FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 28th, 2023
JUSTIN HERBERT, GENO SMITH, SEAN PAYTON, AND PETE CARROLL SPEAK WITH PETER KING AS HIS TRAINING CAMP TOUR CONTINUES IN TODAY’S “FMIA” COLUMN
“It puts tremendous pressure on (Brock) Purdy to play as he did in his magical eight-game run last season. To me, this was a trade that didn’t need to be made.”– King on the 49ers trading QB Trey Lance to the Cowboys
“Herbert looks and sounds like he’s in the best place he’s been in during his young pro career.” – King on Chargers QB Justin Herbert’s improvements this offseason
“He’s gonna be a lot closer to those 2021 numbers than he was the 2022 numbers.” – Broncos head coach Sean Payton on QB Russell Wilson
STAMFORD, Conn. – August 28, 2023 – Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith and head coach Pete Carroll, and Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton speak with Peter King as his 2023 Training Camp Tour continues with trips to the Chargers and Seahawks in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also discusses the Trey Lance trade, Russell Wilson’s offseason adjustments, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
Peter King on the relationship between Chargers head coach Brandon Staley and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr: “Brandon Staley has spent time with Golden State basketball coach Steve Kerr. He admires Kerr a lot. And Staley thinks there’s one significant commonality between a basketball star like Steph Curry and a quarterback. They’ve got a big edge when putting pressure on the defense. Kerr explained to Staley: When a defense can get set for Curry, there’s a lot of different ways the defense can take him out of the game. Then we’re grinding every possession, and it’s an 83-79 game. When we don’t let a defense get set, we can be in a free-flowing state. We can pressure the defense. We can dictate.”
King on Herbert this offseason: “With (new offensive coordinator Kellen) Moore and position coach Doug Nussmeier, Herbert looks and sounds like he’s in the best place he’s been in during his young pro career.”
Chargers OC Kellen Moore on Herbert: “That’s the stuff that’s blowing me away—how much volume he can handle, and how fast he masters it.”
Herbert after King telling him that it doesn’t look like his $262 million contract has changed him: “My father will be very happy to hear that.”
King on Herbert’s improvements in the new Chargers offense: “They say to me that Herbert’s gotten better at one of the most important, and underrated, parts of playing the position. That’s manipulating the defense. He knows how to use the freedom of the toolbox Moore and Staley have handed him.”
Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner on what he said to the opposing Seattle players last season during his lone season with the Rams: “When I played against the Seahawks last year, they had all these new guys. They’re talking trash. I’m telling them, like, ‘I had that jersey before you guys were even born. Don’t tell me what the Seahawks mean! I created what the Seahawks mean to you guys.’”
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll on Wagner’s standing ovation during his first preseason game at Lumen Field: “A great moment. And just wait—it’ll be greater opening day when he gets introduced.”
Geno Smith on what he wants to improve on this season: “I still feel like I don’t really do enough of the stuff on the move. Being able to create off-schedule. And then being able to attack a little more in the red zone.”
Smith on what he learned in the seven years between his starting jobs in the NFL: “The important thing to do is to take ownership, not make any excuses, not look for a copout…I just took ownership of everything and I made sure that when my opportunity came I’d be ready for it.”
TREY LANCE & 49ERS
King on the 49ers trading 2021 No. 3 overall draft pick Trey Lance to the Cowboys: “Why can’t a smart coach, knowing Lance’s unique situation, figure a way to get him some experience, mostly in practice but who knows? … You do not throw away something you believed in so strongly just two years ago.”
King: “The Niners can crow about being surprised they got a fourth-round pick for Lance. But it’s a terrible return, even for this damaged used car.”
King on what he would say to head coach Kyle Shanahan if he were team owner Jed York: “I’m going to take a more active role after the season in making sure something like this doesn’t happen again. No matter how well we do this year, losing three first-round picks in succession is eventually going to be felt significantly on this team.”
King on the ramifications of the trade: “It puts tremendous pressure on (Brock) Purdy to play as he did in his magical eight-game run last season. To me, this was a trade that didn’t need to be made. And shouldn’t have been made.”
SEAN PAYTON & BRONCOS
Payton on QB Russell Wilson’s offseason improvements: “He’s gonna be a lot closer to those 2021 numbers than he was the 2022 numbers.”
King on Wilson: “I have little doubt Wilson can resume the career of a top-10 NFL quarterback…The only way to go for Wilson was to submit to the coaching and the barbs of Payton, and I’ve heard that’s what he’s done.”
King on the Broncos: “The reality is that Wilson could be markedly better and Denver could be just marginally better.”
NEWS & NOTES
King on Steelers sophomore QB Kenny Pickett: “I think the young quarterback who made the most progress toward being a top-dozen QB in the league in the preseason is Kenny Pickett. The Steelers have to feel great about their team, and their quarterback, entering a season in a stacked AFC North.”
King on future of Rams DT Aaron Donald, a Pittsburgh native who was an All-American at University of Pittsburgh: “I think, for the record, Aaron Donald is not likely to play the twilight of his career for the Steelers. I hear it’s not a burning desire of his.”
King on Browns K Cade York: “Last week, he missed 47- and 41-yard field-goal tries in the final two minutes; the Browns tied the Eagles. This weekend, he had a 43-yarder blocked in the final minute in a one-point loss to Kansas City…Your move, Browns.”
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest news and updates.
- NBC Sports EDGE’s Rotoworld Football Show continues the NFL discussion and Bet The Edge Podcast provides daily betting insights.
- The NFL on NBC YouTube channel offers daily football content for free, with exclusive videos from Peter King Mike Florio, Chris Simms, and more. To access all of these videos and more, click here to subscribe
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.