Interview with NFL Network’s Erin Coscarelli

I received an e-mail from someone at a PR firm 10 days ago, asking me if I’d like to speak with Erin Coscarelli, a host on NFL Network. A full bio was attached, as well as a picture of Erin, which you can see on the right.

I had to jump at the opportunity to do so. I’ve always thought that Erin is one of the best people NFL Network has on the air, along with Rich Eisen, Mike Mayock and Daniel Jeremiah. I’ve seen her on less than the other three because I’m always working on the site until 4, 5 or even 6 a.m., so I’m never up at the crack of dawn – or even the crack of noon – but I’d have her former show, NFL AM, on if I was working super late, which is a common occurrence during the regular season and the weeks surrounding the NFL Draft.

So, I got this e-mail. I thought, Awesome, talking to Erin Coscarelli would be great! And it was. Unfortunately, no one would be able to hear the interview.

As it turns out, I did not have my podcast recording software set up, as Kenny has been taping everything since we’ve started talking about Game of Thrones. My software is on my other computer, which is in the shop, and I never transferred it over to this one. I thought I did so, but that was not the case. Derp!

Fortunately, I was still able to get some great content from Erin, who has been with NFL Network since 2014. Prior to that, she was an anchor and reporter for Comast SportsNet Bay Area. She’s covered the 49ers, Giants and Warriors for them. For more info on Erin, you can check out

It would be great if you guys could hear the interview, but I have a good memory and was able to recall most of what we talked about for 45 minutes.

Here were the major talking points:

  • We started by discussing Carson Palmer. I referenced Palmer because he has struggled this preseason. Erin said that it’s sometimes difficult to take things away from the preseason, and I completely agree. Take my gaffe with Tom Brady last year, for instance. But nevertheless, it’s disturbing how much Palmer has struggled through three exhibition games.

  • Erin talked about how crazy this time of year is in terms of all the storylines. She said she was actually doing her fantasy football draft Saturday when the Tony Romo announcement was made. Erin said that she was upset about Romo getting hurt because he’s such a great guy in her interviews, and that Romo told her that they were doing such a great job with the show. I’ve heard great things about Romo as well. He’s one of those guys that you never hear about getting into any sort of trouble. I think people would root for him a lot more if he weren’t on the Cowboys, but being Dallas’ starting quarterback comes with a major level of scrutiny, thanks to Jerry Jones and the fact that the Cowboys are referred to as “America’s team.”

    I referenced A.J. Green’s injury scare as another headliner, and Erin told me that she’s holding her breath in that regard because Green was her first-round fantasy pick. She was picking eighth and decided to select Green. I would’ve made that choice as well, given that Green is ranked seventh in my Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet.

    Erin’s second-round pick, by the way, was Allen Robinson. She said that Jamaal Charles was available, but she opted for Robinson instead. I have Robinson ninth and Charles 20th on my board, so I definitely agree with that decision. I’m concerned with Charles, given his injury history. Plus, Spencer Ware has looked great this preseason, so I think Andy Reid might be inclined to have somewhat of a 50-50 time share with Charles and Ware, at least in the early part of the season, as it’ll allow Charles to be rested for a playoff run.

    I regret not asking Erin for more details on her team. I know she took Jordan Reed in the fifth round – great value pick! – but that’s about it. Instead, I discussed the Fantasy Football Draft I conducted Sunday, which was already on the site. Alas, I am not a good interviewer.

  • I asked Erin about some sleepers she liked. She mentioned DeVante Parker and Kevin White. I’m not as high on Parker because Ryan Tannehill hasn’t targeted him much in the preseason, but White is definitely an interesting name. Erin said that if Alshon Jeffery goes down, White owners would potentially have a WR1 on their team because Jay Cutler would force more passes to him, and she’s totally right. Jeffery hasn’t been the most durable player, so I could see that scenario happening. There’s definitely value with second-year receivers, as fantasy n00bs love rookies and will take them earlier than they should go. There’s more value with White and even Parker than Josh Doctson, Corey Coleman and the others not named Tajae Sharpe.

    Oh, and regarding Cutler, I got a kick out of Erin saying that he’s “portrayed as a great villain.” It’s totally true that people hate Cutler for no good reason. It might be because they don’t think he’s grateful for being in the NFL, given his lackadaisical attitude. I’ve definitely made fun of Cutler on countless occasions with funny memes I’ve found, but Cutler’s definitely not a bad guy. Everyone seems to think Cutler is absolutely toxic, though. People I’ve talked to think the Bears will be one of the worst teams in the NFL. This might provide some good opportunities in terms of fantasy and betting for those of us who don’t actually think Cutler is a “great villain.”

  • Speaking of Sharpe, I mentioned him as one of my Fantasy Football Sleepers, and Erin agreed that he’s someone to keep an eye on. Erin said that the entire AFC South would be improved this year, and that’s true. I’m not sure about the Jaguars – how many years has it been now that people have been saying that it’s their season? – but the Titans are better, and they have two first-round picks next year in what appears to be a great draft class. The Texans are improved as well, especially with Brock Osweiler playing so well in the dress rehearsal.

    With Osweiler playing so well, we discussed how sorry John Elway must be feeling right now that he didn’t pay the money Osweiler was asking for. He has Paxton Lynch right now, but what if he flops and Osweiler has this amazing season? Elway, despite all the good things he has done as the head decision-maker for the Broncos, would look pretty bad for letting such a talented signal-caller go.

  • I asked Erin which players she would stay away from. She mentioned DeMarco Murray and Eddie Lacy. I actually like Murray this year because he’s in an offense that actually suits his skill set – nice try, Chip Kelly – and I think he provides value because so many drafters are so down on him. Erin agreed that Tennessee is a much better fit for Murray, but referenced his workload as something to worry about. Murray did carry the ball 391 times in 2014, so Erin made a great point. It’s easy to forget that Jason Garrett ran Murray into the ground that one season. Perhaps I’m a little overzealous in my projections for Murray.

    Also with Murray, Erin mentioned that Derrick Henry was now on the roster. Henry, she predicted, could be a big factor down the stretch. I can definitely see that, and that obviously would occur if Murray would go down with an injury. However, I think it’s important to note that teams have spent second-round draft picks on running backs before despite having a stud in the backfield. Recall that the Vikings used a second-round choice on Toby Gerhart despite having Adrian Peterson in his prime. Minnesota simply had Gerhart high on its board – whoops – so the same could be true for Tennessee. Besides, you can never have too many good running backs in the NFL nowadays.

    As for Lacy, Erin said that she just didn’t trust him after last season. Lacy can’t be worse than how he played in 2015, but I understand her trepidation. What if he has a relationship problem and spends the entire night eating chocolate ice cream, gaining back all the weight he has lost? Remember, this is the guy who tweeted all of these things:

    I asked Erin if she saw these tweets, and she said she did not – so I hope she has a good laugh at them. The man really loves his food, so can he really stay from it for four months?

  • I referenced Julian Edelman as someone I don’t like this year, as his injury history is quite worrisome. This naturally transitioned into some Tom Brady discussion. I asked Erin where she would draft Tom Brady. She said it was fine for someone who was a fan of Brady to take him where he’s currently being drafted at an average rate, but she also mentioned that the quarterback position is so deep right now in terms of fantasy. Completely agree! I nabbed Blake Bortles and Jameis Winston in the 10th and 11th rounds of my fantasy draft Sunday, so there’s no reason to take Brady early, especially given that he’s a 39-year-old who’s going to miss his first four games.

    “Look at Peyton Manning last year,” Erin said. “He fell off at 39. Who knows how long Brady is going to last?”

    That’s exactly what I’ve been arguing this summer. I don’t hate Brady this year – I’ve learned my lesson – but he’s being chosen way too early in fantasy drafts. It’s OK to wait on quarterbacks!

  • We discussed the zero-running back strategy. For those of you who haven’t heard about it, it’s something some fantasy person cooked up where you don’t draft any running backs in the first half of your draft, opting instead to stock up on receivers, quarterbacks and tight ends. Running backs have become unreliable, so I get the appeal. However, I think it’s foolish to pass on the best player available if that happens to be a running back. Like, I’m sure as hell not eschewing Le’Veon Bell at 2.09! Erin agreed with me, citing that she also likes to utilize the strategy of selecting the top player available, even if it means drafting a backup when her four primary positions haven’t been filled out.

  • I asked Erin if she has any new projects she’s working on. Whenever I interview someone, I like to check out their Twitter feed to see what they’ve been discussing recently, and Erin has hinted at some sort of announcement for what she’ll be doing next for NFL Network. Fortunately, Erin provided me with some cool details of her new show.

    “I’ll be on a new show debuting on NFL Network called Fantasy and Friends,” Erin said. “There will be lots of fan engagement, and social media technology will be incorporated into the show.”

    Erin referenced Snapchat will be a part of it and said that “all of the cool kids are using it.”

    Wait… is Snapchat the one with the white ghost icon? I honestly don’t know. I am definitely not one of the cool kids. *Sad face icon thingy.* Did I do that right?

    Anyway, Erin said that the show will premiere Monday, Sept. 5 live at 6 p.m. Eastern. It’ll be on every weekday, and I look forward to checking it out! It can slide right into my TV schedule, since it’s right after Pardon the Interruption.

  • And that’s it! Like I said, it would’ve made for a great podcast. Alas, I happened to be very stupid.

    I’m hoping I’ll get another chance to interview Erin. She was great to talk to and provided some terrific insight. And if we do get to talk again, I’ll actually have my podcast recording equipment ready, I promise!

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