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After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

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February 16, 2023 6:06 am

After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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February 16, 2023 6:06 am

Lead NFL on CBS insider Jonathan Jones joins the show | An extended conversation with Jonathan Jones | Tom Izzo tries to console Michigan State.


We heard that same cry from Andy Reid just hours ago in Kansas City. So, yes, the football season is done, but the offseason is just ramping up. We haven't even gotten to the official start of the new NFL league year. We haven't gotten to free agency yet. We're starting to see teams make decisions, though, about their future and a lot of them. A lot of what will come in the next couple of weeks is purely financial. We know the combine is on the horizon as well, much to the chagrin of the head of the NFL Players Association, who thinks the whole thing should be done away with.

But, yeah, we're just launching forward. Draft season, it's coming. It is coming. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We're so glad to have you with us. You can find me on Twitter, ALawRadio. Our show Twitter is After HoursCBS. And then also on our Facebook page, Jay is sharing or helping me share the reason for my joy on Wednesday because I believe when I look hard enough, I can always find a reason to be thankful. Sometimes it's right outside my front door. Our phone number, 855-212-4227.

That's 855-212-4CBS. Still more to come with the Kelsey brothers. I'm telling you, two hours of listening to their New Heights podcast. I feel like I know them and know their Super Bowl story a whole lot better. We've also got Brian Flores being introduced in Minnesota as the defensive coordinator. Not often that a DC gets an introductory press conference, but Brian Flores is a different story and his path is unique. And so I'm glad that Kevin O'Connell gave him the opportunity to speak as he leaves the Steelers staff and takes over as the defensive coordinator with the Vikings. But right now we're pleased to welcome Jonathan Jones. First appearance on the show. Finally has an opportunity to join us after coming out of what is a very busy season, of course. He's the lead insider for the NFL and CBS.

Also part of HBO's Real Sports as a correspondent. We know the confetti is cleaned up in Arizona, Jonathan. Probably not yet in Kansas City. When you think back on this Chiefs team, this run to the title, which had different elements from four years ago, what stands out to you about the way this group won the Lombardi? It's incredibly impressive. And I'm with you where it's dynasty. Listen, I'm only willing to go so far as it's the early making of a potential dynasty, right?

You got to, we need to see a little bit more, especially with what we've seen in two decades with the Patriots. And really, I kind of split that up into two, right? Because most dynasties don't go as long as they did between their third and their fourth Super Bowl.

So I consider the three and the four years to be one and the other one to be one. So we need three to make it complete here for the Chiefs, but to do it without Tyreek Hill, to have Patrick Mahomes and, you know, another long season. And then everything we thought about the AFC West, right? The Chargers knocking at the door, obviously the Broncos fell off and obviously the Raiders were disappointing. But I thought when they, with the Super Bowl matchup that they had against an Eagles team that after the quarterback position, two through 53, they were a better roster.

I don't know that there's any question about that. Maybe even a considerably better roster. But the fact that the Chiefs were still able to come from behind like so few teams can do against a team like that and win in that fashion, certainly they should be the favorite to win next year as well. You know what really stood out to me, Jonathan, is that the loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers exposed their offensive line.

So what do they do? What does Brett Veach do in that offseason? They rebuild that line and it was a strength in the second half as they come back from the 10 points down. The Eagles never had a sack, not even one, and they were able to amass 150 yards rushing. That really impressed me. And also, I thought it was a highlight considering that that was their weakness two years ago.

Yeah, right. And the fact that, you know, Andrew Wiley held up so well on the right side of the line. You know what you have in Joe Tooney there at guard and then Orlando Brown Jr. You know that he's a very solid left tackle. The issue moving forward is going to be how are you going to get him on on a long term deal and are you going to have to franchise tag him? But those are first world problems. Those are problems that you will gladly worry about after you win another Lombardi Trophy. I'd be remiss not to give a little bit of credit or blame, if you will, to the turf there. And listen, both teams played on it. I actually spoke with the equipment director of the Chiefs after the game who told me, I said, hey, it felt like you guys were better prepared for the slippery field. And he's like, yeah, we knew that we had to be in the seven stud cleats.

He'd been in constant communications with the ground crew there at State Farm Stadium. So the Chiefs were ready for a little bit more than the Eagles were. Where you saw when they got up to the top of their pass rush, they started to slip way more than I thought their opponent was. That's not an excuse, but it probably had a little bit to do with the whole zero sacks and four quarters.

Great intel there. And we know that the Eagles were changing cleats left and right in the first half where the Chiefs weren't quite doing the same thing. Jonathan Jones is the lead NFL insider for the NFL on CBS and also a correspondent for Real Sports HBO. We're thrilled to have him on the show for the first time in the wake of the 2022 NFL season that was. And now we're looking ahead here on After Hours, CBS Sports Radio. Inside the AFC West, a major change, Derek Carr is a free agent of sorts, although his contract allows him to negotiate to talk to teams even before we get to the new league year. Where do you see a good fit for Derek? I mean, a good fit would be a New Orleans Saints if they can figure out the money, right? I mean, you talk about a Saints team that it's the same songs that we've played with the Saints at this time of the year, the last decade.

Right. Of course, the Saints are going to get under the cap and they'll probably have enough money to sign someone like Derek Carr, who will have a market and will command a fair market contract. You'll get the Jets to let's say they're going to strike out on Aaron Rodgers for whatever reason.

Maybe he goes to the Raiders, maybe he stays with the Packers, maybe he retires. That maybe the Jets would be a landing spot where we're not concerned about their cap space. And we know that they are average to slightly above average quarterback play away from making it to the playoffs.

So those are the top two. I've seen the Carolina Panthers thrown about. I just think that their focus is not on the veteran quarterback market as QB one like it has been the last couple of years. I think they know that that's been a mistake. And so they're not going to go after somebody like Derek Carr.

I don't believe, you know, the Washington commanders, they're rolling with Sam Howell and they're going to use their capital elsewhere. Look into Ron Payne, for example, in his upcoming contract. And so when you start looking at it, when you know that clearly is not going back to the Raiders, if the Packers get rid of Rodgers, you have to assume they're going to elevate Jordan Love to that role.

You start narrowing it down just a little bit. Maybe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But the Saints and the Jets to me seem like the obvious top two options. With which one of those teams would you think an addition of Derek Carr would make the team a contender immediately? Oh, I absolutely think that it's the Jets. I think that you have, you know, just like we didn't want to talk about the dynasty word with the Chiefs just yet.

I don't want to talk about an elite defense with the Jets just yet, but a very good defense, a potentially great defense. Right. And so when you have when you have Derek Carr, who's going to you just hope that he is 2021 Derek Carr and not 2022 Derek Carr. And I don't think there's anything to indicate that he can't go back to that 21 Carr who carried that team, who at least that offense.

Right. Who with all the things that were going on with that Raiders squad, he was able to have those fourth quarter comebacks in the game winning drive. So if you can have that 65 percent passer that he can take care of the football that he can be great or at least above average in crunch time, that's suggesting that why can't they win 10 games and then 10 and 7 should get them in the wild card. You bring up Aaron Rodgers. Maybe you are in his inner circle, Jonathan.

It's very tight as we found out. I'm not sure. But if you're the Packers, so let's look at this from the Packers perspective. Which way are you leaning?

Well, I don't know. Aaron Rodgers, because of his contract, you're leaning whichever way he's leaning. You know, I mean, he does. He really does have control.

Right. I mean, if he wants to retire, I guess you're retiring Aaron Rodgers. If he wants to be traded, you're trading Aaron Rodgers. And if he wants to stay, well, you're not trading him because if you were to trade him against his wishes, well, he would have no incentive to rework his contract and you were really dealt with a massive dead cap situation on your hands.

And so it really does. It's going to take three to tango here. It's going to take the Packers. It's going to take Rodgers. And if, of course, he wants to be traded, it's going to take that third team. And so everyone is going to have to work together in a kumbaya sort of trade. So we'll see whenever he emerges from wherever he is, whether it's a darkness retreat or whatever, you know, when it kind of comes to Aaron Rodgers, I just let him do the thing where he's going to make a lot of noise around Super Bowl and around this time and then just wait for the real stuff to start happening.

And that real stuff should start to happen around the combine here in a week and a half. People told me this about Aaron, that he should probably realize that they're each other's best opportunity to get another Super Bowl. I think that's a fair way to think. But we also understand that sometimes you just want something new.

Sometimes you need to start fresh. I mean, you know, look at Eric, the enemy, for example. I don't think the enemy is under any illusion that if he returns to Kansas City, that's his best opportunity at another Super Bowl championship. Right. But he wants to go out and spread his wings under not Andy Reid and thinks that that's going to be his best opportunity as a head coach.

Well, potential head coach. Well, that's what he decided he has to do. And so Aaron Rodgers could also look over and see that the grass is greener. He says the grass is greener where you water it.

I say sometimes the grass is greener over the septic tank. But ultimately, he's going to have to realize if he wants to start fresh and start a new somewhere, does he want to come to the New York Jets? Is it going to be the Raiders? And in that division where there's no guarantee that he's even going to make the playoffs coming out of the AFC West? So plenty of decisions that he has to make.

But I think that both can be true. Andy Jonathan Jones is with us from CBS and it's going to be one heck of a dramatic offseason, as always, because the NFL never stops. It's after hours on CBS Sports Radio. I want to get back to Eric. I'm glad you brought him up because I do want to ask you about him. But before we leave the quarterback arena, what's another QB storyline that intrigues you as we head into the offseason? The other QB storyline, you know, I'll give you two. It'd be Jimmy Garoppolo and what he's ultimately going to fetch out there on the market as an unrestricted free agent, as a guy who when he's out there, he normally wins. Of course, he's played under Bill Belichick and Kyle Shanahan. So that really helps your winning percentage. But it's always when he's out there.

Right. Three of the past five seasons, he's been really banged up. And so is he going to be able to command anything more than a two year contract? What will the team be willing to commit? Where is that team going to be positioned in terms of potential playoff success?

So that's going to be interesting. And then I think the other one, Jim Irsay and Nicole, I think that they're really sort of the key to the draft right here at number four, because they clearly want a young quarterback. I don't know if it's Bryce Young that they want. I'll just say keep an eye on C.J. Stroud. But do you have to trade up to one with the Chicago Bears to get C.J.

Stroud? Are you worried about two in the Houston Texans? Can you just go up one to three with the Arizona Cardinals? Or are you concerned about the Carolina Panthers at nine moving up? So if there's a fulcrum of the draft, obviously what Chicago does at one is very important. But I could see a lot teetering on what the Colts and GM Chris Ballard decide to do there at four. Other than the Chicago Bears, the teams you just highlighted all have new head coaches. We've seen the carousel finally grind to a halt with both the Eagles coordinators getting new gigs. Which coaching hire do you think has the potential to become a huge boost for that team in 23?

I think Zameka Ryan with the Houston Texans. I think when you look at their nice young pieces on defense, when you consider that they're going to get, of course, a quarterback, be it Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud, when you consider the other, what is it, nearly a dozen draft picks that they have. So they're going to have a lot of cost-controlled rookies and young players who are starting to build and grow in their system. Obviously, they're going to re-up Laramie Tumsil at left tackle. So your guy, your quarterback is going to be taken care of. He just brought over Bobby Slowick as his offensive coordinator there. So he's going to try to run a whole lot of what Shanahan runs in San Francisco. And we know how quarterback friendly that system can be when it's run to a tee.

And then you consider also that division. How much do you believe in the Titans right now? OK, the Jags look great. They look like they could be a team that could be in the playoffs for a while, but it was only one year. And then, of course, it's always just the AFC South at the end of the day. So the Texans are a team that I'm very intrigued by, that I think D'Amico Ryans in one year can turn them around. And as we always know, frankly, there's more than one team that goes from that worst to first in the NFL. And why can't it be the Texans this upcoming year? Roughly half the playoff field turns over every single year.

In fact, seven teams turned over for this postseason. So, Jonathan, the Eric Bienemey question continues to plague me. The Andy Reid coaching tree is the most successful this era of football. Andy speaks so highly of him. His players speak so highly of him. I know he's not calling plays, but again, other guys out of that system have been successful and been hired and they weren't calling plays.

What is it? What do you hear about Bienemey and why he hasn't landed a head coaching job? It's maddening, Amy. And you're right. Not only are guys who come out of that Andy Reid tree, are they successful? But the other fact is they can go out and be unsuccessful. The point is that they're given the opportunity.

Right. They've given the opportunity to fail. And I don't know that anyone would confuse Matt Nagy's tenure in Chicago with being as successful as Doug Peterson's in Philadelphia. But the fact is they both got that opportunity while not calling plays. And so, Eric Bienemey over the past couple of years now, and I'll get the numbers wrong, but it's half the league that he's interviewed with at this point over four or five years. And we're talking about the most successful five years any offensive coordinator in Kansas City history has ever enjoyed. I am not certain that if you were given a head coaching job that he would succeed, just like I'm not certain that any of these five men who just got the job are going to succeed in those roles. But I would take his resume, I would take what he has done, how he has worked with Patrick Mahomes, what Andy Reid, a first ballot Hall of Fame coach, what Patrick Mahomes, who if he retired today is a first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback. I would take what they had to say about the man and say, you know what? I'm going to try it out with this guy. I'm going to give him a four year contract if I'm an owner somewhere and just say, you know what?

If it doesn't work out, I'll deal with that. But the past performance I would hope would project some really good future results. Yeah, it doesn't make any sense. You said maddening, I think infuriating. At some point it feels like it's a no brainer and yet it maybe it's because the NFL is such a copycat league and because he didn't get hired initially. Now he's branded as someone who's not hirable.

That could be part of it. I think that, you know, we talk all the time about race in the NFL. He has been the unwilling face of this sort of race in football, at least in the coaching ranks crisis. It's a shame.

I think that a lot of people put a lot less on their resume who may or may not interview as well or worse than Eric B. enemy, like whatever you want to throw out there. I think the facts sort of speak for themselves and it's a shame that he has decided that he's going to have to go elsewhere outside of Andy Reid's shadow in hopes of sort of proving himself more than many, many coaches have to prove themselves in order to be first time head coaches. But alas, this is the NFL world that we're in and it's the world that we're in. I know he has a couple of opportunities, the commanders, one team that's really interested, but I appreciate your insight, Jonathan. All right, we're going to take our quick break.

Got to ask you about Calvin Ridley because that's another big headline for the NFL, even as he is eligible for reinstatement after a year suspension because of the gambling. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence and Jonathan Jones, lead NFL and CBS insider with us here on CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the After Hours podcast. Diversity is important to me as well. I'm not going to run away from that. But when I when I walk in this building, you see diversity really across the board in every department. And that's exciting, too. So those are things that are that are ongoing. Obviously, the lawsuits are ongoing, but I'm where my feet are right now.

My feet are right here in Eagan. This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. The voice of Brian Flores, new defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, and he talks about diversity and also mentions his lawsuit.

He was asked for an update, not really getting into specifics, only to say that it's still ongoing. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Jonathan Jones is with us for a couple more minutes, the lead NFL and CBS insider.

And Jonathan, we're going to talk about Calvin Ridley. But in light of what we were saying about Eric the enemy and how it's frustrating and it doesn't make sense, here's Brian Flores, who chooses a new job where diversity is important, where he can see it. So hearing his comments and looking at the Minnesota Vikings organization, how do you like the fit with Brian in Minneapolis?

Yeah, it's fantastic. And, you know, I was under the impression that Kevin O'Connell, that Quasi Adofo, Memphis, a GM there, that they were really targeting somebody who could be versatile. And one of the things that I loved from Brian Flores and his press conference on Wednesday was he was actually going to run a 3-4 or 4-3.

He said something to the effect of what team are we playing? And just the fact that you can be malleable, that you understand, of course you understand, what defenses in today's NFL need to be to face these offenses, that he's going to play to his personnel and their strengths. I really, really like what I heard there. And obviously those Vikings need to take that step on the defensive side, no question about it. But I like what they've done really over two regimes, right? Because Rick Spielman did a fantastic job getting in a lot of talent over there. And Quasi has really sort of turned the bottom of that roster to make sure that they're getting some quality contributions from the bottom half of the roster.

And so I think that it's worked really well. And I think that slow getting in there and really getting that opportunity is going to make the Vikings an NFC North favorite, at least they should be. Well, they definitely need the boost on defense. They need his expertise and his toughness, his experience. So looking forward to seeing how that plays out. Calvin Ridley, all the rage because he's eligible for reinstatement.

Going back to his one year suspension. And now, Jonathan, in light of what we know about all of these sports leagues who are embracing the gambling, is this a cautionary tale to the rest of the league, to other athletes? Does it work that way?

I hope it works that way. I kind of struggled with how folks didn't... I'll just say this. He touched the stove and the stove was hot, right?

Now, should the stove have been hot? Should there have been rules that if you place a bet on a seven game parlay on your phone while you're bored one day, that you should lose your livelihood for a year? Of course not. But are all of these guys told, hey, don't bet.

I have to go through these seminars myself. I don't place bets. I don't do it. I don't pay attention to any of that stuff. And so I don't want to necessarily say shame on Calvin Ridley, but there is a much larger conversation to be had about where the NFL, where a number of institutions are going with sports gambling and how quickly it's moving, how ubiquitous it all is and the potential perils of that in the future. I think those are fascinating conversations. I hate, ultimately, personally, that Calvin Ridley had to sit out a year.

I don't think that it's necessarily fair. I look forward to him shining for the Jacksonville Jaguars and I'll say this. The Jags made the move, a very unconventional move, to trade for him because Trent Balke, the general manager, realized how poor this free agency class was going to be at wide receiver.

He said, listen, I'll go ahead and send what I need to send for a guy who can be and can return to that number one form because when you look at this upcoming free agent class, there is no receiver that is close to Calvin Ridley and the Jags have him and they only had to let him sit for half the season. And they already set the tone for the end of last season with their meteoric rise to win the AFC South. So watch out for them coming up in 2023. All right, Jonathan, I always end this away with analysts on the show, insiders. Another storyline, one that we haven't hit, that really intrigues you as we go into the offseason.

Cool. I am fascinated by the sort of numbers we're going to see on these contracts. When you go back to a couple of years ago when we were in COVID, I think there was only one contract that was for more than $100 million in total and that was Ryan Tannefeld's contract with the Titans. We saw that change over the last couple of years. Well, we just experienced the largest salary cap spike in the salary cap era. I think it was almost $17 million from year to year. And we are anticipating an even larger spike next year because of the media deals and how that money is going to kick in. How big are these contracts going to be?

How sort of eye-popping? I bet you, Amy, we're going to see numbers. We're going to see headlines come mid-March. This is the most money that's ever been spent in an NFL free agency. And then three years later, we're going to realize, or we're going to have more stories like we did with the NBA a couple years ago during their big spike about, hey, maybe we shouldn't spend like that.

So be on the lookout for who spends and who doesn't. Well, and last year it was the wide receiver position that got the astronomical raises and all the huge contracts. We know quarterbacks are in line for it, of course, but is there another position that you think might benefit? Offensive line. Much like real estate and how they're not making any more dirt, they also aren't making these dudes at 340 pounds who can hold up against some of these pass rushers who are coming in running four threes at 260 pounds. So if you can get you an offensive lineman at the top of the draft or in free agency, if one falls from the heavens like manna, you are absolutely going to give that man whatever he wants because you've got to have him.

Oh, the O-line, the key, the anchor to everything in the NFL, to be sure. All right, great stuff. So you can find Jonathan Jones on Twitter at jjones9, the lead NFL insider for the NFL on CBS and also a correspondent with Real Sports HBO. We're excited to have him on the show for the first time.

Hope it's not the last. Jonathan, thank you so much for a couple of minutes. Amy, I appreciate you. Good stuff from Jonathan. Great intel, even going back to talking about the Chiefs and how their equipment manager was constantly in contact with the teams in Glendale who were preparing the field and how that, he believes, gave them a different advantage. Plus Derek Carr and maybe not the likeliest destinations but the best fit. Also Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers, they need each other. And on and on you heard his conversation or his thoughts on Eric Bien and me and we are on the same page there.

But Brian Flores getting a gig and so I want you to hear from Brian. We'll get to that before the show is done. Straight ahead though, Michigan State iconic basketball coach Tom Izzo joining students and others at a vigil for the three who lost their lives in the shooting on campus earlier this week.

And also the five who are still in critical condition in the hospital, the last I saw. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the After Hours Podcast.

Music This truly has been a nightmare that we are living tonight. But we have remained laser focused on the safety of our campus, our students and the surrounding community. We are relieved to no longer have an active threat on campus while we realize that there is so much healing that will need to take place after this.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. The voice of Michigan State University Deputy Police Chief Chris Roseman and that comes from late, late Monday night, actually early Tuesday morning as we were just getting set to go on the air Eastern time because they had found the shooter who had taken the lives of three students. He had killed himself off campus and once they realized that he was dead and had determined that he was acting on his own, a 43 year old man who had no real ties to the university that they could see, they declared that the threat was over and they lifted the lockdown. But there was a moratorium on classes and activities and sporting events for 48 hours. And part of the healing that he refers to took place on Wednesday in East Lansing, Michigan.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. A vigil to support the three victims, all students and the survivors, those who were in the buildings and those who are now in the hospital. I'm sure you, like me, have heard some of the stories of other students who were in the vicinity or even in the buildings.

I heard one student describing how he heard the gunshots and jumped out a window from I think it was his history building because the shooting initially started in an academic building with classrooms. Brian Frazier, Arielle Anderson, Alexandria Verner, they've been identified as the three students who died on Monday. They were young. Verner graduated from high school in 2020. Think about what he went through as a senior in the spring in which the pandemic was keeping us all at home. The other two, they just graduated high school in 21. These are babies.

Teenagers. So the governor was part of the vigil that was held on campus, a spot they call The Rock, as was longtime men's basketball coach Tom Izzo, who's known for his emotion. But certainly students and others hearing that emotion, they recognize that they're in a place where they're loved and where there is healing that can be offered.

I normally speak more off the cuff, but you're following the governor and the president and doctors and you're just a basketball coach. I decided to put a little more into it, so I'd like to start by offering my condolences on behalf of my family, my groupie and Steven Raquel, and Steven was at one of the buildings two nights ago, about ten minutes after things happened. So sometimes we don't understand because we haven't been through it.

That little moment brought me a little closer to understanding. But as well as our entire university community who was impacted by the horrific actions Monday night, I'm representing our athletic department and I feel like Michigan State, my 40th year here. I don't like the place. I don't love the place.

I live the place. To the families of those who were senselessly taken from us, words seem so hollow right now. To the individuals currently fighting for their lives in a hospital and their families, we're praying for you and I know that my wife and I got a chance to go to the hospital.

I know Governor Whitmer was there and I know our president was there. Unbelievable people. There are so many good people in the world, the doctors, the nurses.

Although for me, I'm also a father of two Spartans of my own. I can't begin to imagine what all of you are going through. But I do know that we as a campus community can offer our support both to you and to each other. Look around. Look next to you. Shake somebody's hand.

Introduce yourself to someone you don't know. That's what we are and that's what we need to be at this time. As much as the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, other dignitaries and state officials matter, and it matters that they were there at this vigil on Wednesday, it matters far more that Tom Izzo is there because he is Michigan State. A lot of people, maybe he's the only thing they knew about Michigan State when they were considering where they would attend college, where they would attend university.

Forty years. He's a fixture. He's a stalwart, certainly an icon. He loves Michigan State and he said, we will learn to find joy once again.

For 40 years, I've always believed that Michigan State, we are at our strongest when we are together. And so to have him there on a night when the basketball team should have been playing, actually, was a big deal, no doubt a support, as I say. And the fact that he is willing to express his emotions publicly, even as a man who stands on the sidelines and gets the most out of his athletes, who's trying to win championships.

He's human. He has a heart. He has two sons who are at Michigan State, one of them not that far from where the shooting broke out. I'd like to offer a special thank you, as all have, to our first responders who seem to get paid little and ask to put their life on the line each and every day, as I've learned through my own assistant coach not that long ago. The coordinated response from law enforcement from around the state, from the FBI, the EMS, to the hospitals was nothing short of remarkable. And Izzo and his wife did visit victims at the hospital, as he points out, as have the governor and the university president, Theresa Woodruff.

Yeah, his son Stephen, who's a walk-on player with the Spartans, he was at one of the buildings that was impacted just minutes after the shooting occurred. So I appreciate that he is saying, hey, we're stronger as a community. We're better as a community. We need to not only hold each other up, prop each other up, support one another, but introduce yourself to someone who's next to you. I see that in a different light and hear that in a different light, I guess, because, and for those of you who attend church, maybe this happens at your church or your synagogue, your mass.

Our pastors always ask us, this is before we sit down to hear the message, we're standing up for singing, and before we sit down to hear the message, we're always asked to turn and greet someone to your left, to your right, in front of you, behind you. And I will admit, there are times when I do not want to. I don't feel like being social. Maybe I didn't sleep very well or I've got a lot on my mind.

I'm thinking about how football starts. I know, I know, not very churchy. But there are times when I don't want to. And honestly, there are definitely people around me who don't want to either. And even going back to COVID when we were supposed to be waving or we were supposed to touch elbows in 2021, there are still people who are shy about reaching out and shaking hands. But I've gone back to it and I put a big smile on my face and I greet the people around me and I say welcome or nice to see you, good morning to you.

Some ask me my name, I always ask their names. It helps that you know you are among people who are of a similar mind, of a similar heart and who are in the same place that you are for a common reason, right, and it applies here too. And so I appreciate that Tom is always thinking about ways to make the community stronger but also realizing that even in a large crowd, and he's in front of them all the time when he and the Spartans play either home at East Lansing or on the road, you see these huge crowds. Very often, even though there's a huge crowd, people feel alone.

Our CBS Sports Radio headquarters are in Lower Manhattan in New York City. Over the course of the last 10 years, I've walked through Times Square, I've been out and about on the streets when there are thousands of people. It's a city of 10 million in the metro, and yet it's not like it's some grand community.

I mean, you can be in a city of this size or San Francisco or L.A. or Houston or Dallas or Boston or any large city and still feel alone. Sometimes you can get lost in a crowd. And so as he appeals to those who are at the vigil, introduce yourself to somebody you don't know. Shake somebody's hand. Look around.

Look next to you. That's who we are. That's who we need to be at this time. That matters because no doubt there are people who are standing there at the vigil, who are walking campus now, who are shaken, who are afraid, who are anxious. It's too close to home and don't feel like they can talk to anyone or don't feel like there's anyone there that they're comfortable opening up to.

A lot of these are college kids. So that moment where Izzo was encouraging them to support one another, get to know one another, it's okay. I'm here. You're here. We're here for a common reason. We're here because we're all sharing these emotions.

And to know that he's a guy who will cry and he's a guy who has sons there also, as I say, it matters to the people who are at the vigil. Whatever you're feeling, it's all valid. Emotions are different for each and every person. I cry in front of my team. I cry on national TV. Don't be afraid to show your emotions. We all process trauma in a very different way. I'm just glad we're all here together tonight.

So let me close with the challenge. Let's all do a better job taking care of one another. Through no fault of our own, but COVID has led us to all feel a little more separated from one another.

It drives me crazy. We need each other. For 40 years, I've always believed that at Michigan State, we are at our own strongest when we're together. In athletics, the best teams are always greater than the sum of their individual parts. The same is true for our community.

We are always greater than the sum of our individual parts. Oh man, sometimes I use that to talk about sports teams and chemistry and synergy. This is a different context entirely, but I appreciate it so much. And again, there is no one that these students will listen to or respect more than Tom Izzo. For him to be there in that emotion, showing his heart, talking about his sons, visiting those who are still in the hospital who, the last I heard, all five victims are still in critical condition.

Some of them have life-threatening injuries. That's leadership. That's not ham above you because I make millions and millions of dollars and I'm a Hall of Fame basketball coach. No, that's I'm with you. I'm one of you. I know what you're feeling. I'm feeling it too. It's After Hours on CBS Sports Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-18 15:52:16 / 2023-02-18 16:07:59 / 16

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