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Middlekauff: Black Monday coach firings; Mayock and Gruden; Mike Zimmer living in the past; Notre Dame a CFB Playoff fraud; NFL Playoff preview


And. Okay. What is going on John little cough renowned podcast reporting live late afternoon as I record this on a Monday also known around NFL circles as black Monday people been getting fired left. And right. I woke up this morning to the news of Mike Mayock being hired. Tons of thoughts here on black Monday on the coaches and just on everything going on. I'm gonna dive into that in one second also going to dive into Mike Zimmer looks like I was on the right side of history. Went on ran a couple of weeks ago about firing John D Filipo. It turns out the dinosaur. Kind of poked his his ugly head again yesterday in Matt Nagy in Vic Fangio and Khalil Mack. Intimacy took them to the woodshed obviously playoffs. We have the matchups Brady. I think you can't get much. Better. Just top to bottom of the games. We have on Saturday and Sunday all dive into some my thoughts their college football playoffs had some big takeaways. What what a what an awesome day in theory and then the actual game start. But you know, if you were gambling, and you fold my advice, I had Notre Dame getting rolled had Oklahoma keeping it within the fourteen points. I'm trying to make money here. And then I'm going to do a little game called word association. I'm gonna go through every team on both conferences the one through six seeds in the playoffs. And just the first word that comes to my mind kind of little radio e type segment, but it just trying to mix it up a little bit. And then we'll end with the middlekauff mail bag. You can always get in the middlekauff mailbag to slide up into my DM's at John middlekauff on Instagram. Try to do it for the kids here on Instagram slide up into my DM's, but let me start with something black Monday happen. And what did we see? All the coaches got fired. But none of the GM's got fired. I know Mike Mayock was just introduced a couple of thoughts on that here in a second. But Reggie McKenzie had been fired for a long time among our plus. But you look at the jets you look at the cardinals you'll go the buccaneers, obviously the Browns the Packers Jim safe. I started thinking why do coaches get fired, but general managers don't like think about that? All these coaches are fired. A none of the gentleman's lose their job. When you looked at the New York Jets, Mike mcalinden who hired Todd Bowles they came in at the same time built a roster that Jamal Adams yesterday, basically called the entire roster. I don't think he was including Sam darnold, but every other player on the team gutless heartless said we have no dogs. Steve kind the general manager for the. Arizona Cardinals started the season off first off he hired Wilks in one of the big stories when he hired Steve Wilks was they had like met over the offseason the previous year when they were on vacation in like the Gulf of Mexico or something they met on a beach. Both worked in the NFL start talking had a friendship, and that's how it all started. He got a DUI in the summer this off season. I guess it's still two thousand eighteen on the fourth of July. I'm recording this on New Year's Eve, if you a DUI on the fourth of July or on New Year's Eve, two things, you're either alcoholic or your idiot. Worst case you're combination of the two. So if you're a multimillionaire, and you get a D wide he had a bad DUI and people like what do you mean a bed? Do you? I hope you is all now you can put context things in bad things in the context. Not all DUI's created equal when you blow like three o on fourth of July. That's an awful DUI. When you go point. Oh, wait on Wednesday afternoon after a work meeting. Yeah. I mean, it's a bad decision. But I look at it a little differently. They kept his job. He hired Wilks that he fired him and got to keep his job. John Elway who is basically the pseudo owner in Denver said he made this decision by starting this morning by looking in the mirror was like. John the guy you saw the mirror was Vance Joseph because that's fired. But why do coaches get fired? Well, one I think general managers a little rig. Now, I coaches make a lot more just to put it in context. I think most of us know give or take what coaches make, you know, first time coaches make between four and five and the higher level coaches. Now make between eight to ten I think pe- Carroll's extension was eleven million dollars coaches make a shitload of money gentleman. A highly John Lynch who because he had leverage was one of the highest pay general managers in the league makes four million dollars makes Todd might be a little less, but makes a lot of money. That's a high pay general manager a good GM salaries between two and three million. So I don't make as much so on the line item for the owner there, you don't it's easier to replace now all these guys were necessarily easy to replace because the cap and the new CBA with not necessarily a cap, but the CBA which pays all these team. Teams at the start of the or throughout the season like two hundred and fifty plus million dollars makes this somewhat couch change, you know, like the chain find in your car for owners now so eating ten million dollars to pay coach is not bad difficult. The other thing with the general manager I can kind of quantify who you draft who you didn't draft. But I can always push it off in unquantifiable things like that coach didn't use my player correctly that coach wasn't running the right scheme that coach doesn't know what he's doing that coach is idiot. Well, Steve kind for example, who does he sit next to during the game. The owner who allowed general manager sit next to during the game. The owner what language do they speak a similar language because what do general managers talk about how much money this player will cost how much money this assistant coach will cost how much draft cap. They'd have to use to trade up to get this talk, similar languages. Most owners come from a business background. They talk like spreadsheets. Now, I've talked to a couple owners they have normal conversations. But you know, what? I mean, they think in business terms. Well, general managers are kind of the the guy in the middle of the can speak. The coaches Lang the good ones can speak the coaching language, but can also speak the cap money language, which most owner speak. So they have an inside track. Speaking of the owners where it's somewhat of a rig deal like they have a different relationship with the owner, and the owner also they don't have much in common with the head coach. It's why went ahead coach can't speak their language like Andy Reid. He can talk money and draft value, and he's just easy to get along with. He has great relationships with owners, clearly Mike Tomlin is a pretty guide pretty easy guy to have conversations with what is Bill Belichick. Do he can speak Robert Kraft languages when you see some of these? Coaches. The just have no chance from the jump. Vance. Joseph working for John Elway is not easy. He's basically like Al Davis junior. But it doesn't own the team. But he's unfirable. He's NFL royalties. The most famous athlete in the history of state like that's not an easy job like working for John Dorsey that clearly has the owners ear that has a huge ego is not easy to work for so, but all these gentleman's keep their jobs. So when we talk about what job is the best opening is the Jess job. Good opening. Well, I know Chris Johnson said the owner or excuse me, the new head coach will answer to me. But is Mike mccaddon picking the players like who's the guy deciding who are going to draft who are gonna sign him free agency. I know that guy is in Cleveland John Dorsey, I know that guys in Denver. John Elway Jason lights stayed in Tampa Bay these guys aren't leaving. So you don't get to you know, what's Parcells famous, quote, you want me to cook the dinner, but I don't get to pick the groceries. And that's the problem. Now one thing if Bella check. Poor sales or hell even Elway. I've always defended Elway, but that's not an easy situation. Especially when you know that like that guy that guy could fire you like Mike mcalinden, essentially fired Todd Bowles Kaime fired Wilks like you're working for this guy. But he does on the team, but he's a made man in the mob. It's pretty crazy now. Here's another thing. I don't feel bad for these coaches that lost jobs. Most people listening are at will employs you get fired at any time in even if you make a lot of money, they might not oh, you anything where these coaches like Steve Wilks like got screwed. No. He didn't he he's he's a top one percent of a one percenter. He made four or five million dollars this year. And he's owed twelve fifteen million dollars the next three year. He does not have to work to get paid that much money thinking any other job like it's incredible incredible opportunity. Those guys take those jobs to change their life. Whether it works doesn't. And here's the other thing if I want to counter to my argument about general managers that it's kind of rigged, and they're got the owners ear, and they never get fired. When you do get fired as a GM, you you as a wise man once told me, aka, Phil savage. Former Cleveland Browns general manager who waited a long time those Ozzie Newsome right hand man won the Super Bowl in Baltimore. Turn down gentleman jobs. Got his one shot. Never got another one. Never got another one. You only get one shot. Like Vance Joseph goes to wherever team and they have a good defense next couple years. He get another shot. Adam gates. He's gonna get another shot you hell he might get another shot this year. I actually think Adam gates would make a lot of Cincinnati Zona gentleman's. Don't get they get one. They get make me less money. They get what they get one job. Now, they get two or three coaches. I mean, there's going to be Steve third. Coach mcalinden second Jason Jason lights third. I mean, generators get a lot of coaches, but it's not a fair fight in. You you understand where the infighting comes? It's like any job if you're working with someone and you are two or the most important people in the company, but one of those people is directly in the guy that owns the company's ear all the time. They have a better relationship, you're gonna feel somewhat inferior the relationship is going to be tense. That's why a lot. Of these GM coaching relationships are very fake coaches are idiots. They know where you sit during the game. They know that when you're not around how you're telling the owner how he's Nydia how you can upgrade how they can get a better. Coach house assistant coaches are very good. How he doesn't understand the cap doesn't get value? So I don't ever be shocked when you see the crazy infighting because it's kind of a rig deal from the beginning. The the coaches on these teams are always at a disadvantage when it comes to the hiring and firing cycle because the general manager is in the owners ear not gonna spend too much time on this. But it is pretty interesting just because this is the all the all television slash media gentleman's or coach combination. I didn't give it enough credence and take it seriously enough on Sunday when it was reported that Mike Mayock interviewed for the raiders I should've because Jon Gruden like why wouldn't they hire MicMac? I'm like other hire more people and then boom announced this morning. Mike Mayock tired before I recorded this podcast. I watched the press conference. What happened pretty fast? My takeaway, simply this I have zero doubts of mayo. His ability to work his ability to grind the tape. His ability to understand what good and bad players. Are that will be the least of his worries? Also, he is a type a alpha bona China shop he'll fit perfectly with Jon Gruden Jon Gruden is going ninety miles an hour twenty four seven three sixty five Meo is that type guy both will football. They care you talk to people that work with Jon Gruden coaches that live breathe and sleep football. They go hill. Make you think you don't like football enough because he likes it so much. I think Gruden is basically the same guy excuse me may because the same guy the thing. I question is are they to similar what John really needs is like a Howie Roseman Parague Mirafiori the way Bella check thinks open minded with value being able to wheel and deal understanding that we don't need to take this. Guy in the second round. We get them in the fourth round is Mike that guy. I'm not sure from following his career and watching him like everyone listening to this podcast watch MAC for years on television. He knows good players. He's going to like some guys that he shouldn't like it happens to us all, but will he go, you know, what? And this is just the ability and the experience you gain when you work in the NFL for a long time. We don't need to get this guy in the second round. We draft him in the fourth round. We don't need to pay this guy seven million because we can get these two other guys at three million pop and get to players for the price of one just things that experience in this league of the day. I remember when I first started working the NFL. I was basically the equivalent like how you Rosen secretary just constantly print now boards just doing everything under the sun. And it was so overwhelming. Now, I come from college football. Mike Mayock knows fifty times more has experience of all the players in the NFL. But the. Difference is my second year in the league. I two good idea of all the guys on all the practice. Squads their strengths and weaknesses. Fringe guys on our division, the division opponents things that if you just worked in the league like Bill Belichick. Andy Reid bike Tomlin. They've evaluated every player coming out of the draft. They've also evaluated. The majority of the league in the leak in their feel for players is just different because guys do change or your perception of them is either validated. Or you have to adapt. Once they play like, Mike super locked end all that. And he even admitted no that's something that he's going to need help with. So to me. Whoever is pro director is hiring guys to help out. Just text on the buddy in the league who had a good tax. He's like I'm fascinated to see who was number two is his number two better be a guy with a lot of experience. It doesn't necessarily have to be like a seventy year old guy. But like someone that's been the league for a decade. Plus because the longer in the league just the daily minute of. Who's working out for who? Who's on what practice squads what certain teams like, what's the mindset of these three GM's and Mike even talked about in his press conference. He already thought like that. Because the way any did you talk like that? But it's different when you live and it's all day every day. And I think the transition you offer Gruden was difficult like Khalil Mack in combat and that piss Jonah, well, John it's two thousand eighteen Khalil Mack had ninety million dollars in the line. He has an agent just like you have an agent you wanna talk to him 'cause agent until the deals done. That's now twenty years ago. Yeah. Coach has got mad at that ship. Not anymore. The games change and say this like the other question, Mike. Mike, clearly smart guy in everyone in football that I know that I respect and it just turns out must be in the league they're all playing in the playoffs. So I happen to know a lot of high level people. They all like they'll rave about. I've met him a couple of times. Mike an impressive guide that if you watch them on TV for ten minutes he knows what he's talking about. But he's sixty he's ever worked in the NFL. Now, he talked about I saw him on the NFL network saying like, it's I haven't had butterflies like this a long time. There is something reinvigorating about new challenges for any human anytime. You get a new town in life. It can wake you up it can inspire you. But there's just gonna be stuff, and he just doesn't know. And I think that's going to be somewhat of a challenge. But I actually think it'll be healthy in the one thing's clear that I know people that have been working with Mike that have been around. Mike, Mike is a big ego. Mike gonna walk into this building in view himself as every bit of the equals, John and that and that aspect for Gruden if he's ever going. To have a chance to exceed he needed a big ego guy. They can look at them. Like, no, John. I disagree with you in a in a healthy way. And for that. I know people think I'm a raider hater, I actually find the higher, obviously interesting. But I do think there is a chance for succeed. Hey, let's let's touch on a guy that I went in on a couple of weeks ago when he fire John D Filipo, and I basically said for those that didn't listen, I would imagine a decent amount of you did that I called Mike Zimmer dinosaur said he was living in the past. And yesterday he was taken to the woodshed by Matt Nagy in Victorian GIO Matt Nagy and innovative young offense of coach that didn't even necessarily need to win the game. The Vikings had to win the bears beat them knocked them out of the playoffs. And I heard I'll give credit where credit is due. Kevin Clark friend of the show friend of mine a metal couple times through Twitter on the ringer. And he and he claimed on his podcast, and I agree that this. Vikings team in the new era post, you know, the two thousand eleven CVA moving forward is probably the biggest flop of of any team over that six seven year period. When you factor in how good their roster was on paper. They'd had previous success of the playoffs multiple times, given how much money they bought the quarterback for then not making the playoffs is is a all-time disaster. And I think Mike Zimmer deserves a majority of the blame was not. I I am lucky that through social media in Twitter. I got to meet Colin coward, develop a friendship, and then he asked me to do this. But the reason that I'm even doing this is because Colin coward who made his name in radio. Well before anything was streamed well before radio shows on television talked into a Mike that's how Colin coward became huge. And then he became over the last ten years, the biggest voice. Voice in sports, talk radio. What did he do? Did. He just just gonna keep doing the same old thing. No he expanded. Hell he changed networks. Two years ago. Went to FOX his podcast group. He created a podcast network. He does shows like he did a show. He did his radio show on television. He even does a Saturday podcast the majority of the year during the fall, it's the gambling lines with RJ bell during the offseason. He interviews. Interesting people. He's just always open mind, no different than coaches, Bella always willing open minded to do anything new. I can't stand people just hold onto something even when it's working and refuse to change. Like, I say this all the time about chip Kelly. Everyone tells me how smart is icy stubborn guy it's unwilling to change wherever adapt. So you can be intellectually, really brilliant. But if you're stubborn and you're never willing to even contemplate or ever willing. To do anything to Mick something up and be introspective and change and get with the times. I think that reflects on your intelligence I've worked in the radio business. It's clear where we're headed. No one under forty hops in a car. It doesn't immediately connect their phone all the new cars over the last several years or wifi compatible with your phone everything is streaming. So I call into such big numbers on his bod- cast every that's that's where the breads gonna be buttered here moving forward. Like I've been in radio at I've been now doing stuff like this this it's clear where this headed radio old school radio to me is like newspapers fifteen years ago. Like are they going to be dead and fifteen years now, but is it going to dramatically change one thousand percent and no different than football over the last several years. It's never become more important to have a innovative forward thinking and aggress. Passing game the rules or on your side. I liked bike Zimmer. He's my type guy in theory. But when he just hammers the table. Pound the table like we do for players draft meeting, no different than when you're trying to set the tone for your organization. I want to run the ball more. You take a Debretts and you go, Mike. It's never been easier. To throw the ball. We have to star receivers. We have a quarterback that now makes thirty plus million dollars. We drafted a running back two years ago in the second round that could have been a first round pick the can really catch the football. And we don't have a good blocking offense of line. Throw the football yet. He was adamant we we've fire John D flip. Oh, we gotta run the ball. Run the ball run the ball. So he goes in the biggest game of the year. We tried to run the ball. Yanked gonna run it. On Khalil Mack on Keam Hicks on roquan Smith on Danny trevathan on Leonard Floyd. Those guys are going to kick your ass. And then they're going to kick your ass some more Mike Zimmer living like a Dan dinosaur thinking that it's still nineteen Ninety-six deserve to get his ass kicked. If you're listening to this on Tuesday two days ago, it was his own. Fault for the archaic thinking refuse to think outside the box refused to admit and embrace. What is working in today's environment at home to lose that game embarrassing? I think you could justify firing Mike Zimmer right now, you know, I got to give a little credit where credit is due. I did not like their draft pick. Anyone that listen to the show knows that I am not big on running backs really high in the draft. I'm definitely not big on guard really high, but I'll take my hat occurs valor. And Andrew luck. And the colts organization to me this year was a muscle flex for two people one. I would say, you know, typically GM's don't get crazy buzz like over a period of two or three years and become the next Kyle Shanahan. Kyle kind of became an Atlanta. Adam gays was actually that guy before Miami hired him. You know, Pat Shurmur had a lot of buzz a couple years ago or. Just last year. Now, the giants head coach it's harder for GM's because we don't quite feel if you're not the assistant GM or the player personnel guy, or the college director is hard tell what you're really doing. But everyone that falls the NFL at heard the name, Chris Bala. I personally have never met him. I'm friends in no people with the chiefs that swear by them. I know Matt Nagy loves them vs loves them. Coterie love them. They all spoke highly of. But until you really know what a guy is doing. It's hard to quite quantify with a quarterback. It's pretty it's pretty easy. Right. It's black and white. I I never understood the Andrew luck haters. And maybe it's just as simple as in life. People resent greatness. Like, the dude was great in college. He gets rafted number one Ryan Grigson who I've worked with which was laughable when he was hired as the GM arguably go down as the worst general manager in NFL history. Almost ruined this great player. He took that team. He took Ryan Grim into the playoffs. Three times. Chuck pagano. Who somehow getting interviews? I wouldn't hire. Chuck Pagano is my head coach with a ten foot pole. But you know, Chuck pagawa was head coach Andrew luck overcame at all then this year with the help of Chris Ballard because I tip my hat to Chris Ballard, and maybe I. Should've thought about like the way I looked at the way they're draft had kind of the way they approached it you had to protect Andhra. I kind of get it. Now, maybe I shouldn't have been so stubborn like you can have you know, kind of hard hard set and concrete rules in life. But sometimes you have to be flexible too. You know, I wouldn't take running backs in the first round but saquon Barkley Zeke Elliott's I do get it that when you look at what Andrew luck accomplish this year with the help of Ballard and even. Josh mcdaniels left. Chris Ballard at the alter it still to this day. And we may never see anything quite like it again is one of the craziest things we ever seen in sports the end up with Frank rich. They start one in five Andrew early on. You know, as it should of hadn't played in a year and a half. He was coming off multiple shoulder. Injuries looks rusty. But for them to finish. What are they ten and six the sixty they're playing the Texans which they're getting two and a half points. I love the colts in this game for them to do what they did. It really is might be the best feel good story of the NFL in just speaks to Andrew luck greatness speaks to Chris Ballard and how good he is GM how the hype all those years about this guy this number two with the bears. And then the chiefs was justified. This guy was that good. And I think the combination of the two of them. And then you gotta get the coach some credit to I think there I saw they shot in to the to the lock. Ker room on CBS Frank right said we're only the second team in NFL history to start one of the make the playoffs. Then I was in the car today. I heard on the radio there the third team. So I'm not sure if it's the second or the third team. But clearly, it's an incredible accomplishment to start one and five and make the playoffs. That's not normal. You know last year the charter started Owen four finish nine and seven one game out. And they were clearly one of the hotter teams in the NFL. But this guy I think luck through thirty nine touchdowns this year. He does throw some bad picks picks never bother me. Like you watch him. He clearly is one of the most talented young quarterback. He's not that young anymore. But this is the fourth time he's gone to the playoffs. Three with Grigson. Who is just the worst general manager of all time the fourth coming back from shoulder injuries. After a one in five star with the head coach wasn't even supposed to be their head coach like this guy. I mean, how many more looking at a. Sure fire hole. Famer one of the great players we've ever seen. We're also looking at one of the more dynamic general managers. We've seen in recent memory crust the last couple drafts. He's done a great job because you have luck. You can take some flyers on guys and you're gonna hit Eric Brown. Boom stud now those two running backs. They have MAC and hind. Pretty good homes. Good if they get one more wide receiver to go with him. They're going to be in good shape their defenses. Good. Hopefully, they don't lose overflows. Also, give them credit. They hire before loose before they hired mcdaniels because the told them to and it turns out that guys. Just good. They got a good thing going. They went Allott, and they feel a lot different this time around than they did Andrew luck. First couple years when they were making the playoffs. They have a capable GM. Andrew just better now than it was back, then he's just smarter just more experienced, and they have a head coach that I still don't know that much about beside. Clearly, this guy's pretty solid and knows offense. Like Chuck gone. I didn't even know what he did their defenses were ten. Terrible. I know he knows nothing about office. And he clearly was awful a gay management. I know Frank. He's smart. He knows offense. He calls. The place is brings more to the table. You know, he brings a lot more to the table so hat tip to the colts. I don't know if Chris Bowers going to win general manager of the year. I don't know if lock not going to the MVP this year, he's going to get at one of these years because he's an MVP caliber player and just in just an incredible story of a slow start in incredible finish. And I'll tell you this. Because it's kind of lining up if they were to upset the Texans that means they would get the chiefs in the second round. That's that would be a tough first round the first game for the chiefs. Andrew luck. This this team. I think they could make a legitimate run in the AFC. Okay. Let's really quick wants meant too much time. It's crazy because Monday in the NFL black Monday, the playoff picture and everything kind of overshadows and clouds. We forget that the playoffs just happen on Saturday. And let's call it. What it is is a little bit of a dud. I thought the Clemson game actually looked worse than I even thought. And I thought Notre Dame had no chance they didn't belong. They have way too many over. You cannot have overachievers on your team and hang with Clemson rally. Bam or hell even Georgia or hell LSU. Like, do you understand the blue chippers that are playing in the south in those three or four league, obviously bama's in his own little world. And then Clemson LSU in Georgia like the level of talent. Which those teams have. I mean, Notre Dame's rolling out safety looks like a stiff in space couldn't cover any sort of NFL type receiver, and they just got work. They did not belong speedwise. And here's the thing. I don't ever wanna hear their argument anymore like you need to recruit and get better players because you do not belong with Ohio State with Bama with Georgia with Clemson like you're not in the same conversation. Same thing for the Pac twelve like, I don't want to hear your arguments anymore from now on it's clear I test when Georgia's a bad ass squad. They belong in when LSU wins one gay or loses one game. And they lose Alabama. They belong in Ohio State. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt moving forward over Notre Dame. They're dead to me. They don't they've proven their worth. And it ain't good enough. You not belong on the big stage. Now with the big boys. Like you've gotten your chance. Now twice in the last five or six years in you've got Ma. Ali waft. You got embarrassed. They ran circles around you like the dreams of the overachiever like give me the tough guy in two thousand eighteen in college football with Bama with Ohio State with Clemson. They will pull down their pants and take a gigantic poop right on your face. And that's what Clemson did it Notre Dame? They looked at him and said, you do not belong on the field us, and they didn't. Not in close like that quarterback. What was that in book story? And I guess he's better than wimbush the guy they had. That guy would start at Georgia at Bama at Clemson at Ohio State, come on. And then the other game I'll say this. He looked small and I'm starting to change my tune a little bit just his height would be somewhat of a deterrent for me. If I was Mike Mayock or just anyone thinking about drafting Kyla Murray as my quarterback. But one thing was clear as I just said about Notre Dame. They didn't belong on the field speed-wise. I'll tell you who belonged. I'll tell you the best athlete of the weekend. Was it was kinda Murray? He was running at a different speed. Now, if he's not a quarterback, I know for damn sure what he is. And that's an elite NFL athlete. Get the ball. Whether that's a hybrid running back receiver like Tabin Austin meets, you know, saquon Barkley meets Julian Ataman, don't even know what his position is. I don't even know if he can catch. But if you can catch he's a first round NFL player. He was. Remarkable just in terms of his play speed relative to the the Alabama team, which is clearly one of the fastest teams year in your out there size. And speed is remarkable. And he was flying around. It was is opening how facet is he is special. Now can't he play quarterback. Probably not. It'd be really hard because he clearly is really short, you know, but with the ball in his hands against other elite players, he is the elitist. You know, he's the best elitist isn't even the work. He's just he's on a different level. Speed was like you watch them you go. That's what Lee NFL speed looks like like again, if he can catch why couldn't he be elite receiver in the NFL level. I mean, look at the guys that are playing in the NFL. Small size wise. Now, I'm not saying he's Antonio Brown or anything. But what if he does a ball skills? Why wouldn't he plays outfield in like so he tracks the ball naturally as an outfielder? I would imagine I'm guessing he's got at least adequate hands maybe above average. If he does he's a first round player as an athlete, just as an athlete. So even if we've come to the conclusion, and I think it's you over react just like you can go both ways, but you typically overreact to one game positively or negatively with one player. So I'm not trying to overreact and say he can't play quarterback though, that was my first reaction. But my other reaction was he has one thousand percent and NFL player. One thousand percent has the chance to be dynamic NFL player. One thousand percent has a chance to be like a Pro Bowl offense of weapon. I don't even think that's arguable. I mean, I think Nick Sabin will tell you that. He's never played a player that fast. It was I opening how special this kid speed is. And I hope selfishly I wouldn't mind I'm doing both. But I wouldn't mind him given football try, even if it means guess chains positions. Okay. I'm gonna I'm gonna do a little exercise here. I wrote down both conferences the one through six seat in the playoffs. And I just did a little word association. I wrote one chiefs in the first thing I thought of couple of these. I'm not a word Smith here. So not an English. Major might be two words. But I tried to get one word the first thing I thought about heading into the playoffs clearly the chiefs patriots saints Rams advise, but I want one through six one through six we'll start with the AFC the first word that came to my mind because I think this is Ben one of the better NFL and start to finish. I think this is open of a playoff. Just it's often said you just. Wanna get into the dance? Anything can happen. I think that's never been more true this year. So I think this is as good maybe not top to bottom as playoff field. But I do think because they're at the top are the saints. The best team, you know, the chiefs are pretty flawed once but they are incredible on offense. Any of these teams, you know, just looking at it. I don't know. I mean, I would be the Moshe ach probably if the ravens won the SuperBowl, maybe Houston, but I could see the chiefs doing I can see the patriots doing the chargers. See the colts. Saints Rams bears. Dallas Seattle Philly Cialis winning. So let's let's start at the top chiefs number one. When I've thought just how I think about their season. How think about them going into the playoffs? The first word that came to my mind was innovative. I mean first year Patrick Mahomes starting what they do on offense affluent incredible, no coordinator, consistently adapt. His offense better to his personnel. No. Coordinator in. That's obviously Andy has been more open minded, and it's clearly taught his assistance you see Doug Peterson. You see Matt Nagy who playing each other to think like that too. And when I think the Kansas City Chiefs, and I think their offense wise think about their team, I think innovation. They operate like a startup, you know, like they've proven nothing always willing to try things. And it's really paid off this year, the patriots champions. I this is not a very good patriot team relative to other teams, I think they lack the high end talent their best player beside Brady gronkowski is a shell of himself from what he's been at its peak but hundred Pence once had a a line when the giants won their second world championship that he played on. Obviously they wanted ten twelve and fourteen and he gave a speech in two thousand fourteen when they made the playoffs to kind of a pre game speech doesn't usually happen in baseball. And the word he used was championship blood. Any looked at everyone in the room. He said, that's what's in here. The giants had no business winning that the ruled series, but they got that championship blood. And that's what you have your patriot. You had that championship blood that? Championship DNA. You can say what you want. They're not as talented not as explosive. All that stuff is true. I know this. I don't wanna play bell check and Brady in a winner. Go home game not in Foxborough. Not in my home building. I don't wanna play them. The Houston Texans. This is were my limited vocabulary came in. So this is two words use slash. So it's one top heavy. They have some blue chip players Hopkins. Elite watt clowney elite Watson baller, but I can't name Honey badger still really damn good. They're often the lines terrible. Lamar Miller is just a guy who's our second wide receiver who else they really have on defense. But they're top heavy elite players are so good all pro clowney and watt or dominant players. The Honey badger is still a elite versatile player to Shawn Watson is just special in the Andrey Hopkins. Arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL. So if you are going to be top heavy I want to be top heavy with that talent. Now kid they beat the patriots the patriots of own them. So if they were to beat Indy, I don't feel great about them going to New England, but I wouldn't necessarily count. Them out. The ravens a little flukey. I added a little but just fluky because they have a great defense defense as a unit is excellent. But they run a high school offense Lamar Jackson complete anywhere between twelve and fifteen Balza game. I'll tell you this in the NFL in the playoffs when it's third and seven everyone knows you're throwing you better be able to complete a pass. You can't run the triple option. You can't ask your quarterback to run for. You gotta go four five wide, and you got to complete a pass. I know that Mahomes can do it. I know that Brady can do it. I know that Watson can do it. I know that rivers can do it. And I know that Andrew can do it can Lamar Jackson. I'm betting against it. It's why lock of the of the whole weekend is the chargers beating the ravens the chargers again, not a wordsmith. So I had to use to hordes don't trust. How can you? This is a big game for Philip rivers. You can't lose to Lamar Jackson. It can't happen. You don't have to win the Super Bowl. But you had a great year. You gotta win a playoff game. Especially when you're playing a rookie quarterback there. Runs a school offense. So so you gotta find a way to win. But the end of the day the chargers still are the chargers, and I just don't trust them. I just really that simple though. By lock of the week is the chargers, I plan on putting a large amount of money on them, plus two and a half that doesn't mean I feel great about it. The colts ascending. I don't know if this their year, it's probably not. But I know album Breyer said on Collins radio show, the thought they had a chance to be a potential dynasty. I can't disagree. Andrew lock is a once in a generation quarterback. I mean, he's a manning. He's a far young Montana. Like, he's a all kind. Great. If you can't see it. I can't help you maybe start watching the WNBA or something. They're defense is really good. I talked about earlier there. Gm's really good. There are team on the come. And I'd be shocked next year. If they're not a one to see somewhere in there. They were going to be really good next year. Imagine when they don't start one in five. What are they gonna go twelve and four thirteen and three like to me them in the chief? So the aero points straight up at the sky. Let's go to the NFC the saints home field. And you're like, of course, they have home-field we'll for them it matters planet like they're just it's hard for me to see them losing. I just think they are going to go to I don't know who's. Going to sue by the AFC, you know, the chiefs. They haven't won a playoff games like Joe Montana at at Arrowhead patriots or flaw. The Texans are weird. The ravens is hard. I don't know. I'm pretty confident the saints are going to win their two home games. They're going to get the Cowboys probably in the second round. It's going to be redemption pretty easy to bulletin board. Material bet team beat them earlier in the season. And then they probably get the, you know, the bears the ramps in that NFC championship game. I think they win. There is not losing home. So I just when I think I could have. Substituted dome for home field like it just places. Not they ain't losing their the Rams this crazy because I thought they were the best team in the league a month ago. But when I when you say the Rams the first thing, I think of a soft. I just I have a hard time. Honestly, I don't think the bears win this game, which is going to be tough against philli. I think the bears go to LA and beat him. And it's just because they're just soft Aaron Donald not soft Todd Gurley not soft. But he's injured. Now he's gonna play in that game. You would imagine. I mean, I think there was a report today he's gonna play, but he's not one hundred percent now Aaron Donald bad ass. But the rest of their defense is not very good their linebackers are average at best. They do not cover very well. So of Aaron Donald doesn't get you multiple sacks. You're in trouble. The Namba consumes a good big body. He doesn't do that much. So I don't know, man. I just in this. Word. I have for the bears. Why think that they're going to win? They're going to be eagles. And I go to L A and beat them. They're tough. When I think the bears, I just think tough, and listen is not matter nearly as much as it used to. But what they do on defense. Does matter. They can rush the shit out of the passer MAC Floyd Hicks. They can bring it both their linebackers can bliss those two linebackers can cover sideline to sideline. So even if you're running outside those guys can track them down, and then they can cover, and I would imagine Jackson's gonna come back. They DVD's make place. They lead the league in turnovers. Just this Fangio's his two point over what he had with Willis Bowman all those guys in San Francisco. He's got it kinda Gannon Chicago. They are bad ass defense. The ravens are fantastic unit. To me, the bears are just elite players and unit. They're they're the best version of what the ravens just because they don't really have. Have as many of the blue chippers. They just play. Well, a group the bears were the best of both worlds. They play great as a unit, and then they just have all pro level players. Like, I'm telling you roquan Smith, not a Pro Bowl or anything. The guy's gonna be the best linebacker in the league. You once key cleaned Bobby Wagner, get a little over like in three years. Roquan Smith will be the best middle linebacker Lee. Dallas speed man. They are they are elite speed on defense the front. They can really rush the passer, both the linebackers, and Sean Lee, you got Vander s Jalen Smith, and Sean Lee if Sean Lee hamstring can be ripping anytime, and then all their DB's they can fly their defensive team speed, especially at home is suffocating, and they are playing Russell Wilson whose mobile, but I think those guys chasing after Russell. Everyone's picking it feels like Seattle Dallas in this game. I liked Dallas pretty comfortable. Seattle you gotta tip your hat to them. This was the first thing, I think of is culture that this was a culture year for them to have this much turnover beside Russell in beside Pete and John Schneider. Those three guys dictate the culture on the team their owner died all their star players long gone. Even Earl Thomas, I read a stat on Twitter led the team in interceptions. I mean play like three aims brokers lake led the team in interceptions. So just an incredible culture season for the Seattle Seahawks. And then Philly the first thing I think of is just one word it's false. I mean, Nick foles clearly last year tears ACL comes in they rattle often win the Super Bowl. This one of the more. Incredible couple months fans we've ever seen in NFL history. Then this year he starts the opening game on Thursday night against the Atlanta Falcons. Who at the time they had a bunch of injuries. But that team that the Atlanta rolled out week one was a playoff team, he beats them. So he's one though Carson gets hurt. Again. He starts the next week he loses. So he's one in one. Then Carson gets hurt. He started the last three games. He's won all three of them. So he's he won this year. Four of the five games. He started three of them thing about this three of them. And you could technically say because I know it was week one. But then one week one they never would have been in this position. But the last three games they had to win just to stay alive. They went nine seven. They were six and seven three weeks ago. Six and seven they needed the help from dinosaurs Zimmer, but you gotta just tip your hat to Nick foles beat the Rams beat the Texans playoff teams. Are those are two big time winds, and I watched it wasn't a great win. But they came in. We're up pretty easily the yanked out because he could bruises rips. But man, Nick foles what a story what an incredible twelve month run that the guys on. It's it's fun to watch sportsman. Okay. Let's do a couple quick middlekauff mailbags. As you know, I send you off until you're into your New Year's hangover. You are probably hung over listening to this. And I'll be back on Friday with a little playoff preview. But what's up John recent listener to the podcast? I love your takes big Vikings fan. Why wasn't a deep Lippo hater? He definitely wasn't getting it done. That said if the Vikings went out, maybe even steal a playoff dub does Kevin Stansky gets serious looks to fill the head coaching vacancy this offseason for another team. Well, this was obviously before the last weekend's game. I did see that Stansky is going to interview for head coach. I don't think he's going to get an opportunity to become a head coach. I would imagine he'll be the oh see with Minnesota Vikings next year that assumes. And I still don't think one hundred percent Lockton stone that Zimmer is back because like I said earlier, it's one of the biggest letdown seasons in recent memory, and sports, you know, it happens sometimes like with the Yankees and Red Sox when they like miss the playoffs when they're spending a lot of money. See sometimes baseball in football. Every once in a while a team that you just look at one hundred percent Locke should be a playoff team. They have a roster this just stacked then they ch. Know just destroy a ceiling of guaranteeing every penny contract to a quarterback that had never wanna play off game. Who was pretty good? We thought who solid even if you're not the biggest cousins guy, I think he'd have to admit like, you know, he's pretty good. But eighty four million dollars. They spent eighty four million dollars on a quarterback, and I get their line sucked. But if I'm gonna spend eighty four million dollars on a quarterback. I don't care if my life sucks we should still make the playoffs and they didn't make the playoffs. So I am not discounting the chance in the potential opportunity for Zimmer getting fired. Big listener to the podcast from an from a former NFL scout someone who's trying to pursue a job with an NFL team. What advice do you have when trying to get into working for a team? I would like to work in the equipment and or logistic side of the team. I can only speak from scouting standpoint. You know, I just I worked in college football. I always think the college football is the best stepping stone to get into the NFL for coaches for personnel. People for anyone. And so I'd always recommend going that route, you know, try to work if you wanna work with logistics. You know, try to get involved with athletic department or a football program wherever you may live the try to help you know, that team travel schedule. I don't know that would be my advice try to work for a college team. And that's usually a good kind of stepping stone to to get to the pros question for the pot. Couldn't Kyle try football for two or three years. And if it went poorly, then go pursue baseball one thousand percent on a mutt. Poor poor man's version. Like what we've seen Tibo do draft in the first round failed in the NFL. And then tried baseball. I think American be the much better version of that the difference is like he probably is not gonna to play quarterback he'd have to play other positions. So would he play wide receiver for a couple of years if he plays wide receiver and he can catch he will not fail? Like we've seen. How talented this guy is he will play. They'll give them end. Arounds? They'll snap the ball directly. They'll do a lot of shit for this guy. So I. If he went to the NFL unlike Tibo who could not play quarterback, I kind of can do so many other things that I think he would he won't fail. Now. I could see him maybe realizing I don't wanna not play quarterback. I wanna play other position. So I go I try and then I ended up doing something else. So yeah, I definitely think that would be in the cards. Well, watching the end of this Utah north western game, Pat FitzGerald who just actually they were down pretty big. I think twenty two three to Utah and came back to win this game. I think that's a guy to watch seriously for the next head coach of the Green Bay Packers. I think that that would one hundred percent being play next head coach the Green Bay Packers. I'm saying fifty fifty right now, Pat FitzGerald, thanks again for everyone for listening to nineteen is here super excited and just thanks. Thanks for everyone. That's been listening to this. Whether you've you've been here nine months or have long we've been going or you just got kind of in the mix last. Month to during football season. This has been a fun ride. We plan on making an even bigger two thousand nineteen so thanks again for everything. Thanks for listening. Three now podcast all rents some Freiburg.

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