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After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
March 18, 2024 6:01 am

After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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March 18, 2024 6:01 am

A look at the NCAAW Tournament bracket | Longwood University Lancers senior G DA Houston joins the show | The Steelers add Justin Fields to back-up Russell Wilson. 

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Minimum $10 per order. Additional terms apply. It always has the feel of Radio Road during Super Bowl week. Selection Sunday night. For those of you who don't know our process, I'm sure I've talked about it on the air before, but it's a really big show where we try to pack in so much. And this is an opportunity on Selection Sunday night to connect with coaches and players that we generally would have a harder time getting during Super Bowl week. The season because Sunday night is the time when a lot of them do interviews and so we booked these about a week ago and were able to confirm and just really excited about the mix that we got. We end up with a player from a 16 seed and a coach from a 16 seed.

You have yet to hear those will introduce you to Longwood and Stetson, but also. A player from a one seed. In fact, the defending champion. Overall number one seed Yukon Alex Caravan had a chance to talk to him minutes after the selection show and my last interview that I was able to record before I left my home. It's it's my own little radio row. I left my home right after talking to Iowa women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder. And I told my mom that we were talking to coach Bluder. She was all excited could not wait and I had to make sure I brought that up with Lisa actually herself. So the conversations fantastic. She's so enthusiastic. So for those of you who would say you're more. You're more excited and you're looking forward to the women's tournament more than even the men's tournament.

Well, you don't want to miss coach Bluder. She's awesome. And she is definitely a woman who cares about. Not just the legacy in the pursuits of her player Caitlin Clark superstar who's raised the level of profile for the game itself, but also she wants to continue to see women's basketball grow in profile in attention, believing in the product, not just believing in hey, we we caught lightning in a bottle. It's a flash in the pan. So I asked her, how does women's basketball sustain this?

How does the sport continue to grow in terms of its footprint and utilize these couple years of Caitlin Clark and all the attention and then take advantage of that and continue to grow the sport. So you'll love her answer, I'm sure. And we'll let you hear from Lisa Bluder an hour from now. So at the top of the next hour, that'll be 2 a.m. No, excuse me, 3 a.m. Central time and that'll be 1 a.m. on the Pacific Coast. If you don't hear our interviews live, they'll be podcasted separately and out first thing Monday morning and I suspect that before the tournament kicks off later in the week, we will let you hear from Lisa again. So yeah, a couple of one seeds represented and a couple of 16 seeds represented and a few more surprises for you the next couple days before the full bracket comes into play on Thursday and Friday. I know some of you believe those are two of the finest days, the most interesting and maybe even days that you would take off from work with the most interesting days in sports.

Remember those old commercials, the most interesting man in the world? Well these might be the most interesting four days when the tournament goes from 64 down to 16 in the span of just a Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Our toll free line is 855-212-4227. That's 855-212 for CBS. If you are interested in the women's tournament, well South Carolina is the team to beat. This is Dawn Staley's crew, the number one overall seed for the women's tournament. They're trying to become just the 10th team in history to ever go unbeaten, not just during the regular season but all the way through the postseason which would mean a national championship. And the drama is there because in the final four of the national semis last spring, the Gamecocks lost to the Hawkeyes.

So it was Kaitlyn Clark in Iowa introducing itself to the rest of the world. The Hawkeyes also got a one seed as did USC with their star freshman Juju Watkins. First time for the USC Trojans since 1986 in which they've been a one seed and Texas earning a one seed for the first time since 2004. So I hope that tells you how wide open women's basketball has become and it's the same for a lot of college sports because of the transfer portal and athletes being able to move freely. But it's neat that women's basketball is now one in which you can see more than just a UConn or a Tennessee or a Stanford.

You see other schools that are inserting themselves into that conversation. Not that long ago, I guess it was two years ago, we had Arizona in the national championship just losing to Stanford. And while South Carolina is the best team in the country and while Don Staley has once again turned them into a championship favorite, nothing is given. And we know that even in these late years or later years, more recent years as I should say, with UConn. So they still have some of the best players in the country and yet the Huskies have not had a championship in quite a while.

Must feel like an eternity. Of course, into that void is the men's team. So Don Staley and the Gamecocks have the number one overall seed for the women. It always felt good to be, I mean, to be the number one overall seed and to be undefeated. I mean, I'm excited because we get a chance to know what our path is to win a national championship and all great teams, a lot of familiar faces that's in our region. But we have to take it one game at a time. And that's what we'll do on Friday, no matter.

I don't know what time it will be, but looking forward to it. Now the part that I think many people may remember about South Carolina is exactly what Don Staley was worried about. That there was kind of that, what did you call it, a brawl. It was just an altercation where one of Don Staley's players, 6'8 forward Camila Cardoso, she shoved a player from LSU and knocked her over.

And then you had that player's brother come vaulting over the scorer's table. Players come rushing in from both benches, which of course is against the rules in college sports and certainly in basketball. And so because of that, Cardoso, she will miss the opening game because she got ejected for fighting in that SEC championship. Now they would have her back for a second round matchup and it could be against a familiar opponent in North Carolina or it could be Michigan State if they move on. But yeah, there's a price to pay for that brouhaha and Cardoso.

She will not be available for their opening round game. There's a lot of intrigue because you have a big bad, you have an undefeated team, not a champion, but an undefeated team that is not going to catch anybody off guard. This is not going to be a surprise run for South Carolina. They've got the major bullseye on the backs of their jerseys in addition to names and numbers.

But yet there are so many challengers that will have the chance to take aim. And I know a lot of people rooting for Iowa because of Kaitlyn Clark for the Hawkeyes trying to win their first title. Let's see, if I can remember when they were, before last year, last in the Final Four, I think going back to the days of C. Vivian Stringer. And so you're talking about an era in which Iowa women's basketball is consistent and the fans really support the team, but to have it on a national scale is pretty amazing. And now Lisa Bluder and her crew are a number one seed, number two seed last year.

And again, you'll hear my conversation with her coming up in just over 50 minutes. You can find us on Twitter or Facebook. Producer Jay tells me that the link to the men's tournament bracket is already live. I don't know that we've ever done a women's tournament bracket challenge. Actually, I don't think that in all of my years working in the business we've ever done a women's bracket challenge, whether it be my show personally or a network that I worked for.

But there will be a lot more people that are interested. I think that's neat because the more people that watch women's basketball, you recognize it's not the ugly redheaded stepchild. The basketball is just as good.

It's a lot of fun. Whether or not the women dunk is really irrelevant. They're incredible athletes and the team aspect for some of the best in the country, the team aspect in some cases is even more cohesive and more consistent because they don't have guys who are skyrocketing over their opponents and dunking down.

Now, they do have some women that are pretty darn close to seven foot. But in terms of the athleticism and the way that they share the basketball is one of the things I love about Iowa as well as UConn. It's not a different game.

It's not a game that you have to lower your expectations. It's still basketball and it's incredible. So looking forward to seeing these games tip off and the more that people make noise and the more that fans show interest, the more that you see record setting audiences tuning in on TV, well then the more that the NCAA and the various TV networks recognize that this is a product people want to see.

It's not a product that should be treated as any lesser. And I think for the NCAA, it's been kind of a call to action the last couple of years. We know that, gosh was it three years ago, there were players and teams, coaches who were complaining about the fact that they were not treated the same way, that the resources and even just the facilities and the meals were not the same at the women's tournament sites as they were for the men. So yeah, I like the fact that the NCAA is being called to task for that and is now recognizing that if you pour resources into the women's tournament, you treat it equally the way that the men's tournament is treated, well then you'll see these teams not just thrive in that environment but rise to the occasion and fans also will recognize that it's legitimate. It's been awesome to see some of the stars that have come along, but really how now do they manage to keep that momentum once you see a Kaitlyn Clark graduate?

It can't die just with Kaitlyn Clark moving on to the next level in the WNBA, though I can imagine, I suspect that she will take a lot of fans with her, which will be awesome. Alright, so we'll talk more about the women's tournament. On the men's side, we mentioned that you've got UConn as the number one overall seed and Alex Karaban in our final hour here on After Hours, but the number one seed is no longer kind of this rarefied territory that isn't susceptible. We've seen two 16s in the last five years that have upset one seed and I believe it will happen more often. And when you have a field in which only 11 of the 32 conferences were won by the top seeds, so every team, excuse me, every conference has its own conference tournament, the winner of that tournament gets to move on automatically to the field of 68. And a lot of times, in the past anyway, the top seeds, they would go ahead and they would run the table and they would get in, though they would have gotten in anyway, right, because their best conference or the best team in the conference. But this year, it was wide open and there were so many upsets because the top seed didn't even win half of its conference tournament, which meant that you had the committee scrambling on Saturday to pull teams out and plug these bid thieves in. And we talked about it with Jerry, but I'd love to hear what the committee chair, Dr. Charles McClellan, described as their frenetic process when you've got teams that wouldn't have been in the tournament except that they claim the automatic bids and that wreaks havoc inside the committee room. This is the first time since I've been on the committee that we've had five bids that have been stolen. The last two years combined has only been three, so it makes it difficult for us to be able to go through that process. And as those bids continue to get stolen, as a matter of fact, we were in the process of scrubbing at one point. A bid got stolen that meant that we lost a bid, so we had to go back and start the process all over again.

We did not finish our process of scrubbing until 2 a.m. this morning, so it's a very difficult process, one of the most difficult that I've been in. And I've talked to some of the staff that's been in this room over 20 years, and they said this is probably the most difficult selection process that they've been a part of. With the transfer portal, with NIL, with the fact that there are more and more players that are spread out among more schools around the country.

It's happening at the women's level, and it's also happening for the men, where you can have a coach who can go in and can use the transfer portal to build a team from scratch, Utah State being a great example, which means the talent is more dispersed, and so you can expect that a 12 seed is going to challenge a 5 seed, and that we're going to see more double digit seeds that end up making hay, making waves, making your bracket look like a bloodbath. I can't wait. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

I know a lot of people take off those days or whichever ones of those days they need to, and then also people go to Las Vegas. Now you don't need to anymore, but a lot of people say it's fun to be able to sit in a sports book or to sit in a casino and watch all of these games that are kind of playing out all at the same time. Remember, you need four channels.

Four channels, but you can also stream this year as well, because Paramount Plus will carry a bunch of these games. So I'm looking forward to it. I've tried to prepare myself mentally for a noon Eastern Time wake-up call on Thursday and Friday.

It hurts, but there's coffee, there's snacks, and there's basketball. What more could you ask for? I hope you enjoyed your St. Patrick's Day, if that's what you were most looking forward to. Remember, we had a poll up last week.

What was the more attractive appear? What was the more appealing element to Sunday? St. Patrick's Day or the selection show? And I think selection show barely won out, just barely won out.

But St. Patrick's Day was right there. So if you kiss someone because they were Irish and you watch the selection show and you've already filled out brackets, well, you are a winner. Winner, winner, chicken digger. Okay, coming up, a number 16 seed. In the spotlight, again, the Longwood Lancers. Second time in three years, DA Houston was a sophomore when they went to the tournament two years ago, two springs ago.

Now he's a senior, and they had some major adversity this season. So conversation on hoops and leadership and dancing, straight ahead. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.

You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. Effort, toughness, and execution, I think that was the difference. I think we came out and absolutely played with an aggressive mindset. We played with incredible activity. I thought our effort was tremendous.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Griff Aldrich, the head coach of the Big South champion Longwood Lancers, two years ago played their way into the NCAA tournament. They were young. It was their first time. It was all new. Now they're back, and they're veterans of this process.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Longwood has a good group of seniors, leaders, who were part of it a couple years ago and now know what to expect. And that includes senior guard DA Houston, who played in the tourney as a sophomore and so now is Big South champion for a second time in three years. Really neat to be able to highlight some of these teams. A number 16 that will take on a number 1, and yet the possibilities are infinite, right?

Because A, they've got some experience, and B, 16s beat 1s now. So will you dare to pick a 16 over a 1 in the After Hours Bracket Challenge? You can find that link. It's up on Twitter.

After Hours CBS. We'll pin it to the top of our Twitter page. If you were a previous contestant or previously part of the challenge, well then an email should go directly to the account that you used so you don't have to worry about the link at all. You just follow the instructions in the email. If you're new, just check out the link. It should take you right to the page.

It usually just requires an email as well as a password. And then you can go and you can fill out your bracket and make sure you save it. So that's available now for you on either Twitter or Facebook After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Right after the selection show, I had a chance to talk to D.A. Houston, the Senior Guard for the Longwood Lancers, and really neat to watch some of these incredible parties where the atmosphere is confetti and cheering and, yeah, just so much enthusiasm. What was that like for you the second time, D.A., going through it in three years, the selection show, the fans and all of the buzz? It was always a great experience, especially sharing with people that have been supporting us throughout the season and being alongside people you care about, my teammates.

We call each other brothers and it's something we really embrace. It was a great experience and it felt good to see our names up there and knowing that our work paid off. Well, you're a senior, so this is your last run through it. So how much different does it feel to you knowing that your basketball experience will come to an end relatively soon? It's sad, but, I mean, it's a great feeling as well. It's something you always dreamed about, something I've always dreamed about as a kid, and just to get the experience of just playing college basketball alone, it's a blessing itself.

But being able to go to March Madness, especially two times, it's really a blessing. It's something that I'm going to embrace and take all in once again. How different are you as a player, maybe as a leader, this time around as opposed to two years ago when you all were experiencing it for the first time? Well, I've really grown in the leadership role. I believe I've always been a leader in a way, probably more of an example in the past couple of years, but this year I really grew being a vocal leader and just learning more about my guys and different ways to lead them.

Because you can't lead everybody the same way or try to get a message across to everybody the same way. So I feel I really grew in that area of learning my teammates and being more vocal. Is that tough sometimes, though, especially when you're going through adversity and you have to be the one who speaks up and maybe does try to light a fire under your teammates?

Yeah, I mean, yeah, it could be tough. But at the same time, my teammates make it easier. They know where I'm coming from is all love.

And we're really brothers. You want to hold each other accountable. And that's kind of how we look at it.

But it can be tough sometimes, especially going through adversity. And sometimes you can just leave you thinking of where you can be improved because sometimes you feel like it's part of your job to get your team to where we need to be. Well, clearly, and the team wouldn't be in the NCAA tournament if not for the leadership of you and your fellow seniors. NBA Houston is with us from the Longwood Lancers back in the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years as the champs of the Big South. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio. I saw this quote from your coach in which he talked about you and a couple of other players grabbed hold of the team, told them what they're going to do and how they're going to do it.

What does that mean? What did you do to help turn this team and your season around? It's kind of what I spoke on earlier, just being more vocal and let them hear my voice. I feel like I've earned the respect of my teammates and just using my voice because as Coach Marty said, I know a little bit, I've been around a little bit in this game.

But just being more vocal and really pushing them and holding them accountable. Well, let's talk about that stretch in which you all were 2 and 10. So you lost 10 of 12 games.

I know a bunch of them were close. So it's not like you were getting blown out. You were working hard.

But what did that feel like at practice and in your locker room? I mean, it was disappointing, honestly, for us as a team. We all felt disappointed. But at the same time, we had a belief in each other and we knew we knew we could be better. And we had that belief that even when we was going through those tough times that we still is a team capable of winning it all. During that stretch, the practices, we just dug in deeper.

We never lost faith. And we just turned everything up a notch and became more focused as a team overall. But during that stretch, it was tough. But with the guys we had, we uplifted each other. And that really helped. Do you feel like that really solidifies your relationship and your situation with your brothers, as you say, your family?

Yeah, for sure. We kept each other going through all those times because we felt like we were still getting counted out. But like I said, we had that belief and faith in each other and that confidence always that we can be better and we knew we could be better. Okay, so then what changed?

You win your last nine games, including the Big South. What changed over these last couple of weeks? I would say in just our approach and practices, we got more focused on the little things. And I feel like we really grew into our identity of being tough, tougher on the defensive end and being more execution focused on the offensive end.

And I feel like that's really kind of what changed. When you say tough, a very tough first round opponent in Houston, they're known for being physical. They're known for being a team that wants to kind of beat you up and will go toe to toe and wants to make your offense look awful. What was it like to see your name pop up or your school's name pop up right underneath Houston as the one seed? Honestly, that was a great feeling, especially with me being raised from Houston and that being the team I've always seen around the city. It felt good to see us matched up against them. I feel like we're just as tough and just as physical. It's going to be a dogfight. D.A. Houston is the senior guard from Longwood. We'll take on Houston as the number one seed in the South.

It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. What do you remember about the tournament appearance two years ago, D.A.? The whole atmosphere overall. It's something you can only dream of.

The media everywhere, the college basketball environment is definitely one of the best stages in sports. That experience is once in a lifetime. Do you remember any nerves or anxiety over it as you started playing in your first tournament? Nerves? I'll say more of an excitement. I wasn't really nervous, but just excited. Just being able to be in that environment is something I've always wanted to do as a kid and wanted my family to experience with me.

I was just overly excited. This year is kind of a different approach. Last year we wanted to win the game, but this year we've been there before. Now we're trying to get us a game in this tournament.

How much does it matter that you've been there before and you know what to expect? It matters so much to me. This is a game I love and am very passionate about. I want to win. I'm very competitive. I don't want to just be there. I want to make some noise in the tournament.

My teammates feel the same way. It's kind of cool to know that so many people are rooting for you. Even if they're not there in the arena, but they're back in Farmville. They're going to be watching all over the country.

And then just in general, the fact that it is possible, we know 16 Seeds have upset 1s recently. Yes ma'am. Farmville is a great place. We get so much support out here. Honestly, it's a great thing to be able to play for the people of this town and this university. They put so much into us and to see what they put in paid off and to see how you can uplift the community.

It's great. The support is amazing out here. What's the approach as you go into a game where you're not expected to win? Just doing what we do, what got us to this point. Honestly, just still having that confidence in ourselves. A lot of teams probably go into certain games like this and have no confidence and can be defeated before the game starts. I feel like that's half of it, just having that confidence in ourselves still.

And then just doing what we do, being tough, physical, whatever our culture instills. When you go through a game like you did in the semi-finals of your conference tournament and you have to win in overtime and it's a one-point affair and it's really tight and it's really tense, how much do games like that prepare you for what's to come? It prepares you, I feel like, in every aspect. Just being in those close games where the details really matter and then the pressure is really on, especially when there's meaning behind the game. It prepares you and I feel like everything you do.

Finally, before I let you go, DA, for you and for your fellow seniors, what will you take away from this last season of basketball? The brotherhood we built, we had highs and lows. The relations I built here are forever remembered, especially in those low times. We had each other's backs and that's something I'll always remember. Not everybody gets to experience a love like that. Well, no wonder you're such a good leader, DA, because you didn't say wins.

You didn't say cutting down nets. And I know you're excited about the tournament, but the fact that you care more about the relationships, I think, speaks volumes of your team and your culture. Yes, ma'am. Well, congratulations.

Getting a chance to go again. And I remember watching you a couple years ago and just believing with you and wanting you to pull that upset. Well, I love the confidence that you take into it.

Can't wait to watch. Yes, ma'am. Thank you. Thank you for your time. Absolutely. Thank you, DA.

You have a good one. It's neat to root for six teams now that you know it's possible. The Longwood Lancers back in the tournament for the second time in three years. And whenever we dive into these stories, it doesn't have to be a 16 seed, but some of the double digit seeds that you don't hear or see much of until this time of the year. It's amazing what material you find doing my research, realizing they lost 10 of 12 games. Can you imagine how hard it was for them to stay positive and hopeful that they would win the Big South? They lost 10 games in a 12 game stretch. Fighting that discouragement, that disillusionment, that dejection, especially with the group of seniors. And then according to Coach Aldrich, DA Houston and a couple others, they just decided this is not how we're going out. And he turned himself into a vocal leader because it's what his team needed. Awesome.

And now look where they are with some real confidence and an opportunity, not to mention experience. On Twitter, ALawRadio, love to hear from you. Also on our Facebook page, After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Coming up, Russell Wilson's a stealer. It's very weird to hear him talk about being excited for his time in Pittsburgh. I'm still processing, but you'll hear it too.

You are listening to the After Hours podcast. I got more fire than ever, honestly, especially over the past two years of what I've gone through. For me, it's about winning. Over the next five years, I want to win too. I want to feel the chill of that trophy again.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. It's not just Russell Wilson, though, in Pittsburgh trying to win two in the next five years. It's got to be music to the fans in the Steel City.

Of course, it's got to work. But the fact that he still has fire, maybe that makes you feel a little bit better. But then, Justin Fields? So not only do the Pittsburgh Steelers get Russell Wilson for chump change, a potential starting quarterback that's making barely more than a million dollars in 2024, they ship Kenny Pickett to Philadelphia, and to replace him, in a way, to be their backup, they bring in Justin Fields for a 2025 sixth round pick. Not even a pick in this year's draft. A pick in next year's draft. Now, if he ends up playing more than half the snaps this year, that gets upgraded to a fourth round. But either way, they got him for chump change. So you get Justin Fields and Russell Wilson for almost nothing in your quarterback room. That's pretty incredible.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Russell Wilson signed his one-year deal with the Steelers on Friday, and it's just odd to hear him talk about how happy he is to be in Pittsburgh. To be a Pittsburgh Steelers, it's a great tradition to be able to compete and to be able to go to work with these guys every single day is the gift of this game, enjoying the process of it all. And the reason why I wanted to come here is because I wanted to be able to win championships with Coach Tomlin and these guys in the locker room. And we've got some amazing players, guys like Cam Hayward, a guy who's been Man of the Year, a guy who's impacted so many people. I got to talk to him for a little while during this process. And then obviously, you know, Mr. T.J. Watt himself, you know, a guy who really should be a defensive player.

I don't know how many times, I don't know, maybe his third, fourth time could have won it. Guys like Minka, you know, George Pickens, and just so many other great players along the way. Russ went on and on about other teammates. Not only had he done his homework, but I think he wanted to make sure that he didn't leave anyone out.

Now, here's the crux of this, though. In the quarterback room, at the time, it was still Kenny Pickett. So he actually said some very kind words about the guy who is no longer a Pittsburgh Steelers and had no idea that Justin Fields would be joining him, what, 36 hours later? Fields is not expected to compete with Russ for the starting job. That's coming from multiple sources now.

I don't know if it changes. Can Russ stay healthy? That's one thing. But also, we saw Mike Tomlin make multiple quarterback changes last year, not to mention changing his OC because the offense was so anemic. So maybe if Russ doesn't get off to a good start and if they can't find a better groove, help out that defense a little bit, they do throw Justin out there. Again, as long as he stays healthy, Russ stays healthy, well, Wilson is expected to be the starter. But I don't know if there's going to be the same amount of patience as there was with Kenny Pickett. And they thought they had seen flashes, enough to know that Kenny was getting better moving forward. Not all entirely on him, the changes on the offensive line, not to mention there was almost zero impact from the run game to start last year. But you're wasting what is a world class defense if you can't get more out of your offense.

You're never going to be able to capitalize and be a championship contender if you don't have at least some semblance of balance with the other side of the ball. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. So what now, Russ? I'm expecting us to win. I'm expecting us to do everything we can to enjoy this process and get better every single day. I think the gift of this game is you get to go out there and try to be the best version of you every day. Unfortunately, this has been my 13th year in the league. Most of these years have been exciting and fun.

It's been one or two years, but you get back to it. I'm really excited about the opportunity to be the best version of myself every day, bring that to the table. I know what it looks like to win. Coach obviously knows what it looks like to win. This team does. This city does, more importantly.

The city of Pittsburgh. So I'm excited about it. I wonder if he's referring to the one or two years that he spent in Denver that were, eh, eh, meh.

Is meh still a thing? It's a lot of transition for Steelers fans, as well as the coaching staff, just at that one quarterback position. Ben Roethlisberger retires. They have Mason Rudolph on the roster. They bring in Mitch Trubisky.

They draft Kenny Pickett. Now, not even 700 days later. I did not count. I read that somewhere.

Not even 700 days later. None of those guys are there. Mitch is gone. Mason's in Tennessee.

Kenny's in Philadelphia. And it's Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. This is fairly atypical for the Pittsburgh Steelers. How important is it to Russ that he have a spot where he should start? Every day you wake up, you look forward to helping the team win. I think that's just honestly my focus right now. You know, I've been fortunate to be in this league for a long time and have had a lot of success and done some cool things. But there's more to do. And that's where my head's at. So why Pittsburgh?

I think that's the question. And he had a no-trade clause, so he had to be amenable to it. Why the Steelers? When Denver allowed me to be able to speak to teams and have that process and go through that process, it's the first time I've ever gone through that process.

I think that there's a few things that just jumped off the board about the Pittsburgh Steelers. Number one, I got to play here. I played actually in Seattle in CenturyLink in 2015. It was a great game back and forth. And it was just a battle all the way down to the wire. And I just remember the players that they had and just the competitors that we had at that time.

And now it's just coming here in 2018, playing here, just the atmosphere, walking into the stadium, walking into the extra stadium and just the energy. I remember the towels. I remember Renegade. I remember the whole thing.

I remember the game coming down in the fourth quarter. I think that, at the end of the day, why I love this game is because it's the greatest team sport there is. He says all the right things over and over and over again. He's a talker. I think that's what Russ and I have in common. He's a talker.

And when you listen to him, it's not hard to be inspired or to believe that something positive could happen. But the last two years, the two years in Denver also happened. Now, were those entirely his fault?

Heck no. The Nathaniel Hackett hire as head coach was meant to lure Aaron Rodgers. That was a mistake. He was not ready to be a head coach. Definitely not ready in Denver. Giving Russell Wilson the massive contract they did before he ever played a snap that counted, also not a great first move by this new ownership group in Denver. And because they went so over the top with salary cap and guaranteed money, now they're in purgatory. Right?

So it's not him. Multiple coaches, different systems, all that jazz. But at the same time, it left that team in the lurch. And people questioning at 35 years old whether Russ has anything left in the tank. So can he find that with Mike Tomlin? Can he find that with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Well, that question at this point has no answer. We're back to basketball. Lisa Bluder of Iowa next here after hours, CBS Sports Radio. Old Man Winter here. If I had it my way, it would stay winter all year long. Short days, wind chill, black ice and a good polar vortex.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-18 06:54:35 / 2024-03-18 07:11:00 / 16

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