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BetQL.com today to start your three day free trial. A lot has happened with the Panthers since we last spoke to Chris McLean, who is co-host of Mac and Bone, the Mac and Bone show on our Charlotte affiliate, WFNZ. It's probably not fair, but I'm totally going to ambush him and I feel like he knows this is what happens when he dares to come on after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. Good morning, Chris. How are you? What's going on Amy? You got me terrified now. Oh come on, I know you can handle this. I just, I would like to be mindful of the fact that when we had you this time last year, or close to this time last year, you were giddy over the fact that the Panthers had brought in Baker Mayfield. So what a difference a year makes. I just are wondering your reaction to Baker being the successor to Tom Brady. Well now I'm giddy about that, Amy. A year has given me perspective and I would much rather be competing against Baker than actually having Baker on my side. So I have shifted my Baker Mayfield giddy. We all learn from our mistakes, Amy.
We do. I'm proud of you for admitting that and taking ownership of it. Okay, so before we go into some of the specifics, from the hiring of Frank Reich to some of the free agent moves that they've made, obviously to gaining the overall number one pick, how would you assess as a whole what the Panthers have done the last few weeks? Well now I'm going to tell you I'm giddy and I hope that this giddiness is not... Are you crying, Wolf? Is that what's happening here?
Yeah, that's what's happening. They've got me fired up and this one, the Baker one I might have forced, Amy. I might have done some Jedi mind tricks.
I know you're a Star Wars person. I've got a little Jedi mind trick to get myself believing in Baker, but it finally feels like, you know, maybe David Tepper's learned a little bit as an owner. It feels like the hire of Frank Reich is much more solid than the risky hire of Matt Ruhl coming from the college game, and it also just feels like they finally figured out that maybe going after those veterans, you know, that are cast offs elsewhere is not the way to do it, and I love the aggressive move to go up and get the quarterback you want to take at number one, and the free agency.
It feels like there's more of an urgency early in free agency than there has been here lately. Getting rid of Matt Ruhl gave us all, and then seeing what Steve Wilkes could do with his team, gave us all, you know, a little bit of optimism to end the season with. So, plus the division that the Panthers sit in, Amy, how can that not make you feel good? That division, you mentioned Brady being gone.
Yeah. That division is begging some team to kind of become the class of it for the next four or five years or so. So, obviously the Panthers got to take the right QB. That's a huge part of it, and that's not a given, but yeah, I think I'm laughing at myself now because the way we started this interview. Now, I feel a little paranoid about my giddiness, but yeah, I think we're excited down here in Carolina.
You know, elephants never forget. So, I wouldn't be true to you or to our conversations if I did not bring that part up, but we put it to bed. It's behind us now, and you can be giddy about something else. Chris McLean with us from WFNZ in Charlotte. It's After Hours, CBS Sports Radio. I got to tell you, I was giggling when the Panthers made the move for the number one pick because of the fact that they usurped the Colts, and I just felt like, even though Frank is not a vindictive guy, doesn't come across that way, that he was sitting around saying, oh I'm sorry Indy, did you also want that top pick? So, just the the drama of it all, but I have to ask, do you believe there are any rumors to the fact that the Panthers may trade it away actually?
We were trying to figure that out too. Is this, you know, what are they doing? There's a lot of information out there that conflicts, right? I mean, any insider you listen to, they seem to think, you know, David Tepper likes this guy.
Well, Frank Reich likes this guy, and it's all different information. So, I don't know if the Panthers are attempting to, you know, maybe bait Houston into a trade-up by making them feel like, hey the Panthers are in the two or three different quarterbacks. They might easily give up that number one spot. Let us make sure we get our guy, but ultimately, I think it is going to come down to younger Stroud. I think moving to two, just one spot back, honestly, my gut tells me that would be as far as they would go. I don't know if I'm buying into, hey they might be in Anthony Richardson as well. I can't imagine they want to trade all the way up to one, give up an asset, not just picks, but give them an asset like DJ Moore, you know, your number one receiver that would have been beautiful for a rookie quarterback. Can't imagine you give all that up only to, you know, sacrifice that, you know, hey we get our third choice of quarterback, you know.
I think two would be as far as they would go down. If you are advising the Panthers, if they come to you and they ask you what to do with that number one pick, do you have a preference Bryce Young, CJ Stroud? First of all, if that happens, I have a heart attack, Amy, before I even give them advice.
Oh no, don't do that. It's your opportunity, your chance to shine, Chris. They've been listening to me yap and misfire, so I'm sure they wouldn't, but I mean, I honestly, I think I prefer Stroud because of the size factor, you know, Bryce Young, the durability is a little concerning, although this league, right, like quarterbacks have never been this protected, you know, and listening right now, I was like yeah, they're over protected probably, so I think that helps a quarterback like Bryce Young when you worry about durability. I would lean Stroud, but I honestly think both of those two guys are polished.
I think they could start right away, and that's where I would lean. Richardson is obviously tempting. The skill set and the athleticism is ridiculous, but man, he is a scary one. He's project. That's the kind of pick, if you make that high, Amy, you know, that could cost, that could make a GM a legend or could put a GM on the unemployment line, you know.
Right, to be sure. What is another move that the Panthers have made on the offensive side of the ball that you really like? Hayden Hurst and Miles Sanders are both, you know, seem real solid to me.
They need, they need weapons. Obviously, they traded away Christian McCaffrey, and one of those picks was used in the deal to get up to number one. Miles Sanders is the guy that's coming off a 1,200-yard season. I think he, behind this, behind finally a good offensive line in Carolina, the way they played last year, and they're all kept together. They re-signed Bradley Bozeman, so this line is going to be together for another year, and then Hayden Hurst, I mean this. He hung up on us.
That's it. We got ghost, well, we didn't get ghosted. We got dumped. Are you calling him back, or is he calling us back?
I'll give him a sec. He'll probably call me back. It's the beauty of live radio.
Chris McLean, who's host of Mac and Bone. You tried to quit me, but you cannot. You're back, and you don't get to go until you're done. Amy, let me tell you, I am so caught in my own world. I literally, when the phone rang, I was still talking.
I was talking to nobody. This is my best answer ever, Amy, and everything I said was going to be right. It didn't even get on the air. Dang it. Any chance you can recreate the best answer that we've ever had here on the show?
Well, I don't know where you lost me. Miles Sanders, to me, you know, they need a running back. Beyonce Forman is a free agent, and Sanders coming off a 1,200-yard season. They paid him more than I thought they were going to pay a running back. They paid him $6 million plus per year, but I think he's going to be solid. And then Hayden Hurst, I was talking to myself, man.
I was really enjoying the point I made. Hayden Hurst is going to be the best pass catch at tight end this team has had since Greg Olsen. They have just not literally, not replaced Greg Olsen.
Now, I'm not saying he's Olsen, but he's going to be a chain mover and a legitimate threat at tight end. And I just think a running game, a tight end, those things are things that can help your rookie quarterback. Problem is, they traded DJ Moore. They needed a wide receiver, Amy, when they had DJ Moore.
Now they probably need a couple of them, you know? Okay, so a couple of times you mentioned the rookie. The rookie starting, whether it's Bryce or whether it's CJ. What does that mean for Matt Corral, who they just drafted last year, but was injured for most of last season?
Man, it's crazy. There's multiple insiders reporting that the Panthers are basically shopping or getting it out there that, hey, Matt Corral could be had for like a, you know, bag of potato chips or something like, which is interesting to me. I guess maybe the new coaching staff came in and might not really think highly of him, you know, maybe, you know, Reich and, and, and all these guys that we had at Thomas Brown, the new office coordinator, Josh McCown, maybe they, you know, aren't necessarily Corral fans like rule was, and maybe they're just kind of ready to move on.
It seems kind of weird to me because it was third round pick last year. Seems to me like you'd at least want to get a look at him. You know, I feel bad for him. Amy last year could have been a year where he could have got some playing time at some point and maybe shown, you know, what he could be. The injury happened in preseason. So I feel bad for him, but yeah, it doesn't, it's starting to sound like he might not be in the mix. I mean, forget that he would have been the starter maybe because Darnell was hurt. They didn't, they moved on from Baker quickly, at least initially. He would have been the starter by like the middle of the second month.
He could have had a good opportunity. So it's, it's rough for him. So we'll see how that ends up playing out. But like one of the reports I saw from Mike Girardi, NFL network was like, they're, they're looking to shop them and they don't want much for them. So it's like, they're going to take a third round pick from a year ago and like, what, give up, you take a six pack or something like that. So I may, maybe it's just the coaching staff, new staff coming in and being like, he's not our type of QB.
That's all I can think of. Life comes at you fast in the NFL. All right, Chris, so I just, I want to give you one more chance here. You say you're giddy. What makes this giddy different from last year's giddy?
Cause they're doing it the right way. Like I said, Amy, I did have myself fooled. All right. My, my Homerism, I think got to me last year. I convinced myself Baker Mayfield was something that he wasn't, but this just feels like it's the right way. Matter of fact, Scott Fitter has been saying it in multiple press conferences his off season.
He says, we want to do it the right way. And the right way is drafting your own quarterback. Like, you know, he's acknowledging that these swings they've taken at these cast off veterans is not necessarily the ideal way to do it. Anybody who's seen the Panther quarterbacks play since cam was last healthy, you know, like five years ago knows it hadn't been working. So I think they're on the right path. They gave up a lot. And ultimately if they swing and miss, it's going to set us back again.
But I just like the fact that they are doing it the right way. And I think they have a great group of coaches, Amy, to be the support system for this quarterback. He got Frank Reich at head coach. I mentioned Thomas Brown who comes from that McVay tree as the new offensive coordinator, a guy like Josh McCown, who was just kind of born to coach, you know, last few years of his career, everybody was saying, oh, this guy's a player coach as a backup quarterback and working with young quarterbacks all the time.
So I think he's perfect there. Jim Caldwell is brought in as a guy that can work with the young quarterback. So I just like the support system they have. And I like the fact that they were aggressive and are going to go get their top choice of QB. I think they're doing it right. And as you point out, the NFC South is up for grabs.
Every team finishing below 500 last year, the Bucks needed until the end of the season to even grab that division title. So it is there for the taking and agree with you, like the leadership. Also, just to set your mind at ease, I may have been known a time or two to be on the phone with a friend telling this very long story, only to realize there was no response on the other end. And somehow we got disconnected and I had no clue. So you're not the only one, Chris. It's radio person thing.
Like, I don't know if we even care if they're listening. We just got to keep talking. So this is why you and I connect on a different level, Chris. I like it. So you can find Chris on Twitter at Mac WFNZ, our Charlotte affiliate, Chris McLean.
He's got work to do, host of the Mac and Bone Show. Have a great morning and be giddy all you want, man. Do it. I hope it doesn't come back to haunt me a year from now. Well, you know, I'll bring it up if it does.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-16 09:08:15 / 2023-03-16 09:14:42 / 6