Tuesday, April 21st, 2020


“It’s incredibly deep…You probably don’t have a Randy Moss, but what you do have is a starter in the fifth round.” – John Lynch on the wide receiver class in the 2020 NFL Draft

“It’s not just the production on the field that you lose with Tom Brady. When you walk into that locker room and you see Tom Brady…him practicing…him encouraging guys. That’s what you miss.” – Rodney Harrison on the Patriots

“As you look at the New England Patriots today, I think Andy Dalton will give them a better chance than Jarrett Stidham.” Cris Collinsworth

 “It is a very difficult thing to win a World Cup and go on to win an Olympics, so I think this is going to definitely give us an extra edge to bring home the gold.” – Carli Lloyd on the Tokyo Olympics’ postponement until 2021

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 21, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • NBC Football Night in America analyst Rodney Harrison
    • Penn State football head coach James Franklin
    • USWNT Olympic and World Cup Champion Carli Lloyd
    • Notre Dame Defensive End Julian Okwara
    • NBC Sports’ Paul Burmeister


The Rich Eisen Show followed Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN, as host Rich Eisen was joined by:

    • San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch
    • NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth
    • Actor Billy Gardell from CBS’ Bob Hearts Abishola


Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Rodney Harrison on Tom Brady leaving New England: “Everyone wants to compare coach and player, as opposed to really appreciating what we’ve experienced with Tom Brady. Tom Brady was there for 20 years and it’s very difficult to play for coach (Bill) Belichick…I’m happy because Tom got an opportunity to experience free agency.”

Harrison on if players who leave New England lose out on the satisfaction of winning: “I don’t think they go (to other teams) to experience something different. I think they go there to get paid. A lot of times when you play for the Patriots and you win a Super Bowl, you become a free agent. A lot of guys get paid.”

Harrison on if the Patriots can keep winning without Brady: “Talking about 13-3, 12-4 consistently? No, I don’t think they’re right there yet. We don’t even know who their quarterback is…It’s not just the production on the field that you lose with Tom Brady. When you walk into that locker room and you see Tom Brady — the guy that’s been there for 20 years, the GOAT, one of the greatest of all time — him practicing…him encouraging guys. That’s what you miss.”

Harrison on people debating if Brady or Belichick was more important to the Patriots: “I just think it’s such an injustice to all the other great players that have come in and really made major contributions to all those championships. It’s not just Brady, it’s not just Belichick.”

Harrison on the 2020 NFL Draft: “There’s a heck of a lot of great defensive players…If you can draft Tua and you can sit and you can wait, you’re getting a leader…That instant credibility walking into that locker room because people are going to look at him and say, ‘That is the toughest dude I know.’ For him to come back, they’re going to run through a brick wall for Tua…I think it’s going to be a home run long-term.”

James Franklin on Penn State draft prospect WR KJ Hamler: “He’s awesome in meetings. In the locker room, he’s a culture-driver. On the football field, he can change the game in a minute on offense or special teams.”

Franklin on Penn State draft prospect DE Yetur Gross-Matos: “His best football is ahead of him. I still think he’s a very young football player…As a freshman, we were trying to decide if we were going to redshirt him or not, but he was just too big, too strong, too physical…I think he’s got a very bright future.”

Franklin on how much time his team would need to prepare for a potential season: “I’m a big believer that we should be trusting the (medical) experts…From a football coach perspective, I think everyone would like six weeks. I think that would be ideal…I think if we had to, we could get it done in four weeks.”

Carli Lloyd on if the Olympic postponement has changed her plans to participate: “Not really. I’m actually kind of excited because it gives me and my teammates another year to prepare…For a soccer player, there are details that go with the training, but it’s not heavily reliant on when you’re pushing or when you’re not.”

Lloyd on if it’s difficult to gear back up for the Olympics so soon after winning the World Cup: “It is difficult…To have those back to back, it almost seems a bit rushed…We had to quickly turn our heads and get ready for Olympic qualifying in January…It is a very difficult thing to win a World Cup and go on to win an Olympics, so I think this is going to definitely give us an extra edge to bring home the gold.”

Lloyd on desire to continue to be the best: “It’s the work, it’s the grind. I’m obsessed with the work. Every single day, if I’m not doing something to get better, I don’t feel good about myself.”

Lloyd on the potential of kicking in the NFL: “We’ll see. I always like a challenge…I have another year at least of soccer and then anything is possible.”

Julian Okwara on his recovery from last season’s broken fibula as he prepares for the NFL Draft: “I’m 150% ready to go…There’s no issues, I’m ready to go. I’m looking forward to this season. I sent out a video to make sure teams know I’m ready to go.”

Okwara on his brother, Detroit Lions DE Romeo Okwara: “We’re actually supposed to, after this interview, go run some hills…We definitely wanted to find some time to work out and spend the week together…He wanted to spend time and enjoy the draft with me, so it’s been nice to kind of go out there and grind with him.”

Okwara on if he’s worried about mock drafts and where he may be selected: “I blow it all off. My brother went undrafted and he’s going into his fifth season. There are a lot of first-round picks who don’t even play football anymore, so I’m not worried about that stuff…At the end of the day, I’m going to get a shot and it just matters what you do with it.”

Paul Burmeister on the Bengals’ first overall pick on Thursday: “I think it’s as interesting a pick in round one, not because of the element of the unknown, but because are (the Bengals) going to get the Joe Burrow that we saw on tape this last year?…I can’t wait to see if that’s the guy that shows up for them.”

Burmeister on who the second QB drafted will be: “In listening to evaluators and GMs, they like safe. They like to be able to cover themselves…I think this injury with Tua (Tagovailoa) and teams’ lack of ability to get time with him is going to lead whoever takes that second quarterback to taking Justin Herbert over Tua.”

Burmeister on his evaluation of Herbert: “I’ve seen a guy that I love to watch…He makes everything look easy…There’s so much talent there, upper body and lower body, that I think he is going to be the second guy.”

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

John Lynch on the 49ers’ rehearsal for the NFL Draft: “Over the weekend, we did an internal mock and it was a ‘you know what’ show, but you have to go through that. As much as you plan out in your mind and until you go through the scenario, there are unforeseen issues.”

Lynch on the Bengals’ technical issues during the NFL’s draft rehearsal: “That’s kind of what happened on the very first pick. Cincinnati was having technical difficulties…right after that it was very smooth, and I think that’s why we did it.”

Lynch on the 49ers’ draft position: “We have a big gap between those two first-round picks and where we are going in the fifth round. Would we trade that? No, that helped us get to the Super Bowl and gave us a real good chance in winning it.”

Lynch on the depth of this year’s wide receiver class in the NFL Draft: “It’s incredibly deep. This is my fourth draft in this capacity, and this is as good of a class as I have seen. You probably don’t have a Randy Moss, but what you do have is a starter in the fifth round.”

Lynch on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo: We are more convicted than ever about who our quarterback is in Jimmy Garoppolo. The guy has done nothing but win since he’s been here…He’s a tremendous teammate, very talented young man, and I think his best football is ahead of him.”

Cris Collinsworth on what Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were able to accomplish in New England: “When you think about it, you have a sixth-round draft choice on one side and on the other side, a guy fired from the Cleveland Browns. The unlikely nature of that perfect storm coming together to do what they remarkably did is mind boggling. I’m not sure we will ever see anything like it again.”

Collinsworth on possibility of the Dolphins selecting Tua Tagovailoa: “A year ago at this time, it was ‘Tanking for Tua.’ I did my mock draft and tried every scenario to take Tua out of Miami. I couldn’t make it to make sense.”

Collinsworth on Justin Herbert: I’m putting Justin Herbert at No. 7 (to the Panthers). You have a whole new look going on. Cam Newton is gone, Matt Rhule comes in. They like the downhill throws and there’s nothing Justin Herbert can’t do.”

Collinsworth on the Giants selecting at No. 4: “If I had to stay put (at No. 4), I want a freak up there and, to me, the freak in this draft is (Clemson’s) Isaiah Simmons.”

Collinsworth on future Patriots quarterbacks: “As you look at the New England Patriots today, I think Andy Dalton will give them a better chance than Jarrett Stidham.”

Billy Gardell, a Steelers fan, on Pittsburgh’s offseason: “I love that they stick to their number in the NFL Draft…but I do believe that you have to turn the dial a bit these days because the market is too in flux now…I would love a closer like Leonard Fournette now.”

Gardell on Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers: “I think (Ben Roethlisberger) will come back strong and we will have a great year with that defense. If we can find a running back, then I think we’re going to be in the mix.”