Month: November 2020

NFL on FOX

Highlights from FOX NFL – Week 12

LOS ANGELES – Week 12 of the 2020 FOX NFL season continued Sunday with a singleheader beginning at 1:00 PM ET highlighted by Arizona at New England, New York Giants at Cincinnati, and Carolina at Minnesota. Two games occupied the 4:05 PM ET slot with New Orleans at Denver and San Francisco at the Los Angeles Rams.

Earlier today, FOX NFL KICKOFF and FOX NFL SUNDAY analysts and insiders weighed in on the day’s biggest games, moments and storylines.

In addition, Jimmy Johnson had a conversation with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on how he’s dealt with an unusual season in New England, and Charles Woodson sat down with Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey to discuss his contributions to the league’s No. 1-rated defense.

Vick on Washington Football Team Staying in 1st Place

Schrager on Lions’ Coaching Vacancy

Long on Latest League Covid-19 Setbacks

Cowherd on Mahomes and the Chiefs

The Inside Scoop on the 49ers

Johnson on Covid-19 and the League

JIMMY JOHNSON’S ONE-ON-ONE WITH BILL BELICHICK

Johnson: Hey, Bill, you know, Kliff Kingsbury, he was with you for a year, but he said he learned more football from you than he has his entire career.

Belichick: “Well, Kliff’s a sharp guy. He picked up probably everything that was within earshot. He does a good job, puts a lot of pressure on the defense.”

Johnson: He brought a little bit different style offense into the league and they’re having success.

Belichick: “Yeah, they’re on — they lead the league in rushing. They’re at the top of the league in scoring. They don’t turn the ball over much. They’re well-balanced. They’re well-coached.”

Johnson: Their quarterback, Kyler Murray, he’s an extreme athlete. Now, how do you try to corral him?

Belichick: “Yeah, well, that’s a challenge. They do a good job of creating a lot of space in their offense and their good skill players from the quarterbacks to the running backs.”

Johnson: Bill, he doesn’t take a lot of hits. You know, he gets down on the ground.

Belichick: “Yeah, he’s pretty quick, too. It’s hard to get a solid hit on him, even if you’re there. He avoids a lot of contact. He’s very quick and fast.”

Johnson: I tried a little fishing this morning, but I didn’t try catching, just fishing.

Belichick: “I’m sure you hooked a Heineken.”

Johnson:  Light. I’ve got to save those 50 calories.

Belichick: “Light, right.”

Johnson: You know you ticked me off. I was really upset. This offseason you did some commercials. That’s for the old retired coaches. We’ve got to make a living (laughing).

Belichick: “Luckily there were no lines, so I couldn’t screw it up.”

Johnson: I notice you’ve got your mask on. Games have been postponed. They’ve been moved. How do you think the league has handled COVID‑19 with the safety of the players?

Belichick: “We’re required to wear masks in the building here. So I’m going to be compliant with that. But everything’s been a little different than what it normally is. So we just tried day‑by‑day to do the best we can to maximize the safety of the players, the coaches, the staff, and still get as much work done as we possibly can.”

Johnson: You’ve told me many times how high a regard you had for Tom Brady, but Cam Newton is a different style of athlete. How difficult was it to change the style of offense?

Belichick: “I think it’s been an ongoing process throughout the course of the season. We started the year and as the games have continued, we’ve modified things along the way. It’s just part of the process here. We’re learning more about Cam. Cam has become more comfortable with some of the core things we do and the adjustments we make.”

Johnson: It used to be a quarterback‑driven league. Now that’s the only thing. How has he adapted to what you might call the “Patriot way?”

Belichick: “Cam is a hard‑working guy. He’s been a great fit for us and has given our team a lot of leadership. Certainly brings a high, high work ethic to the program. We made steady progress. We’re not where we need to be, but we’re heading in the right direction.”

Johnson: Well, Bill, I appreciate everything. I know in the offseason you’re going to need a break, and we’ll go out there ‑‑ we won’t go fishing; we’ll go catching.

Belichick: “Sounds good, Jimmy. I’ll be there. I look forward to it.”

Johnson: Good luck to you, Bill.

Belichick: “Thanks, Jimmy.”

CHARLES WOODSON’S ONE-ON-ONE WITH JALEN RAMSEY

Woodson: A lot of guys, they say well, if you can tackle, you can’t cover. But you’re out there, man. You’re able to do both. You aren’t just hitting. You are taking folks off of their feet. Take me through your mindset as far as you being out there on the field.

Ramsey: “Whoever’s going to come, I’m not out there looking for any type of wreck, you know what I mean? Man, it’s — football is a physical game. It’s a fierce game. I want to keep it that way. I want to play clean. But the rules have changed drastically to where it seems like it’s an offensive league. But as best as I can, I want to make sure that the game is still physical, fierce and violent, to be honest with you.”

Woodson: Looking at this team, the way you guys are built, when I look at the names you guys have — (Michael) Brockers, (Aaron) Donald; you bring in Leonard Floyd. Just tell me how exciting it is for a defensive back to go out there knowing you have those dudes to handle their work up front.

Ramsey: “You know how it is as a defensive back, though. They’re my best friends on the team.”

Woodson: Yeah. No doubt.

Ramsey: “Rush and cover go together.”

Woodson: Right.

Ramsey: “When I go out there, I’m going to be on the number one receiver week in and week out. I know the quarterback is not going to have time to just sit in the pocket. That makes my job a little bit easier. I love being able to go out there and play with Aaron Donald, who I’ll forever say is probably the best football player I ever played with, a Hall of Famer walking. It’s just in due time for him.”

Woodson: Speaking about Aaron Donald, I remember my last couple of years in Oakland, Khalil (Mack), he came in. You knew right off the bat he was a stud, right? And so I remember asking him one time, “You know what, man, you think you are better than me, don’t you?” I was trying to create that competition, because that’s what brings the best out of him. How do you guys interact with each other and how do you guys elevate each other’s game?

Ramsey: “We push each other to be the best, to be the greatest. I view him – I feel that he views me the same way. We have that type of respect for each other. I hold him in high regard, and he’s the best player in his position and he thinks the same about me — I’m the best player in my position. So we push each other to hold up to that.”

Woodson: You signed the extension in the offseason. Is Jalen Ramsey planning on being here for the entirety of his career?

Ramsey: “I hope so, man. I would love to finish out my career here in L.A., and bring as many wins as I can to the organization. Hopefully a Super Bowl and as much success as I can.”

Woodson: You seem to me to be a little bit of a different Jalen Ramsey. And this year you seem to be letting your play do the talking for you. What is going into that evolution of Jalen Ramsey?

Ramsey: “Just growth, I would say, growth and maturity. A couple years ago I was younger, made decisions that a younger guy would. I still have some of that dog and some of that trash‑talking. I still have it in me, but I channel it and it comes out in times when it needs to come out. It’s kind of a growth, and the people I’m surrounded with and probably my kids, they help me a lot.”

Woodson: I know you’ve got to keep that dog in you. But I know having kids, they help tone you down a little bit.

Ramsey: “Yeah, I have two little girls. So, patience. Especially they’re so young right now. They’re young. They’re emotional. It’s taught me how to be a better leader from being a dad to crossing over in football.”

Woodson:  Watching you especially over the last couple of weeks, you are playing against big, 6’4″ guys that can run. How does that change your preparation?

Ramsey: “Gotta have my big boy pants on. It’s a little bit more physical. I always feel like I’m the best defensive back that any receiver plays against. And I want to go out there and show them that. I don’t want to just say that; I want them to feel that.”

Woodson: I know that world, and to me, the coach putting you into position to make plays, how much do you enjoy that responsibility?

Ramsey: “Truthfully it’s the most fun I’ve had since I was in college. I played at Florida State and I had the time of my life, and I feel like this year has opened up for me a little bit. I take a lot of pride in being the best wherever I’m lined up. I’m having the most fun I’ve had in my NFL career. I love being out here in LA. Can’t be thankful enough for that trade happening last year and rejuvenating my whole spirit.”

Brady Quinn and Reggie Bush on BIG NOON KICKOFF

BIG NOON KICKOFF Announces Big Ten Championship Game Kickoff Time, Discusses College Football Playoff Rankings and More

On today’s edition of BIG NOON KICKOFF, host Rob Stone, analysts Brady Quinn, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Urban Meyer and Charles Woodson and reporter Bruce Feldman look at the Big Ten’s Championship Game criteria, break down the first College Football Playoff rankings and more.

FOX Sports announced on today’s show that the Big Ten Championship Game moves to the network’s premier BIG NOON SATURDAY time slot, at 12:00 PM ET on Saturday, Dec. 19. That weekend, BIG NOON KICKOFF will be live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at 10:00 AM ET.

Feldman reports on the criteria for teams to be eligible for the Big Ten Championship Game:
“Even though the Buckeyes sit there at 4-0, if they are not able to play the next two games in the regular season, then they would fall behind the Big Ten criteria for the minimum six games needed to qualify for the Big Ten title game. Now there’s one caveat in here, – if the total number of games for the whole league falls below an average of six, that could give them some flexibility to get in. But our math tells us that for that to happen, the Big Ten would need to have 12 of the next 14 games over the next two weeks canceled for that threshold to be altered.”

Meyer reacts to teams potentially not meeting the minimum number of games played requirement:
“Your heart breaks in half when you think about the discipline and all of the things and the sacrifices that the players have made, and to get those positives.”

“They worked so hard, and it is gone. I mean, when you start talking about 21 days – some conferences have 10. Twenty-one days – it might be over.”

Quinn says that the Big Ten should be flexible under the circumstances:
“The Big Ten and college football, they’re going to have to be flexible. If you look at how the NFL has been able to survive for the most part, making some adjustments, but they’ve adapted as the season has gone along. That is where Kevin Warren, the Big Ten Commissioner, he may have to change the threshold based on what they agreed to earlier. I know it hasn’t impacted all teams – Wisconsin and now Ohio State – but it is impacting the conference. It is impacting where the conference can potentially go at the end of the year.

“Some people might say that is unfair to all the other teams if we are just making this about Wisconsin or Ohio State. No, it is not, because it is unfair to those athletes. Ultimately, there are going to be more teams, I’m sure, impacted by this down the stretch. But in my mind, they’ve got to be flexible; they’ve got to figure out a way of lessening that minimum and allowing Ohio State, whenever they do come back to play, to still be a part of that conversation for a Big Ten Championship.”

This week, Urban’s Playbook takes a close look at the 3-4 defense and how it’s working for Cincinnati and BYU:

Woodson points to penalties and red zone defense as areas in which Michigan needs to improve:
“When you talk about this Michigan team and can they get back on the right track, we’ve talked about coaching a little bit, but it’s also on the players as well. When I look at a couple of key things for this team, what they have to do better, penalties show up No. 1. This team has 34 penalties for 335 yards on the season.

“In the red zone, 82 percent of the time giving up touchdowns and 95 percent of the time touchdown or field goal. They got to bow up in the red zone, they’ve got to stop teams from scoring. If they can’t do that you cannot win. Those are two categories if this team is going to turn it around, they’ve got to get better in those areas.”

Meyer looks at culture and talent acquisition as key issues with the Wolverines program:
“When a coaching staff is hired, at the end of that tenure or during that tenure, they’re going to be successful or they’re going to fail for two reasons. You have to develop and implement a culture. No. 2, you have to acquire talent – it’s called talent acquisition and development.

“They are 2-5 in the last seven games. I think it is time to blow it up. I think it is time to really evaluate the culture and dig deep.

“Don’t start saying there are bad players – that’s not fair. Now you do have to evaluate your staff and your assistant coaches because we start talking about talent acquisition – that’s called recruiting. Are you recruiting the right players that fit our puzzle? Are they being developed?

“Everything is fixable. I’m not sure you have the next two weeks, but you have got to really lift that hood up and say okay, tell me about our culture, is it the right culture? Do we need to change? Second, talent acquisition – are we recruiting the right players? And as important as recruiting them, what are you doing? How is your weight room? How is your nutrition program? How is your training staff? How are your assistant coaches?

Meyer on Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh:
“He is a great football coach. He won 70 percent of his games in the NFL. You can’t all of a sudden say he is a bad football coach. That is not fair. Football programs are complicated. I always tell people they are living organisms. You don’t just say that is a team. That team is changing. Are you solid in culture? Are you solid in talent acquisition? And your plan? If not, fix it.”

Meyer reacts to the first set of College Football Playoff rankings:
“I think Cincinnati should be higher. I think BYU should be much higher. Take the helmets off and put them in the Pac-12, Big 12 and Big Ten – they could easily be in those conference championship games. That’s how good I think they are.

“The question I have is this, when the eye test is this important, who is pushing play on the clicker, and what are you watching?

“If you start talking about eye tests and you have never done this [clicks clicker], then to me, you’re at data analysis. You’re simply looking at yards per game, total offense, total defense, but you have some teams playing five, some seven, some 10 [games].”

Bush says BYU got buried in the first Playoff rankings:
“They got buried in the rankings. I kind of viewed BYU and Cincinnati on the same level – same caliber of football teams. Both play great defense; BYU may have the best quarterback in college football; they’re both undefeated. I just didn’t understand how they dropped so far down. I really didn’t see that big of a gap between Cincinnati’s strength of schedule and BYU’s strength of schedule. That was the one that shocked me a little bit.”

Leinart says not to count out the Big 12 in the CFB Playoff conversation:
“I think when you look at the schedule, the Pac-12 is in trouble, with Oregon losing, USC missing a game today. Don’t sleep on the Big 12. And I know you guys are going to laugh at me when I say this, but when Oklahoma lost their second game earlier in the season, we wrote them off. And now, all of a sudden, Oklahoma’s at No. 11, which was a really high ranking. And they’re playing probably as well as anybody in the country right now.”

Recently announced as a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Charles Woodson joins Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush inside Club Heisman:

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 07: Head coach Ryan Day of the Ohio State Buckeyes talks during the post game awards in the Big Ten Championship game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Big Ten Championship Game to be Featured on FOX BIG NOON SATURDAY

The 2020 Big Ten Championship Game moves to 12:00 PM ET in FOX College Football’s featured BIG NOON SATURDAY time slot Saturday, Dec. 19, the network announced today on BIG NOON KICKOFF. That weekend, BIG NOON KICKOFF host Rob Stone and analysts Urban Meyer, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Brady Quinn travel to Indianapolis for a full two-hour pregame show live from Lucas Oil Stadium at 10:00 AM ET prior to kickoff. The network’s lead college football crew of play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson, analyst Joel Klatt and reporter Jenny Taft call the action. This year’s championship game is Johnson’s 10th, having called each of the prior events since the game’s first in 2011.

NFL on FOX

Highlights from FOX NFL – Thanksgiving Special

LOS ANGELES – Week 12 of the 2020 FOX NFL season kicked off today with a Thanksgiving Day special featuring the Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys beginning at 4:30 PM ET. Today’s game marks the 14th broadcast of a Cowboys home Thanksgiving Day game on FOX dating back to the first airing in 1994. The winner of today’s game takes first place in the NFC East.

Earlier today, the FOX NFL SUNDAY team weighed in on the day’s biggest moments and storylines.

In addition, FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer sat down for an emotional conversation with Cowboys defensive end and team sack leader Aldon Smith about his past and how he plans to be a source of inspiration moving forward.

Long on Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team

Johnson on the Passing of Markus Paul

Menefee Introduces Special Native American Feature

Glazer on Cowboys Defensive End Aldon Smith

 

JAY GLAZER’S ONE-ON-ONE WITH ALDON SMITH

Glazer: When did you start becoming, I guess, “NFL Aldon?”

Smith: “What does ‘NFL Aldon’ mean? Oh, actually, hold on. Let’s go back. I got into my share of issues. I had problems, demons, you can call them what you want. But there were things that had nothing to do with football that dated all the way back to childhood. And you know with the success that I was having, I never took time to deal with those issues. On the outside, I was this All Pro football player, but on the inside I never felt like that. And so it took things like drinking. It weighed on me. I had to have a real honest talk with myself on, ‘Hey, you can change this whole thing.’”

Glazer: When I met you, you were living at Sober Living and to join our MVP Foundation. When did you first believe that you could change into this?

Smith: “There was a time where I was living a regular civilian life. I left a lot on the table. I knew I’m one of the best players in this league, and look what I’m doing. Once I got out of that victim role and stepped into the role of somebody who wants to take control of his life and change it, then life was ready to change with me.”

Glazer: Once you said to me, “It’s my fault that I’m out of the league.” And you put it on you. Do you remember that? And I was like, okay, you want another shot at the NFL? You were sitting in this very same chair. You came over to my house to sign the contract here.

Smith: “I don’t think people knew how much you and I talked and the relationship we’ve created. So, for me to be training and actually getting in a position where I could be back playing football, that’s wild. I was in a dark place, and I’m a hard headed, strong willed person and I was one of those people who didn’t believe that I could be helped or that there was gonna be a better day. I feel like I’m a relatable person. And the way that I tell my story, people will be able to get something from it and take something from it that will help change or save their life.”

Bill Raftery and Gus Johnson at the 2019 BIG EAST Tournament

FOX College Hoops Tips Off 2020-21 Season With Thanksgiving Week Feast

Gus Johnson, Jim Jackson and Bill Raftery Return to Lead College Basketball Coverage
Three-Sport Broadcasting Star Adam Amin Added to Play-by-Play Roster

 NEW YORK – FOX Sports today announces the start of its 2020-21 college basketball schedule with a cornucopia of on-court action this week, highlighted by the season’s most-anticipated opener between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 6 Kansas in the Fort Myers Tip-Off on Thanksgiving Day. The network’s weekend-long basketball feast begins Wednesday, Nov. 25, with seven BIG EAST non-conference matchups on FS1 and FS2.

This season’s lineup of game broadcasters, studio personalities and other contributors include some of the best voices in the business. Gus Johnson, the most exciting voice in sports, returns as the network’s lead play-by-play announcer, with former All-American and NBA veteran Jim Jackson and Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Bill Raftery serving as FOX Sports’ lead game analysts.

Adam Amin, who joined FOX Sports prior to the 2020 football season, joins the network’s college hoops lineup – the third sport he calls for the network – in addition to NFL and MLB while also calling local NBA games for the Chicago Bulls. FOX Sports’ play-by-play roster also includes Tim Brando, Brian Custer, Joe Davis, Brandon Gaudin and Kevin Kugler. Nick Bahe, Stephen Bardo, Steve Lavin and Donny Marshall return to FOX Sports as game analysts.

In studio, Rob Stone, Mike Hill and Kevin Burkhardt share hosting duties, joined by Jackson, Lavin, Marshall and Casey Jacobsen as analysts throughout the season. Former Ohio State walk-on Mark Titus provides multimedia coverage across FOX Sports digital platforms, including a weekly newsletter and his popular podcast, TITUS & TATE, with co-host Tate Frazier. Renowned college basketball reporter Andy Katz contributes weekly college basketball tier rankings via written articles and videos on the new FOX Sports app and FOXSports.com.

The 2020-21 FOX COLLEGE HOOPS season tips off Wednesday, Nov. 25, with 12 straight hours of action, including Connecticut’s first time back on the court since re-joining the BIG EAST. Play continues Thursday, Nov. 26, as No. 1 Gonzaga faces No. 6 Kansas in the Fort Myers Tip-Off. Coverage begins at 1:00 PM ET on FOX with Stone, Jackson and Jacobsen in studio and Amin and Raftery on the call once the game tips off at 1:30 PM ET. Amin and Raftery call all four games of the event, which also features Auburn and St. Joseph’s.

Opening Day Schedule

College basketball on FOX, FS1 and FS2 is simulcast on the new FOX Sports app, which provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content through iOS and Android devices.

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 21:  The Ohio State Buckeyes take the field for a game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium on November 21, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

FOX College Football Scores Saturday’s Most-Watched Event

This past weekend, BIG NOON SATURDAY was the day’s most-watched event on any network, the most-watched FOX College Football game of the season and ranks among the top five most-watched college football games this season on any network.