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Every Rep He Takes (10-6-23)

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
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October 6, 2023 8:02 am

Every Rep He Takes (10-6-23)

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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October 6, 2023 8:02 am

On a Thursday Drive, live from the Carolina Classic Fair, Josh reacts to Tez Walker being cleared to play for the Tar Heels, reveals his pick in Graham's Gamblin, after two rough weeks, John Johnson, of WXII 12, joins the show to tell whether or not it's too soon to question the Frank Reich hire for the Panthers, Josh listens to useless sound from Panthers coordinators, so useless that it becomes interesting, and publisher for Deacons and Devils Illustrated, Conor O'Neill, joins the show to discuss what awaits Wake Forest during these "dark times", despite being 3-1.


This is The Drive with Josh Graham Podcast.

Three internet sensations, guys. Tune into The Drive weekday afternoons, three to seven on WSJS. You are on a Thursday drive. It is WSJS News Talk Sports for the Triad, where once again, we are broadcasting live from the Carolina Classic Fair.

It's live action, Tracey. In Winston-Salem. It's a perfect fall day to be out here, so come on by. We're right in front of the Education Building near the Big Blue Arch.

Come say hello. After we get off the air, WD is going to be out here till around nine o'clock tonight, but we must get to this bombshell in Chapel Hill. The NCAA has finally come around on Tez Walker. He has been made eligible to play right away. He could play Saturday against Syracuse as North Carolina comes out of the bye. The NCAA says it's received new information leading to this decision. North Carolina says that isn't true.

Who really cares? Carolina's unbeaten. They're 14th in the country right now, and Tez Walker is back in the mix. And obviously, this is a massive deal for what it can do for Drake May. Quietly, Drake has looked largely pedestrian this year. He certainly hasn't been Heisman Drake. Perhaps the key to unlock Heisman Drake is number nine, Tez Walker. Just look at the numbers.

Drake has not set the world on fire. He has one 300-yard passing game, five touchdown passes, four interceptions, a few touchdown runs, and the only reason a lot of people haven't noticed this is because you still have those highlight plays like the last time we saw him at Pittsburgh throwing the left-handed touchdown pass, and North Carolina has not lost a game. But if you pay close attention to the Tar Heels, pretty obviously he's missing Josh Downs. He's missing a number one target, and Tez Walker was voted preseason All-ACC back in Charlotte a few months ago. He's the type of receiver North Carolina was expecting could replace Josh Downs and take Drake to that next level where potentially he's a Heisman quarterback.

The timing of this actually is pretty good. Again, North Carolina was not burned by the fact Tez missed the first month. They have not lost a game. Ideally, you would have liked it to be before the season for him to play in all the games. It's also not the most ideal that this happens coming out of the bye rather than it it would have been great if you learned this information say a week ago when they were just going into the bye week, but you're getting him more than a week before the Miami game, and that is the first time North Carolina plays a ranked opponent. It's a massive game, and it's a guy that you would certainly love to have Tez Walker be a part of if it turns into a shootout where Tyler Van Dyke is slinging it, and you need somebody to match him blow for blow. The table is set for this team to be a college football playoff dark horse.

We've been on this for a few weeks now. The schedule sets up for this. North Carolina is going to be favored in every single game it plays until the second to last game of the year where they go to Death Valley, which isn't as as daunting as we thought it would be a month ago, and North Carolina, given how difficult the out of conference schedule they put together was, playing Minnesota, playing App State, opening up in Charlotte on a neutral field against South Carolina, they're in position where they can get a mulligan too just as long as it's one mulligan.

Let's not, and if you think that sounds crazy, come on, Josh. North Carolina is going to get in with one loss. What are you talking about here? College football playoff contender, what would you have said about TCU last year who, unlike North Carolina, was not ranked to open the year? North Carolina was ranked in the top 25, and now they're here in the top 15. TCU, they had a loss. They didn't even win their conference. They lost in the conference championship game, yet there they were playing in the CFP, and I don't even think they were the number four seed to get in, which means the team, they got in over somebody, and you're telling me with a quarterback who looks like Josh Graham a year ago, they, they, they're a team that you accept in North Carolina with Drake May, who's going to be a top five draft pick, is it, and a Hall of Fame coach, and Mac Brown versus a guy last year in the Big 12 was coaching for the first time with that team?

That was Sonny Dykes' first year with the Horned Frogs. Don't write off the Tar Heels. Everything is breaking Carolina's way, and this was the final piece of it. Tez Walker becoming eligible is a massive, massive deal for Carolina and for the ACC.

On Twitter, at WSJS Radio, if you want in, that's where we're streaming video in addition to YouTube and Twitch, Will Dalton is the executive producer of this show. W.D., Graham's grades is in less than 10 minutes. How would you describe the picks the last two weeks? Not, not ideal.

Unacceptable is the word I would use. Graham's gambling, that is. You called it Graham's grades. See, you're flustered already. I am. I'm shaking. You can't even get the segment right. We have, we have segments that have alliteration in it. It throws us off at times. I'm shaking. All I see are landmines where we're afraid. We're shaking here at the Carolina Classic Fair, and we need to get things back on track.

So in about 10 minutes, we will do that. A game that was tempting to play, but we will not, is a game that you can listen to on WSJS tonight. It is the NFL matchup Washington minus a small number against the Chicago Bears.

And even though it's not on the card, this does seem like a gift for former Tar Heels Sam Howe and the Washington commanders. The Bears are the worst team in the NFL. Right there with the Panthers, who are the two winless teams that we have through four weeks. The big difference, though, between the Panthers and the Bears, Chicago's getting drubbed in every single game. Chicago's lost every game by double digits in, or actually that I am mistaken, WD.

Again, shaking. The one time they have not gotten beaten by double digits. They were up 28 to 7 on the team two weeks ago that had 70 hung on them, who also had not won a game until facing the Bears. And yet they blew that game at home against the Denver Broncos. That is the closest game that Chicago has faced. So my apologies to the Bears blowing a 28 to 7 second half lead at home to Denver.

Lost that game a week ago. The off field drama never stops. The on field stuff, that's all we've been talking about. The off field stuff. Last week, the defensive coordinator abruptly resigned.

Go look at the details of that, if you will. Seems pretty grim. This week, Chase Claypool is firing off at the head coach, Matt Eberflus. Congratulations to you if you knew who the Chicago Bears head coach was.

Former Frank Reich existed, by the way, Matt Eberflus. Chase Claypool, the former stealer, he's out this week, effectively has been kicked off the team. Chase Claypool for criticizing the coach publicly, and Justin Fields pretty much confirmed that by some of the things that he said publicly this week.

Matt Eberflus is going to lose his job, it seems, this year. Washington, meanwhile, they're at home and they're pretty good. The Bills game notwithstanding, they've been competitive in every single game. They pushed the Eagles in overtime this past week. This is their first prime time game with new ownership.

You're talking about the Josh Harris group, Magic Johnson, I'm sure that's all going to be on display with the prime video broadcast. It's in DC. Don't be surprised if this is closer than it should be, because again, we are talking about the Washington football franchise and weird things seem to happen on short weeks. But this seems like a gift. Washington is going to win the game a little bit later on tonight.

And you can listen to that again on WSJS. We're shaking. We're shaking, W.D. My hand, it's not steady right now.

It's shaking here. We have the picks that we need to hand out, specifically a six-pack. Coming off back-to-back one in six weeks, these might just be picks that you go against, you fade. But at any rate, not Graham's grades, but Graham's gambling is next on the Drive. And now, the moment you've all been waiting for.

You're on the Drive with Josh Graham. This is your weekly reminder. These picks are free. Freemium. That's what we're talking about here.

Why am I saying that? No excuses. We hand them out. We expect to be right. We've only had one losing season. We go over 60% last year, and here we are trying to make excuses. That's not what we're about.

That's it. The last two weeks have been bad. We had winning weeks every single week until the last two weeks. It's just when things are bad, they're very bad.

When it rains, it pours. One in six last week, one in six the week before that. We got a six-pack of picks that the list would have been a lot longer, but I was petrified of a couple of things. WD talked me out of the Minnesota Vikings getting points. I want you to take the Chiefs, but... Or pardon me, against the Chiefs.

Yeah, you wanted me to take Kansas City, but you talked me out of nine picks. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to lie. I'm going to lie. You talked me out of not taking Minnesota. I'm going to be so mad at you if I went against my gut of the Vikings figuring out a way to win that game because of how drunk the NFL can be at times when I was right a week ago about the Bills versus the Dolphins, and I should have gotten a free lunch out of that too.

No, but we worked things out there. That's right. You're the reason why we didn't go with Minnesota this week, so I just wanted that to be known. It's on the record. Now, let's get... So, it might be one of those deals that it doesn't count, but if I'm right, we're counting it.

That's what we're going to do. Let's hand out a six-pack and Graham's gambling. If you're not gambling, you're not trying. Let's play some bats. I'm going to make you rich. This is Graham's gambling.

Dealers choice, WD. I got three in the NFL. I've got three in college. Where do you want us to begin? Let's start with college.

Let's do that. How about we look at the team that has been on a revenge tour over the last month? I'm talking about the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

What revenge tour are you talking about? Sam Hartman, the former Wake Forest quarterback, lost five games with the Demon Deacons last year. Four of the teams that they lost to are on the schedule for the Irish this year with all four of them being road games for Sam. One at NC State, one at the last minute at Duke last week. This week they go to Louisville who last week on a Friday night improved to 5-0.

How about coach Brahms' team in his first year? Who have they beaten? Talking about Louisville, who have they beaten? Almost lost to a bad NC State team. Almost lost to Georgia Tech.

They were trailing by 15 in that game in the opener. It's a great start but the reality check is coming and Notre Dame is that reality check. The Irish are getting two top receivers back. Sam Hartman, it might have been the worst game of his career last year, that loss at Louisville where all the turnovers happened in the second half. Sam knows that. He's going to be motivated.

He has top targets to throw the ball to. Notre Dame laying the six, lay them and laugh at a place that used to be called Papa John's Stadium. I don't know what they call it now. We're going with the Irish. Send me that cash out, fam. Staying in the ACC. Who could possibly take Georgia Tech after the Yellow Jackets got drubbed by a 1-3 MAC team at home a week ago? That would be me.

I'm the guy who wants the Yellow Jackets. You're the problem. You know what they're like? They're like a machine that has to be reloaded. They're like the gun that after they fire the gun, WD, that next week it's not going to be good because they're reloading it a bit. You got to power up the machine and then when the machine's powered up, bang!

It's slow and effective on occasion. Right. They beat Wake Forest by 14 and Winston-Salem a couple weeks ago. This team scraps. As I mentioned, they were up 15 on an undefeated Louisville team to open up the season. Miami, they've got North Carolina next week. That is a massive game in Chapel Hill. This just seems like too many points.

20 and a half. I don't know how many ACC teams, other than if you're playing Florida State, should be 20-point favorites against a conference opponent. We're going to take advantage of that. Yellow Jackets plus a big number.

Send me that cash out, fam. Three ACC picks. Go with what you know when you're in doubt. This one's going to be gross. I apologize for it, but you know, if things aren't working out, you got to go to different means to try and get out of the hole. We're not we're not taking Marshall plus the points against NC State. We're not taking the Wolf Pack either. We're not even taking the traditional over-under with this game. I'm just looking at you, NC State. Do I think NC State can score 27 in this game?

No, I don't. No, I don't because WDI watched this team every week. NC State, you want to know the number of times in the last two seasons NC State in regulation scored more than 24 once.

Once that's happened. Marshall's good. Marshall, Marshall, Marshall. Unbeaten so far this year. Beat ODU, beat East Carolina, beat Virginia Tech. I don't know if Marshall wins the game. It is a scary spot for NC State, but I don't think with a new quarterback being inserted in there that the Wolf Pack are going to drop 27 in this game.

I'm going NC State team total under 26 and a half. I feel gross for just saying that. Also, it's starting to get a bit hot out here. Getting to the NFL. Let's go to London town. Jags bills. This is something I forgot last week because I forgot that the Jags were playing in London. Don't bet against the Jags when they're in London. In fact, bet on them. They should just move the team there.

And here's the thing. In case you don't know, the Jags are doing something that's never been done before. They've decided, you know what, we'll play two games in London and we'll just stay out here for a full week and a half. That's what they're doing. They're playing back to back games, which means they've just gotten cozy.

Like they've made it home while the bills are adjusting this entire week to the time change and all that. The Jags are a good team. They beat down Atlanta, who I don't think is bad. They had that one down game against the Houston Texans, but maybe Houston's good.

I don't know. I think the Jags are a playoff team. They're getting five and a half points. Don't bet against the Jags in London. In fact, bet on them and the bills they gave the Miami dolphins a reality check last week.

And I think they're do a reality check across the pond. So we'll take the Jags and the points. This is a general principle. Just have to do it type of pick. Home dog in the Steelers Ravens rivalry take them and the Steelers are getting four against Baltimore. There are some injury concerns, but Kenny Pickett, according to Kenny Pickett says he's going to be good to go to play in this game. Baltimore had the blowout win against Cleveland.

So I could see why this number is kind of an overreaction to that a bit. Don't forget the reason why they won 28 to three in Cleveland, Sean Watson didn't play Dorian Thompson Robinson or whatever his name is the former UCLA quarterback had three interceptions in the game. Baltimore two weeks ago, lost it home to Gardner Minshew and the Colts. I'm not sold on this offense with the new offensive coordinator. I'm not sold on the Ravens just yet. The Steelers are at home.

They're getting points. We will take the Steelers and those points. This might be my favorite NFL pick. It's fitting that the Eagles have a bunch of Georgia guys on their team because both the Eagles and Georgia continue to win games, but do so unimpressively. Philly is going to the Rams. The Rams are getting four points and this has first loss of the year written all over it because the Rams are good.

They went into Seattle and won by more than two touchdowns and they, they, they had an overtime win this past week on the road in Indy. I think the Rams might be good. We'll see and make sure everybody's healthy like former Irish running back Kyram Williams who's missed the practice, but the Rams getting four.

I think Stafford threw for more than 300 yards last week. The Eagle, you're not going to run the table. The Eagles have been asking for a loss for weeks and I think the Rams will oblige them. Rams plus four. That is the play to cap the NFL slate.

Send me that cash out fam. So in review Irish minus six at Louisville. Georgia Tech plus a huge number, 20 and a half in Miami. NC State team under 26 and a half against Marshall and the NFL. It's the Jags and London against the Bills.

Steelers getting points at home against the Ravens and another home dog, the Rams against the undefeated Eagles. Which of those do you like the most, W.D.? I think my favorite of the college picks, probably NC State because they have struggled to get to that number. Ooh, you like the gross one.

Team under. I do like that. But they have struggled to get to that number. They have. Yeah, it just seems like that's fitting for a gross game. It's on the CW at two in the afternoon. That game was born for the CW. A hundred percent.

Trauma happens. And then for the NFL picks, I love the Jags pick because they should just move the team to London because they're great in London. So one and six the last two weeks.

So you should probably just fade everything that I just said there. Sixteen of twenty two on the season. There's our six pack. Ready.

Set. For this is the drive with Josh Graham. How is it possible that for the first time the sports director of WXII, John Johnson, is on the show? How long have you been in the triad now? This will be my third football season. Three football seasons. Two years, three football seasons I've been here. First time hopping on.

Well, to quote Akon, you can just put the blame on me that we hadn't made this happen until now. So to be nice, to be a good host, not just in the sense of hosting the show, but be a good host and be welcoming to you. I'll give you the dealer's choice of what we should talk about between being here at the Carolina Classic Fair, the Baltimore Orioles who we both root for, and where things currently stand with the Carolina Panthers. It's a dealer's choice of what you would like to talk about. Well, let's talk Panthers football because I just got stopped by a few people here that wanted to talk.

They want answers. I think it's the topic of conversation as much as you and I would like to chat the O's and I'll be in Baltimore by the way Saturday. What? Yeah, my dad is making the trip from New York and I'm making the trip up after a football Friday. I'll be in the building for game one. Super jealous. I see I'm going to be going to the World Series if they go.

We have to. Because Jim Phillips, every time I see the man, he walks up to me and he says, if the O's are going to the World Series, we're going. And I thought that was a joke at first. And then he said it on air. And then I hadn't seen him in a month. And then Saturday at Duke, he sees me World Series. We're going. It's a man of his word, Jeff.

And he he called me Josh actually correctly when I saw him on Saturday. I'll point out as well. Thank you for that, W.D.

OK, I am jealous of you for that. But getting to the Panthers. Yeah, I'm just going to ask you, I'm going to throw some things at you and you just tell me if it's an overreaction or not. OK.

The way that people are talking about it. OK. Bryce Young threw three games. It's it's is it enough time to start being concerned?

No, I think it's a little bit of an overreaction. I think most of us were a little concerned at the start of the year that he probably wasn't ready. If you think about it, he didn't play much at all in preseason.

You and I were talking about. We we did speak about that off air during preseason and then during like the first couple of weeks. I think we I don't know if the plan for him was proper in the sense that he didn't have a ton of reps, but we were just going to throw him into the fire there. And it didn't seem to make sense to me to have this kid out there when I didn't think he was ready to play. I'm not at practices all the time like like we are not, but I think it's a little overreaction there.

Frank Reich's play calling. Is it fair? Is it too early to start questioning that? No.

Point blank, no. I think what we saw in week three when Andy Dalton started was a totally different offense, totally different playbook than what we've seen in weeks one, two and four for Bryce Young. I think he's handcuffed the kid. I think it's he's only got half the playbook and it seems like he's only reading half the field because he's not ready to play. And if Frank's not willing to open up the playbook, then he shouldn't have Bryce starting.

That's the same exact take I had on Monday. But after having that take, somebody over there heard it because someone who shall rename nameless reached out and said, you talk about the idea that we don't trust Bryce Young looking at the play calling with all the screens and whatever. It's actually more a byproduct of we don't trust the offensive line right now, the way that they're playing and given how Brian Flores blitzes, then it be in distrust of Bryce.

And I think there is some truth to that. We'll see how things change if Austin Corbett gets back in the mix. Staying on offense, Miles Sanders. Is it too soon to start looking at that $25 million contract together? You know, it's weird because I don't think he's been the best running back for the Panthers this year at all. So, yeah, I would have a little bit of concern about that because it's a lot of money to be paying a guy who's probably been maybe your third best running back at this point. Um, and I say that because takes from John Johnson.

I like it. I just think the running back situation right now for the Panthers is you've got a whole bunch of guys that look exactly the same and miles isn't the clear cut number ones. Why are we paying this kind of money? If only there was a short yardage back that they could have afforded that is only getting paid $2 million this year.

If only there was a guy like that, it looked good in that uniform and existed, you know, that we've seen before. Okay. Getting to the fair. Did you get dunked? I did here. Like I see the WXII lift right in front of us here at the fair. John Johnson at WXII with us. How'd that work?

Uh, well, it was great for everyone else but me. Uh, how'd you become the guy from two to three? Well, you know, this, this whole thing with now being part of the sports department and running things. Hey, you know, getting dunked, that's sports, right?

I gotta be able to swim, swimming in sports. So, uh, yeah, I was able to keep myself above float, got dunked over a dozen times. Uh, I was in there for about a half hour and then I let Chris Peterson take over so I can get back in studio. So yeah, I got dunked yesterday. Wow.

Yeah. Not great. Who dunked you? Uh, everyone, everyone in the triad had a smile on their face dunking me.

And I was like, I didn't, I didn't know I was dunk worthy, but apparently I was. See, the last two weeks, see, we, we, we started gloating. We got a little cocky. We, we, um, our picks were, we had winning weeks every single week.

The last two weeks I've gone one in six. The entire Twitter verse or X verse or whatever we're calling it now have been dunking on me on Twitter. You've been dunked on literally. Yes. Yes. Literally dunked on.

Um, and I think some of those people were mad that I was totally cool with the Panthers taking Bryce young number one. So they got their revenge. That's it.

That's, that's how it happens. Uh, I don't know which of these three things you can't see completely them. Cause they're in packaging right in front of us. Okay. Do you think it's going to taste the best? I have a Tahin candy apple, which is exactly what it sounds like. Candy apple. There's a cinnamon sugar, uh, elephant ear that's on the plate. And then in the bag right there is a flaming hot Cheeto corn dog.

Okay. I have a sweet tooth so I can, I've narrowed it down to two, the candy apple one. Laney Pope had Laney Pope, great Laney Pope, great Laney Pope had it. It's got a little kick to it. I'm going to pass on that.

The funnel cake thing, cinnamon sugar, elephant ear elephant ear. Yes. That's what you're talking about. Sounds fantastic. Okay. That'd be right up my alley. We're going to try that in about a half hour.

We'll see how that goes now getting to the birds. Yes. You're going to be there on set. Are you going to go to the Billy Joel concert that night? So this today is actually my wife's and I's anniversary, right? So we were going to do a whole anniversary weekend, but we can't make the trip together.

We've got the little boy watching, watching my sister's dog. So it would have been a great trip where I'd been able to watch the birds and see Billy Joel who I've seen once. But Stevie Nicks is on my bucket list. She's there too.

She's there too at seven o'clock. That's why they're playing at one. Unfortunately, I'm probably going to end up turning and burning after the game to come back home.

So I will not be at M and T bang for that. Okay. So Orioles are playing at one o'clock, WD and I, we're both going to Syracuse, North Carolina, three 30 kick, which is important because WD, you know what time that means we're going to be at, uh, at Keenan stadium, right? Yeah. We will be there at one o'clock, probably 1259 55, but maybe cause I am early.

I'm an early bird. You are. So about three hours before kick, you could expect that we're going to be at Keenan stadium. Does cheering in the press box rules apply if you're cheering for a team that's not actually playing in the game? No, you're good.

You're good. Speaking of the team that's in Chapel Hill, we have the big news that dropped earlier today. Tez Walker is eligible to play for North Carolina. The NCAA put out a statement saying we got this new information and that's led to Kevin Guskiewicz, UNC chancellor and a UNC ad bubble Cunningham saying essentially to, to sum up the same exact statement that they both put out, uh, this is great. We're happy that it happened, but that's not, you had everything.

We, we, we sent you everything. Should we care anymore about since really it didn't burn Carolina and lost any games. Uh, should we care about the details of why Tez Walker's missed the last month or should we just be happy that the NCAA did the right thing? I would at this point, I'd like to just forget it. Let's just be happy that Tez is playing.

I think 99.9% of us thought he should have been playing from week one to begin with. Um, the NCAA continues to prove themselves to be as an irrelevant governing body at this point. Uh, so no, I would just, you know, go ahead. You know what? Carolina fans need to celebrate their offense. Just got significantly better. Happy for the kid.

Should've been playing anyway. So yeah. Are you with me? It's about time to start talking about college football playoff stuff, Carolina, because I can I hear it. Can I make the case first? Yeah, go ahead.

Okay. They are going to be favored in every single game they play until the Clemson game, the second, the last game of the year, they're out of conference schedule. Pretty good app state, Minnesota, um, South Carolina on a neutral field.

That's not bad. A lot better than say TCU last year, who did not go unbeaten, lost in the big 12 championship game. And even with that Mulligan was still able to get in, find me the example of a power five champion with a decent out of conference schedule that misses out on the college football playoff. I think it's time with Drake, especially now equipped with Taz Walker and the way the defense has played to start talking about college football playoff with North Carolina. And I think the last point that you mentioned is the part that I love about this Carolina team. The most we knew their offense was going to be pretty good. Like, and it gets significantly better with Taz Walker. The defense has played a lot better than I thought. Most of us thought they would be there.

I'll go a step further. The reason they're winning is the defense. They've been really good. Nine sacks in the opener against South Carolina. Nine when they only had 17, 17 a year ago, the entire season. You talk about the Minnesota game, you held them to 13 Pittsburgh.

You pitched a shutout in the second half. No, the defense has been great. And you know, if you go back to this time last year, we were killing the defense. That's the story since Mack Brown's been back.

It just wasn't very good. And we were wondering if Mack had missed on his defensive coordinator hire. If it was going to be this continuing cycle of Carolina football, we're going to be great on offense. We're just going to have to outscore everybody else.

But to your point, the defense has been great. And they're going to be favored, as you mentioned, in pretty much every game until you get to the Clemson game. And I mean, shoot, they might even be favored in that game. They might even be favored in that game.

I don't think you're outside of the box thinking that. And then NC State doesn't look scary at all either. That last game of the year, even though it's a rally. And there's a little revenge left in that game for Carolina as well. After losing last year, you know, at the gun. So yeah, no, I think having Carolina conversations for playoff football time is very fair.

And you know what? It works with Drake May for Heisman conversation if you want to mix it in. Yeah, that's the other thing that as good as the defense has been. Drake's been OK. Like five touchdown passes, four picks. He has one 300 yard passing game.

We know how great he can be. This is not a shot at Drake. I'm just saying they've done all this while Drake's been. Yeah, he hasn't. They haven't needed him to be great.

That's it. They've run the ball well, and they played great defense. I will say all that to say none of the teams they played so far have been ranked next week. Miami coming in. That's the first ranked team that they get.

That's a big test because then Miami teams look pretty good. Yeah. Sure. To JJ, we'll have to do it again.

Yeah, man. Thanks for thanks for being here. John Johnson, everybody. WXII coming to a sideline near you. Do you know what high school football game you're gonna be at tomorrow? I will be at actually I'm gonna go to the West Stokes game against Reedsville.

I'll be at that one first. Our game of the week is gonna be Randleman. Have some fun with that. You can catch him and good luck getting down to Baltimore. Enjoy some Boogs Pal BBQ. I don't think they have SK dogs anymore, but whatever they have, I'm sure is good.

I'll bring you back something from love it. No doubt Taylor Swift's all the jam right now in the NFL. The NFL put out a statement last night defending. It's going all in on Taylor and Travis Kelsey's relationship after the Kelsey said on their podcast it's been overkill.

Whatever. That's not going to slow down. I imagine you got the Minnesota governor saying please come Taylor to the Chiefs Minnesota game this week. We could circle back to Taylor at other points. We almost went a full show without talking about Taylor Swift. Kind of an amazing thing, but the no hitter ruined halfway through as we're here at the Carolina Classic Fair. Now let's get to the Carolina Panthers and let's get to useless coordinator sound.

Sometimes the sound is so useless it's good and that's why we do this each and every week. Let's start with the offense. Thomas Brown, he is a ride or die of Bryce Youngs. A few weeks ago, it might have been last week, he was asked how comfortable are you with a rookie quarterback missing practice getting ready for a game and he said I'm comfortable with that rookie doing so. He is Bryce Young's guy.

They are tied at the hip together. So when he was asked about Bryce Young's processing, naturally Thomas Brown had Bryce's back. I think everything he does, every rep he takes, he continues to get better. Only asking for one specific area, but I say the overall approach to being in meetings, even giving more dialogue in our unit meetings. So I think the more comfort you become from a quarterback standpoint, when I'm doing the installs at a pass game install, him being able to speak up and talk about how he sees the play, coaching up different receivers on how he looks to get those guys open from a particular timing standpoint. So I would say every rep he continues to get better and improve day in and day out.

Can I just hear the beginning of that clip one more time? Thomas Brown standing up for Bryce. Every rep he takes. Every rep he takes. Oh, it's very musical.

WD. There's something we could do with that. Like, yes. Every rep he takes. I didn't know if that would have a payoff at all, but it did.

It totally did. Rather than the police is every breath we take, it is Thomas Brown saying about Bryce Young. Every rep he takes.

It's outstanding. Ah, there it is. Number one hit soon to be. Every rep he takes. Every rep he takes. Now let's get to Ejiro Evero and his defense. Deshaun Jamison, he was a bright point on Sunday. If it wasn't for Bryce Young's fumble and Carolina losing the game and not, you know, still having not won a game this year, we'd probably spend more time talking about him. But remember when Justin Jefferson went out of the game with an injury? That's because Deshaun Jamison lit him up. And that wasn't the only time he lit up a Minnesota Viking. The pick six by Kirk Franklin, who was the one setting the block because inexplicably Kirk Cousins thought he was going to make that tackle. Oh, it was Mr. Jamison lighting up Captain Kirk. So Ejiro was asked about that play and here's what he had to say about Deshaun Jamison. Oh, I didn't notice till the next day on the film, but watching him run because he was in the end zone and he ran about 70 yards, knocked him down and then ran another 30 yards to get somebody else.

And so it was very impressive. Yeah. Could you envision him playing inside? Like do you guys get everybody back healthy? I don't want to divulge too much of how we're going to utilize him, if you don't mind. But we really like him as a player though.

We do mine. Ejiro. It's almost like he was very close there to being interesting and saying something interesting about Deshaun Jamison. And then right at the end, right at the end, he just decided, you know what?

I'm just going to keep being Ejiro Evaro and not just going to give you nothing. It kind of reminds me of Tony Bennett, who is outstanding when you catch up with him, but we only get to catch him like once a year because he doesn't really like doing this stuff at Virginia. And I remember during the final four in Minneapolis, when Virginia won the title, it's like in 2019, he was telling a great story about his dad and these media availabilities.

I think they go 10, 15 minutes. And Tony Bennett was three quarters of the way into telling this story. And then he looked at his watch and said, oh, I think that's about time for me. And then he stopped telling the story and left. That's that's Tony Bennett.

And to a degree, I think that's Ejiro Evaro. Yeah. This story.

Oh yeah. I could be interesting, but no, I'm just not going to be. I'm not. I don't want to divulge too much of how we're going to utilize him.

No we don't. And then there's Bryce Young, who's usually very uninteresting as well with some of the quotes he says. Here's what he had to say about getting hit. It turns out, remember that play that didn't get flagged? Bryce got lit up after the play by Jordan Hicks.

Turns out Bryce can't make up his mind whether or not he doesn't like it or not. Yeah, whistle was blown. Whistle was blown dead.

And they tried to try to stop that. It's not my call to make. That's not my. I just play football. I'm not the refs.

Tough job. So that's up for however it was perceived. Obviously it wasn't called.

So that's how they saw it. But that's out of my hands. I just try to play football. I just try to play football.

Breaking news. Bryce Young is not a ref. He's not the refs. I think he said plural.

Bryce Young. He's not the ref. He's not the refs. That was a good one. I enjoyed that, Ejiro.

So in review, Ejiro has a delightful laugh, but it's not that interesting. Bryce Young can't decide whether or not he dislikes guys hitting him after the play on plays that don't count. And And Thomas Brown loves Bryce Young. Loves him.

Find somebody who loves you the way that Thomas Brown loves Bryce Young. May we all be so lucky that we find that in our lives. Make sure you're subscribed to our podcast channel.

Search The Drive of Josh Graham, iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Anchor on YouTube. You can find special video content, including our interview with Rob Brind'amore yesterday. The Carolina Hurricanes, W.D. were less than a week from the season starting for Carolina. They have preseason.

Even while I'm at the fair, we're going to do that. They have a preseason game tonight, preseason game tomorrow. Then their opener against the Senators next Wednesday night here. It's hard not to think Stanley Cup or bust when Rob Brind'amore hears the expectations being set before his team of, hey, you guys are being picked to win the Stanley Cup.

And Rod's like, yeah, sounds about right. I mean, listen, we've had a pretty good run here last few years. We've definitely been one of the better teams, you know, throughout the last few years. We just got to find a way to punch that next level. And I think, you know, I mean, like, listen, it's a good, it's a good thing to be be thought of that way. Obviously, it means nothing. You got to go out and play and go, you know, earn that kind of title.

And that's what that's the job here ahead. How can you not say Stanley Cup or bust? It does sound kind of lofty, I guess, getting to the Stanley Cup. It's not winning the Cup or bust. It's getting there because the Canes haven't been since 2006. They went to the Eastern Conference Finals last year, second best record in the National Hockey League. And you also did so without Andrei Svechnikov out there.

You didn't have one of your top six. All right, whenever you're ready, this is the drive with Josh Graham and your entire fourth attack. What's the next step after the conference finals?

It does feel like that. Connor O'Neill's here. He covers Duke. He covers Wake Forest.

And he's joining us here at the Carolina Classic Fair. Some people wonder, hey, what do you have in terms of preparation for this show? You look like a nerd. So I'm sure you probably over prepare for things.

And yeah, I do. But for this segment, all I have written down are four words. Would you like to know what those four words are, Connor? I guess Connor O'Neill, Wake Forest, Wake football, comma, comma, dark times.

That's all I got written down. And you, I lean on you for being a beacon of light and optimism and happiness. And I'm just hoping you can lift morale somehow because to review what the last, we'll call it, 12 days have been for Wake football, they lost it home, their first loss of the year to Georgia Tech. And that was not a fluke. It was 20 to three, I think at halftime, they lost by two touchdowns at home. And then while Wake is on the buy, somehow it got worse because Georgia Tech lost by double digits to a one in three Mac team, a team that used to be coached by Dave Clawson, by the way, Bowling Green. And Wake's going to return to action. And not only are they returning the action, they're facing the Clemson Tigers. And not only are they facing the Clemson Tigers, they're going to Clemson, a place that Dave Clawson has not come within two touchdowns of winning at Assess.

Yeah. When you lay it all out, I hear three things that are over reactionary and like have very little to do with Wake Forest in this. Number one, it's tough when your first loss comes on the heels of a game that everybody thinks you lost, but you wanted but you wanted Old Dominion, but you lost because you were down 17 at halftime and you wanted Old Dominion, but you know, it took ODU dropping interception in the end zone, overthrowing a deep ball that would have put Wake Forest away. So it was just the slimmest of margins that felt like a loss, even though it was a win. Then you lose the game. Like you lose the game, you lose. That's really existential there, isn't it? But you know, it's you take your first loss on the heels of a game that felt like a loss.

It's always going to feel worse. That's not included in this three things that are kind of unavoidable and outside the reality of what Wake Forest football is. Number two is, like you said, on the bye week, you just pour salt into the wound with the Georgia Tech going back to embarrassing the ACC. Oh yeah. Let's call that what it was. You and I were sitting in the press box at Wallace Wade before the Notre Dame game watching and at one point, I don't know if you were here for that. Jim Phillips walked in.

He saw the, he saw the screen and then he like pulled the Bryce Young and just hit his hand on the table and then walked and then walked back out. Understandably. So if you were the commissioner of the ACC and saw that score, you probably wouldn't think that was great either.

Yeah. I mean, it's, uh, Josh, Georgia Tech, what can you say? That's number two. Number three is, you know, coming out of the off week, Hey, you got to go to Clemson. Uh, Hey, you got to go play this team that Dave Lawson has never beaten. Um, they call it Death Valley for a reason. You got to go play this team that you were so close to beating last year. I've raised the point.

It's already written into the preview. Wake should have won that game last year. That was the shot. I don't know how much of a shot they have in this game. So it's a lot of things that add up to feeling worse than they are. Like you're a three in one football team. You've you still, you know, I've, I've seen some things said about Mitch Griffiths that I've never thought could be said about a quarterback. That's one 80% of his starts so far. Give me an example. That he's the worst quarterback in power five.

I don't know if you can really say that people are saying going that far. He hasn't been benched. I thought they were going to say a lot worse quarterback. Clawson's had, and I'm like, okay, well maybe, maybe not. I mean, you know, Kyle Kern had a start, so you can't really throw that in there. Um, you know, kind of went and started a game of quarterback in the NFL. So I don't know if you can really throw that on him. That's what I'm saying. It takes a lot of nuance for that discussion, but I met a guy you went into your season riding with.

Yes. And, and a guy that even though it's his fourth year in the program, he is experientially young. And I think that's a little bit of a surprise. He's not been able to handle some of the things that the coaching staff thought he would be able to handle. And I guess Wake fans got spoiled in the regard of, Hey, Jamie Newman was great right away. Sam Hartman was great right away. And you're forgetting that John Walford, his team started not so great and won six games his first two years. That's probably more of the norm experientially than, to make up a word, uh, than, than what we saw with Sam and Jamie.

And, and it's, it's all the nuance of this, right? Like John Walford took over a program that was just in the dumps, just terrible. I mean, the talent around him was that of a three and nine team. The talent around Mitch Griffiths is not that of a three and nine team. It's just not that of a nine and three team or an eight and 14, like last year. Um, six, six and 16. Can we get there? I've, I've thought, you know, as I've, as I've tweeted confirmation bias is a hell of a drug and I've tried really hard not to go there, but I've always kind of thought this was a five or six win team this year.

Okay. So what's the path to six. You've got a home game against NC state coming up.

I think that's next month. Uh, you need to win that game against NC state. You basically, uh, you know, got to be Virginia tech and thinking it up. You play the three teams in the ACC that have made quarterback changes. You play NC state, you play Virginia tech and you play pit, which I think that's still a reported change and not a confirmed one, but you've got, you've got three games against teams that were not happy with their quarterback situations and made changes.

No matter if you think wake should have done that or not wake is not doing that. So you, you think at least that you have an advantage at quarterback in those games. Let's shift things to a, to a team that is very optimistic and very, very up in terms of where morale is at. And that's the Baltimore Orioles.

You've got the gear on you're here. You and I both love our birds. It was a prerequisite to come on the show today that you root for the birds.

John Johnson followed through on that for WXII. And here you are. What's your level of confidence because I always hear experience matters in the post season. I hear that pitching matters in the post season and both of those things.

I would not chalk as being, you know, things that you hang your cap, your hat on. If you're the Baltimore Orioles, you don't think the Orioles have pitching, not as good as pitching, not as good at pitching as some of the others have. I would put Grayson Rodriguez up against anybody in the AL. I'm surprised you're not wearing your gas him up t-shirt. Well, got to save it for game, game two.

Oh, the dog likes to bite and shirts apparent occasionally that's tough. And, uh, yup. Gonna need, gonna need some new merch around Christmas time, but, uh, yeah, man, uh, I would put Grayson Rodriguez up against anybody in the AL based on his second half. Um, Brad is going to start John means was the ACE two years ago. So he's the ACE again. It's a team with three ACEs. Josh, are they real ACEs though?

I'm just checking. I, again, maybe, maybe it's because of the lack of coverage for the Orioles nationally that no one puts them in the same category is like a sunny gray or adjusted Verlander or, you know, uh, Texas, I guess they've had enough injuries that you'd probably take Baltimore's pitching over Texas is pitching. If you were to guess, I mean, and you named those guys and they're only taking the ball one game out of three or four. Sure. So I'm confident, man. I told you back in like April and may, when you were freaking out about it, late ending losses, it's like, they're good. I'm scared. You know, this is new to me.

This is new to me. Karen's tried to talk them off. Alleged to they've been good in the last 15 years. You act like they've never been good in your life. No, I'm just saying there's a difference between making, making the playoffs. I get they won the division two in 2014, but this like, I'm not used to a hundred wins.

No. And that's fair. Like it's 101 wins. Last time they won a hundred.

Cal Ripken was playing triple a Charlotte the last time that happened. That's a fact. And, and here we are, here we are. What a time, what time to be alive. They're good. So, so say we're going to win the world series yet. No, I'm not going to go there.

I not who most scares you then. Honestly, the two NL teams more than the three left in the AL, uh, the Braves and Dodgers to me are the two of the three most complete teams in baseball. Along with the O's. So rooting for the Dodgers. So that way I actually, man, an Atlanta, Baltimore world series, it feel like you against the world. It's felt like we're hurtling toward that since about July, when they finally overtook the raise for first in the AL East. That would be the most fun world series in the history of this state.

If that were to happen, I mean, Baltimore played Atlanta in a world series. We lose some followers. We lose some friends. I guarantee that. Yeah.

Yeah. There's a great, there's a great overlap between Braves fans and Vol fans. I come to find around here.

I don't know. I I've never met a, an Atlanta Braves fan, or I've never met a Tennessee football fan that was not also a Braves fan around here. I got nothing against the Braves until I went to college and somebody with a brave, brave shirts, just looking at the, they say, yeah, let's go Braves. We're Orioles fans, man. I went to college and had Braves fans try to tell me that chipper Jones was the greatest switch hitter of all time. And so ever since fall of 2007, it's just kind of been like, these, these people are the people that have never heard of Mickey Mantle. Yeah.

WD you want to, you want to weigh on that? I was waiting for WD to just tell me Mickey Mantle. That's right. I could have gone Eddie Murray, but I went Mickey Mantle. Thank you. Thank you, Connor.

I don't have much to hang my hat on these days. So see, I, I, I remember I blew Chris Lee and, um, and, uh, Dennis Cox's minds when I had the, had the, uh, Eddie, my dad is friends with like macho man, Randy Savage, or was like, it kind of like blew their minds when I had some stories there. Um, my dad also very close family friends with Eddie Murray, which I didn't really know until I was older. It's like, well, that's like a real thing. Yeah.

It's like a real thing. And he's like, Oh yeah. There was a guy who didn't play much in the Orioles name, uh, Ron Washington that I was friends with. And then we go to games in Texas when he's managing the team. That's why my dad would yell at the dugout. Hey Wolf.

And I'm Washington, but turn around. All right, there you go. There's a nickname. I never knew that he had. Hmm. My dad turns out to be a cool person.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-06 10:34:37 / 2023-10-06 10:56:27 / 22

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