Bob Papa Talks To Joe

April 22nd, 2010

Joe was honored that one of the top broadcasters in the country took a few moments from his time at media day at the Super Bowl to talk Bucs and broadcasting with Joe.

Bob Papa is one of the busiest broadcasters working. Men hear him broadcast Thursday night football on the NFL Network. Savvy football fans also listen to Papa weekday mornings as he is the co-host of “The Opening Drive” on Sirius NFL Radio.

Papa is also the voice of the New York Giants. As if that isn’t enough work, Papa also is a boxing broadcaster for Showtime and calls college basketball games for the Westwood Radio Network.

Given his status in the sports broadcasting world, one would expect Papa to think of himself as too good to mingle with the littles like Joe. Not true. Papa is very much an affable guy and is always willing to talk pigskin.

JoeBucsFan: The hatred for Raheem the Dream by many Bucs fans is scary. Granted he made mistakes last year, even Raheem would likely admit it but it was his first year on the job. With the fan backlash, the lack of ticket sales, do you think he needs to have a winning season to save his job or do you think he has job security? How much longer do you think he will be given to turn things around?

Bob Papa: I like what they did with the quarterback [Josh Freeman] this past year. I loved how they handled that. I said that when the Giants played the Bucs. You had a veteran [Byron Leftwich] playing. Let the kid stand on the sideline and watch a little bit, let him understand what it takes to prepare. Then they got back after the bye and you put [Freeman] in. I like how they handled that.

Another thing in defense of Raheem Morris, I like how they competed at the end of the year. They were down 17-0 at New Orleans against the Saints. The Saints were about to wrap up the No. 1 seed, they could have laid down there. So I think there is something there. But I agree, they have to do something this year. They have to show its going in the right direction. There are a lot of question marks.

Joe: There are two trains of thought with what happened with both coordinators: One is the glass is half-full. The Bucs decided they made mistakes and decided to cut their losses. The flip side is the glass is half-empty. Why did you hire these guys? Your thoughts?

Papa: I am of the glass is half-empty philosophy on that one. You are starting a new regime and you are coming in and that is part of the judgment process? Right? Isn’t it? I mean you hire the right people to do what you want done and do it the right way. To fire the offensive coordinator when they did and then get rid of the defensive coordinator when they did, it makes you think, “What was your plan? What did you think when you brought these guys in?”

You know [ousted Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff] Jagodzinski, had he done it before at that level? What happened in the interview process? Didn’t you ask him any of these questions? Didn’t you find out some of this stuff before you went about it?

You knew they were doomed right then and there because teams that fire their offensive coordinators before the season started, they got what they deserve. It was a mess.

If you are a player, put yourself in the player’s shoes: You are sitting there, you go through the offseason programs and minicamps and practice and all this stuff. These are the principals of our offense and this and this and this and you study your playbook and that and that and that and halfway through training camp, ah, scrap everything we told you.

Joe: Freeman actually said the change in coordinators and offenses really delayed his development in learning an NFL offense.

Papa: Yeah, you totally do something different. You rip everything up and the players must be saying to themselves, “If this is all so easy why did we spend all of that time in the offseason?”

Joe: It seems like you are having a blast doing play-by-play on the NFL Network. Then you mix things up with the Senior Bowl on the NFL Network and a high school all-star game on NBC?

Papa: The NFL Network has been great to me. I love working with them. Our schedule gets stronger and stronger and we are now in 55 million homes. We keep moving up. We have had tremendous ratings last year and the games were great. I love doing the stuff on Sunday doing the pregame show. They have me doing stuff at the Super Bowl, calling the game for the world feed with Joe Theisman. Any time you get a chance to call a Super Bowl it’s great. The NFL Network is a great place to work. Our presence is getting bigger because we are geared toward the football fan. That’s what we all love.

Joe: Joe has a saying here at, “If you are a man, you have the NFL Network.”

Papa: I like it!

Joe: I know you are based in the New York metro area and you are a native of the area and that New York is not big on college football. So when you called the Senior Bowl, did you have to start burying yourself into research or do you just let Mike Mayock take over?

Papa: The Senor Bowl is interesting. The coaches are pro coaches and so you know them. It helps. The players, we got a chance to talk to them. Look, I can’t say that I am a huge college football fan. I like it but I like it like everybody else: I sit on the couch and watch a big game. I don’t study it. But my job is to call the game and get the names and numbers right: Who they are and everything. Mike, that’s his life work — and Charles Davis and Corey Chavous and Paul Burmeister. I let the experts be the experts and I just do my job. It’s fun to get to know the kids and how they get through the draft process. If they aren’t on the Giants, they may be with a team that we have on the NFL Network.

It’s always good to make good contacts early.

2 Responses to “Bob Papa Talks To Joe”

  1. sunrisejeff Says:

    Awesome article Joe thank you. I’m a man even though I don’t have NFL netowrk ( damn you Brighthouse!) but I do enjoy Pappa on my Sirius NFL radio…..wife gets a little mad though since my selling point on getting the Sirius radio is all the different channels yet I never change it from NFL, 124 lol.

  2. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the compliment sunrisejeff!

    Joe will have another interview tomorrow he believes you will enjoy.