Thursday, May 14th, 2020


 “We have to really emphasize and feel good about coming off the hauler and being ready to go…It’s going to be a whole new experience.” – Kyle Busch on NASCAR’s return at Darlington

“I try to give the guys guidelines as soon as they’re concrete…I don’t want to throw out some stuff to them and say it has to change.” – Falcons head coach Dan Quinn on his communication to players

“We better not get off to the start we got off to last year…The formula to win championships is not to go on the road in January.” – Mike Vrabel on the Titans’ schedule

“We are optimistic we will play a 12-game schedule.” – Clay Helton on USC football season

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 14, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • NASCAR driver Kyle Busch
    • USC football coach Clay Helton
    • NBC Sports Olympic correspondent and tennis analyst Mary Carillo
    • Professional surfer & World Surf League champion Carissa Moore
    • NBC Sports/GOLF Channel reporter & host Steve Sands


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

    • Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew
    • Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn
    • Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel
    • Former MLB pitcher Barry Zito
    • Actor Daveed Diggs from TNT’s “Snowpiercer”


Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Kyle Busch on returning to racing this weekend: “It’s going to be different…There’s going to be compromise with the crew chief…We have to really emphasize and feel good about coming off the hauler and being ready to go…It’s going to be a whole new experience.”

Busch on if Darlington is the toughest track to return to: “Absolutely…no question. Some of the racetrack is only one car-width wide and now you’re putting all of us out there with no practice — haven’t been in a car in two or three months — it’s going to be pretty crazy.”

Busch on the start of the Darlington race on Sunday: “That’s going to be the most interesting part. For me, I’m going to fire off the race around 50% at turn one…When the first caution flies around Lap 30…I think that will be firing off time and (everyone will be) ready to go after it.”

Busch on NASCAR’s return: “I think it’s a great opportunity for us to go out there…While we’re all eager and excited to get back to racing, I have a great respect for the responsibility that comes along with that.”

Mary Carillo on holding the 2020 French Open in September: “Tennis is so international…I think it’s going to be very, very tough. At Roland Garros…they certainly wouldn’t be able to have the same attendance…(and) attendance is key for the sport, more so than the NBA or NFL.”

Carillo on merging women’s and men’s tennis governing bodies: “Billie Jean King wanted it back in 1970…it’s a very complicated process. I liken it to The Godfather with the five families and everyone wants to hang on to their piece of the pie…It’s a big, big thing.”

Carillo on the 2020 “Beverly Hills Dog Show Presented by Purina” airing this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC: “It was tremendous. There were around 2,000 dogs. Kind of a surprise who won, I’m not going to tell you who…but dogs are amazing. There’s no other mammal on Earth that comes in as many shapes and varieties and were bred to do so many things.”

Clay Helton on being the head coach of USC: “As coaches, we’re all competitors and always want to be at the pinnacle of the mountain. That’s what USC is in my opinion, one of the pinnacles of college football. It also comes with a responsibility of a standard of excellence that is expected year in and year out…I truly believe when you’re in one of these jobs, whether it’s elite college football or the NFL, you’re on the hot seat every year…I love the standards and expectations.”

Helton on recruiting during the pandemic: “To be able to see the future of what recruiting is, the technology side, from video production to graphic design to brand marketing. Things that you’re not relying just on the brand and tradition, but also what 18- to 21-year-olds do on a daily basis…Social media content has really helped us too.”

Helton on the upcoming season: “We’re all hoping for a 12-game season…At the end of the day, it’s going to be about the health and safety of our players and staff and what is determined by local and state officials. We’re in the unknown right now…We are optimistic we will play a 12-game schedule.”

Helton on communicating with his players during the pandemic: “For the student-athlete, it’s about getting them to focus on what they can improve on today personally — mind, body and soul…and let leadership focus on the long-term.”

Steve Sands on the TaylorMade Driving Relief event taking place Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, Golf Channel, and NBCSN: “I couldn’t be more excited. I think it’s going to be a fabulous event that raises a lot of money for some great causes…We’re expecting fabulous golf. These are four world-class players ready to compete.”

Sands on Seminole Golf Club, which will host the TaylorMade Driving Relief event: “Seminole is one of the most revered courses in the world…It’s going to be spectator viewing, not just for golf fans, but sports fans getting back into some semblance of normalcy on Sunday.”

Sands on the PGA TOUR returning in June at the Charles Schwab Challenge: “I think the litmus test will certainly be the first couple of days at Colonial (Country Club), but everything else will fall in line and follow suit because I think the guys understand that times have changed…They want to get back after it. Whatever the rules are, they are OK with them.”

Carissa Moore on surfing becoming an Olympic sport: “It’s huge having surfing be a part of the Olympics. When I was a kid, it was something I didn’t even dream of but the past couple of years, it became a reality. It’s huge for surfers to compete at that level, and I’m excited to see how the world perceives it next summer in Tokyo.”

Moore on the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics: “Obviously it was a bit of a disappointment at first, but I really do believe that it was the best decision for everybody.”

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Rod Carew on how he got into baseball: “I played stickball in Panama. We used to put the names of Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams and all of the great hitters on our broomsticks and that’s how we started…I always wanted to be a Major League Baseball player.”

Carew on toughest pitcher he faced: “The main guy was Rudy May, and also Ron Guidry. Those were guys who I really had to have my game on that day.”

Carew on which pitcher he fared best against: “Catfish Hunter. I think I did real well against him…When he was on the mound he didn’t play games.”

Dan Quinn on his communication to players: “I try to give the guys guidelines as soon as they’re concrete…I don’t want to throw out some stuff to them and say it has to change.”

Quinn on player communication: “It’s a customized offseason program at the moment. We’ve had meetings where they’re one-on-one, the next phase is one-on-some.”

Quinn on Todd Gurley’s readiness: “When Todd gets here, we’re going to make sure we get the best version of him. What does the practice week look like to make sure on Sundays we get to feature him and all the best stuff that he does?”

Quinn on coaching under Steve Mariucci: “He made our transition from college into the NFL as smooth as it can be. It was the ideal spot to learn and watch him.”

Mike Vrabel on the Titans’ virtual offseason: “I think we’ve handled the distraction of the virtual offseason program very well.”

Vrabel on the plan for the season: “We can’t eliminate distractions in everything we do, we can only handle them. And I feel like our team understands that, and embraces that, and appreciates that.”

Vrabel on the Titans’ schedule: “We better not get off to the start we got off to last year. We’re going to have to get off to a better start. We have to start hosting some of these playoff games. The formula to win championships is not to go on the road in January.”

Vrabel on facing Tom Brady in college: “I said to him ‘I always wanted to sack you in college, but you never played enough.’”

Barry Zito on his time in San Francisco: “I signed this contract, I tried to over perform, throw a shutout every game.”

Zito on the mental aspect of pitching: “It’s a team sport, but in a lot of ways it’s an individual sport. It’s pitcher vs. batter.”

Zito on the batter he was most confident against: “For whatever reason, I had good success against Alex (Rodriguez).”