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The Drive with Josh Graham - Panthers Bucs Post Mortem

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
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September 13, 2019 5:59 pm

The Drive with Josh Graham - Panthers Bucs Post Mortem

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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September 13, 2019 5:59 pm

Host Josh Graham with Desmond Johnson and Aaron Gabriel. Panthers lose at home to the Tampa Bay Bucs 20-14 on Thursday Night Football, the guys look at the aftermath. Preview of UNC vs Wake Forest in Winston Salem Friday Night. Voice of the Demon Deacons Stan Cotten and Raleigh N&O writer Luke Decock join the show. Josh gives his three best bets of the weekend. Tune into The Drive with Josh Graham, Mon-Fri 3-6pm on Sports Hub Triad!

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Attention, please. This is The Drive with Josh Graham Podcast. Tune into The Drive 3 until 6 p.m. weekdays on the Sports Hub. I love it.

It's brilliant. There is no good explanation for what happened to the Carolina Panthers last night. And really, that's what I think the source of frustration is from the players in that locker room and the fans who root for Carolina. Starting with Cam Newton's health, it continues to be a mystery. He looks hurt, but everything we hear from the Panthers is that he's right. Cam even says that he's working through stuff, but he doesn't say that he's hurt.

He is well enough to play better than he did last night. And Ron Rivera even said that he wasn't considering Cam's foot in deciding to give the ball to Christian McCaffrey in a direct snap and fake to Curtis Samuel on the fourth downplay. He said that the foot had nothing to do with that. So we're left looking at this, and I really do think that it's the nightmare scenario for Carolina that Cam Newton is actually in fact healthy versus being hurt.

Let me explain. If Cam is injured, there's relief in finding an answer, right? Okay, Cam Newton's hurt. It's his foot.

It's his shoulder. Panthers tell us that after last night, and we say, oh, well, of course, that makes sense. That's why Carolina lost to Tampa Bay. Cam Newton is banged up, and they told us this.

What I believe to be the worst scenario is the coaches are telling the complete truth. Cam Newton's healthy, and this is what he is now. Not running it as often, not being that lion, as he likes to say at points, and just missing open receivers. Even though the arm strength was there, and they had explosive plays, and they outgained Tampa, Carolina lost the game, and Cam Newton's health is a part of the discussion. Again, just like where we were at last year, Carolina losing a ton of close games, make it nine games in a row, Carolina's loss, where the opposition is actively trying to beat you with everything they have. New Orleans Saints did not do that in the finale because they were preparing for the postseason, and Carolina had Kyle Allen playing quarterback.

There are no good explanations. The offensive play calling, whether it's the fourth down play, or the end of the half, or Cam Newton throwing it 50 times for just the second time in his career. Darrell Williams, who's a very good offensive tackle, just getting beat by a simple bull rush, or a simple speed rush.

Shaq Barrett just waxing Darrell Williams, who was an all-pro player just a few years ago. Chris Godwin cooking Dante Jackson all night long at wide receiver. You've got to expect things from Dante Jackson. This isn't North Turner. This isn't Cam Newton. Those are guys that we thought were pretty good, and they got worked by players yesterday we weren't paying proper respect to.

It was a butt-whooping. Tampa Bay deserved to win that game. It shouldn't have came down to the end with the Panthers coming up a yard short. Tampa could have won that before we arrived at that place, and probably should have. Justin and Winston Salem once in on the Panthers. Justin, this almost serves as a post-mortem today. Justin, what's your thought on the Panthers falling to the Bucks, now being 0-2? First thing, love the show. Also, Josh, love your karaoke performance whenever I'm honored enough to see it. Second thing, I honestly believe that Cam is helping, and this is just the new, older him, and he's not a pocket passer.

Honestly, I guess the hot take would be we should start looking for a new QB. Wow. Okay, so we're going that far already. Thank you, Justin. Appreciate the call, and as for karaoke performances, I think the audience has had enough of that this week.

Going up there trying to do my best Hunter Renfro impression, I don't think that played very well. You could tweet the show, "@SportsHubTriad", if you care to chime in that way. But Carolina is acting like the season's over at this point. Des, do you have the karaoke cut? Of course you do. Gotta make sure to work that in.

Thanks for doing that. The season's not over at this point. We saw it from Seattle last year.

Houston was 0-2, they both made the playoffs. Let's go to Dwayne and Thomasville, who has thoughts on Cam Newton's shoulder. Dwayne, go right ahead.

First, I have to say, love the show, man. This is coming from a guy who has had six shoulder surgeries. Cam isn't the same. He never will be the same again. Physically, he may not be hurt to something that will show up on a medical exam. In his mind, he's always going to favor the shoulder. He's always going to have that thought in the back of his mind. Similar to Andrew Luck, I think Cam sees the writing on the wall. If he keeps playing the way he was, his career is going to be over soon.

I've said for a year or two, we should move on. Dwayne, how far can you throw the football after six shoulder surgeries? I can't at all. Well, hopefully Cam can throw a football.

He can, but psychologically it's different. Yeah. Thank you, Dwayne.

Appreciate the call. Greg Olsen knows what it's like to be on an 0-2 football team and make the postseason the Panthers in 2013 were 0-2 and made it with a 12-4 record. Here's what he had to say, and I think this sums up the locker room about as well as it looked one o'clock. I try to bring to you what that locker room looks like when I go in there and talk to guys, and there was a lot of BS and a lot of stuff that didn't really result in stuff worth playing on the air from guys. I won't say any names, but then we get to Greg Olsen's locker, and that guy is brutally honest about everything, and I think this is about as candid as it gets. The odds are against you, right?

I don't have the answers. We played our asses off two times now in a row. We played our asses off tonight. Defense kept bailing us out, bailing us out, bailing us out. Drive together, drive together, drive together. Field goal, field goal. It was brutal. I don't know.

I don't have the answers. So when you lose at home to Tampa Bay, there's no such thing as a gimme, I think, on a short week especially. But Carolina's stretch in the next five games isn't all that daunting, or make it the next four. The Panthers, with extended rest, will go on the road, face Arizona. The Texans game looks pretty tough the following week on the road. Then they'll return home, likely facing Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars, which is a game Carolina very well could win in addition to that Arizona game. Then they play the Buccaneers in London.

Now, even though they lost at home, I don't think anybody thinks on a neutral field. Carolina can't get Tampa Bay the second time around. If Carolina goes 3-1 in those four games, I think everyone's back on the bandwagon and thinks that you could be a playoff team yet again. So don't jump off the ship yet because Carolina is 0-2 right now. We gotta get to my best bets for the football weekend. I am 4-2. 4-2 in my best bets through the first two weeks.

And I think I got three winners here. Dez, hit the music. Let's start with the game that's tonight, BBNT Field in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest, a three-point favorite against North Carolina. I think the Deacs are going to win this game by double digits and send a message that they are the best team in the state of North Carolina, a top three team in the ACC.

Why? Well, I don't think North Carolina's faced an offense quite like what Dave Klassen has. I don't think North Carolina's faced a coach that's as good as Dave Klassen is. And on top of that, North Carolina hasn't played a true road game yet. On top of that, it's a short week for North Carolina following a very physical game that resulted in North Carolina losing starters. I think Wake Forest is just a better team. You got a coach who's a very good coach in his sixth year.

It's all his guys. Matt Brown's in year one. North Carolina has a pretty good quarterback at Sam Howe, but so does Wake Forest. If you could take one today to win tonight, I'm taking Jamie Newman over Sam Howe.

Not to say Jamie Newman has a higher ceiling than Sam Howe does, but Newman is a redshirt junior and Sam Howe is a true freshman. Wake Forest is giving three. I think they're going to win by 10 tonight. Wake Forest minus three is my first best bet. Tomorrow in college football. Oh, I'm sorry. Where's Mike Houston at?

Tell them to bring me my money. Well, that's Sam Washington, North Carolina A&T. But, Stanford is playing at UCF.

I love the group of five. I think Air Force plus four at Colorado is a pretty good game to look at, but it's not a best bet. Cincinnati, I'm in love with them. Boise State and the group of five is all very good. UCF, I think, takes a step back. I know they had the undefeated regular seasons the last two years. Brandon Winbush is not an upgrade from Mackenzie Milton, who's out for this entire season after injuring his leg in multiple places in the conference championship game last year.

Stanford, meanwhile. They're 0-2, but last week they were without their starting quarterback KJ Costello. Well, KJ's back this week. He's probable to play. It's a nine-point spread.

Come on now. David Shaw's an excellent coach. You got your quarterback back. This is a team that was in the preseason top 25. They very well might beat UCF, but nine points? This is a steal.

Cardinal plus nine. Then you got, in Sunday afternoon action, the Jaguars in Houston. The AFC South, they play close games over there, and I know Gardner Minshew is easy to overlook, but is Jacksonville a team that really asked much of the quarterback? They didn't do so with Blake Bortles, and they made it to the AFC championship game and almost went to a Super Bowl facing the Patriots. Then you have Nick Foles coming in.

I don't think he was going to set the world on fire. Gardner Minshew looked pretty comfortable, and I covered him at East Carolina, so there's a little bit of favoritism there, too. Led the nation in passing at Washington State a year ago. It's a nine-point spread. Did you see the way Saints, defenders, and specifically the defensive line got to the quarterback on Monday night?

It's a short week for Houston. The Jaguars' defense is going to swarm. They very well could win the game, but again, plus nine?

In the NFL, it's way too much. So there's my best three bets. Wake Forest minus three against North Carolina. Stanford plus nine at UCF.

Jaguars at Houston. I'm going to take the plus nine there. Put some money on it. Bingo.

And that's how it's done. Are people still mad right now? Are the phone lines still jumping with people? Well, if they are, maybe we could get to them after Brant Wilkerson-New and Dave Belaski drop by. If UNC wins, what will that teach us about the Tar Heels tonight?

Brant Wilkerson-New will give us a live report from BB&T. Feel the disguise next. We need to talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. This is the Sports Hub at AM 600, AM 920.

The lowest form of communication. Now back to The Drive with Josh Graham. It's been kind of a bummer today. I don't care if you're a Panthers fan or not, if you stayed up and watched that football game, it was late and it wasn't great football. If you're a Carolina fan, your team's 0-2 and you're not feeling awesome about that.

Eddie Money passed away this morning at 70 years old. Stan Cotton trying to cheer things up for us now. The voice of the Deeks is now with us. And we actually have two Stan Cottons on the show right now. But fans, Wake Forest fans, are curious about this because we did this once before with you in studio and your boy Stan Cotton on Twitter at NotStanCotton on the phone.

Now we have NotStanCotton and I can confirm he is a person. He's in studio right now. And Stan is on the phone at BB&T Field as North Carolina's getting set to face Wake Forest.

Stan, I'm on to you, man. So you're telling me that Knott really has flesh and bones? I'm looking at him right now. He has, I mean, how would you describe your jacket you have on there? You have your hoodie on?

I'm wearing my colossoraptor shirt, which is a little bit of a combination of our great coach, Dave Clawson, riding a velociraptor because we're coming in fierce tonight against UNC. Yeah, and he's got a Deacon hat on. So he's here, I can confirm. And you heard his voice? I did. Well, I've heard his voice before.

I mean, I knew it was at least someone impersonating NotStanCotton. Does that make any sense? Oh, it does. It makes sense. But we still haven't gotten you guys in the same place together.

So there are people calling shenanigans on this. Well, I get it. I understand. But what can you do? What can you do, Josh? What can you do to help us all out? Well, I'm facilitating conversation.

The next step is yours. Where are you? You should have invited me to your locale today. Aren't you somewhere close by?

I'm actually in Kernersville today, unfortunately. Oh, OK. So you've got work to do.

And that work is Wake Forest in North Carolina. We'll get your boy Stan Cotton's thoughts on this in a second. But in my mind, looking at this game, when you're talking about stakes and perception and what a game represents, I really feel like this might be the biggest home game of the Dave Claussen era, because expectations are such that this might be Dave Claussen's best team. And in order for them to reach the goals that they have so lawfully put out there for themselves, I think you've got to win this game, don't you think?

Well, I mean, you could certainly make that argument. I think it's a game that I'm thrilled it's happening. You know, Wake and Carolina should play every year in football. I don't know how we get that done.

It's not going to get done, sadly, but it should be. And that's what I'm going to say when I kick it off. As it should be, Carolina and Wake playing football. I mean, it's the oldest game in the state, and it goes all the way back to the late 1880s, and I get expansion and all that. And most of the drippings from conference expansion are really, really good. But this is one of the really, really bad ones that teams like this with history like this don't play every year. You know, it was that way in basketball up until this coming year with the expanded basketball schedule, but it's just too bad that they don't play every year. And I don't, you know, the old heads, the old timers, not necessarily all that old with the Big Four history, all that. I mean, those four teams should play every year on the gridiron, but this will just give us a taste of what could be, not what's going to be, but just what it could be like again.

But it should be a lot of fun. Do you have a good North Carolina-Wake Forest story? Not necessarily something that happens on the field, but something that surrounds the rivalry.

Anything that comes to mind? Oh, I don't know about that. I mean, I've been around since the late 90s, you know, in there for a few years. We played every year. So I remember the games, most notably in my mind is in Chapel Hill when Jim Grove was coach. Wake came from, I think it was 23 down to win at Keenan Stadium, biggest comeback win in Wake Forest history.

I remember that game, but I remember the game in 06 when Wake had a lot of things go its way in several games, including a game at Chapel Hill on the way to the ACC Championship. And, you know, so I remember moments like that, nothing really around the rivalry other than it's been going on so doggone long that, as I said earlier, we should somehow find a way to play it every year. I think it's going to be tough to do that anywhere short of expanding the league schedule to nine games a year. And John Curry told us earlier this week this is something he would be in favor of. Well, I think, you know, and we're going to have John on our air too, and I think who's not in favor of this game now, as far as an expanded football schedule, I'll leave that to the athletic directors. I kind of, just in my heart of hearts, I'm not sure I see that happening.

But maybe, you know, I don't know. But I guarantee you John Curry is in favor of this game here tonight. He's been jacked up about it since he got here. And all of us who've seen this coming have been anticipating this day. I think our fan base likes it. Carolina's fan base should like it.

It's a good one for the community. So many Tar Heel fans in this neck of the woods and obviously Wake's backyard. So, you know, I think the stadium will be packed and lights will be on.

Hopefully the weather stays away and we can have a good one. Anything you want to say to your boy Stan Cotton before we let you go and broadcast a football game tonight? Well, you boy, you know, we're coming up to Boston College in a couple of weeks. And if you remember the last time we were up there, Larry and I were trying to find you and we just kind of ran out of time. You know, we were outside the stadium. We had GPS working and I don't know if the fates were against us that day as we tried to meet for the first time, but maybe in a couple of weeks.

What do you say? Once again here in two weeks up in Boston College and the place that we got picked out is right outside the stadium. Not going to make you and Larry walk very far. But if you guys want to come by, we'd love to meet you.

Love to hang out with the guys who call our games. We'd love to see it happen. We got to make that happen. Take a photo so people get off our backs, right? Or maybe we don't.

Maybe we just let it ride and make them wonder. What do you think? The legend. The legend. The legend of your boy, Stan Cotton. Stan is a legend as well. Well, I'm not.

He is. On Twitter at StanCottonWF. Have a great call, my friend.

We'll see you soon. Thank you. All right. That's Stan Cotton.

All right. So what do you think, your boy, Stan Cotton? You are a Wake Forest fan. You got your Klosseratops, Klosseraptor hoodie on. And it's a great. I've seen this before. It's Dave Klossen riding a flosseraptor, which I think is Dale or Brennan's favorite dinosaur.

It's both their favorite dinosaur and stepbrothers. And you have the Deacon hat on backwards. You are representative of the Wake Forest fan. Stan represents Wake Forest, period.

You represent Wake Forest fans. I need you to tell us how we should be feeling right now. I need you to tell us what's going to happen when Wake Forest plays North Carolina.

I'm telling you right now, we should be feeling great. We should be walking into this game with a lot of confidence, but also a lot of awareness of just how much this rivalry means. This is the oldest, oldest college football rivalry in the state of North Carolina. A lot of people who attended both schools grew up rooting for one team over another. And oftentimes Wake Forest kind of gets pushed off a little bit as a little brother.

But speaking of little brothers, we got a big matchup tonight between the Surratt brothers and Sage. He has just proven in the past two games and all of last season that he is a real deal. He's a big threat out there on the ends. And I feel that Jamie Newman is going to be slinging him some bombs and causing a lot of heartache for his brother on the other side and the Carolina defense. Your boy Stan Cotton representing Wake fans.

Desmond Johnson is a North Carolina fan who also can't name more than five UNC football players. Dez, how do you respond to that? Your boy Stan Cotton picked the wrong day to come into the studio.

For real. Dez is having none of it. His Panthers lost.

He's mad because he got short amount of sleep. Imagine how I feel right now. All I'm going to say is I expect a good game. I'm happy both teams are undefeated because that's never happened before in the history of the series. But yeah, Wake is going to take an L tonight at home. I think North Carolina is going to act out the frustrations of the entire football-loving fan base. Those that love North Carolina Tar Heels and the Carolina Panthers, they're looking for a win this weekend. This is the only opportunity they got. Sorry, your boy.

I appreciate you coming in. But yeah, this is the wrong day, man. Your boy got anything to say to that?

Absolutely. I think that, you know, the Carolina fans, they're coming off two big wins and you know, they're daydreaming. They're thinking a lot about that Clemson game, but I'm telling you something right now. Those daydreams are about to turn into Boogie Basham nightmares.

Because Boogie, as we've heard from Dave Klassen, Boogie is starting to look like Boogie and that is going to cause a lot of heartache for Sam Howell in that backfield. I'll tell you what, man. I'm not into dreams. I'm into bleeping nightmares, man.

Boogie Basham nightmares. I'll be frank with you. I don't even know when the Clemson game is. Two weeks away. We're right here right now. Carolina is in the trefo. They are coming to BB&T Stadium about to lay the smackdown on the Demon Deacons and keep it rolling. Neither of you guys are good at talking trash.

None of you guys are. Not without cursing. Eric, can you cut a promo for us very quickly? Aaron, I'm relying on you to bring it.

They talk trash like British guys. Listen here, sir. I'll tell you right now that waits for us. I was trying to honor the FCC's regulations about cursing on the air.

I mean, unless you're talking about, they do it in WWE all the time. Let me tell you something right now, brother. Listen here, brother. Listen here, brother. Sam Howell is going to come in and he's going to get you with a stunner.

The Demon Deacons are going to feel the wrath tonight. Can you smell it? Go ahead, Aaron.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be smelling. Victory. But tonight, tonight is the night it goes down. You want to come in here? You want to come to Winston-Salem? Yeah. You think you're pretty? No, man.

Check this out. We're wearing the black and gold. We're going to take the field. I'm from Winston-Salem, baby.

I'm from the train. The 336. We're outside Brownsboro. What's happening? 336. That's where we were at. 336. We're going to send them Tar Heels all the way back to whichever area of cold they came from.

Because they're proud to share a one with Riley Durrell. It's not 1-0. And I'm out. Thank you for that. Anything you care to add?

I think that would comfort it. Well, your boy Stan Cotton, I appreciate you coming in here on Twitter at NotStanCotton. That was fun. I think that was fun. That was a great time. Thanks guys. Let's go Deacs.

We're going to have you in studio and visit with your boy Stan Cotton. College game day to Chapel Hill. That's next on The Drive. No mercy. No pity. No fear. You're on The Drive with Josh Graham.

The Sports Hub at AM600 AM920. Cam Newton didn't quite look like Superman last night. The Panthers are 0-2. Is the nightmare scenario for Carolina that he's hurt and that's going to inhibit what Carolina does the rest of the season? Or is an even worse scenario that he's actually healthy and that the coaches are saying the truth here? Saying that he's not limited with his shoulder and not limited with his foot. Because if the latter is so, then he had that awful game against Tampa perfectly fine.

Which I think would be more confounding and more interesting to explore. Your thoughts are welcome on Twitter at Sports Hub Tryout 336-777-1600 if you want in on the show that way. Luke DeCock from the Raleigh News & Observer will join us in 10 minutes to further talk about Panthers Bucks and on top of that get into tonight's game. Wake Forest and North Carolina BB&T Field in Winston-Salem. Michael is in Winston-Salem.

And once in on the NFL. Michael, what do you have for me? Josh, I have two questions for you. The first one is, do you think the way Cam's playing now, do you think that he is going to retire as a Panther? And my second question is, are you still going with your theory of the Steelers make the playoffs and the Ravens don't?

Alright, thank you for the call Michael. First off with Cam Newton. I think it all depends on this year what happens with the future of Cam. Because he has one year left on his contract. If he has a good season and Carolina makes the postseason and he does so and he's healthy by the end of the year.

It's a no brainer. You extend him as a Panther and he will retire as a Carolina Panther. If he has more games like last night and Carolina doesn't make the playoffs, the Panthers would be crazy to give him a contract. You let him play out the remainder of his deal and then at 32 years old you make the call on whether you extend him.

And if the answer is no, he'll go somewhere else at age 32. But at that point, the understanding will be that he is the greatest Carolina Panther of all time. To answer your second question, I'm sticking with my prediction after one week. Pittsburgh got beat by the New England Patriots. You can't tell me they weren't slightly distracted by the fact that Antonio Brown was playing for New England after they vehemently were against even discussing the idea of trading one of their signature players to one of their biggest rivals. It's one game. Remember, Tampa Bay went into New Orleans in last year's opener and wiped the floor with the Saints.

And you could argue that the Saints were the best team in the NFC for two or three months after that, not losing a game for 10 or 11 in a row. So I'm not going to overreact to one week with the Steelers. However, I'll tell you this, Michael, because it sounds like you're a Ravens fan. I'm going to be in Baltimore this weekend. I'm going to catch ECU and Navy tomorrow. I'm going to go see Lamar Jackson in person for the first time since he was in college. I'm fascinated to see if he can follow what he did in week one, in week two, and put up big numbers against the Cardinals. The Cardinals are Carolina's next opponent, by the way, who they'll face in Phoenix in 10 days.

Take it nine days now. Danny is in Winston-Salem. Danny, what did you want to talk about in regards to Cam Newton's performance? Yeah, Josh, I want to see your show. Actually, I love your show. I think you actually do a pretty good job.

Thank you. I've watched you play for several years. I know you guys do it.

I know you had an MVP here. But it all comes down to the fact that you just cannot read the field fast enough. Tom Brady, if you watch Tom Brady play, and I'm not a Patriots fan, he literally can't play till he's 50 because he can get rid of the ball in three seconds. That's Cam's only problem.

He can't read the field. But I do love the show. Thank you so much. I appreciate that. I love how he starts the call by saying, I actually think you do a pretty good job.

As if you don't expect it. Is it my name? Is it the imaging? I caught that too. Is it Dez telling you something before you get on the line? I don't prep these colors at all. I actually think you do a pretty good job.

Is that a backhanded compliment? I don't think the issue is reading the field. Cam Newton, I think the issue is the big difference between him and pocket passers. He just doesn't finish the throw. He's not an accurate passer. Last night, how many times could you count?

You probably have to do multiple hands in order to count how many times. Did he make the right decision in throwing to an open receiver and just missed him? Either it was behind or too far ahead. Cam, he's reading the field well. He's reading his keys. He's going through progressions. He's just missing throws.

Now, there are just bonehead mistakes in there. He got bailed out on an interception. It was the right call defensive holding on DJ Moore, but the guy who was holding DJ Moore wasn't the one that picked off the pass. He didn't see the linebacker underneath.

He got bailed out on that call. So there are bonehead mistakes in there, but there are more instances where he's picking the right guy and they're open and just not getting it where it needs to be. To answer your question at least 10 times, I would imagine out of those 50 attempts that he had, there was at least a fifth of those where it's almost like he's trying to work on the new mechanics with his throwing arm because he is throwing it differently than he used to. But that's really hard to do when you're doing it while you're jumping in midair or not stepping up in the pocket or doing it flat-footed like he does sometimes. It's almost like he's throwing it with his upper body again and he's not using his legs and that's making him drive the ball really far or not far enough and it's like controlling a fire hose. It's not his arm strength though.

Yeah, it's there. He was zipping the ball last night. It's not his arm strength. He was beating Tampa over the top a handful of times.

The first one I already saw the people and this is the bane of my existence. This is the hell sometimes sports media is. Cam Newton hits Curtis Samuel down the left sideline for a pass over 40 yards. And one of the first things I won't say to media members is that it was under throw.

It was. But stop! Just stop! Dude, Curtis Samuel had to turn around to catch that ball.

He was running backwards. Just stop! Drew Brees! He can't throw the ball that far. No one's complaining.

Because he's still winning games. That's the whole point. If they won this game, no one would complain about that. But they lost and all the warts are showing.

They're butt naked right now. Stop! It's not his arm strength. It's not his focus. It's sure as hell not his outfits. It almost seems, I'm amazed by this.

Cam Newton, he's been in the league since 2011. How are we still talking about the outfits? It's almost like people, much like Men in Black, you know how they have that thing that just zaps your memory? Like you've been forgetting this guy's been doing it for years after losses. I mean the Drip Chronicles, it's been a thing forever. And when he came out week one, I'm like, well, that's pretty tame.

And then you would think that somebody, that Cam Newton just kicked someone's child outside of the stadium. I mean, he's been doing this for years. How is it still something that we're talking about?

I don't know. It drives me nuts. It gets me, it gets more social media interaction than anything else I do in the locker room.

Me just posted a damn photo of him because I get all the Little Red Riding Hood references, sit into my Twitter mentions. Somebody passed a collection plate and stuff like that because of the scarves he's wearing. It drives me, why are you worried about what another man is wearing? It's crazy to me. Right, that's kind of the point. I bet Cam enjoys that part. Look at these people mad over nothing.

Yeah, it has nothing to do with them losing that game. NFL fans, NBA guys, they do it, no one cares. Russell Westbrook, no one cares. No one cares. But in the NFL, you can't win with that guy.

You can't do it. Let's actually hear from Cam Newton. Cam, he was talking about the idea of losing two home games.

Now that they have lost two home games, where that is and kind of his instant reaction to it. It's embarrassing. It's embarrassing.

You know, we hear, well I hear fans, you know what I'm saying? You're not going to deny the fact that, you know, walking off or coming off the field at times off third down, it's just unacceptable, man. It's just unacceptable.

It's just unacceptable. Fans were booing. Then I see people crushing the fans. Don't boo your team.

I'm sorry, fans are short for fanatic. You're in the stands, you paid tickets, if you don't like what you're seeing, boo. Boo all you want.

I don't care. These guys make enough that fans could do whatever they want in the stands other than yell racial epitaphs rather than throw things at them and actually commit crimes. Booing, yelling, I don't care about that stuff. Yes, Aaron? There's some fan faces that get celebrated for booing. Billy comes to mind.

Sure. They threw snowballs at Santa Claus. They threw snowballs at Santa. They cheered as Michael Irvin's career ended on the field.

Right? Now, not a big fan of that, cheering injury, but if your team's playing poorly, Mac Brown said it best when North Carolina got booed at points saying, I love that. That means they care.

I love that. That means they care. They're into the game. That's not a bad thing. Let's give them something to cheer about now. Don't blame the fans for booing. One super quick thing, because it's been all kind of doom and gloom for Panther fans.

There is a silver lining to this. The Panthers have been here before. The last time they started 0-2 was 2013. They went on to a 1-3 start. Then they rolled off eight straight wins, and they finished 12-4 and won the NFC South. It can happen.

It's not over. Look at the Saints. I know they weren't 0-2, but they still won 10 games in a row. And look at the schedule. It's not Murderers Row.

It's Arizona. But then again, if Tampa Bay's not a gimme at home on a short week, there aren't any gimmes, but it's not like the Jets. The Jets have Cleveland without Sam Darnold on Monday night. Then they have to go to New England. Then you get a bye week, and then it gets easier, right? You go to Philadelphia. Then you're home to the Cowboys, and you've got New England to get.

That's not what this is. It's at Arizona. The Houston game's gonna be tough on the road. But then it's the Jaguars and likely Gardner Minshew coming into your building. And then it's the Buccaneers again. You get another crack at it. There's a good chance you very well could be 3-3 if you go 3-1 over the next four games. That could happen, and then all of a sudden the Panther fans are back on the bandwagon as the Panthers are going on the road to face San Francisco.

Just how egregious was that fourth down call, though? We'll discuss with award-winning columnist Luke DeCock next. Take me home tonight. I don't wanna let you go till you see the light. Take me home tonight.

The Dez pulled some Eddie money, obviously, for today. Luke DeCock with us from the Raleigh News and Observer. A late night last night with Panthers Buccaneers, and we have an early kickoff today, 6 o'clock, for North Carolina Wake Forest, setting up a very big weekend even though there's not a lot of appealing games in college football. Luke, it's good to have you back on the program. How are you, man? I'm good.

Thanks for having me. So, last night, the biggest question I think goes around Cam Newton when you consider this is somebody the coaching staff says is completely healthy, even though he hasn't been running it like we've seen in the past. But what do you think would be a worse scenario for Carolina? That the coaches are telling the truth and Cam performs that way, or that Cam is dealing with injuries that could inhibit the Panthers from getting to where they want to go by season's end? I honestly think that the scenarios are probably the same. It's pretty clear at this point that Cam is beat up. I think the question is, is this accumulated wear and tear on his body, or are these things that could potentially heal?

And I don't know that anyone knows the answer. I think the one thing we do know, based on the way the other quarterbacks played in the preseason is, this is still the best option they have, sort of wheeling this husk of a quarterback out there and letting him do his thing because the other guys somehow managed to be worse. So this is not an ideal situation. I think they're doing themselves a disservice by not acknowledging that there's an issue here. As I wrote online last night, I guess it will be in tomorrow's paper since Cam wasn't out till 1 am, but the only person who's being honest about Cam Newton, tell this Cam Newton, everyone else is either dodging the question or Rivera saying the foot's not the problem.

Clearly something is wrong here. You don't have to be a football expert breaking down film to look at a guy who's carried the ball 100 times in fourth and short situations not getting that call with the game on the line. The question is, is this an acute thing where it might heal, or is this just Cam Newton at this point in his career where he can no longer do the things he once did? So I take it you didn't like the fourth down call?

You know, I respect the idea that they thought it would work. And if Cam Newton isn't healthy, and obviously one of the times they had a designated, designed run for him, he fumbled it. So maybe you're a little more reticent to give him the ball there at the end than you would be otherwise because he's got minus two yards rushing on the season at this point.

He's clearly not operating at a level that you would expect from him. It is a good idea to put the ball in Christian McCaffrey's hands. Now, putting the ball in Christian McCaffrey's hands on an outside run with trickery and gimmicks and a direct snap, that might be putting a few too many toppings on the pizza.

Sometimes simplicity is the way to go. But if Cam Newton can't do it, then you are scrambling to find other options, other ways to make it work. It's Luke DeCock with us, award winning columnist for the Raleigh News and Observer. Read his stuff in the Observer at

He's on Twitter at Luke DeCock. So looking at tonight's game, Wake Forest, North Carolina. When I examine this, I see two 2-0 teams and North Carolina is getting more top 25 votes than Wake because they played power five opponents in the first two. But is Wake Forest, they're favored by two and a half points here. Is this a game Wake Forest should win?

I don't know about should. I think the big difference between these two teams, the big difference for Carolina between this game and its first two games, I should say, this is the first team that UNC is going to see that's going to be impeccably coached. The demon deacons are not going to beat themselves. They've played games like this before. They're used to this.

They have their own quarterback who they believe in. So that, I think, is going to be the difference for UNC. The Tar Heels are actually going to have to win this game as opposed to maybe getting a break or two from the other team's errors or incompetence or coaching. Whatever, you know, there were some things that played into their hands in the South Carolina. Hey, full credit to the Tar Heels. They took advantage.

They capitalized. That's a big part of the battle. But they're going to have to generate the victory more than they did in their first two games. And I think for Wake, it's clearly a chance that there's a bit of a chip on the shoulder there. This is a team that is veteran experienced, has a quarterback who can make plays, has playmakers, big physical receivers, big physical running backs.

It's a different kind of defense that Sam Howell is going to feed anything. There's a lot that Wake is going to like about this matchup. And more than anything, a chance to say, you know, UNC is kind of in the flavor of the month at 2-0. And now Wake has a chance to say, hey, look, you know, we're doing this too.

And we can, you know, we can have our time in the spotlight too. Dave Claussen told us earlier in the week he wants this to be a game that's played every year like it used to be. But with 14 teams in the ACC now and the division setup, much like with NC State and Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest don't play. But every six years on the ACC rotation, Dave Claussen said that they plan to schedule more non-conference games with North Carolina if they're willing to play each other unless something gets fixed.

John Curry was with us on the show. He's in favor of having a nine-game ACC schedule. Is there anything that can be done short of the ACC expanding the nine games to rectify this and have a format that allows for Wake Forest and North Carolina to play more often?

Yeah, I mean, there's a couple ways you can do it. Nine games is one. And the issue there is the teams that play an SEC, in-state SEC opponent every year, you know, Claussen playing South Carolina, Georgia Tech playing Georgia. They don't want to have another power five game on their schedule. They want to have that flexibility because they're going to play eight ACC games and they're going to play an SEC team every year and they're going to play Notre Dame more or less every other year with the way things work out. They want to retain the flexibility of an eight-game conference schedule. To me, if I'm the ACC, it's better for everyone to play nine games.

That's one way to do it. You either have two permanent partners like you do in basketball or with two rotating non-partner division opponents, you'll see everyone more frequently. It's not good for the league to have teams like State and Duke and you and Team Wake not playing each other. We can talk all we want about, you know, the footprint and all that, but the reality is people care about games that matter. And basketball has been able to preserve that. You know, if you go back to the original 14-team basketball schedule, you know, NC State and North Carolina were only going to play once a year, which seems crazy because, you know, North Carolina and Duke were permanent partners and State was going to play Wake twice a year. I mean, that didn't, fortunately, that didn't make it off of paper.

That was quickly adjusted. But, you know, those are the games that people care about. Those are the games that made the ACC.

And you get caught up in this sort of footprint, biggie stuff. You've got to preserve the rivalries that matter. And they do it. They've done a better job of it in basketball. There's fewer games in football. They haven't wanted to go nine games. They haven't wanted to look at scrapping divisions, which could potentially have the same effect if you had pods or some other format for scheduling. There are other ways to do this that would allow you to have games like this more often. And I'm actually kind of surprised that the ACC hasn't looked at those options more thoroughly.

And by this, I don't mean the conference office. Like, it's not, this is not like pointing fingers at Greensboro. But, you know, the league collectively as a whole, you know, has to, I think, has to address this football schedule. Because as things stand, State and Duke and UNC and Wake shouldn't have to be using a non-conference game to play each other. And that game should count in the standings. You know, this isn't the way they drew it up at such field in 1953.

Follow Luke on Twitter at LukeTacoc. I take it you're going to be at BB&T Field tonight. I am here now. And it's a beautiful evening and a 6 p.m. start, which is refreshing after last night's late night shenanigans. So just hoping we get a clear skies and a good game. No, no lightning delays.

Let's hope for that. Luke, thanks for doing this. Yep. Thanks, Josh.

That's Luke Tacoc. And looking out the window right now, things look good. I think I'm going to hang out in the stands for tonight's game. I've never been in the stands at BB&T Field before. Believe it or not, when I was a student at East Carolina, all four years I was there, I never tailgated. I never watched a game from the stands either.

It was always work, always in press boxes and doing things of that sort. So to fix that problem and back to back days now, I'm going to be going to Annapolis for East Carolina Navy and I'm going to watch that game from the stands and I'm going to tailgate like a pirate. So you're going to be hanging out in the stands with the rest of us peasants? Not peasants.

That's not what I'm saying. There's nothing luxurious really about the press box other than the fact that you get self-serve ice cream at the Panthers game. Sounds pretty luxurious to me. Is that your idea of luxury? Sounds like a perk. It is a perk, but it's also work.

Waiting an hour and a half for Cam Newton. Not the most fun thing to do. Sounds like it evens out. Do they give you sprinkles? There are no sprinkles. It's just a self-serve ice cream machine? That's right.

No syrup there. Again, that would be luxury. This is not luxury. It's work.

This is more of here, eat this ice cream and like it. Also, you get to drink beer. In the press box? No. You fans. You get to yell and cheer and boo in the press box. Let me do an impression of what it sounds like when there's a touchdown scored in the press box. You ready for this? Touchdown Panthers.

Oh, I know. I'm about to go see a press box in about an hour. Oh, and here's when it's a big interception, a big play on defense. Do you ever hear like an audible gasp from like the press box whenever something happens? Like when Cam threw that Curtis Samuel pass, that first one?

Oh, no, no, no. When Cam Newton lost the fumble right in front of me, Tampa Bay media, fumble, fumble, fumble. Six or seven of them said to the guy next to me. I didn't know Tampa media did play-by-play. They're excited, man. Usually it's them fumbling the ball more often than not, right?

Do they do the same thing when Tampa throws picks? Pick six, pick six, pick six. Pick twelve. Pick twelve. Probably just go, another one.

And another one. So I'm excited for this. To watch a game in the stands at BB&T Field and also to tailgate like a pirate tomorrow in Maryland. So you're flying up Saturday morning and you're staying in Baltimore for the weekend?

Ravens and... So through Sunday. Are you flying back Sunday night or Monday? Monday. So you're flying back Monday. Darren Vaught's going to be hosting the drive on Monday.

Darren's cool. He's fine. I'll be here. We'll make sure. Yeah. He's okay. We'll keep him around. Coming up, why tonight is the biggest game for Wake Forest? Biggest home game, probably, of the Dave Claussen era. This is the Sports Hub, you're on the drive.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-10 09:39:59 / 2023-02-10 10:00:23 / 20

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