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Brian Baldinger, NFL Network Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
January 20, 2023 7:59 pm

Brian Baldinger, NFL Network Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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January 20, 2023 7:59 pm

Baldy joined Zach to preview the 4 NFL divisional round games and discuss if he's concerned with the Bengals offensive line heading into Sunday's game against the Bills. 

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I appreciate you coming on. So I want to start you off in the trenches and it's fitting we do so. The Bengals, the last two, three years, have not had a good offensive line. They went big on the moves this offseason as they should to protect Borough. Now they go into this AFC divisional weekend with no Kappa. We know Lael Collins has been out for a while and Jonah Williams out. How does Cincinnati still find a way to survive in the trenches? Well, I mean they won nine in a row, Zach.

It's not like they've collapsed. Even with the loss of Lael Collins weeks ago and then Kappa a couple weeks ago. Even with Jonah Williams going down, I thought Jackson Carmen until the last series, I thought he played pretty good. He was a left tackle, Clemson. He was a second round pick. Look, they tried to make guard.

It wasn't great. They went in a different direction, but they drafted him to be not necessarily the left tackle, but they drafted him to be a starting offensive lineman. Max Sharpen was a second round pick, you know, at Houston, you know, a couple years ago and Akima Deneschi is a guy that started for him last year. So it's not like none of these guys have played. I mean, they've all played and I mean, I know their backups and the backups for a reason, but, you know, Joe Burrow knows what he's up against.

He knows how to get rid of all quickly. He's a timing quarterback. He's not a guy that holds the ball a long time to begin with. So while, you know, everybody would love to have their starting five up there.

I mean, that's where they're at right now. And so, you know, Jackson Carmen, I thought his sets were really good. I think he's got some decent technique. I thought there was some fundamental things that he's got to get better at and maybe he'll improve some this week. But I think they'll be okay up front. When you get to Buffalo, how confident are you that Buffalo is going to be able to take advantage of the offensive line like we're talking about? Well, I mean, look, you mentioned that there's no Von Miller, but they've been playing without Von for a long time. But, you know, they drafted, you know, all these guys, you know, Boogie Basham and they drafted all these guys last year to be better pass rushers, to get after Patrick Mahomes. You know, so AJ Panessa, I mean, they drafted these guys, you know, so, you know, it's all about player development, you know, once you do draft them. So they groomed them and drafted them over the last three years. You know, it's time to kind of turn them loose right now. And, you know, you know, look, if they can't get home, Leslie Frazier is skilled enough as a coordinator to bring Matt Milano or Trey Edmonds or, you know, Johnson Turin Johnson off of the slot.

I mean, they've got ways to get there if they need to apply pressure. Talking to Brian Baldinger right now, it is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. Which quarterback, if you were building a team, would you rather have, Baldy? Would it be Josh Allen or Joe Burrow? Well, is Patrick Mahomes available? Take him out of the conversation because I think everyone would say he'd be one right now. Yeah.

Okay. I think Joe Burrow turns the ball over less. I think he's more of a timing quarterback than Josh is. Josh has probably more talent, you know, runs the ball better, all those kind of things.

You can't go wrong. I mean, Joe's perfect for Cincinnati. Josh is perfect for Buffalo and Bill's Mafia. They're perfect quarterbacks in their cities. You know, Joe's from Ohio. He's home. Like, he knows Ohio football, high school, college, you know, pro.

I mean, he understands it. And Josh is just a small-town kid that fits in perfect in Buffalo. But, you know, if you said, okay, you can only have one, right now I would probably take Joe Burrow just because of just, you know, the assassin that he is and how he attacks teams right now. When you see how those games played out last weekend, Buffalo going right down to the wire with the Dolphins after Buffalo was up 17-0 to start. And we all know how that game just changed on that fumble between the Bengals and the Ravens. Are you more concerned heading into this weekend about Buffalo or Cincinnati, Baldy? Well, look, this is playoff football. I mean, you're going to get the team's best shot.

You know, I said all week long. It's about time Buffalo's stars stepped up. You know, they drafted Jalen Phillips and Xavian Howard, you know, and Bradley Chubb.

I mean, Javon Holland. They either drafted these guys or signed them to big contracts. It was time for those guys to show up and they all did. All those guys showed up. Huge plays from all of them.

And so, you know, they're stars stepped up. I mean, they're a talented team. You know, Jalen Waddle could beat anybody this league.

But, you know, so I'm not, I'm not, you know, I'm not down in either team. Look, I mean, the play that they made at the goal line, you know, in Cincinnati. Look, that happens once, you know, every 10 years, a play like that. It's not, it's, you know, it helped them win the game, but it was, you know, it was even a Stephen game, you know, all the way through, even if Baltimore scored there. I mean, I expected Joe Burrow to put a drive together and tie it up. You know, I mean, it's not, the game didn't finish there.

But look, it's, it's going to be tough. These games are going to come down to the fourth quarter this weekend. And who can make a play?

Who makes the play on either side of the ball? You know, that's going to decide these games. Do you expect that Kansas City and Jacksonville will be close this weekend too?

Yeah. Yeah, because Jacksonville is, you know, they've won a bunch of games in a row. They've really figured out their identity. Everybody knows the role. Christian Kirk is their slot receiver. Zay Jones, their outside guy.

Marvin Jones beats press coverage. You know, Evan Ingram is their flex tight end. I mean, they got, everybody's got their defined roles and defensively, they've gotten a lot better. They got pass rush right now. They got playmakers on defense.

They got the league's leading tackler for the second year in a row in a little climb. And they've been to Kansas City. You know, they've, they've seen the atmosphere. They know what they're up against with Chris Jones and Kelsey and Mahomes. Like they've seen it.

Okay. Like they didn't play great that day, but they're a different team now than they were week 10. So I, you know, I expect them to give Kansas City a real game. When we get to Saturday night in Philadelphia, all eyes are going to be on the health of Jalen Hurts. What do you expect out of the Eagles quarterback? I expect him to be good.

I don't expect any sort of, no matter what happens, I don't expect any excuses. This injury happened five weeks ago. He's had more than enough time to repair it and get back his rhythm and his timing. He's been a great deep ball thrower this year to a variety of guys, A.J.

and Devontae and, you know, Ques. And so I expect them to take their shots. He's been an excellent runner all year long. I expect him to pull the ball down when the opening is there.

I expect both teams to give him the best shot. The Giants are a completely different team than week 14 or week 18. The Giants are healthy. They're playing really good football. They've got a great coordinator in week Martindale. They're going to give the Eagles all they can handle.

But I expect Jalen Hurts to be looking like the MVP that I thought he was before the injury. When you break down the tape, and I know the Giants don't have the most talent in the world, but Daybal has just done a remarkable job, Wink Martindale as well. I know the Giants for years have been this great franchise and one of those gold standard franchises in the sports. But the last five years, it was as bad as anybody.

You're one of Daybal with his staff. What has jumped out to you the most? Just the way that they, you know, continue to win games, Zach, and the way that they won games. I mean, there were games earlier in the season when, honestly, nobody touched the ball besides Saquon or Daniel Jones.

And they ran their way to victory. But they picked up Isaiah Hodgins and Richie James and they found that Darrius Layton can run more than go routes. And this Bellinger is a pretty good flex tight end. They found roles and they kept coaching them. And then, you know, Wink Martindale, I talked to him this summer and he told me flat out, he goes, if Dexter Lawrence is not in the Pro Bowl this year, Baldy, it's my fault.

I haven't gotten what's inside of him out of him. And last week, Dexter Lawrence was the best defensive lineman in Super Wild Card weekend. And I expect him to be really good on tomorrow night in Philadelphia. They're very well coached.

You know, Daybal is just, he's just a different type of guy. You know, he really knows how to communicate and to get guys to believe. And, you know, Daniel Jones has really taken to the coaching of Kafka and Brian. It's totally different than what he did in Buffalo or what he did in New England or anything else. They've really, they've done the essence of what coaching is, Zach.

And that is, let's take what we have and let's make the best of what we have. And that's what they have done this year. That's what great coaching is. Just wondering, and you do such a great job on these film breakdowns, who's your favorite player to break down these days? I have a couple, but I mean, Micah and Max, like easily, are so much fun to break down. I mean, they're just, Trey Smith in Kansas City, the right guard. I mean, some guys you just have to watch every week. I mean, nobody moves like Micah in this whole business.

Nobody defeats blocks better than Max Crosby. You know, those guys, Trey Smith is just a, you know, he's just a stone blooded killer at right guard with the right hand, like nobody's business. Like Mike Tyson might have a right hand like that, but nobody else. I mean, so those are some of the, some of the guys, but, you know, there's, you know, like I like Hassan Reddick, like the way that he moves and he's fun to break down. And Lane Johnson is just an elite athlete. Yeah. Athletes are what he goes up against. So I could go on and on, but I would say Micah and Max and Trey jump off the page right now with me.

I'll say this. And I remember used to that meat locker segment with the Cuz Anthony Gargano, which is some of my favorite radio that I've ever heard. I remember bring it in from Temple Hassan and Dion. Dion Dawkins, both those players turned out to be pretty damn good.

Yeah. And you know, what's funny is I met those guys then. Then I think Rule brought me over to Temple at some point. I talked to the team, but I've stayed friends with both of them. They all follow me. I follow them. I saw Dion this summer training camp. He brought me over to bust Josh Allen's, you know, stones. So, you know, like we're, you know, that those relationships we built there at the station up in North broad street, like they're solid and they're there for a long time.

All right. Last game that will ask you about. And that's the one that concludes the division around weekend Cowboys and the Niners. Does the Brock Purdy magic come to an end this weekend? And does Dallas pull off the upset?

No, I mean, I think Brock Purdy will play well. I mean, Dallas is certainly capable of winning the game. You know, they they've turned, you know, they didn't turn the ball over last week. They've they've really cut down the penalties.

Something that really plagued him last year against San Francisco. I think their offensive line is playing very well. No matter what they do at left tackle.

Jason Peters, Tyler Smith. They're playing really well right now. Center's back and healthy. So I expect Dallas to give me game.

But I think the constant pressure and the speed of San Francisco's defense is going to end up being the difference in the game. But I expect Brock Purdy to continue to play at or near the levels that we have seen for basically seven weeks in a row. If you had to take a guess, Brian Baldinger, who's starting for the Jets next year at quarterback? I don't. Well, I don't know that that person is on the roster right now.

Could you see it being Aaron Rodgers? I don't know if they want to go in that direction. You know, there's such a young team. They have so many young players. I mean, so many good, you know, briefs and sauce and, you know, just the young guys. I feel like they need somebody to grow with.

I mean, not a one year rental. Like they did that with far a decade ago. It was good.

It was good. But I think they need they need a younger guy. They can grow and build with. And maybe it's Zach. Maybe, you know, the new coordinator will really you know, maybe a better offensive line can help Zach. I'm not going to shut the door on him. But, you know, he hasn't done anything to impress anybody over there right now. With Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo, either of those two names excite you?

Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, they're proven guys. That's a Joe Douglas question. I might go Derek Carr over Jimmy only because he stayed healthier longer than Jimmy has. And so he doesn't have the injury history that Jimmy does. And the last thing Jets need at any position is a player with injury history. And then the biggest question of the offseason so far, Brady and Sean Payton.

But what is their futures looking like? Yeah, I think Sean will coach. I think he's going to get, you know, a bunch of offers. I think a lot of teams would court him. You know, we've got five teams out there without a head coach right now. I think he'll get one of those jobs.

I don't necessarily know if it's Brady and Payton that package together. I don't know what's going to happen with Tommy. He was awful, just awful in his last game. And he had some games like that against Cincinnati this year. He was awful in the third quarter. You know, it's just the type of games that you're just not used to seeing from Tommy.

Is that a product of age? Is that him slowing down? Is him not being able to, you know, read defenses properly? Because it didn't look like he knew how to do it the other night against Dallas. So, but you know, it only takes one team. It only takes one team to fall in love with him.

That's all he needs right now if it's not going to be Tampa. Baldy, I always appreciate the time. Thank you. My pleasure, Zach.

You bet. The NFL playoffs live on Odyssey. Nonstop coverage from the biggest sports radio stations in the country. Podcasts dedicated to each NFL team. And post-season games streaming live for free.

Your playoffs. Your Odyssey. Get in the game and download the free Odyssey app today. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app. Your trusted local radio stations. Coverage of your favorite teams. Live news from your hometown. And millions of podcasts on demand.

Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience. Follow topics you care about. Like leagues and teams. Pause or rewind your local sports and news. And add shows to your queue to catch up later.

There's a lot to listen to. So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. The NFL playoffs live on Odyssey. Nonstop coverage from the biggest sports radio stations in the country. Podcasts dedicated to each NFL team. And post-season games streaming live for free. Your playoffs. Your Odyssey. Your playoffs live on Odyssey.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-21 13:13:57 / 2023-01-21 13:21:18 / 7

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