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This is the Adam Gold Show. You can ask the old guy at panthers.com all the time. Darren Gant, my friend, covers the panthers for panthers.com.
And before we're done here, we're going to talk about Dollar Highlives at Lucy's in New Orleans, because I told Dennis about this yesterday. But I've got to tell you, I always knew that Baker Mayfield was an upgrade over Sam Darnold. That was obvious, having watched both guys play over the last couple of years. But your piece about Baker Mayfield, and we're going to talk words here at the risk of ruining the piece. Your piece was, it convinced me that Baker could be more than just a slight upgrade. So, really good in-depth piece.
Loved it. And you've got me excited about what's to come from Baker Mayfield. Well, thank you. And everyone else can read it at panthers.com this morning. We wanted to get out in front of the posse. The one thing, and this is kind of inside the media bubble, this could be a little meta.
But it's amazing to me that this has become an entire ecosystem of talking about paper. Oh, my gosh, what is Baker going to say? Baker hadn't said anything about Cleveland the whole time. And in this piece, I talked to the people who worked out with him through the offseason before he ever knew Carolina was in his future. And they all said Cleveland never came up. He didn't talk about Cleveland.
He didn't talk about, you know, how they did him wrong or anything like that. It's all, it was all about let's get better. And that's kind of the way he's approached his job. That's sort of the way he's handled his business throughout.
It's been consistent. I think everybody keeps looking for him to be a character that he has not been for the time he's been in Charlotte. And, you know, that's why these guys dig him. I mean, he's come in, he's done the right things.
He hadn't caused a stink. I mean, honestly, walking into a situation where there's a quarterback competition, that's fraught with drama or it should be. And it just hasn't been. He's been, you know, again, I don't want to pretend I know Baker Mayfield. I've been around him, you know, about two months and had decent 15 minute conversation with the guy one on one.
And that's about the extent of it. But I don't pretend to know him. But I will say he has impressed all the people around here with the way he has gone about his business.
Darren Gantt, panthers.com is joining us here on the Adam Gold Show. The thing that has always jumped out to me about Baker is that he he looks the part of number one quarterback. He looks the part of franchise guy, the way he carries himself, all of that. And while there was his third year evidence that he was going to be that guy, I thought he was judged unfairly by the fact that he played all of last season with that shoulder injury. Yes, it was to a non throwing shoulder. But if you don't think that matters, I don't know what to tell you, because it obviously does matter when your left shoulder is basically busted up and you're thrown with your right.
Doesn't mean you're that everything feels great. So I thought he was judged unfairly based on that. But I do appreciate in your in your story and your reporting that he's never really used that as an excuse. Right. And Jeff Christensen, the private quarterback coach who worked with Baker this offseason, continues to work with him.
And that story you can read on panthers.com. Christensen talked about when you looked at him last year compared to 2020, you could see the difference. You could tell he wasn't himself. He wasn't throwing the same way that there were mechanical differences that were evident from one year to the next. And when a guy doesn't feel right, that changes everything. It changes your footwork. It changes your delivery the whole nine yards.
So it it does say something that he continued to push through. And listen, it's reasonable. I mean, to think of what Baker Mayfield went through in Cleveland from. Am I your quarterback or not talking to Watson or not? Am I an adult or not?
I want to be traded. No, you can't be. That's a lot to process. And to think that that doesn't leave a mark on somebody to think that that doesn't create the opportunity for bitterness. I mean, listen, I don't again, I don't mistake this for I don't mistake not saying it out loud for not feeling it. But he hasn't expressed it.
And while a lot of guys will, you know, turn it into a vengeance game or whatever corny thing the week that we do the week before the opener, he's never gone there. I mean, he's also trying to win a job and win a new contract and impress people enough to convince them that he can be part of a long term solution in some place, whether that's here or somewhere else, because it's a one year deal. I mean, this is a very try it for them to Adam Golden Studio with my friend Coach Pete DeRuda with the Capital Financial Advisory Group. We are talking retirement. Coach, how does longevity risk figure into our retirement and income plan?
This is the best of times and the worst of times, Adam. The longevity risk means we're going to live too long. But to me, every day I live is not too long. Right.
Absolutely. So we want our money to outlive us. And unfortunately, many people have seen you out there listening, maybe one of them. Your money is not designed to outlive you. You might outlive your money. And that's not what we want to have happen, because when we get to that day after you run out of money, it's not going to be a fun time. So let's design a plan that guarantees you'll never run out of money. We call it the GPI plan, Growth Protection Lifetime Income for the next 10 people. This is a golden ticket, Adam.
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Or you can text Adam to 21000 for Coach Pete DeRuta. What's interesting about this, because you said competing for a job. My own feeling was that it was never really a competition. And that's fine. All Baker had to do was not be a complete doofus and he was going to ultimately be the quarterback.
He had to come in and do something to win it. Or not do enough to lose it. And again, that's fine.
Either way is fine. But the way you're looking at it, it is also an audition for the long-term job. I never thought at the time of the trade that this was going to prevent the Panthers from ultimately looking for their quarterback of the future. They thought maybe it'll be Matt Corral.
We don't know. But I get the sense. Again, you're incredibly persuasive in your writing, Darin Gant. I get the sense that this is potentially a long-term arrangement.
And that would be great if the Panthers didn't have to worry about that position going forward. We'll see. I'm not trying to persuade anybody. I'm just trying to tell a story. You got me.
I'm getting the number six jersey. That's all. I'm just telling stories. And this is a good one. I mean, I think that when you look at what the guy's been through coming to a new place, trying to establish himself, when there's so much expectation about who he's supposed to be and all he's been since he's been here is who he is in this moment.
And, you know, again, I don't know who he is as a person or what it's going to be like in the future. But again, in this moment, this snapshot of time that we try to write about here at panthers.com. Here's my third plug. I think I got to buy you the next one. That's fine. Oh, man, we're going to talk.
Yeah. But I just think we'll see how it goes. I mean, there's 17 games to determine what the future is going to look like. But, you know, for the first two months he's been on the job, he's taken all the right steps. I can't wait. We're talking to JJ Jansen later. I can't wait to talk to him. Get his take on Baker.
He's seen a bunch of quarterbacks here. JJ Jansen, friend of the mailbag, by the way. He has a T-shirt and everything.
Does he really? Well, I got to get a T-shirt now. All right. Let me ask you a friend of the mailbag. I am a friend of them. I have not submitted a question. You have to submit a question to be a friend of the mailbag? Yeah.
And be chosen the, you know, this week's friend of the mailbag. Oh, okay. Now I'm going to start submitting questions for you. Absolutely. Can't wait.
All right. As we get, now we're, what, four days from the start of the season, thoughts on where the roster's main weakness might lie. I think it's still really unsettled in that defensive front seven. I think you bring in a Henry Anderson, you know, old vet, big guy, run stopper who's knocked around a little bit. Been with the Jets and the Patriots, the Colts, and is a good, solid player.
It's not the kind of thing that makes people go, oh, my God, the Henry Anderson. But he's a good, solid piece that I think that defense needed. I mean, they were kind of remaking run defense on the fly after last year. They just got, they were playing for speed last year and it worked. Hassan Reddick got a bunch of sacks.
Brian Burns got a bunch of sacks. They chased people around early on, but about Dallas game on, people figured out that they were a little light in the seat and then you could run on them. And that's part of what they tried to do. Henry Anderson was a component in that starting e-tour gross mottos at defensive ends, a component of that, getting a bigger guy and Damian Wilson to play middle linebackers component of that. They just want to be almost out, obviously, against the Browns this week.
That's going to be a question. And, you know, they've got a lot of bodies to throw at this thing right now. They've still got five defensive tackles on the roster, even after letting Damian Nixon slide and put him back on the practice squad.
I mean, so it's a bigger front. We'll see how good they are at run defense. I think that's going to be, you know, obviously with Cleveland. But, you know, if you look back over the course of last year, word was on the street. People figured out how to play that defense. People kept doing the same thing. So, you know, they got a steady stream of it after, you know, Dallas, New England, Minnesota just went straight at them. And until they fix it, you know, it's kind of like being the mark.
Until you prove you're not that, everybody's going to try you. And we'll see how it goes. This week's obviously going to be a good test. I mean, the forecast looks like it's going to be a day for running the football.
So that's probably going to be important, I think. All right, let's close with running the football with the Carolina Panthers. Christian McCaffrey did not take a snap in the preseason.
Nobody is busted up about that. He has played sparingly the last two seasons. But we all remember the last taste we had of a full season of Christian McCaffrey and how special that was. Matt Rule said he's playing. We're not going to try and protect him once the game starts. Are they going to do a lot of different things with him than they have done in the past? Or are they basically going to just keep him in running back and then use him in the passing game, basically out of the backfield?
Yeah, I don't think, you know, they're going to turn him into a slot receiver or anything like that. For some reason, that became a question people asked early in the offseason. And listen, I get it. Christian McCaffrey is a precious commodity. You want to value it. You want to protect it as much as you can.
But at the same time, these these also aren't crystal figurines. These are football players. They go play football. Sometimes people fall across the back of your leg and it's just dumb, stupid luck.
And you can't do anything about it. I can tell you from having been around and watched him train, talk to people in that locker room who watch him every day. They you know, it's not like this guy is cutting any corners or doing anything he shouldn't be doing.
They're going to try to do some things organically. I think bringing Deontay Foreman in as a compliment back. I mean, if you looked at last year's backfield there, all of those guys were kind of like Christian size wise. Deontay is a bigger body and he can be a short yardage guy. He can be in situations where you're doing a lot of inside running, where you're not necessarily taking as many hits.
So while I don't think it's oh my God, we have to protect Christian, we can't break him. It's organically in the flow of the game. If you get Foreman involved, if you can keep Chuba Hubbard running around the edges and using that long speed he has, then you can kind of naturally do the things that keep him from having to touch it 40 times a game.
I mean, you know, it's not it's a temptation. I mean, if I'm a football coach, what's my plan that week? I mean, I've always said football is simpler than people make it. What's my plan as a coach? I'm going to take the people who are best at footballing and I'm going to have them do it more.
So, I mean, that's strategy 101. If I've got DJ Moore at wide receiver, I'm going to throw a lot of passes to DJ Moore because he's good at catching them and continuing to run. So Christian kind of falls into that trap. It's like as much as you want to protect him, he gives you your best chance to advance the ball and score points and gain yards and all that fun stuff that people like to do. So I know why people want to give it to him a lot. And here's the other part. Christian wants it a lot. Yeah, Christian wants no part of a discussion of a pitch count. He just makes some cringe.
I mean, you can kind of see it. It's like that's not who I want to be. So he's a football player. He's going to play football. I love I love football players that want to play football. I'm a huge Christian McCaffrey fan.
All right. Finally, as we say goodbye to my friend Darren Gant, ask the old guy at Panthers.com. I'm going to start asking the old guy so I can get a T-shirt. Other than the thirsty beaver, is there a better spot, especially with Dollar High Lives when we were there, than Lucy's retired surfer's bar and restaurant in the French Quarter in New Orleans? That's a pretty good spot. That's that's a good one.
Me and my close personal friend, Kent Summers, the Arizona Republic, who's best man at my wedding. Kent and I, our normal play when we get on the road is Google dive bar in fill in the blank. And in New Orleans, one time we found Lucy's. And in Houston, it was a delightful little hole in the wall called Sonny's. And the lady behind the bar, who oddly enough was named Sonny, looked at me and I said, Do you have a high life? And she said, Yeah, do you want it in the can? And I said, No, ma'am. Right here on this stool will be fine.
So it's it's the kind of thing you can enjoy in places like Lucy's or Sonny's or the thirsty beaver or or the Thomas Street Tavern right around the corner from the house, which I believe you and I have enjoyed before. Fantastic. I didn't realize I was walking you into that joke on that note. I can't I have to go to break now. I am dying. Darrin Gantt, you are the best. You're FCC fine.
No, no, it's fine. You are the best at Darrin Gantt with two T's for extra talent. We'll talk to you soon, my friend.
See you, buddy. That was a quality joke that I did not even realize I was teeing Darrin up for. I did not have any idea that that was coming. Fantastic.
All right. I want to expand more on my thoughts on Christian McCaffrey and usage and hit on a couple of other Panthers notes next college football playoff expansion. Maybe we'll get to it after the twenty twenty four season. I hope we now that it's coming. I hope we get all of these things ironed out so we can just get to it already.
The worst thing about these types of situations is that all right, we voted on it. Now, how long do we have to wait? A long time. Yeah. Well, we have to get to it before the twenty twenty six.
I mean, I know it. It doesn't seem like that far out. It's that far out.
It is the it is that far out. So, I mean, honestly, once they've agreed to it, we should just do it now. I mean, I we should be able to figure that out, but obviously there's a lot of things that have to be done, but we'll talk about it with Chip Patterson.
All right. So I wanted to talk about a couple of things about the Panthers. We talked about the defensive line with Darren Gant and Henry Anderson gives them whatever number technique he is.
It gives them another big body inside. They must be better against the run. Certainly by the end of the season last year, it looked like he just run straight ahead. Panthers are giving up tons of yards on the ground. And if if you if you can't stop the run, I just don't believe you can win.
I don't think you have any shot to win if you can't stop the run and the Panthers need to be better there. I also think that before we get to Christian McCaffrey, they've got to figure out wide receiver. We know DJ Moore is the is their best whether he's a one or you wish he was second and they had somebody better. Yeah, regardless, DJ Moore is their best wide receiver is one of the best wide receivers in the game. Who's their second best wide receiver McCaffrey?
Yes, that's the right answer. But in terms of who is going to line up at that position. They wanted to be Terrace Marshall, but he's probably a better three. Robbie Anderson isn't the answer to any of those questions. So it's like, is it going to be Chanel the guy they got from Jacksonville? I don't know. He was productive last year to a certain extent.
So that's a concern of mine. The reason I asked Aaron get the question about Christian McCaffrey is how are they going? How are they going to deploy him essentially call consider Christian McCaffrey a a military. Like vehicle.
How are you going to deploy this vehicle? Oh, okay, right. Just using him entirely out of the backfield. I don't believe does Christian McCaffrey justice. I think he should be put in formation. I'm not saying you make him a slot receiver, but sometimes you can't.
Yeah, sometimes you can't. And when you start and McCaffrey is in the huddle and he's your only running back in the huddle and all of a sudden you got Christian McCaffrey in the slot. That's trouble for the other team because they're preparing for somebody in the backfield, which means the linebackers on the field and extra linebackers on the field.
You should do that. Put McCaffrey into past patterns, not just safety valve, not just, you know, a little swing pass out of the backfield, not a wheel. Use him in past patterns. He's he might be your best receiver.
No offense to DJ more. So one thing about what the Darren said at the end about, you know, he doesn't have to do the inside running. He's a great inside runner. I get in certain situations using Foreman, but give the ball, give the ball to 22. If if your goal is to protect him, then you're not using him enough. The goal should not be to protect Christian McCaffrey. Because if you protect him, that means you're not using him. And if you're not using him, the other team, I'm not saying wins the game, but the other team wins.
If you don't use your best player, use him. It's the reality of the position that it's a shorter shelf life. There are there are so few examples of running backs that last for more than six or seven years at a high level. There are so few examples of that. That if you try and elongate a running backs career, you're not going to get the most out of and you're going to waste it. There aren't that many Adrian Petersons, Frank Gores, Lydanian Tomlinson. Yeah, just aren't that many of those when it goes south on Derrick Henry.
You're going to go south in a hurry. Yeah, like Marvin Ingram's still in the league. Who or Melvin Ingram, Mark Ingram, Mark Ingram. Yes, but he's not the same as he was true when he and Kamara were splitting carries sure in New Orleans. I think he's back in New Orleans. He is actually so he finally got back there. It's hard, man. It's just hard to maintain anything more than a five or six year career as an excellent running back. Really difficult.
So almost it's almost futile to try to kind of extend that shelf life. This is the Adam Gold show. I remember booking a canoeing trip on Bear Lake Viator. I remember my wife's sweet smile taking me back to us canoeing in summer camp. I remember thinking, my oh my, this moment is nothing short of perfect. I remember turtles.
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