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Matt Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area 49ers Reporter

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2023 8:25 pm

Matt Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area 49ers Reporter

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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January 27, 2023 8:25 pm

Matt Maiocco joined Zach to preview 49ers-Eagles and discuss the future of Trey Lance. 

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There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. Matt, appreciate the time. How are you?

I'm doing great. Just like you, counting down the days until we can stop talking about it and actually watch and see what happens on Sunday. The quarterback position, as you know, has been greatly discussed in San Francisco the last few years. To see what Brock Purdy is doing in the last month and a half or so, just how do you describe what you're witnessing and what you're covering on a daily basis?

Yeah, I've never seen anything like it. Most of the times when a team loses, it's starting quarterback, the season's over. Certainly when a team loses their top two quarterbacks, the season's over. But Brock Purdy came in and he played a lot of football in college at Iowa State and won some games and lost some games there. I think that whole experience taught him poise and composure. He looks the part. He just seems unflappable. Pretty much every time he stepped in, there was a new challenge thrown his way and so far he's checked every box.

Obviously the big one is coming up on Sunday facing a potent pass rush, a really good defense, the best pass rush in the NFL. What gives him confidence, I think, too, and I just asked him about this today, he said that he doesn't feel all that much pressure because the 49ers have so many playmakers and his job is really just to make sure they get the football. He doesn't put any more pressure on himself than he already has because he feels like he just has a really good supporting cast. As long as he leans on them, he feels like he'll be okay. So you don't think the stage will be too big for him in Philadelphia?

Because everyone keeps on waiting for that rookie moment to happen and for the clock to hit 12 for Cinderella and every week it just does not happen. I don't think the stage is too big for him. Now, might he make a bad throw?

Might he make a mistake? Yeah, of course, all quarterbacks do, but he's just done such a really good job at taking care of the football. In the eight games that he's played since he's taken over, three interceptions, one of them was off the hands of one of his receivers and he's yet to fumble. So I think that if he does have a bad game, it won't be because the moment is too big for him. He just is a unique kid. He's 23 years old and you just watch him play and he has pocket presence.

He understands the game. I don't think the moment is too big for him, but that's not to say that he might have a bad game or the Eagles might be doing things defensively that make it really difficult on him, but I don't think it'll be because he wilted under the pressure. Do you think he'll be the starting quarterback for this team week one next year?

I think so. Yeah, I mean, I just don't think that he's done anything that would make you as a 49ers organization even consider trying anybody else. I mean, you know, obviously Trey Lance is the guy they traded up for and selected him number three overall in the 2021 draft. But we know more about Brock Purdy right now and how he runs the 49ers offense than we know about Trey Lance. And if Brock Purdy were the number three overall pick in this last draft, the 49ers would feel very fortunate that they drafted him. So I think at some point, you know, draft status, whether you're picked number three or picked number 262, it doesn't matter how you got into the league, it becomes who's the best quarterback for this team.

And it's hard to make any kind of argument that anybody other than Brock Purdy is the best quarterback for this team. Would you still anticipate that Lance is on the team next year? Do they maybe look to move him this offseason? I would think that he would stay on the team. I don't see a reason to trade him.

A, I don't know that they could get a lot for him. And he's been in the league for two seasons. And if the 49ers are ready to move on from him, that in itself I think would hurt his trade value. But also, I mean, you have some high-priced guys on this team.

And Nick Bosa probably this offseason is going to be paid as the top defensive player in the league with a new contract. So if you can have two quarterbacks that you really like, both on rookie contracts, I think that's an incredible advantage for the 49ers from a salary cap standpoint. I don't see any scenario, or I just find it hard to believe that the 49ers will have another quarterback on the team in addition, or I should say not named Brock Purdy or Trey Lance. I just think that to me it looks pretty obvious that Brock Purdy and Trey Lance are going to be on this team.

The only question is in what order. And right now it's difficult to even think that Brock Purdy won't be the number one guy on the depth chart when the offseason begins. Matt Myoko here with us. From the health standpoint of the Niners, we know McCaffrey is dealing with that calf injury, Deebo with an ankle. What can you tell us about those two players and their injuries? Yeah, both of those guys are full go.

They're ready. They weren't even listed on the injury report. Deebo practiced limited throughout the week. McCaffrey returned to practice today. The good news for him is it's a calf contusion.

It's not a strain. And so he said yesterday, I guess it was, that there was zero chance that he was not going to play in this game. The big question mark is Elijah Mitchell, the backup running back. They like to sprinkle in there with McCaffrey or give him a breather from time to time.

He's questionable for this game. But as far as the 49ers roster goes, they're about as healthy right now as they've been all season. So I think what you're going to see on Sunday, two teams playing at a high level, both teams pretty healthy. And yeah, maybe the best team wins. It's really crazy, Matt, because I know when you get later in the year, the fewer teams, you always expect it to be two heavyweights at the end of the year. But in some years, you see one advantage a team has over another. These teams are pretty much as even as you could get. I think so.

Yeah. I mean, I think you can make a case. I'm sure people in Philadelphia made the case that the Eagles have maybe a little bit better talent. I think that when you look at the Eagles, they probably have the better offensive line and the better defensive line. But both teams like to rotate a lot of defensive linemen onto the field in the mix as far as maybe eight or nine guys active. And they're all playing.

They're all playing with a lot of energy and saying fresh throughout the game. But no, I think the 49ers and the Eagles both have tons of playmakers on their team. And yeah, I don't think the 49ers have played a team like the Eagles this season. But I think the same could be said for the Eagles. I don't think they play the team like the 49ers either.

Matt Myoko here with us. So we know the 49ers, the best part of their team and they have a wonderful team is the defense, the Eagles. Jalen Hurts, I was in Philadelphia last week. His shoulder looked fine to me. What do you think gives in that matchup between a great 49ers defense and then, as you said, a very talented Eagles offense led by Hurts?

I mean, I have no idea. I mean, to me, it's this game is strength versus strength. And the Eagles have a top notch offense. The 49ers defense is ranked number one in the league and yards allowed and points allowed. The 49ers will be tested in many ways. They did give up some big plays down the stretch of the season. The Eagles will have some opportunities to make big plays. The 49ers have got to stay on the same page when you look at, you know, even the coordinator matchups.

Fane Striken and D'Amico Ryans, two guys who were up for NFL Assistant Coaches of the Year. If the Eagles can find a way to contain Nick Bosa and keep Jalen Hurts from feeling a lot of pressure, then I think the Eagles are going to be very difficult to beat in this one. And I mentioned that Eagles offensive line, you know, four of those guys could be playing really good football every snap, but if the guy matched up against Bosa, whoever that is, if that person gives up some hits and some pressures and a strip sack or a couple sacks, then that's an equalizer.

So, it really is. I mean, just strength versus strength, both sides of the ball. Who are probably the two most balanced teams in the league going at it? On the way out with Matt Biocco, who does a great job covering the 49ers, you mentioned D'Amico Ryans. It appears like he's in his final season with the Niners. He's going to get a head coaching job. I saw a report today that he's emerged as a top candidate for the Texans job.

Just what are you hearing? Are you hearing pretty much what's been out there about D'Amico Ryans? Yeah, I mean, you know, I just asked Kyle Shanahan about him today and he said that he's, you know, he's having opportunities and he interviewed with the Broncos, he interviewed with the Texans.

I just kind of knew that, you know, once he got in the door, he was going to impress some teams. I would think that, you know, he would, my best guess is that he would end up with one of those two coaching jobs. At the same time, I also know that he's not desperate. He's still a young guy and if it just doesn't feel right to him, then he's coming back to the 49ers as defensive coordinator. I don't sense that he is in any rush to take a job that he just doesn't feel good about.

So, he's going to be very judicious in how he approaches this and which job, if any, he accepts. But, I think any team that hires D'Amico Ryans as their head coach is one lucky team. Last thing I'll ask you about, Mayoka, obviously the start of every game is important, but being in that environment in Philadelphia, what type of start do you think the Niners get off to coming up on Sunday? Well, they better get off to a good one because I don't think that they can afford to fall behind by a couple of touchdowns. And, you know, we saw how that worked for the New York Giants last week.

It didn't work very well. Obviously, the 49ers are a better team than the New York Giants, but the 49ers aren't necessarily built to be coming back from big deficits. 49ers need to get that run game going. They need to be able to take some of the juice out of the Eagles pass rush. And, that's the key. I mean, that's one of the many keys in this game. If McCaffrey can run the ball, if the 49ers' offensive line can fire out and make some way as far as the running game goes, then that's going to help them.

I mean, if they're able to maybe throw the ball on rundowns and run the ball on some passing downs and find some success that way, that would be the way that the 49ers could negate the Eagles pass rush. Matt Mayoko, safe travels. We appreciate it.

Thanks so much. All right, Jack, take care. I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast, Your Weirdest Fears, the show that explores the odd things that make your heart stop. I am so scared of the Grinch. He is bad vibes. We talked to everyone from therapists to exterminators to lizard man. I was 25 when I actually got my tongue split.

I have one tattoo that covers my entire body. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-27 22:22:56 / 2023-01-27 22:28:36 / 6

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