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Talking QBs, leadership and CTE

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The Afternoon Drive hit on lots of football-related topics with NFL veteran Mike Pritchard.

San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Afternoon Drive had its usual Monday night conversation with NFL veteran wideout Mike Pritchard on the show, and once again they talked about lots of different things football related.

And so it seems appropriate to go with the “he said/she said” format once again ;)

Pritchard opened the show mentioning that he’s “struggling with 47,” which confused hosts Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro since Pritchard turned 47 nine months ago. But the former wide receiver noted his “bad back, bad body” plus discussions with doctors about knee replacements and shoulder surgeries certainly do not make him feel any younger, and “you can throw CTE in there too,” he joked.

So that prompted Goodman to ask the former CU Buffs MVP this:

#1 - Knowing what you know now, would still play football?

He said:

“I would have, but I would have played it differently. In my younger days, I was a running back, then wised up and moved to the outside away from trenches, but you still take some vicious hits out there. It’s a physical contact game, and you do your best to build your body up...I look back, watch games, relive memories and think, ‘yeah, I’d do it all over again.’ ...The benefits outweigh the negatives for sure by a long shot. I wouldn’t deter anyone from playing the game, I’d just make sure they’re playing the right way.”

She said:

I never played a contact sport, but I certainly contacted the floor more than intended while competing in gymnastics. And despite the injuries at the time, and “the bad back” now, I feel exactly like Mike here - the experience had far more positives than negatives.

I’ve made a case before about the NFL needing to do a better job with concussion protocol and leading CTE research rather than deterring it, so I appreciate Mike saying players need to “play the right way,” though I wish he had elaborated on how and what he would have changed from his own time playing. If the NFL wants to protect this sport, then it has to insist on protecting its players.

Soapbox over ... for now.

#2. Demaryius Thomas wants a quarterback named before the second preseason game - is that being impatient?

He said:

“He brings up a very strong point. Nobody likes uncertainty. The closer the season gets and that uncertainty still exists and the nervousness...then all of a sudden you’re panicking.

The coaches would rather name the quarterback sooner than later. They want some guy to distinguish himself so much that it’s clearcut who the starter should be. Whether that guy emerges is up to the guys competing.

If I’m competing for that starting QB job, day no. 1, I’m trying to assert myself and say, “I’m your starter and here’s why.”

She said:

I’m not going to argue against any of that. As annoyed as I get with the “QB competition” debate, I want whoever the starter is going to be - Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian (listed by alphabetical order if you’re wondering) - to be named asap and that’s that.

No looking back. No arguing the other might jump ahead if... Just name the starter and move the [bleep] on.

If Siemian starts, let’s teach that boy how to do a press conference and get going. If Lynch gets the nod, let’s make sure he never does a dab in public again and get in that playbook. If Chad Kelly starts, then alert security. If Kyle Sloter wins the j...OK, I’ll stop there.

#3 - Les Shapiro believes Vance Joseph has said a lot of things leading media to believe Siemian has the upper hand - but he wonders:

Are coaches waiting because John Elway wants them to since Paxton Lynch was his first-round draft pick?

He said:

“It’s possible, but for Paxton...at what point is it on him to step up and be ready? You...”

She said:

I have to interrupt here. Of course it’s on Paxton to be ready. It’s on Trevor to be ready. It’s on Demaryius to be ready. It’s on Von Miller to be ready. It’s on every player to be ready to play at the level that wins him the starting job. The question is not whether Paxton is owning up to that responsibility - as Pritchard implies; the question is whether he is actually ready - and that’s presumably what the coaches have been evaluating.

OK, continue...

He said:

“You’ve got to emerge as somebody that all those players are willing to do what it takes to elevate their game in order to win. It takes a special person to be that quarterback. ...That’s the quality John is looking for - it’s not a strong arm or who can throw a comeback route 15 yards or who can hit a post route down the field...it’s about leadership and guys believing in that particular player to win games.”

She said:

Weeeellllll...I’d kinda like our quarterback to be able to throw 15 yards as well as hit that post route this season, so I think it’s a little bit about that too.

But I do agree - and always have - that the quarterback of the team has got to be a true leader for the entire team, and if that’s all it is coming down to between the two players, then I sure hope all of our guys in the QB room have improved over last season.”

Poll

If we’re talking CTE, which sport do you think has the most reported concussions?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Football.
    (199 votes)
  • 16%
    No, futbol (aka, soccer).
    (75 votes)
  • 13%
    C’mon...rugby!
    (63 votes)
  • 18%
    Ice hockey - sticks, pucks and ice? Definitely the winner.
    (84 votes)
  • 2%
    Gotta be wrestling.
    (13 votes)
  • 4%
    Maybe Lacrosse? IDK.
    (19 votes)
453 votes total Vote Now