Kirk Herbstreit isn’t accepting Dan Orlovsky’s explanation.
Orlovsky touched a nerve this week during an appearance on the “Pat McAfee Show”, answering a question from the host about Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and why it appears he may be falling in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Orlovsky, as well-connected as anyone, said he has heard that NFL teams are questioning Fields’ work ethic and desire to be a great quarterback, saying the rumor is that Fields is the “last guy in, first guy out.” Orlovsky stated that these were not his opinions and he was high on Fields, but the comments caused a stir anyway.
The ESPN analyst felt the need to clarify the report on Thursday, posting a Twitter video clarifying his position and sharing additional research he had done about Fields.
“One conversation I had is with an offensive coach at Ohio State, and he said tell them thats absolutely not true,” Orlovsky said. “That Justin Fields’ work ethic is spectacular. That he is a guy that has a great football IQ and is always studying tape.”
Herbstreit, a fellow ESPN analyst and a former Ohio State quarterback, then decided to wade into the conflict, slamming Orlovsky in response.
“Absolutely RIDICULOUS,” Herbstreit tweeted. “Even if YOU aren’t saying it…to pass that along from ‘people in the know’ is reckless and absurd!! Embarrassing!!”
Orlovsky also said he talked with Fields’ QB coach John Beck, who also had positive things to say about him: “This guy is always working incredibly hard on the field. Even after we’re done with our field drills, he’s the guy that wants to stay after and work on different footwork or different throws.
“The reality is that, I have heard those things from teams, and they might feel that way,” Orlovsky said. “This is also a season where teams are trying to say things to potentially get a guy to drop to them. I just wanted to clarify and put it out there that over the last 24 hours, in more digging, it sounds like Justin Fields’ work ethic is fantastic.”
Herbstreit, a college football analyst during the season, plays a significant role in ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage.
Some may consider his critique a bit harsh, especially considering Orlovsky continues to defend Fields (and even did so in the original McAfee interview before the quote that was circulated). Either way, it’s a sign that NFL draft smokescreen season is officially underway.
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