He's amused Cam Newton. He's been insulted by Charles Barkley. When some idiot in the press asked him, if you know what you know now, would you schedule this game? He's interviewed Matthew McConaughey. And he's taken on Big Blue Nation. He's just completely taken the wind out of my face. It's time for The Drive with Josh Grant.
You're on a Wednesday Drive, WSJS, News Talk Sports for the Triad, where Wake Forest knocked off the ACC-leading Clemson Tigers last night. Yet, most of the reaction today has been, meh, shoulder shrug. They're still not the best team in the state of North Carolina.
That's not what I'm saying. I think they are. Carolina fans disagree with that. NC State folks are saying that they deserve the top mantle here in the old North State.
Then I look at all the metrics and, still, it feels like a big ol' shoulder shrug. Eh, 14-5 overall, 6-2 in the ACC. Meh, Wake Forest, maybe you'll make the NCAA tournament, maybe you won't, like last year. Which has led Wake Forest fans feeling pretty uneasy. Because, last year, they did get left out after winning 13 conference games. They do feel like they're overlooked. Rightfully so when you talk about the few, the proud, Wake Forest fans that are out there.
Certainly very passionate, and they have reason to be very passionate, and they have very good reasons to be concerned that maybe they might not be getting the benefit of the doubt that they deserve. But, based on what I'm looking at, and this is based purely on the numbers, and studying what Wake has ahead of them, and what Wake's already done, if the Deacons take care of their business for the second straight year, and do something even remotely comparable to what they did a year ago, and they're on track to do so, they're going to make the tournament. Unlike last year, the metrics are going to take care of itself for Wake Forest.
Steve Forbes, he has the right to be concerned, he had the right to be upset a year ago. He went to Charlottesville and won, and he beat the national runner-up by 22 points, and neither of those games were quad one wins. So he's right to be mad about that, and given that Wake is still 69th in the net, nice.
Forbes, he revealed some of those scars last night when I asked him, after beating Clemson, about where they currently sit, how good he feels about their position. I don't understand the metrics, and I'm the head coach in the ACC. I mean, there's some teams ahead of us that I have no clue are ever ahead of us when you look at it on paper. So I just don't look at it. And listen, you can't get caught up in it, because last year at this time, everybody had us deep in the tournament, like all the way through the month of February, and then we weren't. So I just don't. I just don't.
Probably right to just don't. But this is what's different. Wake Forest all of last year had five quad one games on Selection Sunday. Their only quad one win was against Virginia Tech on the road. There were other quad games, you can count them.
Played Duke twice, played LSU. I think maybe a road game at Syracuse, oddly, was a quad one game that they had that they lost. This year, they already have five.
We still have a month and a half left to go in the season, even more than that. And they already have five quad one games this year. They're two and three in those games. The wins against Wisconsin and Duke. And their next four are quad one opportunities. Their next four games. Virginia at home on Saturday. You got NC State at home the week after that. You're on the road at Pitt.
You're on the road at Duke. Clearly, there's a little bit more respect being paid to the Atlantic Coast Conference than was paid last year. Even though they might lack a dominant team this year. A.500 record would do the trick for Wake the rest of the way. It would stun me if Wake Forest went 6-6 the rest of the way in the regular season and didn't get in. That would put them at 20 and 11 at regular season's end. 12 and 8 in the ACC. And let's just assume they win one and lose one in Greensboro in the ACC tournament.
21 and 12? That team's not being left out. Now, it matters who you beat, sure. But there are so many quad one opportunities left on the board that simply weren't there last year. If Wake takes care of its business, and again, 6 and 2 right now. So if you go 6 and 6 the rest of the way, that should be good enough to get the job done. Wake Forest, it's going to take care of itself.
Even if you look at the metrics and wonder why, like Steve Forbes just wondered out loud. How are some of these teams ranked higher than Wake Forest right now? On Twitter, at wsjsradio if you want in, Will Dalton, the executive producer of this show. 336-777-1600 is the phone number. Darren Vaught going to be in studio with us on his way to broadcasting High Point basketball tonight at the Q. And we've got Terrence Oglesby, field of 68, going to be joining us. WD, you want to get spicy? Want to get to some hot take radio real quick? I mean, I love spicy stuff, so let's do it. Spicy, yeah. Could Sean Payton and Tom Brady team up with the Panthers and Charlotte?
Now, before you fully recoil, or run off the road at the thought of this. Just know, this is not my attempt to stir things up or manufacture something out of thin air. That question, verbatim, is the headline of a story published not by some random Panthers blogger, but by Mike Florio of NBC and Pro Football Talk.
Also, Sean Payton was on Tom Brady's podcast not too long ago, joking about them pairing up in the future. So this is the real question to ask. Should David Tepper pursue this? They're set to meet in New York City on Friday, should they look into this?
In short, no. But to be more expansive than that, because we've got three hours to fill here, you'd have to be a pretty out of touch owner to pursue those two men with that franchise. If you are a Carolina Panthers fan, last decade, are there two figures in that sport you hate more than Sean Payton and Tom Brady? Combined, how many NFC South titles have they stolen from you? Tom Brady just did it two weeks ago.
Sean Payton, a handful of times with the Saints. There are not two men that are more hated by Panther fans than those two guys. And you want to get them together in Charlotte? Do you know what team you are managing that you own?
Do you understand your customers? It would be like if after Dean Smith stepped down in the 90s, he just up and hired Coach K because, oh yeah, he's best coach available. Needed to bring him in. That's what we're going to do. Coach K is the new coach of the Tar Heels. Carolina fans would revolt. I mean, but what if he was doing for us what he did? Carolina fans would revolt.
And the university president and the AD would be scolded rightfully for not understanding their constituents. So that's number one. Number two, it would go against everything that Tapper says that he's about wanting his organization to be. You want them to be like the Pittsburgh Steelers. That's what you want, right? Hard nose football. Yeah, that's what you want.
And you want to build long term stability. We're not going to microwave this overnight. What do you think bringing Sean Payton and Tom Brady represent? You're trying to win right now, right this second. Let's bring in the 45 year old quarterback after we just brought in the retread of Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, and Baker Mayfield.
Yeah, let's just do that. It's as short term thinking as it gets. Also, it wouldn't work either. Carolina doesn't really have, other than DJ Moore, a lot of receiver depth, certainly not as much as Tom just had in Tampa Bay. The run game would not be as good under Sean Payton as it was of late. You look at the New Orleans Saints teams he's had, not really known for running the football all that much. Tom probably needs more of that given what his age is.
And even if you pursued it, I don't know if Tom would go for it because he probably has better options available to him that are more comfortable for him. Vegas. Josh McDaniels. Josh Jacobs. Devante Adams. Yeah, Miami.
Already had meetings with Stephen Ross on his boat. I don't think it would happen. But man, if I was a Carolina Panthers fan, if I was super emotionally attached to this team, as I know so many of you guys are. If I learned that this was more than just a report from Floriel. If I learned this is a thing that the Panthers were actively pursuing, I would be upset.
And what I would be upset about is that Tepper does not understand Panther fans enough to think it was a good idea to pursue those two. Josh Graham. WSJS. Darren Bond is in studio with us now. High Point in action at the queue tonight.
Darren's going to be on the call. Who's High Point got? Winthrop.
Ooh. Mark Prosser in town. Always cool when a Prosser is coaching here in the Triad.
Before we get into Hoop and some of the other fun stuff we normally get into. Some big NFL news broke last night that Ben Johnson, Lions offensive coordinator, announced he's going to be returning to the Detroit Lions for a second year as OC. He never even got a chance to interview with the Panthers. According to Jonathan Jones, who's pretty plugged in on all things Panthers for CBS. Johnson was the front runner for the Panthers job before even meeting with Carolina. There were some scenarios being laid out that before Carolina even went through all the coaches they wanted to talk to. That Johnson was the coach. That if they were blown away this week by speaking to him, they would have hired him a la Matt Ruhle just a few years ago.
And a la, now in hindsight, what we saw with Matt Ruhle a few years ago. I think Carolina might have dodged a bullet unintentionally here because the first year play caller getting head coaching interviews is always a huge concern for me. Byron Leftwich interviewed for head coaching jobs last year.
He was just let go by the Bucks yesterday. Joe Brady interviewed for head coaching jobs after one year with the Panthers was let go that following season. So as exciting as the Bills offense can look under Ken Dorsey or the Lions being fifth in scoring offense this year and Ben Johnson having ties to Chapel Hill and to Asheville where he's from. I want to see a little bit more of a sample before you hire one of those guys to be your next head coach. Mike Kafka being the other one who the Panthers have requested to interview. But Brian Dable Giants coach said no head coaching interviews for Mike Kafka this week as they get set for the Eagles. Yeah. I I'm so interested in sort of the evolution of how NFL teams have approached or maybe the lack of evolution and how they've approached hiring for positions like this. It's always OK. You're trying to find the next Sean McVeigh.
You're trying to find. That's the thinking with Ben Johnson. He's younger. It's the reason Joe Brady was a thing. Right. And they brought him straight from college to do it as the offensive guru. There's there's more to head coaching in the NFL than that.
But it also feels like there's so much left. Like it's not that serious. Remember everybody point. You've got a guy in Wilkes.
The guys in the locker room are behind. That's half the battle. Right. You can you can hire like Tepper's got the checkbook. You can hire whoever you want as the offensive coordinator. Pay them what would be a ridiculous amount of money for a coordinator and make it work.
Like I don't think Wilkes would would refute something like that. Say coordinator again. Coordinator.
It feels like you're adding a syllable. Co ordinate coordinator. I say word. I say coordinator. Coordinator.
It's like Marriott. K o o r d. Look, how many syllables are in coordinator? You stay pointing out the fact that I pronounce things correctly. Whoa, whoa, whoa. If there was a dash co ordinate. Coordinator. Sure. But coordinator. There is no dash in there.
I don't think I think you're adding a syllable. Coordinates. Coordinates.
Coordinates. No, it's co ord. Co ord.
Three three six seven seven seven one six hundred. Let's get to the bottom of this. If it's co ord why wouldn't it just be one o? W.D.
I want to know how many syllables are in the word coordinator. We could get to the bottom of this. Darren, no. I want you to stay focused, locked in on what we're talking about here. W.D. will give an answer to us in a second.
What I find is the answer. What I find interesting, W.D. and Darren is that Dan Campbell and Nick Sirianni were hired a couple of years ago. And those two hires were clowned. And those guys might be coach of the year candidates.
Yeah. And Dan Campbell. Oh, he doesn't really have coordinating experience and. So when I hear people say, well, Steve Wilkes, that's just going to be underwhelming.
I don't really know about that. Well, what's Campbell? Campbell's the in your face motivation guy. Kneecap guy. Right.
Yeah, that's right. Biting a kneecap. Biting kneecaps. Nick Sirianni wants to arm wrestle kids at the. I think it's that simple. Am I? Am I crazy? Maybe. What do we?
We'll figure out how crazy you are. How many syllables is in coordinator? I hate to break it to you.
I should not really, because Darren's right. There's five syllables. Five syllables are in coordinator?
Coordinator. That's the word, man. Don't mess with me on words. I know words.
He does. That sounds like an unusual question. How many words?
How many syllables are in coordinator? Let's get to unusual questions now. I made it out that I got mad at Josh and I left the press conference.
That's not right. I thought it was an unusual question and it's OK. It's time for unusual questions with Josh Graham.
And if you have one three three six seven seven seven one six hundred. There's an unusual question that I've been wanting to ask that I've been sitting on for the last few days. I asked it on social media.
I got dogged for simply asking the question. So I'll put it to you now. Is it OK to go on a movie date and watch separate movies? Sarah Bradford knows me well enough to know there are two things that I'm out on when it comes to movies. Eighteen hundreds Europe and subtitles. And she wanted to see a movie that had all these subtitles. And it was eighteen hundred Europe called Corsage that was showing at one time in Greensboro, which is also the same time, a movie that I told her I wanted to see that she had no interest in.
The Fableman's, which is seen to be a front runner for Oscars hype, was showing and she came up with the idea. How about you watch that movie and I'll watch the other. We can meet for dinner afterwards on Mo Monday while you're off on Monday.
We'll have a great night. And I put it out there. I put it out there publicly. And everybody thought, if you love your marriage for the sake of your marriage, you got to go to the same movie.
And my wife read many of these replies and she's like, this is insane. No, you're you're not going to be sleeping on the couch if you decide to go to the other movie. And we went on this date and it was great.
But I will put it to you guys. Do you see anything weird about this? I. Ending with dinner afterward is what makes it a date, right? If you just together, it was a 30 minute drive. If you just went and saw different movies, I don't know that that constitutes a date necessarily. But you end up with dinner. I kind of love this idea because I envisioned the two of you sitting down at dinner talking about your individual experiences. Yes, that's actually kind of what makes it good.
I love that. It's what makes it work. There's a logistical thing here, though, because, you know, what if you want to see a two hour 30 minute Tarantino?
OK, let me be a little bit more specific since you want to get into the details. Her movie started at five and was an hour and fifty four minutes. Mine started at four thirty and was in two and a half hour movie. So within five minutes of each other ended.
You're walking out in separate theaters. That's great. See, I think this is great because you clearly hit the jackpot with Sarah Bradford. The fact that she's down with this because there's a lot of girls out there. They would not go and she's really excited to go to a basketball game Saturday. We're going to Virginia and Wake Forest is a Virginia alum. We're going to it's New Orleans later this year. We've never been. She never been to New Orleans.
I've never been to LSU. We're going to knock both those out. The box there, their baseball venue seen a game.
There's on my bucket list. There's a preseason number one. Almanari is not there anymore. Who's their coach? Jay Johnson. They got him from Arizona zone again. I know Cliff was in the running for that. You coach Cliff Godwin. OK, how about what do you guys ask an unusual question now?
Darren. All right, let's stick with words. What's your what's your favorite word?
Oh, boy. Do you have a favorite word? Coalesce. Coalesce is a good word.
Any time I can work coalesce in there. It's a great word. It's fun to say. I'm not sure I have also scarf just like you like the way it's spelled the way it sounds. I like scarf the kind of texts to wear scarves, but also scarf something down. Yeah, you scarf food. Scarf's a great word. That's it's got range.
Scarf has got range. I've always liked the word fresh. Yeah. OK. Fresh content, fresh food. Fresh. I like that.
Or just like you look fresh today. Oh, what the people with a pH or with an F? Very 2010 question.
Don't answer that. You're you're who the people will at who do marketing for. That's right. Lowe's foods are just angling toward when they trade or fresh when they put fresh, really big on a label trade. And they're like that sucker will. He's going to pick up these like chocolate covered raisins or whatever.
Will's definitely a Trader Joe's guy. Do you have a word Whole Foods? I like I like Bui. Ah, Bui. Bui is one of my favorite words, if not my absolute favorite, because obviously it is a physical thing. It's a tangible thing. But you can use it as a verb, like something buoys. It levels. It levels out. I've heard you get into this.
Also, go Bay Sox. W.D., what is your unusual question real quick on the way out? What's the best kind of gum? I just had gum earlier today and I regret it. My mouth's super dry right now. And I'm working out this cough.
I am. Minor case of TMJ. I stopped chewing gum a long time ago. Former baseball players do that. Because you had a lot of gum. And what was your go to when you played baseball?
Relentless. Major League chew. No, I didn't do bubble gum either, because I was the only like I played with a bunch of dudes who like dipped and had very little regard for their dental hygiene. So I was always on the sugar free minty five gums.
Probably the answer to the question. But I get most excited when I see the yellow and blue and pink double bubble wrap. Hold up. Do you guys remember the Trident that had like the minty on the outside and then a fruit flavor on the inside? Yes. They discontinued those. That was the go to for a long time.
Five. But there's this flavor they made. It's like a fruity flavor.
They don't make it anymore. It's called lush. Hey, folks, five who listen to the show. Bring back the lush five gum flavor. That's been drive brought to you by two five. That's all that can do.
And there's another sponsor, Thai Applebee Opportunities. Yep. That's been a question.
That's right. Let's make it happen. Five five. You're on the air. Wake up with Jeffrey Griffin and Triad today. Weekday mornings at seven. Now back to the drive with Josh Graham.
Oh, yeah. Eric Collins, voice of the Hornets. My guy was on Wake Forest in Clemson last night. He told me to tell you hello when I was walking out of the tunnel with him last night.
So where are you headed? He said, I got to get to Houston and fast. And that's actually an interesting NBA game tonight. Charlotte has the second worst record in the NBA. Eleven wins. The worst record in the NBA belongs to Houston with 10 wins. Houston's lost 11 in a row. They've won 10 games this year. Charlotte has lost eight of its last nine. Eleven wins in the race for Victor Webb and Yama.
These types of things matter. But really, it's all about being one of the three worst teams. The best odds if you're one of the bottom three. And it seems especially with San Antonio winning last night.
It's Charlotte, Detroit and Houston and whatever order being your bottom three. Have we developed a catchy saying for tanking for Wimba Nana yet? What rhymes with Wimba Nana?
It's like the old This Is Sports Center commercial when Eric Gagne was lighting it up as a closer in Major League Baseball and Linda Cones frantically running around the hallway. She goes, what rhymes with Gagne? What rhymes with Wimba Nana? Maybe we can give him a nickname like Webby. Remember mid 2000s rap group Webby? Yeah, but then you're skipping an M. Didn't they do? Wimby.
I know, but work with me here. You remember Webby? I-N-D-E-P. I think that was them.
She got her own house. I think. I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-E-T. Mr. Words over here can't spell. I don't know the other words. I don't know the other words, though.
I do remember that part, though. Am I right? Is that Webby? Can you look this up for me, please? W.D.
's contributions whenever Darren's here, whenever it gets off the rails, looking over to that room and just asking him, hey, was that right? You know that obscure thing I just talked about? What am I looking up?
Google that. Webby? Webby the artist. How was that spelled? I think it's W-E-B-B-I-E. Chris Webby? I don't know.
No, not like Chris Webber. No one called him that. It's just Webby. He was C-Web, OK? C-Web.
I owned the Dada shoes to prove it. They were the C-Webs. I'll just look this up myself. He did sing independent.
I got that right. Webby from his second album, Savage Life 2, featuring Lil' Fat. What's that guy up to now? And Lil' Boosie.
Boosie was on this. Wow. That's pretty good stuff. What's Webby up to now? What is that guy doing? Got his own house, his own car, probably. If I had to guess.
Confirmed. It's a big game tonight for the Hornets in the race for Webby. Webby. Do we have more clips? I love hearing Eric Collins call basketball games. And since I was at the Joel last night, I didn't get a chance to listen to EC on Bally. This is how Cam Hildreth's clinching three sounded.
Again, if you're awake, you want to try to get into the teeth of that zone. Try to kick and pop. Williamson. Hildreth.
Got it! Big bomb. Big bomb.
Color analyst needs to stop. Seriously. Be a little quieter.
Nah, it's fine. Big bomb. He just said big bomb.
Wow. He was the backup singer while Collins, my guy, was just dragging out the... Got it! He's Lil' Boosie? To Webby on... Yeah.
I'll stop talking about Webby. This is the final call from last night. Steve Forbes has slayed his personal dragon. For the first time, Steve Forbes has defeated the Clemson Tigers after losing the first three times.
Cool stuff. Staying in the ACC. With the win last night, Clemson no longer unbeaten, which means every ACC team has at least one loss.
Clemson is still at the top of the ACC standings. Up next for Wake is Virginia on Saturday. Tonight, Virginia plays Virginia Tech. You are a Virginian.
Rumor is Virginia is for lovers. What does that rivalry mean to you because as you were growing up, Virginia Tech was transitioning into the ACC? It means more now than it did at a certain point in time because of the way those two coaches have elevated. Does that mean more in basketball or in football? Football for sure.
Okay. Well... Because basketball wasn't that big for Virginia Tech for a while. It depends on who you ask. If you ask your wife, who graduated from Virginia, she might say basketball because that's the one that they've fared better in over the years, right? I lived a bit closer to Blacksburg and went to more games at Virginia Tech and I mean football is absolutely it there. But when basketball is good, they get behind it. It means more. I mean, they've got a trophy and everything, the rivalry in basketball, rather, the Commonwealth Cup.
So it means a lot either way though. Talking to Jim Phillips last night at the Joel, he told me he was going to be at Virginia Tech tonight. He was wearing a green tie last night saying, had to really think about what neutral color to wear. At the end of the day, Jeff, Clemson, Wake Forest came. He did call me Josh though. Yeah. Convenient. It's a step in the right direction. At the end of the day, Jeff, it's a step in the right direction. He was just playing hard to get.
He knew what he was doing. Virginia is the ACC's last hope for a dominant team. They're ranked in the top 10 right now. There are only three ACC teams that are ranked. The other two aren't in the top 15 and Clemson just lost to Wake Forest without a top ranked team. And I view a top ranked team as you're in the conversation for potentially being a number one seed.
It makes it easy for the critics to try and discredit you. When you look at the top six teams in the AP poll, all of them are from six different conferences, six top teams from six different conferences. Beating Virginia Tech tonight would be a step for Virginia, but it was something I brought up to Brad Brownell last night.
And this is what he had to say about the strength of the week. We may not have a dominant team this year. I think we got a lot of really good teams.
That's why we won the big 10 challenge, ACC big 10 challenge. I think a lot of teams had a lot of turnover and so they're different. I think Steve's team is one of those teams and they're playing really well. Our team had to adjust to a lot of things. We're playing different than we were in November.
We're better. And there are several teams that are probably like that in our league. So I think our league's pretty good. This is something I wanted to bring Terrence Oglesby on to talk about because he made a point that I only heard Jim Larranaga make in the last year or two talking about the differences say between the ACC and the big 10. What Brownell kind of hit on there is there's a lot of turnover in the ACC. You have guys who are quickly trying to get to the league and going to those schools. There are a lot more players that come from the ACC than the other leagues in college basketball, which means you have more transfers filling holes. You have more one and done freshmen, which means that the games in January, February and March, the ACC teams are probably going to be a lot better than they were in November and December.
So the fact that the net grades the games in November and December the same way as you would the conference games might skew things of how good the ACC is relative to say the big 10, which has a lot of experienced guys that might be more consistent and a lot more stagnant I'll say, not in a negative sense, but just consistent from November all the way on. Yeah. It'll be interesting to see like how it and if Duke can turn it around, right? We know they're talented. They have the non-conference schedule that they're going to be in the tournament, but can they reach their potential and reach their upside?
Right. Are they going to be a team that finds their groove and is truly clicking on all cylinders by the end of the season? Because if that's the case based on talent alone, they're sort of a team that you're talking about. Wait a minute. A team around here that has a high upside and a first year coach that might be struggling in January, trending in the right direction in March could never happen.
Never. Could never happen. But I think it just brings up a larger point and we see it in the other sports too. Like TCU playing in the national championship game in football is a good example of this. There are going to be fewer sure things with big programs because of the frequency with which players are transferring.
We're talking about something that's a little bit different, but I think along the same lines, it's a parallel. We need to figure out a way to account for that. How do you account for that in college basketball? Teams that are younger versus teams that are older and having a lot of growth because say with Wake Forest, they're going to get knocked for losing to Loyola Marymount and losing to LSU when they did. But both those losses, considering where they were, which was away from Winston-Salem and the loss to Rutgers too, that no doubt, and Steve Forbes would be the first to tell you, they have been crucial in Wake Forest being where they are today.
Yeah. And it's just with college athletics as a whole, we're in a super interesting place right now. And I think that is a side point to what Brownell was talking about in the clip there, because is this just going to be, is this some years going to be what the ACC is, a really good basketball conference, but without one of those teams at truly at the top because we're past the days of, you said Duke's going to make the tournament, I don't doubt that, but we're past the days of them year in and year out being, if we are past those days, right? If we're assuming that Kay and Roy being out at Duke and UNC keeps them out of that year in and year out and they'll just have some high spots for years.
Yeah. I think it's an interesting thing to follow, but if the ACC is to have a dominant team, look no further than the number 10 ranked Virginia Cavaliers, who would get at Virginia Tech tonight before going to Winston-Salem on Saturday. By the way, a place that Wake Forest hasn't lost this year. A lot of new information on the Carolina Panthers coaching search. You have covered the Panthers coaching search as long as we have, the week Matt Ruhle was fired we started a segment called Top Cats, beginning of October that happened and it's been three months since then, a lot of these names you've already heard about on this show. Panthers are interviewing candidates still, we'll get to the latest information on that search before we circle back to college basketball about 10 minutes from now. And also, I believe out of the 12 candidates that the Panthers have considered thus far, I think we're down to a top six that I'll put into different categories in just a bit. This segment's called Top Cats. Odds are the Panthers next head coach is coaching right now. So who's it gonna be?
Here are this week's top cats. Now that we're down to eight in the NFL, perhaps many of these coaches are not coaching anymore. So how about we start with the three coaches now that we know are out of the running for the Panthers job that were considered that the Panthers even requested to interview, but are not in the mix, starting with Lions OC Ben Johnson. The Panthers requested an interview, they were supposed to talk this week, but Ben Johnson last night announced that he would be returning to Detroit for a second season as the offensive coordinator.
Next up, Niners DC D'Amico Ryan. I hope that guy gets a great job because he deserves it, probably the most impressive assistant coaching candidate on the board, but Carolina has themselves a pretty impressive defensive coach who did a great job as an interim coach, which is why it's not that big of a deal that they weren't able to figure things out with Ryan's apparently their interview that they had scheduled was not going to happen because of logistical reasons. Last guy that the Panthers requested an interview that is out of the mix Patriots assistant Jerod Mayo shortly after the Panthers requested to interview him the Patriots gave him a major promotion which also included a pay bump. Now let's get to the guys who are currently in the mix starting with the assistant coaching candidates Phil's offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. It's just been reported in the last hour he will interview on Saturday the day before the Buffalo Bills face the Cincinnati Bengals in the divisional round Ken Dorsey once upon a time a Panthers quarterbacks coach. He was Cam Newton's quarterbacks coach for many of his years and Charlotte. Next up Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen since the Eagles were off last weekend the Panthers interviewed Steichen last Saturday. Out of the offensive minded guys he might be the most impressive on the board. Next up Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Ejiro Evero.
Say that one five times fast Ejiro Evero. Broncos weren't a good team this year but that defense was formidable even after they traded off Bradley Chubb they were still a really strong defensive team. He's not really in this mix I don't think. Defensive minded guy Broncos weren't so great hasn't been a play caller all that long in Denver but the Panthers did request an interview with him. Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka is on the list. But according to Brian Daible Kafka or any of his assistants this applies to weak Martindale as well not going to be interviewing this week before the Giants face the Eagles. He wants complete focus set on Philadelphia for this weekend. And staying in the NFC East Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
After Monday night they're no longer in the playoffs so you can a lot more easily have those conversations now than say a week ago. Those are the assistant candidates former head coaching candidates there are three of them obviously Steve Wilks. Still rooting for him I think that's probably the best choice available for Carolina I don't say that lightly but he's sold me on what he's done and the direction he's leading the Panthers over the last couple of months. Frank Wright! Inspired by the Colts this year but you know he's in the mix there are some rumors out there that maybe Frank Wright would agree to an associate head coaching position and Steve Wilks be the head coach moving forward.
You pair those two together that would be pretty exciting maybe the best case scenario for Carolina just as long as both sides go for it. And then there's Jim Caldwell still has a home in Winston Salem. Jim Caldwell has not been a head coach since he was the coach of the Lions in 2017. Hasn't coached in the NFL altogether or anywhere else in that matter since being the Dolphins. Quarterbacks coached in 2019 are an offensive assistant. I think out of those candidates I mentioned that the Panthers are still interviewing with and considering you can shave three off the list. Already mentioned that Ben Johnson's out, D'Amico Ryan's is out, and Jerod Mayo's out. That has us down to nine. I think you could also get rid of Kafka, Aveiro, and Caldwell.
Kafka first year OC, not able to talk to him last week or this week. Don't know if the Panthers want to be that patient. Aveiro, defensive coach, just a little bit too much of a hill to climb.
And Jim Caldwell. We just spelled out all the how long it's been since he's been coaching in the league. Just seems like there's going to be better options available to you. So that leaves six coaches for the Panthers and WD, you're emotionally attached to the team so you can tell me where you stand on this.
I put them into a few different categories. The one truly bad choice available on the board is Ken Dorsey. If the Panthers hire Ken Dorsey, that is the one out of these six coaches that I would be upset about, legitimately mad that you just hired a first year offensive coordinator to be your head coach.
He would feel unqualified. Why did you hire this dude over Steve Wilks? I would be legitimately mad if that's the guy you hired.
That is the one out of the six that I would feel that way about. The underwhelming hires, ones that I wouldn't love but I also wouldn't hate either, Frank Reich and Kellen Moore. Kellen Moore, been around for a long time, has a lot of sway in Dallas, even across different coaching staffs. He's been an effective play caller in making Dallas really good. Frank Reich, he's an offensive minded guy, ties to the area, very well respected, can probably hire a really good staff. It's underwhelming but it wouldn't be a terrible hire. The most fun situation would be Sean Payton just because it's chaotic, it's interesting and we're pro that around here. We're pro that more than we're pro good.
Hey, you can't be great, at least be interesting and that would be interesting. But the two hires I would prefer the most, Steve Wilks or Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, who at two different stops has demonstrated he can be really effective offensively. Elevating Justin Herbert, turning Jalen Hurts from a middling mid-round pick quarterback to an MVP candidate. Great offensive line play we've seen with the Eagles, great run schemes. That guy is balanced enough that I really think there's some exciting possibilities there. The two that I would love the most, Wilks or Steichen, Sean Payton that would be the most fun, underwhelming, Reich and Kellen Moore, please don't hire Ken Dorsey, that's how I feel. I think Wilks earned the job, like I really do, I mean he's got the locker room, they want to play for him and he's kind of like, again, I know how important it is to the Panther fans, he's stuck with the keep pounding mantra, he is, to me he personifies the keep pounding mantra. I'm going to quote Will Money, which is Clint Eastwood's character in the movie Unforgiven, you don't know anything about this.
Makes sense, I'm clueless right now. There's little Bill, played by Gene Hackman, who said, I don't deserve this, I don't deserve to die like this, and Will Money responded, deserves got nothing to do with it. Unfortunately. Steve Wilks, he might deserve it, but deserves got nothing to do with it.
Unfortunately. 336-777-1600, if you want to play along, let's go to Dave and Clemons, Dave's been big on Jim Harbaugh being the guy, but now Jim Harbaugh for sure is coming back to Michigan for another year. Dave, who do you want to see hired now for Carolina?
What's up, JG? Yeah, I'm starting to trend in a different direction with Harbaugh off the board. I wanted to point out a couple trends still going on in the NFL that I've noticed. Out of the eight playoff teams left, seven of the coaches are offensive guys.
The only defensive guy is McDermott and Buffalo. Also, the oldest quarterback left of the playoff teams is Dak Prescott. He's only 28 years old, so we're seeing a trend of offensive minded coaches, young quarterbacks. So I'm starting to pick up steam on Shane Steichen, like you were saying, paired with a Trey Lance, a CJ Stroud or Bryce Young. Give me the offensive minded guy with a young quarterback. Like you said, with Jalen Hurts, he turned him into almost an MVP type candidate. Let's see what he can do with the young guy like Stroud, Lance or Bryce Young.
Yeah, you keep throwing that thing with Trey Lance out there. I'm not in on that, but I am on board getting a young quarterback in there and Shane Steichen again. If you hire Wilks, I'm cool with that because, like W.D.
and I have been talking about, he deserves it. And by the way, the Panthers just put out on their social media that they interviewed Broncos DC Ejiro Ivero today, so they got that wrapped up, which means also they are completely in accordance with the Rooney Rule now. Steve Wilks doesn't count in terms of a minority candidate that you have to interview.
You have to interview at least two. Panthers have already interviewed Jim Caldwell and Ejiro Ivero is the second minority coach that Carolina's interviewed. So if you have concerns about the Rooney Rule and that compliance, Carolina has addressed that. This might be a crazy take, but mainly it's crazy to NC State, Carolina and Duke fans. But I believe Wake Forest currently is the best team in the state of North Carolina after their win against Clemson. Right now, that isn't to say with the young guys Carolina and Duke have, they're not going to project to be better in March or they don't have a higher upside, certainly they do.
But if it's a neutral court and Wake is playing North Carolina or NC State right now, I'm taking the Demon Deacons. And I put that out on social media last night and I'm surprised how much this has blown up. Apparently the ACC networks put this all over their social media and people are reacting to it.
I think they got to it on their afternoon show that they have. But we welcome Terrence Oglesby to see just how crazy I am. Terrence, I respect your basketball acumen in so many different ways.
What you do at the field of 68 is really good for college basketball and we really do appreciate you spending the time. Who right now would you say is the best team in the state of North Carolina, at least among the ACC Big Four? On January 18th, 2023, it's hard to argue against the Demon Deacons.
Now that's not March 13th of 2023. And I'm in agreement with you right now, Josh, Wake Forest is playing as well as anybody and they have pieces to that puzzle that are really, really good. I think Tyree Appleby is playing about as well as anybody has played lately and they just have different guys that can hurt you on a given night. And I actually think the unsung hero of that Wake Forest team, I think Cam Hildreth has really, really improved. I mean, somebody who's big, he's physical, he knows his role, he plays it well, and he's okay scoring four points and doing everything else on the floor.
I think he's one of those guys that has continued to improve and there's just so many different guys that could hurt you. I feel like North Carolina is still figuring it out. Duke is certainly still figuring it out because they're so young and who's their playmaker when Jeremy Roach is hurt?
That's an issue. There's two guys that you mentioned there with Wake Forest that I think go back to how good of a coach that Wake Forest has in Steve Forbes. You mentioned Ty Appleby and you mentioned Cam Hildreth. It seems like it's well documented how good Steve Forbes has been in the portal. What he doesn't get enough credit for is how he integrates those guys in and how seamless it is sooner rather than later, because we've seen at Duke, it's been kind of hit and miss with Jacob Grandison, with North Carolina, Pete Nance, I know he's been dealing with injuries right now.
He's still trying to figure out his place. We saw the Dawson Garcia disaster last year. Brady Manick didn't come on until late in the year.
It doesn't seem that's a problem with Forbes. And then you mentioned Cam Hildreth. For as much talk there is about the transfers that Wake brings in, Cam Hildreth has a transfer and neither is Matthew Marsh and both those guys have taken big jumps this year. There isn't a coach in the state of North Carolina that I would take more than Steve Forbes. And I think that's a piece of this too. JUCO roots. I think that certainly helps JUCO roots.
Being able to integrate a team quick, fast in a hurry. That's something that John Shire, who's figuring, really figuring himself out. I think that's a big portion of this. And then, you know, Hubert is, you know, he's dealing with some personalities that remember last year, we're talking about in January, do they really mesh? And whenever North Carolina is really good, their final four good. They proved that last year, but they haven't been that so far this season.
But it goes back to really Steve Forbes putting guys in position to be successful. Look at what he did last year. Jake LaRabi is an Indiana State kid, ends up getting drafted in the first round. Alondis Williams, we had no idea what he could do and he has a terrific year.
Why? Because Steve puts him in a good position to score. That's a huge thing. Getting your best players in position to where they can be successful.
Steve certainly does that. Terrence Oglesby with us here from the field of 68. You went to Clemson. Clemson still a part of that top tier in the ACC.
When you look at the standings, they're still at the top of it. Wake Forest next game is against Virginia, which has their rival Virginia Tech later on tonight. Those two teams look like they're NCAA tournament caliber and the big four in the state of North Carolina, they're going to be in that mix. The last time that all four made the tournament in the same year was 2005. And that was a fun time for North Carolina basketball when Carolina won the national title, Duke had JJ Reddick, Sheldon Williams and Dem boys.
Chris Paul was at Wake Forest and Julius Hodge was taking NC State to the Sweet 16 that year. So maybe something special in the works this year with the ACC Big Four. But you mentioned Syracuse this week as being a team you could see lingering around.
Gosh, Jim Bayhive's team, just like a cockroach, you can't ever kill them. They're going to be in the mix regardless. But you also got Pittsburgh that obviously has got some big wins.
Virginia Tech, even though they've lost five in a row, when they're healthy, they're out of conference was strong enough that might be there right at the cut line and might do them some favors on the bubble. How many teams do you look like best case scenario for the ACC over the next month and a half, worst case scenario, getting into the field of 64, field of 68? I think worst case scenario, you're looking at six.
Best case, you're looking at eight, potentially nine. And it all depends on who plays well at the end of the season. Now I understand the metrics. Like I understand that the net rating of Syracuse, they haven't played anybody, this, that and the third.
I get all that. But we mentioned Syracuse, so we got to talk about Syracuse, their addition of four freshmen that are in the rotation consistently in a fifth, that very well could be in a quadier Copeland. Like they have a lot of length on those bottom wings. That's something they didn't have the past few years. And Judah Mintz is great. That's a fun watch. If you haven't watched Syracuse, Judah Mintz is a fun watch.
Yeah. And he's in the passing lanes. He's out in transition, like really, really good. But Malik Brown on that bottom baseline, Benny Williams on that bottom baseline, like they have serious length and they can cover. The only problem that you run into with Syracuse is their non-conference wasn't great and they're going to have to win some games in league play that they probably shouldn't. But I'm never putting it past Jim Boeheim because that zone is such a curve ball compared to everybody else in the league.
You have to prepare a specific way for it and sometimes it can give people headaches. I think they're always going to win games they're not supposed to and they're always going to lose games they're not supposed to just because of that zone. I get it's only Wednesday. We still have a few days until Saturday arrives, but there are three games Saturday here in the state of North Carolina that I cannot wait to watch. W.D. is going to be at Miami and Duke, which you can listen to right here on WSJS.
That's at noon. I will be at Virginia, number 10 in the country visiting Wake Forest. And then at five o'clock, probably with the spot in the AP top 25 on the line, a quad one game for both teams, NC State playing North Carolina at five o'clock, W.D.
working the double, going to be at that game too. Which of these three games intrigues you the most? Duke obviously struggling a bit getting Miami, which could be an interesting matchup. Wake Forest, I don't even know if you know this, they've scored 85 at least in the last three games, 75 over the last five, 75 at least in the last five. That's probably going to be difficult to do against Virginia, but makes the matchup all the more interesting.
And then you've got two rivals beating Saturday afternoon. What intrigues Terrence Oglesby the most? I bet NC State North Carolina game is going to be fun to watch because that's too high powered back courts.
I think Jarkel Joyner for what he's done for Kevin Keats, he's the perfect fit. Like he guards, he can create, he can shoot over the top. And he is somebody that really pesters the opposing team, match him up against R.J. Davis. That's going to be fun. Terquavious Smith and Caleb Love, two shot heavy guards. That one's going to be fun.
But just for the sake of entertaining you, because I know you're there in Winston-Salem. This Wake Forest Virginia game is going to be interesting because if you're going to beat Virginia, you have to have somebody that can create off the bounce. Wake Forest has that. If Ty Appleby plays well, he's going to give them a definite shot to win that basketball game. And if they do that, Josh, I think Wake is pretty much cementing their tournament resume. They're going to get in the tournament.
Is the ACC considerably better? See with what we are tasked with doing, we focus so deeply on all things happening with the league, which you used to play in at Clemson, of course, but you follow everything so closely across the entire country. It seems like to me, like Steve Forbes, when I was talking to him last night, he still has those scars from last year where you win 13 games in the conference and you don't make it into the NCAA tournament.
That was unthinkable to him before it actually happened. Steve still says, you know, I can't control it, but when you're 69th in the net, that's still something that worries you a little bit. He said, and I quote, there are teams in front of us that frankly, I just don't understand why they're in front of us. I think the metrics are going to take care of themselves this year, unlike last year, because last season they only had five quad one opportunities altogether. They already have five this year with two wins and their next four games are going to be quad one games. And I mean, there's no way to prove this, but the NCAA tournament committee probably knows there's an egg on face moment with how they handled the ACC when Miami got to the elite eight and Duke and Carolina both made it into the final four. I think Wake might get the benefit of the doubt since their out of conference schedule wasn't as bad as it was a year ago. But do you see considerable improvement in the ACC from last year versus the ACC this year and does the perception of the league match that? I think by and large perception is just the ACC has struggled because it's tried so hard to become a football conference.
That's the perception of the league right now. They've tried so hard to become a mediocre football conference that other people are starting to view them as a mediocre basketball conference and this year, it's just not true. They were better earlier this year, a lot of those guys that transferred stuck around for a year and now you win the ACC big 10 challenge.
You garner that kind of respect. Now where it's going to hurt you is like Florida State's healthy now, right? Like they're going to win some games and they're going to tear up the middle of the conference and that's going to hurt some things.
But as far as the quad one, quad two, all this stuff is concerned. It drives me crazy just trying to break it down because like to me, Wake Forest looks like a tournament team. Like Clemson looks like a tournament team, Pitt looks like a tournament team right now, but it's not people who really know hoops. So they have to find a way to quantify all this data to see who's most worthy. I personally don't love the fact that they don't have basketball people making those decisions, but it is what it is. I think by and large, the ACC though is looked at as a better league this year.
The only problem that you run into is, is Louisville and Florida State and Notre Dame and Georgia Tech, these sub 500 teams, like it kills you because that bottom four or five bring down your metrics so mightily. The football piece that you mentioned at the beginning, trying hard to be a football conference, it speaks to the importance of marketing and messaging. People wonder why McDonald's and Subway do all those ads that you still see.
People know what McDonald's and Subway is. It's about messaging, top of mind awareness and marketing. It works.
Contrary to popular belief, it works. And ACC commissioner Jim Phillips has been very strongly talking about football being the priority. And I've talked to not a few, several coaches in the league off the record, who've told me that as soon as he started going down that path, it was something that annoyed them.
I mean, it annoys me and I'm sure it annoys a lot of people. And I went to Clemson, I realized it was a football school coming in, but I always grew up thinking, Hey, North Carolina, Duke, uh, even Maryland way back when, right? This was a basketball conference. It has always been a basketball conference. Does it generate the revenue that football does?
No, but at the same time, uh, you have all this history to capitalize off of, and I'm not saying it annoys me. I'm not sure that's the right word, but there's a, there's a little bit of a level of disappointment that you're not marketing your basketball programs. You know, for example, on the ACC network more like I'm not trying to watch repeat performances of Virginia against Syracuse football games. Like there needs to be more basketball showcase.
And I know I'm probably saying something a little blasphemous that might get me in trouble, but that's how I feel. It's a basketball league. Then it's a basketball league.
Now let's embrace it. Hey, you're wrong where the league office can listen to you. They might even have it on in the building right now. So Terrence Oglesby probably going to be a very popular figure, uh, over there, but they're not going to be in Greensboro long.
They'll be down in Charlotte. That's going to be a very exciting thing. Yeah. Anyway, we can get to that at a later point. Terrence Oglesby, keep up the great work of what you're doing in the field of 68. Appreciate you spending the time. Hope to see you in person sometime soon.
All right. Appreciate you, Josh. We'll see you soon, buddy.
Thank you for having me. No doubt. There he goes.
Terrence Oglesby joining us from the field of 68 WD. I'm surprised this wasn't in the big four or the five things at five today. There is, I might be trampling on your ticket to the house. There's a chance that might be the case.
Does your ticket to the house involve a tractor? No, but okay. Good.
Very well could. No, no, no. Because I got it right here. Uh huh. On TikTok. I'm not on TikTok. Yes. But there's a TikTok video that has been making the rounds showing police cars chasing a man on a John Deere tractor through Boone America.
Oh. This happened yesterday morning near Three Forks Baptist Church in Watauga County up there in Boone. And this 43 year old man, apparently, I want to say allegedly, stole a tractor and was driving it down the highway, Highway 421 for those familiar. And for hours, not minutes, hours, police were trying to track down and put to the side of the road this tractor that reached speeds of 25 to 30 miles an hour.
That's it. Apparently this tractor was driving towards vehicles, it hit a dumpster, it knocked a dumpster into a church. Damage being done. Apparently police rammed the police car into it. That didn't stop it. They shot one of the wheels out of it. Still didn't stop it. Probably big thick wheels.
Yeah, that's not going to work. Officers shot out the rear tires with a rifle. Police said that eventually when they got this tractor to stop, he got out of the tractor, started running away with a knife. Oh.
Yeah, I'll get him. Lovely. And then eventually police were able to subdue this man. Did he have a Yosef in the tractor with him?
Didn't say. I bet he did. Because apparently he brought a knife to a taser fight and the taser won.
Oh yeah. Who'd have thunk it? Here are his charges. He faces charges of driving while impaired. So maybe there were some Yosefs. Yep.
Folks in Boone are also known to use other methods of, what's the word I'm looking for? Intoxication. Intoxication. Thank you.
Yep. Intoxication happened on a government official, reckless driving and felony fleeing to elude arrest. I think he did earn that last one. He was given a $50,000 bond. Boone.
Oh. And since the tractor was determined to be stolen, an additional charge of theft forthcoming too. What a day that man had. Boone, baby. Boone. Tractor chase. You don't want to mess with a tractor chase. I wish that was on television.
Like I flip on here in the studio, WXII. We follow now. Yeah. Like the OJ. The tractor chase and people were following it. Why don't they just stop him? He's only going 30 miles an hour. Well, apparently he went over one of the, they had the spikes in the road and it went over that and didn't stop him.
What do you do? I mean, that's a, why can't you just taser the guy while like driving close to him? What's he going to do with his knife? I'm going to throw a knife at you. That was my question.
Like, wait, he's not going that fast. It took some time, but the job was done. Kind of feels like the Panthers coaching search a little bit like, oh, yeah, well, we'll see if the job gets done. We'll see. Or if it ends up with David Tepper with a knife saying, I'm going to get my coach if you like it or not. Nothing tasered.
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