Marc Daniels Friday Notebook: Flipping Over AR, Cane$, LIV And Tuna

NFL Combine

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Anthony Richardson's Pro Day workout in Gainesville was attended by NFL general managers, head coaches, offensive coordinators, quarterback coaches and lots of out-of-shaped men with stop watches with fast food wrappers in their cars- also known as scouts.

The event was televised on the SEC Network, because of course it was. The hype was real as Richardson and his fellow Gators showcasing their skills before NFL minds was your typical underwear Olympics. As expected, Richardson looked chiseled because anyone as ripped as him wearing a dry-fit shirt two sizes too small will look good.

We needed experts during the broadcast telling us how Richardson looked and then had NFL Draft expert Todd McShay break it down expressing how good Richardson looked. 


Look, I think Anthony Richardson is a good kid, yes he's a kid still. Richardson doesn't turn 21 until May. I hope Richardson gets drafted high and becomes a great player and enjoys a long career in the NFL. I don't blame him for what we've made of the pre-draft process. Heck, he's won that process already by having a very average season as a starter at Florida and parlaying the draft buzz into a likely top 10 pick when the film shows a raw and inconsistent project. But like I said after Richardson's NFL Combine performance, he ruined two months of evaluations for about 10 teams that hoped he flopped in Indianapolis so they could scratch him off their list and not worry about it. But he posted freakish numbers and now too many GMs and coaches fear that if you pass on him and he becomes the next "it" guy that's how you get fired.

Richardson said all the right things after his workout about trying to be more consistent and talking with teams and just getting ready for the draft. How does one work on being more consistent at a pro day? Do you get more consistent by throwing uncontested passes in a controlled environment with no pass rush? Do you read defenses better when there is no defense on the field?

This is not Richardson's fault. We did this. Well, we and the NFL have turned the marketing machine to super-duper-high when it comes to hyping pre-planned workouts designed to make a player look good. Someone even posted Richardson's completion percentage from Thursday's workout. Seriously? What are we doing here?

The film doesn't lie and you can see the inconsistencies from Richardson's season at Florida. But there's film of Richardson making plays few can play. You can find his arm strength with a pocket collapsing. You can see an athlete breakaway from pressure and run past defenders for a big play. Watch the film from Florida's game at Tennessee and you can see first round talent in Richardson's performance. He threw for 453 yards and also ran for two more touchdowns. You will also see some flaws in that game but the point is there is a lot on film to see why Richardson will be a likely top 10 pick in the draft.

Richardson might actually need the NFL to really develop. He was not surrounded by the best line or running backs and wide receivers. Florida's offense was far from dominant in Billy Napier's first season. In the NFL, Richardson will have better talent around him. Now, he will need a team that understands he needs to develop and it may take a season or two. I have said many times before that people quickly bail on young quarterbacks without assessing their situation. Blake Bortles never had a chance in Jacksonville with so much turnover with coaches, coordinators and subpar line play and receivers. Daniel Jones needed a third coach to get it right and he had to gamble on himself to get a chance for a big season that led to a big contract.

Anthony Richardson hasn't taken a snap in a game since a 9-for-27 performance against Florida State in a 45-38 loss November 25, 2022. That's it on film. Everything since is the marketing success of what the NFL Draft evaluation has become. Richardson has already won. If you just went on the film from his body of work at Florida he might be no better than a third round pick. But the process allows him to look good in a controlled workout and be better than all in drills at a combine that you never use in a game. Whether he's drafted first or 20th, Richardson will get his chance to prove the buzz was right. Or, he will flame out and the NFL will be done with him quickly, because that's what the NFL is and always has been about.


Nuggets: Miami's Nijel Pack got a few questions about his NIL deal and he sat there and answered all of them. He didn't get into the specifics of his dollar amount but he did talk about the role it played in why he chose Miami over other schools. He spoke about how NIL is good for him and his teammates and he talked about how other players deserve whatever they can get and how the game is changing. And? Now What? Good for Pack. The questions almost started out like an interrogation but Pack never wavered and calmly explained that critics of Miami buying a Final Four team is ridiculous, which it is. The Canes have done nothing wrong and anyone could have, as many did, bring in transfers and pay them(through their collective or rich Sugar Daddy). The fact that Miami isn't one of the "blue bloods" of college basketball is a perception thing for critics. If you don't think bluebloods did the same thing as Miami, you are not following the game. You may say "I don't see blue bloods bringing in transfers and paying that kind of money" then you are assuming those blue bloods are not paying, and paying well, players that have been on the roster. Check out the mass exodus at North Carolina of players entering the transfer portal. You think Hubert Davis is going to get elite players to come to Chapel Hill because of their love and passion to wear Carolina baby blue? Ha ha ha. They will come for the do-ray-me(Julie Andrews- Sound of Music). Pack and his teammates have nothing to apologize for. This is the system and Miami is operating in the same system as anyone else...LIV Golf is in town this week at Orange County National. Many of the top LIV golfers will be at the Masters next week. While I have my feelings about the money behind LIV, I have defended their right to play and LIV is the reason the PGA Tour has made so many changes in less than a year. I do not believe LIV has the same buzz as it did when it came out strong signing so many players. Unless LIV can bring over a few more of the biggest PGA stars, I am not sure where their buzz goes. LIV's older players are either past their prime or no longer the same draw as they were on the PGA Tour and LIV's younger stars will not get the attention winning their events versus winning on the PGA Tour. LIV's younger players cannot play their way into the majors and there is no sign a TV audience is growing for LIV. But, if a LIV golfer wins in Augusta next week, it will get a lot of attention, at least for a week or two...Average length of a game was down 18 minutes for the opening day of the MLB season. There were also 21 stolen bases in 23 attempts with the new pickoff rules and bigger bases. Last year's opening day saw just six stolen bases. Oh, and the Angels still lost despite Ohtani getting 10Ks...

Final Note: While quietly doing my thing in the produce section at my Publix another customer asked me how can you tell if an onion is good? Honored to be asked for my selection expertise I knew the answer. You want an onion with a firm texture, no blemishes. Avoid soft onions and ones with blemishes. And the yellow onion is the top onion to get for cooking.

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