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Brian Finneran, Former Falcons Wide Receiver

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2024 4:48 pm

Brian Finneran, Former Falcons Wide Receiver

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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April 26, 2024 4:48 pm

Former Falcons Wide Receiver joins Zach Gelb

Zach Gelb Show
Zach Gelb

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When you already just signed Kirk Cousins, and he has $100 million guaranteed in a four year contract. Let's welcome in a former Falcons wide receiver and Brian Finneran, who's kind enough to take a few minutes with us today. Brian, appreciate the time. As always, how you been? Good, Zach. How you doing? I'm doing fantastic.

Thanks so much for coming on. Let me get a little peel behind the curtain here. You're watching the draft last night. You see the Falcons make the eighth overall pick. It shocks everyone. And Michael Penix Jr., your first thought was what?

What the hell just happened? Baffled, confused, curious as to what their plan is, and slightly disgusted to tell you the truth. I was blown away by that decision to do that.

You just set it up perfectly. You're going for agency and a good guy like Kirk Cousins. I don't know what they told Kirk Cousins the plan was going to be, but I can probably guarantee you they didn't say they didn't say number eight at your same position. So they had to call Kirk during the time they had to make the pick to inform him that's what they were doing.

Apparently, Kirk was blown away and stunned by the decision. And I just don't know what the team is doing, especially at the quarterback position and what their plan is the last six years, five or six years. If you could give Terry Fontenot a do-over, do you think he would not have signed Kirk Cousins if he knew he was going to take Michael Penix Jr. at eight?

I would hope so. I mean, I don't know what general manager makes a move like that and then draft a guy at number eight that's not going to touch the field for two years. I mean, that's the hope, right? And I think he said at one point in that presser, afterwards, that I stayed up for for some god-forsaken reason at 12, 15 in the morning, he talked about four or five years, Kirk's still our quarterback. You know, four years, that means we're making the playoffs, we're doing good things and Penix doesn't have to play.

I'm like, holy crack, there's no way that's the real thing they want to do. So, do-over, yeah, this doesn't happen again if he has a do-over. You know you're going to get Penix at eight, you don't pick up Kirk Cousins, you spend a lot of that free agency money on guys, on defensive ends that are free agents, wide receivers that are free agents, and you go load up and try to improve this defense and this football team as a whole. And that's the thing, like, I could understand this, and I like Michael Penix Jr., I could understand it if he wasn't ready and he was like 21, okay, I could get that. He turns 24 in a few weeks. It's like, to me, this dude is NFL ready.

I'm almost at a point, Brian, where it's crazy how this changes him one night. I don't even want to see Kirk Cousins play for the Falcons, I just want to rock and roll for the next decade, see what Michael Penix Jr. could do right now. I got no problem with Michael Penix Jr., zero. I think he's a stud. To hear Nick Saban and Bill Belichick talk about that guy last night during the different draft channels, glowingly, for sure. But now he's got a quarterback, not necessarily competition, but he's got a super uncomfortable situation where he's got a $100 million guaranteed guy that's going to be there for a minimum of two years. He was probably hoping to be there more, moving his family to Atlanta where his wife's from. I mean, what is his wife and in-laws thinking about this now, and what's he thinking about after they just did this? And I guarantee you, when they were courting and tampering with Kirk Cousins, allegedly tampering, they sure as hell didn't tell him at eight we're going to take a quarterback, because I'm not sure he would have came here if that was the case. Talking to Brian Finner right now, how much of an issue from the player side in the locker room does that become? I know Kirk is a professional, but you thought you were getting something, and we see the writing on the wall. I know Fontenot could say four or five years, and I know some fans will say, oh, he got $100 million guaranteed, so tell him to shut up.

But there is a business, there is a personal side to this, but I'm Kirk Cousins. You've got to know that two years from now, you're going to be gone. I don't think he makes it to year three in Atlanta. Right.

No, the writing's on the wall now, and it's a shame. Bring Kirk Cousins in here for one reason, and that's to win football games. The guy has done nothing but throw him for 4,500 yards, 30 touchdowns, he had awful defenses up there in Minnesota for the most part, like ranked 26th, 28th, 25th ranked defense. He had to outscore everybody. Everybody wants to talk about how Kirk can't win a big one. Dude is putting up like 27 points a game and still not winning games because it couldn't stop anybody. So I just don't know. The idea is to win now.

Now, what's the goal? You had a chance at number eight, and I tell you this, Zach, I'm keeping receipts for every one of the guys that went after Michael Penix Jr. It's not his fault. I'm looking at all three of the defensive ends, I'm looking at two of the cornerbacks, I'm looking at Rome Adunzi, and maybe even throwing a couple of the tackles that looked like frickin' Monstars when they started showing their highlights up there. I haven't watched an entire draft in years because I just get tired of it after the Falcons go. I watched the entire thing to see who went after Michael Penix and who we could have had instead, watch their highlights and watch them shine. If a couple of those guys become all pros or rookie of the year, I mean, this could be one of the worst decisions a draft and a GM and an organization has made in a long time.

So I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, Brian Finneran. I'm with you. I would have taken Rome Adunzi. Once you signed Kirk, I'm not drafting a quarterback, especially even though I like Michael Penix Jr. when he's about to turn 24. But did Brady kind of mess up us as fans, like all of our thinkings about this? Because now you draft a quarterback, you expect them to be there for 20 years. If Michael Penix Jr. doesn't get on the field until two, three years from now and then still gives you seven or eight years, you take that, right? Like seven or eight great years. Yeah, of course you do. Because that means you hopefully have two or three or four with two legit, maybe three with Kirk, and then another couple of postseason runs there, and then this kid takes over for six or seven or eight years. And he'll be 35 by that time.

And hopefully you have some nice success. But I don't know. What Tom Brady did is not sustainable. It's not even a real thing. It's a total joke, really. It was amazing that he was able to pull that crap off.

And again, due to things he's done, not only in the ring runs, but to go to Tampa and turn that whole culture around as well was as special as it gets. So that's not the norm. You see what happens when quarterbacks get old? They tear Achilles. That's Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers. It just happens.

You're asking your old-ass body to do too much stuff and it can't do it. What do you think you get out of Kirk Cousins this year? Because fair or not, you talk about coming back from an Achilles.

There's physical and then there's also a mental recovery that happens once you get back on the field. He plays a bad game or two. It's just natural when you have an NFL-ready quarterback that you just drafted at eight that fans are going to want to say, who cares about the contract?

Let's give Michael Penix Jr. a chance. Don't forget you're in Atlanta. I had a situation kind of like this. Chris Chandler was my quarterback when I first got to Atlanta. Then you bring in Michael Vick and people in the crowd are wearing Michael Vick jerseys.

Chris Chandler is your starting quarterback. You start getting a bit of a divide, not only in the stadium, but a little bit in the locker room and media-wise and this and that. You just hope that kind of stuff doesn't take place again. Even Matt Ryan had a tough time taking over Michael Vick.

It's a dynamic, interesting city where some of the stuff comes into play even though you don't want it to. You just want to see football players go out and play. You make a great point, Zach. If something goes bad or has a couple of bad games or bad picks, there's going to be some rumblings going on from the stands and media and everybody else. With that said, I think Kirk Cousins is a consummate professional.

I think he's going to be ready to rock and roll. I think this might drive him even more to have a successful season and make everybody around him better. So that's what I said before this whole thing draft yesterday took place. Kirk Cousins makes Kyle Pitts better, just like Matt Ryan made Kyle Pitts a Pro Bowlers rookie here. He makes Dejean Robinson better. He makes Jake London better. He's going to make Darnell Mooney better. I think he has a successful season. I think he stays healthy and the Falcons hopefully do something in the next seven picks to address the defensive hole that they have because there's plenty of them. So everyone talks about this Green Bay Packers model. Now Jordan Love was 21 when they selected him and it ended up working, moving on from Rodgers and it looks like it's working with what Love was able to do. But I talked to Arthur Blank at the Super Bowl and he told me on the air, he goes, that's the ideal way to do it.

You get an interim guy and then you eventually find the long-term guy. When you hear people say, oh the Falcons are just basically taking a play out of the Packers playbook, what's your response to that? Ridiculous. Not even close. Packers were winning double-digit games, going to the postseason, they had some nice pieces. I think they regret doing that anyway with Love. That was when Rodgers started bitching about not having receiving weapons and weapons on offense and you're going to quarterback just going to sit on the sideline.

So I don't think that's a real thing. If you're going to do that, why not do it when Matt Ryan, who is the ultimate pro, is sitting on your team and you've got the fourth overall pick and Justin Fields staring you in the face. If you're going to do it, do it then. Don't do it now when you spend $100 million guaranteed in 180 over four years with Kirk Cousins. And now you've got an eighth overall pick that could have been any one of those guys we were talking about earlier.

Defensive ends, cornerbacks, the receiver that's a stud out of Washington. And now we've got number eight pick that's going to sit on the sideline. So you look at this offseason, right? They tried to get Belichick and then I guess they were talked out of it.

That's kind of the way that I understand it. You know, you bring in Kirk Cousins, there was some excitement. Now it seems like a cluster with Michael Penix Jr. Where's kind of your confidence moving forward with this football team after the last few months has played out? It's tough.

It's tough. I was excited about Bill Belichick coming in here. I know it's kind of against the grain and different, but the dude is probably one of the two or three best head coaches in the history of the NFL. He was going to change the culture of the franchise, which I think needed a new direction. Now listen, Raheem Morris can do that. The new head coach of the Falcons could absolutely pull that off himself.

But it's a different vibe with Raheem. With Bill, you knew there was no nonsense. You were going to have a plan. And I'm not sure what the Falcons' plan is right now.

That's the biggest thing. I think for the fan base and the guys trying to figure out what's going on, I don't know what the plan is. I mean, are we trying to win now with Kirk? Because if we are, you should have used that number eight pick and every other pick to help your team win today and tomorrow and in September. It just doesn't feel that way right now.

So, frustration, a little bewilderment and baffled and confused more than anything right now. Do you think Arthur Blank was out of the loop last night? Because we all saw that video of him and Terry Fontenot, but then I give you the comment that he said to me on my show as well.

You're the owner of the football team. He's hands-on. He had to know that was going to be the pick.

It didn't just happen a few hours before the draft where they told him that's what they were going to do, right? I don't know. I don't know. Part of me wishes I was in there to watch it like a fly on the wall. And the other part wishes I wasn't because I would be too close to the situation and I wouldn't be able to vent like I do with you and on my show down in Atlanta. So, I think he has to be aware of what's happening. Why didn't they call Kirk Cousins before if they knew this was going to happen?

I call him during the 10-minute window drive to make the pick. Maybe afraid it was going to leak out to try to prevent it from happening on his camp? Yeah, sure. There's a bunch of reasons. I'm sure you're probably right, but Arthur's involved. Arthur knows what's going on.

He's 81 years old and that's the other kind of puzzling thing. That guy wants to win tomorrow and now we have to maybe wait a little bit longer. He's Brian Finneran. You know, I usually talk to you. It's a very like upbeat conversation.

I think he needs some ice cream today on this Friday. I was doing an interview earlier. I got a welcome party going on tonight for a wedding I'm going out to tomorrow. I've got to control myself. Yeah, rehearsal dinner deal. I'm worried I'm going to drink my sorrows away at this thing, so I've got to be careful and pace myself.

You know what? I've done that before. I think you munch here and maybe you go a little cobbler with some ice cream and you just go for the sweets. I like it. I can pull that off.

You know, you roll something up and then you just munch. That's what I would say, Brian Finneran. All right, brother.

I'll see if I can make it happen. You got it. There he is, Brian Finneran joining us. Does a great job.

680, the fan, former Falcons wide receiver. That was depressing. That was really depressing. He's livid. And he's right because they're trying to get the best of both worlds. Both worlds are trying to win now, but they're not ready to win now.

And they made a move to secure the future. Man, I'm sitting there. I'm listening to him.

I thought he's going to cry during that. Take a time out. This is Zach Gelb Show on the Infinity Sports Network. We'll do a news brief next. Update time first.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-26 19:16:38 / 2024-04-26 19:24:01 / 7

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