Former head coach and current ESPN analyst Herm Edwards, who most recently coached with Arizona State, joined Sport Scene on Wednesday to discuss some major storylines across the NFL ahead of next week’s Super Bowl.
Edwards certainly saw a lot of Tom Brady throughout his NFL coaching career. He spent much of eight years coaching in the AFC, which was dominated by Brady for most of that time. He wasn’t surprised by the news that Brady decided to retire, again.
“I think this year was a year that was very difficult for him,” Edwards said. “It’s hard to prepare for a season and get ready again.”
Edwards also emphasized how difficult it is to play after developing thoughts of retirement.
Brady did more than just ponder retirement last year. On Feb. 1, 2022, he publicly announced that he would retire from the NFL. Thirty-nine days later, he decided to return to football. However, according to Edwards, the decision had already been made.
Herm Edwards Takes a Glance at the Bucs
With Brady’s departure, the biggest decision for the Buccaneers is at the quarterback position. Former Heisman Trophy finalist and Florida Gators star Kyle Trask is the lone quarterback under contract for the Bucs. While that doesn’t necessarily mean he will get a shot at the starting job, Edwards believes that he should get his chance.
Edwards also focused on the need for offensive line improvements to protect whoever does land under center for Tampa Bay.
“They’ve got to do something with their offensive line,” he said. “There are some things to be done there, but this is why the offseason starts.”
Edwards on the Head Coach Trade
The Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints reached an agreement on terms for a trade that sends former Saints head coach Sean Payton to Denver. The two teams exchanged several draft picks along with the coach in order to reach an agreement. Payton signed an extension with New Orleans in 2019, which was set to run through 2024, before he decided to take a break from coaching.
Edwards spoke highly of the Broncos and their decision to go after Payton.
“Well, they got a guy that is known to develop quarterbacks,” he said.
While quarterback Russell Wilson is not necessarily in need of development, he is coming off of the worst season of his career. Bringing in Payton will provide Wilson with a fresh start in Denver. Edwards also touched on what potentially attracted Payton to Denver enough for him to return to coaching.
DeMeco Ryan Hire
DeMeco Ryan was hired by the Houston Texans on Tuesday as the franchise’s next head coach. Ryan took over the 49ers’ defensive coordinator position in 2021.
Former 49ers’ defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and the Houston Texans reached agreement today on a six-year deal, per sources. Texans have their new head coach. pic.twitter.com/1CvFSLvZY5
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2023
Edwards spoke highly of the hire but emphasized the importance of taking the right steps to ensure the franchise heads in the right direction. He also mentioned how there were similarities between the way the Bucs and 49ers each built up their organizations to a level that would be competitive.
“If [Houston] understands the kind of coach they have, not just a good football coach, but where he’s come from…to me that’s the important part,” Edwards said.
Favre to Jets, Rodgers to Jets?
Brett Favre, a legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback shocked the NFL world when he decided to go to the New York Jets in 2008. Now, another legendary Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, has stirred up rumors that he might be in a different shade of green next season.
Favre did not find success during his one year in New York and he received a lot of criticism for the decision, but Edwards is unsure if that will factor into Rodgers’ decision.
“I don’t know if it matters for Aaron Rodgers,” he said. “You never know where he’s at.”
Instead, Edwards focused on the importance of Green Bay making a decision in a timely manner.
Herm Edwards Super Bowl Assessment
As the NFL world gets ready for Super Bowl LVII, Edwards weighed in on what he expects to see.
When it comes to the Chiefs, Edwards believes that Patrick Mahomes and company were not given the respect they deserved heading through the AFC playoffs.
“They’ve got a complete football team, every way you look at it,” Edwards said about his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
For Edwards, the biggest key to the game will be turnovers.
“It’s going to be the unannounced play that goes the opposite way for you,” he said.