Meet the mystery man of the 2021 NFL Draft

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So ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky, a former quarterback and good young analyst, went on “The Pat McAfee Show” and threw out some red flags on Fields. Major ones. Because he’s a respected voice, Orlovsky’s words got huge. “I have heard that he is a last-guy-in, first-guy-out type of quarterback,” Orlovsky told McAfee. “Like, not the maniacal work ethic . . . Where is his desire to be a great quarterback?”

Orlovsky told me Saturday that people from a couple of teams did question Fields’ work ethic, but he regrets not having more “clarity and specificity” in his comments. In other words, he should have said something like, This is not what I know first-hand, but in talking to people I know in the league, two teams questioned Justin Fields’ work ethic, and that could be a concern. It’s important that Orlovsky be free to pass along information he finds credible, but it’s equally important to put that information in context.

Also: The problem with questioning Fields’ desire is everyone saw Fields take a kill-shot to his ribs in the second quarter of this season’s Clemson playoff game and he responded by having the game of his life. To me, Orlovsky—as a guy who played the position—needs to clap back when someone questions the desire of Fields after watching that Clemson game. Fields took an all-time shot from a Clemson linebacker midway through the second quarter, looked to be in agony, missed a play, returned to throw four TD passes in the next 22 minutes, and outplayed Trevor Lawrence. How do you do that if you’re low on desire? Give me 10 of those guys on my team.

Orlovsky has talked to both Fields and Day in the wake of his comments. “Justin didn’t have to take my phone call,” Orlovsky said. “He could have said, Screw that guy. I told him exactly what happened, said I wasn’t good enough in that moment, and that’s on me. He was like, I get it. It’s okay. I watch, and I know you’re someone who’s had my back. I appreciate you calling me. I felt like he was really mature, and I appreciated him hearing me out.”

What I know: In conversations with people from two teams that are studying the quarterbacks atop this draft, I didn’t hear any negatives on Fields’ work ethic or drive. One of these teams could well be in position to take one of the top quarterbacks, and this team has dug deep into the top passers. One of our problems in this business, particularly before the draft, is many of us don’t cover the college game. (And I will put myself at the head of the line, because I am not a big college football watcher during the fall.) Many years, my first contact with the draft prospects is at the combine—I’m never around them as college players. So it’s tricky for me to be authoritative on prospects. I ask those I’ve trusted in my years covering the NFL. In the case of Fields, those I trust say he’s got zero work ethic issues.

Fields is Black. What made the criticism more noticeable is the infamous narrative that Black quarterbacks are inferior to their white counterparts, or not as clever, or not as hard-working. With two recent Black-QB MVPs (Patrick MahomesLamar Jackson) and three others in the NFL’s top 10 (Russell WilsonDeshaun WatsonDak Prescott), we don’t often hear the tropes anymore. But Orlovsky’s comments opened some wounds there. I agree with what Dominique Foxworth—a former player and current ESPN analyst, who is Black—said here: “It does not mean it’s not a fair and true criticism of Justin Fields, but it’s important to be specific . . . I’m not saying that it’s not true, but it’s understandable that the racial biases that we have often leak into all parts of our lives, including football analysis.”

I would add this about prospects of any color: If some of the things an analyst hears from one or two coaches/scouts/GMs seem off-key based on what he’s seen (such as questioning Fields’ desire after his valorous performance against Clemson), then I’d say don’t use those criticisms until vetting it with two or three more people he knows well in the game.

Of course, Day is going to be pro-Fields and stick up for him. But Day made two other points I thought were interesting:

• On reads and game-plan prep. “He’s very, very intelligent. He reminds me a lot of [former Buckeye] Joe Burrow when it comes to that. Tell him something once, and he absorbs it,” Day said. Fields’ 56-yard TD pass to Chris Olave in the January playoff game came on his fourth read in the progression, and it was thrown 62 yards in the air, to Olave at the Clemson goal line. Over their time together, Day said Fields has become more comfortable telling him what he likes and doesn’t like in a game plan.

• On what he needs to improve: Day said there were a couple of times in 2020, most notably in a too-narrow win over Indiana, when Fields needed to show “better understanding when to create and then when to cut your losses.” Fields threw nine interceptions in his 22-game Ohio State career, and three came against the Hoosiers.

“In that Indiana game,” Day said, “I think he would tell you, he was trying to force it, and I think it’s . . . he never really said it to me but you know in a short season, he’s got pride too. We went up big in that game early and he wanted to go win the Heisman Trophy—that’d be my guess. It’s a lesson learned. It really bothered him for a while afterwards, but I told him that’s gonna happen as a quarterback. The question is, how do you respond? He responded well.”

That’s mindful of Josh Allen trying to do too much in his first two years in Buffalo, and settling in as a far less mistake-prone passer in 2020.

Orlovsky thinks Fields’ mechanics need to be streamlined so he can play a little faster in the NFL. After his impressive college run, Fields seems to be getting passed in the pre-draft run-up by Zach WilsonTrey Lance and Mac Jones. In an ideal world, Fields goes to a team with no pressure to play right away and a good teacher of the position: Atlanta (head coach Arthur Smith) at four, New England (offensive coordinator John McDaniels) at 15 or with a trade-up, or New Orleans (Sean Payton, though the Saints pick 28th). Before the draft, players want to be taken as high as possible. Then they find out it’s more about where you go, not how high you go. The golden spot for a young quarterback is Atlanta. Smith’s a good teacher, and Matt Ryan’s a perfect tutor for a season or two. But it’s no sure thing the Falcons—who could take a franchise tackle or perhaps the best overall player in the draft in Florida tight end Kyle Pitts—will even take the heir to Ryan. So Fields will be a man of mystery in the next 24 days, till the first round is picked.

A postscript on Orlovsky, a Kornacki-type, full of information and dying to get it out: I know him as an earnest, hard-working analyst, still young in his chosen profession. He made a mistake—not in criticizing a first-round choice, but in how he did it, and then in not pushing back on what seems like a foolish narrative about desire. He’s good at what he does, and I’d bet he takes the L here and gets better from it.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.

What to know about the 2023 Pro Bowl: Dates, how to watch/live stream info, AFC, NFC coaches, competition schedule, and more

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The 2023 NFL Pro Bowl will take place over the course of two days at Allegiant Stadium–home of the Las Vegas Raiders–in Paradise, Nevada. The excitement begins on Thursday, February 2 as NFL fan-favorites compete in a brand-new skills challenge featuring the following events: Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball, Lightning Round, Longest Drive, Precision Passion, and Best Catch.

Sunday, February 5 will feature the following: the Best Catch Finale, Gridiron Gauntlet, Kick Tack Toe, Move the Chains, and three seven-on-seven non-contact Flag football games between the league’s best players.

See below for additional information on how to watch the 2023 Pro Bowl as well as answers to all of your frequently asked questions.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Who are the coaches for the 2023 Pro Bowl?

AFC Coaches:

  • Peyton Manning – Head Coach
  • Ray Lewis – Defensive Coordinator
  • Diana Flores – Offensive Coordinator

NFC Coaches:

  • Eli Manning – Head Coach
  • Demarcus Ware – Defensive Coordinator
  • Vanita Krouch – Offensive Coordinator

How will the 2023 Pro Bowl be different from previous editions of the event?

Rather than the traditional tackle football game, this year’s Pro Bowl will debut a skills competition and a non-contact flag football game.

How will scoring work?

According to the NFL, points will be calculated in the following way:

  • The winning conference of each skill competition earns three points towards their team’s overall score, with 24 total points available across the eight skills events.
  • The winning conference from each of the first two Flag football games on Sunday will earn six points for their team, for a total of 12 available points.
  • Points from the skills competitions and first two Flag games will be added together and will be the score at the beginning of the third and final Flag game, which will determine the winning conference for The Pro Bowl Games.

How to watch the 2023 Pro Bowl:

  • Where: Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada
  • When: Thursday, February 2 (7:00 PM ET) and Sunday, February 5 (3:00 PM ET)
  • TV Channel: ESPN, ABC, and Disney XD

When is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 takes place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

Where is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 will be contested at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals– in Glendale, Arizona.

What teams are playing in Super Bowl 2023?

The Philadelphia Eagles will face the Kansas City Chiefs marking the first time since 2017 that both top seeds qualified for the Super Bowl.


Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

Super Bowl food 2023: Appetizer, entrée, and dessert ideas for Super Bowl LVII inspired by the Eagles and Chiefs

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As the countdown continues toward Super Bowl LVII, the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are getting their game plans set. But while they go over their plays, the rest of America goes over their menus in preparation for the big day. When it comes to the Super Bowl, everything is always the best — the best teams, the best performers and, of course, the best food.

But how can you impress your party in the kitchen while showing support for your favorite team? Let’s take a look at some iconic food from each of the Super Bowl team cities to prepare for Super Bowl LVII.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl LVII: Date, location, how to watch

Philadelphia Super Bowl food

Crabfries

Why have plain old fries when you could have crabfries? That’s exactly what Pete Ciarrocchi, the CEO of the legendary Philadelphia restaurant Chickie and Pete’s, said one day when creating this intriguing concoction.

While the name may be misleading, crabfries do not contain any actual crab, but rather a blend of spices and Old Bay seasoning that allow the dish to take on a subtle seafood flavor. Topped with a creamy, cheesy dipping sauce, the crinkle-cut fries are sure to take your taste buds to the next level.

Cheesesteak sloppy joes

It simply isn’t Philly without a cheesesteak. Keep it casual in your kitchen on Super Bowl Sunday with Katie Lee Biegel’s Philly Cheesesteak sloppy joes, an easy way to rep the Birds.

Can’t get enough of the cheesesteak? Bring some more Philly specials to the table with this cheesesteak dip, the perfect way to amp up your appetizer game and leave party guests feeling like they just took a trip to the City of Brotherly Love.

RELATED: Rob Gronkowski predicts Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII

Water ice

Is the action of the game heating up? Cool down with a classic Philly treat, water ice. First originating in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 1984, the icy dessert is now sold in over 600 stores nationwide. The original Rita’s Water Ice shop, however, still remains open for business.

You can even show a little extra passion for the Birds by whipping up this green apple variation, sure to leave you refreshed and ready for the Lombardi.

Kansas City Super Bowl food

Cheese slippers

If you’re looking for a classy, yet authentic appetizer to bring to the table, there’s no better fit than the cheese slipper. This ciabatta loaf baked with melty cheeses and topped with seasonal vegetables and herbs has Kansas City natives hooked.

While the bread is typically baked to perfection by local shops, test your own skill level with this gourmet slipper bread recipe that you can complete with the mouth-watering toppings of your choice.

RELATED: How many Super Bowls have the Chiefs been to, won?

BBQ burnt ends

It’s rare to hear the words Kansas City without barbeque following short after. If you’re looking to impress your guests with your Super Bowl food spread, get out to the grill and start showing off.

While many cities in America know how to cook up some excellent BBQ, the combination of the sweet flavors and mouth-watering sauce has made Kansas City a hub for barbeque lovers for decades.

BBQ burnt ends, while a bit time-consuming, are  well worth a little elbow grease. The dish is also one of the few in Kansas City with a distinct origin story. The meal first found its creation at Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque, a legendary African American restaurant in KC. Bryant originally made the burnt ends from the trimmings of pork belly, but since then, BBQ lovers have made incredible bites out of many styles of meat.

And if you’re feeling extra ambitious, try fixing up some classic Kansas City sides to pair with your entrée to perfection.

RELATED: What to know about Rihanna, the Super Bowl LVII halftime performer

Chiefs chocolate chip cookies

While there is no specific dessert that defines the Heart of America, you can still show your Kansas City pride with these ever-colorful Chiefs chocolate chip cookies.

Make sure to have your food dye handy, because the red and yellow hue of these cookies are sure to show everyone whose side you are on.

Or, if you’re feeling artistic, design an eye-catching Chiefs jersey out of the fan-favorite rice krispie treats. Whether you make Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce or Chris Jones, you’ll have the tastiest Super Bowl jerseys around.

How to watch the Super Bowl 2023 – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs:

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