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I Got Vetoed On that One (2-9-24)

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2024 5:48 pm

I Got Vetoed On that One (2-9-24)

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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February 9, 2024 5:48 pm

On a Friday Drive, Josh gives his Super Bowl pick, sets the table for what he thinks will be the wildest Wake Forest home game of the season when NC State comes to town, Hall of Fame voter and writer for Panthers.com, Darin Gantt, joins the show to give his reaction to Julius Peppers getting into the Hall, Cam Newton's case for getting to Canton, and Josh gives his bets for Super Bowl Sunday, in Graham's Gamblin.


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This is The Drive with Josh Graham Podcast. We are killing it online. Tune into The Drive weekday afternoons 3 to 7 on WSJS. So glad to have you on this Friday Drive. It is WSJS, News Talk Sports for the Triad, where It's sad.

It's crazy to consider. This is the final football Friday until the last week of August. Which reminds me, if you're riding around in your car from one party to another on Sunday, keep it tuned to WSJS because we are the Triad's home for Super Bowl 58.

Okay, enough filibustering. Here's our prediction for the game. Everybody's expecting Sunday to be flashy. It's the first Super Bowl in Las Vegas, after all the entertainment capital of the world, and there are gonna be stars everywhere.

On and off the field. Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Krista McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, of course Taylor Swift, fresh off a trip to Tokyo. The last time these two teams played on this stage four years ago, they combined for over 50 points.

So flare and flash, that's the expectation. The reality won't be nearly as sexy though. It's not going to be a high-scoring game and the Chiefs will win simply because they've earned the benefit of the doubt. San Francisco might be the better team.

I'm not denying that. Then again, Philadelphia was the better team last year. That's why the Eagles, like the Niners Sunday, favored by the folks out west.

When you go to the first meeting... Thanks, J.C. Horne. When we go back to the first meeting between these teams in Miami, San Francisco, Kansas City, their first Super Bowl win. That was a toss-up. There was a time where that game was a pick-em and then Kansas City, I think, closed as a half-point or one-point favorite.

But it was close. You can make the argument San Francisco was a better team. And I think San Francisco's better Sunday. They're just not gonna win the game. If it's a tight game, as it should be, give me Andy Read off a bye over Kyle Shanahan, who's built a reputation of choking in the Super Bowl. Give me Patrick Mahomes over Brock Purdy.

And if it comes down to special teams, give me Harrison Butler, once a Carolina Panthers draft pick, over rookie kicker Jake Moody. This is what's gonna be the difference in the game. Ball control.

This is what Dave Canales has been driving home. It's all about the ball, is what he said multiple times since taking the Panthers job. It's all about the ball, is his saying.

I think he has the stats that if somebody wins the turnover battle, they win 82% of the games or something like that in the NFL. This game will be no different. This is the difference in the game. Ball control.

Time of possession. Turnovers. This is why Kansas City, again, has an advantage.

You shouldn't expect a shootout here. But you should expect Brock Purdy to throw an interception because on the big stages, that's kind of what he does. Had a pick in the NFC Championship game against the Lions, where San Francisco fell behind at home by 17 points on a big stage. Had two balls that should have been picked against the Packers that weren't. And they probably should have lost that game at home. Five red zone trips for the Packers that didn't amount in a lot of points. A missed field goal.

Bailed out San Francisco, too. They didn't enter the red zone until the final drive of the game. You think about the biggest regular season game. It was Christmas Day between the Ravens and the Niners and Brock Purdy threw four picks in that game. It's kind of crazy, but in the four losses San Francisco's had this year, Brock Purdy has nine of his eleven interceptions on the year end. So, let me say that again. Nine of the eleven picks Brock Purdy has thrown have come in San Francisco's four losses. And this is his first time dealing with this. This is a guy who played at Iowa State.

Mystery relevant. Go into the Super Bowl and this is a different game than any other game you play. These guys are regimented.

They are creatures of habit. And now you're just gonna add 15 to 20 minutes extra time in the middle, like during halftime, before you prepare for the second half? That's the Super Bowl, man. Patrick Mahomes has been there and done that.

Mahomes doesn't have an injured leg like he did a year ago against Philadelphia. He's right and he's gonna do what's necessary to win the game. And I think he understands as long as he doesn't turn it over, Kansas City's gonna have a great shot to win.

This is probably the hottest take I have for you. My pick to win Super Bowl MVP. I like Kansas City to win and I don't think it's gonna be Mahomes or Kelsey winning the MVP. Isaiah Pacheco is your Super Bowl MVP.

That's probably the hottest take that I've got about this game. Pacheco, who along with Kansas City's pass defense, which has been really good this year, those are gonna be the things that carry the Chiefs. This Kansas City team, it's different than past Kansas City teams. It's not Tyreek Hill running through the secondary.

This has not been a career year for Travis Kelsey, even though he's had the bulk of the headlines with Taylor Swift. The defense has been really good when in the past it has not. They held Baltimore to 10 in Baltimore, one of the best offenses we've seen. I think they run it with Pacheco. They control the clock and win a low-scoring game. Chiefs 20, 49ers 17. OnX at WSJS Radio if you want in.

That's where we're streaming video in addition to YouTube and Twitch. Will Dalton, the executive producer of this show. W.D., big weekend. You're gonna be at Duke and Boston College tomorrow. And you're gonna be at my Super Bowl party on Sunday that Sarah Bradford and I are having at the house.

And then I gotta see you again tonight at a Swarm game. Oh yeah, we got the Swarm game tonight at the Fieldhouse. Big weekend for us.

We're very excited about that. The basketball game I'll be going to tomorrow while you're at Cameron, another game you can listen to on WSJS by the way, is Wake Forest, NC State at the Joel. NC State's not gonna know what hits them tomorrow at four o'clock. The Joel, poor NC State fans who we lost at home to Pittsburgh by three the other night.

The Joel's gonna be a madhouse here. You're talking about Saturday four o'clock, in-state rival in town. Wake is 12-0 at home.

Fresh off, not one, but two 29-point wins in ACC play. This could possibly be the biggest crowd of the Steve Forbes era. Don't think we have a sellout.

I've had a sellout yet on Steve Forbes' watch. First year was the COVID year and then he's just been ramping it up slowly. But surely, last year I don't think he caught the break of having in-state teams on Saturday in town while Wake's been good. So, State being in town, Saturday in February, weather should be good I think.

I think this is going to be a gigantic crowd and there is no doubt. They won't admit this. Steve didn't admit it to us when we had him on Monday. Wake's got to still be upset about the end of the first matchup. A few weeks ago in Raleigh, that's when Hunter Salas was thrown out inexplicably of the game for receiving a headbutt from Diarra and Middlebrooks.

He's probably still not happy about that. Wake angry about blowing an 11-point lead in the final 10 minutes. It was a game they felt they should have won because they should have won the game. If you were there, Wake was the better team. Now you get State again with the opportunity to essentially deal their NCAA hopes a death blow.

The pack is far from the bubble right now. This is the most gettable road win that they have left among tournament teams they're going to be facing because they're not going to win at Little John Coliseum next week. They're not going to win at Cameron. They're not going to win in Chapel Hill. Could they win tomorrow? You would think.

I just don't see it happening. Damari Monsanto, talking about things that State might not be ready for, he returned to the game or returned to the Deacs the game after the loss in Raleigh. This is his first go at NC State this year. This is nuts. He is shooting 43% from three. Okay, that's to be expected. He's a sharpshooter.

He gets a mop. But this might be the craziest stat of all. Since returning, Damari Monsanto has played 64 minutes. In those 64 minutes, he's attempted 26 shots, all 26 of them three-pointers. He has not attempted a two-point shot since returning to the lineup. 43% from three since returning. Good luck, Wolf Pack.

I think you're going to need it. We suck. W.D., real quickly, this is a sound we didn't have time for during the week.

You said you wanted to get to this. Matt Ruhl doing Matt Ruhl things, talking about his time with the Panthers. It was a Nebraska press conference, and Brock Purdie's name came up.

Here we go. I think Brock Purdie's an amazing player because I played against him in Iowa State. When I was in the draft room at Carolina, I brought his name up. I said, hey, guys, you should be on the draft board.

I got vetoed on that one, but you can ask Coop. But I think, I mean, we used to tell guys when we were playing Brock Purdie, we're like, do not, do not fall for his pump fake, right? Because Brock will come out, he'd pump fake. And first game, he's 10 yards down the field, he pump fakes, our DBs are jumping.

I'm like, guys, he's past the line of scrimmage. So a lot of respect for Brock. Brock Purdie was on the draft board? He is full of it. Yeah. He is so full of it.

Yeah. So do you know who he wasn't vetoed on? The Baylor player that he took 20 picks before Purdie was taken. I think Matt Ruhl had say on who's on the board and who isn't. And also, just because he's on the board doesn't mean you're going to take him. He's so full of it. Yeah. You're going to pick Brock Purdie over the guy you coached at Baylor?

Is that what I'm led to believe? Just stop talking about your time in Carolina, Matt. It's not productive at all.

Because when we go back and check the tape... And we can. It's not great. No.

It's not great. It was interesting. Dave Canales, going back and checking the tape, no Jay-Z references during the press conference. Oh, yeah?

None. And Jay-Z, it would have been great during the Grammy speech last week if he made a Matt Ruhl reference. Jay-Z said a lot of things that were interesting. That would have been the most interesting if he made a Matt Ruhl reference.

Gotta go check the tape. One of us, way of the panther. Joining us from Las Vegas is our friend Darren Gant, who in addition to writing about the Carolina Panthers is our state's Pro Football Hall of Fame voter. I do want to look ahead to who might be getting into the hall next from the Carolina Panthers in future classes, but let's start here. When Antonio Gates is not a first ballot Hall of Famer, was it easier or more difficult than you thought to get the room on the same page that Julius Peppers is a first ballot guy?

Well, I will preface this with a couple of things. Number one, my standard line when anybody asked about one particular guy is don't tell me which one you want in, tell me which 10 you want out. Because when you take that list of 15 and look at them and say, God, 13, 14, maybe 15 of these guys deserve to be in the Hall of Fame one day, it's really hard and it should be hard because it's a special place. Antonio Gates is really good.

He's going to be in the Hall of Fame probably really soon. But to me in this class, Julius was just so different. He was so different than everybody else. And I think in describing Julius's career from the day he was drafted until now different might be the word I've used most often. He was athletically different than everyone else. He was thoughtful in a way that not many people anticipated him being unfairly, I might add.

And he was so far above and beyond everyone else in this class. To give you just a little peek behind the curtain, they want us to keep most of these discussions as private as they could. The discussion on Julius Peppers was as short as anything I've ever remembered in that room. It wasn't stand up, say Julius Peppers sit down the way it is with guys like Peyton Manning and such. But even when those guys get discussed, there's usually some line of people jumping into a firm or to say, yes, I talked to him and he said, blah, blah, blah. This was short.

This was relatively simple because everybody sees the same things we see. Two time all decade, fourth on the all time sack list. He's the only player ever with 100 sacks and 10 interceptions. I mean, there are just so many things that separate Julius from everyone else in this class.

In my estimation was a fairly simple choice. He is the first Panther to be drafted by Carolina and go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Pound for pound, is he the most talented guy to ever wear a Panthers uniform? Yeah, I mean, I think it's a two person discussion, honestly, if you want to chop it up that way between him and Steve Smith.

And that's where pound for pound comes in. But Julius is just, you know, Brinson Buckner's lines been echoing in my head for the last few weeks. Brinson once called him early in his career, the next evolution of man. When I say Julius was different, he could have been an NBA power forward very easily and would have had a long career playing in the league. Would he have been a first ballot NBA Hall of Famer?

Perhaps not, but he would have at least been very good as we saw he was at UNC when he was playing basketball. And he just happened to be one of the greatest pass rushers of all time. In a 12 month span, Julius Peppers will go into the Panthers Hall of Honor, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I call them our state's Paul Bunyan, where you hear all these stories in the pre-internet age about him certainly deserving to get in.

Now, there's another thing I want to talk to you about because I know you and I are kind of in this lane. Devin Hester getting into the hall as a specialist, I think creates a window for Cam Newton's case one day and here's why. Just like Hester was the single greatest return man ever, but certainly not a Hall of Famer at his listed position, Cam Newton should get into the hall as the greatest rushing quarterback ever. Because it may be the greatest red zone threat ever when you consider here's the list of Hall of Fame running backs that are old school three down backs that Cam has more rushing touchdowns than Earl Campbell, Larry Zanka, Lenny Moore, Thurman Thomas, O.J.

Simpson, Terrell Davis, and there are more. But you know the room better than I do and you know the process better than I do. How hard, how tough of a cell will it be to try and get people to think that way? Well, I have said for many years Cam Newton makes people stupid and that includes smart people and I think all the extra stuff that flies around Cam Newton, the discussions of his personality, the discussions of everything Cam, I mean he just makes everything big and complicated. That's just him.

I mean and in a good way most times. But I don't anticipate it's going to be, he's certainly not a rubber stamp, oh yes absolutely Cam Newton's definitely going to be a Hall of Famer for a couple of reasons. One, I think some people are going to be turned off by the lack of those pure passing stats even though he was the first rookie quarterback to ever throw for 4,000 yards and had one of the most incredible individual seasons any of us have ever seen in 2015 when he won the MVP. But I think the combination of being non-traditional, being Cam with all that that entails and the fact that there's a lot of traffic coming up at wide receiver.

We've seen this thing where Tory Hall, Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne have been kind of stuck together for three years until Andre goes through last night. Look at what's coming down the pipe at quarterbacks. Next year Eli Manning becomes eligible for the first time. After that in 26, Phillip Rivers drew Brees. After that in 27, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton.

So there's, it's been a minute since we've had a quarterback in. I don't think one's been inducted since Peyton Manning, but those are going to be fascinating discussions for a lot of different reasons. I mean, Eli did the thing against the Patriots when no one else had, but he's about a 500 career quarterback. All these other guys put up huge numbers, but a lot of people put up huge numbers. And if you go down the numbers rabbit hole, one of these days you're talking about Matt Ryan.

So I think the combination of that, I would not assume that Cam is ever going to be a simple discussion, but I think there's an opportunity because of what you said. He was the greatest at the thing he did, which was being a two-way quarterback. Darren Gants with us, Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Panthers.com. Another guy who becomes eligible next year is Luke Keakley. Patrick Willis is among the five inductees.

I believe he was a finalist three times and he, this is his fifth year of eligibility. Those careers are very similar. Should we expect kind of a similar trajectory where you feel pretty confident that he's going to get in?

You just don't know when? They're not fairly similar. They're identical. Eight years cut short by injuries. And in those eight years, seven Pro Bowls and five First Team All-Pros and all decade honors. They are the same person. A Super Bowl appearance.

Yeah. You know, now Luke's got a Defensive Player of the Year award on his mantle. Patrick Willis played on generally better defenses and better teams along the way. But they're the same guy. And so to me, I think I would have been a little concerned if Patrick Willis got leapfrogged by Luke Keakley, which could have happened because I think, you know, certain things are realities. But I think that Luke is, Luke stands in pretty good stead because there is no more real prejudice against those short career guys, not after Trel Davis, not after Tony Beccelli, and certainly not after Patrick Willis now, because honestly, there is no difference between Patrick Willis and Luke Keakley. They are the same linebacker. They meant the same things to their teams. And so I believe that Luke will get in in a reasonably short amount of time.

I just don't know how long that time will be. What's the most interesting thing you've been told, whether it be related to the Panthers or anything else in Vegas, when everybody gets together, the entire sport, there's interesting conversation. The Panthers just hired a GM, a coach. And what's been the reception that you've heard being there in the center of the NFL world? Well, other than catching a stray from Keegan-Michael Key last night during the honors show, I mean, everybody's just making Taylor jokes. And all of a sudden, you know, the Panthers are looking around like, whoa, what happened? What did we do?

But, you know, I think there's a lot of just the talk you hear around is, you know, there's a lot of curiosity about how this Dave Canales, Dan Morgan experiment is going to go. I mean, you look at the way coaching searches tend to go. Last guy's fat, next guy's skinny.

The last one was old and struggled to adapt at times offensively when things got weird. So you go find a guy who's young and energetic and has shown that he can turn bad situations around in a hurry. You know, and when I say bad situations, I mean, Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield.

That's an interesting place to go. What are people saying to you about Bryce Young? Because we heard Baker Mayfield, we heard CJ Stroud this week all going out of their way to say, I think that Baker, if he's or if Bryce is surrounded with the right people, he's going to be fine. Don't write off. Don't sell. Don't sell your Baker Mayfield or part of the Bryce Young stock yet.

No question. Bryce going to be fine if they get the right people around him. And I think they've taken a good step beginning with Canales. But it's going to take a second to sort of reconfigure an offense to do what he does best.

I think one of the most encouraging things I've heard from Canales was the other week at the press conference, which felt like a tent revival. But he said, listen, we got to dig down and find the three things that Bryce is really good at and then run that out of three formations and three personnel groups to get different looks. I mean, anytime things go weird in the NFL, the coach always says we got to simplify. We got to strip it down and do what we do best. That's what they have to do with an entire offensive construction around Bryce Young. I think the consensus is most people realize that last year was just sideways from the beginning and you don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Is that the cliche? Yes, I think so.

So I think Bryce has the opportunity to be okay. We just got to see how this thing comes together. Getting to the game. I think there's a game. Since you're in Vegas, we must talk about Super Bowl 58.

And I just have the feeling that this is not going to be an aesthetically pleasing game. I think that the Chiefs run the ball more than people talk about. I think the Chiefs are better defensively and have been all year long than they've been in past years. And they're apt to win games 20 to 17, 17 to 10. And if it's close, I'm going to trust that coach off the bye and that quarterback over the other one. I like Kansas City to win the game in a tight game, even though Vegas says otherwise. And generally, you should trust them, especially when the game's in Vegas.

What's your read on it? I don't know how you would consider it not aesthetically pleasing. My God, man, Christian McCaffrey, Steve Wilkes, Travis Kelce, some of the most beautiful people the sport has ever known will be in this game.

And oh, by the way, Travis's girlfriend's supposed to be here. I think that the 49ers are the better team across the board. Did you think the Eagles were better than the Chiefs last year?

Nah, I was on the fence. I'm not bullish on the Eagles in general. I think they're a little finessy at times when they don't have to be. I like the way the 49ers play football, which is stand up and just punch you in the face repeatedly until you fall down.

They are built to do that. I think at the same time, I got to a point where I got tired of being the idiot who kept predicting this was the year Tom Brady falls off a cliff. I just got to a point where I said, I'm not betting against, not that I gamble because that would be against NFL policy and I would not jeopardize my livelihood or the lovely home my wife and I share in Charlotte for that.

But you get tired of being wrong about Tom Brady and you get tired of being wrong saying this is going to be the year Patrick Mahomes loses. I just don't, it's so hard picking against that guy because he can create something out of nothing at any moment that, listen, the things we know about the Chiefs this season remain true. Their receivers, not great. He's throwing guys open. It's just not because he's out there with a bunch of Hall of Fame wide receivers. None of those cats are ever going to be in camp.

He's just that good. So I think it's going to be difficult. I believe the 49ers are going to be able to run. Kansas City is good defensively, a lot better than a lot of people give them credit for. People want to make this kind of a binary offense-defense sort of matchup and it's not that way, but I think San Francisco can run.

I think Christian McCaffrey will run and if that Steve Wilkes defense gets one stop at the right time, they got a shot to win this game. Darren Gant, safe travels back to the old North State. Thanks so much for making the time in Las Vegas. Absolutely.

Happy to do it. Our record for the year, 69-67. Still kicking myself 0-7 during the bowl season. Never picking these meaningless bowl games again. Not going to do it because that's what's made this even close. Going into a jam-packed Super Bowl Props edition of Graham's Gambling, we've been doing this. This is our sixth football season and four of the first five we've had a winning record. So that's on the line here. We're not going to take it easy and say, all right, we're just going to give three picks to ensure that in all likelihood, we're still going to no worse be at 500. No, that's not what we do here.

We go for it. Two games over. It's not enough.

Send me that cash out, fam. It's not enough. No, we need to go for more. So we've got eight, that was nine fingers, eight picks for Super Bowl 58.

Let's hand those out now. Let's start with the quarterback props first. Patrick Mahomes under 261 and a half passing yards. Gosh, didn't you say the Chiefs are going to win?

Yeah. And I said Isaiah Pacheco is going to win the MVP. I don't think they're going to need to pass the ball all that much in the fourth quarter if they're leading in this game. Patrick Mahomes this year, W.D., has sunk beneath this number of 261 in eight of the last 12 games. And in one of those overs, it was by one point or by one yard, I should say. And the other three, two of the three were in losses. So if you think the Chiefs are going to win, in all likelihood, Patrick Mahomes is going to go under that number of 261 and a half.

Send me that cash out, fam. Patrick Mahomes under two and a half sacks taken. Kansas City has gone over that number, or pardon me, has not gone over that number of two and a half in its last four games. Going further than that, do you know how many times the Chiefs have played this year? Or Patrick Mahomes has played 19 games. Only four of those 19 games has he been sacked more than two times.

He gets the he gets rid of the ball so quickly. So I don't think he gets sacked three times in this game. Patrick Mahomes under two and a half sacks.

Send me that cash out, fam. Brock Purdy over 0.5 interceptions. He has 11 picks this year, nine that happened in the four niner losses. So if you think San Francisco is going to lose, like I do, odds are Brock Purdy is going to throw a pick. Because again, nine picks and the four losses. He probably should have five or six more picks than the 11 that he's had this year. I think he throws one on the biggest stage.

Send me that cash out, fam. Last player prop, Niners kicker Jake Moody under seven and a half kicking points. Rookie kicker in the Super Bowl, you guys.

Kind of a big stage for him. And in order for that number to hit, either he hits one field goal and San Francisco scores five touchdowns with point after touchdown, or he hits two field goals and San Francisco also has two more touchdowns. I think it's going to be a low scoring game. I don't think he gets to eight kicking points.

Send me that cash out, fam. We're halfway home. Four more to go. Team prop. This one's simple. The Chiefs are going to score first in the game. Always score first after a bye with Andy Reid.

But the numbers are ridiculous. And not only do they score, they score touchdowns. The first drive coming off a bye. Obviously, you come off a bye in the Super Bowl. So a question then becomes if the Niners get the ball first, are you a little worried?

Yeah, of course. But I like the Chiefs defense. I like the fact they're going to jump out in front early in this game. They get the first score.

Send me that cash out, fam. Two musical performance props here. The over-under for Reba McEntire's national anthem is 87 seconds. W.D., what's 87 seconds in terms of minutes? That would be a minute and 27 and a half seconds. If that were to go under, or even just to hit right on the mark, it would be the shortest national anthem in modern Super Bowl history. Now, I'm nervous betting this because somebody has heard rehearsals.

Somebody. There's a reason why this number is set so low. But I think Reba knows as well that everybody thinks this and he's going to milk it just a little bit. Like W.D., eight of the last 11 national anthems have gone over two minutes.

One minute and 27 seconds? I got to go over here. That's what we're going to do. Send me that cash out, fam. Usher, over eight and a half halftime songs.

I checked the rules on this. It just has to, even just a part of a song. If it's 10 seconds, it still counts as a song with pop, R&B, hip-hop. We're going to be in the 11, 12, 13 range.

So way over eight and a half songs for Usher's halftime show. Send me that cash out, fam. And lastly, how about just the most obvious one? Kansas City plus two against the Niners. I just don't want to bet against Mahomes.

I should have just, that should have just been the open of the show. Hey, Josh, why are you picking the Chiefs? I don't want to bet against Mahomes again.

I just did that two Sundays ago, and it wasn't fun. Patrick Mahomes is an underdog. We didn't take it two weeks ago.

We should have. I'm taking it here. Give me the Chiefs.

Send me that cash out, fam. So in review, our eight picks for Super Bowl LVIII. Patrick Mahomes under 261 passing yards.

261 and a half. Patrick Mahomes under two and a half sacks taken. Brock Purdy over half-intercept. Purdy over half-interception. Niners kicker Jake Moody under seven and a half kicking points. The Chiefs will score first. Reba McEntire going over 87 and a half seconds.

Usher going over eight and a half halftime songs. And the Chiefs plus two. Two over 500 for the year. Let's go five and three in this or six and two. So we're feeling awesome going into the off season. That's the way I feel.

WD, in order for us not to have... In order to have a losing season, we have to go two and six. I don't think we're going two and six.

I highly doubt that. That's right. So we're going for it here.

Here's something. There is a new coach in the ACC. Bill O'Brien is the new head football coach of... Boston College Eagles.

Good name for them. Yeah, he is the... This is his first head coaching job since the Texans. He was the OC for Bama, OC for the Patriots. Set to be the OC in Ohio State, but decided, I'm going to get a head gig.

Okay. Because remember, Jeff Haffley left like a week ago to become the Packers defensive coordinator. So he's back in college. Do you know the last time he had a college head coaching job? Head coaching job. Head coaching job. I don't. Penn State.

Okay. The Texans hired him from Penn State. So this is his first college head coaching job since Penn State. But Boston College has its new head coach and it is an NFL head coach. We thought it might be Chip Kelly, the former NFL coach that takes this job.

Nope. Bill O'Brien is the guy, which kind of fits. I hope he hasn't already gone through the process of moving to Columbus because he was with the Patriots and... Right up the Roxboro, Boston College. Boston College. Right there, Chestnut Hill.

Wouldn't have to move that far. This week's one of the most newsworthy weeks on the NFL calendar. Not just because of the obvious, where you have the game between the Chiefs and the Niners, the actual Super Bowl. But it's one of the few times on the calendar where everybody in the league is in the same place. Coaches, GMs, players, media. This happens at the draft and the scouting combine.

That's why you see a lot of stuff come from that. And you get a good sense on hot button subjects for where the pulse is for the sport on given players, given situations. Last night, the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards were given out and they went to the number two and number three picks from the Texans, CJ Stroud and Will Anderson from Alabama. And my one sentiment was, wow, only one guy was picked in front of those two players.

He must be pretty good, right? Of course, the Carolina Panthers trading up to take Bryce Young. And over the last week, as the Panthers hired Dave Canales to steer things in the right direction, as Bryce goes into year two, it does seem like the football world collectively is not selling its Bryce Young stock yet.

So you shouldn't either. The greatest experts on a topic are those that are within the industry. If you want to get a good opinion on sports talk, WD and myself, we're pretty good when it comes to that subject. We're within it, right? That applies to whatever your field might be, accounting, law.

Talk to people within the field if you want the best opinions. In this case, fellow quarterbacks of Bryce Young. CJ Stroud went out of his way when talking to Ryan Clark on a podcast to defend Bryce this week.

Here's how that sounded. In his shoes, I feel like a lot of stuff didn't go his way that was out of his control. You know, like, you can't make a play if somebody don't block.

You can't make a play if somebody don't catch the ball. And when you watch the tape, Bryce did a lot of great things. You know what I'm saying? He's going to be a great player, but it takes time. You know, like, I think I came into a situation where, you know, we were struggling, I know, but like, we still had a lot of good pieces. And I know everything is going to be fine for him. And I told him, like, you're the one, you're the one for a reason.

Like, don't ever, ever like, and he's not going to, but don't ever look at yourself different, bro. What are those great things he's talking about? How about beating CJ Stroud head to head and being the better quarterback on that field that day? How about look at the throw he had against Bryce? How about look at the throw he had against Minnesota with no protection and a throw down the left sideline?

Like, it just appears and flashes. And for Bryce, it did, despite all the bad things of not being protected and not having receivers. Like, it was a great play he made in the final home game to DJ Chark down the sideline. And when CJ Stroud's receivers are catching it with yards after the catch, it's a five yard out to Brevin Jordan, the former Miami Hurricane, and a playoff game. And he's going for 60 yards when DJ Chark's catching it and then holding it like a loaf of bread to be punched out at the goal line. That's what Carolina dealt with in the Jacksonville game the week before that.

Three throws on four plays to DJ Chark all drops inside the five yard line. That's what Bryce had to deal with. Number five, Dave Canales is the one responsible to add more support for Bryce Young. And Canales should re-energize Bryce. Baker Mayfield certainly appreciates Dave Canales.

A year ago, he was a Panther and things weren't great. Then he was paired with Dave Canales and then he's going toe to toe with the Lions on the road in a playoff game in round two, winning a playoff game. Dave Canales, a big part of the reason that happened on WSJS, was listening to Baker Mayfield sing Dave Canales' praises on the Rich Eisen Show. Just think about the similarities between Bryce Young and Dave Canales.

They're both Southern California guys, LA guys, they are uber positive. Bryce Young is and Dave Canales certainly comes off that way and you hear what Baker Mayfield just said about him. This is an upgrade for sure. How much of an upgrade? We'll wait and see. But it's an upgrade from what the Panthers had a year ago. And that energy should help Bryce. And Bryce Young, you should expect him to have a significant leap, make a significant leap in year two. For one, the Panthers, they can't be this unlucky again in terms of offensive line health, right?

Having five different starters at left guard and seven at right guard? Come on, Brady Christensen got hurt the first game of the year. Austin Corbett missing so much of the season. So you hope both of those guys are going to be intact. Bradley Bowes been back. Dave Canales, when we chatted with him this week, seems like he's not going to be square peg round hole guy. He's going to try and find something that fits this offense, which we hope is going to be some type of a power run scheme like we saw with successful tail end of the 22 season under Steve Wilks.

So that's one piece of it. The offense, it just should be better, plain and simple. And you also have a full off season to work if you're Bryce Young. That might sound like a small thing, but man, it's like trying to drink from a fire hose when the first four months of the off season, you're not able to be in the building. Even if you have the number one pick and you're the Panthers, you can't work with Bryce Young until May. Can't get him a playbook, can't do any of that. And he's learning so much that's new.

Now, you could tailor something that doesn't look all that new from what he's already comfortable with. And you could do that in January and February. You do that in February rather than waiting till May. And you have tape that you can self scout and you have a full season under your belt.

Didn't really get hurt at all. That's a plus. I think it's going to be a huge improvement for Bryce in year two.

You should not sell your Bryce Young stock just yet, and I don't think the football world is either. In February, YMCA members can refer their friends where they both benefit. If you refer a friend to the Y, you both get $50 in Y cash and are automatically entered to win a $500 Visa gift card. Refer your friends before Valentine's Day next Wednesday. Valentine's Day next Wednesday, they pay a $0 initiation cost.

Go to YMCA in wnc.org to learn more. WD, what was the highlight of last night for you? The Kobe statue was unveiled. A bit underwhelming because we didn't quite know if it was going to be 8 or 24. It was 8 and he's pointing up and all right, not a fadeaway jumper. I didn't know if 24 would make an appearance and then the Lakers lost the game to the Nuggets.

Well, that's true, but again, I learned last night, apparently, this is just statue number one of three that are going to be out there. Okay, the NFL honors. That was fun. Enjoyed watching that. Two hour show, pretty tight. Keegan-Michael Key, Kyle Brandt doing the angry run bit in person.

That's good. The Carolina Hurricanes, they beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 at PNC Arena last night. Quite the bounce back from the Canucks game. The first period of this game was insane. Marty Neches, three shots, three goals.

A natural hat trick for Marty Neches. And it was 3-0 Carolina going into the final minute of the first. Then with 25 seconds left to go, Colorado on a rush, beats Piotr Koczekov. Then five seconds later, just dumping one into the zone on goal after a face-off win, the puck clings off the iron and in as bad of a goal as you can allow. So when seconds before you had not allowed a goal, you allow two in six seconds and Rod Brindamore gives him the yank. Now, Koczekov also gave up a bad goal Tuesday night against Vancouver too. Maybe a couple that were bad.

So maybe this is some, you know, carryover in that. But the Canes still ended up winning the game in that six second span. Those are the only goals that the Colorado Avalanche scored all night. Carolina five, the Avs two. So that's what you had last night.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-09 20:30:42 / 2024-02-09 20:48:25 / 18

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