FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 15th, 2020

DALE EARNHARDT JR. & BUBBA WALLACE ON NASCAR’S RETURN AT DARLINGTON; ANDY REID ON TODAY’S NFL OFFENSES — QUOTES FROM TODAY’S LUNCH TALK LIVE WITH MIKE TIRICO AND THE RICH EISEN SHOW ON NBCSN

“If you have to give up a few spots in those first 10 laps just to understand what your car can and can’t do, it might be the wisest decision you make all day.” – Earnhardt Jr. on NASCAR’s return at Darlington this weekend

“We don’t know what the cars are going to do diving into Turn 1 at one of the craziest, most historical places such as Darlington.” – Bubba Wallace on returning to racing this weekend without practice

“It’s exciting football right now…The great defenses have forced the offenses to be more creative.” – Chiefs coach Andy Reid on today’s NFL

“Rory (McIlroy) and Rickie (Fowler) are putting the best of the four of them…So, I think they’ll be the two guys that will end up being the most clutch.” – Paul Azinger on Sunday’s TaylorMade Driving Relief event

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 15, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid
    • NBC Sports motorsports commentator Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    • NBC Sports/GOLF Channel analyst Paul Azinger
    • Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio
    • World Athletics President Sebastian Coe

 

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

    • Six-time Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy
    • NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace
    • CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora
    • GOLF Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee
    • Actor David Spade from Netflix’s “The Wrong Missy”

 

Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on NASCAR’s return this weekend at Darlington: “There’s a lot of apprehension because of the way that we’re going to do this…Literally the first laps that these guys have ran in months will be under competition once the green flag drops.”

Earnhardt Jr. on this weekend’s race: “There’s just so much that can go wrong. Without practice, without qualifying, the teams are going to have to guess on the setup. This track is very abrasive, very rough, and it’s going to destroy the first couple sets of tires…That, to me, is the most compelling part.”

Earnhardt Jr. on Darlington: “If you have to give up a few spots in those first 10 laps just to understand what your car can and can’t do, it might be the wisest decision you make all day.”

Earnhardt Jr. on racing without fans at the track: “Under the circumstances, we need to get back to the racetrack…We need to get our sport moving again. We need to get money moving again in our sport to help these teams survive, to help the sport survive. So, it’s critical that we do this without fans.”

Andy Reid on today’s NFL: “It’s exciting football right now…The great defenses have forced the offenses to be more creative…We’re using the whole field now — not that we didn’t before — but we’re doing it to an extreme. These kids coming out of college, they’re throwing the football…You’re not dealing with kids who were in the I-formation running the football every down.”

Reid on the Chiefs’ draft: “We were picking way down there, which is a good thing but not always a productive thing during the draft…You have to discipline yourself to take who you think the best player is at that particular time. Normally we don’t take running backs in the first round, but here we’re sitting with Clyde (Edwards-Helaire) sitting there and going this guy is tremendous.”

Reid on QB Patrick Mahomes’ growth: “As a quarterback, you’re like a farmer. There’s always work to do. If you’re into it, and you stay humble, then you can get in there and you can correct yourself and keep working on perfection. He’s been able to maintain that mentality…That’s the great challenge for a coach — to give him one thing to even make him greater than he already is.”

Paul Azinger on the TaylorMade Driving Relief event taking place Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, Golf Channel, and NBCSN: “These four players (Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, and Matthew Wolff) that are going to play in this thing on Sunday are going to be four of the most confident players on the planet…I think it’s going to be a good match. It might come down to what Rory and Rickie can do because it takes local knowledge to play that course.”

Azinger on the skins format: “The pressure is always on the putter…You got Rickie Fowler…best putter on Tour now…Flowing, fluid, smooth looking stroke.”

Azinger on the best putters coming into Sunday’s event: “Rory (McIlroy) and Rickie (Fowler) are putting the best of the four of them, and they know the greens the best. So, I think they’ll be the two guys that will end up being the most clutch.”

Sebastian Coe on the current state of the Olympics: “I think the Olympic movement is strong. Clearly it’s been a very big setback not to have an Olympic Games scheduled when we were expecting it…Nobody underestimates the challenge of having to reschedule.”

Coe on the implications of postponing the 2020 Olympics on World Athletics: “You can’t just lift one piece of the jigsaw out of the global calendar, which is a very complicated matrix, without a knock-on effect…We’ve now moved (the 2021 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon) to 2022, which keeps the Olympic Games and the World Championships apart from the same season.”

Coe on the World Championships in 2022 in Oregon: “It’s really important for our sport to have a foothold, more than a foothold, in the U.S.…(The U.S.) is the powerhouse of track and field…We need to have the opportunities for American athletes to be earning their crust, to be performing in front of great crowds and audiences in the U.S., and at the moment it’s rather European-tilted. So, I’m hoping that we can really start developing more one-day meetings in the U.S.”

Coe on the Athlete Welfare Fund: “We’re not able to replace every cent of that prize money, but there are going to be athletes globally that are really struggling…So, we created the fund and we really do want to target those athletes that are most in need.”

Mike Florio on potential discipline surrounding James Harrison’s comments about Mike Tomlin: “I think as a practical matter nothing will happen…I believe anything that occurred before the Saints suffered their punishment in 2012 (for their bounty scandal), the NFL isn’t going to go down that rabbit hole. It’s been plugged with cement long ago.”

Florio on Tomlin: “Either he did it or he didn’t do it. It’s that simple. There’s no middle ground here…Eleven years after the fact, what can you really do about it? But I think at a minimum, the league should talk to Mike Tomlin, should talk to James Harrison. I just think they don’t want to open up that can of worms.”

Florio on Aaron Rodgers’ plan to meet with the media this afternoon: “I want to hear him get pressed on the things that Brett Favre said publicly, because Rodgers has only spoken to Favre…He has said some very pointed things basically acting as a surrogate for Aaron Rodgers. I want to know, does Aaron Rodgers agree with the things Favre said?”

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Bubba Wallace on NASCAR being the first sport to come back: “I think we are setting the tone for how this goes. I think there will be a lot of eyes on us because one, sports will be back on TV and two, there are some people out there that want to see us fail and can nitpick at every little thing if we don’t follow the right guidelines.”

Wallace on his health going into this weekend’s race at Darlington: “I’m as healthy as I can be right now. We are all on egg shells with the screening process, what goes down and takes place. It’s just kind of nerve-wracking because if one driver has it, it can all be taken underneath them. We are all taking extra measures (to be) ready physically, emotionally, mentally.”

Wallace on what he’s expecting for the race at Darlington: “I think we are all going to be mindful. We don’t know what the cars are going to do diving into Turn 1 at one of the craziest, most historical places such as Darlington. We will all be cautious, but don’t know when that might switch off, maybe lap two?”

LeSean McCoy on his future in the NFL: “I have a couple of teams I’m looking at. Some of the teams, I’m not entertaining the offers because I want to make the right fit. My career has been really solid, and I want to go out on the right foot. I want to play with a good team, a winning team. Some good (running) backs to teach them and show them the ropes a bit.”

McCoy on Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s demeanor during games: “I can name many times when he’s messing with players during critical times during a game. That’s what makes him special. There’s never a moment too big for him.”

McCoy on the player protocols and safety of the NFL season due to the coronavirus: “Well there’s nothing set in stone. There’s a big possibility that we will be playing with limited fans.”

McCoy on the hardest hit he’s ever received: “I don’t let anyone hit me, it’s not my game. The one time when I played against the Redskins, London Fletcher was the hardest guy I ever went against. Also, one-time LaRon Landry caught me in the ribs and broke them. That is probably my hardest hit.”

McCoy on training with Frank Gore: “He’s smart and trains with all of the younger guys to see if he can keep up. He doesn’t have to beat them but keeps up with them to let them know that he can still play.”

Jason La Canfora on the background of James Harrison’s envelope story: “I don’t know. We haven’t heard from (Steelers head coach) Mike Tomlin directly on it. Obviously, Steelers leadership and (James) Harrison’s agent have said, ‘Nothing to see here.’”

La Canfora on why Cam Newton is still a free agent: “It boggles my mind. I think the Ravens…should bring him in. You’re telling me he’s not better than RGIII (Robert Griffin III)? Can you get him for $5, $7 or $10 million? I don’t know what the price point would be, but obviously the injuries are significant.”

Brandel Chamblee on how the course will be setup for the TaylorMade Driving Relief event at Seminole Golf Club: “That’s a big unknown. It’s one of the most mysterious golf clubs in the world…It’s a wide-open venue basically, but with a lot of diabolical green complexes.”

Chamblee on Rory McIlroy being familiar with Seminole Golf Club: “Rory McIlroy is most familiar because his dad is a member and great friends with the president there, Jimmy Dunne. So, I’m sure Rory has played with the best.”

Chamblee on Matthew Wolff: “A lot of golf fans know Matt (Wolff), but for people tuning in that aren’t that familiar with the game of golf, I think they will have their minds blown by his swing. It is the most unusual golf swing that professional golf has ever seen.”

Chamblee on Seminole Golf Club: “It’s a masterpiece of a design created by Donald Ross, who designed it almost 100 years ago. It is known for its difficult green complexes. Within the world of golf tech architectural lovers, some would argue it’s the most difficult second-shot golf course in the world because of the tight fairways and difficult winds. It’s a very difficult golf course, but looks easy.”

–NBC SPORTS–