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Falcons Should Move On From Arthur Smith (Hour 3)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
December 19, 2023 6:03 pm

Falcons Should Move On From Arthur Smith (Hour 3)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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December 19, 2023 6:03 pm

Falcons Outlook I James Palmer, NFL Network Reporter I Did Dylan Raiola Make The Right Decision?


The most unique NBA podcast is out on Odyssey, Heat Check with Trista Crick. NBA fans, listen up! I'm Trista Crick, host of the Heat Check Podcast, and if you love this league, the story lines, and want a funny, digestible way to get all the news from around the association, and someone to break down what's really going on straight up, no chaser, and make you laugh at the same time, follow the Heat Check on the free Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast. Alrighty, rock and roll in our number three of our radio program. That's right, it is the Zach Gelb Show Coast to Coast on CBS Sports Radio. It's crazy, only three weeks left of the NFL regular season.

Before you know it, we'll be in Conference Championship Weekend, and then the Super Bowl in the middle of February, and now joining us from the NFL Network, one of their best reporters, James Palmer, kind enough to jump on board the Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio. James, my friend, always appreciate the time. How you been? I'm good, man. I saw you in the flesh recently, huh?

How about that? Yeah, we were seated right next to each other in the press box, actually, when the Philadelphia Eagles were used to winning games the long weeks ago. Now, they've lost three in a row, so I guess we took all their good magic away from them, but I'm concerned about the Eagles right now, and I think team chemistry, which was so rock solid last year, has become an issue with this team this season.

It's an interesting skid. I mean, I still think they went out, but I thought they were going to win out before this game started, and I thought that's where things were going to be, but when the change happens, moving Matt Patricia into running this defense, I was doing a game in New England against the Chiefs and Patriots, and talking to people on the sideline, the Chiefs were kind of interested, the Patriots kind of like, does this seem like they're panicking a little bit? I'm like, maybe, because specifically from Kansas City's side, they're a team that obviously has some issues themselves that they're trying to work out, but we've seen them, Zach, over the years, right?

Just try to slowly right themselves and fix their mistakes through December, and then all of a sudden, the postseason comes around, and it used to be on the defense, right? Like, defense would start slow, spags would get them going, and there was never any panic in that building. There's still actually no panic in that building, and I find that kind of interesting when you look at them compared to who they faced in the Super Bowl a year ago in Philly, and there's kind of the sense around the league a little bit of like, is this a kind of a panicky move?

Like, are they nervous? And, but you look at the issues on defense, and you brought the thing in terms of, you know, where they stand, they just look like they've gotten older, like really quickly, specifically at the corner spots. And I think that's exposed more, mainly because they're not getting after the quarterback the way they did last year. I mean, James Bradberry and Darrius Lay, I know Slay didn't play in this game, but those two didn't have to cover a whole lot last year. They didn't cover very long, because when you get 70 sacks, and you have literally like, an A-squad and a B-squad getting after the quarterback, your secondary doesn't have to play very long. And now they're having to play a little bit longer, because the guys up front are playing way more snaps. I think that's another part we're seeing, especially guys that are even younger, like Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter.

They're playing a lot more snaps than they're used to, and I think that's affecting them. Linebacker's a spot that's an issue, and I think we're just, we're overlooking, to wrap this part up, is like, they lost two really good coaches. I mean, like, Shane Stikins in the conversation for Coach of the Year. Yeah, he's my favorite.

He's my pick right now with what he's doing. Yeah, he's been incredible with what he's doing and what he's working with in Indianapolis. And you can say the wins aren't there, but if you watch these games, like, that's a physical team that plays hard for Jonathan Gannon in Arizona with not a whole lot of talent. So, I think you are seeing a team that lost both coordinators that had pretty big roles. I know Gannon was complained about a lot in Philadelphia for some reason, but Shane Stikins was brilliant with that offense.

And we've seen, you know, of dramatic change there, because they're too talented to be doing what they're doing. James Palmer here with us. So, we know the 49ers are the team to beat not only the NFC, but the entirety of the NFL. You look at the Lions, the Cowboys, the Eagles, they all have good records, but we don't feel great about their chances of having to beat the 49ers come playoff time.

Out of those three teams, who do you have the most confidence in to get the job done up against the Niners? I mean, I look at the way the Lions played this past weekend, and they were a team that was kind of starting to skid. And we talked so much about momentum, I just brought it up about the Chiefs in December and how big that is. Them riding the ship, I think was huge, because they probably played, you look at the teams that needed to get their mojo back, it was kind of Miami, Kansas City, and Detroit, right? Those were the three teams this past weekend that needed to get it back. Detroit played the best team of the three in Denver, a team that was hot, a team that had a good defense, and they just whooped them on both sides of the ball. And so, you know, I always do fear, though, a team that hasn't really been there before. I know Philly has the pelts on the wall to play late, and we know that their coach doesn't, as I brought up panicking earlier, usually doesn't panic, their quarterback doesn't panic. But so, you know, you would usually pick them, but I look at Detroit, and if they fix their issues, they have so many different pieces, and I was talking to some guys with the Broncos, and they were just like, they have four rookies that have the chance not just to be stars in this league, to be superstars in this league, and two of them on offense and two of them on defense. And as those guys continue to get better in the league, honestly, I mean, Detroit is getting really dangerous, and I look at the team that's headed in the right direction out of the ones you mentioned with Dallas and Detroit and Philly, I kind of like Detroit right now. Talking to James Palmer right now, so you brought up the Broncos there for a second.

I know that you live in the Denver area as well, and you're in that facility quite often. What's the truth between Sean Payton and Russell Wilson, and where their relationship is at through year one? You know, I think there's, there's a lot that they've had to learn about each other, and I think there's a lot that's had to be tested in terms of patience. I think that's something that doesn't exist with most of the fan bases and the media around the NFL, just patience isn't something that happens in the NFL, and I think we saw that the way their seasons gone, like, they needed to learn a lot about each other. I don't know if they love each other.

I do know that they figured out a working relationship with one another. I mean, I do think they figured that out. I think they figured out how to make this offense work. I think that's a testament to Sean.

I think that's a testament to the entire offensive staff Davis Mills has played a big part in that as well. In terms of finding ways to make this work. I don't know. Personally, I don't know how their relationship stands. What I do know is Ross is unbelievably competitive.

I know Sean is the same. I know there will do anything specifically Russ after the season he had last year, anything to win games in this season. But you can tell I think there's plenty of instances. And we've talked about this at NFL network and I've had people around the league tell me I mean there are things that Sean has drawn up the rust hasn't seen, and it probably frustrates him. And it probably frustrates him from time to time because he's drawing guys open, and there have been guys open. So we'll see how this thing continues but I do think it's a testament to both of them because they both have adapted as this year has gone on to make this offense work in a very odd way. It seems like there are a couple that like just got married, and after like six or seven months of marriage are already in couples therapy, and we're like okay they still love each other but there's issues and we're trying to see if this marriage will actually have some life to it instead of just having a divorce.

Well, the good times are really good. It was love at first sight that was between those to get it back to Kansas City just since you were around them and you did their game this past weekend is that support that they have for could Darius Tony genuine or is it just more so, guys we have nothing else we just got to work with what we have. I think it is genuine this is it this is a strength, and this may sound contradictory to what we've seen on the sideline, the last two games, but Patrick Mahomes I'm told by number of people in the building has had remarkable patience with what's going on with that receiver group. They knew going into the season that their identity was going to change they were well aware of that. They were well aware that the, you know, the way that they were going to play offensive football was going to change, and they were looking for that player to slide in and really take advantage of the attention Travis Kelsey gets like juju Smith Schuster did a season ago.

And the thought was that was going to be could areas Tony. What we're seeing now, realistically is that's where she rice, and that's that's the player that when I talked to players in that building, believe is the guy that's going to be the one to step into that role and you've seen it in Patrick Mahomes and we've seen the way Mahomes played with who we trust and who he doesn't really have all that much trust with he's working on it. But behind the scenes, yeah, the patience hasn't worn out, I would say that I would say the intensity and the urgency, from what I'm told from the homes has definitely increased the last two weeks from what it was in the first portion of the season, whether that's he's finally fed up. He's pushing guys maybe in a different way.

What I have been told is the way he has handled this has been phenomenal. During the week in meetings, the encouraging sense that he has with these guys because he knows this is the group he has specifically on the trade deadline came and went, and they didn't, they didn't pick up the phone, like, and so once that happened. I think he knew this is my group and this is I you know I have to support this group, but I think we're starting to see a little bit of a change in who they put on the field that past game in New England, the tight ends used a little bit more. You know, in addition to Kelsey, you know you saw where the targets have gone the last four games, I mean, heading into that game or she writes was his number one targeted receiver.

Each of the last three games and then this past game he has nine catches for what would he have 91. So I think we're seeing that he's just going to start looking, looking elsewhere. And you know they also need back and I know sometimes right we dumb it down and we only look at quarterbacks and we only look at coaches and, and things like that and like a star tight end like a Travis Kelsey but not having Pacheco as of late is a massive loss for that team. That is part of their new I mentioned a new identity, like running the football is a new portion of their identity like outside. He's the only other player that would be the only other player fender is the only place like the bills when they were going into Arrowhead, and I was talking to people in Buffalo it was, we are concerned about Kelsey and Pacheco. That is who we have to stop that was more they found out he wasn't going to play in the game, but that was that was their focus like in he runs so hard, he is really the biggest part of their offense I think with the way Kelsey is getting defended of late. He is huge to the way they play now, Clyde Edwards layer had a decent game he made it unbelievable catching Kenzo, but he isn't Isaiah Pacheco, and he isn't the physical runner that they are specifically if you look at the way they're built like their, their best part of their offensive line obviously is the three in the middle. They're fantastic and Creed Humphrey Trey Smith and Joe tuning, that's a, that's a great trio in the middle, and that's who they run behind, and that's where Pacheco goes.

And that's where they pound the football on people, and we've seen them stick with the run more than Andy Reid has in the past that's because of Isaiah Pacheco is Bella check back in New England, and if not, where's the hoodie. This is being there on Sunday, and just like with all the buddies I have there, just, it just seems like this is not going to be easy, however it happens, I just don't you know when it gets to this point, I don't know what's gonna happen it seems like nobody knows exactly what's going to happen, because let's break down the scenarios like if they bring in somebody to run personnel above him, and it's even somebody he knows does he respect won't be had that person. He won't be that even if it's somebody like Thomas Mitchell for Dave Ziegler comes back, that's it, it's around, do they, do they still really have the final say or does build really have the final.

So did you really change anything. And so if you end up parting ways. I know Robert Kraft would really want a pick form.

If that's the case, and then that limits maybe where you end up going, and where he ends up going. But also I look at it like, what is he 71, 72, like, that's another thought I think other teams would think about when when they're starting a new with Bill Belichick sense James for him to go to a spot where they're rebuilding, because he could rebuild right now and it's going to take three more years and who knows what he's going to want to do at 75. I've been saying this since October. I don't know if the team's ownership will do it, but the Chargers make a ton of sense. Yeah, and that would be the opposite of what the Chargers have done of late right it has been young coaches.

It has been guys coming in with a lot of energy and they're getting their shot. And the sense I get around the league is it's going to be the opposite this time around, like there's a core there of really good players that are now starting if you look at it like to get older like Joe Bose is 29, like the group starting to get a little bit older, and the group, the core there you know Bose and Derwin James and Keenan Allen, they're all getting a little bit older and they're all have injury issues to like, you know you have the quarterback in place. You have some major decisions to make, and I think the Chargers would want a veteran coach to make those decisions on altering the core that you have, and how you're going to move forward with this team, I think there are enough people around the league this is a really great spot, I mean this is probably what Sean Payton wanted. Yeah, a year ago, in terms of the place to land twice because they punted on firing Staley they passed on Sean Payton and here we are they just fired Staley, and now you have another legendary coach potentially available in Belichick. Exactly, and I wouldn't be surprised I mean culture such a big thing that they need to establish there, because I think we've never really we've looked at the roster men like there's talent here, like, and it hasn't happened. Somebody like Dan Quinn could come in, who's been tremendous in Dallas, in terms of building his side of the ball there's guys on the offensive side of the ball that rave about them and love them. And then, I don't know, maybe you keep Kellen Moore, as the offensive coordinator, and he's maybe develop something with Justin Herbert and you bring DQ into do I mean I just think it has to be the thought is, it's somebody that's been around, whether it's Harbaugh whether it's Belichick whether it's you know whether it's DQ. It would make some sense but it just sounds, you know, when we talk about build around to bring it back like it just, I don't see this happening very smoothly, and no matter which way it is, and all the business deals Robert Kraft has done in football and in his businesses.

This might be the most sensitive, and the most difficult to navigate. You mentioned Harbaugh, do you, if you had to take a guess right now back at Michigan or in the NFL next year James Palmer was a Buckeye want him out of Michigan. So that part bother me a little bit. But I do think you know you have a great quarterback next year right there. We don't have.

I don't even know who's gonna play in the bowl game. But like it just with the way he snipped around the league last year. I just sense that he'd be, you know, eyeing to go back, and there might be some decent spots available. And so I do think he kicks the tires on the league again.

Now how about go with this Ohio State trend. Justin Fields next year with the Bears, is he back or is he not because I see both sides of this, like, you keep a draft Marvin Harrison Jr. Marvin Harrison Jr. DJ more and then I see the other side. I still don't know how great he could be, and there's not many years left on that contract.

Yeah, I think that's it. I had this discussion with Steve Weish on our show. I think he could play himself out of Chicago by playing brilliantly down the stretch or playing poorly, like both ways, like, because if he plays really really well. This is where they can get even more capital if they decide to go quarterback at one with that Panthers pick, and they say this is if they fall in love with like Caleb Williams right and they just fall in love with this is what we want. If he plays not Justin Fields, there are going to be teams that are going to be interested in Justin Fields.

I heard Atlanta wasn't interested in the past but if I was Atlanta right now I would be interested in 1000. You know, I think that's a really good fit for them specifically if Arthur stays there and just keeps his job. I think he fits actually what they would do. And so I think you could develop more, more, more capital to build around your new rookie quarterback, and he plays well, his values even higher. And if he plays poorly well then that even makes your decision even easier, but I do think when you ask around the league like this kid has not been given a real decent shake of it in terms of how it's gone for him already, I've had conversations with Matt Maggie about it and he has unbelievable talent, and we've seen flashes and I think we've seen the bears play actually really good football specifically that defense has turned a corner.

And what would he be like with some more talent around, and he didn't lose that game on Sunday. I mean, they had that game well there was some there was some nasty drops, and so, yeah, it's a, it's a really tough decision Ryan polls is in. And I think what's the deciding factor is if they fall absolutely in love with somebody in the draft, then that makes it easy for you. You know what I mean if you just know this guy is who we want over just, I know he won't be the number one overall pick because it probably will be Caleb Williams, depending on where he goes that's a different conversation like we're having. It does feel like though the best player in this draft right now months away is Marvin Harrison Jr. Yeah, it's and it's not even a question, it's not debatable, I've had that I've had more than one receiver coach in the league. Tell me if he played in the NFL this season. This has been a top five receiver.

Wow. That's where the head is where he is viewed by the guys who coach the position in the league, like, he makes it look so easy and I've talked to all these receivers I've had a conversation with Jackson Smith and Jigbo tremendous catch last night, by the way, and I've had a conversation with Garrett Wilson about this like all of them rave about each other Chris a lobby was in that room Jamison Williams was in that room. They all say Marvin's the best receiver out of all. And when do you usually see receivers taken in the first round, specifically receivers, where the way they think about themselves, openly admit that the other guy in the room is just hands down better than our estimate doesn't happen.

You know, that position. How many times I say that they're the best receiver in the league and it's like now you're good but you're not better than exactly, but those guys know like if they said any different and they're phenomenal players Chris lobby Jackson, they're all picks Garrett Wilson's of unbelievable player, they all know they're like, I'm lying through my teeth Marvin is the best player and he has everything. And that's the other part of it I know we look at this, and we probably don't look at this as much with other positions publicly, as opposed to the quarterback spot in the draft process, we look at everything from you know character and work ethic and where they come from how they're made up all of that stuff with quarterbacks it's dissected at nauseum. And for some reason we don't talk about it enough with some other players like his work ethic is through the roof. He was there for their pro day he is like he works on a jug machine that he doesn't even a quarterback, it has routes dialed into it.

He runs around it goes to him like his work ethic is unbelievable. It's probably the only thing that beats his talent, which is like a real common Yeah, yeah. I mean Steve Smith and I were there together for the pro day and Steve was talking to Marvin senior because Steve, that was who he idolized the idolize Marvin and Marvin said to him straight up he's like he is hands down better than me. Marvin said that I mean obviously maybe a dad's gonna say that their son right like I knew but sure but I don't know if your dad is early, I don't know.

I don't know if you do but he was like he's better than me. Yeah, and I and I know it. Last thing. And yeah, yeah. Last thing I'll ask you James Palmer who's always great who joins us from the NFL network it's that Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio my Super Bowl prediction right now.

I changed it on Monday. It's the Buffalo Bills going up against the San Francisco 49ers. What is your Super Bowl prediction.

I love that. I mean I love that can we just chat, instead of my prediction we just chat the bills right now like, like, I know it's the, it's the cliche right now to say nobody wants to play the bill and last week by the way, because I've been telling this everybody, I got them after that win against Kansas City plus 1000 to win the AFC that's what I made the bet. I thought that when I was at that game in Philly, and they came up short and overtime. I was like, back then they lost that game, and I was like, I don't think anybody wants to play this team if they get in, like, they run the ball so well. They have a guy that can just win games himself. And now they've just won two games with Josh really not having to do much like that's the thing like they beat the Cowboys and Josh Allen, I mean, didn't have to be Superman he didn't have to be Clark Kent I don't even know to get out of bed, like, it was, he didn't have to do anything.

And so I think that's, that's a really cool pick because if you look at the way this shakes out at the end. If they went out, and they can totally win out. Let's just say they win their next two games which are definitely winnable and Miami loses one of their next two games which are both difficult. They'll be going down to Miami and week 18 for the for the division Sunday night program that puts them. Yep, and that puts them in a great spot where they could be playing in Buffalo, which is where nobody wants to go in the postseason so it's actually not a completely insane pick, because I mentioned those teams at the beginning of this that need to get their mojo back I think we do have some things with Kansas City we're still curious about turnovers are still an issue in Kansas City offensively whether their mom's fault or not the turnovers are still happening. The penalties on offense are still happening.

And then in Miami. I do like that they want to gain without Tyree. But you saw two weeks ago them play without Tyree, and how different to the offense look and, and how yeah and so I do have questions at the top of the AFC, but the one team like that I don't really for some reason have any questions about is Baltimore, like guys get hurt in Baltimore and we don't even seem to be concerned, you know what I mean like other teams healthy, they only need as long as he's healthy. Exactly, like that's the way they're built, and we way we've seen them play through injury with other, other players on this team, like Ronnie Stanley goes down, like they lose like Marcus Williams.

And that I think that's the sign of a really good team right I think is a sign of a good team that's deep and well coached, when you can lose major players like you lose your running back to an ACL, who's playing really well I know he's a young player you lose Mark Andrews, and your offense isn't missing a beat, like, for us to just be so cavalier about like yeah the Ravens are good and if they lose so and so I think they'll be fine is a testament of really I think how good they are. He's James Palmer from the NFL network always love our conversation James great to see a few weeks ago appreciate the time today. Yeah, man, what's in person next time what do we got, you know anything I love you gonna make any trips, and I don't know what I'm doing yet I've not looked at, I'm going to the National Championship game the Buckeyes will not be there but I'll be there.

God bless. Back on game day morning with eyes and appreciate it. There he is James Palmer from the NFL network. Alrighty, great stuff with James always love his conversations with us. We'll take a break when we come on back Taylor Ham Heinecky is now back to being the guy I guess for the Atlanta Falcon should Arthur Smith, be back with the team in 2024, we will talk about that when we return. I'm Kate abdo, the host of kicking it a new weekly show from the CBS Sports glass Oh network where Clint Dempsey Charlie Davies moa do 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 you're waiting for, follow and listen to kicking it on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Ah, the satisfying sounds of more sales in your business. And from the sound of it, your business is growing. But you shouldn't have to pay more to scale your business with stamps calm, you can import orders from wherever you sell online, find the lowest rates with the fastest delivery times and instantly deliver tracking updates to your customers and stock supplies.

Get started at stamps calm today with code program for a four week trial, free postage and a digital scale. Alrighty, this is that Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. You know I'm really annoyed at the Atlanta Falcons. Before the year I thought I made a savvy prediction.

I'm going to take the Falcons to win the NFC South when everyone was talking about the Saints and all the Saints are going to win this division, and I like the pick of the Atlanta Falcons and I like them to win that division ever since June or July, and they have just blown this opportunity. It's interesting to not have a quarterback, but Arthur Smith week in and week out shows you that someone that we once thought was moving in the right direction as a coach right he was getting the most out of his team when you put a little expectation and a little pressure on Arthur Smith. The guy just folds, and he does things that I think are just marinated in someone that is ego testicle. Because it's almost as if he's trying to win games, and he wants his fingerprints on why they're winning games. And all year and you saw this early in the season I had a big issue with it, because I knew it made no sense. They are trying to prove a point with Desmond Ritter, that he is their guy, and they've already benched him once, and now they're benching him again and they're going back to Taylor Ham behind the key. So it's past the point of even trying to make the argument that Desmond Ritter is your guy. But for Arthur Smith, you didn't play to your strengths this year. Like, I don't understand why you would take Bijan Robinson in the top 10. Your goal from what it looks like this year is to have Desmond Ritter for most of the season as the focal point of your offense.

You needed, I know people don't like the term game manager, but all you needed this year was Desmond Ritter to be a game manager. And in the red zone they haven't used Bijan Robinson nearly enough, and they haven't used Bijan Robinson even nearly enough before you get into the final 20 yards. It just makes no sense, and I don't think Arthur Blank is going to fire Arthur Smith, but I think he should. Like, you saw how long it took Blank to move on from Dan Quinn, and that was someone that at least got Matt Ryan to an MVP level even though DQ is a defensive-minded coach, and he got them to a Super Bowl. But look how long it took since that Super Bowl and that loss for them to get rid of Dan Quinn, and now it's like Arthur Smith shouldn't have a leg to stand on, but I have zero confidence, and I have zero expectation that they're going to move on from him. But I would bring in somebody else because they have talent on this team. Their defense has vastly improved from where it was a year ago.

They made a coaching change. And on offense, you have a great young wide receiver in Drake, London. Kyle Pitts is not playing at this unbelievable level that we thought he was, but you could argue if he's being used the right way, and also you don't have a quarterback. And then you've got two good running backs, one who's supposed to be great in Bijan Robinson and another solid running back in Tyler Algier. So I would go get a head coach this offseason, and you need a new quarterback, and I know James Palmer talked about it.

I've been saying this for a while. The Bears want to move on from Justin Fields. Atlanta should be the first person on the phone. You know, Jayden Daniels out of LSU, I saw he's not going to play in the bowl game, the Heisman Trophy winner. I don't know where Atlanta's going to be in the draft. We'll see where their final record is, but they're not going to be in Caleb Williams' range.

They're not going to be in Drake's May range. I don't know still what Jayden Daniels is going to go. I think he's played himself into the first round, but I don't think it's a lock that he's a top 10 pick. So if you're just outside of the top 10, and I know it's a big pileup right now with a bunch of teams that have six and seven wins, so you're going to have some teams that are going to be in that range through the next three weeks that fall that will be a top 10 pick. Or just outside the top 10, Jayden Daniels available?

I go get him. Imagine that speed on offense. Bijan Robinson, Tyler Algier, Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Jayden Daniels. And Arthur Smith, you would think, should be able, as an offensive mind, to get the most out of this talent. But the approach was all backward this year. And I think, and sometimes just coaches, head coaches are better off being coordinators.

And the moment he got the spotlight, he almost wanted to do something that just made no sense. So I don't think Arthur Smith should be back, but I have very little confidence in Arthur Blank moving on from Arthur Smith this year. And he'll go into next year as a coach whose seat is going to be on fire.

And that could be an early, like I'll make a prediction right now, that could be an early in-season firing if they get off to a shaky start next year. If you go around it right now, the AFC East, I do think that Salah's back. You know, McDermott's going to be back now. We know McDaniel's not going anywhere. Belichick, I think, is on his way out. In the AFC North, I don't think anyone is getting moved on from.

Maybe some teams will come calling for Mike Tomlin, but I don't think the Steelers are trading Mike Tomlin. Everyone's safe as long as they want to be safe inside the AFC South. In the AFC West, you already have Staley fired and you already have Josh McDaniels fired, so those two jobs are already open with the Chargers and the Raiders. NFC East, Rivera, he's going to be canned at the end of the year. Debo will be back with the Giants. Cowboys, Eagles, you could forget about it. Maybe if the Cowboys lose wildcard weekend, they get rid of McCarthy, but I don't think that's going to happen.

NFC North, Iberflus has turned into an interesting conversation. I still lean that he's going to get fired at the end of the year. I just don't think he's head coaching material. I think he's more better off as a defensive coordinator.

So that's five jobs right there. We already know Carolina is open. I do think that you'll see Arthur Smith back with the Falcons, even though he shouldn't be. The Saints are the Bucks, and I think that goes 50-50.

One of those teams are going to win the division. Whoever doesn't, could you see Dennis Allen getting fired? Could you see Todd Bowles getting fired? It's not out of the realm of possibilities.

And then everyone else is safe in the NFC West. As you go through this, last week we thought there'd be ten jobs open, or two weeks ago you thought there'd be ten jobs open. That was about six or seven names, and then there's another surprise name or two each and every year that has the possibility of getting fired.

So I look at this right now. Atlanta's an attractive job. I would go get one of those marquee guys on the market, because what Arthur Smith has done this year, it's really changed my opinion on him. I went from thinking, okay, that guy has some potential, that guy could be a good head coach, to his approach on offense this year makes no sense. And I have no problem with them going back to Taylor Ham Heinecke.

Let me be clear about that. You can't continue to start Desmond Ritter after that mistake that he made last week. And I'm not putting it all on Arthur Smith, but the part that I am is that even earlier in the year, before you even knew you had a quarterback problem, you tried to ask Desmond Ritter to be someone right now that he's just not capable of being. Zach Gelb's show, CBS Sports Radio, we will take our final break of the day. When we come on back, did Dylan Riola make the right decision to commit to go Big Red with Nebraska? And also, Carson Beck is returning to Georgia.

Are they still the best team in college football and the team to beat for next season, even after their loss in the SEC Championship game to Nick Saban and Alabama? Update time first. Here he is, the act man, Rich Ackerman. Alrighty, this is Zach Gelb's show on CBS Sports Radio. Before we talk about Dylan Riola and also Carson Beck, I just want to ask two NFL questions real quickly to you, Moist Mike. So right now, the Eagles and the Cowboys are both sitting at 10-4. Without doing a deep dive into the schedule, just based off your gut instinct, going into the final three weeks of the season, who ends up winning the NFC East? Will it be the Eagles or will it be the Cowboys? I think it'll be the Eagles. I want to believe in the Cowboys, but they just kind of fall flat and I think the Eagles will get it right. Even though I don't think the Eagles are going to the Super Bowl, and even though I think there are big problems with the Eagles, I still do agree that the Eagles will win the NFC East. And when you look at the schedules, the Eagles in their final three weeks of the season, they play the Giants twice and then sandwiched in between are the Arizona Cardinals. Now, the game that concerns me the most, looking at it with an Eagles kind of lens on this one, is actually the Cardinals game because that fan base went after Gannon for an entire season when they went to a Super Bowl. And I know Gannon did not do right in terms of the interview process with the Cardinals and all that stuff leading into the Super Bowl and all the stuff that's been reported, but I could see that being like, win one for the ball coach, win one for Jonathan Gannon, Kyler Murray, nice little relationship towards the end of the season.

But I still do believe, like if you put a gun to my head, yeah, I'm taking the Eagles to beat the Giants, the Cardinals, and then also the Giants again. Now, the Cowboys, I do believe they split one of these next two games. They play Miami at Miami on Sunday, and then they're home on Saturday evening, December 30th against the Lions.

I don't think they win both. And then they do play the Washington commanders on that final Sunday of the season. So I think the Eagles are going to find a way to win the division, and it will probably be like the Cowboys having two more wins and a loss, and then the Eagles will win out. Now, in the AFC East, it felt like this was over for a while. Now the Bills have new life. The Dolphins are 10-4, and then you have the Buffalo Bills who are 8-6.

Going into the final three weeks of the season without looking at the schedules, Mike, who would you assume would win the division? I still think it's the Dolphins. I mean, the Dolphins have a two-game lead, and I know everyone's high on the Bills, but there's just something about the Bills I don't trust yet. The Dolphins just need to win one game, basically, especially if they win the last game of the year, it doesn't matter, because they're playing against the Bills.

I know that. I don't know who else they're playing. But I'm going with the Dolphins. A two-game lead with three games left to go, I'm not that high on the Bills. So, I've been saying since the summer the Dolphins are going to win this division.

As I sit here on December 19th in the year of 2023, this is the first time I'm going to move off the Dolphins winning the AFC East. I actually think it's going to be the Buffalo Bills, so the Dolphins have not been able to win a big game all season. I know they're 10-4, but when they go up against the better teams, they lose. They lost to Philly, they lost to Kansas City. By the way, they lost to Buffalo 48-20 back in Week 4.

So, the Dolphins the next two weeks play the Cowboys, tough spot, and then they're in Baltimore. Does anyone think they're winning both those games? I don't think they have to win both.

If they win one? Well, yeah, then they have to win the final game of the season up against the Buffalo Bills to win the division. Yeah, if they win one, the Bills have to win all three, and then they'll get the tiebreak over the Dolphins, yeah. Yeah, because the Bills, their schedule, Los Angeles, easy win. Chargers or Rams? Chargers.

Oh yeah, that's easy. The Patriots, easy win, and I know they lost to them early in the year. The Patriots aren't going to beat them twice.

That's just not going to happen. And then you play the Dolphins. So, I think the Bills are going to win out. They're going to be at 11 wins, and I do think Dallas, Baltimore, that will be a split for the Dolphins in the final week of the season. I have the Bills winning.

It's not crazy. So, they play the Ravens in two weeks? Yes, two weeks. So, Cowboys and Ravens. Those are great late season games, by the way. By that point, the Ravens might have the one seed locked in, so they might be holding off a little bit. Although, actually, they'll be playing the Dolphins now probably before the one seed. Yeah, but not only that, it's week 17, not week 18. You're not going to rest your guys for two weeks, even if you do have the one seed locked up.

And then have another by week. And then have another week, and then it's, oh, you come out of the divisional round, and every Tom, Dick, and Harry is going to be saying, well, you should have never rested your guys in week 17. The Dolphins-Cowboys just feels like the all-choke bowl.

I mean, seriously. It's like, which quarterback is going to look worse? Which quarterback is going to just bounce the passes way too often? Which defense is just going to give up everything?

Which team is just going to fall flat and look awful? The big difference, though, is Mike McCarthy and Mike McDaniel. Because you have just two different looking coaches, but I guess they do kind of sound similar. Because whenever McCarthy speaks, I have no clue what he's trying to say.

He always sounds like he's out of breath. And then whenever McDaniel speaks, I literally have no clue what that dude is trying to say. I always feel as if I'm on the outside part of the inside joke with Mike McDaniel. So, but those two coaches, like Mike McDaniel looks like he could be coaching like GQ. And Mike McCarthy looks like, and I could say this as a Husky fellow, that he looks like he could be coaching for like the big and tall store or something like that.

So that should be a fun matchup, no doubt about it, between the Miami Dolphins and the Dallas Cowboys this weekend. Alrighty, let's get back to college football. Did Dylan Riola make the right decision?

So I love the decision by Dylan Riola. You are the number one recruited quarterback. You go and already commit to Georgia. Then you flip that commitment and you go where your father dominated as a legendary offensive lineman. And then also your uncle is currently the offensive line coach.

But the question I just have about this, is it the right decision? Because if he never had family that went to Nebraska, unless Nebraska right with NIL really came to the table, he's probably not considering Nebraska, who was once a legendary program and now they're trying to build a backup with Coach Matt Ruhl, who built up Temple and built back Baylor. You have Georgia right now who's the number one, even though they're not in the college football playoff. The last two, three years, they've been the number one team for most of the year in the sport, winning two championship games. And then also being the number one team in the country up until pretty much the most feared team in the country until they lost to Alabama in the SEC championship game.

So let me just ask you this, Samter. If you were Riola, would you go where the better program is and the preeminent or one of the preeminent programs right now? Or would you say, no, I'm a sucker for the family ties of it and I'm going to go try to build something back up and even further add to the Riola legacy in Nebraska? I mean, Nebraska, when they are humming, it's one of the best programs in the history of the sport. So to join the Bulldogs and go back to Georgia, even if he's good, there'll be questions of, is he good because he has the best team around him? And if he goes and he rebuilds Nebraska back to that glory, whether they win a national title or at least contend for a big 10 championship. With USC and UCLA and Oregon joining at the end of the day. And it will be easier now to make the playoff too because there's 12 teams. Like you have a two loss season, you'll get into the college football playoff.

Sure. But at the end of the day, like, you know, if you could bring a formerly prominent program back to that level, I think that means more for what he could do. And I think it would probably be easier for him to do that. He's going to succeed at Georgia. He would be fine at Georgia. He'll have the talent.

He's a good enough player. He actually, because I lived in Arizona for a while, he left Arizona in high school to play for a high school closer to Georgia so he can get used to the area and understand the area. And then he still went to Nebraska, which I thought was really interesting that he made the high school move and then came back.

I don't think he'll regret it. I'm looking at Nebraska. They have a top 20 recruiting class this year. Obviously having him helps, but they got like four or five, four star recruits to go along with it. They had a great defense last year.

They had no offense. And then once a guy like him joins, there's going to be other guys. And Matt Rule, one thing we know about him is he can recruit. So I think that's a good move. The thing, I respect it.

I don't know if it's the right move, but I like the move. The thing with Georgia, though, you're not wrong. Stetson Bennett was a really good quarterback, never got the credit.

Carson Beck this year had a really good season, really never got the credit. You know, when does Georgia go into the Alabama realm? Remember when Alabama had all these fine quarterbacks and they were winning? And then they got Jalen Hurts and even Jalen Hurts' question.

They got Tuatunga Vailoa. Then they got Mack Jones. Then they got Bryce Young. And you started to see them jump right up in all these first round draft picks at the quarterback position. For Riola, it would have felt different if he went to Georgia, because even though people doubt Bennett with his story and they doubt Carson Beck as well, this is the number one quarterback. So I do think it would have been the changing of really like a domino effect, where once one of the number one guys goes there and has success, then a lot more would start to follow.

But no, I don't have a problem with it. And I do think that you're right, there's more to gain. But if Nebraska doesn't get their act together, then everyone's going to be sitting there saying, oh, man, he should have went to Georgia and should have just stayed with his decision. But I respect the leap to not just travel the easier path, which would have been going to Georgia. And Carson Beck announced the other day that he's returning to Georgia. And let's not be surprised next year after Georgia loses one game this year, that if Georgia is not right back into the top spot of college football next year and competing for that national championship, even though the CFP does expand to 12. But I love that Georgia did go down because it brings the Alabama monster back into the landscape of college football over the last two years.

People were starting to take their shots at Alabama and now they're once again a force to be reckoned with. Alrighty, that is a Tuesday edition of the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. I would like to thank my two guests today, Ike Reese for joining us, the former Eagles linebacker and current host on Sports Radio 94 WIP, and James Palmer from the NFL Network who joined us earlier in this hour. Big thanks to Stuart Kovacs and Moist Mike for producing this extravaganza. We'll be back tomorrow on a Wednesday. Man, this week is really flying by at 3 p.m. Eastern, noon Pacific. I'd also like to thank each and every one of you for listening and interacting with the show.

You could always give me a follow on Instagram and Twitter at Zach Gelb, Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. We'll talk to you tomorrow, everybody. We out. Bye bye. Peace. On the free Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-19 19:35:09 / 2023-12-19 19:54:45 / 20

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