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March 28, 2024 72 mins

In a room full of heroes - Dan Hanzus and Marc Sessler get caught up on news from around the NFL, including some great sound from new Chargers HC Jim Harbaugh (04:16), Tre'Davious White signing with the Rams (07:39), the Panthers signing Jadeveon Clowney (09:59), the latest surrounding Dak Prescott and the Cowboys (15:30), and more! After the break, Conor Orr joins the show and the heroes open the ATN mailbag (27:30).

Note: time codes approximate.  

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
The Around the NFL podcast gets pretty podcast privilege. We
do SESSI from the Chris Wesley podcast studio. It's Around
the NFL.

Speaker 2 (00:16):
I am Dan hanss We've got a two hander today,
joined by my longtime friend and colleague Mark Sessler.

Speaker 1 (00:26):
It's up Mark.

Speaker 3 (00:27):
I am sitting in the chair for YouTube purposes. They've
scrunched us closer together, and I'm sitting in the chair
where Greg normally sits, and it's, you know, from a
bodily angle, very awkward. I don't know where it's I've no,
I don't I understand why I sit where I sit
and Greg sits where he sits. Yes, yeah, just out
of the gate. Something to deal with.

Speaker 2 (00:47):
That's something to fight through, and I think you will
because you are a professional broadcaster. In fact, it did
just occur to me. We're probably coming up on what
would it be. I mean, we're talking about maybe the
twelve year anniversary of the first show we did, the
original iteration of the Around the NFL podcast, which was

the ATL Debate Club, Me and you in the old
closet there in the Culver City offices. Things are very
different now, but I think back of those days and
always am thankful to Dave Damashek for giving us our
start on the back of the Dave Damashek Football program

and those initial wild episodes of the Debate Club, which
you know was the embryo of this program, and it.

Speaker 3 (01:37):
Was, you know, I think it was an appropriately appropriate
sized project and scope. It was about eleven minute eleven
minutes long aage time, and I think you can't even
find them anymore. But like when when they were available,
like a couple of years ago, I went back and listened,
and we're so like, it's like we've never spoken on
Mike before. It was I think I think it prompted
Greg at one point to tell us that if we

were going to take on a project of that scope
to do professionally. I'll never forget that comment from.

Speaker 1 (02:02):
Greg, right. Greg said that, yes, okay, when he was
like the master broadcaster that he is, I always found
with bosses, and Greg's on vacation still in Hawaii, well earned.

Speaker 3 (02:13):
And he'll never listen to this, and don't anyone tell him.

Speaker 1 (02:16):
And this is a good advice everybody with bosses.

Speaker 2 (02:19):
You can listen to some things they say, and some
things you just give them a little nod and be like, do.

Speaker 3 (02:24):
I think I think we have that tactic down in
the current times.

Speaker 2 (02:29):
Today's episode is a good one, by the way, developing news.
Speaking of Greg at the beginning of our last episode,
I said, I got to take this opportunity with Greg
out of the office and off the continental United States

to dig in on Delaware his high school band. And
we have major, major movement toward the long standing goal
of hearing hearing his high school band.

Speaker 3 (03:04):
Yeah, talk about twelve years in the making. This has
been a longing, ongoing investigating.

Speaker 2 (03:08):
We put out a call, we had named names from
the band, and we have heard back from certain individuals
directly tied to Greg's high school band, and I think
we are closer than ever Mark Sessler to hearing Greg singing.
Perhaps that will be an opportunity for you to say
to him, if you want to be in a band,

perhaps it comes full circle, it's time.

Speaker 1 (03:31):
To be a little more professional. That could be an opportunity.

Speaker 3 (03:34):
I didn't know that would be that'd be an open
talk about. I find it interesting that, like really, all
it took was announcing on the show that were this
mattered to us and this investigation that's been so important.
There was probably a five year gap where we never
asked anyone to unearth these tapes, and it showed up
within twenty four hours. So that's a lesson to us
on the investigation front.

Speaker 2 (03:54):
In fairness, we've gotten to this level of investigation in
the past and then we didn't take it home.

Speaker 1 (03:59):
But this is different.

Speaker 3 (04:00):
Well, he also, I think, you know, stuck his fingers
into it and blocked it on someone when he's gone,
look how much progress we make on this front.

Speaker 2 (04:08):
Absolutely, So stay tuned, That's all I'm gonna say. Stay
tuned because major developments on. Okay, let's get into it.
We're going to welcome our old friend Connor or in
to the show in a bit to hit the mail bag.
But before that, let's check in with John Harbaugh, he

of the proud ownership of a r V and do
a little news. It's been great, you know, man be
and myself, you know, like I always wanted to do that.

Speaker 4 (04:41):
It worked out great.

Speaker 2 (04:43):
I'm one hundred feet from Greg Roman. He's got a
better art.

Speaker 4 (04:49):
Gerro's got a really really good RV.

Speaker 1 (04:54):

Speaker 2 (04:55):
Jim Harbaugh, the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers,
is currently living in an RV, not a home. He's
a multi millionaire. I'm sure it's a very nice RV.
My wife is long pushed for the Hanss family to
go on an RV vacation.

Speaker 1 (05:10):
I pushed back, I don't like driving long distances. I
know I don't get the apeak a little bit, maybe perhaps,
but I think I'm excited. Like you know, we started
Debate Club twelve years ago. We've been doing the iteration
atm Iteration since twenty thirteen, so we remember very clearly

the Jim Harbaugh days with the San Francisco forty nine ers.
But it's sometimes easy to forget Mark that there's an
entire generation of young football fans that weren't really following
the sport in twenty fourteen when he left the team. Like,
you guys have kids, you guys have no idea what
you're in for.

Speaker 2 (05:47):
This guy is an interesting dude, and he's a little
bit out there, and I kind of get the feeling
based on early vibes around Jimmy Harbaugh and his returning
the end of fell that he kind of maybe is
cranked up the weird meter even a couple more notches.
We might be off the traditional one to ten shard
at this point, right, and it can only I don't

know what it means for Chargers, their future and the
fans in terms of excitement, although I understand why you're
excited because he's been a winner everywhere he goes.

Speaker 1 (06:18):
But I'm telling you it's not going to be boring
with Jim Harbaugh back.

Speaker 3 (06:21):
No, And it's it's like an interesting study in brotherhood
because like we both have two sons and their personalities
can be similar in some ways but very different. Like
John Harbaugh is very different to me than Jim Harbor.
Like I think of when they slashed in the Super
Bowl and it was like these are totally different cats.
And like Jim Harbaugh, I think you're right. I think
back in the NFL, he likes to he likes to

up the dial a little and kind of zone in
on that weirdness that he that really only he can bring.
But I also thinks he's going to change the Chargers.

Speaker 1 (06:49):
I really do. That's Harbor at nine. Now we're up
to eleven.

Speaker 2 (06:56):
Like people, I think we're taken it back by Dan
Campbell as an example, you mentioned the Lions when he
was very outspoken and maybe spoke in a little bit
of a different way than other head coaches.

Speaker 1 (07:09):
Jack Nicholson and Batman nineteen eighty nine. Wait, did they
get a load of me? All right?

Speaker 2 (07:18):
Oh, let me hear a little more Jim from that
press engagement. This is a good one too, you know, just.

Speaker 4 (07:22):
That mentality of that group. I mean, that's like a fist.

Speaker 2 (07:26):
You know, there's five of them, one, two, three, four, five, you.

Speaker 4 (07:30):
Know, playing as playing as one on that offensive line.

Speaker 1 (07:34):
I just love it. I just love it. All right,
let's get to it.

Speaker 2 (07:39):
Let's start with good news for the Rams, who add
a decorated cornerback to their secondary It is Tradavious White,
formerly of the Bills, signs a one year, eight and
a half million dollar contract. The Bills, dealing with some
cap issues, cut ties with White, and the former first

round pick tremendous beginning to his career mark but he's
he's dealt with some serious injuries and staying on the
field has been an issue. But you kind of get
him here at a bargain, You get him on a
prove it deal for the Rams, so I think from
their side of things, you know, have a backup plan
if White is not able to stay on the field.
Make sure you have depth in that room. But he

makes a lot of sense as someone to take a
flyer on and maybe you hit big and he gets
back to his old ways.

Speaker 3 (08:28):
Yeah, Like why not?

Speaker 1 (08:29):

Speaker 3 (08:29):
And I think, you know, some of the signings that
have come in the last forty eight hours are signings
that make sense to me, and I kind of like
that though that time time and free agency to pick
up these veterans. I think with White though, I mean,
he's played ten games in the last two years. He
tours his acl in twenty twenty one and then last
year tours achilles. And if we if we want to,

you know, whistle Dixie about the fact that Kirk Cousins
doesn't it doesn't matter that he tore his achilles because
he's not mobile. That's not his main like threatening, which
I agree with, by the way, no I too, But
like a cornerback is going to need to show us
to coming off of an achilles that he's going to
be able to do back so much. Let's just not
get another injury. He's just not be en durable.

Speaker 2 (09:11):
And let me rephrase that about Cousins, it does matter
you suffer a catastrophic lower body injury and you're in
your mid thirties. We'll see, but I think he's just
well suited to be able to recover from that without
losing too much of his game. But you're right, how
as time has passed, even again since when we started
this podcast. If you tore your achilles as a skill

player or a guy that's based like running backs, for instance,
it's been seen as a death sentence for a lot
of players, or it was.

Speaker 1 (09:38):
And as a.

Speaker 2 (09:39):
Cornerback, you worry about do they ever get back their athleticism,
And that's a real question mark, and we'll see. But
I also think there's and we know there's been a
lot of advances in the treatment and recovery process from
that type of injury, so hopefully White is on the
right side of things. In other news, the Panthers bring

in today Vin Clowney, the edge rusher formerly of the
Ravens and many many other teams. He's become the preeminent
mercenary of his generation. Where he started his career as
a first overall heavily hyped prospect, went to Houston and
had a nice run there, but you know, he dealt
with some injuries, never quite lived up to the lt

like potential put on him. But it tells you that
the fact that he continues to stay in the league,
even if he's never gotten that second, big, long term contract,
he's always welcome wherever he stops. I know he's been
with the Browns, he's been with the Seahawks. Now he
is stop over the Ravens, and now he's with the Panthers,
who get him and he gets a second year and

I can't remember the last. I think this is the
first time since that initial rookie deal that he has
a multi year contract, two years, twenty million. We'll see
if he plays both season with the Panthers, but this
is a team that needed some help there after Brian
Burns was traded to the Giants, and Clowney coming off
perhaps his best season, gives them something.

Speaker 3 (11:04):
Yeah, they lost Frankie Louvu as well, who you know
showed up in every game. You toy Gross Modos went
to the Niners, so they absolutely needed in edge. Clowney
is awesome against the run. I think he's just one
of the more one of the tougher players around. You know,
he had micro fracture surgery and that would end people's
careers talking about injuries, and he came back from that
last year nine and a half sacks with the Ravens.

That did come under Mike McDonald, who seemed to like
turn up everyone's production to the maximum. So you always
kind of wonder if you're going to go to this team.
But Everro's a good defensive coordinator, and I think they
needed that piece to put along Derek Brown and dj Wantam,
So why not. I think the Panthers should be adding
everyone they can. They've got a lot of needs.

Speaker 2 (11:45):
And maybe that second year got added because it had
been widely reported that the Jets are very hot on
Clowney and very motivated to sign them sign him to
replace Bryce Huff. So the Panthers perhaps going that extra
year is what got the deal done. So Clowney goes
to a team that's very clearly rebuilding, but he gets
a little bit more financial security. I don't actually see

the terms of the deal in terms of, you know,
if you will get to a second year, but the
fact that he signed a two year deal is different
for Jidavian Clowney. In other news, this was interesting Mark
we talked about on Tuesday Show with Connie. The major
overhaul of the kickoff in the NFL. And by the way,

did you I read this and we did talk about
it the night of the Super Bowl and Greg had
mentioned he was sick of the kickoffs producing nothing.

Speaker 3 (12:40):
Oh, I know where you're going with this.

Speaker 2 (12:41):
Yeah, all thirteen kickoffs in the most recent Super Bowl
were touchbacks. So it's funny how the playoffs we talked
about the past interference rule that was one and done
that was a playoff game. We talked about the overtime
rules changing after the Bill's Chiefs Classic in the divisional

playoffs where Josh Allen didn't get a chance to get
on the field. That led to a change. Those postseason
games are because there's so much on the line and
there's so many eyeballs on it. It's that round of
football that really produces the most change. And I think
that's what's happened here. After the thirteenth straight touchbacks. You
now have a new rule where we're going to see

a huge boost and kickoff return. So the idea that
the Steelers are getting Corterel Patterson arguably the greatest kick
returner ever, if not obviously in the top five.

Speaker 1 (13:33):
In that conversation, he should be that matters a lot.

Speaker 2 (13:36):
NFL Networks ian Rappaport reports that the Steelers agreed to
terms with the veteran formerly of the Falcons on a
two year, six million dollar deal. And Mark He's thirty
three years old, so he's an older player, but he's
also someone that has always been either a gadget player
or part of a scheme, So I don't think he
has a ton of tread on the tires. He's coming
off a run with the Falcons where he was in

a rotation at running back. This it feels like a
smart signing for Arthur Smith and that Steelers attack.

Speaker 3 (14:04):
And I don't know if it happens necessarily here versus
somewhere else without Arthur Smith, because if you look at
what how he was used, and you know, Pittsburgh's a
different team with different personnel. But I think Cordella Patterson
probably was told you were going to have more than
just the kick return role here. He had eleven one
hundred plus yards in twenty twenty one on the ground

through the air, eleven touchdowns in twenty twenty two, less
yardage but fourteen touchdowns, so I think he gets got
a larger part than just kick returner, but they are
silver and gold now because I think we're going to
see a rash of teams looking for this role obviously,
and we don't know how impactful they're going to be,
but there's a world where like it takes defense as
a time to figure out how to special teams how

to defend this kickoff return and it could be wild.
And I also think it's a great news for some
of those draftable wide receivers who are maybe smaller but
lightning quick, but not seen as like a true two
or three. They have real roles and I think it
starts to change things in it forever everyone on special teams.

Speaker 1 (15:01):
Yeah, I can't wait to see how that all plays out.

Speaker 2 (15:04):
It actually makes the you know, I've never been a
big fan of the preseason, but you're going to get
an early look in those games, so we'll see.

Speaker 1 (15:11):
How goes well.

Speaker 3 (15:12):
Unless they want to hide with their like you don't
want to you almost don't want to give too much weight,
but you're right, we're gonna see in general what.

Speaker 1 (15:17):
Kind of those teams you want to hide it. But
also they have a well, uh catch twenty two there
that is that is a classic classic catch twenty two.
How about to catch twenty two for the Cowboys? What
else is new? They're all in right? What does what
does Mike say? What does that say? Etp behind the glass?

Speaker 2 (15:39):
Buy into us right? They want to They want to
finally get over the hub. They want to get back
to the super Bowl for the first time in a
quarter century. And Cowboys fans are dying to get back
to the super Bowl and they want this to be
a big, splashy offseason. But they have so much salary
cap challenge because of the big names on their roster
and the big salaries that are either currently do are coming.

Dude down the line. Dak Prescott's at the front of
that line, so he's their star quarterback and he has
a massive cap number that Dallas is trying to rework
his contract to help free up space to do other things.
So the Cowboys is originally reported by field Yates converted
Dak's five million roster bonus to a signing bonus and
that cleared four million in cap. And I'm not going

to try to dig deep on what this means for
their ability. There's someone else better than that out there.
It sounds like a really boring podcast. But I'm sure
you could find a salary cap driven podcast that could
satiate your hunger in that situation. But I can tell
you that his number is now slashed all the way
down mark to fifty five point four five five million

this year, so still incredibly prohibitive in some ways. They
want to perhaps do a new deal that changes and
kicks kicks the can down the line, but that has
not happened yet.

Speaker 1 (16:58):
But here's a little bit of relief.

Speaker 3 (17:00):
I mean, we saw Cleveland do this with Deshaun Watson.
I mean we've seen a little bit of that with Mahomes.
It's like, this is the way you get. You sign
these massive contracts and you keep pushing the money down
the line and in some cases until the next GM
and coaching staff have to deal with it. Potentially. In
this case, the GM is not going away. It's Jerry Jones,
and I think if Dak, if he Ay truly believe

in Dak. The one problem is is that with each
calendar year, how much more expensive does it become to
sign your star quarterback.

Speaker 1 (17:30):
I don't know.

Speaker 3 (17:30):
It just feels like the Cowboys have had the weirdest
offseason possible based on what they told us heading into
the off season, and I know Mike McCarthy, he was
very Zaddy like during the owners meetings, saying like I
welcome the challenge, like I'm not looking at this as
you know, something I'm not willing to take on. But
I mean, how have they gotten better and how have

they gotten worse? And it's like, I don't know. I
can't take them entirely serious as a Super Bowl candidate.
But also just because of exhaustion with you, because in
the because in years past we've said we would not
and then like we all get we all get pulled
back in.

Speaker 1 (18:06):
That's what happens.

Speaker 3 (18:07):
I'm not doing it this time. It's not happening.

Speaker 2 (18:09):
They got you last year. They finally got you last year.
I don't buy into double crossed the sas dog they did,
and that that adds, you know, that makes it more milicious,
very successful brand though that cowboy can't question that. All right,
let's pause right here for a minute and uh take
a break and then get back to the news.

Speaker 1 (18:29):
All right, we're back in other news. Let's hear God
Save the King. E t P. What do you think
about et P as a nickname? Eric the producer, I
like that. They've been looking for one for a while.

Speaker 3 (18:43):
Yeah, like nickname free and now that's not the case.

Speaker 1 (18:47):
TYI No, maybe not with the southern draw.

Speaker 3 (18:51):
A little creepy.

Speaker 1 (18:51):
That's a little bit of heat to it, pop to it,
little sizzle. All right, let's get.

Speaker 3 (18:57):
Were you actually requesting something from him?

Speaker 2 (18:58):
You're I'm looking for the national anthem of the United Kingdom.
Because our good friend Henry Hodgson, general manager of all
things UK football and a major figure with the International
Pathway program, we got another fun prospect here. He is

European rugby star Lewis Reese Zemmet and I apologize if
I have that incorrect. I like the name though it
could be am but anyway, the Kansas City Chiefs have
agreed to contract.

Speaker 1 (19:32):
Terms with ree Semmate, who is from Wales.

Speaker 2 (19:37):
He participated in the NFL's International Player Pathway pro Da
last week, ran at four point four to three in
the forty yards.

Speaker 1 (19:44):
Wales is a part of the United Kingdom. Did you
know that mine?

Speaker 3 (19:47):
I did? I lived in the United Kingdom side?

Speaker 1 (19:50):
Did you you've never mentioned that?

Speaker 3 (19:51):
I'm very well?

Speaker 2 (19:52):
First, none forget Diana, Princess of Wales. Mark nailed it anyway,
he made visits to a handful of teams before agreeing
to contract terms with the Chiefs, and it ties back
to Marcus story we just talked about. Because this man
is a very talented, dangerous player with a rugby ball
in his hands. The Chiefs, according to ESPN's Adam Teacher Tecker,

we'll look at the player as a running back or
perhaps a wide receiver, and he could be a special
teams player. So I think the Chiefs can rest easy
now they have found their weapon for Patrick Mahomes and
we move into another successful season.

Speaker 3 (20:36):
We do, I mean kind of a perfect landing spot,
just because it's completely a mystery how he'll be used,
and you'd kind of trust they'll find a way. He's
six three played for the Gloucester rugby squad Gloucester Gloucester
because I knew that's how I say it, because when

I did live in England, there was this nursery rhyme
going around the time. I mean it was it was ancient,
but it was in the early seventies. Yeah, and like
my brother used to say it, but it was doctor
Foster went to Gloucester in a puddle of rain. I
don't know any I don't know the second line, but
he visits the queen and does a bunch of other
stuff and there's a cat involved at some point, I think.

But so that he played for that where that nurseryrhyme
took place, he played rugby for that group, and Nanny's
fast like I don't know. There have been a few
rugby players during our time in NFL that have tested
the waters and it kind of worked and kind of didn't.
But I think it's they're all in a better position
in like the player Pathway program is.

Speaker 2 (21:35):
I had a quoting. I had an ex girlfriend in
college up in Boston that was a big fan of
a seafood restaurant in Gloucester, Gloucester, Massachusetts. She had a
lot of seafood which is on the north shore and
mass for people that are from there. I believe it
was called the Rudder. So if you, uh, I don't
know if it's opened anymore. It's twenty years ago now,

but check out the Rudder.

Speaker 3 (21:57):
Send us a photo if you check it.

Speaker 1 (21:59):
Out, please do all right?

Speaker 2 (22:01):
E Oh so so we'll see and shout out to
Henry Hotson because future commissioner. It's a interesting I think
this is the next step for the NFL. You look
at a sport like baseball, just populated by so many
players from throughout throughout the glove. I'm wearing my opening
day for the Yankees and the rest of MLB. This
is the Dugout, which is the bar where my brother

Kevin Danger works in the Bronx, right outside Yankee Stadium.

Speaker 1 (22:25):
So go say hi to them at the Dugout if
you're a Yankee fan.

Speaker 2 (22:29):
But anyway, the NFL wants to continue to bring in
these international players and make it a global sport.

Speaker 1 (22:33):
And we'll see how it's like.

Speaker 3 (22:35):
There are large people and fast people in places outside
of America, so it kind of makes sense.

Speaker 1 (22:39):
Yeah, look at the NBA.

Speaker 2 (22:40):
I mean, geez, my goodness, we're going to take the
gold home even anywhere in the Olympics.

Speaker 1 (22:47):
Mark let us know.

Speaker 3 (22:51):
I don't know. I think that's a great question. I'm
not like a finally, like the Dream Team days, we
may be in our place beyond that at this point.

Speaker 2 (22:58):
Uh media minute, the Eagles will open the season and
send Paolo Brazil on the Peacock Network. So all those
things you saw with a playoff game last year, it
was the Bills Dolphins.

Speaker 1 (23:12):
That game was also on Peacock. Chiefs Dolphins, Chiefs Dolph.

Speaker 3 (23:15):
Is that our fourth coldest NFL game ever?

Speaker 2 (23:17):
Yeah, So this game, if you want to check out
the Eagles, will be on Peacock. Amazon will also get
a wild card game, so they will get that game
like last year's game at Arrowhead, hopefully better weather. By
the way, there was some news that came out. This
is not obviously anything. Oh do you want to hit?

Speaker 5 (23:35):
Go ahead, Eric, It's time for the late I was
always forget the script.

Speaker 1 (23:43):
Go ahead, you got it.

Speaker 5 (23:46):
It's time for the latest edition of the Media Minute
with Dan Hans's very good at P. You know, when
I played it, I totally was like, damn, I have
no idea what I'm supposed to say.

Speaker 1 (23:58):
You know what you do after the show, this would
be a good thing. Go record it with this right,
and then you hit the drop and there it is.
We have the technology. I do I have to say,
I do like ETP struggling through it a little bit.

Speaker 3 (24:09):
Yeah, I think that's part of the fun. So let's
not do that.

Speaker 1 (24:11):

Speaker 2 (24:14):
Anyway, So Amazon gets the wild Card game and peak out.
This is the future, man, this is they're going to
play games overseas. More and more the streamers are going
to get continue to get a piece. So that's what
it is.

Speaker 3 (24:25):
It's people. Certain people were freaking out over over especially
the Eagles opener, like Matt Dog went nuts over it,
and I kind of get it for certain. But these
games are still available for people to watch. They're streamed
elsewhere and like they I mean that you can get
to without having just to get a subscription by the way,
I mean it's on NFL Plus as well, which we

are as well. But see, that's the thing that sounds
like a very sound purchase, all right for anyone who's
listening up on the third floor from this building. I
couldn't be a bigger backer of the product.

Speaker 1 (24:57):
Finally, in the news, Hard Knocks News, my favorite football show.

Speaker 2 (25:03):
Colleen Wolf and the old Zuzzar have done a Hard
Knocks podcast the past two summers. Hopefully we'll do it
again with a team to be named later here in
the Bears being floated this year now, since twenty thirteen,
they've had a strict set of rules in place for
who is Hard Knocks quote unquote eligible, and they've changed

it this year for the first time, so it used
to be teams can avoid being selected for Hard Knocks
that they qualify in one of three things, no head
coach change. They've been on the show in the last
ten years, or they've made the playoffs in each of
the last two years. Either of the last years, which
always felt like a weird one. They got rid of that,

so no longer is that a rule. Now it is
first year head coach in place. They're participating in the
NC show during the upcoming year or the following season,
and then they knocked it down to have appeared on
Hard Knocks in the past eight years. The other change
that they're making is the in season Hard Knocks, which

by the way, that opens up from three to sixteen
teams now eligible. With With that change about the playoff
teams no longer being impacted, the n season Hard Knocks
is reportedly going to a division format, which is worth
a try.

Speaker 1 (26:26):

Speaker 3 (26:27):
I kind of like that only because I thought when
they had the cults on in season, and I think
in season's tough to deal with when you're like I've.

Speaker 1 (26:36):
Found that as a huge Hard knocksent.

Speaker 2 (26:38):
I've always found that challenging just because you're in the
season and there's so much other football to take in.
What makes the offseasons training cap one so special is
that it's when you're you're most starved and excited for
football season.

Speaker 1 (26:50):
It's just perfectly timed.

Speaker 3 (26:51):
I always thought, yeah, I think the Division one works though,
because just a lot more happening, and I don't know
that for me that that might solve that that shows
is you in in season, but.

Speaker 2 (27:01):
It also covers you if if the team falls out
of contention right or there's not a lot of juice.

Speaker 3 (27:06):
So I think I think you're onto something. With the Bears,
I don't know if they seem like they would well,
I think it's certain teams just if they're if they
embrace the concept, like it's good for Matt Eberflus, for
people to know more about Matt Eberflus. You do you
would have a rookie quarterback, that's a lot of heat
on them. But they did with the Browns and Baker
and others as well. But now it's like that could
the Texans or someone like that be And it's like

a lot of intriguing concepts.

Speaker 2 (27:29):
All right, well see what happens and we'll be all
over that. When the announcement comes out. That's what's happening
in the news. Let's take a break and then welcome
in an old friend.

Speaker 3 (27:46):
Welcome back to the Heat and Light Podcast. I am
your co host, Mark Sessler, joined as always by my
co host Connor. Or and Connor, we're equal co host
just I think that just that the people understand the
power structure were equal well co hosts.

Speaker 6 (28:01):
That's always how when we set out to do this
a long time ago and informed people about the ways
of the world, that's how we set it up.

Speaker 3 (28:08):
Yeah, I think it, you know it. It creates a
sense of partnership there. I you know, we often when
I see you, we're on the road because you don't
live here in La and I don't live where you live,
and so you're a man that travels, uh to and fro.
Have you ever been to in your reporting days to
Antarctica to cover any sort of a story.

Speaker 6 (28:28):
No, because I know the true dangers that that exists there.
I mean, beyond beyond the ice and snow. Uh, there's
a good chance that we're looking at deep cities beneath
the caverns of ice, potentially a group of you know,

crystal people, something dealing with the future of energy and
deep government secrets.

Speaker 7 (28:58):
So I try to stay away.

Speaker 3 (29:00):
Yeah, I I could see why you would. You know,
you aren't you know, alone in your concerns about this
part of the world, And I was doing some reading.
We'd like to deep dive into these subjects. And this
kind of tracks back to the winter of nineteen forty seven,
when Admiral Richard E. Byrd claimed on a trip to
Antarctica to discover a massive, like hundreds foot wide hole

that when he sunk his plane into it, essentially found
that the ice and snow disappeared. It was a lush, warm,
forested world with animals that had not been seen by
the human eye. To your point, these crystal palaces. He
met someone called the Master that warned the Earth about
nuclear technology. Connor, I want to just let you know,
because you know we're here today not just to drag

up old information, but I actually.

Speaker 4 (29:53):
So new.

Speaker 2 (30:03):
All right, we are back, and yes, as promised, we're
going to bring in one of our very favorite men,
a long time buddy, also a former colleague and a
great damn journalist, Connor Or, Welcome back to around the NFL.

Speaker 1 (30:21):
Always great, Thanks.

Speaker 7 (30:23):
For having me, fellas.

Speaker 6 (30:24):
It's great to fully realize the part three of my plan,
which is to take Greg's spot and exact an exact,
a full one to eighty revenge from back when he
was my boss at NFL Media.

Speaker 3 (30:39):
A lot of Greg Boss talked today. I think that
that sewed it up well right.

Speaker 2 (30:42):
Now and almost like a lot of either revenge or
plotting against him. It's it's almost like he's made enemies
along the way, but he's on a well earned vacation,
maybe a permanent one perhaps based on this appearance. Connor,
how are you, buddy, what's new in the life of mister.

Speaker 7 (31:00):
Or what's happening?

Speaker 6 (31:03):
You know, everything is good, just just dealing with a
lot of flooding and power outages here in western New Jersey.
But we're living the life. It's rustic out here.

Speaker 2 (31:14):
We've had a lot of storms as well, and poor
weather and more coming in here in southern California, which
is very unusual.

Speaker 1 (31:21):
I wonder what that's all about.

Speaker 2 (31:23):
Maybe something for you guys to discuss on your whenever
you come back with your famous offshoot podcast, The Heat
and Light Pud whenever, that that might be a good topic.

Speaker 3 (31:35):
When struggling for the name of the show.

Speaker 7 (31:37):
Yeah, call it what it was.

Speaker 1 (31:38):
Please thank you?

Speaker 2 (31:40):
All right with Connor here, we we like to dive
in and connect with our audience over on the mail
bag side. And as always a disclaimer, if this doesn't
go well as a segment, it is not on us,
not at all, It is on you.

Speaker 3 (31:55):
We typically have to save it, you know, out of
the gate.

Speaker 1 (31:58):
Right, So either either.

Speaker 2 (31:59):
The sessions weren't good enough or people that are listening
to be like this, this segment sucks.

Speaker 1 (32:05):
Well, did you send in a question? So it's really uh,
it's we're just calling calling it like we see it,
being honest with the listeners.

Speaker 3 (32:13):
You know, you've got a man up some time.

Speaker 2 (32:14):
And if one segment swims beautifully, well that's that's me
and Mark and Connor just being professionals and being broadcasters.
So now that the everything's set, uh, let's hit the
first question. It is from Brandon Lorie.

Speaker 1 (32:29):
Uh. I like his handle. Brandon is right, but w
R I t e Uh.

Speaker 2 (32:35):
If you had absolute control over the competition committee, what
rule changes would you make? I like this one, Connor,
I thought, and we you know, we gave the NFL
some flowers on our Tuesday show in that the league
and West always said this. The league has never been
shy about taking chances to improve the product and make changes.

Not all of them work, but at least you give them.
Give them at I will say my long standing Connor
call for more protection for the officials on personal fouls,
for roughing the passer, for defenseless receiver. The game move
so fast that getting more help there and from upstairs

would only help.

Speaker 1 (33:20):
But that's one for me.

Speaker 6 (33:21):
What about you, I've long been so I'll blame Tom
Pellisero for this.

Speaker 1 (33:27):
I love Tom, the pell Raiser himself, the.

Speaker 6 (33:29):
Pell Raiser, like maybe it was last year or the
year before, had had noted accurately.

Speaker 1 (33:36):
You know how.

Speaker 6 (33:38):
The NFL was really considering the fourth and fifteen on
side kick alternative, and I prepared so much content on
my end based on just blind excitement, all the possibilities
and to have it be and again this is a
knock on. Like Tom knows more about football than I

could ever hope to know, and the inside mechanisms of it,
but got me so excited for it, and then to
have it never happen was such a letdown.

Speaker 7 (34:07):
And it's the perfect rule.

Speaker 6 (34:10):
And for those who don't know, right it was the
in lieu of an onside kick. You can go for
it on your own twenty five yard line and it's
a fourth and fifteen basically, and if you lose possession,
the other team basically gets the ball right inside the
red zone. NFL owners who don't have Josh Allen and
Patrick Mahomes are terrified of this and they won't vote

for it because most of their quarterbacks suck, and I
understand that, but just imagine like the entire cottage industry
that could be built around that single play. Like you
could find like a massive, like Cam Newton type human
being who's only really valuable for that play where he

can just like carry a bunch of bodies for fifteen
yards or like but maybe throw a pass.

Speaker 7 (34:58):
It's like, there's so.

Speaker 6 (35:00):
Many amazing things that could happen just by virtue of
that moment, and you could get these great NBA jam
type moments where maybe these teams are hitting two or
three of these in a row and they're bonkers, and
you can't do that with the non site kick.

Speaker 3 (35:11):
And the Eagles particularly have been trying for this for years.
I think it's like ten years in a row or something,
and no one. I think there is some fear out there.

Speaker 1 (35:19):
You're right, and I just want to add one other thing.
And I don't know, Mark, did you have one?

Speaker 3 (35:25):
I have two quick ones, yes, one, because I know
I don't claim to come up with everything on my own.
This is we'd mentioned Dave Danishak earlier. I always thought
this was the most ingenious concept to prevent tanking, to
prevent teams taking a dirt nap, and you know folding
tent for the last month plus of a season. Is
that you take the two worst teams that are vying
for the number one pick and you have them square off.

And in this case, the timing of this would be unusual,
but I thought maybe just a little Wednesday in between
the wild card and divisional round.

Speaker 1 (35:55):
Not everyone need to track it. Well, we have Wednesday
football now, so that checks out.

Speaker 3 (35:58):
That fits like a glout. They they would play each
other and the winner gets the number one pick. So
it's like you you have to fight right down to
the end.

Speaker 1 (36:06):
Uh, we could do it you know where, and you
could do it.

Speaker 2 (36:09):
Actually, you could slot it in in the old Pro
Bowl spot that's Sunday before the Super Bowl.

Speaker 3 (36:15):
I thought about that, except that you're asking like a
team to they're kind of like doing the college thing
where you're off for like twenty something days or something.

Speaker 2 (36:21):
Well, don't finish amongst the worst two league, stay out,
stay out of the toilet bowl.

Speaker 3 (36:26):
Here's my other one. Yeah, this would this would take
you're talking about fear, This would take the opposite. No
commercial breaks. We get through these games in about an
hour and forty five minutes, and it's a it just okay, Well,
I'm just saying that I'm trying to think at what
I want that would be what I want. All the
dads at like DVR games and they wait like an

hour and a half in to like fast forward, so
they don't to deal with commercials.

Speaker 1 (36:50):
It's like they don't have to do it anymore. And
you just want the games to end as quickly as possible.
And I get it.

Speaker 2 (36:55):
But uh, and all the people that are like, oh
and let's get rid of the chain gangs, get off it.
Can we in this world, this digital world where we're
increasingly controlled by bots and robits and micro technology, can
we just get a couple of bros with two sticks

and a chain figure and something out still like, can
we keep that? Can we keep that. Can we make
the world simple in one way? That's all I'm gonna say.
Count that's all.

Speaker 1 (37:26):
That's all.

Speaker 6 (37:27):
Like does that if I'm breaking any news here? But
there are computer chips in the chains, So when you're
breaking news to the two of us when I don't
know if a lot of people know this, but like
whenever anyone's like they need to get rid of the
chain gang, it's like like we have all this technology.
It's like, yeah, the technology is in the chain, so

we're good. Like, yeah, does sometimes does the chain break? Yeah,
like once during the super Bowl I think, or it
happened twice during the playoffs last year, if I can't remember,
if I can remember correctly. But yeah, the the technology
is in there, We're good.

Speaker 1 (38:02):
That is I mean, breaking news for the podcast. So
thank you Connor and that, like I said in the intro,
this is a very talented journalist.

Speaker 3 (38:10):
It is great sometimes to occasionally like the chain gang
guy A or B you don't know which one gets
you know, not paying attention, gets whacked by a player
coming off the field, and it's just a delight to watch.

Speaker 1 (38:21):
Let's hit another question.

Speaker 2 (38:23):
We'll finish this in about two hours with this right,
bo Brooks asks, will Jordan Love win more Super Bowls
than Aaron Rodgers? Well, he just needs to win two.
But there aren't a lot of quarterbacks that have ever
won too. What do you think, Connor? He's got a
bright future ahead of what he's already probably twenty five
or twenty six, right, So you got that as well

to consider.

Speaker 7 (38:45):
I say no.

Speaker 6 (38:47):
And the reason I do is because every time a
team ends the season with some vague semblance of promise,
we get on this just path of stupidity where we
project things in an upward trajectory for no re like
you know, oh they're young and contracts and I pretending

to talk like a GM and everything works, and like
it doesn't. We don't know how good the Packers are
going to be. They'll clip this and they'll show this
to me at the combine next year, I'm sure, but.

Speaker 1 (39:19):
I don't know how hard too.

Speaker 6 (39:22):
I don't know how good the Packers are going to
be in the future. But like winning two Super Bowls
for any quarterback that isn't you know this sort of
you know colossus of a human talent like Patrick Mahomes
or you know, Tom Brady or something like that it's difficult.

Speaker 7 (39:37):
It's hard, so I would say.

Speaker 3 (39:39):
No, And like the career of Aaron Rodgers kind of
proves the point. He won one right away, and it's like, oh,
he could win five or six, and you could say
the Packers probably should have gotten there a number of times.
But uh, tbduh.

Speaker 2 (39:52):
While we're here, Yeah, let's might as well address it,
because we did play it on the show last week.
I believe that in my opinion, Uh, an ambush by
the general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jason light
On Connor?

Speaker 1 (40:07):
Or do we have that? Let's play that.

Speaker 4 (40:10):
Hey, good Connor, how are you everything good? Yeah? We
uh we have history. No, No, we just we won
a lot more games than what he predicted us to
get last Yes, yeah, it's for two. I haven't hanging up.
I haven't hanging up in more.

Speaker 2 (40:25):
Office there it is, Connor, What was the the general
vibe between you and light in that spot? Was there
any real tension or was it all in good, good fun?

Speaker 6 (40:35):

Speaker 7 (40:36):
It was it was funny.

Speaker 6 (40:37):
I mean, like so to kind of deal everybody back
behind the curtain when you're at when you're at the combine.
A lot of times like if the gms do the
podium stuff and if you just want to have like
a casual conversation with them and you know, not have
it be quoted somewhere.

Speaker 7 (40:54):
Sometimes I'll ask to talk to a GM.

Speaker 6 (40:56):
Or a coach or if it's like a really niche
question that I don't want to bother anybody, Like you know,
you're trying to yell in a pack of people, you
asked them off to the side.

Speaker 7 (41:04):
And so I asked.

Speaker 6 (41:05):
For Jason Light, thinking like we were talking off the record,
and so we like, you know, everything gets shuttled. I
never saw a camera, and so him and I are
talking and like he brings it up, which every right
to do it. I mean, it was a horrible decision
on my part. I picked him to win two games
they made the playoffs.

Speaker 2 (41:26):
But do you think it was a coordinated attack like
they had they had this in mind that they were
going to have this ready and they were going to
play it up on social.

Speaker 6 (41:34):
See, this is what's wild to me, So they would
have to assume that I was there, right, And then
so I asked the PR guy. I was like, hey,
can I get Jason just for a second, And he's like, yeah, no, problem.
So then between Jason walking off the podium and then
like traveling the eleven feet over to where I was standing,
they had to have like briefed him on this and

they flagged down a social media person concealed camera and
then I tolosted five five days after it happened, which
is like may it was like three days after happened.
But that was the funniest part. Like I was, I
was on a job with my neighbor and I get
like text messages sent to my phone and like I'm
getting dozens of text messages like I can't believe they

did that.

Speaker 7 (42:19):
Are you okay?

Speaker 1 (42:20):
Are you okay?

Speaker 7 (42:21):
What's going on?

Speaker 6 (42:23):
Like people from high school that I hadn't talked to
in you know, twenty years. And then I was like,
like I have no idea it was filmed, and so
I did. I did get a kick out of it.
My parents liked it. Everyone thought it was funny.

Speaker 7 (42:37):
But it was just like in that moment, I was like,
were you like hiding? Where was the camera? That's all
I wanted to know, really, was like where where was
the device? Who was filming it?

Speaker 6 (42:49):
And then like in the back of my head, I'm
like Okay, is all the stuff that I asked him? Like,
did they post that too? I don't know, but yeah, no,
it's fine, We're good.

Speaker 1 (42:58):
So, as a Syracuse graduate one of the great programs
of journalism in the country, you know the perils of
gotcha journalism. I think that was really on turning it
turning around on the reporter.

Speaker 3 (43:11):
Not too far away from like muck raking journalism, which
is danger of its own.

Speaker 1 (43:15):
But I would say, in some ways fair play by
Light and company.

Speaker 6 (43:18):
Here's my thing. Now, you've created the public ripe about
my season predictions. Every year from here on out, I'm
going to predict you to win sixteen games, and so
what would you rather live up to that? Or would
you rather have poor little?

Speaker 2 (43:39):
You know what I see where you're coming from that.
But I also have to say, just respectfully, don't let
them impact your true feelings, because that means you're going
to end up adjusting all of your win total for
all their opponents. Where you might autoty it might be
a swing of eight to ten games in your actual mindset,
don't let them win, you know what I mean?

Speaker 3 (43:59):
I hope that Light approaches you at every future. Combine
with the similar, you know, yes or no scenario?

Speaker 1 (44:05):
All right, Next, Daniel Crespo asks, every year there is
always a team that surpasses expectations. Who do you think
will be the surprise teams of the NFC and AFC.
So we're you know, who are the Texans this year?
Who are the Rams this year? What do you think? Mark?

Speaker 3 (44:24):
You know, I was looking at the list and there
there aren't a lot of great options here. NFC. I
thought that maybe the Commanders. I thought they've added a
lot of interesting pieces. I think Quinn has experienced, You're not.
It's not a total fill in the blank on what
kind of persona he is. We kind of know that
they have the chance to add a quarterback that could

make a big difference out of the gate if you
play as well. So it was that for me in
the NFC. In the AFC, I think the x this
was tougher because, like I was looking at last year's
record and like the Chargers won five games, yet expectations
seem high because of her and your quarterback. So that's
my answer there. I just didn't see a lot of
other options.

Speaker 1 (45:04):
Although you know what, I'll.

Speaker 2 (45:06):
Throw them some flowers because I really did like their
most recent move to get Snead in the building the Titans.
If Levis does take a leap here, they have given
him some structure so that team could surprise in the
AFC if a couple things go their way.

Speaker 1 (45:23):
What do you think, Connor?

Speaker 6 (45:25):
I think the Colts are going to win the AFC
South this year. I think the Colts are going to
be really good. I think Anthony richards richards is going
to be great. And if I were to pick a
team in the NFC, okay, let's say surprise in air quotes,
like if the Carolina Panthers go from a two win
team to like an eight or a nine win team,
would that be I think that would be a surprise

generally given that they weren't really able to upgrade much
this offseason.

Speaker 7 (45:49):
But I think there's gonna be a lot of improvement
there too.

Speaker 2 (45:52):
What does Anthony Richardson learn from that cameo in terms
of protecting himself but still remaining a dangerous out. I
think it's a big time subplot around the Colts because
he's got to stay healthy for them to make that
leap next now, bag all right, this from Simon King
is West Broms are you aware of what's going on
with around the NFL and West Bromwich the soccer team.

Speaker 6 (46:18):
Connor vague vaguely like, I remember learning about this dishwasher
man from this podcast, so I do like I'm sort
of bally in the know here.

Speaker 1 (46:28):
Well, anyway, a guy in my fantasy football league owns
this team, and so now they are the football team
of atn But anyway, so is West Brom's boiler man
mascot better than every mascot in the NFL. So for
people and you're watching YouTube, you can see, but it's
quite literally a boiler that you would find in your
basement or on the side of your house or what

have you, with legs and arms sticking out, and that
is a wild mascot.

Speaker 2 (46:53):
And Boying Boying I support everything they do. So I'm
gonna say that is a great mascot. In terms of
best mascot in the NFL, I have three.

Speaker 1 (47:03):
I really like kind of he doesn't get a lot
of pop, But I like Steely mcbeam of the Steelers.

Speaker 3 (47:10):
Does any mascot get a lot of pop? I feel
like they kind of.

Speaker 1 (47:13):
I'll give you one.

Speaker 2 (47:15):
Jackson Deville of the jaz right, that is yeah, he
is probably the uh, the biggest star of the moment
in that world. But I also like and I met
him at the International Series and him very nice man
or slash creature Captain Fear of the Buccaneers. Also, I
quite enjoy him. Anybody have a spot mascot, take.

Speaker 7 (47:36):
Sir per and I'll say, why they they? I don't
know why the Panthers Panthers.

Speaker 6 (47:43):
The there's like a there's like a Panthers in house
video from like nine years ago that I recently stumbled
on where he's just in the office doing regular cat stuff.

Speaker 7 (47:55):
Nice and it is.

Speaker 6 (47:58):
It's so funny and I watch it probably once a week.
So Sir Perr is awesome. A quick sub question, is
your friend who owns West brom like like a Packers
fan who says he owns the Packers or is this
a real like you're you're in a fantasy football league
with like a billionaire.

Speaker 2 (48:16):
The second one whoa Yeah, his name is Sheelyn Patel
and he is seen as a savior by the fans
of the Boy.

Speaker 1 (48:25):
And Boy cool.

Speaker 2 (48:27):
Yeah, And before we move on, if you're going to
bring up Sir Perr and the Panthers, you got to
hit us with one, Connor hit us with one piled.

Speaker 1 (48:36):
In next never gets old? Can we cut that as
a drop? Thank you? Eric?

Speaker 2 (48:43):
At py Guy, Tomlinson asks, with Christmas so far away,
does Connor watch Hallmark films through the years with different events,
I e. Valentine's, summer holidays, the fourth of July and
what have you? A great question people that are maybe
new to the show and don't know that Connor every
Christmas comes on. He and his wife are religious about,

no pun intended about watching every Hallmark type holiday film
they can get their eyes on, starting I believe the
day after Thanksgiving or maybe the day after Halloween.

Speaker 1 (49:17):
Something insane like that day after Halloween.

Speaker 2 (49:19):
Yeah, that is insane, but I love you for who
you are, and then all the way through to the
Christmas and it does it carry over to other holidays?

Speaker 1 (49:28):
That's a good question.

Speaker 6 (49:30):
So it's funny about that is my Hallmark obsession has
now It's created like shockwave effects through my immediate family,
and so my in laws have it on all the time,
and so every time we go over there for dinner
now it is on like twenty four hours a day,
and so by virtue of that, we have now become

aware of and are very much fans of. Sort of
there's like a New Year's collection, a Valentine's collection, a
Spring collection, a summer collection with kind of all your
favorite stars, and they just sort of spin.

Speaker 7 (50:03):
It forward into different times a year, which is great.

Speaker 3 (50:06):
Have you ever thought about as a side job writing
reviews for the vibrant publication TV guide?

Speaker 6 (50:13):
Okay, I think that my reviews of Hallmark movies would
be so glowing that coming from me, it would be
interpreted as like a very mean satire, right, And it's
really not like. There was that really well meaning, lovely
woman from like the Dakotas who reviewed an olive Garden

like ten years ago, do you remember this? And there
was never like an olive garden in her like state,
and she reviewed it as if it were this like
breathtaking five star Italian restaurant, and everyone made fun of her.

Speaker 7 (50:46):
She was like in her seventies, but that's she was serious.
She loved it.

Speaker 6 (50:49):
And imagine having an olive garden breadstick for the first
time in your seventies, Like it's unbelievable. Yeah, So I
think that it would probably come off a little bit
like that, and I I would be worried about affecting
my current relationship with Hallmark, which is very good.

Speaker 1 (51:03):
I think that's very fair.

Speaker 2 (51:04):
I do feel like watching a spring like springtime version
of that type of that's like scrape in the bottom
of the barrel, like what is the hook of your
what is your hook?

Speaker 1 (51:12):
At that point?

Speaker 3 (51:13):
Well, they don't, they don't. There's a lot of people
involved in the productions, actors, actresses, directors, camera people.

Speaker 1 (51:19):
They don't right, Like, what's the inciting moment? Like the
trees are blooming all right? At t mac asks where
do the Vikings land on the pain rankings? And why
are we cursed? What spirit walks the halls of US
Bank Stadium? A true unsolved mystery.

Speaker 2 (51:34):
Now, fans of the show know that I have a real,
I feel like a kinship with the Vikings and their fans.
I'm again going to nominate them as team of Around
the NFL, which feels like a curse in its own way.
Good luck with that this season, especially if Sam's at QB.

I'm gonna refrain from answering this one, guys, because I
do think this summer on Around the NFL, We're going
to revisit the pain rankings. Nine years after the publication
on our fair site. But the vikings are still there.
I'll put it there. I'll leave it there. Let's move on.
But yeah, pain rankings, We're going to hit that this

summer on this podcast.

Speaker 1 (52:16):
There's a tease. Next.

Speaker 2 (52:19):
Colin asks at Mets, speaking of cursed at Mets, please
save me call here an opening day. The New York
Mets aren't going to save you, Bud, I say that
would love Well.

Speaker 3 (52:32):
We don't know when he created this handle, but it's
never been successful unless you were unless you know, nineteen
eighty six Worlds or something.

Speaker 2 (52:39):
All Right, Anyway, what under five hundred team in twenty
twenty three is under the most pressure in twenty twenty four?
You know, the Jets jump out to me obviously, because
they are so when you know they are so in
for this season and there's so much pressure around Aaron
Rodgers and making that work.

Speaker 1 (52:58):
Is there another team that I'm said to you mark
as a high pressure team coming off a losing season.

Speaker 3 (53:05):
This was another one where I thought a lot of
teams that were in turmoil, had coaching changes or have
are about to draft quarterbacks where there's a fair amount
of freshness or hope there. The Giant stood out to
me because I think you're just in a situation where
you went from coach of the year, playoff surprise playoff
berth to you know, the owner speaking kind of hot

and cold about day Ball and day Ball taking it
very well. And I think Daball is a good coach.
You might take over play calling duties. You know what's
going on at quarterback. So I think the Giants are
in these in a bit of a strange zone right now.

Speaker 1 (53:37):
What do you think, Connor?

Speaker 7 (53:39):
I would go?

Speaker 6 (53:41):
I don't know, this is good. I would go the
Bears because if you think about what Ryan Poles has
had going on, he's been able to like artfully keep
extending the prestige moment where he has to show everyone
what he's been working on, you know. And at some point,
you know, I certainly if they don't win this year,
you replaced the head coach. I was under my like November,

I thought they were replacing the head coach. I mean,
you know, there was a lot of people who did,
so I think if they don't, if they don't win,
your at least replacing the head coach. And I think
at some point people start wondering, Okay, is this is
this the right thing for a GM as well?

Speaker 1 (54:17):
And I'll throw the Falcons out there as well.

Speaker 2 (54:19):
This is a team that has been trying to get
back and trying to you know, work their way back
to being a truly relevant team, and they've had pieces
around the last few years, but then the quarterback kind
of killed them. Now they have the quarterback that they
have to develop a defense around the QB and we're
going to see if they can because Arthur Blank obviously

is counting on this team returning to the playoffs. I
think with Cousins, given the amount of money they gave
the quarterback. All right, next, AFC East, where is it going?
Have Buffalo and Miami peaked? How long will the New
England rebuild take? Whither the Jets? All right, let's I
that's a good one. Connor Wake what the New England rebuild?

We already we know the Jets are very high low.
We don't know where they're gonna fall, so they're a
tough one to figure out. Obviously, the Patriots are team
very clearly in a rebuild. I am very interested to see.
I guess I still think Buffalo is a playoff team.
Are they a top echelon team and the Dolphins to
me are one of the biggest mysteries in the league.

Speaker 6 (55:25):
If I had to, if I had to handicap the
division today, I would probably say that Buffalo wins the
division the Jets come in second, because I do think
even though it's a high low, I really do think
Robertsal is a good coach. I think that he's able
to I mean, to get seven wins or whatever they
did out of that team last year was pretty phenomenal,
and then I would see it being Miami third and

New England a pretty distant fourth. I just think that
what Miami conceptually is trying to do, it works, but
it does not work for the entirety of a season.
And I just think they're a little bit fundamentally flawed.
Like I think that they need to develop more of
a power element, and I think the drop off at
DC this offseason is pretty stark.

Speaker 2 (56:10):
And you would it's a very you know what, I
respect because you're hanging onions with your annual preseason. You know,
guess of everyone's schedule. You go through every schedule and
pick every game. You got dinked a little bit on
the Patriots as well this season, So you're not going
to be in on New England in twenty four.

Speaker 6 (56:30):
It sounds like, Yeah, Chris Broussard called me foolish on Fox,
which was something that everyone really liked.

Speaker 1 (56:38):
And I'll just say this, and hey, you put yourself
out there for a living man. Yeah, you know, people
need to respect you for that.

Speaker 6 (56:45):
And it's one of those things where like all my
friends were texting me after the Jason Light thing and
they're like, oh my god, I can't believe how well
you're handling it. My wife's like, I really can't believe
how well you're handling it, And like, inside my mind,
I am plotting, like I'm reading every reply and I'm
plotting the absolute demise. Like someone put the Curb your

Enthusiasm music on and I was like, I'm gonna find
where that person is, Like I'm gonna find their house,
I'm gonna disconnect the power lines.

Speaker 7 (57:12):
I'm gonna just let you know, I'm gonna start moving
chairs around at night while they're sleeping.

Speaker 6 (57:17):
Like it gets it, you know, the violence of the
old or you kidding me?

Speaker 7 (57:21):
Connor is still very.

Speaker 1 (57:22):
Much alive in there. I love that guy.

Speaker 6 (57:25):
I love that guy, so that the all two seventy
two predictions is a tough It's a tough thing.

Speaker 3 (57:30):
How long does that take? I mean, are you just
kind of rip it going off the top of your head?
Are you just you're going It takes a really long time.

Speaker 6 (57:37):
And then every year I get done and I have
like two hundred and seventy four wins and two hundred
and seventy losses, and then you have to go through
every gersh darn game again and try to figure.

Speaker 7 (57:48):
Out Oh yeah, it's an absolute nightmare. Yeah, it's the worst.

Speaker 1 (57:52):

Speaker 2 (57:53):
I struggled enough when I did the power rankings and
I was coming up to the list of thirty two,
and I kept on being either a thirty three or
thirty one, as like, am I missing?

Speaker 1 (58:00):
Who did I put in here? Twice? It would like
stop me down for half an hour.

Speaker 6 (58:04):
I don't even know how you One year I got
I did all the records on like loose leaf paper,
and I turned them in and they were accurate, and
then I threw them away.

Speaker 7 (58:15):
And then like a week.

Speaker 6 (58:17):
Later, my boss was like, hey, the social team wants
to post the individual records, and so you have to
go and I was.

Speaker 7 (58:24):
Like, I don't even know like that.

Speaker 6 (58:26):
That would be like backtracking the equation for like the
black hole, and so I literally had to start completely
over again.

Speaker 7 (58:34):
And it was yeah, I was, I was, I was
a bad.

Speaker 3 (58:37):
And he's got floods happening. The basement's flooding, there's weather,
there's no warriors.

Speaker 2 (58:41):
All right, a couple more questions to take a break,
and then we'll finish up with Connor. All Right, all right,

all right, welcome back, Connor. Thank you for taking a
crack at that one we've been See it's like that
when I got floored by that. When you're wing a
task is storing of you. We realize it's a bit
of thorny.

Speaker 1 (59:12):
Let's hear it. Let's hear Mark's attempt.

Speaker 3 (59:17):
All Right, we're back showing us continuing.

Speaker 1 (59:22):
Do we have Colleen's excuse me? Do you have gregs?

Speaker 6 (59:31):

Speaker 7 (59:32):

Speaker 3 (59:35):
What is so hard about it?

Speaker 2 (59:38):
I don't know, Like I take it as a good
sign that it's not an easy thing to imitate. That's
how I look at it personally. No, you've perfected it.
We're just chasing. We're chasing your abilities on that one.
All Right, we're back a couple more questions and then
we'll say goodbye for the week. When fellas asks, are
the Texans more likely to regress or progress in twenty

four I think Connor, that kind of hits on something
you said earlier. The wide assumption, the widely held assumption
seems to be the Texans are going to make that
leap and be a powerhouse this year. But a lot
of things have to go right for that to happen,
and the development has to continue.

Speaker 1 (01:00:15):
Obviously, the draft is still ahead of us.

Speaker 2 (01:00:18):
I would say it's more likely that they do build
on last year, but the grand assumption and in general,
the idea of having a ton of expectations heaped on you,
that could be that's a different vibe than they were
last year as well, So there's a lot don't assume
that's all.

Speaker 6 (01:00:34):
It's a different it's a different situation. And I remember,
like would I would compare CJ. Stroud's theatrics towards the
middle and the end of that season, like when the
Rookie of the year candidacy really started to build through
the end of that season, it was a lot like
early Herbert And then I think we spent the last
three years wondering when Herbert was going to elevate to

this like more consistently theatrically incredible player, or when the
offense was going to get built around him to be
able to facilitate that. And I do think that, you know,
we forget how amazing CJ. Stroud was situationally last year,
and those performances are sometimes like a once in a
every few years kind of thing, you know, and they don't.

You don't always get him in back to back to
back weeks, and we don't know if he's Steph Curry yet.
He might be, But you know, I think the rest
of that division is getting much better and will be
a lot more challenging.

Speaker 3 (01:01:26):
They all have a different schedule that that starts right there.
But I like the fact that Bobby Slowick wasn't hired
away somewhere else, that there's consistency. I get worried about quarterbacks,
good or bad, like when there's a lot of coordinator shifts.
But they lost Tank Dell for a big chunk of
time last year. They lost Stroud for for a bit
for a spell and lost a game in the middle
of all that. And I trust this coaching staff a lot,

so they don't feel like a regression candidate to me
the way that like a year ago, the Giants certainly
seemed like they were the Vikings winning a billion like
you know one score games, like they were legit thumping people.
And I both, it's the balls a lot.

Speaker 1 (01:02:00):
To like all right?

Speaker 2 (01:02:02):
Next, oh from our body Dave Ealy from the newsroom. Hi, guys,
first time, long time, okay with football? Not on what
are y'all watching right now?

Speaker 1 (01:02:11):
He's from North Carolina. Excuse him? I know Greg was
big into Love is Blind, any pop culture Rex.

Speaker 2 (01:02:18):
I will throw out a couple I am.

Speaker 1 (01:02:22):
I want to give some serious flowers in the podcast
game to Rob Harvilla of The Ringer. He just recently
completed his sixty Songs that help Explain the Nineties series
that actually ballooned into one hundred and twenty songs that
explained the nineties, and it was I thought it advanced
the medium. But I will say it like that.

Speaker 2 (01:02:45):
He was a great, great storyteller, kind of an essayist,
like where he wrote on not just the music and
the song, but the you know, the era, but also
his his personal experiences and being a lot of the
reasons why like I do a music podcast with my
buddy Bob, the throwback podcast where the music becomes the

soundtrack for your adolescence and it brings it has this
powerful nostalgia that kind of keeps you connected to it
as you grew older. And he really I think Harvilla
nailed that sentiment while also giving you a varied look.
It started as I think more slanted towards alternative rock,
which was my wheelhouse when I was a teenager. Hartville

is a couple of years older, but it became as
the show developed and progressed. Like our own podcast, it
turned into something else and it was a deep dive
into all different genres and a look a great look
at music and life in general.

Speaker 1 (01:03:40):
So sixty songs that.

Speaker 3 (01:03:42):
By the way, what does what does wheelhouse mean?

Speaker 1 (01:03:47):
What do you mean was wheelhouse mean?

Speaker 3 (01:03:48):
What is the definition? I understand it means like it
was a place that you thrived in int a certain time.
But why is it called wheelhouse versus like hot zone
or I don't know, I don't know. We can answer
that another time.

Speaker 7 (01:03:58):
Beliek red Basket.

Speaker 1 (01:04:00):
Yeah, I don't know. Mark, I don't how about you?

Speaker 3 (01:04:03):
Mark feels mechanical? I think Connor might like this. This
is I don't know how I stumbled upon this because
I started watching it. Like it's on like HBO Max.
But it's called Seeking Sister Wife, and it's these like
couples that are trying to like find like a second
or third or fourth mate, and it's it's they're not
traditional like that's typically a Mormon thing. Yeah, I done those,

but it's people just in society trying to do it,
and it's like total chaos erupts. It's it's it's a
roller coaster ride.

Speaker 1 (01:04:30):

Speaker 3 (01:04:31):
I don't know. It's on HBO. It's I was like,
you know, the Serving Through four Thousand Things, and I
was like, I'll give this one a shot and kind
of pulled me in Sesta.

Speaker 2 (01:04:39):
Deep on HBO Max on a three AM. I could
I could sense it. Calm down, gun, how about you, Connor?

Speaker 7 (01:04:49):
Can I do a book or is yeah anything.

Speaker 6 (01:04:52):
Like all right, yeah, he needs to bring back his
Instagram cooking show.

Speaker 7 (01:04:56):
By the way, it was really uh it was fantastic.

Speaker 1 (01:04:59):
He'll be to know that you just cited that, so
I know.

Speaker 7 (01:05:04):

Speaker 6 (01:05:05):
So I'm I'm halfway through Lonesome Dove, which is a
book by Larry mcmurdy and it was it's known as
Stephen King's favorite book ever, and it's from nineteen eighty five.
It's it's like a classic western, but it won the
Pulitzer that year, and it is the first book I

think that I can ever remember that made me laugh
out loud, like it's but it's there's a lot of things.
It's like a western. There's drama, there's romance, there's like
there's a mystery, there's a plot, and there's a lot
of things about life.

Speaker 7 (01:05:39):
But it's also very very funny.

Speaker 6 (01:05:40):
So I would I would say, like Eli should read
a damn book for once.

Speaker 1 (01:05:44):
So there you go, Dave.

Speaker 3 (01:05:46):
That was also a TV show for years. It had
like look at this, Who's in this? It was a
series Robert Duval, Tommy Lee Jones, Danny Glover, Diane Lane,
and it goes on and on.

Speaker 1 (01:05:59):
Powerhouse Diane Lane, Special special person. All Right, one more.

Speaker 2 (01:06:04):
Eric Blasell asks what are your all time favorite sound
drops from the show? Top three for me are hanging onions.

Speaker 5 (01:06:12):
You try to these onions, you'll like them, the real
sweet onions.

Speaker 1 (01:06:15):
Hot butts acone always a favorite, and of course the
great Chris Westling standard.

Speaker 2 (01:06:24):
It's about me, it's about those are all great. I
love all those. I thought this would be a good occasion.
I had really originally had asked Eric to send me
a couple of my favorite Sessler isms, and that very
quickly turned into we have to do a top ten
Mark Sessler drops on the podcast.

Speaker 3 (01:06:45):
So maybe on maybe I just take that show off
and that you can There'll be plenty of me as.

Speaker 2 (01:06:49):
Is, without further ado, the top ten Mark Sessler drops
on around the NFL.

Speaker 3 (01:06:54):
Number ten, what manacured joke? Number nine, I'm having a
weird day. Number eight, I'm annoyed. Now, Oh I love
that one. I think that might be should be higher.
I'll have to think about that.

Speaker 1 (01:07:11):
Number seven.

Speaker 3 (01:07:12):
I feel power prompted. That number six, I am begging
you to shut up.

Speaker 1 (01:07:20):
Yeah, yeah, that one. That's a good's that's classic. Number five.

Speaker 3 (01:07:25):
I always return, Yes, he does you know?

Speaker 2 (01:07:28):
That one brings me peace when I when I sometimes
lose Mark, he's off the grid, I do I when
I think.

Speaker 1 (01:07:35):
To myself, what does he always say? I always return?

Speaker 3 (01:07:38):
Probably was in response to a voice concern of yours.

Speaker 1 (01:07:42):
What are we at? Number four? Number four?

Speaker 3 (01:07:45):
Heavens to Betsy my grandmother used to say that that's right,
pick that up.

Speaker 1 (01:07:51):
He says that after every time we use it, he explains.

Speaker 5 (01:07:53):
Why my grandma used to say that we.

Speaker 1 (01:07:56):
Need a drop to explain him explaining the drop. Number
three metals stand.

Speaker 3 (01:08:01):
Check you later, brock.

Speaker 1 (01:08:04):
Number two good for you.

Speaker 2 (01:08:07):
Oh boy, let's get a little timpany drum here for
the number one Mark Sessler drop. That is a you know,
Eric the producer, when I said I need the good
for you scream, he didn't know it was you.

Speaker 1 (01:08:21):
He didn't realize that's Mark's voice.

Speaker 3 (01:08:23):
It was a different version of me.

Speaker 5 (01:08:25):
I listened to it and I was like, because he's
asking for Mark drops, and I'm like, is this can't
be it? So I have to make sure And I'm like,
that doesn't even sound like I'm in his explanation, A
different period of Mark.

Speaker 1 (01:08:35):
A different Mark period.

Speaker 2 (01:08:36):
I'll give me a little timpany drum for the number
one Mark Sessler drop on the Around the NFL podcast
and so many choices, and thank you to.

Speaker 1 (01:08:46):
Everyone did it.

Speaker 3 (01:08:51):
Football is completely different than basketball. I knew that. I mean,
that was going to be in the top ten. But
thank you to everyone, thank you to me. I produced
those ten sound bites.

Speaker 1 (01:09:00):
You sure did.

Speaker 3 (01:09:01):
So you know, let's start right there.

Speaker 1 (01:09:04):
Connor, you've said it all. Is there anything else you
want to add?

Speaker 2 (01:09:10):
And he plugs anything you want to get out there,
anything about yourself, your your family.

Speaker 1 (01:09:14):
Advice to that.

Speaker 2 (01:09:16):
Tens of thousands of listeners use this bully pulpit as
you will.

Speaker 7 (01:09:23):
I would just say, you know, keep on keeping on.
You know, I think that's.

Speaker 1 (01:09:28):
Uh spoken like a true dead End friends fan.

Speaker 7 (01:09:34):
Keep on, keep on trucking everybody.

Speaker 1 (01:09:36):
You know you're going to see Dead in Company at
the Sphere in Vegas.

Speaker 6 (01:09:42):
Uh So, maybe I the Philly Show felt like the
culmination of I had avoided seeing them for years. I
had never seen them before, and they're my favorite band
of all time. And then I saw them because it
was like the final tour, and I brought my best
friend with me, and we both are obsessed with it,
and I was like, Okay, now it's over and that

and that chapter of my life is done and it
can't be any better than it was. And so part
of me is like, do I spend nine hundred dollars
to catapult myself back into Las Vegas after I just
escaped and do it again I don't.

Speaker 3 (01:10:15):
Know, that'sure maturity.

Speaker 7 (01:10:17):
Yeah, yeah, I think I have to let it go good.

Speaker 1 (01:10:20):
And finally, on opening Day in Major League Baseball, Baltimore
Orioles over under ninety four and a half wins.

Speaker 6 (01:10:30):
Oh over. But I'll keep this very short. I finished
the book about the Astros winning fixes everything, and I
was like, my god, what a bunch of horrible people.

Speaker 7 (01:10:42):
And then at the end they're like, yeah, they're all
running the oriole now, and I was like, oh, that's
that sucks.

Speaker 6 (01:10:48):
So like I'm kind of like, I'm a little conflicted,
you know, a little bit. You know, this is I
would have rather just do it in a plucky way,
but Maryland needs this right now. So I'm rooting for
a big season the other All.

Speaker 1 (01:11:00):
Right, Connor, thank you, buddy, thank you. There he goes
the legend himself. Mark.

Speaker 2 (01:11:11):
I will be now heading off on a vacation, and uh,
you're really the anchor in a lot of ways here
because I will leave, Greg will return, but you will
be the calm in the storm.

Speaker 3 (01:11:24):
Yeah, and I vow that we will not be constructing
any pranks with you at the center of it while
you're on a vacation. I don't think the I think
Delator just like Jason.

Speaker 2 (01:11:36):
Light fair play if there's any type of schemes that
Greg wants to hatch.

Speaker 1 (01:11:40):
But I really it's not.

Speaker 2 (01:11:42):
I think the whole thing with the Delaware investigation, it's
completely something that is a service to the audience.

Speaker 3 (01:11:50):
Oh, I think so one hundred percent. In like that
across our studio, the football that you received from Clemson
for your public service to apparently a group of people,
the orphaned youth of that's what it's morphed into. But
I would put this, George, what this investigation right over
on that mantle two.

Speaker 1 (01:12:07):
All right, hit the music, Thank.

Speaker 2 (01:12:10):
You everybody for listening as always, and we will be
back with two shows next week. You'll hear from us
Tuesday atm We'll be back on Tuesday and then back
to three times a week in the March to the
draft till then hear the call
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