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Does McCaffrey Make the 49ers NFC West Favorites? (Hour 1)

Zach Gleb Show / Zach Gleb
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October 21, 2022 8:04 pm

Does McCaffrey Make the 49ers NFC West Favorites? (Hour 1)

Zach Gleb Show / Zach Gleb

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October 21, 2022 8:04 pm

Zach breaks down the Panthers trading Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers | Are the 49ers the most dangerous team in the NFC? | Plus, Wan'Dale Robinson joins the show

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Being aware of the way your mind works in certain situations has been the most important thing for me. Live from the police show, yet not overly ostentatious, studios of CBS Sports Radio here in beautiful New York City, sitting on top of the 10th floor of 345 Hudson Street, it's a football Friday! Addition to the Zach Gelb show across all the great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM channel 158, and that free Odyssey app. 855-212-4CBS, I'm going to jump on in. 855-212-4227, you can always get at me on Instagram where I'm straight flexing or via the good old cesspool of Twitter, at Zach Gelb, that's Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. We are coming to you live from the Rocket Mortgage Studios, whether you're looking to purchase a new home or refinance yours, Rocket Mortgage could help you get there.

For home-owned solutions that fit your life well, Rocket can. And producing this extravaganza for the next four hours is no other than, well it's not hot tea cakey, it is the great Connor Green. Four awesome guests for you today, coming up 40 minutes from now, from the New York Giants, Wandell Robinson will stop by at the top of the hour, Quinnen Williams from the Jets will swing by, Peter King at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific, and then in the final hour of this football Friday Zach Gelb show extravaganza, Jersey Jerry from Barstool Sports will be joining us in our weekly NFL picks battle, and we'll see who will prevail for this week. The big news last night, you all got the alert, the question just was did you see it in the moment or did you wake up to it, that was Christian McCaffrey is leaving the Carolina Panthers, he is already with the San Francisco 49ers as he got traded for a 2, a 3, a 4, and a 5. Now, anyone that thought that the Carolina Panthers were going to get one first round pick, let alone two first round picks, were an absolute fool, and someone that is clearly just wishful thinking for the Carolina Panthers, so any conversation about a running back, who is great, but he rarely plays, and this is a guy that the last two years has been unfortunately just decimated with injuries, and leading into this year in the last two years has only played 10 games, was not going to get a first round pick, and you see the landscape of the NFL, a lot of times now when a team takes a running back in the first round, it does not actually end up working out for the most part, like Zeke going to the Cowboys has worked, but they haven't won a Super Bowl, they haven't even been to an NFC title game. We'll see what happens with Travis Atm with the Jaguars, we'll see what happens with also Najee Harris with the Pittsburgh Steelers. So you go around this league, like Saquon Barkley, yeah he's playing great right now, but the Giants haven't had a lot of success with Saquon, and Saquon has been able to stay on the field. So when you look at the position, I'm not undermining the running back position, because you need a run game to win in this league, you can find though other avenues in the draft and in free agency to get a running back.

And look how many great running backs are in this league, from Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara, Derek Henry. You can go on and on and on, and look all those running backs that I just mentioned, not drafted in the first round. So I never thought for a single second, that was my first reaction, I never thought for a single second that there was going to be a first round pick that would be given up for Christian McCaffrey. Now with that being said, Carolina did get a haul back for trading away Christian McCaffrey to give up a 2, a 3, a 4, and also a 5 in that deal in order to give up McCaffrey and get that back. That is an enormous return for the Panthers, and that's a franchise with how many quarterbacks, whether it was Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield or other moves they made, corner backs as well, that they gave up draft capital to get. They needed to find a way to get the cabinet filled once again when it comes to getting more draft picks, because that's a team that right now, the Panthers, other than having a very rich owner and an owner that could outspend everyone but you're in a salary cap sport, are not attractive. So you needed more draft capital in a year that you're already giving up, you already fired the head football coach, you already traded Robbie Anderson, which was a good move, now you traded Christian McCaffrey.

I would think if you could get a good amount on a return for DJ Moore, DJ Moore would also follow, but you look around and you see what is happening here in terms of the Panthers, they're setting themselves up for the next head coach. And I'm going to call it tanking, I know it's now frowned upon to say that a team's tanking in the NFL, players don't tank, but organizations do. And they're not putting those players in a position to win, and on the offensive side of the ball, they don't even have a JV offense, and that's actually an insult to JV teams.

They have like a freshman football offense, they have a middle school offense, because that offense stinks in Carolina. Whether it's going to be Sam Darnell, PJ Walker, eventually Baker Mayfield comes back, that team offensively has been a train wreck this year. So now you need to find a way, when you have a lot of good, young defensive players, Derek Brown, JC Horn, Burns, Jeremy Chin, like you have pieces on the defensive side of the ball, where if you're looking at a rebuild, defensively, you're not that far away.

But on the offensive side of the ball, you got Nada. So you'll probably have a top five draft pick, you're definitely going to have a top five draft pick, you may have the first pick in the draft, and you probably will have the first pick in the draft. So that is a way that you could make this organization more attractive to the perspective head coaching candidates, because when you look at the perspective head coaching candidates, you're going to have potentially the first overall pick in the draft, and now you have other draft capital to deal with getting the 49ers second, third, fourth, and fifth round pick. So this becomes a situation in Carolina where, yes, it's still ugly, yes, Scott Fitter has to hit on the draft, but they did become more attractive last night leading into today by giving up one of their resources where, let's be real, Christian McCaffrey was never going to win games in Carolina for the next three years. And he has three years left on his contract after that, and if you look at the landscape of the sport, where running back, you need running backs, but you don't need a bell cow back, you could get rid of Christian McCaffrey, and you could trade him, get resources back, and eventually find your running back down the road when you are ready to win. And any new coach that comes in there for the Panthers, they get three years. Year one's a wash, year two you improve, and year number three, you should be able to find a way to make the postseason.

That's what I always say about teams that are really gutted, and teams that are starting over for me, and it doesn't always work out this way. I like to give that coach three years in the NFL, and we'll see if it's a young offense of mine, if it's, I don't think it's going to be Sean Payton, could it be D'Amico Ryans, whoever that coach is, you're going to get three years, but you're in a better spot than you would have been in today, rather than if the team, whoever that new coach is going to be, was going to keep Christian McCaffrey. So that's the Panther side of it. Let's now get into the 49ers side of this, and on the 49ers side of this, this is a move where yes, you gave up capital, and you basically channeled your inner Les Snead and said, F those draft picks, and this has been a 49ers team that has been close for so many years. They've been to a Super Bowl, they were a Jimmy Garoppolo overthrow away from winning that Super Bowl when he couldn't connect with Emmanuel Sanders, and last year, they came out of nowhere, just got in the dance, and they found a way to get to an NFC title game with a lead in the fourth quarter, and then they lost that NFC title game to the eventual Super Bowl champions in the LA Rams. So this is a 49ers team where I think John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan looked at the lay of the land, they first started off in their division, and they go this division, especially with the way that they own the Rams, is definitely winnable, and I said it two weeks ago, I thought this 49ers team was going to win the division, but through the first six weeks of the season, and now bleeding into week seven because the Cardinals already played last night and they got a victory. The Cardinals are three and four, the Seahawks are three and three, am I in love with either of those teams?

No, I'm not. So then the LA Rams are sitting in at three and three, they don't have an offensive line right now, Matthew Stafford's are on pick sixes left and right, and other than Cooper Cup, they don't have much on the offensive side of the ball. So this is a 49ers team that they just need to be the most consistent team, they are the most well-rounded team in this division, and they should win the division. When you have Kittle, when you have McCaffrey, if he could stay healthy, Deebo, Iyuk, Jimmy G for this year is better for this team than Trey Lance would have been, and for next year, you're surrounding your young quarterback, assuming Trey Lance is the guy, coming off an injury with a great offense and a line and weapons, everything right at his disposal. So for the 49ers, this move to me, which I already thought and was leaning towards them winning the division two weeks ago, this elevates that feeling and this increases that feeling that they're going to win the NFC West.

The question just becomes, how much farther can they take that? And you want to get into an honest conversation about the NFC, the NFC other than Philadelphia is not that great. You have a Giants team that's five and one. I do think the Giants are going to make the playoffs, but are they winning a playoff game this year?

Probably not. You got a Cowboys team that should be in the postseason, I think will be in a postseason. Can I see them winning multiple playoff games?

No. You look at the North, I think the Vikings will be in. There's questions that the Packers will make it. Tampa Bay is going to be in.

How much of a threat will they be? Well, they'll never be an easy out because of who their quarterback is in Tom Brady. But it's not crazy to say, and they probably will lose this week in the 49ers to the Chiefs and that will put them at three and four. But it's not crazy to say by at the end of the year, the 49ers going into the postseason and they may not be there in seeding, but they may be viewed as a top three or maybe even as high as the second best team in the NFC.

And you saw last year, there was multiple times throughout the year where they look like they were down and out and they found a way to get the train back on the tracks. This year, there's going to be some ups and downs, but when you only need what, nine wins? Probably nine wins to get in the playoffs and you probably will, I'll give you the edge of the division. The 49ers could absolutely get to the Super Bowl this year. They ran an AFC title game last year. And right now, and I know there's a lot of injuries on defense and that could potentially be a concern.

You had nine or ten guys out last week on defense. But if you could get this team healthy and if this team can stay healthy when you get into after Thanksgiving and you lead into December and January, it's not crazy to say that maybe the 49ers will be in the Super Bowl. Am I telling you they're going to go to the Super Bowl?

No. I don't think right now they will be in the Super Bowl, but they will be a Super Bowl contending team to get to the Super Bowl in the NFC. So here's our poll question today. The 49ers this year will, and you're going to fill in the blank, be in the Super Bowl, win the NFC West, be a wildcard team, or miss the playoffs? 9.3% say miss the playoffs, 18.6% say be in the Super Bowl, and then win the NFC West is your leader with 37.2% of the vote and be a wildcard team is sitting there at 34.9% of the vote. And if I had to cast my vote today on what I feel most confident about, it would be win the NFC West because I do believe that roster is the most balanced and well-rounded roster in the NFC West. The Rams line stinks. Stafford's not great right now. The Seahawks, I know Geno Smith's having a good year with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, the defense finally played a good game last week, and Pete Carroll's a good coach, but am I going to be this big Geno Smith believer to say that they're not only going to make the playoffs, but then they're going to win the NFC West? Absolutely not. And I can't trust, I know they get Hopkins back, which is huge last night, but I can't trust Kyla Murray and Cliff Kingsbury to have a consistent season.

Because we've seen it before. They either start off really good and then crumble down the stretch, or maybe this year they get off to a slow start and then start to move in the right direction, but was I blown away by what the Cardinals did last night against the Saints? No, especially when Andy Dalton is throwing the football around and just tossing up the ball to the other team and gifting you pick six after pick six. So my immediate reaction to this McCaffrey deal, Panthers did a good job getting enough back for run CMC because he was never going to win there in his next three years, and if he gets hurt, then the value really would have gone down because he's been hurt the last two years. So I liked this from the Panthers side and from the 49ers side, it once again sends a message to that locker room, we're going to do everything we can, we see an opening, we're going to pounce on that opening, and I do believe at the end of the year, the 49ers will win the NFC West. And I do think when you look at this NFC that is wide open, and we're going to have to wait and see what teams like Green Bay and Minnesota and Tampa Bay and the Giants and Cowboys and the Rams do along the rest of the way. But outside of Philadelphia, who's clearly the top dog, I could see the 49ers being potentially the second best team in the NFC when it's all said and done this year, and if you give them a little life, they've showed you the last few years, they could take this thing really far, bare minimum, an NFC title game. It is Zach Gelb's show on CBS Sports Radio, give me a reaction, Panthers side, 49ers side, and how good can the 49ers be this year since they now added McCaffrey to go along with Kittle, Iyuk, Deebo, and you see all the weapons that the 49ers do have for the rest of this 2022-2023 NFL season.

855-2124 CBS, 855-212-4227, it is the Zach Gelb show coming on back on CBS Sports Radio, and we do return the Panthers now on the clock. How are we looking at their next head coach, and could they maybe be getting more picks for DJ Moore? We discuss all that next. How's your mental health? I'm listening with Billie Eilish. Explore more at I' How's your mental health?

I'm listening with Billie Eilish. I feel like I spent a lot of time thinking about happiness and how it's just like it fluctuates, and everyone thinks if you're one thing, you're going to be that forever, and you're never going to be anything else, and it's really not true. Happiness is temporary, but also so is misery, and things just morph and change. It just doesn't stay. It goes up and goes down, and things change, and that's how life works. Explore more at I' How's your mental health?

I'm listening with Billie Eilish. I feel like I spent a lot of time thinking about happiness and how it's just like it fluctuates, and everyone thinks if you're one thing, you're going to be that forever, and you're never going to be anything else, and it's really not true. Happiness is temporary, but also so is misery, and things just morph and change. It just doesn't stay.

It goes up and goes down, and things change, and that's how life works. Explore more at I' You can think of O'Reilly Auto Parts for all your car care needs.

Get guaranteed low prices and excellent customer service from the professional parts people at O'Reilly Auto Parts. The 49ers this year will be in the Super Bowl, win the NFC West, be a wildcard team, or miss the playoffs. That is the question today. I say win the NFC West, but it is not going to look pretty, and you just got to get this team firing all cylinders, moving in the right direction towards the end of the year, and you have some wiggle room this year to overcome maybe some injuries, a tough part in your schedule, because let's call for how it is. This NFC West, which was on paper last year the creme de la creme division in all of football, this year it's not all that. The Seahawks are better than we thought. The Cardinals have been sloppy.

The Rams are taking a big step back, and this is a 49ers team that they're just competitive. They are a group that has a lot of talent. They add more to their room today, bringing in Christian McCaffrey. Heck, they plug in Jeff Wilson Jr. The guy always has a good game. They were going to be getting Elijah Mitchell potentially back.

You had some pieces there. You didn't need to make this move, but this gives them another playmaker, and I can't wait to see Kyle Shanahan, who is a good coach. I'm a great coach. You got to go win a Super Bowl if you want to be a great coach, and you have to protect the lead if you want to be a great coach, but he is a very good, young coach in this league and someone that gets very creative.

We saw the way that he made Deebo Samuel at times a running back last year, and now you have the speed of a Christian McCaffrey, a Deebo Samuel. Ayuk is also very good, and Kittle has injury problems. Kittle hasn't been to the usual Kittle standards as he's been in years past, but if you get him healthy and him back to being Kittle, that is a feared, and I mean a feared offense just as long as Jimmy Garoppolo doesn't mess it up. And these next few weeks, you got some tough games. You got Kansas City this weekend. Then you go to L.A. and play the Rams, a team that you've dominated, as Jimmy Garoppolo hasn't lost a game to them. Byweek, Chargers, Cardinals. So these next four weeks, I think you just got to weather the storm, and really this NFC West this year is all about just weathering the storm, and if you weather the storm, then you eventually have to go on a little bit of a win streak, and you look at the back end of their schedule. Once they get through this next four-game gauntlet of Kansas City, the Rams, the Byweek, the Chargers, and the Cardinals, you're going up against the Saints. You're going up against the Dolphins, Tampa, like still good teams, but all teams that you could beat, and then down the stretch, you finish off the year with Seattle, the Commanders, a bad Raiders team, and if the Cardinals are out of it, who knows what their level of compete is going to be? I could definitely see this team that's at three wins right now finding a way to get to ten, and that's probably the magic number in the NFC West this year, is ten wins. You get to ten wins, and you're at ten and seven, you're going to have a good shot and a good case to make to win that NFC West this year, and that means you'll then get a home playoff game, you won't get a bye because most likely Philadelphia's going to get a bye, because you look at Philadelphia's schedule, it's very easy, and if you're able to just get that one home playoff game, and you know this team could go on a road, like this, San Francisco could win anywhere. You have the experience, you have a good defense, you got a good run game, and you got a quarterback who is not great, but he could be a game manager, and they could beat you in so many different ways. So I think the 49ers in an NFC, an unusual, like a usual typical year, I wouldn't be saying the 49ers are dangerous, but Connor, like outside of Philly, who's the team that you love in the NFC this year? There really isn't one, I mean you look at Tampa Bay, could eventually figure out an offense. And you got to think eventually Brady will get into a rhythm, because I don't think Brady is in the decline that everyone's been waiting for, his line's not good right now, and you don't know which receiver's in the lineup each and every week. Right, and going into the year, the three teams you looked at in the NFC were the Buccaneers, the Rams, and the Packers.

All three have problems right now, big problems. All three do, so like outside of the Eagles, with McCaffrey now, and the fact that the Niners were bangs up last week, if they all get healthy, I think they're the second most dangerous team in the NFC as of right now, because they're so tough defensively, they run the ball, they stop the run, they have Deebo Samuel, and outside of Jimmy Garoppolo being terrible, which you can pretty much count on him being at least an average quarterback, they're about as dangerous as it gets in that conference. Minnesota's also a team that I look at, and I'm not ready to go all in on the Vikings, I guarantee that they would make the playoffs this year, but they are a team that's intriguing to me. Now I don't trust their quarterback consistently in big games, and you saw that the last time he made the postseason throws a walk-off touchdown pass in overtime, and then the next week with the game on the line, early stages of the second half, throws an interception to Richard Sherman the last time that they were in the postseason. So the consistency in big moments does concern me for Kirk Cousins, but if this defense starts to become serviceable, which they've been this year, and Zaria Smith has done wonders for that defense, and you have guys like Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson is on a historical start to his career, Adam Thielen still kicking it, KJ Osbourne can make plays, Alexander Madison can make plays, maybe this is a year where one of those teams that probably shouldn't be in the Super Bowl, gets to the Super Bowl, and that could be a possibility, because I love Philadelphia, I think Philadelphia and the NFC is, yeah, they're the most well-rounded team in the NFC, because if you want to look at a roster comparison to them in the 49ers, I take Jalen Hurts over Jimmy Garoppolo, now McCaffrey's better than Miles Sanders, but Miles Sanders having a really good year, receiver-wise, sure, Deebo's unbelievable, but they have AJ Brown and Devante Smith, and defensively, that secondary is as good as it gets in Philadelphia, with Big Play Slay, Darius Slay, with Bradbury, you look at the front seven, with guys like Hassan Reddick, Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Big Jordan Davis, Philadelphia has the most well-rounded roster, but Jalen Hurts, now he can play in big games, but he's only played in one playoff game, so if that team gets picked off in divisional round weekend, would it surprise me? No, but if you get two home games that have to go to the Super Bowl, and they're in Philadelphia, that may be the advantage, that may be the edge, because I've been in that stadium, I've lived in Philadelphia, that fan base is so raucous, that building just jumps, and as a hum, like not too many other buildings in the NFL, so I like looking around, if you had to take three guesses right now to go to the Super Bowl in the NFC, who would your three guesses be? I would take obviously Philly, I would take the 49ers, and then I still kinda like the Packers, I think they've had so many issues because they have rookie receivers that don't really know what they're doing, and Lazard, and these guys that are still trying to piece it together, but I think they're gonna wind up being a very good defensive team, and at some point with Rogers, well they have the talent on defense, but that defense has not been playing great, outside of Kenny Clark, who joined us yesterday, they have not been playing great, my only concern about the Packers, and I would still think they make the playoffs, that given of just winning the division is out the window, because I fully expect Minnesota to win the division now.

Yeah, it's definitely possible, I do think like with Kirk Cousins as a quarterback, at some point they're gonna run into some rough patches, and we saw them get smoked by Philly, so I think they're gonna lose a couple games, and I think with the way that division lines up, I think the Packers will beat the Vikings the next time they play, and I still like Green Bay to figure it out offensively with Rogers. So your three teams once again are who? The Packers, the 49ers, the Eagles. Okay, I'm going the Eagles in no order, the 49ers, and I'm not betting against this guy.

Too many people, the moment he has a few bad games, all his career is over, all his career is finished, they got a good defense in Tampa, you gotta think Brady will eventually get that group going, and once again, if there's not a lot of great teams in a conference, you usually know how that works, Brady finds a way to get some momentum, move it in the right direction, especially late in the year, in what could be the final games of his NFL career. This is Zach Gelb's show on CBS Sports Radio, 855 212 for CBS. Let me take Jeff, who's first up on the show. Jeff, what do you got for me today pal? Jeff.

And Jeff, thanks so much. So before we get to act on the update, just real quickly, I want to just make one more point on the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers, who just traded away Christian McCaffrey, we already know they have a head coaching job open as Matt Rule is out, the interim head coach is Steve Wilks, no disrespect to Steve Wilks, he is not going to find a way to get that job long term, that team's going to be miserable the rest of the year.

You look at the jobs that could be open. AFC East, nothing's going to open at the end of this year. AFC West, Chargers could be open. Broncos could be open. AFC North, nothing's going to open after this year. AFC South, Colts could be open. Other than that, probably nothing else in the AFC. You look at the NFC, we already talked about the Panthers being open.

I'm going to say that Rivera survives this year, based off the bad coaching right now with the commanders, he should be fired, but Snyder's such a mess, and the one positive person that takes all of the problems of the organization and addresses them head on is Ron Rivera, I think Snyder gives him another year. Cowboys, I know they're playing good right now, but if they are quickly done in the postseason, they could be open. You look at the NFC West, maybe the Cardinals, I still think because of the extension, Cliff Kingsbury comes on back. NFC North, none of those jobs are going to be open. NFC South, yeah, other than Carolina, none of those jobs are going to be open. So with that being said, how attractive is the Panthers' job?

And you got to see how many jobs open up. They have good pieces on defense. I would think that they're going to keep most of those young pieces, but a move like today restocks the farm and gets you draft pick second, third, fourth, and then a fifth round pick, and you could and probably will have the first round pick. I'm not telling you that this is an unbelievable job and this is a great job, but it did become more attractive than it was yesterday for new head coaches, because you'll get a division, this is probably Brady's final year in Tampa, so then the Bucks are going to take a step back. The Falcons, it looks like they're building something, we don't know how good it's going to be with Arthur Smith.

The Saints, they have a lot of talent, but the talent's never healthy. So you can find a way in the next two to three years to rebuild Carolina, and if you get the patience and you find the quarterback, yeah maybe three years from now, we look at the Panthers as the team that's going to be winning that division in the NFC South. So yesterday, I would be a little bit down on the Panthers' job in terms of attractiveness. Getting those picks back for McCaffrey, knowing that you're probably going to be a top three pick, maybe the number one overall pick, it does improve and enhance the way we look at that job. It is Zach Gilp's show on CBS Sports Radio, we'll take a break. When we come on back, he had his first career touchdown last weekend in the Giants win over the Baltimore Ravens. Wandell Robinson will join us from Big Blue, we'll talk about the Giants and also his alma mater in the Kentucky Wildcats.

Update time! Here's the Ackman, Rich Ackerman. Learn more at I'm Listening dot org. Talk saves lives. How's your mental health?

I'm listening with Billie Eilish. I feel like I spent a lot of time thinking about happiness and how it's just like it fluctuates and everyone thinks if you're one thing, you're going to be that forever and you're never going to be anything else. And it's really not true. Like happiness is temporary, but also so is like misery and things just like morph and change.

It just doesn't stay. It goes up and goes down and things change and like that's how life works. Explore more at I'm listening dot org. How's your mental health?

I'm listening with Billie Eilish. I feel like I spent a lot of time thinking about happiness and how it's just like it fluctuates and everyone thinks if you're one thing, you're going to be that forever and you're never going to be anything else. And it's really not true. Like happiness is temporary, but also so is like misery and things just like morph and change. It just doesn't stay.

It goes up and goes down and things change and like that's how life works. Explore more at I'm listening dot org. The Sack Gelb show is on the air across the nation on CBS Sports Radio. Here's Sack Gelb. We continue this Sack Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. The New York football Giants are red hot. Another come from behind victory last weekend up against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Giants are now five and one and they have a Sunday matchup one o'clock with the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville. And now joining us had his first touchdown reception last week, made his return. And that's Wandale Robinson, the rookie wide receiver out of Kentucky, kind enough to join us on the Zack Gelb show. Wandale, appreciate the time. As always, congratulations on the first touchdown. How you been? I've been good.

Thank you. Well, take me through that first score. So you made the return coming off the knee injury and you find a way to get into the end zone.

Take me through your perspective of it. Well, I mean, it was third down and we had called a little a little pick play. And David Sills did a really nice job of helping me out on that was just wide open to get right there. And then when you're standing in that end zone with the Giants fans going nuts at MetLife Stadium and you put in all that work your entire life to get an NFL touchdown, just what's going through your head while you're in the end zone? I don't remember. I just I remember I just went blank. It was just crazy. This moment.

I was just waiting for my whole life. So what'd you do with the football? You keep the football?

No, my mom has it. It's back home in Kentucky. Well, that's awesome. So was your mom at the game? Yeah, my mom and dad were at the game. So so what that mean to you? That's got to be awesome. I mean, they were both there whenever this journey started.

So just to see it all come full circle. It was great. We saw you back on the field last weekend and you had success.

You brought a lot of energy to the team. How's the knee feeling? Are you fully healthy now? Yeah, I'm feeling great. I mean, just back to the practice fully and doing everything back to the way I felt like I was doing. So it's just been feeling great and just being able to get my get my.

Wandell Robinson here with us from the Giants. The thing that I that stood out to me the most in the game last week from you individually was the energy. Like I was talking about that you brought to the team.

Well, where does that energy come from? I mean, part of it was it was just built up just being out for so long. And I mean, I just kind of feel like I'm one of those guys that want to make plays and just give us a spark to continue going in game. So what type of player do you do you eventually think you could become?

Who knows? I just want to continue to get better every day. And at the end of the day, I want to be the best, but just got to continue to work and just help my football team win. So how has that transition been? How do you describe that transition going from Kentucky to the NFL and now getting a game or two under your belt in the National Football League? I mean, I mean, it was it wasn't too hard or anything, but just had to come in and work and part of that was the preparation and just the help with the coaches and some of my teammates and leadership that I've had around me.

So it was a pretty easy transition just to get going and into the groove of things. So it's been nice. You talk about the coaches. Brian Dayball has really taken the New York area by storm. They've been looking for a good competitive football team for quite some time with the state of the Giants last few years.

You being new to this Brian Dayball being new to New York. What has impressed you the most with your head football coach? I mean, he's he's just a great guy and he takes care of his players and we love playing for him. So it makes it easy for us just to go out there and just do our job for him, especially knowing that he's just going to take care of us.

And he always just he's thinking about us and always wants what's best for us. So Wandale Robinson here with us from the Giants. Giants go up against Jacksonville this Sunday. He's coming off a touchdown performance and a victory for Big Blue. Your quarterback, Daniel Jones. It's a big year for him off to a good start. How do you view your quarterback and how are you guys building that chemistry?

I mean, he's a tremendous leader and he's a tough dude. I mean, ever since I got here. That's one thing that I wanted to do with Daniel is just build that chemistry and luckily he texted me after I got drafted in from there. We just started building and just continuing to throw each and every day and just talking about things and how he wants things done. So you barely been able to play two games. Are you comfortable yet in the NFL or is that still like a little bit of an acclamation period for you? Well, I kind of felt like I was like kind of once I got I got an end zone, I kind of just felt normal again. Like I was just back out there playing football again and everything just kind of I mean, just everything it already kind of started slowing down just after a couple snaps and stuff. So just getting back in the groove of things.

It was just nice. So I saw the Giants put out on social media and I follow you on Twitter and I saw you retweeted this something along the lines of people poking fun at this being the worst five and one football team they've ever seen. A lot of people still doubt in the Giants. What do you say to people that are down in your football team?

I mean, at the end of the day, I mean, we have no problem with it. We're we're just worried about what we have inside of our locker room and what's inside the building. And so we're just going to continue just to do what we do and just continue to go try to go want to know each and every week and continue to work each and every week just to get better. So what have you learned from Saquon Barkley how to be a pro? You just see you just see how he comes into work and what he does, especially during those games, except how he goes about even if there's some negative plays and things like that.

He's not he doesn't not pout or anything like that. So he's just been a really big big guy for us in this whole organization. And his biggest problem has just been staying on the field, but he's back.

He looks like he could win the Comeback Player of the Year award this year if he stays healthy. That's just got to bring a great energy right to the locker room. Just having a guy like that who's all focused on the team and makes big plays just back. He's got to make the whole locker room feel good.

Oh, yeah, definitely. I mean, he's always team first and he's going to do whatever he can to help us win too. Wrap it up with Lawndale Robinson from the Giants. What clicked for you at Kentucky? So you're in Nebraska for a few years, then you go back home. You go had a great year a year ago at Kentucky. What was it where it really turns your game around going to Kentucky?

I would say Liam Cohen. Now the offensive coordinator at the Los Angeles Rams, but he was really the one that kind of convinced me to go home, go back home. I don't think I would have ended up going back home if he didn't get hired. From the moment that I got there, he just really taught me everything within the offense that we had. That being the Rams scheme, it prepared me to get into an NFL scheme and knowing how to study and things like that. And just teaching me how to play receiver, which before then I had more carries than I did catches in college football. So it was just a different transition and he just allowed me to learn and just make plays. Is it crazy to you a little bit how quickly this has come together for you with all that you just said about the change in transition that you went through?

I mean, a little bit, but at the end of the day, I know the work that I put in and at the end of the day, I just want to continue to get better and I just want to take advantage of my opportunities. Well, Giants fans only seen you play for a game or two and they're not real familiar with your background. What would you tell Giants fans about your game and what you could bring to the football team?

I'm versatile and just going to make plays and just going to be energy guys. Take me back to the night you got the phone call and you got drafted by the Giants in the second round. What do you remember about that? Well, so actually at the start of the draft, I actually looked down at my phone as everybody was just kind of settling in and I was greeting people and I looked down at my phone and I had no service. So figuring out how I can get service and like the span of like three minutes and so figured it out and then eventually within like probably 20 minutes, I ended up getting a call and the Vikings are actually on the clock. So I'm thinking I'm going to Minnesota, but and then I'll look down and it's a New Jersey number and I'm kind of like, New Jersey?

What's in New Jersey? And then it was Joe and he was on the phone. He's like, he said, hey, Wanda. And that's what that was really about. I remember, but they have the audio from it. But I just remember I was just I was crying and stuff with my mom and my dad and it was just a moment that we've been waiting for my whole life. How long did it take to sink in that you got drafted in the second round by the Giants? Was it right away?

No, it took a really long time. Like there's still like there's even still some days I walk in to work and I'm like, I'm really playing football for the Giants. It was kind of crazy. I'm like, this is a game that I've been playing since I was five and now I'm really here where I dreamed of being. Well, it's great to see you back on the field healthy. It's good to see you on the end zone last week. This team is five and one.

Expectations are changing. Just how good of a football team do you think you have there? You've been in that locker room day in and day out. I mean, I think we can be as good as we want to be. I mean, we at the end of the day, we just have to prepare and do what we have to do within the early in the week.

And then on Sundays, just do what we have to do and the outcome will be the outcome. I want to just take you back to your college days real quickly. Wrap it up with Wandell Robinson from the Giants. Mark Stoops has done a sensational job with that Kentucky program. What is it about Coach Stoops?

Because that entire feel about the way that we view Kentucky nationally is now totally different. He's very similar to Coach Dave's and just taking care of his players and just always putting his players first. You just want to play for a guy like that. And then having a really great support staff around him with the coaches and always having a good game plan. He's always done a really good job with that and just making sure the team is ready to play. A name that's been skyrocketing is your former quarterback, Will Levis. Whenever he gets drafted this year, what does an NFL team get in Will Levis, the quarterback? He's a smart, tough dude. He can make all the throws.

I'm sure on pro day and stuff everybody's going to go crazy. He's just a really good dude as well too. He's a great leader. He came into the locker room within two months and became a captain.

He's a really good dude and just somebody that you would love to have as your quarterback as well. As you guys get set for Jacksonville, what's been the biggest point of emphasis this week in the preparation for this Jaguars defense? We just have to be physical. It all starts up front. At the end of the day, we have to make plays on the outside.

Everybody has to do their role and play their part. Last one before we let Wandell Robinson run. Mike Kafka, tell me about your offensive coordinator because his name is starting to get linked to some head coaching jobs. Maybe people think he could be a head coach in this league one day. He's a very offensive mind. He's really creative. Just being able to get us in a lot of different spots and do a lot of different things.

Just do a lot of different things within the offense. We appreciate the time. Thanks so much. Congrats on the touchdown last week and good luck this upcoming weekend.

I appreciate it. There you go. Wandell Robinson from the Giants with us on the Zach Gelb show. You look at this Giants team, they're 5-1. And I know early in the week some people go, oh, you're saying they're going to make the playoffs. Like, hold on, they're 5-1. The roster's not great.

Let's just wait and see. It's really how the schedule breaks out. Jacksonville, which they could lose this weekend. Seattle, they could lose. But then after the bye, you have the Texans and the Lions. Like, they should be 2-2 if not 3-1 in their next four games. So if you just get to 2-2, you're at seven wins.

The target goal this year is nine to get in the postseason in the NFC. You're telling me, even if they go 2-2 in these next four against Jacksonville, Seattle, Houston, and Detroit, and they get to a record of 7-3, that they can't find two more wins when you play the commanders twice? Yeah, you get Philadelphia twice, but you get Philadelphia at the end of the year, last game of the season.

That's the second one. You play Minnesota, it's a good team. You play Indianapolis.

There's nothing all that special. And you get Dallas another time. Like, if the Giants don't get to nine wins at this point, and if you get to nine and eight and someone else beats you out of a tiebreaker, there's nothing you can do. But I would say if you're a Giants fan, bare minimum expectation is you get to nine wins and you make the playoffs. And that's just being probably their ceiling this year. Like, they're a wildcard team, and that's the best you could expect, and it's way ahead of the curve for this team.

Quinnen Williams, next. Is there something really absurd that skeeves you out? Getting a paper cut on my eyeball. A fear you can't shake? I'm going to leak ocular fluid down my cheeks.

It's going to go into my mouth and I will perish. Whatever scares you, I want to talk about it. Join me, Larry Mullins, on my new podcast, Your Weirdest Fears. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. How's your mental health?

I'm listening with Luke Combs. I am somebody who has struggled with anxiety a lot. A couple ways or tools, I guess you would say, to maintain my mental health is making myself aware to the things that I know I'm prone to. Information is key for things like that and knowing what you're dealing with and how they operate. Being aware of the way your mind works in certain situations has been the most important thing for me. More at

Talk saves lives. What makes your skin crawl? No matter how absurd, I want to know. Tails without fur on them, such as rats or opossums. I'm Larry Mullins, the host of a new podcast called Your Weirdest Fears. You send me your fear. I'm just so weirded out about the texture and how they can just move around and flop. And then I go to the experts to learn how to overcome them. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-14 04:14:20 / 2022-11-14 04:35:16 / 21

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