“INSIDE THE NFL™” TALKS WILD CARD WEEKEND, BUFFALO BILLS AND HEAD COACHING VACANCIES
Premieres Tonight, Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME®
NEW YORK (Jan. 2, 2018) — This week’s installment of Sports Emmy® Award-winning studio show “INSIDE THE NFL” premieres tonight, Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. Host James Brown is joined by expert analysts Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason and Ray Lewis in-studio to reflect on Week 17 and look ahead to the postseason.
Tonight’s show is highlighted by a preview of this weekend’s AFC and NFC Wild Card games and NFL Senior Writer Judy Battista joins the cast to talk about the League’s head coaching vacancies. Plus, CBS Evening News anchor, Buffalo native and Bills superfan Jeff Glor stops by to discuss his hometown team reaching the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay and more are wired for sound. Click HERE to watch McVay on the sidelines.
INSIDE THE NFL covers every game, every week, with trademark highlights from NFL Films including this inspirational speech by Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn following Sunday’s game against the Raiders, special in-depth features and spirited debate on the hottest topics in the NFL. The show is produced by CBS Sports and NFL Films and airs every Tuesday during the NFL season through Feb. 6, 2018.
The executive producers are Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports and Ross Ketover and Pat Kelleher of NFL Films. Pete Radovich Jr., the Emmy Award-winning Creative Director for CBS Sports, serves as coordinating producer.
For more information about INSIDE THE NFL, visit SHO.com, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and join the conversation using #INSIDETHENFL.
Following are excerpts from this week’s episode:
On the Buffalo Bills reaching the playoffs for the first time since 1999…
Jeff Glor – “There were three games in a row there that were some of the worst games I’ve ever seen, we [Bills] just got crushed. I think it was three-and-a-half games if you count the second half of the Jets game. We were all like, what is going on? They were playing above expectations to start the season, and then way below them. We evened out. Based on where the team was after those games, I thought there was no way. The Dolphins game itself was not the greatest game in the world – that game was wrapped up in the fourth quarter. In terms of the moment the Bengals-Ravens play happened, it’s certainly right up there with the comeback over the Oilers.”
Boomer Esiason – “Here’s the best thing about this playoff matchup between [the Bills] and the Jaguars – it’s two teams that have been out of the playoffs for so long and now they’re fresh faces.”
With regards to the Rooney Rule and the Oakland Raiders…
Judy Battista – “I think this is one of the holes in the Rooney Rule that frankly I’m not sure how the league fixes it. The case of the Raiders is there is a superstar coach candidate available that they can get [assumed to be Jon Gruden]. If you’re in that position to go out and get him, you want to get him and you want to lock it up fast. How do you then do the Rooney Rule interviews? How do you interview minority coaches, which everybody agrees is a good idea and good for the league, but how do you that without making them sham interviews? They’re going to go through the process. It’s going to be sham interviews. There are going to be guys interviewing who have no chance to get this job. And then the question is, is that a good thing? Is that a good thing for those candidates to go through that process? [Yes] I think it is a good thing to go through that process.”
Boomer Esiason – “I personally think it’s insulting, actually. We all know Jon Gruden is getting the job. He’s going to be on the sideline and quite frankly, if I’m a Chiefs fan or if I’m Andy Reid, I don’t want him doing my game on ESPN this week either. I’m sorry, you can’t have both jobs. You have to take one or the other and we all know he is taking the Oakland job. And good for him. I hope he is successful. I feel bad for Jack Del Rio and his staff. This is the reality of the NFL. I think Jon Gruden is going to be great. He’s going to be a breath of, I don’t know if it will be fresh air, but he will definitely be a breath of air.”
Phil Simms – “I don’t think it’s insulting. I really disagree with that. Listen, if I was a minority coach and Jon Gruden is getting the job, you go out there and interview. Why? Because it’s a great process to learn more about it so when your turn comes you can get it. But also, you’re going to get publicity and people will say, ‘Oh, he’s a head coaching candidate.’”
On the AFC Wild Card games…
Boomer Esiason –“The guy who is under the most pressure as these playoffs start? In my eyes, that’s Alex Smith. Alex Smith most likely is not going to be playing in Kansas City next year … When you take a look at his season as a whole and you look at the numbers, they are pretty impressive. As a matter of fact, they’re the best numbers he’s ever put up. I want him to play aggressive. I want Andy Reid to play aggressive because they are going to try to take Kareem Hunt out of the game. And if they do that you have to throw the ball. So this is on Alex. I think they will win and this is going to be a tough spot for Marcus Mariota.”
Phil Simms – “Dick LeBeau, there’s one thing that we know he’s going to do in this game. He’s going to hit the quarterback. No matter what the price is. He loves to do that.”
Ray Lewis – “I like Tyrod Taylor. I like what the Buffalo Bills are doing. Congratulations to them again, but without ‘Shady McCoy’ fully healthy, that’s a tough task to go in there [Jacksonville] and win.”
On the Falcons at Rams Wild Card Game…
Boomer Esiason – “There is something that tells me that the Falcons are ready to roll … I know Aaron Donald presents a lot of problems for a lot of teams but if there’s going to be an upset this week, I think it’s the experienced Atlanta Falcons against the upstart, young Sean McVay-led L.A. Rams. L.A. has not played great at home.”
Phil Simms – “[Atlanta] It’s the fastest defense in the NFL … But let’s think about Sean McVay, who has he played in his division that mirror the Atlanta Falcons? That’s the Seattle Seahawks. And one thing they did against the Seattle Seahawks, they knew the pass plays that worked against that style of defense, and they exploited them up there in Seattle just a few weeks ago. There are some holes in that defense when you look at Atlanta. And I think that the Rams with the week off, and Sean McVay probably putting all his efforts into the last two weeks just getting ready for whatever it’s going to happen here, that’s going to be enough to get it done. Devonta Freeman and that running attack by the Falcons, you are right, it can be lethal but the one thing [about] the Rams, they can pursue.”
On the firing of six NFL coaches…
Judy Battista “Black Monday is the most brutal day of the year, I think. Fans get excited about changes to their teams but everybody forgets the fallout.”
L.A. Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn postgame locker room speech…
“Regardless of what happened with these other teams, I’m so proud of you, so proud of you. I can’t tell you how many times I prayed during this season that God would give me words to inspire you. You guys, you really inspired me and the rest of the coaches in this staff. You never stopped believing in yourself. You never stopped believing in one another. You stayed committed to the process and you competed. You always competed. I love you for that and I appreciate you. If we don’t get in this year, we are building something here. We are building a culture. We are building a championship culture.” (Click HERE to watch video).