Right now, I'm welcoming a man that won two Super Bowls in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and does a great job right now for CBS Sports HQ.
That's a friend of the program, and of course Brian McFadden, kind enough to join us on CBS Sports Radio. B Mac, how you been? Man, I'm doing pretty good, Zach. How you doing?
I'm doing fantastic. I'm actually in Colorado right now. I'm visiting some family, but I was supposed to go to game five tonight between the Lakers and the Nuggets, but unfortunately LeBron and company did not cooperate to get me a game five. I mean unfortunately is the correct word because I thought we would at least get a game five. I'm a Laker fan, and I'm sorry to hear that you're out in Denver.
You won't get to see any professional basketball while you're out there. Yeah, I didn't know that you were a Lakers fan. Where's your confidence moving forward with this team? You got some LeBron retirement talk, Kyrie sitting courtside the other night. Some people think maybe he's going to join with LeBron again.
Where you at in the future of the Lakers right now? I mean I don't think LeBron is going to retire this year. I think clearly he utilized every bit of gas he had left in the tank, but I think LeBron, if he's going to do it, he wants it to be done in a way similar to what we saw with Kobe where he can really be appreciated the right way. You know a farewell tour is something, a farewell tour is definitely something in LeBron's future.
So I don't think he would just walk away and not allowing other organizations, you know, fans to really appreciate him one more go-round. So yeah, I think he will be back next year and who knows, we could get a guy like Kyrie Irvin, Van Fleet could be available as well. So I think we still, we're a piece away from having legit championship aspirations, but hopefully they can have that piece this offseason. BMAC Brian McFadden here with us, does a great job for CBS Sports HQ.
All right, OTA's underway. I know Rogers had a little bit of an injury scare, but he's going to be okay. You look at the Jets, year one with Aaron Rogers, what are your expectations for this team this season? I mean the bare minimum Zach, it better be playoffs, the bare minimum.
Outside of that man, a significant run. That has to be the option in regards to adding Aaron Rogers to a talented New York Jets team, especially on the defensive side. So the bare minimum playoffs and a postseason run that can get you in that championship conversation should be the reality for the Jets this year. Let me ask you this because we know Kansas City, the Bengals and the Bills are the top three Super Bowl contenders in the AFC. Would you put the Jets at four or is it a team like Jacksonville or maybe somebody else? I think it's a team like Jacksonville and the reason why I would have Jacksonville at the fourth spot, Zach, look at the easy road they have in regards to other NFL organizations in the AFC, right? And I'm not, you know, throwing any shade on the other teams in the AFC South, but let's keep it real. I mean two teams potentially will have a starting, a rookie starting quarterback the entire year in the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts. And then with the Tennessee Tigers, we know this is probably Ryan Tannehill's last go round in that organization.
There's not a lot surrounding him outside of King Henry. So when you talk about Jacksonville, the experience they gained a year ago, the talent they continue to add around the young quarterback getting Kevin Ridley back, hopefully their defense, especially in the back end is better. I mean, I got to, you got to like their chances. When you look at the Chargers, is it, they have so much talent. Is it just tough to believe in that team until they get a new head football coach? Man, it's tough to believe in the Chargers until their head coach actually put down the PS5 controller and coach the game like it's real football.
I think that's the issue. Every year, the talent is there. You don't question is there talent on the Chargers roster, right Zach? Every year since they've added Justin Herbert and he's become the starter for that team, that organization, they've had talent and they continue to add talent.
But for whatever reason, they can't get out of their own way. And I think it has a lot to do with the head man in charge. So hopefully, you know, another year of experience he's been able to gain, he gained a year ago, he can kind of get this team in the right direction because there's no reason for them to be a consistent playoff contender with Herbert and a team that can make a deep postseason run. When you look at Denver, there's a Sean Payton factor, but a lot of questions still with Russell Wilson. I look at that roster defensively.
They're good. I don't love what they have on the offensive side of the ball. Are you leaning Denver outside looking in of the playoff picture right now? Yeah, I think Denver can make a run because Sean Payton is like the quarterback whisper. You know, Sean Payton's before the injury, the first seven ball games of the 2021 season for James Winston. Under Sean Payton, Jamie's like a guy who could definitely be in an MVP conversation, you know, in any choice ACL. So you just look at Sean's Peyton resume as a quarterback quarterback, you know, guru play caller. He's always been able to get the most out of his quarterbacks and his offense. And one would think Russell Wilson still has a lot of tread on his tires that so you put him in the right situation where the respect is there for who is calling the plays from Russell Wilson.
I think we're going to see Russell start cooking back a lot of recipes putting together a lot of recipes in the kitchen similar to what he did his final few years in Seattle. Brian McFadden here with us. When we get to the AFC North, I want to start you off with that conversation with your Pittsburgh Steelers.
I think this is going to surprise you what I'm about to say about them. I kind of like Pittsburgh heading into this year now. It's so tough because there's only three wildcard spots and the AFC is just absolutely loaded. We know Cincinnati, if they stay healthy, should win that division. But I'm looking at Pittsburgh as a team that a lot of people aren't really talking about right now.
Now you're not wrong for liking the Pittsburgh Steelers. And the reason why you're not wrong is because the last seven ball games for Kenny Pickett, I mean, he really showed growth. They were five and two in that seven game stretch. He really grew up, became a guy you can rely on in the latter moments of ball games and he delivered. Now, if you factor in some of the talent they've added to the entire roster, yes, if they stay healthy, you got to like Pittsburgh's chances.
Think about this, Zach. The first game of the season on the road, what did Pittsburgh do? They harassed the heck out of Joe Burrow. Granted, they didn't get a lot from that offense, but that defense harassed the heck out of Joe Burrow. And then you lose T.J. Watt and the wheels fell off. If they can't stay healthy, especially with all the pieces they added, I like what they can do in their division alone, because I can tell you this much, regardless of who is the quarterback, regardless of who is in uniform. One thing we know about the Pittsburgh Steelers and AFC North competition, if Cincinnati is riding, riding hard, they still split.
If Baltimore is riding high, they still find a way to split. And of course, you know, they always been able to take care of business against Cleveland for the most part. But I think, yeah, you're not wrong in your sentiments in Pittsburgh and how good they could be this year. And even when they have a bad season, because there were a lot of times last year where it looked like it was a bad season for Pittsburgh, they still finished nine and eight. It seemed like last year with all the injuries that they had and some of the youngsters that they were playing, that experience could really pay off and maybe get that team to 10, 11 wins this upcoming season.
Facts, facts. And I'm excited because for them, you know, they're trying to it's been a while in regards to being in the playoffs, even in the down year, they still win nine games. Right.
So with the transition of a rookie quarterback, man, this is now I'll say this that the AFC North, there's no pushover division. So that's the vision in my opinion. Yeah, if they're going to get it, they're going to earn it. But I think they're ready to earn it.
And has to be pretty cool for you. I know that's your team. Now you have your cousin going over to Pittsburgh to you must have been elated when you heard that news, right? No question, man. I'm fired up.
I got pet peeve in Pittsburgh Steelers uniform better yet when my old number, man, you look at some of the other additions they've been able to add with what they already have in place, man. Listen, man, it should be a fun year. But as I stated that is you got to be healthy. You got to stay healthy. When we have 90 on the football field, the Pittsburgh Steelers, they're a better team on both sides. He stays healthy. The rest of the court people stay healthy.
They can make some noise. When you look at the Baltimore Ravens and Olimar a few weeks ago said he wants to go throw for 6000 yards. I kind of chuckled at that. And then today he did double down and talked about how much he wants to throw the football in this new system with the new offensive coordinator. Is that the right approach for Baltimore where they just paid Lamar and now they're going to ask him to throw the football even more? I mean, the right approach is to have Lamar be Lamar Jackson.
That's it. There's no reason to put a filter on what he can do as a talent because he's too good. You don't want to say Lamar, we want you to do this. No Lamar, you do what you need to do for us to win ball games.
And when he does that, they win ball games. So I don't foresee him throwing for 6,000 yards. I don't think the offense would allow him to have those moments to get to that level. And do you really want to see Lamar Jackson going for and throwing? No, you want to see him being involved in a running game. That's what makes their running game so special because he's a plus one in the running game. So me personally, man, just allow Lamar Jackson to utilize his God-given talent that has gotten him to the point and where he is in his career right now and making sure he protects himself when in harm's way.
And the rest is history. We know Cleveland has so much talent, but whenever people think Cleveland's about to put it together, something goes wrong. What do you think the Browns could do this year?
I mean, they got talent, they have talent. You talked about Brandon Staley and the concerns for him as the head coach for the Chargers. One could say the same thing for Kevin Stefanski as the head coach for the Browns, right Zach? Because what is stopping the Browns this year? You got a full off season with Deshaun Watson.
You added some more pieces to the puzzle that the chemistry should be there. What's the excuse for the Browns that they don't make things happen this year? Is it more of the coach or the players or the lack of the chemistry that needs to be established?
So I think the Browns, they're kind of in the same neighborhood as the Chargers. There's no issue about talent, but for some reason, they can't get out of their own way. At the end of the year, Brian McFadden, when we're talking about Jordan Love, first year as a starter, how are we talking about him and his future with the Green Bay Packers? I mean, I don't think there's a question about is he the future?
He is the future. This year, which is year one, as a full-time starter will either give the Packers fans reason to be hopeful about the future or a reason to be concerned about the future. I think Jordan Love is going to be okay, honestly. I think Jordan Love is going to really do some productive things. I'm not expecting Aaron Rogers like production, but I think he's going to be really, really good in that uniform as a starting quarterback.
So I think the fans will definitely feel excited about the future and where they're going with Mr. Love as their quarterback. And I got to think the guys in the locker room are respected because the last three years, it's not easy. He didn't ask for that. And he was never a distraction. He never added on to any of this drama that was happening in Green Bay. And that's to carry some weight in that locker room, right? Yeah, that's the type of energy you need to have as a young quarterback when you really haven't earned your stripes just yet.
But being able to be a likable guy, because when you're a likable guy, people will listen to you, they will respect you, and they will follow your lead. For you, we know Philadelphia, the 49ers, the two best teams in the NFC, who's the third best team in the NFC, in your opinion right now? Say it again. Third best team in the NFC. If Philadelphia and the Niners are one and two, who do you put in at three? The third best team in the NFC. Seattle?
That's what I said too earlier. I think you could make the case for Seattle. And they added Jackson Smith and Jigba. You added another running back in Charbonnet as well to complement Kenneth Walker.
You got the two big wide receivers in Metcalf and Lockett. My only question is, what's the regression, if at any at all, for Geno Smith this year? What type of year do you think Geno will have?
That's a good question. But I think because of how they've built their offense, you don't necessarily need Geno to play hero ball. You don't necessarily need Geno to play hero ball week in and week out, right? They have a running game. They got an offensive line that really showed out last year.
Defensively, I think they would be a much better unit. So every week, it's not all about Geno. You don't have to put everything on Geno's plate. So I think Geno can just be the Geno that we saw a year ago, and they're going to be fine. And I'll say this, I wouldn't be surprised to see Seattle win the NFC West this year.
Wow, over San Francisco. Is that just because you don't trust this 49ers quarterback situation? Yeah, we don't know. We don't know who the quarterback is going to be. It's kind of crazy that we haven't figured, they haven't been able to figure this out the last few years.
And it seems like they're fine with it as well. We know the roster is so great, but until you figure out who your quarterback is, you can get close. You're not winning a Super Bowl, though.
Exactly. So we don't know who the quarterback is going to be. We don't know if that quarterback will be the guy for the entire year or not. So there's a lot of ifs with the San Francisco 49ers that we have to wait and see.
But I'll say this. I'm not saying that I expect to see Seattle win, but I'm saying I wouldn't be surprised to see out of when they have enough to win the division. Last thing I'll ask you when you look at the drama Dallas Choking Cowboys, Brian McFadden, you know, they're gonna have a good regular season. Is there any reason to believe that this is going to be their year in a wide open NFC to get to a Super Bowl or even an NFC title game? No, there's no reason to believe that because it seems like something always happens that prevents the Cowboys from getting to that level.
And I'll say this. When you say the NFC is wide open, that might be true in totality, but the NFC East is not. The NFC East, when you factor in the Eagles, the Giants, and then not to mention the commanders who may be a competitive group. I think they will be competitive this year. That gauntlet is in the division alone. It's going to be really tough because if you look at Brian Deball and his staff, they did well more with less a year ago and didn't have any issues in doing so.
They've gotten better. Phil is not going anywhere. So just that gauntlet in the division will make things dicey for the Cowboys. When you talk about the entire NFC, if Dak was your quarterback, if you were in that Cowboys locker room and we injected you with some true serum, what would you tell me about Dak Prescott and your belief level in him as a QB? He's an emotional roller coaster. He gives you good moments, high moments and low moments as a Dallas, the Cowboys fans who were for the fans that are listening to us that they don't disagree with me.
Dak is talented, but a year ago Dak had too many, Oh no, Dak moments like, Oh no, Dak, what are you doing? Those are the moments you have to get away from when you're a quarterback like Dak Prescott, when you have experience, when you have talent around you, and they're paying you to deliver the groceries. And when you, when you deliver the groceries, you cannot forget the milk. You got to bring everything because that's what's expected of you. And unfortunately, a year ago, he forgot the milk. He forgot the bread. He forgot the cheese.
He forgot the fruit. And because of that, he never had a full meal in regards to fulfilling their requirements of making things special for the Dallas Cowboys, post-season run, deep post-season run, and having a legit shot to get to the championship. He's the definition of a good quarterback, but not a great quarterback, BMAC.
Yeah, but let's keep it real, Zach. There are only a handful of great quarterbacks in National Football League. There's only a handful of great quarterbacks and a handful might be a stretch.
It might be three or four instead of five. Everybody else either very, very good or good. So, and there's no knock on that because you can still be a good quarterback and get to that championship and win it. Brian McFadden from CBS Sports HQ. Always great to have you on. Thanks so much, my friend. Thank you for having me. There you go. Brian McFadden, joining us on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-24 20:39:01 / 2023-05-24 20:46:42 / 8