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Danan Hughes | Chiefs Color Analyst & Former NFL WR

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
February 7, 2023 6:13 am

Danan Hughes | Chiefs Color Analyst & Former NFL WR

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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February 7, 2023 6:13 am

Former NFL WR and current Chiefs radio color analyst Danan Hughes joins the show from Phoenix to talk Super Bowl!

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Learn more at today. We are really excited to welcome a former Chiefs wide receiver, who's been a guest on the show before, in his role as radio analyst alongside the great Mitch Holtus, whose voice you heard there at the top of the hour. They are the duo that will call the game for the home team.

Well, for the hometown, I should say. Chiefs Radio Network. And Dana, we were just hearing from Patrick Mahomes about how the loss sticks with him from two years ago. And I've heard him say that if the Chiefs beat the Eagles, this victory will be so much sweeter than the original win that he had going back three seasons ago.

And that caught me off guard because that ended a drought 50 years. It was not only his first Super Bowl win, but it was Andy Reid's first as a head coach. And yet he says this year would be infinitely more sweet than the one from a few years ago.

I would love your reaction to that. Yeah, I think you talk to a lot of athletes and I'm sure I was the same way. The losses sting harder than the wins than you savor the win. And especially with it being the last loss, like had he lost the first one and then won the second one, then maybe he'd probably be singing a different tune now with this one. But I understand like a lot of athletes that have been here and been on this stage, whether it's NBA or the MLB or NFL, like once you get that high of winning, like it's tough to quantify and it's tough to, you know, to kind of match unless you get back to it. And then when you don't have that and, you know, you remember the Super Bowl win and the party afterwards and the elation in the locker room and all that good stuff. And then you subsequently go to next year and everything's the opposite. It's like, okay, now I felt that high and I want that high back. And I won retribution, especially the way we were ousted last year against the Bengals and Patrick Mahomes not having the best game of his career, throwing two interceptions, having the bad second half at home. Like, I felt like that propelled him this year and now he's kind of gotten over that hump and these guys are hungry.

Like, they tasted that sweet nectar and, you know, they want to get back to it and I can appreciate that. This team has a bunch of guys who've been to the Super Bowls, not all of them. Some of the rosters turned over the wide receivers. Obviously, there's a bunch of new guys, but they certainly do have a ton of experience. How much does that matter in your opinion when they played in essentially every big game you possibly can?

You have to have a certain balance, Amy. I think in this situation, you think about our defense. We got at any given time, we'll have six rookies on the field. Three of our top four corners are rookies. You know, one of our top three safeties is a rookie.

We have George Karl Loftus and Leo Chanel that are playing linebacker and defensive end and they are in the top part of our depth chart for our defense. So, you have to have that balance. When you have that youth, you have that different energy. You have that kind of situation where guys, they don't know what they don't know. Like, that's what it is as a rookie.

You don't know what you don't know. So, you're just out there playing football and you can appreciate that and respect that, but you also have to have the compliment of the Chris Joneses and the Travis Kelseys and the Patrick Mahomeses. And even the Carlos Dunlap, that he's been in the league for, what, 13 years and hasn't been to the Super Bowl.

Like, you have to have that compliment. And I think what Brett Veach and Andy Reid has done has been phenomenal, not just in coaching up this team and populating this team, but populating it in a way where everybody compliments each other. And to me, that's the impressive part is that you've got guys, you've got leaders like Travis Kelsey that can school the young guys on, OK, well, this is fun and this is, you know, a great season and it's capping off of a great season, but you, like, still got to be in here by curfew. Like, we've still got a business to handle and let's not get caught up in all the extras that Phoenix can offer.

But like, remember that we're here for business. And I feel like this team is leadership heavy. And they've had that taste of negativity at this point, recognizing that everybody in the world will be watching. And most people will not remember the loser. They'll remember the winner. They'll capitalize on that leadership.

So I feel like we're in a good position. I feel like we don't give athletes enough credit in recognizing and and going through that process and compartmentalizing everything else. Each of these guys, they have families traveling in. They have people that they're putting up that they're that all the accommodations and the flights and they're handling it.

They don't have assistance like they're doing it all themselves. And yet they're still going to be able to play top shelf championship style football. I think a lot needs to be said more about how guys, especially at their age, are able to juggle and how they're able to compartmentalize their responsibilities at the professional level. Dana Hughes is spending a few minutes with us from Arizona's site of Super Bowl 50-70. He's a former Chiefs wide receiver now alongside Mitch Holtz on the Chiefs radio network. Always a lot of fun to hear Mitch's incredible calls at the end of wins.

And I would love to know, Dana, I've seen a photo is still photo. Very little time left on the clock when the Chiefs get the ball. The late hit. Oh, my gosh.

Patrick Mahomes scrambling or hobbling for a first down. Yes. So what was your perspective? What was happening in your booth? So, Amy, this interview can go for like another 30 minutes if I really dug deep into it. People always ask me, do I miss the game and all that?

And the answer is no. Like, I don't miss playing. I don't miss being sore on Mondays. I don't miss any of the things I had to do to actually play each and every Sunday, Monday or Thursday. But there are times where that side of my brain reactivates or the blood flows differently where I'm like, OK, I feel like I'm in player mode. And the mindset of that, you know, comes and goes. I say all that because the Bengals game, the AFC Championship was a different breed.

It was a different game because all the trash talk, because of the loss last year, because of the loss this year. There are very few times where it brings me back into the mindset of, OK, please, somebody give me a helmet. Just let me like just let me play one play like this one. Yeah, I mean, I'll need oxygen. I will need a doctor afterwards.

But like just one just to get it out of my system. And that was the one people think, you know, OK, these are professional athletes. Trash talk is normal.

It shouldn't affect them. Fill in the blank. But I have to believe, like when you talk about those last snaps, those the last possessions, Joe Burrow had the ball twice late in the fourth quarter with an opportunity to go move the ball down the field and get into a winning position. And he didn't.

It would be easy to say that. The Chiefs were just better. But I I will tell you from being in that locker room that when you dig down deep, sometimes digging down deep, you in order to get there is maybe that trash talk that that person said. Maybe it's something that you're going through personally that you dig down deep and you're like, I'm not going to allow this to happen.

I'm not going to allow this person to move down the field and hurt us like he hurt us last year. And I feel like that was kind of the mindset that Chris Jones and Frank Clark and these guys were were doing when we stopped them twice. And you got the pressure and you got that necessary sec. And having been in that locker room, I feel like that was like a crossroads mentally and emotionally of they tried to rename Arrowhead. It's just like even though there's only thirty five seconds between plays, like that's more than enough time to dig into every reason why I hate you and every reason why every reason why I like I feel like I'm going to be Superman on this next play. And I think they tapped into that and I give them credit because they handled it like professionals. One of the concerns I had going into the game was, was there going to be a fight like was there going to be an unsportsmanlike penalty? Was there going to be a roughing the passer because of the emotions based on some of the trash talk and and all of that and give chiefs the credit like they they played within the line. And like you said, when you look at the booth and you look at the pictures and if you follow me on Twitter, you'll see I post some videos of Mitch and I in the booth.

Mitch is super, super, super energetic and like truly engaged in every call and every play in every game. And I can't be that because we would throw computers and we like we would tear that booth up. I have to be the straight guy. So if you ever watch me follow me on Twitter at DAU's guy, 83, you see some of the videos I get crap. Talk to me. I get kids that I coach that text me. My family texts me, you know, like, how are you so calm and cool? Could you imagine me being like him?

We would tell each other up. So I have to be the straight guy in the booth and keep my emotions to myself. But like I said, every once in a while, those the flashes of former player and the mindset of being in that locker room coming come into me.

And I have to really, really dampen it down a little bit because it can get the best of me. Oh, man, that was great drama at the end. And Mitch nailed the call, of course. We're hearing it over and over as they win the AFC Championship on the Butker field goal. It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio with Dana Hughes, who's alongside Mitch and somehow remaining calm so that there's not two people that are freaking out. I'm looking at the wide receiver depth chart right now for the Chiefs.

I just wanted to confirm this. But as I look through it and even the running back. So Isaiah Pacheco obviously is a rookie. Jared McKinnon was not with the team the last time they went to a Super Bowl. Neither was Clyde Edwards, a layer that we haven't seen much of him. But Juju, MVS, Kadarius, Tony, Skymore, none of these receivers were with the Chiefs the last time they won the AFC.

How have you seen this group grow with Mahomes and Kelsey this season? So I feel like that first has to start with credit to Brett Veach and Andy Reid and how they assemble a roster and how they utilize trading away to me, who was the best, the best playmaker that I had ever seen in the NFL and Tyree kill like the best. Now, I'm not saying he's the best wide receiver. I'm saying as far as playmaker, he's the best that I had ever seen. And I played against Dion and I played against and with other guys.

But to me, as far as impacting a game on the offensive side, Tyree kill was the best, most dynamic. And like jettisoning him and assuming several draft picks and getting draft picks in that are contributing. Like every one of our draft picks is contributing in some way, shape or fashion. Like that's unheard of, especially with the team. Like this is not a rebuild. Like, you know, everybody thought with Tyreek leaving, it was going to be a rebuilding year. And I remember Bart Scott and Mike Greenberg and everybody else on ESPN talking about the Chiefs being third in the AFC West and not being able to get to this point.

No chance that they would win, et cetera. And like you have to give credit to the scouting department and the GM and the coach because not only are you back here, but you're back here with a whole youthful, different look. And when you talk about the roles of each of those guys, the Trent McDuffie McDuffie, the George Kolobtas, as you mentioned, Isaiah Pacheco, a seventh round pick. Obviously, he's near and dear to my heart because he's a seventh rounder like I was.

And he's from New Jersey, like I was nice. And so and he just brings a different energy to the team. So like assembling a team is a unique art and the Chiefs have really been able to do it in great fashion. If you remember, between the first Super Bowl, the win against the Niners and the second Super Bowl, the loss against the Buccaneers, Patrick Mahomes ran for almost 500 yards backwards against the Buccaneers.

And what do we do? We take the entire offensive line. Not not just a couple, like not just a couple of the entire offensive line of a Super Bowl team.

And then came within an overtime of going back to the Super Bowl with that new offensive line. Like that's unheard of in the NFL. Like usually if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

It is kind of the mantra of teams. So if you get to the Super Bowl, you don't normally make a lot of changes because you expect to get back to the Super Bowl if you just do things right. And we were able to make all of those changes. Then this year comes up, Tyreek leaves, and I had said after that Bengals game last year in the AFC Championship, I said, here's the three things we need. We need to be longer at wide receiver. We need to be stronger and bigger at cornerback. And we need to be more relentless in our pass rush.

Those are the three things we need. What do we do? We go and get Juju Smith-Schuster, 6'2", 215 pounds. We go and get Marquez Valdez-Scantling, 6'4". We go and we get Justin Watson, 6'1". Last year, our wide receivers were 5'9", 5'8", on the field. Tyreek and McColl-Hardman. And our defensive side, we get Jalen Watson, 6'1". Trent McDuffie, 6'. We get Joshua Williams, 6'3", at our cornerback position. What do we need in the pass rush? A little bit more relentless attitude.

We go and get George Karloff this. It was like they read my mind. I feel like I should be called Nostradamus because I anticipated that.

That's why I'm going to tag myself as Annie, just so you know. But I feel like this team is always on the improving side, even though we are getting to three Super Bowls in four years. We're still trying to improve, and I can imagine that we'll do the same thing in the draft in Kansas City when April comes. What impresses you about the Eagles? The most complete team that we will face this year. Offense, defense, special teams.

Nick Sirianni, I knew him when he was here in Kansas City. A great coach, a great motivator. They are a relentless team. And even though the NFC East was called the NFC least for the last few years, that was not the case this year. You can make an argument that they were the strongest division in the NFL, and they dominated that division. When Jalen Hurts was healthy, they dominated that division, and that's impressive. And the way they do it is kind of blue collar, lunch pail, hard hat kind of mentality, which we know that Philadelphia kind of has built their history on. So to me, they are a complete team.

You can't make mistakes. They have an incredible leader in Jalen Hurts that seems to propel that team. When he's on the field and he's able to do his magic, he propels everybody else on that field. So I feel like this is going to be a really, really competitive game. It's great that the two best teams from the regular season are matching up in the Super Bowl, and we'll see who wins.

But I really have been impressed. And it's really cool that you don't have, outside of the Kelsey brothers and Andy Reid and Nick Sirianni, you don't have any negative stories going into this game. It's just going to be about pure football, and that's what makes it cool.

Yes, looking forward to it. It's crazy that the two teams have scored the exact same number of points in the season so far, that they have the exact same records, too, as the top seeds. Dana, before I let you go, you're an NFL vet, obviously. What's the week like for you, being there where it's essentially a football convention? Yeah, so it's pretty cool for me because it's a week where you get to re-engage with former teammates, former players. There are NFL alumni events, NFL PA events, the Trust, and the Legends group.

There's always something that's going on, so even though it's Monday, it's kind of early, but once Wednesday kicks in, that's when you'll see a lot more that's going on. So just kind of networking from a business standpoint, but then also kind of getting the extension of the locker room. And if you ask a lot of players, I don't miss the on-field stuff, but you miss the camaraderie. So the Super Bowl every year kind of provides that platform where you can have that camaraderie, the locker room feel, the interactions, whether it's on the golf course or at different events, fundraisers, etc. So that's what it's all about for me, and then we get to cap it off by the team that I broadcast for playing in this Super Bowl. So it's going to be a complete week, and I'm looking forward to it. Twitter at dahugesguy83, I hope that you have an amazing week and a lot of fun with the Super Bowl coming up. We always appreciate when you make time for us, Dane, and thank you.

Oh, no problem. Thanks for having me, and go Chiefs! Taste your goals. Learn more at today. Goalie gummies get you so close to your goals, you can actually taste them.

The trick? Simply start with bite-sized steps, like Goalie's apple cider vinegar gummies with added B vitamins for daily health. Or Goalie ashwagandha gummies to help you relax, restore, and unwind.

Tastes like wellness just got a whole lot better. And when goals taste this good, it's easy to achieve them. Goalie. Taste your goals. Learn more at today. Goalie gummies get you so close to your goals, you can actually taste them.

The trick? Simply start with bite-sized steps, like Goalie's apple cider vinegar gummies with added B vitamins for daily health. Or Goalie ashwagandha gummies to help you relax, restore, and unwind.

Tastes like wellness just got a whole lot better. And when goals taste this good, it's easy to achieve them. Goalie. Taste your goals. Learn more at today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-07 08:34:04 / 2023-02-07 08:42:33 / 8

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