all know what he's gone through this offseason, I can't even imagine it, to see your teammate get in the end zone and make that big play, just what were you feeling for him knowing everything that he's been through?
Yeah man, it's amazing, you can see that video, I was trying my hardest to make sure he'd get in the end zone, I know being out there means everything to Shaq, especially everything that he's been through this offseason, from the injury until the other personal issues that he went through, him and his family went through, I'm sure him being on the field kind of gave his mind off all that stuff, to actually go out there and perform the way he did, and to see him in his environment having fun, playing a game that he loved, and actually doing it for his daughter, kind of bringing an extra response to everything, so we definitely have Shaq back, and it's amazing to have him out there, he's a strong individual, he's a great dude, he's a God friend, and there's no surprise that he's been making plays. It seems like this group with the Buccaneers is just such a close-knit group, how do you kind of describe your locker room and the vibe and the synergy with this team so far? Yeah, I mean that's just something that we kind of want, we take that part seriously, getting one another on and off the field, you can't trust nobody on the field, you can't trust them off the field, so that's just something that we always try to do, we hang out a lot with each other, we hang out outside the locker room, everybody's close, everybody knows each other's family and things like that, so when you have that type of connection to bond with guys on the field, it makes you play harder for those guys even more, it just brings a special kind of connection with guys, you go out there and play football with them, that's what we have, that's just something that we've been trying to build all the time, keeping the continuity together, keeping the guys together, you can build that, that's basically what we have in that locker room. Lavonte David here with us for the Buccaneers, they play the Eagles on Monday night, a battle of two 2-0 teams to start off the season, just going back to last week in preparation for Justin Fields, what was your view of the Bears quarterback going into that game? Yeah, obviously he's dangerous, especially when he's got time and can take off and make plays with his legs, he's a young, dangerous quarterback and I think he's going to definitely continue to improve, he's just got to continue to trust himself, that's all I can say about that, but the Eagles got another dangerous quarterback and Jalen Hurston, he's got tremendous weapons around him, especially the offensive line, one of the best offensive linemen in the game, a great running game, as you can see what they did last Thursday, and then obviously the two dominant, number one receivers out there in a great tight end, so it's definitely going to have our work cut out for us, so it's definitely going to be a game about discipline, it's something that you definitely going to have to trust when another one of you out there on the field, so if that team come out here and all that buntin', they're going to have to pay off on Monday night.
Yeah, how do you even start preparing for the Eagles, because as you just said it, they're loaded at every position. Yeah, man, you just got to be prepared whatever they throw at you, you just got to be able to play smart football or distance football, and don't fall apart, things don't happen in this game, but you got to be able to stick together, and weather the storm, because we're always going to be at person that we're going to face, but we definitely got to be able to stick to the script and play our brand of football. Knowing the team, Lavonte, David, that you're going up against on Monday night, you know how this works, the last few years when Brady was there, everyone talked about you guys being the team in the NFC and the NFL, do you feel as if this is a potential big statement that the Bucs could send on Monday night? I mean, honestly, the way we look at it, every week is a big statement.
You know, we always have that un-adult mentality no matter who we're going to be against, even when Tom was here. A lot of people looked at us as the haunted or whatever, but we always look at ourselves as the hunter, because we still got everybody on this team still has stuff to prove, and we would have the mentality we try to have, and we got guys who are close-knit and guys who go in and put the work in, and we don't look at it as a challenge, we just look at it as another opportunity. And I think playing on Monday night against a great opponent like the city left the Eagles would definitely be a great opportunity for us to propel ourselves through the season. What has Baker Mayfield, Lavonte, David, brought to this football team so far? Oh, man, we just want Baker to be himself. Baker got that swagger, as you can see on the field, he got that swagger. He's a real competitor, that's something that we love, especially from a defensive guy when you go in and get something to practice, like this competitor, and liking what he's doing so far.
We're just trying to make an emphasis on playing a couple of runs in the football, and that's what we're doing so far. Baker's a great dude. Looking at him outside in, I didn't know what to expect, but actually getting a chance to sit down and talk to him, just like any other human being, out here just trying to make the best for himself and his family, and then I'll play the game that he loves and make him different. So we definitely, it's a pleasure to have him on this team. He kind of brought it into the locker room right away, and he fit right where we need. So he definitely got it, we're glad to have him in our locker room. Were you surprised this summer when Brady finally elected to hang it up and actually retire this time?
Honestly, no, not really. I knew this time there wasn't no coming back from that the first time or last time. So I kind of had a feeling, especially how the season went last year, one of his best, obviously all the stuff that he was going through off the field, so it definitely was part of the time for him, but every moment that we had with Tom was an amazing man, just to see the way he worked, to see the type of guy he is, the type of family he is, it was amazing to be a part of that. And obviously, you know, bringing up the Super Bowl ring, man, that was a moment I'll never forget, and I always appreciate Tom. Mike Evans is just incredible.
I know it's his 10th year, but the first nine, he's been over a 1,000-yard receiver each and every year. We saw what he did on Sunday. At this point, does anything surprise you with what Mike Evans is able to do on a football field? No, not really, man, not really. It gets to a point where Mike makes a play, you're like, okay, yeah, you respect that.
There's not really no excitement. That's just the type of player Mike is. You always ask your A-players to play like A-players, and Mike tries to be the best A-player he can be each and every Sunday. And just the growth I've seen of Mike since his rookie year until now, it's just amazing to see the way he takes care of himself on and off the field, the way he studies, the way he prepares, man.
It was real great to see him, man, and I'm not surprised at his success because he definitely worked for it. You've only played for one team. He's only played for one team. We know, right, the contract is up in the air with his future. Just how much would that mean to you to see him continue after this year with Tampa Bay? Oh, man, it would mean a lot to me, man, just because of what Mike brings to the team, also to the city of Tampa. The people who love him and what he does in the community is amazing. He was maybe a two- or three-time Walter Payton nominee for us. So that goes to show the type of guy he is and what he means to the city of Tampa and what he brings to the football team and how he uplifts everybody and how positive he is around everybody. So it definitely would mean a great deal.
But obviously that's just something that him and his team have to take care of. But I think, all in all, it'll work out in both guys' favor. I'll tell you, I got a good chuckle out of Devin White, who's a heck of a player, saying that he was stupid for trying to leave and request a trade. How did you react to that one? That was a good one.
Yeah, yeah, it was funny. Devin kind of wanted to be a little dramatic and going through his little antics over the offseason, whatever it was. But I don't know, at times I did have a little talk with him. But you can't blame him.
Everybody's just trying to set their self up to feed their family for generations. So I can't blame him for that. But Devin don't want to go nowhere. Like you said, it's a tight-knit group that we have. When we're out there, we look out for one another and we have fun.
Nobody suffers. Everybody's up there looking for the ultimate goal, and that's winning the football game and being the top defense. So he definitely wanted to be a part of that, and I'm sure.
I don't think that's going to change. What did you say to him just once during this offseason? You had to talk with him. Just think things through, man. Everything's a little hectic right now or whatever, but a lot of people may have a lot of people in their ear about certain stuff.
But just look at both sides, man. Just think things through and kind of just think before you just put stuff out there because in and out of everybody, keep hold, keep receipts nowadays. So just be smart about how you go about everything. You never want to regret.
Put something out there that you're going to regret later. So me kind of being the big brother to him, I just try to keep his head cool. Sometimes I feel like he's probably acting on emotions or whatever, but he definitely kind of like calmed down and realized what was more important. All he could do is control. David's a great football player. He's a playmaker for us, and I'm sure he's a linebacker who I want to play beside as long as I'm playing football. So he definitely understands what's at stake. All he knows is that he can only control.
He can control and go out there and be the best at it. On the way out with Lavonte, David, so you guys are 2-0. It's a heck of a start. You've been around the league, good teams, bad teams.
You've seen it from all over the place. What type of team do you think you guys have this year in Tampa? Oh, man, teams for the grit, man, teams for the dogs, guys who are going to go out there and work four quarters, man, no matter what happens. The past two games, that's what I've seen.
Guys just go out there and work and having fun. No matter what's going on in the game, up or down, we're going to go out there and play our hardest. That's a testament to the coaching staff and the roster that they put together. We've got a group of a lot of young guys, too, on this team, so those guys are buying into what we're trying to accomplish.
The first two games, it was paying off, so we've got a lot more to go, so we're going to see how it goes, starting on Monday night. We're just going to go take this week to prepare and get ready for Monday. Last thing I'll ask you, and it's a selfish question here, and I'm going to go to your old stomping grounds in Nebraska, Levante, David, I'm going to Lincoln next week for Michigan, Nebraska. What do I got to do when I'm in Lincoln? Anywhere you suggest to eat. Get there early. I'm going to say that, get there early, because you want to experience all the Sea of Red walking across the bridge and seeing everybody, all the fans come out and get ready for the big game. But I'll probably go somewhere downtown and grab something. You all know no specific place, but one of my favorite places is Old Chicago down there.
So as you go down there and eat a lot of Old Chicago, it's a peaceful spot, kind of got a little Italian in it, so that's one of my favorite spots to go when I'm down there. Just enjoy the atmosphere. That's the one thing, you're going to be blown away.
If it's your first time, you're definitely going to be blown away. And after you finish, you're going to hit me up and be like, man, you were right, and I'm trusting one of the best places to watch football. Well, good luck the rest of the season, good health, and good luck coming up on Monday night. We appreciate you doing this, Levante, David. No problem. Thank you.
Appreciate you. There he is, Levante David from the 2-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one of the surprise stories to start the NFL season. And now we'll get to see what they're going to do up against the Philadelphia Eagles, one of the better teams in the league on Monday night football, and I think that's going to be a good test to figure out how good the Buccaneers can be this upcoming year. And really, that whole NFC South, you have the Falcons going up against the Lions this weekend, Saints have a little matchup with the Packers, and there's really no hope for the Panthers, I guess. They're going up against the Seahawks, and I don't think they're going to fare all that well up against Seattle. But hey, you never know. Tom Merriman joins us next at Gelb Show, but where else?
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-30 22:01:33 / 2023-09-30 22:21:40 / 20