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1-6-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 3

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
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January 6, 2023 6:08 am

1-6-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 3

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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January 6, 2023 6:08 am

A look around the NFL entering Week 18 | Jim Harbaugh's future at Michigan? | The Patriots head to Buffalo with a shot at the postseason.

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No one's more locked into the NFL than First and Pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high-level talents and only got spot starts and did okay, by the way?

Well, because it doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. If you are awake on your Friday morning, we almost made it. I was able to say to Producer J, happy almost Friday, just a few hours ago, because we are crawling, we're limping towards the weekend, and it's been an atypical week, very unconventional.

I wouldn't change a thing. I am so, so impressed by the way that the NFL community, not just the league and its owners, but also the players themselves, across locker rooms, across rivalries, have supported one another, and to a man this week, have been focused so singularly on not just DeMar Hamlin and his health, but supporting his family and supporting the Bills. And we're talking about coaches that are about to line up across the field from them and desperately need to outwork and out-strategize, in the case of, say, the Patriots against the Bills. But all of that was put on pause and put on hold and fell by the wayside over the last couple of days. I have no doubt that hearing DeMar Hamlin has made progress and is awake makes it so much easier to go back to football. Now, does it mean that all the demons are gone and there are no concerns and no one's thinking about it?

Nah, that's not human nature. But it does mean that they can play believing that their teammate, their opponent, this fellow NFL player, is going to be okay. And so it was great to hear that message from his doctors.

We'll let you hear more from them coming up through the second half of the show. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. It is a football Friday here on the show, and it's not just the NFL portion, though it is their final week of the regular season. It's also about the national championship, the college football playoff. So the last game of this weekend is not a Monday night game in the NFL. There's no Monday night game in the NFL. Instead, we land in SoFi for TCU. Cinderella, as Dennis Dodd told us on last night's show, may be the only true Cinderella college football's ever had.

And certainly modern day college football playoff against the defending champs. So you're talking about frogs and dogs. I love that.

Frogs and dogs, baby. But you're also talking about Cinderella versus Goliath, or David versus Goliath in this case. So I'm looking forward to that, of course. We'll talk more about it on Sunday night. We'll wedge it in amongst the NFL results. So it's a huge weekend. It always happens in early January that we get the national championship on the heels of an NFL weekend. Now we've got our game of the week poll up. It's the last one of the regular season.

And so here we go. We give you Titans and Jaguars on Saturday night. And we did a pretty extensive preview of that game on our last show. Just a lot of hopefulness around the Jaguars because of where they've been. They had a five game losing streak earlier in the season. And Doug Peterson, similar to Dan Campbell, encouraged these guys to keep working.

They kept building. Their defense grew up a little bit. Their offense found a rhythm. Their guys got healthy.

Travis Etienne has been a huge piece of what they've done. And he's really emerged in the wake of James Robinson getting traded to the Jets. Which didn't quite work out the way the Jets anticipated. But the Jaguars are streaking.

And now they sit in first place. But they're going to have to go through the Titans who will not have Malik Willis or Ryan Tannehill. Instead Josh Dobbs, who's been with the team for two weeks roughly. He's their starting quarterback making his second career start in a win or go home game.

So that one's crazy right? Titans and Jaguars. And Tennessee's lost six in a row. A lot of momentum on the side of Jacksonville.

But you know momentum is fleeting in sports. Then we turn our attention to another AFC game. Patriots and Bills.

So New England will have to make this trip to Western New York. They're familiar. They are not going to be intimidated.

But certainly the Bills are a better team. Now will there be an emotional lift? I heard Boomer Esiason talk about this on Thursday morning on his local New York radio show.

And I hadn't considered it. But can you imagine what the fan reaction will be like when the Bills take the field on Sunday afternoon? Can you imagine? Bills Mafia is already geared up and insane. But with the emotional wave of the last six days. How much they will be desperate to welcome their team back with every ounce of support and encouragement. And just gratefulness for this team and the way they've handled themselves this week.

Not to mention the emotional release of knowing that DeMar is making such significant improvement. It's going to be wave after wave of emotion. And the Patriots will have to combat that. So the Bills Mafia is going to be full-throat, no doubt. So Patriots at Bills. If New England wins, New England's got the final AFC wildcard. And if the Bills would win that game, they theoretically, we're not going to automatically hand Kansas City the victory against the Raiders.

That's not fair. But if Buffalo and Kansas City both win this weekend, the Chiefs would get the bye. But if the Bills beat the Pats and the Chiefs lose in Vegas, the Bills are the number one seed and they get the bye.

And then there's no more talk of neutral sites. They would have won it outright even though they didn't play or didn't finish their game in Week 17. So there's a lot on the line for the Bills. Not to mention the emotional lift in addition to this being a play-in game for the Patriots. Then we turn our attention to Rams and Seahawks. I don't know if it's quite the same thing, but there is the return of Bobby Wagner after 10 years as a top defender, top linebacker in Seattle. He's definitely not feeling the love, but Pete Carroll is hoping the fans will treat Bobby with respect and remember what he meant to the franchise.

So we'll hear from them coming up. Rams, Seahawks is an afternoon game and the reason the NFL scheduled it that way is because if the Seahawks beat the Rams, they're still in line for a playoff spot. In fact, they would then turn around and root for the Lions because if the Lions beat the Packers and the Seahawks win, Seattle has the final wild card in the NFC and the Packers would be out in the cold. So those are your four games. Rams, Seahawks, Lions, Packers in the NFC. Patriots, Bills, Titans, Jaguars in the AFC. Yes, there are other games that carry major implications.

We just hit some of them. Bengals have already won the AFC North, though there's still an outside shot for the top seed in the AFC. The Ravens are relegated to a wild card regardless now. In the NFC Beast, you've got the Eagles and the Cowboys and the Giants who've all clinched playoff spots, but the division has not yet been won. Now the Giants are locked into a wild card, the number six seed, but the Eagles and the Cowboys are still duking it out this weekend for what could be the bye. The top seed in the NFC would be humongous. Now the Niners are still an outside shot as well after winning in overtime last week against the Raiders, so there's that piece too. But if the Eagles win, we don't know if they'll have Jalen Hurts, but if the Eagles win, they are the top seed. They've got the bye and they are the winners of the NFC East Division crown. The Cowboys would then drop to the five seed and would be on the road at Tampa Bay to start out the playoffs. So there's a lot there too and all four NFC Beast teams are playing each other this weekend.

So there's a lot to kind of think about. The Cowboys, I don't want to say they get a raw deal because they will theoretically have had the same number of opportunities as the Eagles. And they have won six of seven. They're playing great football. You think back to the first week of the regular season against the Bucks and what happened? They lose Dak Prescott for a month.

Cooper Rush becomes their starting quarterback. They've weathered a ton of adversity. The only blip on the radar for the Cowboys over the last month and a half has been their game against Jacksonville.

Now I would have to go back and look. You Cowboys fans would remember better than me, but didn't Jacksonville race out to a big lead? And then the Cowboys came back and made the score look respectable. But the Jaguars were pummeling the Cowboys early in that game, if I remember correctly. I could be wrong. We can look it up.

We can look the other way around. Oh, that's right. The Cowboys were up big and then the Jaguars came all the way back. That was the weekend where we had so many of those crazy comebacks. Weren't they up 17 in the second half of that game? Actually, I'm going to go back and look at my notes because I took notes about that game.

I believe it was 21-0 at one point. Alright, so we'll go back and look. But yeah, sorry. Totally my fault. I knew that one team had raced out to a big lead. Oh, that's right! Trevor Lawrence led the late scoring drive and then the Cowboys had an opportunity. Yeah, okay. It's all coming back to me now.

It's all coming back to me now, Celine Dion. So yes, that was the blip for the Cowboys. They spit the bit against the Jaguars when they had the big lead. Otherwise, they would have run the table over their last seven.

Now, you know, ifs and buts. But it's a team that definitely has seen a lot of adversity this season. And I think they are battle-tested moving forward. That's been our mantra. It's resilient. And when something happens, we're just talking about it. Alright, you get knocked down but you can stand back up. And that's what resiliency is. And that's us. We got knocked down a couple of times. We got right back up and went and put a performance on the next week sometimes the best. And then sometimes enough to get the job done. But regardless, at the end of the day, this team is going to fight.

And I think it starts at the beginning of the year. Obviously, when I got hurt, Coop came in and stepped in. And just to be able to switch running backs out. Rotate offensive linemen. Important guys on defense miss time and time again at different times.

And guys come in and substitute and do their job. I think that's just the epitome when you see a team that's speaking about resilience. It's the things that we've been through this year and have been able to overcome.

Want to hear something crazy? It's literally right on a card in front of my face. Because it was week 15.

And I have a card that's written week 15 mayhem. So duh. That was the Rayshawn Jenkins pick 6 in overtime. Off-deck Prescott. It was a tipped ball. But off-deck Prescott that he was able to return for the win. And so it was a walk-off pick 6 on the deflected pass. But remember, not only did Dallas waste a 14-point halftime lead. But how could I forget this?

Because there's so many games. Do you remember how Trevor Lawrence fumbled with 90 seconds to go? And the Cowboys thought they had won the game.

Right? So Dallas gets this late touchdown drive. And then they force the fumble. And they do nothing with it. I think they go 3 and out. So they do nothing with it. The ball goes back to the Jaguars who then are able to tie the game on a field goal. Right?

And send it into overtime. Oh my gosh. How did I forget that? It's literally on a card right in front of my face. The Jaguars fight back for the overtime win against Dallas. So yes, that was the blip. They would love to have that one back.

But they are still in position for potentially the top seed and the bye in the NFC. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. So you can vote for the game of the week. We always take your write-in votes.

That's totally fine. We'll do a more extensive preview of Green Bay and Detroit coming up. And then there are a lot of other games that while they may not have playoff implications, it's still a setup to the postseason.

Right? Like the Buccaneers. They know they're hosting a game. But they've not played their best football.

They really like to be able to string together. How about two good weeks in a row? Or in their case, two good halves in a row.

Because they really are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a lot of the time. So you'll hear from Tom Brady coming up as well. It's just, it's crazy to me that we're sitting on week 18. And a lot of this week was lost in what happened with DeMar.

And I'm not sorry about that. I think it was really important to see the other side of the NFL and the human side of these athletes and these coaches. And we know that life or death is far more important than anything that might happen in week 18. It just, it was such a different week where, yeah, we talked about football, but it was in a completely different context. So we'd invite you to pick the after-hours game of the week.

If you want to talk about these games, you can find me on Twitter, ALawRadio, or on our Facebook page. And then we've got the latest on Jim Harbaugh, too. So I'm not sure if you saw the statement from him thinking about some of the NFL coaching vacancies and what might happen moving forward. He is being courted, I suppose. I'm not even sure if we can go with that strong language. But he at least has had conversations with one NFL team. And he issues a statement that is appropriately vague, I would say. But we talked about it with Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports on our last show, so I wanted to follow up.

So yeah, just all kinds of tendrils this week that are kind of coming together on what is our final show. Also, it reads like a soap opera in U.S. soccer, too. In the wake of what was an incredible appearance for them at the World Cup, getting to the knockout stage, and I know they didn't win, but the point is now they're about to go into this three and a half year cycle where they're preparing for the World Cup to be on U.S. soil, as well as Canada and Mexico. But Team USA is likely to play the majority of its games here in the United States, and they don't have a coach. And they don't have a coach because his contract was allowed to expire.

And why was Greg Berhalter's contract allowed to expire? Whoa. If you haven't been following the story, again, it reads like a soap opera. I mean, it's flabbergasting. Is that a word? Flabbergasted is a word. Flabbergasting? I was flabbergasted? I am flabbergast. Okay, you know me.

I talk for a living. It's flabbergasting. Flabbergasting.

Okay, but say it a few times and see how it sounds after you say it. It's just a little odd. Flabbergasting. Flabbergasting. Flabbergasting. That news is flabbergasting. Flabbergasting.

It works. What's the strangest thing you're afraid of? Tales without fur on them, such as rats or opossums? I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast Your Weirdest Fears, where we dig into the crazy things you're afraid of. Everything from animal-people hybrids, you know, people who get surgeries to look like an animal, to giant statues.

If I ever saw one of those giant statues, I probably would poop my pants. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. No one's more locked into the NFL than first and pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high-level talents and only got spot starts and did okay, by the way?

Well, because it's just, it doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. What's the strangest thing you're afraid of? Tales without fur on them, such as rats or opossums? I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast Your Weirdest Fears, where we dig into the crazy things you're afraid of. Everything from animal-people hybrids, you know, people who get surgeries to look like an animal, to giant statues.

If I ever saw one of those giant statues, I probably would poop my pants. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the After Hours Podcast.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines coming up short again in the college football playoff. Now they've had some incredible highs the last two years in beating Ohio State, but, and that certainly is a major piece of coaching at Michigan, but they've fallen short when it comes to the playoff.

Now, are they better off at this point than they were a few years ago? Sure. Is Jim Harbaugh a great coach? Absolutely. Is he now flirting with the NFL again?

Well, yes, maybe. I don't know. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We had talked to Dennis Dodd about this on the show roughly 24 hours ago, so if you missed that, it's on our podcast, After Hours,

You can always find it on the Odyssey app or the Odyssey website as well. Jim Harbaugh at least had a conversation with David Tepper of the Carolina Panthers that we know, and now he is sort of putting Wolverine's fears to bed with a statement that is vague at best and leaves room for a semi-truck to drive through at worst. So this is Thursday afternoon. A statement issued by Michigan, but it comes from Jim Harbaugh. He acknowledged the rumors and speculation over the past few days and repeated this statement.

This is his story and he's sticking to it. I expect to return as head coach of Michigan for the 23 season. I expect to. He says, as I stated in December, while no one knows what the future holds, I expect that I will be enthusiastically coaching Michigan in 2023. I've spoken with President Santa Ono and Athletic Director Ward Manuel and appreciate their support of me and our program. Our mission as Wolverines continues. We are preparing for the 2023 season with great passion and enthusiasm, and then he finishes it with this tagline.

How about this? As our legendary coach Bo Schembechler said, those who stay will be champions. Ooh, that sounds like great manipulation to me. Those who stay will be champions.

I do love that line. I'm just saying it's a little manipulative. Jim Harbaugh has reportedly taken calls from the Panthers as well as the Denver Broncos. Now, the Broncos are an interesting situation because their new ownership, the Walton Penner family, has indicated they're going to be uber aggressive in pursuing a quality head coach who presumably brings experience.

Now, here's their challenge. I guess there's a lot of their attention that could be focused on Sean Payton. The problem is that Sean Payton is still technically employed by the Saints, which means they would have to give up draft capital to get him. Do you know what the Broncos do not have? Draft capital, because they gave up, what was it, five draft picks to get Russell Wilson, so they don't have a lot of that. So then do they pivot and go after a coach who, yes, has NFL experience, albeit years ago, but Jim Harbaugh has actually a great NFL coaching record. Money is no object for the Walton Penner family. Clearly they purchased the franchise for $4.6 billion dollars. Billion, that's a B word. So, would he be their second choice?

I don't know. But they're likely to run into a hurdle when it comes to Sean Payton if he was the object of their desire. But the reports out there, we know again that Harbaugh has at least had a conversation with the Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and there's been another report that he's also taken calls from the new ownership of the Denver Broncos. Now the Broncos have fallen on hard times.

They've missed the postseason seven consecutive years. They want a legitimate, credible coach who instantly brings respectability, but also can work with Russell Wilson. They've got a good young defense. In fact, their defensive coordinator is rumored to be one of the top head coaching candidates out there. Even though they traded away Bradley Chubb and Von Miller's gone, they've got some great pieces. Can the new coach come in and figure out the best situation for Russell Wilson and how to have the offense succeed with Russ because essentially their wagon is hitched to Russ' star.

And Russell Wilson has been asked about why he believes the Broncos job is a great opportunity. It's a great job. I mean, this is a great place to be. You know, I didn't realize it was 300 days of sunshine here. I didn't realize that, you know, I knew our fans were great, but just for that reason, the energy of the city has been special. Now, I know it hasn't been our best days, but better days are coming. And when we when we get on a hot streak and when we start winning and hopefully we can win a ring or two or more, it'll be even that much sweeter.

And and so, yeah, I think that is a great place to be. We've got some amazing players in the locker room. You know, just even at practice today, there's some plays that were made today that you're just like, man, these special guys, man, these young guys are building up.

The vets are looking really great. It's just it's just coming together, you know, and I know it's a little late, but a little late. Hopefully we'll start early next year. And so we've got to have a great offseason, all of us. And it starts with me and everybody else. So, you know, I love you here. It's going to be special.

And I'm looking forward to whoever that may be. He's invested, he's taking ownership and he's got a lot of his teammates behind him. We didn't spend a ton of time on it last weekend. It was just kind of a weird week anyway, because of the holidays.

And I only worked two nights last week. But in the wake of Nathaniel Hackett getting fired and a lot of people pointing fingers at Russ, you had some of his teammates come out with very strong statements in support of Russell Wilson, despite the claims that no one in the locker room likes him and he's a pariah and he's ostracized. No, I mean, you had a bunch of his teammates come out and say, we love this guy and we believe in this guy. And so regardless of whether or not that's true, the Broncos, who right now are 4 and 12 and are missing the playoffs for a seventh straight season since Super Bowl 50 and Peyton Manning's retirement, well, Peyton Manning and Marcus Ware, they were both so critical. They need a new head coach and they are expected to spare no expense. Could Jim Harbaugh be their man? Well, going back to his days in San Francisco from 2011 to 2014, the Niners went to three playoffs and three NFC title games. You may remember that they were in that mix with Seattle.

So it was like a stretch was an incredible rivalry between the Seahawks, it's like the Richard Sherman Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. Of course, the Niners went to the Super Bowl. That was when Colin Kaepernick was their starting quarterback. 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, they lost to the Ravens.

That was the night the lights went out in New Orleans. Anyway, his record in San Francisco, and if I remember correctly, his final season, they were eight and eight, so they were still just playing 16 games then. His final season, they were eight and eight. And what really derailed it is that he and Trent Bulkey essentially had a peeing contest on the fire hydrant and Bulkey was higher up the food chain, didn't like the abrasive personality and the kind of the, hey, I'm going to do things my way. I don't need you to tell me how to run my team approach of Jim Harbaugh. So Bulkey and Harbaugh clashed, they couldn't get along and Bulkey won that power contest. And so Harbaugh then took the job in Michigan where he's been ever since. But he was 44-19-1 in his tenure at San Francisco. That's one of the best NFL head coaching records ever. It's a limited sample size, but 44-19-1 with a Super Bowl appearance and three playoff runs. Now at Michigan, he's 74-25, so if you're looking for track record, well, there you go. Eight seasons at Michigan, back to back playoff appearances. There's a reason why he is sought after as a head coach. But according to Bo Schembechler, you have to stay to win championships. It's just such a, doesn't it sound manipulative? Hey, you can't leave because those who stay will be champions. It's fantastic. I love it. So you're telling me there's a chance.

Yeah, I think there's a pretty good chance. Some of you may remember that he sent a jolt into the Wolverine fan base when he had a conversation with the Vikings last year. Was it around New Year's Day or so that he had a conversation with the Vikings? And he was never offered the job there, but I guess they had pretty extensive conversations. They couldn't really get to the point where they're on the same page.

Something about philosophies being different, yada, yada, yada. So he was never offered the job there, but he wasn't sorry about looking at his options, nor do I think he should be. But the problem is, in college, when you start looking around, considering your options, your recruiting classes suffer because you've got young men who are committing to you. Very often in college, it's, yes, it's the campus, and sure, it's the national TV games, but very often when we're talking about serious football players, it's the coach.

It's the coach. And so when your coach is threatening to leave, it becomes this uncertainty for recruits. Now, these days, the transfer portal gives them the option to get out when they want to, and there's less of a penalty for it now, really. There's no penalty for it.

So you have more fluidity when it comes to the players themselves. They're not stuck if they commit. But yeah, he's not sorry about it, nor should he be. He's earned the right to be courted, so to speak.

It just, I don't know if it's real. I don't know if it's legit or if it's about wanting Michigan to appreciate what they've got, right? He did sign a restructured contract that now has him at Michigan, theoretically, until 2026.

$7 million in base pay, and there's a whole lot of incentive that's wrapped around that, too, if they get to the playoff with a championship, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so back-to-back Big Ten titles and back-to-back college football playoff appearances, he had already said, I'll be back. Now he's reiterating that, but adding the I expect that I will be back with the Wolverines enthusiastically in 2023. He's a unique cat, and I know he and his brother John, they do look alike and they've got similar voices, but their personalities are so different.

I would love to see them back coaching against each other in the NFL just because of the family dynamic, but I also think that Jim Harbaugh is an incredible college coach, and he's a little quirky, a little odd, but he's a winner, and so you kind of put up with whatever, right, because he produces results, and you can't ask for a whole lot more than that. It's not perfect, it's not pretty sometimes, usually, but it is us. That could be for our show.

Wait, can you play it again? This totally applies to after hours. It's not perfect, it's not pretty sometimes, usually, but it is us. Please save that.

We need to do an entire new open or rejoin of all of the various drops from the world of sports that describe our show. They weren't maybe intended to, but it is us. It is us. It's not pretty, it's not perfect sometimes, usually. Sometimes.

It's so good. Who says we can't get blitzed? It is us. It is us. This is us, baby. This is us.

All right, take our poll. After hours game of the week, we did actually put a fourth game in there. We were more set on three.

We included four. People get mad. It's what happens every single week of the regular season. We're prepared to deal with it.

We've got the full body armor for this show. It's a football Friday coming up. The Patriots speak more about DeMar Hamlin than about this game against the Bills, but obviously so much on the line for them. And in addition, the Eagles still want that number one seed. What about Jalen Hurts? A.J. Brown speaks about his quarterback. Man, how could we only have 90 minutes left? I feel like I could do, no, don't speak that out loud.

Don't speak it. I could do more. I'm not going to do more because it's No one's more locked into the NFL than first and pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high level talents and only got spot starts and did OK, by the way.

Well, because it's just it doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast. There's a lot to listen to. So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. No one's more locked into the NFL than first and pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high level talents and only got spot starts and did OK, by the way.

Well, because it's just it doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast Friday. It's Friday.

You are listening to the After Hours podcast. On a third and 15th snap, they rush for Bridgewater's back to fire it like intercepted by Duggar left to the 30 outside of the 20 to the 15 to the 10. Duggar to the five.

He took it to the house. Here we go. Take the lead.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Bob Socey, Scott Zolack on Patriots radio, and they've put themselves in a position actually to go back to the words of Jim Harbaugh. It's not always pretty.

Sometimes it's ugly. Usually that really describes their offense and amidst the rumblings about Bob Kraft wanting changes already to the Patriots coaching staff, specifically on the offensive side of the ball. This game becomes even more critical. No one should feel sorry for the Patriots, right? But going into Buffalo is never an easy task. And to do it when there will be such a supercharged emotional atmosphere in Orchard Park as the fans welcome back their bills, following what's been a tumultuous week and a scary week, the Patriots are walking right into it. So if you want to get playoff prepared, well, here's your opportunity.

They do control their own fate. You win and you're in. You've got the last AFC wild card. Otherwise, it's up to the Dolphins or potentially the Steelers, which that would be crazy.

But I always am rooting for Mike Tomlin. On Thursday, haha, on Thursday, we heard from the Patriots for the first time in a few days. And right away, Bill Belichick, Mac Jones really taking the opportunity, same as most of the NFL has, to offer support for DeMar and for the Bills.

DeMar Hamlin's been, I think, on everyone's minds and their thoughts since Monday night. Our entire team and organization, you know, on behalf of them, you know, I've extended our thoughts and prayers to the Bills, the organization. Life's bigger than this game. I think it's just one of these humbling moments for all of us that stands out. I'd say as a coach, it's different, and I've expressed this to the players multiple times. But the amount of respect that I have for them and what they do and how they do it is immense. Really, all I can say and really all I'm going to say is I think everybody's doing the best they can.

And so that could be on a lot of different levels and a lot of different perspectives, but I think we're all doing the best that we can. It's all about DeMar and his family, and obviously, you know, him being on their team, that's a lot of motivation. And just to play for him, I mean, we're all playing for him, right? We all want to be out there and compete, and that's what he does when he's out there.

I mean, he's all over the tape. You see him making plays, and it's just tough to see that he's hurt so bad. But at the end of the day, we've got to go out there and compete and really just honor him on both sides of the ball and obviously have a respect for the Bills and everything that they've been through this past week.

It's really tough, obviously. We're not in their situation, but we're all in this together, and I think it's important to realize that football is a game that brings people together. And I think this is a great example of bringing not only our teams together, but the whole league, the whole world, really, the whole nation. So I think, you know, it's a really tough time, but you can see all the support for him and his family, and I just really hope that he just continues to get better. I did not hear it until I got into work, but what I saw on social media is a lot of the Patriots beat writers and those who are covering the Patriots press conference express that this was a side of Bill Belichick you don't very often see. And he said, I feel like this is a humbling moment. It puts life in perspective.

It's bigger than a game, and I've expressed that to my players, my gratitude. I can't even imagine being in that situation as a coach. So we get to see not just the human side of the players who went through this Monday, but even some of the coaches that generally do not reveal their innermost thoughts and feelings in front of a microphone or to the media or really ever. So, yeah, a different side of Bill Belichick, and yet that was what was most important to him. And Mac Jones was told the story of how Damar Hamlin's first question when he became cognizant and was communicating is who won the game.

Honestly, that's pretty wild. It's just you can tell that he's a competitor, right? And that's the first thing that he's asking and all that. And I think that's who we are as people.

We love the game of football. And obviously, I'm just so glad that he's doing better. And his family, you know, hopefully can start talking with him and doing all that stuff. Yes, in fact, his family has been there the entire week.

We found out that Brandon Bean, the general manager for the Bills, has stayed in Cincinnati the entire week. Certainly there's been a press corps there. People have asked me, what if this happened in practice or a game that wasn't nationally televised? Would the results or would the reaction, the fallout be the same?

Well, no, probably not. I mean, this was a perfect storm. It was a huge game. It was the only game in town. It was national TV. It was on multiple networks.

I'm not sure if you know this, but it was on ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, and it was on ESPN Plus. So it was all over the place. And there was so much hype going into it. But in addition to that, there was almost an entire hour where we didn't know what was happening. There wasn't any information.

We didn't know about DeMar. And then waiting for two days. And so the support for him and his family builds. His fundraiser, his GoFundMe page, it's really become a phenomenon in and of itself. And yeah, I mean, I don't know exactly why it happened the way that it did. There's a lot of contributing factors. I suspect that the NFL coming to a grinding halt for two days where it stops for nothing.

Producer J, what did you tell me? When was the last time a regular season game was canceled in the NFL? 1937. Not even during a worldwide pandemic did the NFL miss a game. The league does not do this. So the league deserves credit for responding to what it was seeing and hearing from its players and recognizing, as Bill Belichick said, that there are some things that are more important than football. Tom Brady, same thing. Now, the injury occurred after he did his podcast on Monday.

So he would have done his podcast. I think it generally is about six o'clock Eastern time, six o'clock Tampa time. And then they got on the field right after that for the game. It's all of us. It's always, I think, just that, you know, you're watching it live and it's a tough thing for anyone to watch. And I think we all just love what we do. We love playing and you don't always think about the consequences of playing. And sometimes it's I know even it's a totally different situation. But when I had my ACL, you know, I just I didn't take it for granted anymore.

Just playing. You know, I never really got injured. And I don't think any of us when you're reminded of really tough situations like that. And like I said, I sure hope he recovers. But, you know, it's a hopefully no one takes anything for granted. This is a very challenging sport and it's very physical sport. And we have a great deal of respect for one another and people try to play it.

And it's just a very, very tough incident for all of us to grasp. Top of the hour, the doctors for DeMar Hamlin. You'll hear them share their updates from Thursday afternoon. Plus Josh Allen and Sean McDermott meeting the media for the first time, as well as other members of the Bills. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. I feel like it's somewhat back to normal because people are lambasting us for the choices that we made. The After Hours Game of the Week choices, whether it's Twitter or Facebook, you can vote and you can yell.

It's totally fine to go back to yelling. You know what's crazy is that in the middle of the doctor's press conferences and everything being live tweeted. Did you see the news that dropped at the exact same time?

I don't generally believe in coincidence, but this is it was weird. Texas fired its men's basketball coach, Chris Beard, because, I mean, he's been suspended without pay. He got arrested on a domestic family violence charge. And so he's in the midst of that. But I swear to you, if you look at the timing, the news broke right in the middle of the doctors doing their press conference. And right in the middle of everyone getting updates on DeMar Hamlin.

And then that's where the news breaks about Chris Beard. So probably not a huge surprise, but they are now in, well, they're going to be in flux. Their associate head coach, Rodney Terry, he's been acting as a head coach.

He's in charge the rest of the season. But yeah, Texas releases that statement right in the middle of everything happening with DeMar. So that was interesting.

And then also on Thursday, and I think it kind of got lost, but I'm telling you, it reads like a soap opera. Greg Berhalter responding publicly to everything that's come out about him as a then college student with his then girlfriend, now wife. And the fact that they got into an argument that turned physical when they were out drinking one night in college. And what's happened is that Berhalter, his contract has expired. He wants to continue, but U.S. Soccer has launched an investigation going back to 1991. I mean, this seems just, it seems outrageous to me.

I'm not saying it's okay, but I mean, for heaven's sakes, 1991 when he wasn't even married and he was a drunk college student. So they're going back to investigate, but guess where it came from? It came from the Reyna family.

That's the part that it reads like a soap opera. Remember, Gio Reyna was expected to play a major role in the U.S. World Cup in Qatar and the team and Greg Berhalter, we now know, called him on the carpet for what they felt like was a lack of effort. So he apologized to his team, he kind of rectified that. I mean, it was a humbling moment, a moment where he was kind of forced to grow up. Well, apparently when Berhalter went public, speaking about Gio Reyna's experience and what happened with him in Qatar and even leading up to Qatar, his family, Claudia Reyna and his wife, they were really hurt by that. They were offended that he would call out their son. So they're the ones that informed U.S. Soccer about Greg Berhalter's altercation with his girlfriend in 1991.

I mean, these guys were former U.S. World Cup teammates, and now it's turned into this big mess. It's after hours, CBS Sports Radio. No one's more locked into the NFL than first and pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high-level talents and only got spot starts and did okay, by the way?

Well, because it's just it doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-06 09:08:21 / 2023-01-06 09:26:26 / 18

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