We continue this Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. We'll head out to the guest line right now on behalf of NFL Plus and welcome in a former great NFL wide receiver and that of course is Torrey Holt.
Torrey, it's Zach Gelb in New York City. Appreciate the time. How you been? Good, Zach. How are you, man? Hang in there, bro.
Well, I'm doing fantastic. I gotta start you off and first off, you should be in the Hall of Fame. We'll get to that in just a second, but two weeks ago, you got to see your former head football coach, Dick Vermeil, get that call to Canton, Ohio and get inducted. Just what were the feelings and what did that mean to see your coach get in? It was awesome, man. It was everything, you know, and it's always good to get back. What I love about the Hall of Fame, it allows you to get back with your teammates and your coaches and also see your peers that you played against in the National Football League when I was competing.
So that was all good. And then to see coach Vermeil and his family and his wife, Carol, and the grandkids and how they were all excited and had a really good time. It was just really good to see coach be honored in the way that the Pro Football Hall of Fame honored him, man. And to see the support of his former players and former coaches in the National Football League, I thought was just fantastic. You know, coach is a Hall of Fame coach, but he's also a Hall of Fame man, you know, with the, if you hear his former players that talk about him, that was coached on there. And all coaches talk about, yes, him as a coach, but they also talk about how good of a man he was.
And I experienced that firsthand. He was fantastic. He had a way of connecting with everybody on the team and really poking and really getting, having a unique way of getting the best out of you every single day. So it was really, really, really exciting and humbling to see coach Vermeil be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
For years, and I know also LaRoy Butler was a part of this class. I would have LaRoy on this show and I would say, why aren't you in the Hall of Fame? It's crazy to me how you haven't got your call to Canton, Ohio, and that eventually did come this past year. To me, how do you process not being in the Hall of Fame yet? Because you can't change your stats. We know your impact on the game you should be in.
And for whatever the reasons are, you're not right now. Yeah. You know what? I'm, I'm thankful to be mentioned amongst the greats, man. You know, it's, I think with this class is going in, I think it's now 362, I think, Pro Football Hall of Famers out of what, 25 plus thousand guys has played this game.
I mean, that's a small percentage, Zach, as you know. So to be listed as a, I've been a finalist now for the last three years, very, you know, that's humbling in itself. And I think over time, you know, with the way this thing has worked, and as you look at the history of the wide receiver position, and unless you were first ballot, like a Rice and, you know, Mars and Terrell on, some of these guys who were, who were first ballot Hall of Famers, and there will be others. But if you look at the history of the position and how guys have been inducted in, they, it's taken five years, eight years, 10 years, 12, 16 plus years. So I'm just humbly, just waiting my turn. And at some point, you know, I hope the voters will get it right in and duck me in. Yeah.
Even Tio had to wait, which is still crazy to me all these years later. Do you just feel like it's inevitable? Like you got to think you're a Hall of Famer and it's just like you said that waiting game, right? It is, you know, and I guess for me, sometimes I feel like I'm a Pro Football Hall of Famer because I'm around them all the time.
I mean, you think about all the guys that played for the Rams, Orlando, Kurt, Marshall, Isaac, they'll coach for a meal. And then, you know, I'm, I'm constantly in rooms with Pro Football Hall of Famers, Curtis Martin, the Chris, Chris Carter, Andre Reed, the like, I mean, sometimes I feel like I'm already in that, in that in the hall, but you know, you, it won't be, it won't be official until, you know, you're actually voting in and they, you know, they call, you get the call from the president, Mr. Porter now, and he tells you that you're inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But it's a, it's a weight that, that, that I'm going to continue to gracefully wait upon. But I tell you what, I can only imagine what that call would be like knowing that you're, that you're inducted in. Yeah.
And I'm not just blowing smoke up here, you know what, because Tori Holt's on the show, but you are right. It does feel like you're a Hall of Famer already, even though you haven't been put in the hall, because every time you come on, I got to look up and make sure that you haven't got in yet, because I just assume that, that you're always in the hall of fame whenever you join us. No, that's, that's really cool. That's, I appreciate that, man. That's a, you know, it's, you know, I, I, I, I came and I started playing football because I loved it and I had an opportunity to compete and compete at a high level and hit my neighborhood cheer, hit my family cheer. And then, you know, moving on to high school and college and then going pros.
I never, again, I just played because I love playing it in the past for the game of football. And now here I am, you know, I've been, been, again, like, like I said, a finalist for the last three years, fingers crossed that, fingers crossed that it will become a reality. Exactly. Yeah.
And hopefully you don't have to wait that much longer because to make you wait right now, it's just pointless to me. Cause like we're saying, you should be in the hall, Tory Holt here with us. To you is Cooper cup, the best wide receiver in the NFL right now? Cooper cup right now is one of the best wide receivers in the national football league. He is, you know, he had a, he had an incredible year last year for sure winning the triple crown. I think he'll continue. I think he'll continue going forward and consistently be really good. I think he's an offense that knows how to use the skillset, trust and put him in position to be, uh, to, to win on each play. He also has the work ethic. Uh, he has the endurance. I love his work rate.
I mean, you think about what he did last year, Zach, think about the amount, think about the endurance that that takes to be a triple crown winner. I mean, you lead in receptions, you lead in yards and you lead a touchdown and everybody in the, in the national football league teams and fans alike, watching our game across the U S and across the world knows that Cooper cup is going to get the football that you still haven't don't have an answer for him. I think that's a testament to his playmaking ability. I think it's a testament to his skill sets, his knowledge, how astute he is about the game of football. And then like I said, I think Sean McVay is going to do everything he can to put him in favorable position. And then he's got a guy in Matthew Stafford that can get him the football anywhere on the field. When I think about Cooper cup people, well, people think of Cooper cup as this possession. I think they, a lot of times think that he's this possession type of receiver. He's six to 200 and some plus pounds, but he led the league last year and with the most 40 plus yard catches out of anybody in the national football league, including Tyreke Hill, Devontae Adams, Jamal Chase, Justin Jefferson, the list goes on and on. Cooper cup is a special player.
I think he's at a, he's at a special place in a special, he's at a special place right now, that's going to do everything that they can to make sure that they highlight his skill sets. And he's a good dude. And he's also one of your hardest working players. You said he's one of the best wide receivers to you though. Is he the best wide receiver? He's one of the best wide receivers. That's the way you're going to say it.
Okay. When, when, when, when, when I, when I look at who's been the best consistently over the years, you got to say Devontae Adams over the years has been the best. He's the best wide receiver right now in the national football league, but you certainly got to put Cupp up there. When you talk about last year, yes, he was the best wide receiver last year in the national football league, but consistently over the years, you got to, that's got to come into play. You got to factor that in and who's done that consistently the most, I would say Devontae Adams. But Cooper Cupp's certainly one of the premier wide receivers in our league. I know he's going to be out for the first six games, but DeAndre Hopkins also been a really good wide receiver for a long time. I'm also amazed, Tori Holt, how quickly Justin Jefferson and Jamar Chase, Jefferson was doing it for two years. Chase just came off his rookie season. How quickly they were able to make an impact in the NFL.
Yeah. And I think a lot of it has to do with their coaching, you know, coming from LSU, getting really good coaching, you know, I had an opportunity to watch them and they played in Oklahoma, played against Oklahoma a couple of years ago in Atlanta and Jamar Chase and Justin Jefferson were the best, the two best wide receivers as well as CD Lamb as well. But those two were the two best wide receivers on the field. And I think a lot of it has to do with their college coach. And I think a lot of it has to do with what's acceptable to these wide receivers now with all of the, all the film and all the tape and everything that they can now get their hands on to improve their games as wide receivers, I think also comes into play when you think about how wide receivers are transitioned into the National Football League now and playing at a very high clip early on. Initially, you know, when I came out, which was what, 20, 15, 20 years ago, it, you know, the talk was, oh, it takes wide receivers about three years to really get their, their footing and to really understand this league.
I think that's changed. And I think a lot of it has to do with technology. And I think a lot of it has to do with coaches now in the National Football League as well as in the pro and as well as in the collegiate league, doing a good job of preparing these guys for college, but also preparing these guys for the National Football League. And now all the time you hear about quarterbacks, Tori Holt, you got to take advantage of that rookie contract because of what the salaries eventually become. I think that's going to be the same conversation from here on out with wide receivers too. Obviously the quarterback position is more important, but the deals these wide receivers are getting now are bonkers. So the first four or five years of a wide receiver on that rookie deal, mega for an organization.
Yes, it is. And, you know, and I see this trend, you know, in terms of the guy transition into the National Football League and playing right away, I see this trend, I think it's going to continue in a positive way, again, because of the assessment, the things that they have to have access to in terms of film study and old tape and social media. Now they can, guys can interact with former wide receivers that they admire that played at a high level. They can now interact with those guys and get the pertinent information that they need in order to be good wide receivers at such an early age part of their in their career.
So yeah, I agree with you. I think this is a trend that we're going to see continuing going forward in the National Football League. Tori Holt here with us on behalf of NFL Plus. Getting back to your Rams. I love the move this offseason of bringing Allen Robinson. I think he's been such an underrated wide receiver for such a long time. When it comes to the Rams repeating with some of the moves they made in the offseason, how likely do you think it is this year? I'm excited about I'm excited about it, man. You know, you got to knock it to beat a champ.
You got to beat the champ. And until they are, until someone beats them into the throne and they don't have an opportunity to compete again, you got to say that this football team has every opportunity as everyone else in the NFC. When you think about the Packers and you think about the Bucks and the Saints and other teams in the AFC, the San Francisco 49ers, other teams in the NFC, the Rams have just as good of a chance as anyone else. And you look at this roster, a great deal of those guys are coming back that they didn't lose Von Miller and Andre and Andrew Whitworth. Also, Darius Williams, who went, who's also corner was also moved on. So guys have moved on, but they've also added really good players. You talk about Allen Robinson on the offensive side of the ball.
You talk about Bobby Wagner on the defensive side of the football. They've also drafted well over the last couple of years and their draft and the Rams development development program is really what stands out. That's why they give themselves an opportunity to compete for the vision championship conference championships and Superbowls because of the players that are currently on the roster, Aaron Donald Stafford, Cooper cup, these guys are leading the charge, Jalen Ramsey, these guys that are leading the charge, but they also have creations that come in that are expired. And they also have draft guys that come in and despite the draft guys, what I like about what they do with the draft, they draft guys with an opportunity to come in and truly compete for an opportunity to play whether it's on defense offense, particularly on special teams, but these guys are drafted and it is developed and they get an opportunity to play early and develop and have and put themselves in a position to have a successful career. So it's a lot what the Rams are doing in terms of developing their players, how they're drafting, how they're able to maintain players, how they're able to move the cap situation around to keep people that keep guys excited and paid up. And then they have a coaching staff that's had some turnover over the years. Think about Sean McVay's coaching staff over the last three or four years. Somebody's always coming and plucking his coaches as head coaches now. So he's had to replant his talent, not only on the field and the roster, he has to replant his talent in his coaching room and they've done a really good job of doing that as well. When we get to make or break season story Holt, we talk a lot about Baker Mayfield this year and also Tua Tunga-Viloa.
How do you think Baker's going to fare with the Panthers and Tua with the Dolphins? Well, I'm here in North Carolina, so I'm actually watching this battle between he and Sam pretty intimately. I see it and I would say Baker Mayfield certainly looks in charge. He looks very comfortable.
He's galvanized in this office. I think he's got a bunch of guys that are now starting to believe in what he's able to do. So I think Baker Mayfield is in the lead in terms of that QB battle and a lot of it has to do with he's won in this league. He has experience. He has an opportunity to kind of revive himself to really show people that, hey look, I can play in this league and I can play at a high clip. I think he would get that opportunity here in Carolina. And then how about Tua with the Dolphins this year? He has all the pieces. When you look at the two wide receivers, Guseki too, they improved that offensive line. Now the question is, can he be an NFL quarterback?
Yeah, tons of pieces around him. When you look at the wide receiver position, speed and play-making ability, a revamp off of the line. But what I love is the coach, Coach McDaniel, I think he's going to do a really good job of establishing some run game, establishing the line of scrimmage, which I think is going to make things a little more settled, a little more clear for Tua in regards to the passing game because they now, there is a there is an emphasis on running the football. There's an intent on running the football really well. I think that's going to go really good for the overall offense, more importantly for that passing game, whether it's play action or whatever the case may be. I think the run game is going to help set up what they want to do in the passing game. Before we talk about NFL Plus, wrapping up with Tory Holt, I got to get your reaction to Deshaun Watson settling on a suspension today, 11 games and being fined $5 million.
Yeah, you know what? I think it's the situation where the Cleveland Browns are saying, OK, OK, now we have an idea of what what it is. It's 11 games.
He's been fined. OK, now they can move forward and make some plans for what that season is going to look like. I found it crazy that he will come back when he's when he's reinstated back in the league. It's a gift to Houston, Texas, and where he was at last year.
So I found that a little a little I found that a little strange. But for the Cleveland Browns, they got to be OK with now knowing what the what the sentence is, what the suspension is, and now they can make plans. And for Deshaun Watson, going forward, I hope that he's able to continue to rehabilitate himself, really get himself in a good space, because this is something that's going to stick with him for a very long time.
So I hope that he's that he does a good job of trying to continue to prepare, you know, prepare himself and give him the tools that he needs to have a, you know, to have life beyond the game of football. They have the cap space available right now. Jacoby Brissett would be their week one starter. Should they pull the trigger on a Jimmy G trade, since it probably won't even cost you that much if you have to go trade for the now 49ers quarterback? Absolutely not. I think they should go ahead and ride with Jacoby Brissett, let him take them through this season until Deshaun is ready.
I think when you bring in Jimmy, say Jimmy comes in and Jimmy wins, he runs off ten wins, ten and one. What are you going to do, replace him? Now you've got to replace him with Deshaun Watson because you paid Deshaun Watson a boatload of money. I don't think you go down that rabbit hole if I'm the Cleveland Browns. I think you stay where you are. You don't need any more drama than what you've already had.
Stay where you are. Let Jacoby Brissett be the pro that he is. Allow Miles Garrett in that defense, guys on the offensive side of the ball, play to their play to their abilities until Deshaun Watson is back in the mix and hopefully Brissett and that offense along with that defense can keep them in the running until Deshaun Watson is back into the lineup and then you got to say okay where are we? Do we have an opportunity to make a steal, make it to the playoff or are we totally out of it? But I don't think they go down the rabbit hole to bring in Jimmy G that have enough issues, enough fighters that they have to blow out.
Go with what you have and let it go and let it go from there. But don't you owe it to the 50-something other guys to give them the best chance to win and bringing in Jimmy G right now could keep them from preventing that chip from sinking? No, I get what you're saying but I think I have to say right now in terms of team chemistry and what they built there in Cleveland, Jacoby Brissett is the guy right now along with Deshaun Watson. I don't think, I think you bring in Jimmy G. He's got to learn a whole new playbook. They got to learn a whole new guy.
It's just, it's just I don't think, I don't think it's worth the time. So Jimmy G is a tremendous talent. He's won games in this league. He's played in Super Bowls. But I don't think it's worth the time, energy, nor money to bring in Jimmy G. Work with what you've already established in Cleveland with Jacoby Brissett, Deshaun Watson and those guys in the offense and the defense and then we're just going to play our best. What I'm saying if I'm the coach, if I'm the head coach guy, we know what this submission is now.
We got to go out and play our best ball, give ourselves a chance late in the year to try to compete to get into the playoffs and then you go from there. Torri Holt, before we let you run, tell me what you're doing with the NFL Plus now. Oh man, NFL Plus. So NFL Plus fans uh get NFL Plus gives the fans the freedom to watch NFL games wherever they are.
To me that is the coolest part. NFL Plus gives the fans the freedom to watch NFL games wherever they are. Within the football Plus, fans can watch every local and prime time Thursday night football games, Sunday night football games, Monday night football, regular season and postseason games right there on your phone, on your tablet. NFL Plus is available at the cost friendly price of $4.99 a month, $39.99 a year. Fans can get an upgrade though. This is what I like right here on that.
This is what I like. Fans can get an upgrade to NFL Plus Premium for all NFL Plus features in addition to full and condensed game replays and the all 2020, all 22 coaches film for $9.99 a month or $79.99 a year. If you like watching the all 22 copies with no uh and uh no no uh analysts, no noise, no band, no music and you just want to watch guys play football, you can do that with NFL Plus on the all 22. NFL Plus allows fans the ability to watch football wherever they are.
Make sure you visit nfl.com plus for more info. Tory Holt, appreciate the time as always. Thanks so much. You be well. Thank you very much. You too. All the best.
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