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The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
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October 12, 2023 6:37 pm

Graham Groupie

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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October 12, 2023 6:37 pm

On a Thursday Drive, Josh explains why UNC-Miami is perfectly set up for a UNC let down, gives TEN picks, in Graham's Gamblin, tries to make boring Panthers Coordinator sound bytes interesting, voice of Charlotte FC, Will Palaszczuk, joins the show to react to the latest on Miles Bridges and the Charlotte Hornets, and Jim Szoke, of the Panthers Radio Network and the ECU Football broadcast, joins the show to tell why it's okay to let Bryce Young be a rookie.


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This is The Drive with Josh Graham Podcast.

We're internet sensations guys! Tune into The Drive weekday afternoons 3 to 7 on WSJS. And we're on a Thursday Drive. It is WSJS, news, talk, sports for the triad, where during today's show we are gonna hand out more picks in Graham's gambling than we've handed out in any week all year. There are 10 games on the card, and I love them all. However, one of those 10 I've got a sneaky suspicion a lot of you are not going to like, and that's Miami plus three and a half in Chapel Hill Saturday night. The stage is set for a Tar Heel letdown in prime time at Keenan Stadium, as somehow Miami is the first ranked opponent North Carolina will face this season. It goes against what we thought of that stretch going into the year. We all said, look how difficult this opening six game stretch is.

Goodness! You've got Minnesota at home. That's a power five team from the Big Ten that then lost to Northwestern. Syracuse, they could be pretty good.

Got off to a 4-0 start. They have no depth. North Carolina ran right through them. They are completely broken. Dino Babers is blaming the portal for the fact that they're that bad.

App State is down for their standards. South Carolina is hoping during the South Carolina State Fair that they'll figure out a way to beat Florida who's terrible this weekend. This is not North Carolina's fault.

You have to, you just play who's on your schedule. But the teams on North Carolina's schedule just happen to not be as good as we thought they might be. And now you're facing Miami this weekend. They're ranked in the top 25, the first time North Carolina's faced a team that is ranked. And it just seems too good to be true for Carolina, doesn't it? Even if you're the biggest Argyle, Tar Heel, Blue Carolina, Blue Tinted Glasses person, you can even admit if you followed this program for more than six months, this seems a little too easy.

This seems a little too good. Because if North Carolina beats Miami, their next loseable game is not till November the 11th against Duke. They're not going to lose to Virginia at home. They're not going to lose to Campbell. They're not going to lose at Georgia Tech, or at least I don't think.

This is the game. If North Carolina wins this game, you're talking about by the time they have another loseable game, being close to seventh, eighth, maybe close to the top five, legitimized as a college football playoff contender, not just a dark horse anymore, a team that can actually get there. Meanwhile, on the other side, Miami's going to play as if it's seasons on the line. They're going to treat this game as if it's its season, because it kind of is. After last week's loss to the Yellow Jackets, the Canes cannot make the ACC Championship game with a loss on Saturday.

It's unrealistic to expect it if they have two conference losses, while Florida State doesn't have one, and North Carolina doesn't have one, and now they have the tiebreaker against you, while Louisville doesn't have one. You have to win this game if you want to achieve your goals. And I often say it in sports, you can't fake urgency.

You can't fake, we have to win. You can't simulate that if you're North Carolina. The facts are North Carolina does not have to win this game while Miami does, and that scares me. Also, the way that last week's debacle transpired in South Beach, it's just how it works that Miami's going to win this game, because it'd be the most go ACC result possible. It's hard to explain it. If you follow this conference, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

The Canes made, that was the most embarrassing loss anybody's had all year long, so of course a week later the Hurricanes with Mario Cristobal, they're going to be the top 15 team on the road the following week. That's just how it works. I can't explain it, but that's what's going to happen. The stage is set for a Tar Heel letdown in primetime Saturday night. On Twitter, at WSJS Radio, if you want in.

We're also streaming video on YouTube and Twitch, in addition to Twitter slash X. Will Dalton is the executive producer of this show. When did I tell you I was taking Miami? You said that right around the time you walked in on Monday. Monday morning, first thing I said to you. Right. And you got violently mad at me.

Well not violently, easy there killer. But my first response was, oh so you're gonna piss Carolina fans off today is what you're telling me? No, I'm gonna wait a little bit. So I guess today's that day. I wanted to think about it a little bit and see if I wanted to go back on it, can't do it. It's just how I feel. I'm more of a fan of being right than covering teams, picking the teams that I cover to win big games. How much do you hate this pick?

I hate it with a burning passion. My eyes are rolling as far into the back of my head as they can. The Sarah McLachlan is already being prepped. Just know that. I'm sorry. You're setting the table for me.

Not really, I'm not sorry. We've got football on the slate tonight and for the first time this season, the college football is going to outshine the NFL on the same night. Because as the kids say, Chief's Broncos isn't it. That's gonna be a bloodbath. It's in Kansas City.

I did the thing where I started to talk myself into it. Well you know if Travis Kelsey's out, he's questionable. If the game's in Denver, mile high, that's a tough place. It's in Kansas City. Oh well, it's not gonna be close and it's not gonna be fun.

That's not gonna be the game that you want to watch or listen to, but you can listen to it on WSJS. For the record, I think there's a report out there that says Taylor Swift's gonna be there tonight, just so you know. That might change your opinion on that. That does change things quite a bit.

And that might change status. However, no I still think Kelsey's gonna play. However, as fun as Taylor Swift might be, Dana Holgerson facing his former team, more fun than that. We've got Houston, West Virginia on the slate tonight. It's year five for Dana at UH after eight years in Morgantown. First time ever Houston is facing West Virginia. Remember, this is year one for Houston in the Big 12.

This also might be a game that's featured in Graham Scandalin. Just throwing that out there. First Power 5 matchup. This is kind of crazy. This is the first matchup between Power 5 teams since the Thursday night week one.

Let me say that again. The first Thursday night matchup between Power 5 teams since the opening Thursday night of the season. We've had these garbage matchups ever since then on Thursday night and now we got a pretty good game. Power 5 game? A game with some drama?

A game with good storylines? Houston, West Virginia, giddy up. Give me that. Then, see that game's gonna be on Fox Sports 1, on ESPN.

The worldwide leader. 30 minutes later, 7.30 kick. We're going to Greenville, America in prime time, baby. East Carolina, my alma mater, is facing a future ACC team. SMU going to ECU. That might not be a close game. The Pirates don't really have the dudes this year, but man, don't let that be a game going into the fourth quarter.

That's all I'm saying, SMU. Don't let the Pirates hang around in that game because they might not win the game, but they're going to win the tailgate. They're going to win at the concession stand now that they allow for adult pirate beverages to be served down in the thick, as they call it. It's going to be a rowdy crowd. Blackout game.

They're wearing the black uniforms. Don't let that be a game in the fourth quarter. That's all I'm saying, SMU. But man, the combination of that, ECU-SMU and Houston, West Virginia, even if Taylor Swift is in the stands at Chiefs Broncos, give me college football tonight. Give me the college football.

The first time I've been able to say that all year long. College football, NFL on the same night. Give me the college football. Before we get to Tom Dundon, speaking about Major League Baseball being brought to the state of North Carolina or his pursuits to try and get that done, I have put together this top five list of the things that you should be watching tonight. The five best things that you can watch with honorable mentions being the hockey.

Not a lot of great matchups that you have tonight, unfortunately. Golden Bachelor, we'll leave that off the list, albeit early returns on the Golden Bachelor. Fantastic. Great concept to have that be just a one-hour show as well on Thursday night. I'm a fan of that word. WD, we need to get you incorporated with Golden Bachelor. I'm excited for it. Let's get through this list, though.

Number five. Preseason hoops. Not just Hornets Wizards, which we'll pay attention to mildly, but to hear what Steve Clifford is going to say about the Miles Bridges incident after the game, my prediction, not very much.

He also wasn't here when Kai Jones was drafted, so probably won't have a lot to say on that matter either. But also tonight, you have Suns-Blazers. Both those teams were involved in the Dame Lower trade, of course. Yusef Nurkic now playing for Phoenix. Get to see Scoot Henderson.

The Blazers are going to be an exciting watch. Put them pretty high up on the league pass standings. Teens that are fun to watch on league pass. So that's five.

Number four. My alma mater, East Carolina, hosting SMU, ESBN 730. Jim Zocchi, he's going to join us next hour, calling ECU football games this year.

He also, you know, from the Panthers radio network, so we'll get into Pirates, we'll get into Panthers with him. ECU, SMU, Dowdy-Thicklin Stadium. You know that'll be on one of the screens.

Number three. Chiefs-Broncos. It looks like Travis Kelce is going to play. Is that related to Taylor Swift likely being in the building? You'd be the judge of that. I think so. Would Taylor show up if Kelce wasn't in the lineup? Doubt it. Would she be there if it wasn't a prime-time game?

I don't know. Chiefs, Broncos, prime video. Usually on a Thursday night, the NFL is top billing and there's not much else in front of it.

Not tonight. That's third on the list. Number two. Houston, West Virginia. Go Cougs. C-O-O-G-S.

In case you're wondering how to spell Cougs. Houston Cougars. Number one. Easy, champ. You're that disinterested in Houston, West Virginia that you're just going to skip ahead of it?

I kind of am. Come on. It's Dana Holgerson who looks like alcoholism facing his former team, West Virginia.

It was a perfect marriage. It was, you know, Mountaineers. Let's go Mountaineers.

Let's go drink some beers. Look at Dana Holgerson. He's had a few. That was your coach for eight years and now he's Houston's coach. This is year five for him and Houston's never faced West Virginia before and now you got Dana coaching against the team he was a head coach of before. That's never happened in this career. Now he's had instances where he's coached another Big 12 schools and had to face those Big 12 schools being in the Big 12 West Virginia, but he's never coached against a team that he was once the head coach of. That happens tonight in H-Town.

Houston, West Virginia. That's exciting stuff. Now we get to number one on the five things at five. Not the five. You got me all mixed up now. Oh, it's my fault.

That's later on. Yeah. No, you messed up. I wouldn't have to say it was number one. I'd have the pronounced voice to tell me it was number one.

I sound like Bill O'Reilly yelling at people. Do it live! Number one on this makeshift list of the five things you need to watch tonight that I just scribbled down five minutes ago. It's Braves-Phillies. Yeah. Phillies. That place is going to be an insane asylum tonight at Citizens Bank Park.

I think they still call it that. The Braves need to win. Spencer Striders on the mound. Yeah. Yeah. Buckle up, buckaroos.

Braves-Phillies. That's a top bill in there. That's not the five things at five. No. Because it's not five o'clock.

Not even close. But that is a list of five things and we got that voice who gets paid by the word. Does he get paid by the word? He does. So we try to hook him up sometimes and just doing random lists where he says random numbers and that's how it works. Now let's get to Tom Dundon before I get to my 10 picks.

Give it a 10. Tom Dundon is starting to understand that Charlotte is the only city that could attract Major League Baseball. I would say that any North Carolina city is still unlikely but you do have Roy Cooper saying that he wants Major League Baseball. You have Tom Dundon now as already an owner of a major franchise in North Carolina, the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, saying that he might be a guy who can go and pursue it. To David Glenn he said, we want to bring it to Raleigh.

We want to bring a Major League Baseball team to Raleigh. He's already walking that back a little bit, the Raleigh piece, because he's opened the door now for Charlotte. This was on the OG podcast, Ovious and Jillio podcast. He's a Texas guy. He's a good listener. He probably heard the reaction to the news last week and thought, okay well maybe Charlotte is a better option based on what I'm seeing here.

Here he was with Joe Ovious and Joe Jillio. If they expand I think we can put ourselves in a position that makes it very attractive to choose Carolina. Okay and we're talking North Carolina? You say Carolina. I believe the right way to do this is to go through a process to give us the best chance in Carolina.

Gotcha. That might be in Raleigh, it might be in Charlotte, I don't know. And I prefer it to be in Raleigh because that's where we are, but I wouldn't do anything that wasn't in the best interest of giving us the best chance. Oh yeah, talking about Charlotte now. Could be here, could be Charlotte. I'd like it to be in Raleigh because we're already here. Then he dropped David Tepper's name saying that David Tepper's name saying that David Tepper could be a guy to help make this happen if the opportunity presented itself. And then you also included Charlotte, which makes me... No, but I get it. No, I just don't want to... Who do I know?

Is there a Tepper in the background? I like Dave, but I mean I think my guess is if we're doing something, Dave would try to help. I don't think this is a thing for him.

He doesn't think it's a thing for him, but he might help. In other words, financing is not going to be the problem. The $2 billion, $2.5 billion, that's not going to be the difficulty when you talk about actually dealing with Major League Baseball, what's required to get a team if they choose to expand. The problem is going to be trying to get a stadium in Raleigh and the support there. And it goes back to how much different Charlotte is from Raleigh.

Yes, they're in the same state, but they're completely different cities. Charlotte's a pro sports city. Arenas, they're already downtown. Spectrum Center, Bank of America stadium. Heck, their baseball stadium that you could just renovate, probably. Figure that out and have that be the Major League stadium. There are plenty of Fortune 500 companies in the city of Charlotte, so that'll help when it comes to sponsorships. That will help when it comes to filling seats.

Even if it's not actual butts in seats, it's tickets sold that these companies are able to purchase. Pro sports run that city. It's a pro sports city. The rest of the state of North Carolina, college sports come first, aside from the Panthers.

You got the NFL, which is king of everything. But then college sports is certainly more important than the Hornets, than the NBA, and even the Hurricanes in Raleigh. But Raleigh is a big college town.

And I could say that because that's where I'm from. Yes, it's a big college city that happens to have a pro hockey team in it. And the way that they are fans of that hockey team is a lot like a college team. How many times do you hear people say, wow, it feels like a college atmosphere when you go to a Carolina Hurricanes game? Why do you think that is?

Because that's the people here. College sports comes first. Yeah, the tailgating, the way that you do it. Like it feels like a college game when you go to Hurricanes games because it's not even like downtown.

It's like out there on Edwards Mill and out there off 40, off Wade Avenue. You're not going to get a baseball stadium downtown. And real estate's already a problem in Raleigh. So college sports matter more over there. I don't think you're going to get as much support as you need to make that happen there. If there is a place that there's somewhat hope to get it done for Tom Dundon and for Major League Baseball here, it's Charlotte.

And I think Dundon walking that back a little bit tells you that. It really might be the hardest part of my job each week. Sitting down, listening to multiple times, trying to extract anything interesting, anything resembling interesting from the Panthers coordinators, Thomas Brown on offense, defensive coordinator, Ejiro Evaro. But we have done it again.

We have found some sound that we think could be interesting enough, worth spending valuable airtime on it. The Miami Dolphins are the opponent this week for Carolina. So that means cue up the Bryce Young Tua comparisons. Thomas Brown, not playing ball with that though. To be honest, I don't watch Tua enough to make comparisons and I'm not a big comparison guy in general. I think it becomes natural in this game to compare apples to apples. But I try to separate guys when it comes to what they do well, what they don't do well. But I couldn't give you an accurate answer when it comes to those two. I've obviously watched Bryce a whole lot more than I watched Tua.

I'd hope so. A couple of things. Never really understood the apples to oranges expression. Lil Dicky had a song about that where he talked about why it was annoying to him when people say, why can't you compare apples and oranges? They're both fruits. Well, because they're two different things. Well, they're both fruits. You can compare different types of food, especially if they're in the same food group fruits and they're both round and like there are plenty of things that are similar about apples and oranges. Why can't we compare those two things? But putting that aside for now, I never really liked the comparison between Tua and Bryce Young.

I haven't liked it at all. I get why it happens. Hey, they're short. Hey, they both went to Alabama. They're very similar, even though one is left-handed and the other is right-handed. And the reason I never really liked the comparison, Bryce Young is as calculated and careful a quarterback you're ever going to see in college. A tactician, like incredibly efficient, doesn't ever really put the ball in dangerous areas or seldom does. Tua was a gunslinger. Tua took shots all the time.

Now, this is the part where you talk about personnel. Tua was throwing the ball perhaps to the greatest group, single group of wide receivers we've ever seen on one college football team. Hey, there's Jaylen Waddle and Henry Ruggs and Jerry Judy and Devante Smith. They're all on the same team and I get to throw to them.

Yay! Who was Bryce Young's best receiver last year? His running back, Jameer Gibbs? Jameer Gibbs?

You know, John Mechie? And then wasn't it Najee Harris before that? So a little bit different personnel, but Tua always associated him being more of a gunslinger and never really liked the comparison. But we get it.

They went to Bama. They're both short. We're going to compare the two guys. Now let's get the Panthers defensive coordinator, Ejiro Evaro. He's beginning to creep out of his shell.

I view him like the tortoise that is scared on like the road, wants to make sure that a car is not coming and peeks its head out. This is him like at press conferences. Is it okay to say something interesting? Is it okay to say something that might be a little bit speculative, that might be a little bit revealing?

Is that okay? Here he was when asked about the explosive plays that Detroit had and how much of a concern they are facing now the most explosive team in the league in Miami. I wouldn't say it's a concern. It's more so it's an emphasis to get it fixed, right? And I think a lot of the plays that happened last week are, you know, the Lions did a good job and we weren't ready to go. From a coaching and a player standpoint, obviously, but I think a lot of what happened could be controlled, could be executed better, and it's not one of those deals where like, oh man, we have no chance. I think we could fix those issues.

Could you expand on this? I don't want to elaborate too much and, you know, I'm always hesitant to give out game plan specifics, but, you know, scheme and players. I think we can do a better job on both ends. Poor Joe. He had to know what was coming. He had to know what was coming.

At least once a week we get that. I don't want to elaborate too much. Can you please expand? No.

I don't want to elaborate too much. We know. So there it was, like he was close. Oh, he said something there. Is he, can we get more? Just a sample. No, we'll taste.

You can't. Also, can I hear just the beginning of that again when asked about the concerns that they have? I wouldn't say it's a concern. It's more so it's an emphasis to get it fixed. Oh, got it.

Cool. What's the difference between those two things? You know, it's not a concern. It's just an emphasis of a thing that we need to get fixed. So you're concerned about it. Don't see the difference between those two things, but there we go.

Almost got something from Majira Evarell. You know, here's a bonus clip from the quarterback. Here's a bonus useless clip from Bryce Young. Hey Bryce, what type of plays do you like to run?

The ones I feel like have the best chance of, you know, being successful and being executed. It's not a week to week, this is my play and like this is my thing. I just, I love, I want this play. It's, you know, it goes into our game plan. It goes into what we're trying to tag.

It goes to the defense and what specific areas, you know, we want to attack there. You know, it's not the same stuff every week. It's not this category. It's the same category.

It's not one specific route. It really changes and varies completely from week to week. So it's all dependent on, you know, what we're trying to do. I think I feel bad for our friend Joe Person. I think that was him again. Just, it feels like the Panthers are playing a game with Joe.

Say hey Joe. The ones I feel like have the best chance of, you know, being successful. That's his answer. What type of plays do you like? You know, the ones that have the best chance of being successful. Let me write that one down. Got it. The ones that work. The ones that work. So you've hated most of the plays that you've run this year.

Whoa! Would be a good follow-up to that. What percentage of plays would you say you've hated if that's your definition of the plays that you like? Be burning the playbook by now. And again, it's not an insult to these guys to say that these are useless clubs. Like that they are useless.

Like we sat through about 35, 40 minutes of sound to give you that. You do say it's a chore. It is. Every week to do that. It is a chore. Like you were in here. It makes me physically angry trying to, because if we don't then you just don't hear from the Panther coordinators ever or Bryce Young.

Yeah, like I was in here working on one thing and you were like all right I'm gonna go listen to Thomas Brown and then you walked out. It really is like getting a root canal every week and this is the part this sounds like I'm insulting them and I'm being rude or mean or whatever. Oh you're saying they're what they're saying is useless. They're wearing that as a badge of honor. They're doing it on purpose. Like it's a compliment. You don't realize I am complimenting them by saying they're being useless.

They might be watching on YouTube right now or on Twitch and say ha ha got them again. Hey we didn't say anything interesting this week. High five. I don't want to elaborate too much. That's it. I pictured them all like together like watching their press conferences giggling and laughing.

Oh I told him I wasn't going to elaborate on that again. Yeah Joe thought he had something. We got Whiplogic that's going to join us in a half hour.

Things are a bummer in the queen city. Last night a disastrous night for the charwood hornets. Minutes minutes after we talked about hey maybe they could get something for Kai Jones. Kai Jones has waved. You're not getting anything back for him. First round bust that you traded up to take.

Kai Jones not going to get anything back. Minutes after that news. NBA a couple different pages have said have the report that an arrest warrant has been issued for Miles Bridges. This is according to WSOC-TV in Charlotte. Quote it's related to a prior domestic violence incident however the situation didn't involve any new allegations of physical violence. It's related to the violation of a protective order according to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office and the county clerk. Then there was in the Charlotte Observer or I think this is still WSOC an update. The corresponding police report indicated that the victim's windshield was smashed and that a protective order was violated by Bridges appearance. The incident happened at a residence. The victim in question is Bridges longtime girlfriend.

The pair has several children is in the midst of a custody battle. Now I'm conflicted on this because I'm a big hey let's wait for all the facts to come out guy. There's a suggestion when because people are lazy hey an arrest warrant came out that means Miles Bridges did something now. No this probably happened a year ago what you're talking about. But we didn't know about it and Miles met with the media and told us that there was nothing else that was going to come out. Nothing else that we were going to learn about and talked about earning your trust back and all these types of things with Mitch Kupchak sitting right there. The timing again is terrible for Charlotte. It's terrible at about this time almost to the day year ago in preseason. LaMelo Ball went down with an injury and he missed about the first month of the season and we were all like yep well this season's gonna not be so good and just as people were starting to be optimistic about the Hornets this year. Oh well Kai Jones you don't get anything back for him. Miles Bridges is on the last year of his contract that you brought back from last year uh even though he missed all of last season because of the domestic violence allegations and the situation.

Yeah there's an arrest warrant out for him now and he's already suspended for the first eight ten games of the season. But anyway preseason basketball tonight! Charlotte Hornets yeah!

So if you think if you root for a team here locally like I root for the Baltimore Orioles and you're thinking you're having a tough time, Charlotte Hornet fans just perennially and constantly have reasons to be bummed out. This is it. Ready? All right hold on.

All right do it do it. All right listen up. This is The Drive with Josh Graham. The voice of Charlotte F.C. Will Pelagic is with us. Which pro sports team's the biggest bummer in Charlotte? Not Charlotte F.C.

with a couple of wins in a row. Who is the bigger bummer though when you put the optimism that was short-lived in the preseason for the Hornets with the Miles Bridges news of yesterday and Kai Jones news of yesterday and oh yeah the only winless team in the NFL being the Carolina Panthers. Who's a bigger bummer? I think the bigger bummer is Carolina just because we've actually seen them play in games of meaning but I do feel like there is just a collective oh no here we go again when it comes to the Charlotte Hornets because we've unfortunately seen not this whole movie before but parts of this movie before when you talk about players and again it just goes beyond Miles Bridges. There was the James Book Knight fiasco of a year ago and obviously Kai Jones being waived yesterday. We thought that was the only news item and then Miles Bridges once again in the news for some very unsavory allegations that are part of his basically long saga that's gone on here the next last couple of years and really from that standpoint the Hornets are in a very tricky spot because and even Travis Tebow and Hancock who is my colleague said this very much so is the pride of Winston-Salem by the way got to give him some love West Forsyth. Very much so very much so West Forsyth in fact he said the same thing that I was thinking you know Miles Bridges sat up there at a press conference with Mitch Kupchak and basically put us under the impression that you know he's reformed I don't know if he went so far as to say that he would be doing things to help advocate for victims of domestic violence but he at least said his focus was at least on basketball which I think is at least something you'd expect to see him but now with this additional layer that they have to go through and that apparently is allegedly committed it puts the Hornets in a very tricky spot when it pertains to his availability for this upcoming season. Yeah it really does present something because he has already is it an eight game or a 10 game suspension to start the year? So the initial suspension was 30 games with 20 of them having been served so he would miss the first 10 games of this regular season which would take them all the way up till I believe right at the start of the NBA play-in tournament or in-season tournament or whatever we're calling it. Oh my gosh it's just a mess it's a fiasco.

Well don't ask me as far as I'm concerned Rob Manfred thinks it's a piece of metal but that's another story. Yes not thinking about baseball right now after what happened a few days ago but getting to the Panthers what would have to happen for the Panthers to beat the Dolphins Sunday? Honestly nothing that we had seen happen over the course of the season they'd have to look like a completely different team than we've seen at this point of the season they'd have to show a commitment to an effective running game and I should say a commitment to and have an effective running game as two prongs of that particular sentence. They would have to show that Bryce Young is actually the quarterback who is the number one overall draft pick and play to the level that his other two high draft pick mates are playing at and CJ Stroud and Anthony Richardson and they got to play better defense quite honestly than they've been playing here recently. I understand that a lot of the scoring opportunities they give up against Detroit and other teams were the result of turnovers in short fields but they haven't really held up their end of the bargain for the most part over the course of the season so it basically to answer it in a short fashion Josh they have to look like something that's not the 2023 Carolina Panthers at least what the narrative has come to know them as. Will Pelagic is with us here on twitter slash x willy p style we're going to get to the team that you call games for because they've given us good reason to talk about them a couple of wins in a row you talked about how close they are to that eastern conference cut line I think they're a point from being in as right now are being tied last I checked but they're not in action until inner Miami is on the schedule. Before we get to the messy piece of this the last two games of the regular season against Miami one of those being in Charlotte one of those being in Miami how how much do you like their chances of getting in given the current layout? Well as a as a gram groupie I will use one of your phrases back to you you can't fake urgency yes so I feel like the urgency has come to Charlotte FC in a very profound way with the way they handled their last two games and it's very reminiscent of the way they handled the league's cup and you know we could talk all about whether or not major league soccer's tournament that they played had any meaning they tried to infuse some meaning by putting not only the same prize money up for that like they did for the MLS cup and also put a spot in the concaf champions cup in there with that but regardless you're all FC found enough motivation to go out and get to the last day of that tournament and they found similar motivations in this first two games of a four game stretch where they were presented with the fact that hey if you win these four contests you still control your own destiny and get yourself into the playoffs half the job is done it's not all the way done they can get in with less than two wins over the next two but they would need some help I think they're playing a lot better soccer on both ends they're creating chances they're converting high quality and and back-to-back weeks rather with the ability to have the MLS goal of the match day in their footing and they're playing back very very good defense as well Christian Kalina's got back-to-back clean sheets and it's come in what I think have been two of his arguably best games that he's played all season I like graham groupie but I need to go to wd and I also need to like go reaching out to our avid listeners the graham crackers who always flock to things and they hold actual boxes of graham crackers is graham can graham groupies and graham crackers coexist or is willy p going to be an honorary member of the graham crackers I think willy p needs to be an honorary member of the graham crackers I think that I think that is beautiful do you like that willy p are you okay with that I'm a big fan of graham crackers yeah I like I like teddy grahams too big big graham cracker my wife shot down the idea that if we have a kid one day oh Theodore she's she didn't teddy graham come on Sarah Bradford I know that's what I'm saying that's what I'm saying I mean and it's not like oh everyone's gonna make no he could be Theo and more like you know it works and more cat like a more refined circles like you can be Theo like okay this is a little bit more black tie okay fine but then his friends will call him teddy graham and that's cool as long as those are still in business okay let's get to the messy piece where are we at right now in terms of his chances of playing next Saturday so I could probably tell you with almost certainty that he's not going to play in the first of the two matches because he's on international duty with Argentina right now I don't know whether he's going to play or not but they have a game on Tuesday before the Wednesday contest so I think it's very unlikely he plays in that Wednesday contest if at all Saturday I think it's up in the air it all it all comes down to whether or not Tata Martino and Inter Miami feel like they have anything to play for they're eliminated from postseason contention so there's the thought process of a why waste them there is the whole you know wanting to be an ambassador for the sport part of this too that they might take into consideration or they might just say you know what we're going to put Massey on the shelf have him okay for Argentinian South American qualifiers and get him ready for February when they start playing the concaf champions cup uh I don't feel I don't think we really know but one thing's for sure uh there's gonna be a lot of people there on Saturday Joe LeBeau the president said uh earlier this week that they've sold 60,000 seats uh they're hoping for a full stadium and honestly this game is just as important for charlotte sees it is for anybody so to hold that out that's the piece that's the piece where it's like it's a win-win for charlotte if he plays awesome if he doesn't Miami's beneath charlotte in the standings without messy then three points you have a great chance to make the playoffs exactly and I think that's the part that they're focused on and you know I've told you repeatedly you know I I'm okay one way or the other if he plays or doesn't play uh I just want to see charlotte play well and I want to have more games to call uh two weeks from now well pelagic thanks for doing this my friend and we'll talk to you I don't know if it'll be next week I think we might talk next week I'm going to be in baton rouge and in the warlands for most of the week next week you like your pirates tonight do you are you feeling it or no no um I don't but don't let it be a game in the fourth quarter that's all I'm saying don't let it be again in the fourth there you go the the beer will be flowing at rehab if it's still open the drive with josh graham only on wsjs down in greenville america we're a few hours away from kickoff at dowdy picklin stadium the pirates facing a team that will be playing in the acc next year prime time on espn meanwhile on the ecu radio network you can listen to jim zokey who you know from the panthers radio network as well and he joins us from the stadium for a check-in right now zoke I know my people well they're going to maximize tailgate time they likely won't be into their seats in in full until about five ten minutes into the game but when that time comes what type of crowd do you think they're expecting tonight I think they're expecting a good one I think people are excited about this game I mean these thursday night blackout games are huge obviously they're excited about uh local regional radio but also espn is going to be here so that's a big deal it's a nationally televised game and uh like you said it's got a cool atmosphere to get the tailgate into a prime time game on a week night with all the attention going on I think these folks are uh ready to see uh some offense right it's been a look at the struggle so I think there's some optimism that they can get things ahead in that direction get some points on the board tonight it's a night I think about my buddy um the white great Jeff Charles who I remember being in the booth with him the night it was a thursday night game I believe against Florida Atlantic about 11 10 11 years ago and they unveiled the black jerseys for the first time and they didn't realize it wasn't the best idea to have a purple trim on or on yeah like a yeah like a purple trim on the numbers so it was really hard to see what what the uh numbers were on some of the players so Jeff turns to me right before kick and he says I was spotting for him Josh I'm really gonna lean on you tonight so two and nine were hard three and seven were difficult to figure out and differentiate from but ECU was really good with Lincoln Riley calling the plays at the time and that's a night I'll never forget so enjoy thursday night football with the black out crowd and all that getting into the game the pirates they're nearly two touchdown underdogs tonight it's tough to expect them to beat SMU but if ECU wants to have a shot what type of game do you think it has to be you know I think a lot of it um and you know coaches always feel this way some self-inflicted stuff I mean they had seven drops in that game against Rice I know people look at the quarterback play but if you catch most of those it only catches every pass but if you catch most of those Alex Flynn suddenly has a really good game and they also had four turnovers on downs including right at the one yard line so there's a ton of points and opportunities settling for a field goal at the half when they could have got a touchdown that was dropped in the end zone uh so they lose that game 24-17 to a pretty good Rice team on the road last week so I think you know this is a different kind of team at SMU but probably about the same level of overall confidence so I mean I think they're they're not as far off as their record with you begin with Michigan now we see how good Marshall is they've gotten into their schedule a little bit obviously going to half state it's been a tough schedule with all 11 offensive starters different than what they were a year ago and I was talking with you know the coach Mike Houston yesterday and I said you know this is the halfway point you feel like you guys can now have a sense your players have a sense of what's expected of them and what you think is realistic of them and I think that's where they are now I think it's taken unfortunately a number of games and some games they could have won along the way to arrive to where they are but I think they got a good chance to maybe go on a run here in the second half of the season and pick up a lot more wins Jim Zocchi is with us here you know him from the panthers radio network voice of ECU football as well the pirates at 7 30 facing SMU looking ahead to panthers dolphins and south beach what side of the ball are you more worried about in this game from a panther's perspective oh this is easy the number one offense is what you're facing so that's that's gonna be the number one thing there and by the way both my teams are double digit underdogs that's just this is not uh starting out pregame the way I wanted it to but the other dolphins are not only the number one is you know Josh number they're historically number one nobody's had more yards in the history of the NFL through five games with the dolphins that put up so far and not only that you're usually like when a team's number one or whatever they're usually really good at something and then less at the other they're number one in the rush number one in the past so there's no way of getting around them and of course in the great running back H-on is out for a while with the knee injury he's got but yeah then they just bring out Raheem Bostard and they got Tyreek Hill and they got John Waddle at first two was the number two ranked quarterback in the league defensively they're solid but not spectacular so you're not as frightening on that side of the ball but this team is the fastest team in the NFL speed wise and the highest scoring team in the league at over 36 points per game so you've got to to some degree keep up with that track meet at match points because they're going to score their points so you got to somehow stay in contention that means the Panthers got to play by far the best offensive game of the year. What's been the most disappointing part about the 0-5 start in Carolina? I think to me it was you know you do going in the offensive line is the answer you knew going in Austin Corbett wasn't going to play for a while and then Brady Christensen was coming back with his injury but then gets a whole new injury it's just the overall play of the offensive line that you know every team's got injuries right I just mentioned you know the Dolphins are losing probably the rookie of the year for the next four weeks you've got to be able to be deep enough to overcome that and I think you know it's not taking Bryce off the hook but Bryce should be allowed to be a rookie for at least the first third of his rookie season and figure things out I don't think he's been really bad I think he's been fine I think he's been probably as expected for a rookie quarterback through the four games that he's played so to me you got to have help and it means the offensive line's got to do better and they did run better last week against Detroit so that was good to see because they've not been running the ball well since the Atlanta game and that just sets up everything else I mean you know what you got at wide receivers you know guys that are solid but not spectacular Adam Thielen's a good go-to guy and you can't have some big plays with charge but there's not as much as most teams have in that category so to me I think the offensive line needs to play better football moving forward overall really quickly on the way out since you brought up Bryce Young it seems like to me the there is negativity surrounding him there is a lot of criticism and that's bound to happen when you are 0-5 and you're picked where he was but it does seem to me that the roots of why people are frustrated with him have very little to do with Bryce and I'm interested what you think is the bigger cause of angst or some of this negativity is it what CJ Stroud has done how quickly he's blossomed in Houston or is it the fact that they gave up next year's first round pick and their records 0-5 and the allure of the unknown like a guy like Caleb Williams or Drake May is always greater than what you have at the moment. Yeah and I think both of those are valid and probably a little bit more is that that you know the reward for not doing well is we get Cam Newton we get Julius Pepper's in past years I think beyond all that this is like the fifth clunker year in a row if it stays away it's going as far as not playoffs and right now you're 0-5 and nobody 0-5 has ever made the playoffs so I felt this Josh I don't know you do sports talk year round I felt this in pre-season and when we're essentially zero and zero in the regular season I already felt there was like this negativity about the team when they didn't win a pre-season game which we all know those games don't matter I feel like there was a sense of like you know people thought new coach new quarterback they're just going to roll out and they're just going to look like Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes from day one and that just isn't realistic and it's not happening so I think you know that's the thing it's been the build up of a couple years and I would even centralize it more in Charlotte hornet same thing they've not made the playoffs in seven years and now they got the stuff they're going through I think as far as you know it's Charlotte at the epicenter of of all this is like it's a frustration overall of just they're ready to have something to cheer about and be excited about and as far as the Panthers franchise on its own for the Carolinas I think people you know they they wanted to see it happen right away and they wanted immediate uh whiz bank success they're not wrong to want that I'm just saying it's not it's not happened I think that's why there's such a sense of frustration is that it hasn't rolled out in that way Zoe have a great call in a few hours ECU SMU tonight I certainly will be listening got my East Carolina cap all and and I hope you uh travel safely to South Beach as well enjoy the buy all that thanks for making the time all right Josh appreciate it thank you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-21 05:56:54 / 2023-10-21 06:16:24 / 20

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