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Bryant McFadden | 2x Super Bowl Champion & CBS NFL Analyst

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October 20, 2022 6:21 am

Bryant McFadden | 2x Super Bowl Champion & CBS NFL Analyst

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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October 20, 2022 6:21 am

2x Super Bowl Champion & CBS NFL Analyst Bryant McFadden joins the show.

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Humanity has been shaped by moments in which one person approached a crowd with something important to say. I'm Jon Meacham, and this is It Was Said, Season 2, a creation and production of C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio in association with the History Channel. It Was Said, Season 2.

Listen and subscribe for free on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. Former Steelers defensive back, two-time Super Bowl champion, CBS Sports HQ analyst, Bryant McFadden. And Bryant, we'll start with your franchise, knowing what we know through six weeks.

And actually, before we even go there, I remember you told me pre-season, in Mitch We Trust, I asked you who should start for the Steelers, and you said in Mitch We Trust. So what's your assessment of the offensive situation now? Kind of emotional, emotional rollercoaster. We've seen some highs, we've seen a lot of lows. The unique thing about the Steelers right now is that, yes, they've been inconsistent on the offensive end, and because of that, they haven't won a lot of ball games. But the luxury they have on their side is that the uncertainty in their division has been well documented, right? We really believed and thought the AFC North would be one of the more competitive divisions in the National Football League, but so far this season, they've been the opposite. So the window of opportunity is still there for the Pittsburgh Steelers. You just got to find a way to be consistent on the offensive end, get healthy on the defensive side, and try to stack wins.

What stands out to you from what you've seen so far? I think the disappointment from teams that we really thought would be championship-like, right? I know there's still a lot of football left to be played, but I really thought Cincinnati would pick up right where they left off at. Not necessarily saying losing the Super Bowl, but you know how they got to the Super Bowl. And also, remember, they invested a lot in the offensive line as far as draft capital, as far as free agency, and they pretty much have provided the same production they did a year ago, which wasn't a lot.

So that's concerning, that's alarming. And then with ball, defensively, I mean, their defense hasn't reached their standard. They're based on what we've seen in their organization on the defensive side. Now, they've been dealt with a lot of injuries, but yet and still, protecting leads, not getting in shootouts, not being dominant, consistent, has been the storyline for their defense. And oh, by the way, Lamar Jackson, over the last few weeks, he hasn't looked like the Lamar Jackson we saw in the beginning of the season. And then Cleveland is just Cleveland.

I think that's safe to say, just leave it like that. The Browns are doing what the Browns have been doing for quite some time, but they can run the football, and they got to outstand and run it back in Nick Chubb. You played for Mike Tomlin, and I know you think highly of him.

I've heard you talk about him before. It drives me insane that every single time the Steelers lose, regardless of circumstances, people are calling for his head. I do not get that. What's your reaction to that?

How quickly people turn on him? I think our fans, and it's the gift and the curse, right? If you're a fan of Pittsburgh, if you are in your 50s, if you're in your 60s, if you're in your 70s, you're in your 40s, right? As an adult, you remember Pittsburgh winning championships. So our fans, they're spoiled. And with that being said, anytime it looks like we're going to kind of go in the wrong direction, oh, we need to fire the coach.

Well, my thing is this. There's only one coach currently coaching in the National Football League that has never had a losing season. And people can say that's not an important stat.

Yes, it is. Because he's always above 500. He's never below 500, to say the least. He's never been below 500. This man has always been relevant.

And regardless of what you think he should be doing, one thing he's doing is winning enough games to be able to have that playoff conversation, the playoff hopes there at the end of the season and get into the tournament. So it's just a matter of our fans being spoiled and deserving so because they've been around a lot of good football. We have six sticky Lombardians in the building right now in the South Side. How many organizations can say that?

Not many. All the Hall of Famers, the fan base have been able to cheer and root for. And the Hall of Famers that will be getting to the Hall in the near future as well. So it's a spoiled fan base. And with that being said, sometimes they kind of take things for granted when the expectations are not being reached immediately. I can think of at least 25 franchises that would take Mike Tomlin as their coach if he became available tomorrow.

At least 25. Exactly. Exactly. I remember, you know, real briefly, I used to hear sometimes the rumors about some New Orleans Saints fans wishing that, you know, Sean Payton, they will fire Sean Payton and go a different direction.

Oh, yes, for sure. Brian McFadden is with us here on CBS Sports Radio. He's a former Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl champion.

Now you see him on CBS Sports HQ. So, Brian, we've seen some putrid offense around the league in the first six weeks. Tom Brady described that it's just bad football. Kurt Warner told me earlier this week that it was choppy at best.

So you came from the defensive side of the ball. What are you seeing with the offense through six weeks of football? I mean, we've seen some offenses that have been stagnant. We've seen some offenses that have really have have not really lived to the billing. And I think the issue with some of the offenses, the expectations for some said offenses were extremely high.

Right. Let's start with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tom Brady returns. Most of the offensive cast returns. You lose a few members on the offensive line. But yet still, we felt like this offense would do numbers based on what they did last year.

Haven't really seen that. Aaron Rodgers, right? Hall of Fame quarterback is still still considered to be one of the best in the game. Coming into this year, you lose Devante Adams. But hey, we've seen we've seen Aaron perform without Devante throughout his career when he was there in Green Bay. It shouldn't be that big of a drop off.

Live, right? Numbers are not provided what we thought we would see from Aaron Rodgers. Let's look at the Los Angeles Rams, right? Matthew Stafford threw the second most passing touchdowns behind Tom Brady last year. In a feel good year, first experience in La La Land, we thought, yeah, comeback might not throw the same amount of touchdowns. But yet still, he should be considered to have his name and sprinkled in the MVP conversation based on what he did last year and expectations.

No, let's throw the opposite. So that's why the talk about offense or the lack thereof, it has been really heightened because most of the offenses that we're seeing struggle have some big name players at the quarterback position, right? You didn't mention the Broncos and Russell Wilson. I'm sorry, I should have thrown his name out there first. I should have threw the Broncos out there first.

But yeah, that proves my point. You know, a lot of the struggling offenses, they got big name players at the quarterback position that was getting paid a lot of money. With Russell Wilson, did you have the expectation that he would step into that Broncos offense and it would be transformed? No question.

You know what I now I will keep it real with you. I really thought the Broncos will finish either third or fourth in the FCS, right? That's what that was my thought process getting ready for the season because a first year head coach new offense record for your quarterback, then of course, really thinking probably the best divisions in the National Football League, but I still thought we would see production be cooking, right?

Moving around, doing numbers individually, scoring points. I thought the offense will be real good, a nice watch. Man, was I wrong.

Man, was I wrong. I'd never really experienced on multiple occasions having to hate the fact that I have to watch an offense. That's how I feel like and they I'm like who keep putting the Broncos on primetime TV. We just saw them over a week ago Thursday night. That was horrible. Then we just saw them again. What this past was a Monday Monday.

Yes. Like we'll keep why they keep doing this like that. Like I used to hate watching Lifetime movies. I used I used to hate that watching a Lifetime movie as a man is hard. It's dreadful. That's a hard watch. Watching the Broncos on offense is like watching a Lifetime movie.

Well, I don't know what it says about me, but I generally don't enjoy Lifetime movies either. So you know what you get where I'm coming from. You already know how to deal with that. I mean, we all thought Curly Hearn Wilson Wilson was going to jump to a Broncos uniform and just take flight.

You know, first Monday night. Remember, they played against Seattle. Who would have thought Seattle would have came out in a better situation trading away Russell Wilson. Gino Smith has been 10 times better than the Russell Wilson.

And I don't see that slowing down at all. Not to mention all the resources, all the draft picks they got in return along with the current players that are currently there through that transaction. But something to be said for coaching to write is Pete Carroll. He is one of the best in the league and he's seen a bunch of transition and yet generally gets the best out of his roster. Yes. Pete Carroll is a good coach and coach is very, very important.

You know what I mean? Because Pete Carroll has the experience. He knows what it takes to win championships.

He should have two Super Bowls, but that's the one era where he was coaching with his eyes closed and his mind not working, not running the football. They're the topic of discussion. But Pete Carroll has always been known to be relevant. And the thing I like about this year's Seattle team, they're playing hard.

That is a team that fights. And also, let's give their staff, their draft staff, right? GM, everybody involved in selecting drafts, draft players, they hit on this draft.

My goodness. Listen, all their key high draft picks from a year ago, starting with Cross, the first rounder, Willing, I think they got Willing, Tariq Willing in the fourth. These guys have been contributing and doing so at a high level.

They're starting two rookie tackles, the left and the right, and they haven't missed a beat. And now you got Kenneth Walker involved. Remember, he was injured in the beginning of the season. They took him high in the second round, if I'm not mistaken.

People were confused about why I do that. You have Penny, at that time Chris Carson, but we didn't know Chris Carson probably wouldn't play ever again. But now Kenneth Walker looks like a beast. So yeah, they're in a better situation without Russell Wilson.

And if you would have asked me that seven months ago, I'd say you're drunk. Bryant McFadden is with us from CBS Sports HQ. It's After Hours, CBS Sports Radio. Bryant, I found out we were going to get the chance to talk to you. I immediately was thinking about, you know, this whole idea of roughing the passer because it's been a big topic of conversation. And even Hall of Fame quarterbacks will tell you that the field is slanted in favor of the offense. So if you are playing now, or if you're talking to someone who's playing now, how do you approach tackles specifically with the quarterback if you have an opportunity to sack him or bring him down? Well, this is the best advice I would give if I was currently a player talking to other players about tackling quarterbacks. Just imagine putting a baby in the bassinet.

That's the same mindset you have to use in tackling the quarterback. You Yes, just know you know you when you hold the baby you got that baby you you talk about baby don't stop crying. You know you sing a little lullaby and now you got to put the baby down in the bassinet.

You got to have that that that left or right hand under the head all the way going down the spine, you know with with the baby and then you lay the baby down, you know what I'm talking about, right? Yes, that's what you got to do with the quarterback. That's the way you got to tackle quarterbacks.

You got to lay them down and you lay them down in the bassinet to avoid any penalties, and then you're gonna get fine because what we're seeing right now is wild. It is so absurd from what they expect defenders to do. Atlanta that whole situation with Grady Jarrett was wild Chris Jones on Kansas City. Who can city playing again? That was their car.

The Raiders was wild. Every week we're seeing something where you you want to pull all your hair out. You just want to pull it out because you want to feel some pain to kind of bring you back down to life. Like what am I watching? Why is this doing this?

You feel like you want to do something. So that's the bet. You got to lay these quarterbacks who are 6-3, 6-4, 6-5, 220, 230, 240, 260.

You got to gently lay them down like you laying a baby in the bassinet. That's not football. No, no, it's not.

It's not. And then if you if you accidentally fall on them, oh, that's another penalty. So it's not about getting the personal foul on contact. It's about what happens throughout the tackle.

You might not hit them extremely hard, but if you happen to fall on them by accident, that's going to bring a flag. We saw the NFL try to bring in review for the pass interference calls a couple years ago as this overreaction to what had happened in the NFC Championship. And so they tried review of what is a judgment call. Would you go that route with pass interference where you would allow it to be reviewable?

You have to. Number one, I feel some type of way they tried it. It took it away. Of course, we know why they want these points. But in regards to personal fouls, unnecessary roughness. Yes.

Yes. It's a judgment call. So you're already emphasizing to the referee. Be extremely cautious in what you see in regards to quarterbacks getting tackle. So they're already flag heavy anyway.

They're prone to reach for their flag. But let's allow it to be a situation where there's a judgment call. Let's go review it.

I don't care anything about the time that it might consume. It's worth it because that could be the the final say is who wins and who loses. Like, think about Tampa. Not necessarily saying that Tampa would have won that ballgame if they didn't call that unnecessary roughness on Tom Brady on on Grady Jarrett. But one thing we know, they never got an opportunity to get the ball back to try to win it because that provided Tampa a first down and Atlanta didn't get the ball back.

If I'm not mistaken, that was throw down. They had enough time on the clock to score. They didn't lose that ball game. Not mistaken.

Twenty one to seventeen or something like that. So they took that loss. Right. Clearly that was a bad call. We didn't know what would have happened if they would have gotten the ball back.

But guess what? They didn't because of a bad call. Let's see how that loss could affect Atlanta in late December.

And help Tampa. That's the divisional game. And think about this as well. If Atlanta would have been able to get the ball back, if they never called that call.

And this is a hypothetical. Let's say Atlanta goes down and score and wins the ball game. Guess who's first in the division?

Well, heck, I think Atlanta might need to do it first. I don't have my paperwork. Yeah, they're tied. They're tied. They're tied. I don't got my paperwork.

I'm sorry. You see what I'm saying, though? It wouldn't be a tie.

Atlanta would be first in the division. Tua returning to the Dolphins and to a press conference on Wednesday. He admits he remembers the ambulance. He remembers the hospital. But he does not remember that hit that has been removed from his mind, at least for now. Though he's cleared all his protocols and he is anxious to get back on the field with his team.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio, continuing with CBS Sports HQ analyst and two-time Super Bowl champion Bryant McFadden. And Bryant, going back to the two hits, the one, well, it was more like a push from Matt Milano against the Bills and then the hit against the Bengals that took him to the hospital. I know that you have really strong opinions.

I've seen some of your videos. What would you do differently so that when a hit is delivered in the case of Tua, an example that's right there for us to see over and over, players can still be protected or treated with the utmost care? Well, my thing is this. Let's go back to Buffalo. When he got pushed down in Buffalo, he was concussed.

Let's keep it real. If you've got a sound eye and you have experience in watching the game of football or experience in being tackled and having symptoms of a concussion, you know instantly something is not right. He's disoriented a little bit. He's experienced some type of dizziness, which comes from being concussed to some degree. So therefore he should have been removed, not returned back into the game, not back in the game at all. And then he plays in Cincinnati and then he gets concussed.

And my thing is this. Think about this. Think about the plays we just talked about with Chris Jones, Derek Carr, Grady Jared, Tom Brady. When Tua got slammed down Thursday night, Cincinnati, there was no flag.

Right. Now, maybe because of what happened for Tua that provided flags to surface weeks after that, like we just talked about. But in that case, Tua should have never played against Cincinnati. They got it wrong against Miami, allowed them to play. And now because of what happened, they're calling the games in a different way in regards to tackling quarterbacks, which is not fair to defenders because it's not a defender fault that they got it wrong against Miami. It's good to see Tua coming back. But yeah, that definitely has been a catalyst for what we're seeing the last couple of weeks, which is how the NFL operates, right? It's this overreaction ends up impacting everything else that happens on the field. Brian McFadden is with us here on CBS Sports Radio. Before I let you go, you mentioned the AFC North, but I always like to ask you about some other surprises, whether positive or negative, because we are through six weeks now already. Man, the season's going fast.

Let's keep it real. You and you in New York City, right? Yes. You in the Big Apple with the lights shining bright.

The stage is big. Nobody ain't sleeping. That's what they say in New York, right? Yes. You know, I'm from the south.

They say that's what the lights are at its brightest. Let's talk about the New York team. The freak, the Giants are five and one and the Jets are four and two. Talk about surprises. Those two teams have been the biggest surprise for me in the National Football League.

And here's why. If you would have told me in July that in six weeks of play, the Jets would be four and two based on their schedule. And the Giants would be five and one. Once again, I would have said you're drunk. You're totally intoxicated. I would have said, no, you're drunk and you're not telling the truth.

You're just all the way intoxicated because there's no way in the world that's possible. Based on what we've seen, not last year, the year before the uncertainty on the Ross new coaches, what, how long will it take for them to kind of showcase who they are, the foundation and into the organization. But get this, the Jets are four and two, the Giants are five and one. The Giants have won ball games, doing it with almost the who's of who. Some of the notable names that we thought would be big time contributors for the organization haven't really done nothing. Kadarius Toney, nothing. Kenny Galladay, nothing. You missed your best defensive player for a few weeks, Leonard Williams, didn't miss a beat.

Think about what the Giants have doing. Saquon Barkley has been in beast mode. Just stay healthy, Saquon. That's all I ask. Just stay healthy. But Lord have mercy.

You talk about beast mode. He's been balling. Daniel Jones has been holding on to the football.

He's been holding on to the football. And the unique thing about the Giants and the same kid he said for the Jets, they're finding ways to win ball games. In years past, those two teams, they found a way to lose. And it was so annoying for the Jets fans and the Giants fans. I was talking to the Jets fan about two weeks ago. He was just waiting for the Jets thing to happen. You know how every year the Jets thing happened where they just do something dumb and they just start to lose the ball game? He was not optimistic at all. He's like, no, but you know, it's the Jets.

But he just so scored. He's been beat up for such a long time watching the Jets. He didn't really believe they actually could be a good team. He's like, well, I'm just waiting for the Jets thing to happen. Like, what's the Jets thing?

I didn't know it was a thing. Yeah, you know, when the Jets do that thing where they just let us down and disappoint us. I'm tired of being disappointed. I'm like, man, where's your hope? Be optimistic. Be excited. But seeing what they've done in six weeks, I wasn't a bet. He has changed his mindset on the Jets. So kudos to those two organizations.

Those are two of my big surprises. The city should be on fire. They should be fired up. If you're a Jets fan, you don't root for the Giants. You should root for the Giants. If you're a Giants fan who don't like the Jets, you should root for the Jets. It's great for the city.

It is great for the game of football. New York got to be on fire right now. And you got the Yankees getting ready to play the Astros where the Knicks gonna do what the Knicks do. I mean, you know, there's not a lot of high hopes for the Knicks, but everything else is jumping. The Rangers seeing what they did last season.

Come on. New York's supposed to be on fire right now, even though it's cold. It's very, very cold.

I would imagine you're still supposed to be on fire for the city. It's not that cold. It's in the 50s for heaven's sakes. New York's 50 is different than South 50. Like, you know, you know, if you're in Georgia, the 50 is low. I can deal with the 50 in the state of Georgia.

Up in New York, when it's 50, that's a little different. You played in Pittsburgh, Brian. Did that not toughen you up? It did, but I'm retired.

That's the crazy part about it. When I play in Pittsburgh, it used to be 10 degrees, 15, 20. I felt fine. But if you put me in that type of element right now, I'm not doing it.

There's not enough thermals and long johns for me to put on and layer up to feel comfortable to be outside in that type of weather. After winning two Super Bowls with the Steelers, Brian McFadden has developed a thin skin since his retirement, but we always enjoy having him on the show. You can find him on Twitter at BMAC underscore sports talk.

You can catch him on CBS Sports HQ. Always good to catch up with you. I got you baby in a bassinet. From now on, that is my mental image. You know, if you ever you've had to put a baby in the bassinet, you know, you got to be extremely gentle. You don't want to drop that baby the wrong way. That's how it is with these quarterbacks as a defender.

You got to put them in the bassinet. Fantastic. Good to talk to you, Brian.

Thank you for having me. Is there something really absurd that skeeves you out getting a paper cut on my eyeball? A fear you can't shake? I'm gonna leak ocular fluid down my cheeks.

It's going to go into my mouth and I will perish. Whatever scares you, I want to talk about it. Join me, Larry Mullins, on my new podcast, Your Weirdest Fears. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. Humanity has been shaped by moments in which one person approached a crowd with something important to say. I'm Jon Meacham, and this is It Was Said Season Two, a creation and production of C-13 originals, a Cadence 13 studio in association with the History Channel. It Was Said Season Two.

Listen and subscribe for free on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Is there something really absurd that skeeves you out getting a paper cut on my eyeball? A fear you can't shake? I'm going to leak ocular fluid down my cheeks.

It's going to go into my mouth and I will perish. Whatever scares you, I want to talk about it. Join me, Larry Mullins, on my new podcast, Your Weirdest Fears. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-20 16:35:11 / 2022-11-20 16:45:39 / 10

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