FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 28th, 2020

ANDY REID ON PATRICK MAHOMES; REBECCA LOWE & ROBBIE EARLE ON THE PREMIER LEAGUE’S RETURN — QUOTES FROM TODAY’S LUNCH TALK LIVE WITH MIKE TIRICO AND THE RICH EISEN SHOW ON NBCSN

“Quarterbacking is like being a farmer. The work is never done…It’s our responsibility to give him new challenges.” – Chiefs coach Andy Reid on QB Patrick Mahomes’ growth

“It’s giving everyone an absolutely massive lift.” – NBC Sports’ Rebecca Lowe on Premier League’s return to play plan

“The (positive test) numbers have been kept so low, there’s a confidence now that the Premier League can move forward and…finish the (season).” – NBC Sports Premier League analyst Robbie Earle

“I thought he was a first-round talent in the draft two years ago…He has a lot of Tony Romo in his game.” – Chris Simms on New England Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 28, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona
    • Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullin
    • NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms
    • NBC Sports motorsports commentator Jeff Burton
    • NBC Sports Premier League analyst Robbie Earle
    • Supercross rider and current points leader Eli Tomac

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

    • Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid
    • Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer
    • Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh
    • NBC Sports’ Rebecca Lowe

 

Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Robbie Earle on today’s announcement that the Premier League will resume its season June 17: “This has been a huge week for English football…It was so important that the Premier League made a couple of big steps forward…Exciting news for Premier League fans that it looks like ‘Project Restart’ has had a real kickstart in getting going. I look forward to the next three weeks.”

Earle on the Premier League’s recent testing samples: “I think the confidence the Premier League have taken — the steps moving forward — has been because it’s been underpinned by the high number of testing…I think because the (positive test) numbers have been kept so low, there’s a confidence now that the Premier League can move forward and, hopefully not only restart the Premier League, but finish the Premier League [season].”

Earle on Germany’s Bundesliga resuming play: “I’ve been hugely impressed…Concentration levels and fitness levels have been excellent.”

Terry Francona on MLB’s season: “I do think Major League Baseball is doing everything in its power to be prepared to play if we get a window…The one thing I do wish — I understand there has to be negotiations, this is a billion dollar business — I would prefer if it was done in private and not in the media, just out of respect for the 40 million people out of jobs right now.”

Francona on issues surrounding Minor League Baseball this season: “To lose a year of (player) development is keeping our organization and everyone up at night because you can’t get that back. When you are 18-22 years old, the most important thing to do is to be playing. It creates a ton of anxiety for all of us.”

Francona on how the team will operate if the season begins: “We don’t have a lot of answers right now. What we’re going to do is follow all the protocols and guidelines in place and then try and make it as easy and organized as possible for the players so they can get ready. That will be quite a feat, as you can imagine.”

Francona on pitchers staying ready during the hiatus: “If our pitchers fell behind, we were going to be playing catch up the entire time. I really believe our pitchers have done an excellent job in keeping their arms stretched out to a point where they can compete again pretty quickly.”

Francona on managing Michael Jordan in the minors: “It had all the makings of turning into a circus for a number of reasons and it never did. I give Michael (Jordan) all the credit for that. The biggest thing he did was respect the game of baseball and respected the people in the game of baseball and it made it all work.”

Chris Simms on a potential “Sky Judge” to be tested in the preseason: “To have that extra set of eyes, it’s hard for refs on the field to see everything, so I do think an extra set of eyes to help and act as an angel on their shoulder should help in a lot of ways.”

Simms on ranking Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham #35 on his top 40 quarterback countdown: “I thought he was a first-round talent in the draft two years ago…Very good athlete, can throw the ball all sorts of ways…He has a lot of Tony Romo in his game, and I know New England likes the mental aspect and how he handles himself as a professional.”

Jeff Burton on changes within NASCAR following the return to racing: “Normally, Cup races are relatively long, but this has given the sport an opportunity to look at perhaps some shorter races…Does a shorter race create more excitement, does it create more drama, and put the drivers on an immediate need to be more aggressive?”

Burton on the new NASCAR race schedule: “It’s changed how they are doing things, but I haven’t heard anyone — which is remarkable to me with all the changes, the protocols and all the things to get into the racetrack — who has complained about it. It’s all been positive.”

Burton on drivers who have impressed him since the return: “I think Chase Elliott has run really well, had a chance to win multiple races. Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick…and Alex Bowman. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, it’s been forever since Jimmie Johnson has won a race, but Jimmie Johnson. You’re starting to see him in position to win a race and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Jimmie win a race really, really soon.”

Chris Mullin on the differences between the NBA during the 1980s and 1990s compared to today’s game: “Free agency. There wasn’t as much movement with star players. The core stayed the same, which helped chemistry and teamwork…It was way more physical…The evolution of the game has moved further and further behind the three-point line.”

Chris Mullin on Michael Jordan: “Michael could show up to a practice after golf and dominate.”

Eli Tomac on returning to Supercross competition: “Most of us can rely on our past driving pretty well. The question is if you can go the distance…Within 2-3 days, your brain starts warming up more after you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Tomac on the excitement of Supercross: “How far we jump our motorcycles and the raw competition itself. We have really good energy in our sport from green flag to checkered (flag).”

Tomac on having seven events in under a month to finish the season: “That’s going to be the test for us and we’re going to be at elevation in Salt Lake…Cardio-wise, we’re going to be pushed to the limit…Recovery is going to be key.”

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Andy Reid on Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy: “I always knew that he knew everything about everything, so when I had a chance to make him the coordinator, that was an easy decision.”

Reid on his relationship with Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes: “It’s a trust thing…He trusts (me) and Eric (Bieniemy) and (Chiefs QB coach) Mike (Kafka) as teachers, and we trust what he brings us.”

Reid on how Mahomes can improve: “Quarterbacking is like being a farmer. The work is never done. There’s something in the game that you can work on and it’s our responsibility to give him new challenges.”

Mike Zimmer on the NFL season: “We’re preparing like it’s going to be a normal season.”

Zimmer on rookie WR Justin Jefferson: “I think every coach and GM say they were surprised that he was there when we picked him, but we really were this time…We felt like he was really pro-ready as he came in.”

Zimmer on Bill Parcells: “We’re pretty good friends. We talk every Monday morning…He’s a great mentor for me. He’s hard on all of his coaches, but for some reason I think he took a liking to me.”

Zimmer on the proposed fourth-and-15 rule change replacing onside kicks: “I’m against it. I’m a traditionalist. I like football the way it is.”

Zimmer on trading former Vikings WR Stefon Diggs to the Bills: “Buffalo came in and gave us all those picks and we were up against it in the salary cap. We felt like we could save some money and get a bunch of picks. Maybe get a young receiver, like JJ (Justin Jefferson), which we got. I wish him well. He’s a good kid, he worked hard for me.”

Rebecca Lowe on the reaction in the UK of the Premier League’s announced plan to return: “It’s giving everyone an absolutely massive lift at a time, I think, where desperation…was starting to creep in. We need positivity, we need lifting. We can be both concerned, and we can be both very, very clear with making sure all things are in place, but we can also be super happy and super excited…that something we love it is coming back.”

Lowe on the feasibility of the Premier League’s plan to finish the season: “I’m positive [about it], I think it’s feasible.”

Lowe on the PL’s planned resumption date of June 17: “At some point…we’ve got to try and get this thing moving because we haven’t got all the time in the world. There are people relying on this for all sorts of reasons.”

Lowe on the reception to the condensed schedule: “The great thing about human beings is we all adapt. Whether you’re watching it and find it jarring at the beginning, then a few weeks in it becomes the new normal, that’s the same with the players.”

Jim Harbaugh on the University of Michigan’s safety protocols: “There’s a great health system at Michigan, there’s a lot of smart people, and I have confidence that they’re going to give us the right direction. And I think it’s a really important piece, and we’ve done it, is reached out to the parents.”

Harbaugh on the University of Michigan’s approach to playing this season: “We’re respectful of what the doctors are saying, respectful of the virus. Ultimately, we want the health and safety of the guys, the coaches, the staff, everybody — the community — to be the priority.”

Harbaugh on Michigan’s quarterback situation: “That’s to be seen. We’ve got some guys we really love, and they’ve been chomping at the bit.”

–NBC SPORTS–