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Ike Reese | Former NFL LB, WIP Philadelphia Radio Host

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March 23, 2023 6:34 am

Ike Reese | Former NFL LB, WIP Philadelphia Radio Host

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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March 23, 2023 6:34 am

Former NFL linebacker and current WIP Philadelphia radio host Ike Reese joins the show to talk Eagles off season, Joel Embiid's MVP candidacy, and more!

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Auto Trader. Ike Reese, we're proud to have him joining us now, former NFL and Eagles linebacker. We'll have his show on WIP Sports Radio in Philadelphia coming up this afternoon. Ike, we're going to talk football because that's why we contacted you. But remember, you are a Michigan State Spartan and the Spartans take on Kansas State in the Sweet 16. They've won a couple of games so far in the tournament. So what do you think about how they're playing? Feeling good about the way they played the first week of the tournament. Not surprised when I've watched Coach Izzo his entire career as I was there with him when he took over as head coach in 1995.

I was at Michigan State during that time. So I've gotten a chance to watch Coach Izzo. And this is during the time of the year where his teams usually are at their best. But what's different about this team?

Or maybe I shouldn't say it's different. If you look at his history, when he has a team like this where the expectations are low and he has veterans on his team. I'm not surprised that they're in the Sweet 16. He is obviously a fantastic coach. They played a great game Sunday against Marquette.

They got to do it again against Kansas State. I mean, that's a good basketball team. But I'll tell you, this is the time of the year where Coach Izzo usually gets the most out of his players. But in particular, when he doesn't have a team that everybody expects to win. Like when he comes into the tournament sort of under the radar, that's usually when he's at his best.

So I wouldn't be surprised if this team makes the Final Four. I know he's an emotional guy. We see his emotions on display very often on the sidelines.

And we know he's a crier. He really puts his whole heart into the sport, but also his teams. But I thought that we really got to see a different side of Coach Izzo around the campus shooting and how he took the lead. And he talked about the 40 plus years that he's been there. What does he mean to that university overall, Ike? Oh, everything.

Everything. I refer to him as King Spartan. He is the King Spartan. He has carried the university with first class character, with dignity and respect. It's a football school.

Don't get me wrong. It's a football school. It's a football school. And he'll tell you that because he's a football guy. But Coach Izzo and the Michigan State basketball program has really been what has put the university at the forefront of the nation when it comes to Spartan athletics.

It's been Coach Izzo and his basketball program and what he's done during his time as head coach, most importantly. But he was also a great assistant to Judd Eco for 11 years. So when he's 40 years, he's been there forever. That's why I call him King Spartan. And he's been there through some tough times. He's been there to lead us through some great times. But he's always been prideful in carrying that Spartan shield for the university.

And like I said, it hasn't always been pretty. We understand there's been some tough times that we've gone through as a university. But but with him, I think like he's been the guy that has always instilled confidence in all the alumni and alumnus. And when things were tough, he is the guy that you want out there representing our university. And no one knows what how important that university is to two alumni and alumnus that have gone to school there more than Coach Tom Izzo.

And so we've obviously experienced some some hardships in recent memory with the tragedy. The three deaths up there with the shootings and being out here in New Jersey, really feeling the pain from out there in East Lansing when watching the news clips and really seeing the people come together out there. And Coach Izzo being at the forefront of that and leading that. It gives people like myself who aren't necessarily there a sense of comfort and stress, knowing that he's leading us. To me, he means everything to the university. He is the university in my opinion. So I just think I think very highly of the man. And I got a lot of respect and love for him. And I know how much he cares about Michigan State University.

Well, that was evident. His leadership, his compassion, certainly the fact that he's willing to step into an uncertain situation and be the face and the voice. I admire him so much. We're spending a few minutes with Ike Reese, who, of course, is a former Spartan and now is part of WIP in Philadelphia.

Spent some time in the NFL, too. We will talk about the Eagles coming up here on After Hours, CBS Sports Radio. But Ike, while we're talking hoops, I got to ask you about Joel Embiid. We know what Jokic is all about, but if you're making a case for Joel as MVP, what would you say? Honestly, I think he's the he's the most unstoppable player in the NBA.

I just really do. But if we're just talking about most valuable player, he does it on both ends of the court. I think he's answered a lot of questions about durability and whether or not he can bring that same level of play night in and night out. He's done it to the best of his ability this season. I know he's missed some games a little earlier in the season.

Some of that was due to COVID, I believe. But he's pretty much been out there pretty much every night. And the Sixers aren't necessarily the best team in the Eastern Conference. But I think because of him, they're getting the best out of the team. And I think he plays in a much stronger conference. No offense to Joker out there in Denver and what they're doing in the Western Conference. But I think if I'm ranking the top teams in the NBA, the top three teams in the NBA are Milwaukee, Boston and Philadelphia, whichever order you want to rank them in.

I think Denver or whomever comes after those guys. So he's doing it in the best conference. He's done it for the last three years and he hasn't been rewarded. I think this year he's let his play do more of the talking for his candidacy as MVP. And he's allowed people like myself and others speak for him as an MVP candidate versus him campaigning for himself.

So I think he's focused on doing things on the court. And so I think it's his time. Funny because it reminds me a little bit of his teammate, his current teammate, James Harden. When James Harden finally won the MVP, you could have easily made the case he should have won in a year or two before that. And he didn't get it. And then he finally got it. And I think it may be in that pocket now where it's just his time.

It's his time. He's one of the best players in the league. There is no clear cut MVP where somebody is head and shoulders above anyone else.

And I think the other two candidates have already been two time winners. I would have it, Giannis and then Jokic after Joe LMB. But the very fact that MB plays both ends of the court and has his team somewhat overachieving versus underachieving.

I think that makes him a legitimate in the favorite for the MVP. Just a couple of games left before we hit the postseason. So should be exciting.

So that leads me then to my next question. What's the bigger story in Philly sports right now? Is it the Sixers and MB in the season he's having or is it what's happening with the Eagles in free agency? Well, you know, Philadelphia.

So it's it's it's all about the Eagles. Yes. So it's that could be a blessing or a curse. It depends. Well, you know how you want to look at it. So MB gets to fly under the radar just a little bit.

He doesn't have all the eyes on it just yet. But when the playoffs start, I think our attention will shift to the Sixers and we want to see them get out of the second round. We've seen them be great in regular season and all of that. We want to see them get at a minimum to the Eastern Conference Finals with the Eagles coming off of losing the Super Bowl. Our interest is piqued by how do we either improve the team or at least sustain the level on which they were able to play at last year. So we're intrigued by who we're able to keep and who we're bringing in to help this team get back to the Super Bowl next year. And unfortunately for the other teams in town, the Eagles, they're just going to always be at the forefront of everyone's minds.

It's like I said, it's a blessing and a curse. I don't really I find it as a good thing because it's football and it's the Eagles. But I'm pretty sure some of the other teams are like at some point like, hey, we're over here. Can we get a little attention on us?

But here's what I'll say. When the teams aren't playing well, they welcome the talk about the Eagles. That way, nobody's focusing on the other team. So the Flyers are happy right now. The Flyers are happy right now that nobody's focusing on them. What about the Phillies? The fact that they're coming off an incredible season and now they add Trey Turner. So how would you slot in opening day and the return of the Phillies?

Oh, they are right there. It's been a while since anybody has pushed the Eagles for attention. But the Phillies, the Phillies and what they did by going to the World Series. Not only that, the all season that they've had by adding Trey Turner to this group.

I mean, my goodness. I mean, the World Baseball Classic has been a nice appetizer for us as Phillies fans. Watching Trey Turner do what he did in the World Baseball Classic. We're so excited to watch Trey Turner in his lineup and this Phillies team. I think I think it may be 55-45, but that's how excited we are about the Phillies and what they have going on. And we can't wait for opening day. I will admit that we are very excited about the Phillies. Oh, good. I'm glad.

It seems like it's a really good time to be a Philadelphia sports fan, to be sure. And also talk show host, which is where we grab Ike Reese from 94 WIP in Philadelphia. Make my job easy right here. Make my job a lot easier.

Definitely. We're glad to have you here with us after hours on CBS Sports Radio. OK, so former NFL linebacker. Let's talk about the Eagles. They've had a bunch of defections last count. It was seven different starters that we know will turn over.

So, Ike, overall, just big picture. Would you say the offseason's been a plus or a minus for the Eagles? I would say it's been a plus. It's been a plus.

Some people want to give it high grades like an A or what have you. And that's fine. I think I think I think considering the circumstances in which the team found itself, which limited cap space, limited money to spend as far as resources go. And if they were going to do or be forced to do a bunch of one year deals because they couldn't commit a whole lot of money to other players. And we know there's a big contract for a certain quarterback.

So we know we know they have to prepare for that. I think bringing back some of the key veterans that they brought back is going to give them a chance to at least stay as one of the top teams in the NFC this year. So I think a lot of the moves they made this all season wasn't necessarily from an on the field standpoint.

It wasn't to benefit the future from an on the field standpoint is more or less to take care of the present 2023 season. And, you know, they brought back, you know, Fletcher and Brandon and Jason Kelsey. They brought back Slade and restructured this deal. Bradbury.

Sure. A lot of key players that helped them win last year. But these aren't long term solutions. They're more or less short term fixes and the contracts are designed that way. So I think for those of us that thought they may have an opportunity to dip into free agency and potentially grab some long term solutions.

Some of us were a little disappointed with that. They didn't retain Chauncey Gardner Johnson. Something got mixed up with the contract there as far as did he overplay his hand and he and his agent with the market? Did the Eagles not smash it off or something? I think that would be the only player that fans are a little torn over wishing that we still had with C.J.

Gardner Johnson. Everybody else we kind of understood what we're going from. To answer your question, I believe the Eagles are in a good position this year as far as the personnel that they have. They still have a little little things they need to do, but they're still one of the better teams in the NFC.

And I don't know if you can find a team in the NFC considering the 49ers quarterback situation that you would put in front of the Eagles. So from that standpoint, they're good. They just have to do a good job in the draft and drafting younger guys that are going to be impact players that can solidify some of these holes that are still remaining there, like it running back and the safety position. And then some young players have to step up. The Kobe Dean, Jordan Davis, these guys got to step up and play this year. They were young guys that were drafted last year. That wasn't counted on very much. And now they're going to probably have bigger roles this year.

All right, cool. So then before I let you go, we know that the NFC East morphed into the NFC beast in 2022 with the three teams that made the playoffs, the Eagles being the best, of course, getting to the Super Bowl. But what do you think of the moves that the Giants and the Cowboys have made?

I suppose the commanders are still kind of far back in the pack. But what about Cowboys and Giants? I think the Cowboys have made some moves that could close the gap between them and the Eagles. I still think the Eagles are the best team in the division, but obviously trading for Brandon Cooks, trading for Stephon Gilmore. You know, it isn't, they aren't the players they were five years ago when they were in their prime or what have you, but they're still good football players and they're not being counted on to be the number one guy that they're positioned.

They're more complimentary pieces. So it solidifies certain areas for the Cowboys. It already had a 12 win team last year that won a playoff game. So it's that I still believe they're going to be a formidable opponent for the Eagles in the NFC East and the Giants. I think the Giants did what they needed to do. I kind of like that they didn't succumb to public pressure or move it off from Jones and move on from St. Quan. They didn't overly commit from a ridiculous standpoint, even with Jones and the four year deal. That's more of a two year deal.

And St. Quan is a one year deal. So what it really does is allow the Giants to at least retain their best offensive players. And then let's see if they can improve on what they did last year. So I think they at least will be a respectable team. I don't know if they'll be a playoff team again, but if you look at the NFC, the Giants could still be a wildcard football team. So I still like the fact that the NFC East is no longer the NFC least. And you got you got at least three good football teams there, but I still think the Eagles are above those other two teams. Never a dull moment, at least not these days with Philadelphia sports.

There's a lot going on to be able to talk about, which is a good problem to have if you're a talk show host. Right. Yeah.

I tell you what, I still remember from 2012 to 2017, it wasn't very fun around here. All right. You can find Ike on Twitter at Ike. 58 Reese, former NFL linebacker, spent a lot of his career with the Eagles.

Now part of 94 WIP Sports Radio. And remind me your time slot with your show. Oh, two to six Monday through Friday. All right. Awesome to talk to you. Thank you so much for a couple of minutes. All right. Thanks for having me, Amy. I appreciate it. March Madness right here in the Odyssey app to get started. Last year, you may have made some smart decisions and you may have made some not so smart decisions.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-23 08:23:41 / 2023-03-23 08:31:18 / 8

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