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The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
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July 12, 2023 6:20 pm

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The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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July 12, 2023 6:20 pm

On a Wednesday Drive, Josh reacts to Bill Simmons saying that the Charlotte Hornets taking Brandon Miller, over Scoot Henderson, will "go down in infamy", voice of USA Baseball, Daron Vaught, joins the show to discuss whether or not the Angels will move Shohei Ohtani and to discuss sandwiches and Hampton Inn bathrooms, in Unusual Questions, Josh lists off the ten most important Panthers, leading into the new season, and lifts morale by discussing his favorite Wyndham hole, in Weekly Positivity.


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This is The Drive with Josh Graham Podcast.

Three internet sensations, guys! Tune into The Drive weekday afternoons, 3 to 7 on WSJS. Welcome to a Wednesday Drive. You are listening to WSJS News Talk Sports for the Triad, where there's strangely a lot of NFL news to get to throughout today's show. The Bucks are going back to the Creamsicles, at least temporarily. There's an update on the leaked Jon Gruden emails from a few years ago.

I'll tell you what, man. And there are a few other notes that we'll get to, but first let's hit on the Charlotte Hornets. Even though it's only been a week and a half of summer league, and Scoot Henderson went down with an injury last week while Brandon Miller against Scoots Blazers had his best night thus far, the NBA seems to already believe the Hornets messed up here. The basketball world seems to believe Scoot's a better player than Miller, and the actions that we're seeing from teams and some of the reports that we've read seem to reflect that.

Let's look this way. Portland was not originally set to trade Dame Lillard. They reversed course on a plan to build around Dame because Scoot is that good. It was originally going to be let's shop the pick, see if we can land a star, see if we can make Dame happy, make one last run. They even sold that to Dame Lillard when they were tanking down the stretch of the season.

Let's get a good draft pick so that way we can help you win, that we can help you build. They didn't think Scoot would be available when they picked. Once he was there, that's why you got such a late notification that Dame had asked for a trade, that Dame wanted out because that was not part of the plan. Portland blew up the original plan because of Scoot Henderson. All the trade rumors leading up to the draft, teams wanting to move up, were not wanting to move up for Brandon Miller, they were wanting to move up for Scoot Henderson.

And what does that tell you? They think the guy's a star. The way that we all kind of felt about it, even the Hornets mascot, Hugo, felt the way that most fans in much of the basketball world feels about Scoot Henderson versus Brandon Miller. Bill Simmons was even clearer about this on his podcast. He was watching live both players in Vegas before Scoot Henderson went down. And he's one of the foremost authorities on NBA basketball. He literally wrote the book on basketball, the book of basketball, 15 years ago or so. He is an All-NBA voter. He's one of the prominent voices on the sport.

Here he was after watching Scoot Henderson. He's going to be a f***ing star. People can cut this out.

They can put it with Titanic music five years from now. I'm going to be right. This guy's a star. He f***ing has it.

I will fight you to the death if you disagree with me. He has it. He just has it. I've been watching basketball my whole life.

I know who has it and who doesn't. He f***ing has it. He can do two things that you can see right away in four minutes. He can go by anyone he wants. He's downhill all the time.

All the time. The other guys, the defenders are terrified of him. I haven't seen anybody this young be able to do this since Rose and Westbrook.

Those are the last two guys. He f***ing carries himself like an alpha. He can already run NBA sets and he's running pick and rolls and stuff. The Charlotte thing is going to live in infamy. I don't think Brandon Miller is going to be a bust, but this is going to haunt them. This is going to be a disaster for Charlotte.

Scoot's going to be a guy. And we knew this and they didn't take him. Shades of Portland passing on Michael Jordan to take Sam Bowie decades later, 30 years later. Michael Jordan, his last week as Hornets owner passing on a guy so Portland could potentially take a star. I don't think Bill was clear enough on how he feels about Scoot Henderson. But this is the part that might make Hornet fans even more upset. Scoot might not just be better than Brandon Miller.

He also might be better than LaMelo Ball, too. Here's more from Simmons. I think it's so stupid that he didn't go second. I just can't get over it. And again, I like Miller, but he's he's good. But he's I didn't feel like he was special.

Please doesn't. I'm not s***ing on him. I'm not saying that. I'm just like, if you're going to pass on Scoot, you better feel like this guy you're taking is going to be like a multiple NBA guy. That's the only recourse.

And if your other reason is we already have LaMelo Ball, then you should quit your job because Scoot is going to be better than LaMelo Ball. And that's it. It's a f***ing fact. Sorry, I'm swearing so much. I'm just I got off a plane.

I'm a little I'm a little haggard. Apology accepted. Scoot's going to be better than LaMelo Ball. That's a fact. I don't think that's out of bounds either, because I was a lot higher on Scoot Henderson than I was LaMelo Ball. Remembering the 2020 draft versus this year, we had just as much tape because they both didn't play in college basketball. But we did have Scoot going toe to toe with Victor Webinama and going right at him in Vegas. So I do think there's a chance that that's the case. I feel a lot better about Scoot out of this draft than I did LaMelo a few years ago.

So even though Scoot's been out early in its summer league and you shouldn't put a lot of stock in summer league, the NBA can see he's better than Brandon Miller and might be even better than LaMelo Ball. We're on Twitter at WSJS radio if you want in on today's show. If you have thoughts on that or any of the other topics we get to today.

336-777-1600. In addition to that Twitter page, we're streaming video on YouTube and on Twitch. Will Dalton is the executive producer of the show. Will, it turns out I'm not the biggest jinx after all. How about the National League winning in an All-Star game for the first time since 2012? I was impressed. The bad juju did not happen. It didn't wear on him.

Yeah. It did require Felix Bautista, the Orioles closer, allowing the two-run homer that won it. It did.

For the National League. But still nonetheless, I was right. You were wrong. Nah nah nah nah nah nah. However, the end of that goes. Now that the All-Star game is behind us, there are three big storylines that are hovering over the sport. As we get set for the second half of the baseball season.

And around here, it starts with the Atlanta Braves. The Braves could potentially make history. Right now, they are 31 games over.

60-29. For those keeping score at home, that is a 67% winning clip for the Braves. If they continue to win at this pace, they will win 109 games. The franchise record for wins for Atlanta is 106.

Can the Braves get to 107 is the question. And on top of that, they currently lead Major League Baseball in ERA and in home runs. Only three other teams in history have ever done that. All three of those teams won the World Series. Only one team has done it since World War II. That's the history that the Atlanta Braves are looking at right now.

Speaking of things that we haven't seen in quite some time, if ever. Shohei Ohtani and the Angels, another massive storyline. Do they consider moving him? The All-Star games finish, so the trade deadline is upon us. Do they consider moving him?

My guess is no. Because you want to give yourself a shot at making the postseason and not trading away this transcendent talent. Also, there are only a few teams it feels like that have the bankroll to afford Shohei Ohtani and give him a massive extension. So unless you're one of those teams, you're probably not going to give up a ton for a rental like Shohei. Somebody who's as temporary as just having him for the rest of this season. And if you're one of those few teams that can't afford him, well, why would you give up something substantial right now when you can get him and keep some of that capital beyond this year? The Angels, you don't want to be remembered as the GM that traded away Shohei Ohtani. There's not a lot of value to doing that right now, even if you get something back.

But it's not going to be enough to justify moving off of them, in my opinion. The Angels, they're still in the playoff hunt. They are tied for the longest playoff drought in Major League Baseball. Which is crazy because it's happened in the span of having Mike Trout on your team, Anthony Rendon, and Shohei Ohtani.

A lot of great players have been on the Angels during this drought. They're tied for the longest drought. They haven't been to the playoffs since 2015. And the last huge storyline, it's just the American League East. Hard to really just specifically choose one thing, but every team in the division is five games over at least five games over.500. To put that in perspective, the last-place Boston Red Sox are three games better. Boston is three games better than the first-place team in the AL Central. That's the Cleveland Guardians. Boston, last place in their division would be first place by three games in another division.

Pretty amazing stuff. And if you're talking about playoff droughts, my Baltimore Orioles, one of the longer droughts too, haven't been in six years. And right now they have the second best record in the American League. Not just the AL East, in the American League.

Those are the big storylines that we're looking at the second half of the baseball season. Our friend Darren Bott joins us from Charleston, South Carolina. He's with the USA collegiate national baseball team who, I'm being told, has a couple of Wake Forest guys there, a Wingate transfer. Michael Massey, who we watched for the Deacs this past year, shine and is going to be back for Wake Forest. One of the few that's going to be back, it feels like. You can watch USA baseball tonight by going on YouTube.

Isn't that a novel concept? You know, if you're watching on YouTube, not pretty far, you have to go in order to watch Darren and company, youtube.com slash USA baseball TV at 6.30 to watch the collegiate national team. I'm even being told per my sources, Darren, that Bill Murray might even be making an appearance. Who isn't going to be in Charleston tonight?

Man, I was a little disappointed he didn't show last night. Bill Murray is part owner of the Charleston River Dogs. And that's where we're playing tonight. Team USA in Japan. Game five of a series that has been really good. Tied two games apiece.

I was getting a feel around some of the staffers for the river dogs last night. The thinking is Bill could show up tonight for sure. So we're keeping our fingers crossed. And who knows? I might get brave enough to ask him to come onto the stream with me. We'll see. It could get weird.

That's less than an hour away that we can catch you on YouTube. If you had Bill Murray sitting down with you and he said, you've got five minutes. What's the first topic you try to explore? This might be an unusual question. This would be a good unusual question that we could get to in a bit.

But in this case, it might not be unusual because he might actually sit down with you. What's the first thing you're asking Bill Murray? You know, I've racked my brain about this because, again, I think it's highly likely in the unlikely scenario that he sits down with me for the broadcast.

It's highly likely that I only get a couple of minutes. And I don't know that I've got a great answer yet. Do I make a milkshake reference? Do I ask him what his favorite minor league park is? That is not the one that he owns. That could be good, because I would imagine he's shown up at many over the years. When I think Bill Murray in baseball, there's a very specific seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field that comes to mind, just because I just happened to see it on WGN back in the day. So maybe ask him about Wrigley. But then again, he's also the type of person that he's going to take it wherever he wants to take it. Right.

And there's nothing I can do about it. But you also don't want to be the guy that asks the question that he always gets asked. And I feel like seventh inning stretch questions, something related to the Chicago Cubs 2016.

You don't want to be that guy. So I don't know. Genuinely, I don't think I've ever heard Bill Murray tell minor league baseball stories. Who knows?

Who knows what you might get out of Bill Murray? I don't know. What stadium might have the best best beer, best hot dog? I don't know. I might ask what his favorite memory is at the Joe there. Again, it's it's the Joseph P. Riley Park in Charleston, South Carolina. I was talking to some of the staffers who are like longtime friends of his.

And that in and of itself fascinates me being a longtime friend of Bill Murray. That is impressive. Darren, he's joining us. We are now approaching the official unofficial official second half of the Major League Baseball season. Now that the All-Star break is here, like we had the game last night. And we don't have baseball today or tomorrow to tell you about. But baseball, we've got the home stretch coming up here.

And there are a number of fantastic storylines to follow. I narrowed a few down earlier in the show talking about Shohei Ohtani and figuring out if the Angels can snap this playoff drought and figuring out what they're going to do pre deadline. The American League East itself, the fact that everybody in the division is at least five games over five hundred, like the Red Sox are in last place and they'd be there three games better than the first place Cleveland Guardians in the AL Central, which is kind of crazy to follow. And there are a lot of interesting teams in that division.

The Braves, they're on pace to set a franchise record for wins as of right now. What most interests you? Is it one of those three or is it something that we haven't gotten to?

I'd say it's two of those three. Obviously, Shohei is the story of baseball right now. He had a historic first half of his season. So his play alone is caused to be the number one story to look forward to in the second half.

And then, of course, we've got whatever his his future is. You guys saw it in Seattle. They were chanting for him. It is no secret that the Mariners have have harbored many a great Japanese players in their team's history. Kazuhiro Sasaki being really the first and most and less notable to the following year, getting Ichiro Suzuki, who was the rookie of the year and the MVP in 2001. So Seattle could be a landing spot for for Shohei. He seemed to have good things to say about the fan base, and it's still out west. I just I can't get over the fact that there are several reports and stories out there that note Shohei's original desire, his original desired MLB destination when he came from Japan to begin with was the Dodgers. And that is that's a that's legit.

It's sourced. He is quoted on the record, having said it several times. He's already in L.A., using my air quotes, L.A. ish. I think if the Dodgers want to make it happen, they they they can they can have him. But if you're the Angels man, like I don't I don't believe in in trading, like the question being tossed around, should the Angels trade him? Well, yeah, you hear out offers, but I don't know, man. I'm not I'm not if I was in the business of baseball from an operations standpoint, from a team president side standpoint, I don't think I would get into the business of trading the best player in the world. It just doesn't seem like good business.

Yeah. And you also will be remembered. You're not going to ever get back what he's worth. And you're going to go down in history as the guy who traded away Shohei Ohtani. You could you could you could swap him to another team for. Honestly, there are even scenarios where it's like, yeah, you get a guy who's ultimately going to be in the Hall of Fame out of it.

And you're still you're still viewed to be getting swindled for it. It's just there's there's no winning, no winning. Darren Vaught is with us. There is winning. And Darren being on the show because we've got more Lil Uzi Vert tickets to give away. Based in Philly, baby.

I love this single. Money longer. Money longer. Lil Uzi Vert. Three three six seven seven seven one six hundred. First to call in gets tickets to go see Lil Uzi in November at PNC Arena. Yeah, Darren's excited about this. Kevin Harlan approves.

Darren Vaught approves. Yeah. So are you guys familiar with his most recent work? He put out a huge album, like 30, 30 tracks recently. I don't know anything about it other than there is a track on there where he samples Shinsuke Nakamura, the Japanese professional wrestler in WWE. He samples his entrance, his entrance music.

I don't follow wrestling, but even I know the intro. It goes hard. It goes hard. I think it's called Nakamura is the name of the track. It's been it's been bopped a time or two in the past couple of weeks.

Love a good bop. OK, now it's time for unusual questions. Last week, guys, everybody 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. This isn't my unusual question, Darren, but is your summer playlist completed or are you still fine tuning it? I have added here and there, but it's like this one is is a new edition. The Nakamura track, new edition.

I don't guess I'll stop adding to it until like summer is over. Yeah, I think the most recent thing I added was Grease by Lainey Wilson. That's pretty good. And yeah, a little bit of country. That's not bad.

And I just been listening to a lot of SZA, like the snooze song like she's on a she's on a roll right now. I'm all about it. Yeah. Well, W.D., we haven't heard much from you. How about you give me an unusual question?

I will. I'll get us started here. Who has the best public bathroom?

What do you mean? In other words, like a bathroom that's very welcoming, it's clean, it smells nice. Starbucks.

They're in the conversation. Are we talking establishments, countries? I heard they have wonderful bidets in France. Restaurants. Yeah, I think we're talking like restaurants, companies, establishments. If you need to go, you need to go.

What are you seeking out? Yeah. All right. Like if I'm on the road. Yeah. Typically with like convenience stores, gas stations.

We've been over this before. I'm a sheets guy. Mm hmm. Those those are typically pretty, pretty clean. When I was in Moorhead City, I started there. I eventually lived with a host family. I was working for the summer collegiate baseball team there. And I had this like in between set up where they put me at the local Hampton Inn and Suites. Oh, yeah.

So after this is hilarious. After after I was done staying there, my host family was way farther from the park. So sometimes I would leave at night. My my drive would be kind of long and I would I would leave the park without having gone. So I would stop at this Hampton Inn and Suites like somewhat regularly became part of a routine. I would leave the ballpark, stop at this Hampton Inn and Suites where I was no longer a guest and only was for like a two week stretch at the beginning of the season just to use their bathrooms because they were so nice.

Sarah Bradford. It was a comfort zone. Sarah Bradford and I have a path when we're on the road. If either of us have to go or if there's like a bad traffic situation and we see a McDonald's on the next exit, we get off and we're going to get like a small fry or something off the dollar menu, get off, refresh, do that type of thing. So McDonald's is a nice safe haven in that regard. And you seem to agree with me that Starbucks, just because they you don't just go to their bathrooms in a lot of places, they have to like give you a code or something.

Yeah, I'm I'm with Darren on the hotel thing because I already felt that way. Specifically Hampton is Hamptons are great. Sheets are good. Starbucks are good.

I'll give you another one. Whole Foods. Really good bathrooms. That doesn't surprise me at all. How about this? No surprise.

Mm hmm. Willow the dog got spayed yesterday and it's been a sad ordeal ever since that happened. Like she's just not very energetic and they say you can't like she can't run like you can't let her run. Don't take her on walks for the next couple of weeks. Don't really play with her.

No jumper. No, none of that. So like what tips do you have for me to keep Willow the dog entertained after being neutered or dogs like neutered or spayed? I guess to generalize it, I just feel really bad because it's like I feel powerless to try and cheer up Willow the dog.

Is it just as simple as a lot of treats or what else comes to mind? But but keeping her from doing those things is not the issue at this point, is that? Not yet. But I imagine we're going to get there.

I'm worried about the weekend. My my experience is with I think I've talked about my family having a family friend who bred used to breed dachshund. So we used to have a lot of dachshunds growing up. I had like four or five growing up.

My only experience is with them. And in most cases, they just totally wanted to neglect the rules, like still pretty spunky in the aftermath. So, yeah, they advised that she's in this cone and I'm like, she does not like the cone. I get the purpose of the cone is for her just not to pick at the incision. So like, as long as she's in my purview and sitting around me, I'm not going to have her sitting in that cone.

I'm sorry. I'm just not going to do it. She doesn't like it. And it's not a magic cone. Like all you're doing is not having her pick at the incision.

I get why you tell us to do it, but I'm not doing it. I'm going to keep her from picking at that incision, though. Yeah, no, I'm familiar with the cone. Yeah, I don't know. I can't relate to the to the like keeping her happy instead of not not having a dog that's like running, running around wild with this incision. That's that I think you've got the more common issue.

That's OK, though, you know, because you can make it up to us, even though you don't have that type of insight in this moment. You do have an unusual question for us. Yeah. You know, you guys know what a bond me is? No. The Vietnamese sandwich on a baguette. Maybe I've heard of this. It's not something I was trying.

I was trying to explain this to one of the USA baseball interns I was walking around with. And we walked by this place. It was called Bone Bond Me like Bon Appetit. But Bone Bond Me. I was like, oh, man.

And I'm literally going to go pick up a sandwich when I'm done talking to you guys prior to the game, because it's like very close to the park here. Is it spelled like Bon Bons? Bon B-A-N-H. Me is a separate word. M-I. It's like a it's like a sliced spiced pork on a sandwich with a bunch of vegetables. And it's like on a baguette. Interested where this is going?

I'm just curious. Oh, no, it's not going anywhere. I was just curious if you guys were even aware of it. I like it. Have you guys heard of this sandwich? No. I like it. Have you seen this? Have you heard about this? There are a lot of things I need to look up now. I need to look up this little Uzi Vert song that.

Yeah, Nakamura with surprisingly just both all Asian things. I need to look that up and. Bond Me. Bond Me.

Yeah. I'm sure there's a great Bond Me place in Winston-Salem. You hit one up. Let's go find it. Get pork, though.

Get pork, though. Help Bill Murray. Give Bill Murray our bests later tonight. Darren Vaught in about 45 minutes or so, actually, in Charleston. Really do appreciate you spending the time while traveling with the U.S. Collegiate National Team.

Of course, guys wouldn't miss it. If you haven't subscribed to our various channels, do so. Search The Drive with Josh Graham, iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Anchor for the audio listeners. That's where you can find the best of a neatly curated hour of what we do each and every day on YouTube. Search The Drive with Josh Graham as well.

We have breakout videos and that's where we stream video on the show as well. If you haven't already, do both of those things. Two thumbs up. Maybe leave a comment or review or give us a thumbs up, something like that. I hear that really helps us.

W.D. reads all all the things that people write. So if you write something good, it'll make him happy.

If you don't write something at all, it'll probably hurt his feelings. Now, let's do something that we do every single year, and that is put together a list of the 10 most important Carolina Panthers for the upcoming season. We usually do this before training camp. This strictly speaks to value. It's not who the 10 best players on the team are. It's who is the most important, who are the most important guys.

So let's get to it. Ten through one, starting with number 10, Jeremy Chin. He's too talented to not be one of the 10 most important guys. And what could elevate him is a strong defensive coordinator and a Jiro Evero, who is going to be a head coach one day coming from Denver, and the addition of Von Bell in the secondary from Cincinnati, which should allow him to play closer to the line of scrimmage.

There's more flexibility available to Chin now and a creative defensive mind that should net some very positive things for Chin. He starts off our list. Number nine, Miles Sanders. The run game was Carolina's offense down the stretch last year. Ground and pound, Deontay Foreman and Shuba Hubbard, the combination. But that was Steve Wilks' image of the offense. That was his identity and his imprint. What's it going to look like with Miles Sanders coming over from a record setting rushing Philadelphia Eagles offense?

Frank Reich has some familiarity with Sanders, and he is the Carolina Panthers' first ever offensive minded head coach. What's that going to look like? Is it going to be an upgrade from Deontay Foreman? On paper, it says it's going to. In practice, what is that? Because once you get past Sanders on the depth chart, I don't quite know how I feel about Shuba Hubbard still at this point heading into year three or Blackshear or some of these others that might get carries.

Number eight, Laviska Shinnok. He just wasn't utilized right last year. You can blame that on one of our favorites, Ben McAdoo, who's a great quote. But that's true. Well played. Not be the best offensive coordinator or not as good as what Carolina has right now.

Certainly. You could also blame it on the fact that he showed up a week or two before the regular season started. He didn't have time to fully grasp the playbook. He had to miss the first few games just to get up to speed a little bit and be playable. And even then, he had spurts. A 75 yard touchdown against the Saints.

That was the Asta Laviska touchdown. If you go back and look at what he was in Jacksonville on paper, when you watch the clips, there's a lot there to think that he's going to be a breakout star. And a big part of the reason why, again, is you have a creative offensive mind to utilize it in an offseason where you can install some packages to best accent his skill set. Number seven, Derek Brown. He's already viewed as one of the best players at a premium position in the league. When you talk about stopping the run, Derek Brown is one of the guys who helps you do that.

When you're talking about a good pass rush, he is a pocket pusher with his size that allows for guys to pin their ears back and really get after the quarterback. Such an important player. That's why Carolina took him in the top 10 a few years ago.

And it looks like he's that type of player, a player that's warranted of going that high. Number five. This is where I have, well, shouldn't this be number six, actually? I think this should be number six on the list because Chin, Sanders, Chennault, Brown, that's the first four. But Hayden Hurst I had is number six. They didn't have any impact from the tight end position in the Matt Ruhl era. No one caught more than 50 balls at that position with respect to Ian Thomas and Tommy Trimble. Hayden Hurst, not really saying all that much, but it's true, is the best tight end the Panthers have had since Greg Olsen.

And that's a great security blanket to have for a quarterback having a great tight end, or at least even a good tight end, Hayden Hurst. Check that box for Atlanta. Check that box for Joe Burrow. Check that box even for the Ravens way back when.

Number five. Icky Iquanu. Speaking of helping out a young quarterback, how about protecting his blind side a little bit? Icky, great in run blocking. OK, when it came to pass blocking, got a lot better in the second half of the season. He can really take that step to become one of the premier tackles in the sport this year. He was the first offensive player taken in the draft a year ago, and I think he's going to be a bona fide star. And you need him because you invested a lot in the quarterback he's protecting. Left tackle important for that reason.

Number four. DJ Chark. He is the receiver that Carolina needs to take a huge step because he's the one that has the skill set, the potential, the upside of replacing DJ Moore's productivity. Not to say he's going to be DJ Moore, but he's the closest guy to reproducing what DJ Moore brought you.

Adam Thielen, very fine receiver. Great for leadership, consistency. You know exactly what you're getting from him. When Chark is healthy, he's a DJ Moore caliber player, or at least he shows elements of that.

But the key is you've got to remain healthy. He hasn't always done that. So it's a roll of the dice to expect it. If he hits, the Carolina Panthers hit in a major way, too. And that trade looks a whole lot better. Obviously, you need the quarterback to hit for that trade to look great. But if you find a DJ Chark and he produces right out of the gate, not a lot of people were wondering where's DJ.

Number three. This is where I have Bryce Young. It might surprise you that he's here, but Scott Fitterer has said it this entire offseason and I agree with it. They've made enough moves where they could just drop a quarterback in and not expect that guy to be a savior or to carry the team. He's a rookie this year, so they're not going to ask him to carry the team this year. So he's not the most valuable, most important guy right away. You have a serviceable guy who can win games for you, even if he's not ready. And Andy Dalton, I don't expect Andy Dalton to start right away, but you do have him there. You have a good offensive line in front of him. He's not being asked to be the guy who saves the Panthers right away. So right now he is number three on this list, but obviously beyond that, he will top the list probably every other time we do this each year till the end of time.

Number two. J.C. Horn. Our guy, J.C. Horn. When he had the injury scare during OTAs, we saw how thin Carolina was at corner. Beyond him, it's Dante Jackson, who's coming off an Achilles, C.J. Henderson, who's been banged up as well. And what, Miles Hartsfield that you're talking about? Keith Taylor?

Not great. You need J.C. to stay healthy. He's a top 10 pick. You need him to play like it. The good news is when he does play, he is that kind of good. But you need him out there. And corner is another one of those premium positions and a sport where everybody's throwing the ball a lot.

You need top level corners to play like top level corners. Number one. Brian Burns. Since we don't really know who the second rusher on this team is going to be, if that's somebody who's not on the team right now, or if it's Marquise Haynes or, you know, D.J. Johnson, the third round pick, Brian Burns is going to have to pick up the slack. You need to have pressure.

You need to apply pressure on the quarterback. Burns is the guy who consistently does that. He's one of the five or six best rushers in the league. It's one of the most important positions in the league.

He's the alpha down. This is his team. Before it was D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey's team. And before that, it was Greg Olsen, Cam Newton. It was their team. Luke Kuechly's team. Now it's Brian Burns' team as Bryce Young starts to figure things out as a rookie in this league. So those are the 10 most important Carolina Panthers for the 2023 season.

Training camp is two weeks from the deck. Any objections to this list or omissions? No, I really don't. I was surprised D.J. Chark was as high as he was. But look at the numbers.

Yeah, it makes sense, though. If he's healthy, he can play to the level. And you know what? When they made that move, I think that was the only thing we were worried about is whether or not he was going to stay healthy.

And if he does, you're right. It's good. Had an operation this offseason, I believe, on his ankle. They're hoping that the problems that have lingered with one of his ankles is figured out now.

They're hoping that. It's the middle of the week. Hump day in some circles. So we try to lift morale across the triad by playing weekly positivity. And if you'd like to chime in and tell us something good, give us a call. 336-777-1600. It's one of our favorite segments we do each week. And if you'd like further incentivizing to call in and tell us something good, we have little Uzi Vert tickets for November PNC Arena that you will win by telling us something good.

336-777-1600. Before we get to that, though, the Carolina Panthers put out video of David and Nicole Tepper. You know, Mr. Concerts, David Tepper.

You know, with concerts. Surprising Julius Peppers with his Hall of Honor induction. Here's how that sounded. Thank you. I'm honored. I'm honored.

I'm looking forward to it. I want to thank you guys for, you know, for giving me this honor. I can't say that I expected it right now. I am a little bit surprised. You sure as heck deserve it.

I'm looking here. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine Pro Bowls. You know, you made a hard game seem simple sometimes because you played at such a high level. And I think people love you. You know, we love you. You know, we're really happy to have you down there for this honor. So happy. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. Thank you, guys. I love you guys, too. I'm excited.

I can't wait to go tell everybody and get prepared. That's the longest I've probably heard Julius Peppers speak. He's a quiet guy. When you walk up to him in the locker room after games, he's usually very quick to sneak out the back and he doesn't really like talking to the media all that much.

Nobody. If I just played a random sound of somebody talking and said it was Julius Peppers, would you be able to tell me I'm wrong? Is his voice so unmistakable that you could recognize it?

Because I don't recognize his voice because you don't really ever hear him speaking all that often. And that's a big part of the reason why I look forward to hearing what he will say when he goes into the Hall of Honor. October 29th, the Panthers facing the Houston Texans. That's when they'll have the All of Honor ceremony. Now let's get into Weekly Positivity.

Yeah, wax on, wax off, 336-777-1600 is the phone number if you would care to chime in. And the place that we're going to begin is somewhere close to where our new studios are in Winston-Salem. That's where Cease is calling. Hi, Cease. What's up, Josh? Oh, not a lot. We're in a new studio space and I get to look out a window, which I'd never been able to do in seven years of hosting afternoon shows. So that's good. Tell me something good with you. My positive moment was I listened to you every day and got to meet you for the first time in my life at a baseball game this weekend.

That's right. You and I were at a Dash game and it wasn't much of a game. It was like 10 to nothing by the time all my folks showed up.

But that was good. So it was very good to meet you. And I forget, was it your wife that was with you as well? Yeah, my wife was with me. Yeah, she was really nice too. So it was great. But I got to know though, like if you didn't know what I looked like, does the way I look match my voice? Well, you know, it's funny, Josh, the aura that you're giving right now is just making me feel so calm and serene as well.

My wife. Oh, I was just on with them. Yeah. Yeah. There it is. Cease. Appreciate the phone call. I think we might not have the greatest connection, but we do have concert tickets for you. And that's good.

And you're right. This is very serene. It's very nice. How about we go to Beth in Greensboro? Hi, Beth. Hello. Hello, Josh.

Hey. Today is good. You know, every day is good. It's sunny out. You know, I think my car said it was 95 degrees. And it's one of those things where I get to sit inside and just look at the sunshine and not be out in 95 degree heat. How about you? Right. Well, that's one thing I was calling about that was good is I get to be in the air conditioning and I'm very thankful because it's good.

It's good that I get to be inside today. I am making mac and cheese on my stove right now. Okay. So we're not like doing easy mac. We're like making the mac and cheese like you got like I'm making the mat. No, no, no. Not microwave mac.

I'm doing the Kraft macaroni and cheese that you have to boil and it's now it's boiling over. Oh my God. Oh no. That's not good. It's all good. It's all good. Now it's good. Okay. Good. Yeah.

It's all good. So I'm making mac and cheese and I have the day off. I got some good news for you, Beth. Just specifically for you because I know how big of a golf fan you are. I learned yesterday we've had like a four year hiatus of broadcasting the show from the Wyndham championship.

We're going to be back Thursday and Friday in Margaritaville at the Wyndham championship this year. Just learned that yesterday. Wow. Well, do you know what's going to happen? Do you know who will be there along with you?

I don't know. It's me. Yeah. Oh, I'll be there. There it is. Well, we'll see you there. Would that be okay? That, that.

No, I think I actually will be good. W.D. might be there too. Just saying. Just saying. Yeah. So good.

I grew up in such field. I grew up on number 10 fairway. Yeah. Number 10 is my favorite hole. Thank you Beth for the phone call.

There goes Beth from Greensboro. Yeah. 10 is my favorite because the golfers hate 10 and you know, it's not like you have like your, your phone out seeing what other guys are doing in front of you as you play.

So I just sit there and on the approach shot, watch top of the line golfers make the same mistake over and over again. And that's why it's your favorite. Oh yeah. You like that?

I like watching golfers struggle. Wow. I do. I'll tell you something good W.D. Well, we are in our new studio and you know what I really like? I like how big this window is in front of me.

I just like having windows. We have, I got a window I can see outside. My window into your studio is a lot bigger.

It is a parking lot that I'm looking at. It is. It's just a little different. It is.

But there's an American flag hanging out. Yeah, it's good. I'll tell you something else that's good. So over the weekend I went out to a lot of different stores looking for some things I could buy and flip to make some money. Wow.

Capitalism. Yeah, you went to some yard sales. Went to some yard sales, went to some Goodwills, went to some other nerdy comic book stores, went to the pawn shop and I bought about $200 worth of stuff.

Some Star Wars collectibles, some video games and I've only sold about half of what I bought and I've already made my money back. So I'm going to make probably about $100 to $200 worth of profit, which is great and good. Yeah.

Capitalized. The only thing I got that's good, plenty of things are good actually, but we're two weeks away from our busy sports season officially starting. Let's go. Two weeks from today, Panthers training camp starts and we're going to be in Charlotte for ACC football media day. The week after that is the Wyndham championship, like I was just mentioning to Beth and we'll be out there a few weeks or for a few days, I beg your pardon. The week after that is the Winston-Salem Open tennis.

So really busy time sports calendar just in the triad. The week after that, I believe high school football starts. The week after that, college football starts. The week after that, the NFL and then really we don't come back up for air until the following April. So we're about two weeks away. Brent, keep it down, keep it down. And that's been Weekly Positivity. These is right, I do feel a lot better.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-12 20:19:37 / 2023-07-12 20:38:30 / 19

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