The Chomp Episode 2: A conversation with NFL Coach Dick Vermeil

Welcome to the Chomp Pod, a sports podcast that brings the Bay Area sports news to SF State.

In the Chomp Pod’s second episode, SF State Campus news reporters and hosts, Nick Mazzoni and Jack Davies will be covering the latest in Bay Area sports. Nick and Jack talk about the Giants and A’s baseball, where the Golden State Warriors are at this point in the basketball season, and the latest news in the NFL offseason. Jack has a very special guest interview with retired Super Bowl champion NFL coach Dick Vermeil!

 

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Intro

*intro song fades in* (Baseball Card – Justnormal)

Nick: Welcome in to the Chomp Pod, we have a very special show ahead. I’m your host Nick Mazzoni

Jack: And I’m your co-host, Jack Davies.

Nick: Make sure you follow us on Twitter @The Chomp Pod for updates and new episodes.

 

Preview

 

Nick: Welcome back Chompers. We have a great show ahead of us. Today, we will be covering the latest in Bay Area sports. Giants and A’s baseball is back, we talk Warriors basketball and the latest news in the NFL offseason.

 

Jack: March Madness concluded and Baylor is the Men’s National Champion. We will also announce the winner to our bracket challenge. Our Headline story features retired Superbowl champion NFL coach Dick Vermeil, who spoke with me about his career.

 

Current Events News (All Sports mini headlines)

 

Nick: Let’s start with the current events- and if you were anywhere Monday night, I hope you were watching the Warriors. What a game, what a night for Steph Curry. 53 points, he is now the Warriors’ all-time scoring leader.

 

Jack: All he needed was 19 points and he did it in the first quarter, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain. Congrats to him on the historical night. The Warriors are currently 26-28 and have underperformed as a team so far this season. With only 18 games remaining, the Warriors are fighting for a playoff spot and will have to do so without the 2021 second overall pick in James Wiseman, who is out for the season with a torn meniscus.

 

Nick: As of Tuesday morning the Warriors are the 10th seed in the West. If Curry can lead the Warriors to the playoffs, there’s a good argument for him as this year’s MVP. He’s second in scoring, averaging over 30 points per game this season and has averaged 39.5 points per game over the last 2 weeks. I look forward to seeing how the rest of the season unfolds.

 

Jack: Moving along. According to ESPN, On April 2, The MLB announced it will be moving its All-Star weekend event from Atlanta to Denver, in response to the recently passed Georgia law that will restrict minority voting.

 

Nick: I think these professional sports leagues throughout the country have decided to take a stand on social justice. It is a big deal for a city to host an events; such as the MLB’s All-Star Weekend, so I think it speaks volumes that these leagues are not just letting issues fall to the wayside like we had seen years in the past.

Jack: Yes, I think it’s awesome that professional sports leagues and athletes are using their platforms to speak out on social justice issues to help spread awareness.

 

Jack: In other baseball-related news, MLB has allowed fans back in stadiums for the season, which started on April 1st. SF State’s head baseball coach, Tony Schifano, said that he was thrilled to hear that fans will be attending games again this season. He said it’s important for the fans to appreciate this opportunity yet remain cautious and follow protocols.

 

Nick: You can read more of Jack’s article about MLB’s plans to reopen the stadiums and how it affects the Giants and A’s at, GoldenGateXpress.org.

 

Nick: On March 30th, the NFL announced that they will be expanding the regular season from 16-17 games. The owners approved the one game expansion in an effort that has been in discussion since 2010.

 

Jack: This will be the first time in 44 years that the NFL has made changes to their schedule.

 

Nick: What do you think this means for the players, Jack?

 

Jack: Players are certainly not happy, as an extra game is added to their season which means more injury risk. A preseason game was removed so that will help. Players have voiced displeasure with the move so it will be interesting to see after a season with the new rule.

 

Nick: Lastly, On Monday night, Bay Area native and Patriots star Wide Receiver Julian Edelman announced his retirement via Twitter after 12 seasons and 3 Super Bowl titles, including a Super Bowl MVP.

 

Jack: Here’s a Chomp Bite for you- Edelman retires with just as many playoff touchdown passes as Quarterback Andy Dalton.

 

Bay Area-Update

 

Nick: Ok, let’s move onto Free Agency. The NFL is now underway and both Bay Area teams haven’t been shy about making moves. Let’s start with the ‘49ers, Jack?

 

Jack: Entering the offseason, the 49ers had several main priorities: re-signing left tackle Trent Williams, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, and retaining some starting cornerbacks. They were able to keep their priorities while also hanging onto lots of other key players and adding some new talent without losing many key contributors. A notable addition is 6-time pro-bowler guard Alex Mack who should be a big improvement to the offensive line. They did lose a few key players in cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also traded for the 3rd overall pick in this April’s draft and sent the Dolphins the 12th overall pick, two future 1st round picks, and a 3rd round pick.

This was a massive trade with huge implications. The biggest question that has us all wondering is who will they draft?

 

Nick: Great question. According to a CBS Mock Draft, the 49ers are projected to get Mac Jones QB from Alabama. It has also been rumored that the 49ers are looking to draft Trey Lance the QB from North Dakota State University.

 

Jack: Personally, I don’t like the idea of taking Jones at 3rd overall because I don’t trust Alabama quarterbacks. I think Jones is a lot like Garoppolo, who the 49ers are trying to replace. Justin Fields brings athleticism and deep ball accuracy that could really expand what the 49ers’ offense can do. I think he’s the best option for the 49ers.

 

Nick: Let’s quickly move on to Vegas.

 

Jack: Vegas? But that’s not a Bay Area team…

 

Nick: I know, I know. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Las Vegas Raiders signed Runningback Kenyan Drake to a two-year 11-million dollar deal that could earn up to 14.5 million.

 

Nick: I am questioning this move, they already have running back Josh Jacobs. Derek Carr, while he’s been at times shaky has been consistent throwing over 4,000 yards in the past three years. I am wondering what the Raiders were thinking of investing in a running back for that amount of money when they have other positions they should be prioritizing, such as their revolving door left and right guard positions, ultimately, ranking the Raiders offensive line 24th in 2020. I pray for my beloved Raider fans around the Bay.

 

MLB

 

Jack: Major League Baseball is back and it’s onto the second week of the season. Early on, it’s hard to gauge where a lot of teams are at since the season is so long. Currently, the San Francisco Giants are 6-4 and the Oakland A’s are 4-7 after starting the season 0-6.

 

March Madness

 

Nick: March Madness is over and it was a tournament full of upsets! Congrats to our bracket challenge winner, HSS BUILDING, who won by a landslide victory, outscoring my co-host by 160 points… your prize. Pride, honor, and if you can find me, I’ll buy you a burger.

 

I was actually the biggest loser and didn’t submit my bracket in time. I had technical difficulties using the ESPN app, what can I say.  I’m a yahoo truther, I blame the editor, he’s a dodger’s fan.

 

Jack: This year’s tournament saw more upsets than any other tournament in history. There were 15 upsets in which the winning team was placed at least 4 seeds lower than the loser. 11-seed UCLA even made it to the final four as the worst seed to do so. It was quite the historical year and I have no doubt covid played a part. Congratulations to Baylor on winning it all! Our condolences to San Diego State, who got upset by the 11th seeded Syracuse in the 1st round. Better luck next year!

 

Main Story/Interview

Nick: Jack interviewed retired NFL Head Coach, Dick Vermeil, who won a Super Bowl as the head coach of the St. Louis Rams and attended San Jose State University.

 

Jack: How did it feel for you, you know, realizing, hey, I’m in the NFL now, like this is as good as it can get for me?

 

Dick: I sort of had to pinch myself, you know. I’m sort of convinced you’re never really prepared for the job you get, you just get there and do the best you can with it. I thought I did a pretty good job as offensive coordinator at UCLA. And then all of a sudden, I’m offensive coordinator in the NFL, and I you know, my head coach had never been in the NFL, so he wasn’t too sure what it really was like. I had been there and I pretty much knew, I don’t think I’m that qualified, but I did it, I did it okay. Probably just well enough to help the head coach get fired.

I was fortunate. Anyway, so I went back to UCLA as the Head Coach, which was an unbelievable opportunity. Again, I didn’t apply for the job, they called me and offered it. I took it I went back there, coached for two years and we win the Rose Bowl my second year. And all of a sudden, the Philadelphia Eagles come after me. I hadn’t planned to go anywhere other than stay at UCLA, I thought we could build a national championship but the offer was too good to turn down. So after a few days of saying no, I said yes, and I left after two years there.

 

Jack: Asks about John Wooden’s influence

 

Dick: Well, he was a mentor. He recognized I was young, you know, and passionate about what I was doing but yet inexperienced. I would have conferences with him and visit with him. And I built a lot of my philosophy as I grew as a coach, around his thinking, you know, his great influence on me was always, don’t worry about the players on other teams, just make sure you’re doing the best job with those that you have, helping them be the best they can be and everything will turn out right. And I sort of coach that way. And like you said, each opportunity I took had been losing. So all of a sudden you get in these high-pressure jobs. He always said that in terms of coaching and evaluating and working, your success would not be determined by how you handle all the wins, your success and coaching will be determined how you handle your losses. And when I went to Philadelphia, you know, they didn’t have a first second and third-round draft choice for three years. So that philosophy of handling losses properly and keep building on them, which I learned from coach Wooden, was ingrained in me.

 

Jack: Vermeil told me that another great influencer of his was former Rams head coach George Allen. One time at a practice, Allen told Vermeil’s team that they had the talent to be 4-12 but the work ethic to be 12-4. They ended up being 12-4 that season.

 

Jack: How were you able to find a balance between being a very tough coach who obviously, you know, pushed some of his players to the brink with, you know, players complaining about working too hard and things like that to the other side, where you’re also a very compassionate coach who wore his emotions on his sleeve?

 

Dick: They eventually trust you. And once they start trusting you, that means they trust your motives, and they know why you are working them so hard. It always takes a while to convince people hard work is not a form of punishment. It’s a solution. I would convince my players eventually, this hard work is going to earn them better contracts, longer careers in the NFL and more money. They’re gonna end up being pleased with what they’re getting out of their efforts. When your efforts starts being what rewards you, as a person, psychologically, it takes care of its own motivation.

 

Break

 

 Nick: Support the Golden Gate Xpress’ work by signing up for our online newsletter, following us on Instagram or Twitter @ GGXnews and visiting the website: goldengatexpress.org

 

Jack: Interested in advertising with GGX? Check out our advertising page on goldengatexpress.org/advertising.

 

Nick: Tell us on our twitter page @ TheChompPod how your favorite team will play in the regular season!

 

*break ends*

 

Jack: You had said after you had stepped down from the Eagles that you didn’t feel like you were confident enough to continue. Seeing as you know, you accomplished so much in a short amount of time there I was kind of curious as to what made you feel like you weren’t confident enough as you’re obviously a good coach.

 

Dick: Well, what happened to me, Jack, is I allowed my passion for the game to become an obsession. I couldn’t turn it off. I couldn’t handle the loss real well, I would be spending half a week thinking of what I should have done last week to help my team win the game we just got beaten in. That would be a distraction from helping me prepare my team to play what would be the opponent to come in. And I felt that was really negative in my preparation to help kids win. And I just you know I, they coined the term “burnout” I just said Well, I’m burnt out I’m not what I want to be and I’m gonna take a break. I didn’t plan to be out 14 years and I had many many fine opportunities. The best opportunity I had in all my career I turned down because I didn’t think I was quite ready to go back. Finally, you know, because of my affiliation with the Rams and the ownership there over the years the Rams had offered me that job every time it was open and I didn’t go and finally, they offered me late, after being out 14 years and I said to myself and to my wife, well if I don’t go back now I never will, it will be too late.

 

Jack: It seems to me that, you know, play-calling has evolved a lot over the years. I’m a 40 Niners fan, so I get to watch Kyle Shanahan’s play-calling. And he just gets me really excited with a lot of his play calls. I’m curious, do you? Do you get excited by seeing the modern NFL play-calling? Or? Or do you prefer how it was back when you were coaching?

 

Dick: Well, they make me feel inferior, they make me disappointed. I see a lot of things done now that I thought about doing but didn’t have the confidence to be different. It didn’t quite fit the NFL mold. I think Kyle Shanahan is the rising star in the entire league. I think he just does a great job. The calling of the play probably isn’t quite as important as the design and the reason for the play to being in the game plan. Calling it if it works, makes a genius out of someone. Now, we might call that same play three other times in the game and make zero yards. And they don’t recognize it. Okay. But that’s just the way it is in modern sports coverage of the game and how intense it is, you know, I was shocked when I came back in the NFL, in regard to the difference even in 97 compared to 82. The evaluation process and the media coverage, all the different levels. And today, it’s twice as bad today or twice as much today as it was in 97.

 

Jack: What is something that you learned in in your time as a coach that you think is really valuable for life beyond coaching?

 

Dick: Well one, I think people got to know you care. They’ve got to know you care. They’ve got to know you’re sincere, that you’re you’re intellectually humble. You admit you don’t know what you don’t know. You know, you recognize the other person’s needs. Each player on the roster has different needs. And to gradually mold that person into the best player he can be usually contributes to helping him be the best player he can be. I’ve always, Jack, I’ve always said I don’t coach football, I coach people that play football. And I learned that in high school coaching, taking each individual kid and caring about him and like him and motivate him. You know, very few people have the ability to outperform their own self-esteem. And it’s, it’s amazing how many times I think there are people in leadership that don’t recognize that. And so I always worked at, you know, right now, you’re not good enough. But you know, something, two months from now working like you’re working, you’re going to be a lot better. You know, you’re gonna make some plays that help us win, and you’re going to get the play, you’re going to get another contract. So, I think that helped me develop relationships with players.

 

End

And that was the episode.
This is Nick and Jack. We’re campus news reporters and your hosts for the Chomp.

 

* Chomp noise *
And with that, we’re signing off.