Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice chatted with Mut & Merloni on Thursday to give his prediction for Sunday’s AFC championship game and discuss other NFL news.
“I know you guys are in Boston, but this is going to be a great game between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens,” Rice said. “I know the last game was questionable just a little bit. I think Tom Brady‘s going to come out and exceptional like he always does, but I think they’re going to get edged out a little bit by the Baltimore Ravens.
“I think the Ravens right now are just playing exceptional football. I look at Joe Flacco and the thing that really impresses me with him is that he doesn’t have any INTs. Ray Rice is running the ball well, and all of a sudden Torrey Smith — they stretch the ball downfield, throwing it deep, he’s making plays. I’m sure Anquan Boldin‘s going to be a factor. On defense, Ray Lewis and [Ed] Reed, those guys are going to be ready and I think they’re inspired with this might be Ray Lewis’ last football game. They feel like they have an opportunity to do something special, so it should be a great football game.”
Reed and his fellow defensive backs will attempt to shut down Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker. Welker had eight receptions for 131 yards in this past Sunday’s win over the Texans.
“I don’t like him breaking my records,” Rice joked. “I had an opportunity to meet this guy, he’s such a great individual, he’s a hard worker and you just cannot cover this guy one-on-one. He’s going to continue putting up big numbers like that if you try to line him up with a linebacker or safety because he’s just too quick off the line of scrimmage and he’s too explosive and he’s going to make plays.
“He can pretty much take over a ballgame, and that’s really what you ask for in a playmaker that’s a receiver on the football field, and he’s capable of doing that. Like I stated, he is not going to be covered and I know Tom Brady is always going to go to him. He’s like that security blanket for him and he knows that this guy is going to get open and make plays. So, I think he pretty much has earned his money and they should pay him a lucrative contract.
“I think he’s in the top five [receivers in NFL] without a doubt. What he brings to that team, and also he sets the standards. The way this guy prepares, his preparation, his hard work during practice, and that carries over to the game on that given Sunday or that Monday. Those are the types of guys you want to give the big contracts and you want the other guys to look at these guys and say, ‘Wow, this is the way to be a professional and this is how you should conduct yourself.’ ”
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On current NFL rules: “I think with football today, it benefits the wide receivers because I think the defensive backs, defensively they have to be on the same playing ground. They have to be able to be physical at the line of scrimmage, but after five yards they have to take their hands off the receivers, or if they’re downfield past five yards they can’t touch the receiver. I preferred it back in the day where I knew exactly where the defensive back, where he was at, at all times by being physical downfield. So, the game has changed a lot, but overall they’re trying to protect players and do all of that, but still it boils down to playing football. I think defensive backs need to be on a level field as the wide receivers are.”
On Colin Kaepernick: “You see a lot of the wildcat happening out there with the San Francisco 49ers. Forty-five percent of their offense last week was wildcat against Green Bay. So you’ve got to deal with Kaepernick, you’ve got to expect this guy to be able to get outside, extend plays, but also he can win a football game with is feet. … With these quarterbacks running with the football, they’re going to be looked at as a runner and you’re going to have defenses that really start teeing off on these guys and hitting these guys no matter if they have the ball or if they don’t have the ball.
“I think he’s going to go [to Atlanta] and he’s just going to play football. He’s way ahead of his time, he doesn’t get rattled. When he threw that interception to Sam Shields I said, ‘Oh man, here we go.’ But this guy came right back and moved the ball downfield and scored. So, he believes in himself, there’s a swagger to this team and they really look at this like, ‘We can go into Atlanta and win this football game.’ ”
On which rookie quarterback he would put the most stock in: “I would go with the guy that’s going to be around a long, long time, and that’s Andrew Luck. I think with [Robert Griffin III], Russell Wilson, Kaepernick, all those guys, they have shown something that’s right now caught everyone off guard. I remember when Tim Tebow was running the wildcat, everybody just went crazy over that. But now you have these guys that can run the pistol, the read option, but they can also throw the football. So there’s now that extra threat there, but I just feel like [Griffin, Wilson and Kaepernick] are not going to last that long and they’re going to be susceptible to injury.”
To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots. WEEI-FM 93.7 will broadcast the AFC championship game between the Patriots and Ravens on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Tim Neverett talks with Red Sox manager John Farrell before game 3 of their series with the Tigers. John talks about the struggles Steven Wright has had in inclement weather or days with high heat and humidity and how that might factor in to giving Wright the start on a particular day.
Drew Pomeranz looked stronger in his second Red Sox start but the offense wasn't there to back him up tonight. Mut recaps the 4-2 loss to the Tigers. Thoughts on the manager, the bullpen, and your Sox calls as well.
Joe Castiglione & Tim Neverett talked to the new Sox reliever, who got his first save for the team today against the Twins.
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Dino, Buck and Butch end the program discussing two prominent AL pitchers that were in action Thursday night and how their future looks. Also, Patriots and Dolphins QBs since Tom Brady was drafted.
At Friday morning's media session, Patriots coach Bill Belichick is pressed about what might happen in Week 5 with Jimmy Garoppolo if he plays well. After three queries, Bill has had enough. Dino, Buck and Butch react.
CSN Patriots reporter Tom E. Curran joins Dino, Buck and Butch to talk the state of the Patriots as training camp opens.
The guys talk about the Red Sox sweep at Fenway by the Tigers and their recent struggles at home. They then preview the tough road trip ahead for the Sox
The OMFers discuss what it will be like with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. The guys get into Mut's complaint from earlier in the morning that Fauria ignored him in the gym
New Patriot's receiver Chris Hogan joins OMF to talk about being the new guy, and his experience with Rex Ryan in Buffalo
We discuss the vagueness of Max Kellerman's comment and how it's just one big desire to be the first one to say something.
We discuss the state of the Sox with manager John Farrell live from Anaheim.
As Pats camp opens, we look at four of the most pressing questions for the team
Kirk Minihane is joined by Boston comedy legend Lenny Clarke. If you are a fan of stand up comedy this is the podcast for you. Kirk and Lenny talk about Carlin, Pryor, Williams, Murphy and many more.
Kirk Minihane is joined by former ESPN ombudsman and New York Times writer Robert Lipsyte. Kirk and Robert discuss the current state of ESPN and how Robert feels he did in his role as ombudsman. They both criticize ESPN for the lack of journalism at ESPN and look at some of the curious decisions the world wide leader has made in the past few years.
This week we preview the last major of the year, The PGA Championship.
John Dennis and Gerry Callahan bring Gary Tanguay in the podcenter to discuss Tango's bargaining position for Dino's job when it opens next year. The guys also discuss Kirk Minihane's latest podcast with Lenny Clarke.
The 8am hour with Dino, Gerry and Tanguay is a bit of a hodge-podge of discussion, starting with the Democratic Convention and moving on to marathon swimming and archery at the Olympics and ending with Tanguay's defense of Hillary during the Benghazi attacks.More from this show
Dino, Gerry and Tanguay discuss night two of the Democratic Convention, "highlighted" by Bill Clinton's attempt to humanize Hillary Clinton with tales of their courtship.More from this show
Former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling joins Dino, Gerry and Gary Tanguay to discuss an ALS breakthrough, David Price's mechanics, and a possible Chris Sale tradeMore from this show