“Instead of waiting around for a phone to buzz, and players spending their time lifting and running and hoping, the USFL offered a chance to actually play football. And the USFL paid players to do it. Who says no?” – Burmeister on the opportunities the USFL created
“Being a better league for the players and coaches, as well as having a better product on television, will require strategic fixes and enhancements.” – Burmeister on potential USFL advancements for its second season
“Would that be Michigan, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia or New Jersey? The USFL and its broadcasts would be better for it if they can make it happen.” – Burmeister on the USFL giving a second city a home stadium
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 27, 2022 – NBC Sports host and play-by-play announcer Paul Burmeister, who handled play-by-play duties for NBC Sports’ coverage of the USFL’s inaugural season, guest authors this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. Burmeister breaks down the USFL’s first season, discusses its future, which USFL players have the best shot to land on an NFL roster, the league’s rules system, and Chris Simms’ top 40 quarterback rankings.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
Burmeister on the opportunities the USFL provides for its players: “The USFL provided an alternative to these players. Instead of waiting around for a phone to buzz, and players spending their time lifting and running and hoping, the USFL offered a chance to actually play football. And the USFL paid players to do it. Who says no?”
Burmeister on Michigan Panthers RB Reggie Corbin: “The Pittsburgh head coach is Kirby Wilson, who spent 23 seasons as an NFL running backs coach. With his RB expertise, I asked, ‘Which running back impressed you the most this season?’ He answered quickly: Reggie Corbin.”
Burmeister on New Jersey Generals WR/PR KaVontae Turpin: “I think Turpin is an excellent candidate to make an [NFL] team as a fourth or fifth wide receiver, and primary punt returner.”
Burmeister on the USFL’s roughing the passer rule: “I thought this rule made the game better; a little more fair to the defense, while still reserving the right to protect the QB when needed.”
USFL head of officiating Mike Pereira on which USFL rule adjustment he would like to see in the NFL: “I’d like to see the NFL adopt some form of our kickoff rule to get more returns. I think fans miss them, and there are ways to make it safer without being too gimmicky.”
Burmeister on the improvements the USFL needs to make for its second season: “Making it to season two in a better place will require development. Being a better league for the players and coaches, as well as having a better product on television, will require strategic fixes and enhancements.”
Burmeister on the need for longer training camps: “Training camp was incredibly brief by preseason football standards…And because of that, the offensive execution for the first part of the season suffered. [USFL Executive VP of Football Operations Daryl] Johnston shared his hope for next season is a training camp ‘of at least three weeks.’ Early season efficiency in the passing game will benefit most. When passes are completed and first downs are made and points are scored, the league wins.”
Burmeister on adding more players to the rosters: “No specific number was given as a target, but it was clear that moving beyond 40 is a high priority… What a well-organized coaching staff can accomplish, through volume, difficulty, and efficiency of work, increases exponentially with more players.”
Burmeister on giving another city outside of Birmingham a home stadium: “Would that be Michigan, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia or New Jersey? No word on a front runner. But Johnston and the league are motivated to give one of those teams the opportunity Birmingham had this season. The USFL and its broadcasts would be better for it if they can make it happen.”
Johnston on the USFL’s start date in mid-April: “I want our fans to get to the point of the offseason where they say, ‘I miss football.’”
NEWS & NOTES
Burmeister on calling Notre Dame football games on radio: “This kind of job offers something you don’t always have in the booth: a connection to a team. The familiarity you develop with players and coaches and their stories lets you go places you wouldn’t ordinarily get to go.”
Burmeister on Chris Simms’ QB rankings of Jalen Hurts (No. 25) and Tua Tagovailoa (No. 29): “Chris has Tagovailoa and Hurts in the right neighborhood…There’s reason to believe both are moving in the right direction, but there’s also reason to wonder. They either play at a level that makes it obvious they should be ranked higher next year, or the teams will likely move on.”
Burmeister on Simms ranking Tom Brady eighth overall: “Tom Brady at 8? I’d have him higher. I think [his] decision making and fastball are still elite, and to me he’s a top 5 QB.”
Burmeister on Simms’ rankings: “You don’t have to agree with his takes, but know that they come from a lifetime of being incredibly near football at its highest levels. Watching it, learning it, playing it, studying it, discussing it. And usually smiling about it.”
Read the full FMIA column here and catch the weekly Peter King Podcast here.
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio and Mike Golic (Mondays) and Florio and Chris Simms (Tuesday-Thursday) streams on Peacock from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET on weekdays & is available on-demand. The Dan Patrick Show streams at 9 a.m. ET, The Rich Eisen Show at Noon ET, Brother From Another at 3 p.m. ET, PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET. At 6 p.m. ET, Chris Simms Unbuttoned streams Tuesday-Friday.
- ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest news and updates.
- NBC Sports EDGE’s A Good Football Show continues the NFL discussion and Bet The Edge Podcast provides daily betting insights.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.