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The Chargers Need Belichick (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
December 15, 2023 3:59 pm

The Chargers Need Belichick (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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December 15, 2023 3:59 pm

Brandon Staley Fired By Chargers I Joe Thomas, Former Browns Offensive Lineman I News Brief

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I'm Kate Abdo, the host of Kicking It, a new weekly show from the CBS Sports Galasso Network, where Clint Dempsey, Charlie Davies, Mo Adoo and I connect with the biggest personalities from global soccer and beyond to learn about their journeys and what makes them tick. This is the place for football fans to hear unfiltered conversations with the game's most familiar faces.

So what are you waiting for? Follow and listen to Kicking It on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Welcome to the ostentatious studios of CBS Sports Radio here in beautiful New York City, sitting on top of the 10 floor 345 Hudson Street. Welcome on in to a big football Friday edition of the Zach Gelb show across all the great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM, Channel 158, the free Odyssey app and of course streaming on YouTube. We've got a whole lot to do today.

Joe Thomas, the Pro Football Hall of Famer, offensive lineman, legendary Cleveland Brown. He's going to stop by at 3.20 p.m. Eastern. Coming up in hour number two, Lorenzo Neal will join us.

And then in the final hour of the show, Ryan Horvat will stop by for some picks via BetMGM tonight. But we got to start off with in one way, a pathetic performance by the Raiders and another way or a sensational performance by the Raiders, another way, a pathetic performance by the Los Angeles Chargers. That was an absolutely stunning game last night. Like we could sit here and we could predict things until we're blue in the face. And you truly never know how a game is going to play out. And what happened last night just shows you that in the year of 2023, the NFL is completely intoxicated and quite frankly, makes absolutely zero sense. This was the same Raiders team last week. Let me just remind everybody that they had zero points up against the Minnesota Vikings and they lost the game three nothing. So we go into this Thursday night matchup and it's like Easton stick and the Chargers up against Aiden O'Connell and the Las Vegas Raiders.

You know what? You want to go get dinner and miss this game? You want to suck up to the misses and not watch football on a Thursday night? Like this was the game to do that. This was, oh, I'm going to be the good guy here. I don't need to watch football.

I prioritize you, babe. That was what this game was. The guy tried to get some brownie points, little suck up points with your significant other. And you look at this game, the final score, and I still can't believe it. The Las Vegas Raiders put up 63 stinking points and the Chargers put up 21. That is a record for most points in a game for the Las Vegas Raiders. Stunning. You just look at halftime. When I saw that the score was 42 to nothing and I processed it for a moment, I hit the floor and I was laughing because I couldn't believe it.

I thought Stu like hacked into my Amazon Prime account and was putting up some fugazi game. Because there's no way that these two teams combined were going to score 42 points and the Raiders on their own scored 42 points in the first half. Stunning.

Truly stunning. But what that means, and we all know by now, surprise, surprise, Brandon Stelly got fired today along with Tom Telesco. I can't believe it happened. But you look at that game and just the first half performance, Justin Herbert or not, this Chargers team quit on their coach. And I don't blame them because through the last three years, everyone sat there and they laughed at Brandon Stelly. They laughed at him with the time out against the Raiders three years ago that cost the Chargers a trip to the playoffs. They laughed at him when they were up 27 nothing in a playoff game against Jacksonville and choked it up. They laughed at him this year, even when he got away with his stupid play calling and analytics, where you go for it inside your own 35.

And you did that back to back weeks and you were lucky that Kirk Cousins and also Aiden O'Connell three interceptions and gift wrapped you two victories. And I've talked to quite a few Chargers players throughout the last three years. And every single time the topic of their coach came up and Brandon Stelly, they said words, but you knew that their words were completely empty. And they were just saying positive things where if you just read them, it's like, oh, they actually like the coach. But when you see those players facial expressions, when you hear the emotion in their voice, it was lacking anything of actual words of support for Brandon Stelly. And it's not a surprise whatsoever that eventually the Chargers players quit on their coach. And I don't care if you're without Justin Herbert, you can't tell me that this defense that Brandon Stelly is a part of running.

And right, he took the reins this year. Is that bad where they allow 63 points to the Raiders or the offense can't do anything and they can't even make it a competitive game for 15 minutes against the Las Vegas Raiders? Because you look at football in four different quarters. At the end of the first quarter was 21 nothing. At the end of the second quarter, it was 42 to nothing. At the end of the third quarter, it was 56 to 7. And then at the end of the fourth quarter, it was 63 to 21. That was 60 minutes of the Chargers just lying down on a football field and saying, Las Vegas, roll over us.

Las Vegas, just kill us, embarrass us, murder us. Because we don't like our coach and we don't believe in our coach. And the jackassery that you heard from Brandon Stelly in his last three or four press conferences is ridiculous. And now he had the audacity to stand up at the podium last night and say, oh, this just happens. No, this doesn't happen.

You don't allow the Raiders to score 63 points. That's unprecedented. Give me a break.

Oh, yeah. And I still deserve to be a head coach based off what? The analytics make no sense. You've been stupid as a head coach. You've never adapted and you're supposed to be this defensive wizard and all your defense has done is regress. And you have a team.

I get it. They're injured. But you have a team for the last three seasons that is loaded, loaded.

I'll say it again with talent. And each and every year, this imbecile of a head coach can't find a way to get out of his own way. And Schefter put out a tweet.

He's exactly right. You'll remember Brandon Stelly based off three games. The end of his first year as a head coach and the incompetence he displayed up against the Raiders. Then last year being up twenty seven points in a playoff game. To Jacksonville and choking it up. And then last night allowing the Raiders, the Raiders, the Raiders to score sixty three points. You know, I remember a conversation we had yesterday with Stu. Stu's like, I ain't wearing my Raiders stuff today.

I ain't wearing my Raiders stuff tomorrow. Stu was expecting this to be a miserable, laughable game where maybe the Raiders could have won it. But it wouldn't have been anything impressive.

It wouldn't have been anything exciting. But here comes the three and three Antonio Pierce led Raiders with the Raiders team that's now six and eight on the season. And that's I don't know what's more stunning, the Raiders now being six and eight or then putting up sixty three points last night. Because with how much we've trashed the Raiders this year, it don't feel like they're a six and eight football team.

It feels like it's a lot worse. But they put up sixty three points. And this is when, you know, Stu is very happy with the performance last night because he has the big font of the Las Vegas Raiders sweatshirt that he loves to wear. And just yesterday, I thought that that sweatshirt was retired for the rest of twenty twenty three. And here comes Stu, deservedly so.

After kicking the ass of the Chargers and making Brandon Staley submit and that entire team just quit on their coach. Stu has a little smile on his face. Stu is a little happy camper today. How about that, Stuart? Did not have that coming, honestly. I thought this shirt was in the hamper for the rest of the year until the springtime. Unbelievable.

I never thought they scored that many points. So I'm going to give you a take that I have given to everyone since October. And now today everyone's joining the party.

Every radio show, every TV show that you listen to, you watch. Everyone's getting on the microphone today on the television camera and they're saying this. Bill Belichick to the Chargers. Well, yours truly has been giving you that take since October 17th, exact date, mad. When I sat here on national radio on CBS Sports Radio and I said the Chargers need to get rid of dumb and dumber in Brandon Staley and Kellen Moore.

And they need to hand the keys over to the franchise in Bill Belichick. And guess what? I've doubled down on it since then. I tripled down on it and I've quadrupled down on it and will continue to do so.

The Chargers have an opportunity here to correct the wrong that they made last year because I remember after that choke job by Brandon Staley when they were once again up 27 points to the Jaguars and didn't walk out of Duval with a victory. I was in Colorado. I was visiting my sister, my brother in law and my niece, and it was chilly. It was also sunny. I remember stepping outside on their porch and I had a ski cap on. I had some sunglasses. I was looking a little douchey.

I'm not going to lie. And I put out a video and I said, Brandon Staley needs to go, but the Spanos family will be too cheap and they need to go out there. They need to bring in Sean Payton. That's what they needed to do. And they sat in their hands.

They were cheap. They were like, Brandon Staley made the playoffs, we got to bring him back, even though the last two years everyone knew this guy was no bueno as the head coach. And they allowed Sean to eventually go to the Denver Broncos inside your own division.

And sure, it did not look good for the Broncos the first five, six games of the year, but now the Broncos have an opportunity to go be a playoff team. So you had a chance to go get a big fish last offseason. You were cheap. You refused to hire Brandon Staley.

Don't allow history to repeat itself. Dean Spanos, this is on you. You give up the draft capital, whatever it is, a first round pick. And you also pay Bill Belichick whatever he wants because you need Bill Belichick and Bill Belichick needs you. Don't give me this nonsense that Bill Belichick just all of a sudden forgot how to coach.

Coaches need talented players. Bill Belichick has barely any talent in New England. You tell me Bill Belichick walks into Los Angeles with Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Quinnen Johnston, Joey Bosa, Derwin James, and Khalil Mack. I guarantee you this.

The Chargers will be in the playoffs next year and the Chargers will be a double digit win team. Because Bill Belichick is an adult in the room. Bill Belichick is one of the greatest head coaches of all time, if not the greatest.

And he's the person that you need. You can't take risks. You can't gamble. You can't say, oh, well, we'll hire the young hotshot offensive or defensive coordinator that knows Sean McVay or knows Kyle Shanahan because you tried that.

And you got embarrassed. And if you get this hire wrong after getting rid of Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley and you get this one wrong, you will ruin whatever window that you have. Because this course is only getting older. I know your quarterback is young, but you get this hire wrong. You are wiping away three more years of football. So go get one of the greatest coaches of all time in Bill Belichick with all these rumors that Robert Kraft has already decided he wants Bill Belichick out at the end of the year. It takes two to tango. You need Bill. Bill needs you.

And it would be the perfect marriage. And it would put the Chargers for an actual first time in a long time, a feeling in that organization that they could go contend inside the AFC West and they could go contend for a Lombardi championship. You go make another hire.

And outside of Bill Belichick, it better be the right one, because if not, you are wasting whatever you have left of this court. It is easy peasy. I should be running the Chargers, and I usually never say stuff like that, but I should be running the Chargers because I told you last year, they should have got rid of Brandon Staley and Brandon Sean Payton, who was begging for the job, imploring to be the Chargers coach all throughout the year when he was doing his analyst work on Fox. They didn't do it.

They sat on their hands, they dragged their feet, and now they look like a bunch of asses today. So don't mess this up. It is so simple. It is the easiest thing Dean Spanos has ever had to do as an owner. Picks, money, Belichick to Los Angeles to save the Chargers.

It is Zach Gelb's show on CBS Sports Radio, 855-212-4CBS, 855-212-4227. We'll take a timeout. Joe Thomas knows a thing or two about losing his coach in the middle of the season. We'll get the player reaction on that, and also, I gotta ask Joe Thomas, the Pro Football Hall of Famer, about how far Joe Flacco can lead the Cleveland Browns.

I don't know what's more stunning. The Raiders scoring 63 points in a game, or me saying Joe Flacco leading the Cleveland Browns. A Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive line, one of the greatest offensive tackles of all time. Joe Thomas joins us in five minutes. Alright, this is Zach Gelb's show on CBS Sports Radio. You can stream the NFL on Westwood One for free, sponsored by AutoZone all season long. You can listen to every Westwood One broadcast of the NFL Live on the NFL app by asking Alexa to open Westwood One Sports or on the Odyssey app. Get in the Zone AutoZone.

AutoZone's free battery testing and charging is available for free at your local AutoZone. Get in the Zone AutoZone. Restrictions apply. Big news today in the NFL. Brandon Staley, Tom Telesco out as the head coach and general manager of the Los Angeles Chargers. Raiders get a big victory last night where they put up 63 points, which is a franchise record.

And Antonio Pierce is now 3-3 as the interim head coach of the Raiders. And we got a lot cooking on a football Friday. You do have the Cleveland Browns going up against the Bears this weekend, as that should be a good one between Justin Fields and how about this? Joe Flacco as the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. That's something I never thought I would say, but he had a really good performance a week ago, and now he has a rest of the year contract for a little over $4 million with the Brownies. So whenever we talk Cleveland Browns, we love talking to my next guest, one of the greatest offensive tackles of all time.

He's in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and that is the legendary Joe Thomas. Joe, I always appreciate the time. Thanks for it. How are you? I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on, Zach.

Well, thanks so much for coming on. So I want to start you off with the Hall of Fame, because I've talked to you off the air, but not on the air since you got into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It didn't surprise anybody. We knew that you weren't going to have to wait. When you look back at that summer day when you were on that podium and you were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, just what are the memories that come back to mind for you? I remember sweating a lot in that gold jacket, just like a lot of people that got inducted into the Hall of Fame. It was a nice warm day in Canton, but even more than that, I think I remember the warm reception from all those Browns fans. It felt like a home game because it really was. I mean, Canton, Ohio is only an hour from Cleveland, and to see 20, 30,000 Browns fans come down to be able to wish me well and cheer me on during my speech was really special. Being the first Browns player since the team came back in 1999, it gave me a lot of pride to be able to be up there representing all those fans that were in the stands and all those fans that were at home that lived through a tough stretch of Cleveland Browns football. Let's be honest, we were not that great, never made the playoffs in my 11 seasons, but the loyalty was always there and the love was always there. I definitely felt all that love that day, and it made me so proud that I was able to play my entire career in Cleveland.

And no one would have ever faulted you if you left and you wanted to go to more of a contender. Why did you always stay and were you ever close to maybe leaving the Browns organization? You know, I was always really happy in Cleveland. I loved the organization. I fell in love with it from day one. I love the city.

I'm a big fisherman, outdoorsman. Cleveland's got a backyard right there on Lake Erie, and it's just a great place to live. It's a great place to raise a family. The fans are as loyal and passionate as any fans in the country. It's a great family feel of an organization when you're there. And so I always loved it. My dream was always to turn the team around.

And so I never really considered going anywhere else. I always felt of myself as a Cleveland Brown, but there was a chance in like 2015. I think it was that I did almost get traded. John Elway was the GM of the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning was a quarterback. They had just lost their all pro left tackle, Ryan Clady for the season. They were obviously making a Super Bowl run. They won the Super Bowl that year and they were looking to replace the Clady at left tackle to try to win a Super Bowl for Peyton Manning. And from my understanding, them and the Browns were very close to getting a deal done. But I think what ended up happening is the Browns just kind of let the clock run out at the trade deadline because they weren't winning the Super Bowl that year. And I think everybody in Cleveland was maybe a little bit nervous for being known as the person that traded Joe Thomas to the Broncos, whether they lasted more than that season or another season. But there was it was a little bit close that season, but that was as close as it ever came. Now, I remember when Brian Dawkins, obviously Pro Football Hall of Famer, was on the Eagles and he eventually ended his career with the Broncos and he tried to bring Philly a Super Bowl those years and they were close.

And then he came back in the front office in some capacity when they actually won the Super Bowl. Do you ever have like any interest coaching or maybe being in the front office one day and maybe aspirations to finally get that ring and maybe do so with Cleveland down the road? It's a great game, Zach. I love the game of football. It's provided so much for me and for my family. I'm so happy right now to be able to coach my son.

He's in seven or he's seven years old playing flag football. I love that. And so really in retirement, I'm very happy to be dad first. Got a bunch of businesses that I'm working on that I really enjoy chasing those passions, chasing coaching the kids at home, which is a lot like babysitting when you're dealing with seven year old boys. But it's a lot of fun at home. It humbles you. But I do have that itch to coach. And I am going over to Germany actually this next two weeks in January to go coach the Munich Ravens professional football team, which is a season that happens in the summer. So I'll get a little taste of coaching, but I don't think until my kids are a lot older and kind of done going through their youth sports phases that I would even consider being in the NFL or college just because it becomes your life. It becomes your identity, which is great. I mean, it was my identity when I was playing, but there really is not a lot of room in your day for anything else. When you are playing coaching or in the front office in college or in the NFL, because it just it's all encompassing. It takes all of your energy and all of your effort.

You don't have time for your family or friends. Talking to the Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Thomas, how about the coaching job Kevin Stefanski has done this year? Injuries keep on popping up all throughout the year and the Browns somehow, some way keep on winning. A lot of people thought he was going to be on the hot seat this year. He'll absolutely be back next season, I would imagine.

He's doing such an amazing job. I mean, I don't know where they're going to finish. I know there's some teams in the NFC that are probably going to have better records no matter what happens down the stretch for Cleveland, even though Cleveland does have a pretty favorable schedule going and finishing the season. But Kevin Stefanski is basically doing it right now with the guys that I was talking about during preseason when I was covering the Browns and and calling their games with Chris Rose. And I made the joke to Nathan Zaguro, the great Browns color radio guy used to work for CBS.

I said, hey, do you want my notes from preseason? Because that's basically the guys that they've got out there. And Kevin Stefanski is winning games.

It's amazing. I mean, Flacco, he popped up out of carpool, hanging out at his mom's house to go play for the Browns. He's won a couple of games for him.

It's sorry, he's won one game for him and look great in both games. And it's just amazing the job that they're doing. I mean, they're down to their fourth and fifth starting offensive tackle. I mean, when I was playing, we had a really good offensive line. But if we lost one dude on the line, we were kind of cooked. Now they're down to dudes that weren't even on the roster that are starting a tackle and they're they're playing some of their best offensive ball right now.

So I think you really can't say enough about the job. Stefanski's done being able to pivot, especially on offense around the talent that he's got. And not just saying, hey, this is my offense.

This is what you guys have to do. I mean, he was running wide open, three receivers shotgun when Deshaun Watson was there and DTR was there at the helm. And then now all of a sudden, Joe Flacco comes in.

It's under center. It's play action. It's more tight ends. And so to me, that's the mark of a great coach.

It's seeing what your personnel is and adjusting what you do to the talents of your team. And the Flacco story is wild. And I know we probably shouldn't look at it this way because players change teams all the time, especially when you've been around this long. But how many AFC North matchups, right? The Browns head up against the Ravens. Browns fans probably used to hate Joe Flacco.

And now they're rooting for him to potentially lead the team to the playoffs. Yeah, it's crazy. So when I was playing in Cleveland, there was this great YouTube video. It was called the hastily made Cleveland tourism video.

It's super funny. It was, you know, kind of poking fun at ourselves in Cleveland. It was all about things that maybe aren't the best about Cleveland, but it finishes with this great line. It goes, at least we're not Detroit.

We're not Detroit. And as soon as we signed Flacco, all I could think of is at least it's not Ben Roethlisberger because that would not be forgivable for Browns fans. Even though we had a lot of battles against Flacco, I feel like there was not a lot of hatred towards him.

But I'm not sure if we signed Big Ben, if there would be the same love and the Flacco Nation crew out there at Cleveland Browns stadium as they have right now. You've gone up against so many great defensive linemen to see what Myles Garrett's doing, even with the injury. Let's say you were going up against Myles. Like what would you be thinking about to try to slow him down as he's just been a force not only this year, but really his entire career. Yeah, I had to play against him as a rookie. Thankfully, I didn't practice all that much my last season in the NFL because I was so banged up, but just even going against him when he was a rookie was scary because he's just so explosive off the ball. He's got such a quick first step. He can get so low when he bends around the corner, ducking under an offensive tackle, and then he can change direction at full speed. I imagine his L drill, the three cone drill that he did at the combine had to be like world record because he doesn't lose any speed, whether he's running straight or he's turning. And I think that's what makes him so dangerous. And he's just super powerful so he can bull rush guys. He can really beat you in three ways, which is an offensive tackles nightmare.

He can go inside, outside, or he can run you over. And really on the defensive side of the ball, they've got great players across the board, but they've dealt with a ton of injuries as well. But Myles is really the glue on that side of the ball because when you can rush the passer and the only way an offense can stop you is by putting two resources on you on every play. And that's like, okay, the guard and the tackle have to double team or the tight end and the tackle have to double team, or we need to leave in a receiver or a running back.

Like automatically it gives you the chess advantage on the board from a defensive standpoint because you're playing now 11 on 10. I'm just wondering, because Joe Thomas here with us, the Pro Football Hall of Famer, the Browns this weekend, they played the Bears. The Bears have two high draft picks expected this year, maybe the number one overall pick. And everyone's wondering, well, will Justin Fields be back as the quarterback? Will they take a quarterback in the draft?

Unfortunately, during your career, you know a thing or two about the Browns drafting a ton of quarterbacks and there being speculation, is this guy the guy or not? What is that like as a player when you have all these distractions and all these questions around your team if the quarterback is going to be the quarterback next year? If you've dealt with it a few times throughout your career, like I did, because there was always a revolving door at quarterback, you just learn to tune it out. But I think it's really difficult for young guys because they hear it in the media every day. And I think this generation, because they did grow up with social media, they have a harder time tuning out the noise in the fan base and in the media.

My rookie year in the NFL, I had Romeo Cornell who won a bunch of Super Bowls with Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells. And one of the things that he said to me as a rookie, he said, whatever you do, don't read the newspapers. Right.

At the time there's newspapers. Now it'd be like, don't read your social media mentions. Yeah, it was the best advice ever, because if it's good, it's rat poison, right? Because you start believing the hype, how great you guys are. And then that leads to diminished preparation and diminished focus on your job. And you start, you know, smelling yourself and you think it's pretty, pretty smelly in a good way.

It smells like roses. But as soon as one bad thing happens, right. You lose and maybe it's not even your fault.

Maybe you played the best game of your life, but you lose. And then, you know, everybody kind of smells bad and you start reading that and then they get focused on those things. And it just distracts you from going into and doing your job every single day. And so I took that to heart and I just never paid attention at all. And it led to some aloof moments sometimes when the media would ask you about, hey, what do you think about this? And I'm like, I don't know. I didn't even know that happened.

You know, that was on the defensive side of the ball. Or, you know, Hey, that's, it's not in my department. I'm sorry. I just don't pay attention to it.

And it was tough, but I think once you did it and you got used to that routine, it became easy. And, you know, for, for this generation, for guys that are used to just, you know, quickly looking up Twitter or Instagram, as soon as they get off the practice field, it's tough not seeing that stuff. And it does become a huge distraction because you're, you're looking at Twitter and you're scrolling or X, and you look over and the guy that they're talking about replacing was the guy that was just calling the place in the huddle. And he's sitting right there and you're thinking, wow, that's kind of weird. It's kind of awkward. And then you start thinking about like, well, if he's not my guy next year, should I be putting in that time to build that relationship with him?

You know, he's, he's taking the old line out to dinner and it's the end of the year. Like we should be having a good time and breaking bread and sharing that brotherhood, but like maybe he's not the quarterback next year. And you just have all those thoughts in your mind that are counterproductive.

And then I think then leak into his mind and he starts wondering, you know, should I be putting all my effort into this if this is not where I'm going to be in a couple of weeks? Did you ever have a conversation as a player? Cause we always knew you gave a max effort. There was an effort was never a question with you, but you see like last night, the Chargers lost 63 points to the Raiders. I sit back and I go, they quit on their coach.

We know Stanley gets fired today. We know you would never quit, but you used to have to tell your players in the locker room guys, I don't care who the coach is. I don't care how bad we are, how bad the quarterback is. We got to give it a full effort each and every week.

Yeah, I think it's important to do that during the week. And you're maybe not asking them to try hard, but you're trying to get them to focus and say, you know what, maybe the result of the game is not important because we're out of the playoffs or the coach has already been fired or whatever that looks like. But you try to find ways that will motivate each player individually. Hey guys, you know, the new coach is going to get hired and he's watching this film. He wants to see who's bought in and the decisions that they make in the off season are if it's 50 50, they're going to get rid of your ass because they're going to want to bring in their own guys. And I think it's important to understand that everything you do is always being evaluated and the microscope just gets bigger when you're losing. And when they are bringing new people into the building because you get rid of the GM, you get rid of the head coach, the first thing they're going to want to do is get rid of all those old guys that were somebody else's problem. And so I think you can kind of bring it home like that.

And hey, you know what? Within your position group, there is a lot of pride in playing for each other. And that was one of the things that always motivated me. I played ten and a half years without missing a snap and I had plenty of injuries. And what motivated me was not trying to get to the playoffs because a lot of times we were out by the middle of the season. But I was looking at the left and my right and there was guys that I really cared about. And I knew that if I cared about them and I wanted them to have the best opportunity for success in their NFL career, I had to be at my best and I had to be out there providing them being a great servant so that the running back could get the yards that he deserves, that he's working for my left guard. We could get the combinations that we need.

I could be there if you needed body presence when he was trying to block Aaron Donald. It was all those little things and I think that brotherhood, that's where it really kicks in and that's where it really pays off is some of those lost seasons maybe down the stretch. But I think with the Brandon Staley situation, it's pretty easy to see that when the players have been reading the news clippings and they know that the coach is getting fired, it's pretty easy for them to let it slip because now all of a sudden the king doesn't have power anymore. What would Joe Thomas' reaction be if this offseason we get a trade alert that Bill Belichick gets traded from the Patriots to the Chargers?

Because I've been on this one since October. That's what I think is going to end up happening. Yeah, no. Zach, I've been following that obviously like all NFL fans this season and then specifically this week with the reports coming out of New England. And I think that's the most likely outcome. I think for him, he's going to want to go somewhere that has a quarterback because I think he's pretty, pretty clear now. If I don't have a quarterback as great as I maybe thought everything was, the setup that I had in New England, it really doesn't matter unless you got a guy that can throw the football. And Justin Herbert is one of the elite young talents in the NFL. And so I think Bill Belichick would want to commit a long term part of his end of his career to a guy like Justin Herbert. He doesn't want to go to a situation where they're hoping to be able to get a quarterback where they're trying to sell him, hey, we got a top pick. We're hoping to get a young guy. He wants to go somewhere where he's got a chance to win right away. I think he's 71 years old. I know he's probably going to be one of these guys that coaches maybe until he's 80.

And so if he's got one more decade of coaching, he doesn't want to spend four or five years trying to find a quarterback. Last thing I'll ask you, Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Thomas, your Browns are 8-5. Big win last weekend with Joe Flacco up against the Jaguars. Their next four games, the Bears, the Texans, the Jets and the Bengals.

Scale of 1-10. 1-0 confidence, 10 all the confidence in the world. Where's your confidence that the Brownies, here we go Brownies, here we go. We'll be playing in a playoff game. You know, I was a disillusioned Browns player when I played because every year I thought we were winning the Super Bowl. And now as a fan, it's even worse.

I got Browns by a billion in every game, baby. Absolutely love it. Joe Thomas, all the best to you and your family. We appreciate the time. Thanks for doing this.

Yeah, man. Thanks for having me on, Zach. There he is, the great Joe Thomas joining us on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. Always love our conversations with him. Let's take a break. When we'll come all back, we'll update you on some of the biggest stories in the world of sports with some audio.

We call that segment The News Brief. But first up with the latest CBS Sports Radio update, El Capitan at CBS Sports Radio, the great Marco Valletti. If you're watching on CBS Sports Radio or at Zach Gelb, using the hashtag Ask the Pros, be listening later in the show, and we might answer your question. Think O'Reilly Auto Parts for all your car care needs.

Get guaranteed low, low, low, low, low prices and excellent customer service from the professional parts people at O'Reilly Auto Parts. Big questions about Tyreek Hill. Will he play this weekend up against the JTS Jets, Jets, Jets? We know he's dealing with an ankle injury that he returned from in their embarrassing loss to Tennessee. Here is Mike McDaniel on the decision whether to play Tyreek or not.

Bottom line is we'll have a conversation that will be based upon. Remember, this is Tyreek Hill's career. He's a very experienced player. I handle very experienced players different than I handle younger guys because they know what they signed up for, and it's his career. So if he's confident and then I have the support of the medical guys, he's confident that he can go be himself, then he'll play. If it's not that, then he won't. And Tyreek Hill did not practice today and he's questionable for the game.

Here is my question. Does Tyreek Hill care more about 2,000 yards or does Tyreek Hill care more about getting the rest for the Dolphins potential Super Bowl push? That's what I'm wondering because Tyreek already has a ring with the Kansas City Chiefs, and I wonder what is he thinking more about?

Is it let me rest, let me sit out this week, and I'm going to preserve myself and get in better health so I can go make a Super Bowl run here in the final three weeks of the regular season? Or is it, as Ari Mirov points out from my sports update, he's only 458 yards away from that 2,000-yard mark. So I wonder what is more important to Tyreek Hill, where if you do get that 2,000-yard mark, you also may become the first ever MVP that we've seen from the wide receiver position. If I take a guess, I think the 2,000 yards is more important to Tyreek Hill.

Let's go to Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. They were on the Up and Atoms show with Kay Adams, and they were asked about the report from Tommy Curran that the Patriots are going to say sayonara to Bill Belichick after this season. I don't think it's like 100% done. I don't think either of them on either side are thinking about that right now, or at least on Bill's side. Bill is probably just going to play the season out and worry about trying to win football games.

But it won't hit me until it's actually a hit. I don't even know where to go with it. I agree with Julian. I think those reports are kind of, they're not too far stretched out there, but they kind of fall still on it because I think there's still some season left to play. Coach Belichick can definitely prove himself. I don't care how much of a robot you think Robbercraft and Bill Belichick are. There is no way that they aren't at least thinking about it right now. I know you could say, oh, we're on to Kansas City, we're on to Kansas City, we're only focused on Kansas City. Robbercraft's thinking about the future, Bill Belichick's thinking about his future, but I do agree with Bronk and Edelman. I don't think a final decision has been made yet.

I do think it's more likely that they don't have Belichick back next season, but I do not believe whatsoever that it is sealed, signed, and delivered. Let's go to Darius' big play slay of the Philadelphia Eagles. So an Eagle fan earlier this week showed up outside the facility with a trash can with big play slay written on the trash can. And this is his reaction to it on the Big Play Slay podcast. Let me address this.

I saw a photo on the internet with a trash can with me and my boy James Bradbury on there. Come on, man. Come on. And y'all know, y'all know I'm a big time troll.

I love to have fun. I think it was a good joke, man, good funny, but I think I played pretty good. I think I done had a very, very solid game, man. I think I had like two or three PBUs, no making plays, no catches, no nothing. Come on now.

Out of all days, you want to put the trash can out there. When I had a damn perfect game, you know, I could have did a lot of stuff better, better, but maybe could have picked the ball. Could have made some other plays, but overall, the game was great by me. You know what I'm saying? But as a team, we play worth the s***. I don't know.

Maybe I'm off here. But when you get embarrassed on Sunday Night Football, I think you are just so tone deaf as a player to talk about how you individually played a near perfect game and how great you were when your defense got shredded by Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. Like, you are above the fans.

You are above the media, Darius Big Play Slay. You control what comes out of your mouth. So, yeah, you may not like that there's a trash can with your name on it outside the facility.

I think there's better ways to address it. And when you started off by saying, oh, that's so messed up because of how great I played in the game and your team got just embarrassed, it's like, are you a team player or are you all about just your individual performance? And I always say this to athletes. If your team loses, I don't care how you play. Acknowledge that the team lost. Acknowledge that the team got blown out and don't talk about first how great you were individually because if you being great individually is all that matters, then what are you doing? Like, fans don't care when you play great individually in a losing effort. It wasn't like you lost the game by two, three points.

You got blown out by the Dallas Cowboys. Here is Kyle Shanahan on the whole MVP conversation regarding Christian McCaffrey and Brock Purdy on his own team. The only reason I wouldn't overly comment on either one of them because I don't want them to cancel each other out. But if any non-quarterback is going to get an MVP, I don't get how Christian McCaffrey can. I mean, he's amazing in what he's done all year. If it's going to a quarterback, then I don't have to talk about Christian. I can talk about our quarterback. And if his numbers is all you see, then I think that solves it up.

But if you watch the film, then it makes it even stronger, which to me is the most important thing. If it goes to a quarterback, let's play this game. I think right now, and I can't believe I'm saying this, I think it goes to Dak Prescott. But I don't believe Dak should be the MVP of the league. Because there's two names in front of Dak Prescott in my MVP ballot.

And I don't have a vote, so it means nothing. Number one, Tyreek Hill. Number two, Christian McCaffrey.

I think Christian McCaffrey is more valuable to the 49ers than Brock Purdy is. Let's go to Ja Morant. His suspension is wrapping up. And the Memphis Grizzlies are in a putrid state right now.

They are 6 and 17. Here is Ja Morant on his suspension. It was definitely tough. Horrible days. It was tough. But like I said, to start this with the support that I had throughout this process, it definitely helped me a lot. Obviously, basketball is, like you said, something I've been doing pretty much my whole life.

Something that's therapeutic for me. Obviously, taking that away, it makes it tougher. Well, you had one incident with a gun.

And then shortly after that, you had another incident with a gun, toy gun or not. So let's see if you actually learned with how you're going to handle the rest of your career. Time will tell. Here is Steve Kerr on Draymond Green's suspension, which is an indefinite suspension. I think the suspension makes sense. To me, this is about more than basketball. It's about helping Draymond. I think it's an opportunity for Draymond to step away and to make a change in his approach, in his life. Because the one who grabbed Rudy, choked Rudy, the one who took a wild flail at Yusuf, the one who punched Jordan last year, that's the guy who has to change.

And he knows that. Well, then why did you wait to try to get him to change so long? Because it's not like we all just woke up yesterday and realized Draymond's been a pain in the ass and he does a bunch of inane and dumb things. He's been doing it for a while. And even after punching a teammate in the face last year in practice, you basically did nothing. And then this past offseason, you rewarded him with a $100 million contract.

I don't expect Draymond to change whatsoever. Wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-15 16:24:58 / 2023-12-15 16:43:52 / 19

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