Dec 14, 2012|
Mike Lombardi joins Dennis and Callahan to discuss the rumors swirling around that the Browns may be interested in bringing him in along with Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh's decision to bench Alex Smith, and the Patriots huge win over Houston.
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It is Friday eight patriot Friday and this is the -- we look forward to -- conversation with Mike Lombardi from the NFL network our conversation with Mike is sponsored by town fair tire and -- HSA. Insurance. Mike joins us on the ET NT hotline AT&T four GLT eat the morning mr. Lombardi -- I am great morning -- you let's discuss the elephant in the room right off the top shall we Boston -- Greg Bedard wrote a lengthy piece linking you with mr. Saban and the Cleveland Browns any truth that these. The elephant in the removal of the elephant trunks up on half. Like elephant with trucks dump I have a -- until in my house -- I think it's very flattering and I appreciate what Greg said about me which my mother was alive to read it. But the reality is I don't know I really don't know what's going to happen and transpire I know that. Any time they put that -- On campuses and you're still alive you're probably not gonna go anywhere and so -- -- I -- not speaking for him but I have a hunch that when they built those statutes. For a reason and I'm sure he could stay there -- -- Cleveland I don't know what they're gonna -- there on three game winning streak and you know I was there once in Cleveland and you know we left so I don't know what's gonna transpire at the end of the season what they do in -- -- what's gonna happen in the National Football League as -- relates to -- going back -- but. Even more important Mike Greg Bedard reports that you that Bill Belichick consults with you on a weekly basis and game plan risks related well. I think there's you know. One thing about. Bill and myself our relationship and I'm not gonna talk about it publicly but I think you know we'd like football together -- battle the -- -- bill anyway at all but we talk about football -- probably talks more about than anybody but. We will get you talk football and and in any time you're watching teams. Play you're always asking questions that I ask more questions of him and he would probably ask of me he's so it's -- it's a situation where. You know you'd you have a they thirst for knowledge and you wanna try to understand that the that you go to people that you trust and respect if you ask them questions as I do would build some -- on teams and and perhaps he may do that it at times with these so I think it's a situation where football. It's important in your life you're always gonna seek out people I talked a lot of coaches during the week and I try to. Ask a lot of questions about what's going on the game and I have a few opinions as you can probably tell about other teams so. You know you try to come up with the right conclusive evidence. If I can double back to Saban if he wins another national championship would there not be some part of him that would say well I've accomplished everything America possibly accomplished. Coupling that with I think it might still have some unfinished business. Where I didn't succeed in the -- I'd like to take care of does he think that way you think. Well I think I think you know -- obviously competitor and he's very much a guy that wants to. Succeed I don't know what picnic like the college experience that he left the Miami Dolphins and went to the college experience in this and what about -- could never sent to comfort. So we never gonna rest on the ball he's like Tom Brady like Bill Belichick he -- a look at the mammals in terms of the trophy that they want. He tried to go to the next challenge so I can't really speak for that I know the environment in college and the ability to control into the -- was really. Shell shocked that the probably the right term when when he wasn't able to sign Drew Brees and he had assigned. Daunte Culpepper and he'd lost control that medically in terms of running in the organization and I think that impact in the collective cultural. They before we turn our attention the patriots in the forty -- -- wanna go back to -- minute football and I'm wondering Michael Marty did Monday Night Football performance by the patriots. Change your opinion of either one of those teams the Texans or the -- Know -- -- last week we said whoever won the first quarter was gonna win the game up ahead you know and I think the Texans proved. To me that they have to play a style that they have to play from in front. That would they got behind fourteen and -- and -- and that that the patriot defense said OK -- to drop back passing game and the and the answer what we don't have one. You know we can't play catch up and I and I thought that you cannot play Tom Brady. In that kind of coverage and think you're going to be able to be successful and I think Tom would probably say there was a few throws. Whether west on the west at three drop you anymore you know there's a couple throws that were probably tumble like to have back because they were there so. You know I don't even think the patriots play during a game in terms of their offense but I thought they were good enough. While we thought the Texas defense was good and the patriots just had their way with -- separate Cisco's defense is better. Can we expect that same kind of game Sunday night eaters is Sanford sent -- too good. No I think there is really gonna think this will be the toughest -- the -- -- baseball season. You know this is the championship level defense that there's not a lot of easy place for example. You know you third and short burden to -- -- mean this is one of the best teams -- National Football -- keeping off the field they have great speed they can run. So there's not a lot of easy places not easy yards you're gonna have to make some -- yards up the field on them in terms of you're gonna have to be able to. Make explosive plays which is hard to do against them whether it's -- safeties Whitner. Our goal and you're gonna have to get it up the field and because they can run and you're gonna have to put your foot in the ground. They get the ball moving north and south to maximize your drives and really make sure that. The focus and concentration is the highest level because this will be a challenge for sixty minutes. Is it too simplistic to say that if the 49ers can get to Brady. Rushing for they'll be fine if they need five they might be in trouble. Well no you know I I think that the concern -- -- niner fan that's how they gonna handle the slot how they're gonna handle the middle the defense in terms of Welker in terms of trying to have a Hernandez -- the match up there are dumb people so what they have Patrick Willis in the horrible and they can probably do it well. You know those guys don't really have as much. You know they can cover but this is unique situation in terms recovering all the fields so. I I think if they try to blitz on the probably does much it does the the patriots more good than harm and I think they're probably don't -- their character that we get there with four and they usually can and they would just. Smith and Alex that would Justin Smith and and all of announcement coming off the edge among those key games. Very very tough to do prolong their athletic and they can run fast so. I think they're gonna play their game on the about the 49ers is there's really no secret to what they do if you just going to be. Let's be confusing in that locker when someone tells -- Smith Smith we got a call for Smith eight Mike. We did it make sense to you when Jim Harbaugh went to camper next obviously went to when Smith was injured but when he stayed with -- panicking as it makes sense now. It makes all the sense in the world for me because I think it's an illusion offensive for the cure walk because when you watch him closely they've thrown for 2500 plus yards. They've run for 2100 yards. They've really wanna run the football and part of the reason they wanna run the football is different. It's much like the Houston Texans but in a different way their offensive line's struggles -- 28 in the league at holding call. The 28 in the league in sacks allowed so they can't really pass protect and I know. They have a reputation around the difficult circle to be in a great offensive line they're an imposing looking offered someone -- -- -- run blocking. -- the right tackle Anthony Davis struggled on the edge the left guard Mike you party doesn't go play without holding somebody on every single down. So when they had the drop back in the past. It becomes a problem so what I think tar balls started she's made it look like. You know would put the cap pretend to pretend he's trying to Cunningham. To let him run around here but really reality of it is is we want to be able to run the football make explosive plays -- because if we have to make a living throwing the football all the time. We can't control the pace of the game and we're gonna fall behind sort I think it's an illusion type thing I think he's kind of made everybody become distracted. On one thing and what we're doing. -- know speaking of illusion like we talk about this all the time a loved your take on this. Can a team in the NFL and the team beat chew on the ground this -- such a thing I mean we know Adrian Peterson's on pace for 2000. -- 76 I mean. Would -- -- great running backs win. No no great run Mexico win and you can't all running the football those early in the -- to establish Google if you establish the run you establish noble cause. You can stop a running play you know third -- you you can stop -- -- is going to be situations. To score a lot of points in the NFL you have to make chunk yards you have to make for yards in the passing game now. The 49ers answer that is you know -- put -- on the field try to pick shut down the field. They'll put some guys there but the reality is they can make some -- charged with cap prediction unique ability to run this is Randall Cunningham and truly the sensible way that he's a big physical guy. He's fast. He's athletic he's got a long deliveries you can draw really hard fastball to be interesting on Sunday night. As it gets really cold in doing on the see how those receivers catch that football in the cold played football. But I think he's the guy that gives them those explosive plays where I think -- didn't think Alex Smith was over the give those exports supports. Mike the pats secondary clearly has unified gotten better molest those several for five weeks is to leave at the corner and recording at the safety the main reason. Yeah I think so I think certainly better safety plan and look at the last two games they've gotten term that made safe place from the safety position whether it's Gregory -- -- At the jets were driving down there in that game on Thanksgiving Day -- to -- is an exceptional job you know they were screaming at the -- that -- from the checked out of people who watched the tape closely. The ball came out a match up tempo for the checked out really he set down on the checked I mean that was gonna throw that ball from the beginning so. You know I mean that was the play -- according to the great job -- -- going to make him look like he was gonna go to the top in any kind of worked back way. And shop thought he could fit within their tightly and he didn't and I think when you get plays like that you get range place for your safety it really helped you and and I've given up big plays they're not given a -- yards means. The first play that the first third error of the game when they try to go up of up the field. Against Barry can you know on the ball was there an inmate to throw -- note that plays you know earlier -- season probably got completed that at this time and I think that's been. Been the difference and I think the other factors are moving more on defense. And when you have big physical defenders what they do in new England and you move -- they've become a real problem to block. And what introduce you to our new flash guy Kevin winners got a question for Mike Mike good morning Dario morning. Quick question with regards to Paul Tagliabue and the bounty gate at what point -- that Orleans saints practically -- Drew Brees just need to shut up these days. Well I mean you know look I I think what I would it was right I'd never thought in my that we set this on the program and our ability to blame the players were following out orders and that's what they're that they get paid to do their coach. And Eric and there are and there are lectured each day from the time they're Peewee football -- to do which coach tells you to do. And they were doing -- so to suspend players in the fine players for carrying out orders to me never seemed right now. Get to the people that will make in the plan and then I think you had to do something about it but. I'm with you it's hard to listen to it on target haven't -- attacked the league I mean clearly if anybody pays attention to listen to the Gregg Williams audiotape. You knew there was something going on there and and I think what's interesting is no one's up screaming about the fact that if they did in fact give money to players for getting inside. For making hits and doing things it's truly captivate and charge and -- -- and a Goodell could -- -- -- and say look they they were it not compliant with the salary cap dated reports that they should be find more. VP Mike. I think it's really hard -- inevitable that we're committed to Tom Brady is it's Peyton Manning I think it's going to be between those two guys having those two guys are are doing I think Tom's doing it. At a level where it's very quiet how he is doing and I mean look it's attributed Tom Brady the other day it was that that the Texans thought that they can line up on the team. The first play of the game in and play their base defense against the two to tight end to -- the look and you know and maybe they stopped the run a couple times but then -- this kind of work them down the field I'm not sure that's the right strategy and then of course Peyton -- comeback I think -- certainly the comeback player of the year not -- Peterson nations share and football problem more just dynamic players. In terms of the MVP isn't funny nine touchdowns and just four interceptions the tipping point of that debate. There really is I mean you know and and and and sometimes you know comics who looks so -- that you know you're you're watching and you think gosh if you -- there's more guards that were left on the field. Can he get a that you watch it and you had a couple played here America. That you know it -- that level of play that he has is so great that you that you wonder what he doesn't make every single play and I think that's truly a tribute to Tom's ability. If after this separate Cisco game's final question for me if growth is cleared to play in the final two would you play him or would you keep him. Wrapped in bubble wrap until the playoffs begin. Don't buy that every that -- -- had grunt but on the field against Houston that would have been even more nightmare because that they wanna play elect cover one against the clock it would have been really a problem I think -- gonna play you got to play football. If you're cleared to play I thought. -- -- -- I thought -- perhaps struck would be back this week you you know in terms of at least get on the practice field. But Woolsey I think is once he's cleared to play you've got to get him some reps and depending on where they are in the playoffs and if you get a play especially if you got a playground walked. You wanna make sure you're going around home where he doesn't he's not going in the game without any reps. Right good stuff Mike has always into the weekend we'll talk -- -- Michael board with Dennis and -- our conversation with Mike is sponsored by town fair tire and -- HSA. Insurance he joins us on the AT&T hotline. AT&T four GL TT right back to your phone calls on the rob Parker situation also -- we can back.