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January 22, 2024 49 mins

On today’s episode of The NFL Report, Steve Wyche & James Palmer discuss what’s the bigger news: The Bills fail to make clutch plays or Chiefs win on the road to advance to AFC Champ. game? Steve Smith Sr. joins us to talk about what presents a bigger problem for the Chiefs in the Championship game – Lamar Jackson or the Ravens defense? He’ll also let us know which players & coaches caught his attention divisional round weekend. Stacey Dales is here to talk about the Lions historic run to the NFC Championship game, & Jeff Chadiha is back with us talking about his First Read article for Championship Sunday including how much did Brock Purdy prove with his game-winning drive against the Packers? NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo is with us to talk about is it possible Bill Belichick won’t get hired this offseason and some of the hot names among coordinators interviewing for head coaching positions. And Steve Wyche takes us on his tour of a prison rehabilitative program with Commissioner Roger Goodell.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:05):
This is Trent McDuffie, all Pro Corner with the Kansas
City Chiefs, and this is the NFL report.

Speaker 2 (00:12):
That's right, this is the NFL Report. I'm Steve Whitewoot.

Speaker 1 (00:15):
My guy James Palmer Ooh, he's looking a bit warmer
than he was looking yesterday. But JP, we have a
loaded show after these conference championships. We have got Steve Smith,
Agent eighty nine, here, Stacy Dales who was in Detroit,
Mike GARATFOLO with the latest news, Jeff Shdea, and a
special piece with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. This is a

great loaded show, JP. I'm in my normal haunts. I'm
in the VO booth here at the NFL Network studios.
You're still in Buffalo, bro. I can still see the
Grace guys behind you. Must have been a great atmosphere
this morning.

Speaker 3 (00:50):

Speaker 4 (00:51):
It's a great atmosphere, Steve.

Speaker 5 (00:52):
The Grace guy's rather fitting for what's happening here in Buffalo.
I'm at my hotel this morning. I'm at a coffee
shop that's in the hotel. An older gentleman sitting at
a table by himself and his bill's hat looks over
at a family of four next to him, two kids
about eight years old in their Buffalo Bill's ski hats.
He looks at the two kids and goes wide right again.

Speaker 6 (01:13):

Speaker 4 (01:14):
The little girl.

Speaker 5 (01:15):
Looks back at him at about eight years old and says,
I hate the cheese.

Speaker 7 (01:22):
One to go play sment down.

Speaker 8 (01:25):
Bassist kick is up and the kick.

Speaker 9 (01:27):
Is Oh god, a little prophecy Taylor pass has struggled.

Speaker 2 (01:33):
And he just misses. The kick just went wide the
whole way never came back. Oh the horror to have
to relive that.

Speaker 1 (01:44):
So now there are a WHR Championship Sunday, January twenty eighth.
By virtue of that myst the Kansas City Chiefs advance
to travel to Baltimore three pm on CBS, and then
the Detroit Lions the NFC Nord champs. They go to
Top Seat in San Francisco for a six thirty pm
Eastern times start on Fox. So JP, you were there,

we see the final four. You have got to let
us know just everything about this game, just the aftermath,
the during math, and the math that did not break
in the Buffalo Bill's favor.

Speaker 4 (02:21):
It was a really remarkable scene.

Speaker 5 (02:24):
Steve I loved pregame, maybe more than anything. Chris Jones
over there barking at the Bill's mafia, calling him bums repeatedly,
over and over again. Patrick Mahomes kind of waving to
the crowd. Really, I was told by multiple people in
the Chiefs organization, Patrick Mahomes was embracing this trip here.
He really embraced kind of being the villain, and he

was a different player. You saw it pregame and it
stood out the guys that are around him every single day.
They just said, he kind of took himself to another level.
And we saw this offense go to a different level
than what we've seen this really entire season. I had
a chance to talk to offensive coordinator Matt Naggy before
they were getting off the bus Steve, and he said,
look at what we did offensively. We barely had a

third down. They had five third downs in this entire game.
They averaged seven point seven yards per play.

Speaker 4 (03:15):
He said, we knew we were going to start.

Speaker 5 (03:17):
Getting this thing to click, and now they feel like
they're playing the best offensive football of their season. You
saw two touchdowns from Travis Kelce. They believe his legs
are kind of back after getting that rest in week eighteen,
he was going off seven straight games without a touchdown
and he was back to his old tricks. But the
biggest thing about this, Steve I was told, is there's
fewer players rotating in and out at the wide receiver spot.

That has been a big part of the synergy and
the rhythm that this offense has gained, specifically with Woo
rookie Rashi Rice.

Speaker 4 (03:49):
You saw MVS come on.

Speaker 5 (03:51):
They feel like the group they have right now is
starting to click better than they have this entire season
and leave it to the Chiefs to do it when on.

Speaker 10 (03:59):
The road here at Orchard Park and jap You've been
alluding to this for weeks about the reduced rotation at
that receiver group and how that will work with the
rhythm and the functionality, and we've seen since Week seventeen
this offense has looked more and more like we're used
to singing and think about this.

Speaker 1 (04:16):
They didn't even run fifty offensive plays, you know, the
Buffalo Bills.

Speaker 2 (04:20):
Really controlled kind of the flow of the game.

Speaker 1 (04:23):
But like you said, that seven point seven yards were
played that they were getting offensively with the mix of the.

Speaker 2 (04:28):
Pass and being able to finish with the run.

Speaker 1 (04:31):
Isaiah Pacheco doing some things in the ground game, especially
in the red zone.

Speaker 2 (04:36):
We have been begging for it for most of the season.

Speaker 1 (04:38):
Run the offense through ten, and they did it yesterday
against an injury beaten down Bill's defense, something they're not
going to see against the Ravens and the conference championship
next week. But they were able to get it going.
And then when you have fifteen Patrick mahomes poise. He
never flinched when Buffalo counted over and over. He just
kept coming back and that is the will of a champion.

Real quick, JP, We don't have a ton of time
for this part, but the defense in the second half,
we saw them really negate the Bills run game except
for Josh Allen, and just kind of really stemy so
much of the Bills when they had opportunities over and over.

Speaker 6 (05:18):

Speaker 5 (05:18):
I talked to a defensive line coach, Joe Cullen, one
of the best in the game and he's been with
this group for a long time, Steve, and he kind
of said, what we figured out was we were trying
to do too much on the road in this environment.
We weren't being gap sound, and we knew we just
kind of had to hold our place or else. Josh
Allen was going to continue to find holes up front,
which he was brilliant at and running the football up
the middle, him and James Cook. But when they were

able to kind of settle down, and he told me,
that's the biggest thing when you're in this position year
after your year, Steve, you find ways to kind of
be calm in those moments like they were at halftime
and they were able to start making plays behind that
defensive line. That was a big aspect of what changed
in the second half. Settling into what they do best,
not trying to do too much, but they're gonna have
their hands full with Lamar Jackson and Chris Jones told

me that on the field, we got to find a
way because we got another quarterback coming.

Speaker 4 (06:05):
This next Sunday.

Speaker 1 (06:06):
Yeah, a different solid quarterback, but again rushing with intandem
as a fence. That was a big thing. Let's real quick,
get to the bills, JP, because you know that's kind
of the big story. Josh Allen was fantastic, but they
fall short once again. What is just kind of the
feeling of that team. You were in the locker room
on Monday, What's is kind of feeling about this team

moving forward.

Speaker 5 (06:30):
Groundhog Day, Steve, it really felt like groundhog Day that
hern was actually used by players getting a chance to
talk to center Mitch Morris, who really said the biggest
thing about this is we have so many free agents
coming up.

Speaker 4 (06:41):
We know that Josh Allen's cap.

Speaker 5 (06:42):
Number goes from a little over eighteen million to forty
seven million next year. That's going to change the makeup
of how this team is built. But the positive coming
out of that room today Khalil Shakir, Dalton Kincaid, James Cook,
three unbelievably talented skill players that are extremely young on
rookie deals surrounding Josh Allen, and they don't even believe

they've scratched the surface on what they can do with
Kincaid lining them up different spots on the field. Had
coaches telling me pregame, Steve, it's the best rookie titand
they've ever been around. Dawson Knox said, him and Kincaid together,
they're not even close to what they can do with
them As an offense. If Joe Brady stays, which everybody
today was pulling for running this offense, there's still a lot.

Speaker 4 (07:26):
To smile about.

Speaker 5 (07:27):
But as of right now, it's the same old thing
that's happened here in Buffalo, and they did it here
in front of Bill's mafia. To this Bills team just
absolutely got wrenching.

Speaker 2 (07:39):
All right, Javy. We talked a lot about the Bills
and the Chiefs.

Speaker 1 (07:42):
But coming up next we're going to be joined by
Agent eighty nine, Steve Smith, former wide receiver, to talk
about the top seed.

Speaker 2 (07:51):
Oh who stood on business and beating the Texans. That's
up next on the NFL Reboard.

Speaker 1 (08:03):
Glamar told itself runs in the last Has it a parn?
Come on in touch out events, dug it out a
championship gaming board because I.

Speaker 3 (08:14):
Hate a barn.

Speaker 5 (08:18):
Welcome back to the NFL Report, James Palmers, you watch
with you and Steve. This is a mount Rushmore guest
right here. This is in season one. Our top moments
of the NFL Report have happened when we've had Steve
Smith Senior on the show. Steve, thanks for joining once again.

Speaker 8 (08:36):
Oh thanks for having me man, And it's a pleasure
to be here. Steve Smith senior, not junior, so I'm
really proud of that.

Speaker 1 (08:44):
For those who aren't here, the first time the graphics
identify I remember as junior or we got to write.

Speaker 2 (08:52):
Hey this time.

Speaker 11 (08:53):
But listen, I told you it was just there to
humble me in twenty twenty three. Man. So now when
they get it right, I'm actually thanksful and have thankfulness
that they got it so man. And then my Baltimore
Ravens and then AFC Championship. You know, I got two teams,
Carolina Panthers in the NFC South and then Baltimore Ravens

AFC North.

Speaker 5 (09:16):
Want to stick with those Ravens, Steve, what I'm fascinated about,
and I want to know from your active from knowing
that organization and being you know, the receiver that you
were as a receiver as an offensive player. Can you
describe what it's like to play with Lamar Jackson because
it's almost like he plays the position differently than we

really see anybody else do it. What is it he
does and what is it like to play with him?

Speaker 11 (09:43):
You think, Well, first of all, I don't know what
it's like to be on the same football field with
Lamar Jackson, obviously in the Baltimore Ravens uniform, but I
would say it can be It's a gift in a curse.
The gift is you have the athleticism of a quarterback

who can scamper, who can move. He's a mobile quarterback
and so when things break down, he can get the
team and the offense out of a jam, and he
can he can move the offense with his legs to
have designed runs for him. It also can be frustrating
for a wide receiver at times, and an example would

be if you have play action where that's where you
open up to the right and then you go ahead
and circle around and go left. Because of his athleticism,
he can sometimes.

Speaker 8 (10:38):
Lamar in company.

Speaker 11 (10:40):
All mobile quarterbacks they can do things that stationary stands
cannot guys who are known to go through their progressions
and less about their athleticism.

Speaker 8 (10:53):
Right, and so I believe right.

Speaker 11 (10:56):
Being a wide receiver where your quarterback is mobile, it's
real freshet and it's helpful. And at times when you
wide open, or when the defense may pressure the quarterback,
or all of a sudden they break away, and then
your great route is overshadowed because a guy gets in
the face of your mobile quarterback and he takes off
run and soways say, you're happy he did a eighty

yard or a fifty yard run, but you are already
fifty yards ahead of him, wide open because of the pressure.
So it's it's a gift and the curse.

Speaker 2 (11:29):
But Steve, we've seen him this year.

Speaker 1 (11:32):
He moves more so he scrambles to throw it under
the timeline consistence. He's different than he was before, and
that to open up the field. We're seeing Isaiah likely
getting to the end zone like every game at tight
end coming in from Mark Andrews speaking Mark Andrews who
could be back coming back from the injuries to add
to this. So and looking at this game upcoming against
the Kansas City Chiefs then and seeing how good the

chief defense is, I mean, where does Lamar you know,
that athleticism, but yet he's looking more downfield for his receivers.
Where does that come in to help Baltimore potentially evan
to the Super Bowl?

Speaker 11 (12:06):
I mean, obviously it comes in because we just saw
some type of version of a mobile quarterback with Josh Allen, right,
and Josh Allen was cooking and keeping drives alive for
the Buffalo Bills and the Kent City Chiefs at times
looked exhausted. They looked fatigued, they were cold, they were tired,

and that really gave the Buffalo Bills and their fan
base and the Kansas City Chiefs. It gives Buffalo Bills
fans and fan Buffalo Bills hope that this might be
the game that they finally overtake. Patrick Mahomes and Kansas
City had a little doubt of like, man, if we

don't buckle up, And that's where those speeches came in.

Speaker 8 (12:52):
That's where man and man conversations.

Speaker 11 (12:54):
But at the end of the day, when you look
at this game, the Kentas City Chiefs at Baltimore, it
really becomes a game where you start to say, how
do you want people to know you? Or when your
name comes up, what do you want people to say
about you as an NFL football player? And in January,

in late January, early February, this is where the myth,
the legend of quarterbacks of players begins to be in
a team where you know them for you know January, Joe, all.

Speaker 8 (13:32):
These other guys, Tyreek.

Speaker 11 (13:36):
Just all Tyreek Hill, all these different guys who have
impacted the playoffs, Cooper Cup, Jerry Rice, Ricky Waters, right,
these are all the players.

Speaker 8 (13:46):
Tom Brady Julia Edelman, all of these players.

Speaker 11 (13:49):
You're known for what you did in late January and February,
not what you're gonna do in October, some little day
of the week in November. No, nobody's really remembering that
because everybody's tuning in. What thirty one thirty one point
eight million people watched that football game. They watched it

last night, not back in November, not back in September.

Speaker 8 (14:15):
They're talking about it today, Steve.

Speaker 5 (14:19):
They were able to try to spy Josh Allen times.
It was supposed to be really gay, and he goes
out with the neck injury. He was kind of one
of the few guys on the field they thought could
stay with Josh Allen, but they wanted to keep him
in the pocket.

Speaker 4 (14:28):
They did do a better job of that, not letting
get An Allan get out wide.

Speaker 5 (14:32):
But I want to kind of touch on what Steve
mentioned where Mark Andrews potentially coming back for this Ravens offense.
This might sound insane, he's Ben Lamar's favorite target, but
is there something about a guy coming back in this
time where your offense is clicking? Does it throw anything off?
Like Steve mentioned, Isaiah likely what he's doing. Does it

throw anything off even if you're as good as as
Mark Andrews, or it doesn't.

Speaker 11 (15:00):
I don't think it throws anything off in this game,
because whether Mark Andrews plays or not, he's not gonna
play the game. If they have seventy sneven snaps, he
isn't gonna play all seventy seven snaps. He's gonna be
on a pitch count. You want to get him back
in there. I don't care how much therapy you do,

how much cardio you are doing running in the pool.
I know that organization. So they have pool stuff. They
got anti gravity treadmill, they got all that stuff. But
here's what you're gonna do. You're looking at this play
right now. You're running against your opponent. You're just audi

your adrenaline going fighting against a guy. That's the stuff
you can't simulate. You ain't fighting against somebody in the
in the anti gravity treadmill, guy in the tub where
you're just running trying to get that weight bearing and
taking off some of the heavyweight because of the injury.

So I don't expect Mark Andrews to play, you know,
ninety percent of the offense. I expect him to play
where he's needed, but also to a point where you
cannot make him predictable of what you possibly are running
because he's in a football game, because he hasn't played
in over a month.

Speaker 2 (16:22):
That's a great point.

Speaker 1 (16:23):
That is next to the point because just him being
out there, you know defensive personnel is going to try
to match up a certain way. We got to flip
it to the other side of the ball real quick, Steve,
because it's this defense. I mean, they did not allow
a touchdown against the Houston Texans. They have been smoking
teams by an average of eighteen point two points since
the beginning of December, and that includes a lot of
playoff caliber teams. They're wiping squads out. When you look

at Patrick Queen, when you look at ro kwand Smith,
when you look at Kyle Hamilton and Justin Madebike, all
these guys, that to me is the swing boat for
the Baltimore Ravens because no one has been able to
move the ball on them, and if they have, they
ended up taking it away at some point on that drive.

Speaker 11 (17:01):
Well, they're front there, front four, they're front seven. That
three four defense that they're running back with the zone.
What's really remarkable in that is you know they're going
to get pressure, but they also even in getting pressure,
they're disruptive, and the disruptiveness is throwing off the timing,
so it's speeding up the process in which the quarterback

has to deliver the football.

Speaker 8 (17:26):
He's never delivering the football, not under the rest. You
can see that.

Speaker 11 (17:30):
And so they got Malet, who's who was drafted originally
by the pit Birch Steelers, but then he's playing in
coverage but also blitzing. So it's just problematic that they
can get pressure with their front four and then that
means they're dropping back with the rest of the other
guys in coverage and then they're stout.

Speaker 8 (17:51):
In the run game.

Speaker 11 (17:52):
And I was when I was in London, I had
the opportunity to to look at Jadeveon Clowney and talk
to him. And the one thing that I noticed with
Jadeveon clown and I remember saying, I went into the
locker room, I said, bro, you got thin man, you
look smaller, and he looked at me said I had
to because of my knee. The adaptation of Jadavion Clowney

understanding for him to impact this game and to stay
consistent in being the disruptive defender that he is and
has been.

Speaker 8 (18:27):
He's had to adapt and get a.

Speaker 11 (18:29):
Little bit smaller in wait so he can go the
long distance. You got to remember, this is a guy
who played with a number of teams and one of
the biggest issues was health. He's healthy and playing and
so now you have a veteran who's adapted and all
of a sudden he can give some expertise to other

players and hey, this is what I did, and it's
just all of a sudden, it makes them a dangerous team.
We know the Baltimore Ravens for years have been known
for defensive minded organization. We call it the Black and
Blue Division, we call it bullyball. But one of the
things that the Baltimore Ravens have not had in a
consistent way is a prolific offense, passing and running attack,

probably since the last time they won a Super Bowl.
And now we have the opportunity the last time they
won a Super Bowl has the potential to go against
the exact same team and they played the last time
they wanted this is a possibility, Sampsus go for nine,
and so I just it's gonna be unique.

Speaker 8 (19:33):
It's gonna be fun.

Speaker 11 (19:34):
I think both defensive coordinators are gonna throw the kitchen
sink at these offenses, and these offense must adapt, but
also be calm and collective and be patient.

Speaker 5 (19:45):
Steve, real quick before we let you go Britique. John
Harbaugh's dance moves post game that lockery.

Speaker 4 (19:53):
On coach.

Speaker 11 (19:56):
Knowing coach Hardball h now his second time dancing. The
first time was was really him, right, it was all him.
The second time was like, all right, if I'm gonna came,
I gotta.

Speaker 8 (20:08):
He tried to maybe learn a few moves, but that
gene Pool.

Speaker 4 (20:12):
Kicked right back.

Speaker 12 (20:15):
He was in on.

Speaker 2 (20:16):
He was hit on the morning.

Speaker 5 (20:17):

Speaker 11 (20:20):
Yeah, let me get that, and then that and then that,
Oh yeah, I'm let me. But here's the unique thing
about Ball, don't know. I met coach Hoeball my rookie
year at the Pro Bowl. Because of our relationship that
we cultivated at the Pro Bowl. Was one of the

reasons why when I had the opportunity to go to
a team was his constant communication and openness every time
we saw each other at different events throughout the league,
and then when opportunity came to get with each other,
it was one of those things, of course.

Speaker 8 (21:02):
But here's the thing, why what do I bring all
this for?

Speaker 11 (21:05):
Jason Baker was in Philadelphia for a cup of coffee,
who was a punter for the Carolina Panthers, who lives
here up in Davison, North Carolina, up up at the
Lake Lake Norman and John Harball still Texas here and
there talks to Jason Baker just the same way he

texts and talks to me. So this showed authenticity that
coach whole Coach Harball has especially with special teams player,
but just kind of shows you, right, he can be,
he could be a little tough, he could be annoying,
he can really push your buttons.

Speaker 6 (21:44):

Speaker 11 (21:44):
But the thing that I respect in love about Coach
Harball that I can't say it is throughout the league
is you always know where you stand with Coach Harball,
and that is very rare, great stuff.

Speaker 7 (21:58):
I love it, Stave, I love it. I love it.

Speaker 5 (22:01):
I love that Steve couldn't even dance offbeat if he tried.
You tried to be off rhythm, Steve, and you couldn't
even accomplish that.

Speaker 6 (22:07):
You were just too good at it.

Speaker 11 (22:09):
Well, I'll say that Steve I'm not really a good
dancer because you know, gangsters don't dance.

Speaker 2 (22:16):
Will they do, Steve?

Speaker 4 (22:17):
They do?

Speaker 3 (22:18):

Speaker 12 (22:20):
Yes, sir, we got to go. J Pagon is out
of here.

Speaker 8 (22:35):
Uh coming up.

Speaker 5 (22:36):
Stacy Dalls was in Detroit, which was an absolute scene.

Speaker 4 (22:41):
The Lions are in the NFC Championship game. She's gonna
take us inside Ford Field next. On the NFL Report.

Speaker 1 (22:52):
You're listening to the NFL Report podcast, but you can
watch me, Steve Which and my co host James Palmer
on the NFL Report at seven to fifteen Eastern time
on Mondays and Thursdays on the NFL app and free
streaming platforms on the NFL Channel on Roku, two b, Peacock,
Pluto TV and other free streaming apps.

Speaker 2 (23:18):
You're built for this, you're.

Speaker 13 (23:22):
And look what you went out there, and then what
it's another hot team that we knocked off. It's the
next hot team.

Speaker 12 (23:29):
That you knock off.

Speaker 13 (23:30):
Feel how hard it is to win this league in
the playoffs? Do you understand what you're doing right now?
What we're capable of? That's two? All right, that's two.
We got two to go with.

Speaker 2 (23:41):
A buy in the middle.

Speaker 1 (23:44):
Lions coach Dan Campbell after Detroit knocked off Tampa Bay
to go to the conference championship, just said they've got
two to go with a buy in the middle.

Speaker 2 (23:52):
That means super Bowl or bust James Palmer.

Speaker 1 (23:55):
We're now bringing in Stacey DALs, who was at that
divisional playoff face. First off, I mean, we know it
is now magical for the city of Detroit, for these Lions,
all of their dubious records and things like that, But
can you give us an atmosphere and maybe a player
or a moment who just kind of encompassed what this

team is doing right now?

Speaker 14 (24:18):
Yeah, there's so many. There's such a collection. My ears
are still ringing from that game. I mean it was.
It was one of the loudest experiences in fifteen years
covering the NFL that I've experienced myself. When I left
the facility, I would describe it as my ears were
ringing like I left the concert. I mean, that's how

big it was. But there's just so many And I
think when you look at this roster, what Brad Holmes
and Dan Campbell have sort of comprised with this team.
We saw it manifest against the box, right, I mean,
Josh Reynolds, Craig Reynolds both had really important moments in
that game. These are auxiliaries sort of excuse me, supplementary players, right,
and then the Derek Barnes intercept at the end. This

is a fourth rounder that they took in twenty twenty
one out of Purdue. I fell in love with him
during the draft process. And I know why, Like when
you sit and you listen to the character of a
guy like Derek Barnes, and now he has his moment
three seasons later and is a starter for the Detroit
Lions and a defense that has vastly improved. It was
just so unique. And then you ask him. I was

as locker room last night, you guys, and I said,
take me through the interception, take me through the play.
And interestingly, Aiden Hutchinson, prior to that, when I asked
him about the play, he said he had actually called
a game games at the defensive line where they're trying
to get different mismatches and such and create screens and
all that chaos and movement. But Derek didn't even recall that.

All he recalled was the film that he studied on
Baker Mayfield and that Baker likes to go to those
seams and he likes to throw to the scene and
that's exactly where you saw Derek Barns. So there's just
a collection of great character guys on this team, and
you could be happier for him.

Speaker 5 (26:01):
And when you have this group of people that are together, Stacey,
we know the leader that Dan Campbell is, but you
also need a player that steps up into that spot.
And I look at the quarterback and we often do
in this league. And Jared Goff has played in a
conference team, and I know he's talked about a lot
of these rookies don't play like rookies in his eyes,
but there's still rookies and lead on lean on a

lot of young guys on this team. What type of
role do you think he plays this week in Detroit?

Speaker 14 (26:32):
Such an important role. You guys know that everything shifts.
You both understand everything shifts this week when we have
Championship Wednesday coming up, which is a very long day.
It's almost like a precursor to what comes at a
Super Bowl, right in terms of the availability, it's all
scheduled out for each team. I'm and Ross Saint Brown actually,
in my postgame interview kind of answered it for me.

To your point, James, just in terms of what type
of leader he's been, he constantly delivers. I have quotes
in front of me. He's just so calm, he's so collected.
But am and Ros said, we're going to have to
count on him basically as I'm paraphrasing, to guide us
through this week because he was in that twenty eighteen,
you know, NFC Championship game when he was with the Rams.

What's really great for this team, I think, guys is
he's two and two all time at San Francisco and
he has boasted some pretty good numbers there. He's not
far where he originated from in California, grew up not
far from there, so he's probably going to have a
big family group coming. But it's probably be a little
emotional for him too, going back to the Bay. But yeah,

I think his leadership James, to your point, one hundred percent,
they're going to count on this week because he's been there.

Speaker 1 (27:45):
Speaking of leadership, Stacey, you know you mentined to been
here fifteen years. You and I got hired at the
same time, and you always give us something special with
your reports. Well Sunday on game Day preview, you gave
us this special intro to your report from ford Field.

Speaker 14 (28:00):
Sorry, is it's so bustling in this place at fort Field, Andrew,
I just lost service officially on my phone. I can't
do a damn thing on this thing at this point.
Did you never get it to work?

Speaker 4 (28:14):

Speaker 14 (28:16):
I did eventually, so I had to toggle with it.
But you guys know, when you're at these games, at
this magnete, your phone just cranks out on you and
you're just like you feel helpless, right, James. You can't
tweet anything out, You can't get any information out. If
you did have any breaking news, you can't write. I
did get it restored, though it's usually for me though,

you know, I've been in the playoffs in Green Bay
so much in my history that it's usually because of
the cold weather your phone dies or a severely hot
day early in the season. But yeah, that place was
bustling and that happened. Actually, it's a real z Stayce.

Speaker 1 (28:50):
We appreciate you so much, absolutely fantastic.

Speaker 2 (28:53):
Can't wait to talk to you next Monday when things
are cranking up getting ready for this.

Speaker 1 (28:58):
Yeah, and now for the lie opponent, San Francisco forty
nine ers.

Speaker 2 (29:03):
How did they get here?

Speaker 15 (29:06):

Speaker 9 (29:06):
On a shoutdown je truck, Trusha gets chased out to
a slight.

Speaker 12 (29:10):
Gonna throw on the running back.

Speaker 1 (29:11):
Mental man is in a shifted Joe Jack Dray Greenlaw
big dwayn Dray goes down two interceptions for pig plague
Dray Greenlaw. All right, dam that was a caller, Drake
Greenlaws Field sealed the victory over the Packers right there.

Speaker 2 (29:31):
Now we're bringing in Jeff Shediah. Now, Jeff, you know
how JP and I love brock perty right, he is
our guy.

Speaker 16 (29:40):
Well, seriously, he was. He was on shaking round. He
was shaking around in this game. Hey, look going into
this game to get the Lions. After that performance, I mean,
what what does that tell you more about?

Speaker 2 (29:53):
Is that? Is it more concerning for the forty nine
ers the.

Speaker 1 (29:56):
Fact that he was able to lead them on the
game winning drive. You're like, Okay, he's good, he's good
in the big moment.

Speaker 17 (30:03):
Well, look, it was bad weather. For one, it was raining,
and I'll give him credit for that playing through that.
But also he lose Deebo Samuel for a good portion
of that game, which is a huge loss as well.

Speaker 14 (30:14):
And look it's.

Speaker 17 (30:15):
We know that he's had trouble playing with some of
these circumstances before. But what I loved about what brock
Perry did in that game, he didn't let not let that,
let that bother him when it mattered most. He had
six for seven in that game when he drive let
him down there Christian McAffrey scores the game when he
touched down.

Speaker 8 (30:32):
But he was sharp in that moment. He was taking
what was given to him.

Speaker 17 (30:35):
He wasn't pressing like he was in that three game
losing streak when he lost Debo and McCaffrey and Trent
Williams earlier this year. So I think it showed a
lot about his character and his toughness and his readiness
to play in these kind of games at this time
of year.

Speaker 5 (30:49):
We saw him operating right there out of the gun
a whole bunch in the second half of that game,
Jef something you don't see a whole lot out of
this offense. And that's why I bring up where he's
lined up in offense.

Speaker 4 (31:01):
What do you think the.

Speaker 5 (31:02):
Role of Kyle Shanahan's offense plays in in some of
this stuff we're having this conversation about with rock Perty
or times in the fourth quarter where the streak was
finally broken. Right, they're now one in thirty when trailing
by five or more in the fourth quarter.

Speaker 4 (31:22):
Is there any sort of fear in your mind?

Speaker 5 (31:25):
With the way Kyle Shanahan's offense is built, it's brilliant.
But if they get behind early in the conference championship.

Speaker 17 (31:33):
Well that is a concern just because of the way
the Detroit Lions played football. They want to they want
to beat you up, they want to bully you. And
we saw what happened when they played a team that
was similar to that in the Baltimore Ravens earlier this year,
where the Ravens were very physical with them, able to
get a lead, and they ran away with the game. Now,
Detroit isn't, as I would say, as explosive as the

Ravens in some area, especially quarterback runs, but they have that,
they have that capability to do those kind of things.
So yeah, I think it's sure important as the Niners
play their style of football, play from ahead, get pretty comfortable. Look,
he didn't play last year in an NFC championship game
for longer than what fifteen twenty minutes before he was
out of that game and so we still don't know

how he can play in that level of the game.

Speaker 2 (32:19):
That's a huge question about him.

Speaker 17 (32:20):
So they got to get him comfortable in the same
way that the Buffalo Bills had to get Josh Allen
comfortable that Division a round game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Speaker 2 (32:27):
Well, I'll tell you this.

Speaker 1 (32:28):
You know, JP was talking about Kyle Shanahan's offense. I
was getting ready to throw a brick at the ball, saying,
give the ball to Christian McCaffrey and that may calm
everything down. But Jeff, real quick, let's flip it to
the other side of the ball. I want to talk
about both number one teams because they both invested in
their inside linebackers. You know, we led this We led
this off with a high light of Dre Greenlaw, who
sits next to Fred Warner, and then he got Rokwan

Smith and Patrick Queen for the Ravens. The way these
teams are built and the way so many other teams
dismiss inside linebackers, what about the importance of those players
and how the this whole defense functions for two of
the best teams.

Speaker 2 (33:02):
In the NFL.

Speaker 3 (33:03):
Well, both of those duos are crucial to their teams obviously,
and I'm a big believer in what you're talking about
here that finding those kinds of players in the middle
of your defense does make a difference.

Speaker 17 (33:14):
The hard part is finding those kind of players now
because it's so the NFL is so diversified, and it's
hard to get guys who have the side and the
athletic ability to play there and be effective. But when
you have two guys like that, it makes it a
huge difference. There's no question that what Drake Greenlaw and
Fred Warner bring to that defense is attitude. It's tone setting,

it's playmaking, it's all the things that you look at
Dallas for example, when they have to defend the run
and they can't get it done. You look at some
of the other teams around the league that can't find
those big plays when they need them. They always rely
on these kind of players to deliver for them, and
that's what's made them so successful. I know it's about
pass rush and cover corners and all this stuff, but
those guys in the middle, like I said, they set

the tone and they establish the identity that you have
to have to win ball games on defense.

Speaker 4 (34:01):
And Jeff was interesting too. You mentioned that position.

Speaker 5 (34:03):
I'm fascinated by the game that I watched yesterday and
the Chiefs run essentially to mike linebackers at times on
the field at the same time and Drew Tranquill and
Nick Bolton. It's a facet of their defense to stay
physical in the middle of the field. And I bring
that up because let's talk about Deebo Samuel real quick.
We saw this offense with the forty nine ers get
disjointed when Deebo was off the field.

Speaker 6 (34:25):
He was part of the.

Speaker 5 (34:26):
Game plan and running the football. They wanted him to
be physical running the football as part of their game
plan in that game, and weren't able to do it.

Speaker 4 (34:33):
You saw other guys step up in his place.

Speaker 5 (34:35):
Were you either, I guess, encouraged by the number of
guys that filled his role in a variety of spots,
or discouraged about them playing without him potentially in the
after Well, I.

Speaker 17 (34:46):
Was discourage just knowing that, look, you can get through
a game or a part of a game without him
being there. To go into a game without him being
part of your game plan, that's a big, big absence
for them, because you know, I talked to a personnel
guy earlier this year, and he described Diebo as their bully.

Speaker 2 (35:02):
You know you as the route runner.

Speaker 17 (35:04):
Kittle is the is the top tight end from the
top tight ends in the league. McCaffrey is the do
everything running back. But Depo is like Fred Warner and
Drake green Law, the guy who sets a tone on
offense for them. And so because he can light up
in so many places, because he can do so many
things with the football in his hands, that it's you
lose that, and it's it's enormous. It's like two we're

talking about Loa losing Tyreek Hill.

Speaker 8 (35:28):
You just don't.

Speaker 17 (35:29):
You don't find guys who replace that easily. They manage
to do it for a few quarters, but to do
it for entire game against a team like Detroit, it's
gonna be tough.

Speaker 6 (35:38):

Speaker 1 (35:39):
And Jeff, as you know, with Debo out there, defensive coordinator,
someone like Aaron Glenn's be like, okay, we've got to
focus on that. Without him out there, they can change
their defense and run it much differently.

Speaker 2 (35:48):
Hey, Jeff, we appreciate you checking us out.

Speaker 1 (35:51):
Hanging out of the NFL report again is your typical Monday,
appearing to have fun this weekend at the conference championships and.

Speaker 2 (35:57):
We come back, we're gonna be talking about Bill Belichick.
He is to ever do it right? But is he
really wanted to coach another team? Mike Carrofolo tell us
on the NFL.

Speaker 5 (36:08):
Report, Welcome back to the NFL Report, James Palmer, Steve
whtch with you?

Speaker 17 (36:18):

Speaker 4 (36:18):
Look who it is, Steve.

Speaker 5 (36:20):
It is the batman to Steve Smith's Robin. It is
Mike Carrafolo, the star of every Thursday Night on NFL
Network this season. In the NFL Reports, insider Michael, I
have to start off with the name. Everybody is trying
to get their hands on and figure out and wrap
around the greatest coach of all time in Bill Belichick.

Speaker 4 (36:43):
What is happening with Bill right now?

Speaker 5 (36:45):
Particularly Atlanta is the one we keep hearing, but they're
interviewing about a lot of other people. If things don't
work out in Atlanta right now, could we see a
year where we don't have Bill Belichick in the NFL?

Speaker 17 (37:00):

Speaker 7 (37:00):
I believe so.

Speaker 9 (37:01):
Perhaps a guest on the NFL Report next year, or
maybe the Insiders anything he'd be willing to come off
here in NFL.

Speaker 2 (37:07):
Combo Ask a combo asks for Bill, Mike Lit going on.

Speaker 9 (37:11):
Here, James Power not going on for the Atlanta FL
because you're right. I mean, they've definitely conducted a thorough search.
And at first it was like, oh, they're conducting this
thorough search is sort of an Oakie dope, But it
really feels like they are. And the fact that they're
talking to Jim Harball again for the second time. So yeah,
I still feel like Bill Belichick in this situation is
going to look for something that's right for him and

if it's not right, not really rush into another job here.
I mean, I know he's at a latter part of
his NFL career and not a whole lot of time
despair and not that he's dying here, But the point is,
you know, you would think that if he's gonna try
to chase that record that he wants to get so badly,
he would jump into another job. No, it's gonna have
to be right, and it's gonna have to be the

right set up for a guy who had the right
setup for him for twenty years.

Speaker 2 (38:00):
To that point though.

Speaker 1 (38:00):
I mean, other than the Falcons, there's no no other
teams really knocking on his door. I had a conversation
with somebody, uh with with you know who's involved with
the Falcons surge, who said that they are very impressed
with some of these other candidates, like maybe it was
Belichick's to lose and some of these other candidates, some
of these young upstarts have been so impressive it might

no longer be Bill Belichick.

Speaker 2 (38:25):
So to that point, what about some.

Speaker 1 (38:27):
Of these other you know, Mike McDonald, some of these
other names we're hearing from these young upstarts who could
be taking the place, like getting an Atlanta job or
some of these other squads.

Speaker 9 (38:36):
Yeah, Mike McDonald, I'm gonna give you the scouting report
out of Baltimore from uh Mike McDonald if I can
find it here. Uh yeah, Tell he is he smells,
he doesn't brush his teeth. Uh, and he's a bad
character guy. And that's what they say when they don't.

Speaker 4 (38:54):
Want to lose a guy.

Speaker 9 (38:54):
So that's what you're telling me out of Baltimore, And
make sure you tell everybody all these things.

Speaker 7 (38:59):
About Mike McDonald.

Speaker 9 (39:00):
So, Mike McDonald is a guy that they think extremely
highly of.

Speaker 7 (39:04):
He's a defensive guy.

Speaker 9 (39:04):
If he was an offensive guy, he'd be over Ben Johnson.
As far as the guy that we're talking about, that's
absolutely pointifly going to get a job. But he's a
defensive guy, right, You got that working against you in
this league here. But the job that he has done
with the Baltimore Ravens over the last couple of years,
going from one hardball gym at Michigan to the other
harball john and back into the NFL level, I think

this guy's setting himself up to be a head coach
fran long time in this league, perhaps perhaps starting in
twenty twenty four.

Speaker 4 (39:34):
What if you heard when you're asking around the league.

Speaker 5 (39:36):
But when you look at coaches like Mike McDonald and
guys that are still playing and they're still gonna be playing,
right even though they've slowed the process, Are.

Speaker 4 (39:47):
They at an equal spot.

Speaker 5 (39:49):
Or they at a disadvantage right now as teams even
though it's slower, are going through all of them.

Speaker 9 (39:56):
I think it's helping the folks that are still in it,
for sure. I think it's helping all guys. Go back
to what we talked about with Atlanta, I mean that
is a situation where it reminded me of Andy Reid
going from Philly to Kansas City.

Speaker 7 (40:07):
I remember it was done like practically.

Speaker 9 (40:09):
The next day or maybe Tuesday, after he had coached
his last game with the Eagles, and then they had
to do the sham Rooney rule interview and it was like, no, no,
we're really gonna Andy Reid was at the North Philadelphia Airport,
the Northeast Philadelphia Airport.

Speaker 7 (40:23):
Getting the deal done.

Speaker 9 (40:25):
In this case with Atlanta, that probably or may have
been the case as it was years ago. But because
the process has been slowed down, that's allowed for why's
what you're hearing, Hey, we're really impressed with all these
candidates that we've had a chance to have a conversation with.
So if I'm still in the playoffs, I'm thankful that
the NFL has slowed this thing down and given us
a chance to have a full search regardless of what

your current situation.

Speaker 7 (40:48):
Is with your current team you're coaching with.

Speaker 1 (40:50):
Might we got forty five seconds? The Philadelphia Eagles have
scheduled a news conference with Nick Sirianni and Howie Roseman.

Speaker 2 (40:56):
Those aren't Tea Leaves.

Speaker 1 (40:57):
That's telling us something about who their head coach is
going to be twenty twenty four.

Speaker 9 (41:01):
Yeah, I never really thought it was not going to
be Nick Sirianni.

Speaker 7 (41:06):
So this doesn't surprise me.

Speaker 9 (41:07):
And we knew that they were gonna be widespread changes
on the coaching staff. They've interviewed Ron Rivera, They're gonna
interview Mike Calbler. Actually are interviewing Mike Caldwell, the former
Eagles linebacker who was with the Jaguars. Defensive coordinator Brian
Johnson's interviewing for head coaching job.

Speaker 7 (41:22):
So they don't want to fire him necessarily.

Speaker 9 (41:24):
But there's gonna be an evaluation of potential move there
on the offensive side of the ball. They got to
get Jalen Hurts right. There's something off about the quarterback.
I know he was injured this year, but there's just
something that's not right there, and especially the connection with
him and his teammates. Some of the stuff we were
hearing about Carson Wentz, we're now hearing about Jalen Hurts.

Speaker 7 (41:41):
Oh, Like it's completely off base either.

Speaker 9 (41:43):
To be honest with it, Jalen Hurts got to get
back with his teammates, with his coaches and in the
right frame of mind heading into twenty four.

Speaker 1 (41:49):
All Mike jam Once, you know, once his coaching circle,
you know carrousel stopped spinning. Some of those coordinators will
become more available as they're looking for work.

Speaker 2 (41:56):
Mike, Gee, appreciate you and the fam. That was a splendid,
splendid segment.

Speaker 6 (42:02):
All right.

Speaker 1 (42:02):
Coming up in the final bodus of the NFL Report,
we go off the field for a visit with NFL
Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Speaker 2 (42:11):
By a visit him and I took this summer. Next
on the NFL Report.

Speaker 5 (42:21):
Hey, it's James Palmer and you're listening to the NFL
Report podcast along with myself and Steve Weisch.

Speaker 7 (42:26):
But remember if you want to see our beautiful.

Speaker 5 (42:28):
Faces, this is a show at seven point fifteen Monday
and Thursday at seven fifteen pm Eastern, and we are
on the NFL app as well as fast streaming platforms.
That's two B, that's Roku, that's Pluto, that's Peacock, all
of those platforms as well as the NFL dot Com, Slash,
NFL channel.

Speaker 4 (42:48):
Find us all of those spots.

Speaker 5 (42:54):
Welcome back to the NFL Report, James Palmer, Steve Wetch
with you. And on top of Steve just being a
great host on this show, Steve spends a lot of
time doing other things around this league, Steve on and
off the field, and this, to me is one of
the most interesting and coolest things I've seen you do
in recentm Well.

Speaker 1 (43:13):
I appreciate it, James, because in August, NFL Commissioner Roger
Goodell and I joined former player Justin took Tuck, Miami
Heat assistant coach Karan Butler, and to people from the
Vera Institute of Justice and taking a tour of the
True Unit at the Cheshire Correctional Institution in Connecticut. And
the Special Unique Unit is a rehabilitative unit aimed at

eighteen to twenty five year olds will be returning to
society one day. Right now, I'm joined by NFL Commissioner
Roger Goodell and Commissioner even though it's you know, we
went on this visit in August and we're months removed,
the impact of that day to me still feels like yesterday.
I just want to kind of get what you felt

then and then just kind of the after effect now,
like what you're still feeling about that visit.

Speaker 6 (43:59):
As you know.

Speaker 15 (44:00):
So I was there really at the request of Justin Tuck,
who said I did this, would you be willing to
do it? I promise you it'll be worth your time.
And I found it such an incredible moment in the
context of you learned so much that you probably only imagine,
but you don't have an opportunity to really experience. And

most of that was the humanity of the people we met,
the extraordinary individuals that were there that clearly had made
a mistake, and they all acknowledged they were there for
the wrong reasons, and that's how they were looking at
their lives. And I think the time for us to
be up there. You know, they kept repeating it to us, right,

thank you for taking the time, thank you for caring
about us. It was interesting to me how much believing
in somebody makes an impact.

Speaker 6 (44:49):
But the one thing I really took when the program
was the language.

Speaker 1 (44:51):
And they said, it's important they're not referred to as
prisoners or inmates or by a number. They're referred to
as mentors and mentees and young men. What did you
find you talked about the humanity, What did you find
about how much that meant to at least making these
people have some sort of dignity while they're behind bars.

Speaker 15 (45:10):
I think this program what was so impactful to me
is that it was all about teaching these young men
how their life still ahead of them. What are they
going to do to take advantage of the opportunity when
they get out. How mentors who are going to be
in there and have been in there for maybe a lifetime,
are making a difference in their lives so that they're

successful when they walk out of there. And to me,
that's what we're looking for is rehabilitation, not penalty, right.
We're looking to see these people go on and be successful.
These young men be contributors to society, and they appreciate
the fact that we cared about that.

Speaker 1 (45:47):
One of the most jarring moments, memorable moments came. We
were all in one wing together not too long before
we wrapped, and they passed the microphone along and one
of them looked at Justin Tuck and said, Justin, you
were here before, and hold us the next time you're
coming back.

Speaker 6 (46:01):
You're coming with the commissioner.

Speaker 1 (46:03):
Here he is, He said to most of us, that's
the first time someone in life upheld a promise.

Speaker 11 (46:10):
He came back with Roger Goodell, come on, man, give
you the round.

Speaker 1 (46:15):
Of course, when you saw that, when you heard that,
I mean, what was that like?

Speaker 15 (46:22):
Yeah, I agree, Steve. It was a jarring moment because
one my hat's off to Justin because he really felt
this was an important moment for these young men to return,
to come back and to do what he said he
was going to do. That was important to Justin. It
was important for me to help support him in that context.
But I feel the same way I think. You know,

you don't just go there, visit and leave. You have
to carry what you learned and the thoughts of these
young men every day with you and hopes that you
can make a difference for them at some point.

Speaker 1 (46:54):
Commission, of course, you know everybody wanted to speak with you.
Have you been in contact with anybody from the program
or the facility since we've been there.

Speaker 15 (47:04):
Yeah, it was really actually surprising to me, Steve. Some
of them reached out, and you know, I responded to them,
and I expect I'm going to see them again someday
where they're out here in society and they're back doing
something important to their life and productive in life, and
we can be supportive in some way.

Speaker 6 (47:22):
That's so good to hear.

Speaker 1 (47:24):
And as you know, the NFL is a partner with
the Vera Institute of Justice, and trying to get some
things done.

Speaker 6 (47:28):
With the incarcerated peoples.

Speaker 1 (47:30):
But as we wrap up, you grab the mic and
you told the young men in this program, the mentors
in this program, the guards, that the NFL is committed
to that true program, to Verra, to Tashure, what can.

Speaker 2 (47:44):
Be done there and.

Speaker 6 (47:44):
What maybe can the NFL do to continue to expand
programs like this.

Speaker 15 (47:48):
You know, I think there are their programs are inspired
change work that we focus so much on. How do
we improve the criminal justice system? It's one of our pillars,
and we believe that we can have an impact. This
program true and the very institute I think is actually
well on its way, and that's a program that can
be taken into other institutions and I believe that's ultimately

going to be a good thing.

Speaker 1 (48:11):
It was an amazing experience, Commissioner. I'm glad you went.
I'm glad we were invited to go. And as we know,
with all these programs with the NFL, it's not what
the NFL and people do, it's the impact that they
have on others. And you and Vera and Justin Tuck
have had a lot of impact on people.

Speaker 6 (48:28):
So thank you for that, and thanks for spending time
with us.

Speaker 15 (48:31):
Well, Steve, thank you, but thank you for coming also
because I know you made a difference. Also, listen, they
just need people believing them and the fact that you
were there was impactful on them also, so thank you.

Speaker 6 (48:43):
Well, I appreciate that. Thanks again.

Speaker 5 (48:46):

Speaker 1 (48:47):
The one thing these young men in this program understanding
there are victims outside because of their behavior, but this program,
should they get out, they're hoping makes them better people
and they could be big contributors to society.

Speaker 8 (48:58):

Speaker 5 (48:59):
Amazing work all of you guys, just just absolutely unreal.

Speaker 6 (49:03):

Speaker 5 (49:03):
Remember we are coming up with the NFL report on Thursday.
But that handsome face right there, not mine one next
to it, Steve Wish will not be there.

Speaker 6 (49:12):
With me on Thursday.

Speaker 5 (49:13):
We'll be replaced by the one Rhett Lewis. Steve right, Yes,
NFL Network Fame. It's gonna be Ret and Eye on Thursday,
seven fifteen. We're gonna have a fully loaded show. We'll
miss you tremendously, but it was a great seeing your
face today here from Orchard Park.

Speaker 2 (49:27):
Steve, miss you as well. See everybody next Monday. It's
a podcast. Listen to the podcast.
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