Rank #1: Curt Warner: A Family's Battle with Autism
Curt Warner is a former Seahawks RB (drafted in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft), a two-time All American at Penn State, and the father of twins with autism. On this episode of SCHOOLED, The Professor talks with his old friend about meeting as player & journalist way back in college, Warner looks back on his time as a Seahawk and says he has no regrets in his career but wishes he didn't have to battle so many injuries. Curt also discusses his family's fight to end autism and his experiences having twins that are autistic including a fire one of the boys set that burned down the Warner's home. Now, Curt and his family have started the Curt Warner Autism Foundation and are working on a book in hopes of raising awareness and helping other families.
Rank #2: NFL Draft Preview with Gil Brandt
Gil Brandt was the Vice President of Player Personnel for the Cowboys for almost 30 years, and is now a senior analyst for NFL.com overseeing which players the NFL invites to draft night. Gil says this is one of the most unique drafts ever because...
Rank #3: Gridiron Genius with Michael Lombardi
On Schooled with the Professor this week, you will really get a chance to get a great education. Former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi has a book coming out Sept. 11 that details the behind-the-scenes brilliance of three NFL greats: Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belichick. The book is called "Gridiron Genius, A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL." Lombardi worked with all three geniuses. Mike has always been known as a great student of the NFL, so he gives us a history lesson on why these men were so successful and goes into great deal on the differences in the way Walsh, Davis and Belichick build teams. It’s a great study and a great book. You can pre-order it now and should.
Rank #4: "Mean" Joe Greene: The Professor's Professor
The man some call the best Defensive Tackle to ever play the game joins us this week on SCHOOLED to talk about playing for the Steelers in the 70s, and encouraging a young high school sports reporter named John Clayton. John Clayton, our beloved Professor, began his Hall of Fame career as a 17 yr-old boy in the locker room of the Pittsburgh Steelers. A team of legends who would go on to win 4 Super Bowls in 6 years. Check out Joe's book "'Mean' Joe Green: Built by Football" anywhere books are sold.
Rank #5: Salary Cap Analysis with Andrew Brandt
The salary cap number was announced this week: $177.2 million. And teams have to be under the cap by March 14. On SCHOOLED with the Professor, we talked to cap expert Andrew Brandt. When the salary cap started, Brandt was an agent. He then spent almost a decade as the Green Bay Packers capologist and now writes about the salary cap for MMQB and The Athletic. We go through the history of the salary cap and talk about how it has evolved. Brandt talks about how the league changed for negotiations in 2011 when the NFL and NFLPA agreed to have a lower paying wage pool for rookies. Learn about the salary cap this week on SCHOOLED!
Rank #6: Offensive Issues with Brian Billick
I know I'm The Professor, but I sure gained a lot of knowledge about NFL offenses through the years listening to Brian Billick, former Baltimore Ravens coach - and one of the great offensive minds in the game - who now works for the NFL Network. Class is in session in this week's edition of SCHOOLED with The Professor. Brian gets into why offenses got off to such poor starts in the first week of the season, why it's hard for teams to develop quality offensive lines, and we spend some time on the Seahawks own offensive issues. Brian also gives us his opinions on some of the best defenses in the NFL. He likes what he sees with the addition of Sheldon Richardson.
Rank #7: Breaking Down Salary Caps with Joel Corry
As a sports agent for 16 yrs, Joel Corry represented players such as Ronnie Lott, Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O'Neal. Now a writer for CBS Sports, Joel is an NFL salary cap expert, and, like our beloved Professor, a man all about the numbers. On this week's SCHOOLED, Joel tells Clayton that we are seeing a shrinking middle class of NFL players as salaries get to a level they have never reached before. Joel also takes a look at changes the NFLPA might be looking to make in the next collective bargaining agreement and breaks down what the Seahawks will need to offer in order to re-sign Justin Britt, Kam Chancellor and Jimmy Graham.
Rank #8: Top Draft QBs with Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer was a long-time NFL backup, spending five years studying under his brother NFL QB Carson Palmer. He is now training quarterbacks for the upcoming NFL draft including the top two QB prospects Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. On this week's SCHOOLED with The Professor, Jordan describes how he picks the quarterbacks and what he does with them in the long prep before the draft. Palmer gets into what makes Sam Darnold tick, the unique arm of Josh Allen (perhaps the best he's ever seen!), and the USC workout in which Darnold vetoed the idea of moving inside because it was a rainy day in Southern California. Darnold wanted to work to show he can be a Cleveland Brown and the first pick in the draft. Palmer also discusses the comparables and upside of Josh Allen. If you are getting ready for the draft, you need to hear Palmer talk about two of the top four quarterbacks.
Rank #9: Next-Gen Analytics with John Pollard of Zebra Technologies
Last week the NFL made a major announcement that didn't get as much attention as it should. The league announced that all 32 teams will be receiving full analytics reports from Zebra, the Illinois based company that puts tracking devices on players...
Rank #10: Decades of Coverage with Peter King
Sports Illustrated writer, editor of MMQB.com, and NFL Hall of Fame voter Peter King has covered the league for over 30 years. On this episode of SCHOOLED, Peter and The Professor discuss the early days of their now decades-long reporting careers and how sports media has changed over the years. Then, they pull back the curtain on how NFL Hall of Fame voting works and whether they see any changes coming in the future.
Rank #11: Long Snapping with Matt Overton
This week, citing player safety, the NFL created a rule banning defensive players from jumping over the line during FGs and extra points. Why eliminate such an exciting play? Indianapolis Colts long snapper Matt Overton is at the literal center of this recent change, and on this week's SCHOOLED he talks to The Professor about feeling conflicted about the new rule, the mechanics of long snapping, and more about this unique position.
Rank #12: Rebuilding with Drew Bledsoe
Since his retirement from the NFL, Drew Bledsoe is aging well like the fine wines he produces. Bledsoe joins John Clayton to go through plenty of topics: As you probably know, Bledsoe earned Rookie of the Year status with his Doubleback Winery. Doubleback earned instant acclaim and national awards for its Cabernet Sauvignon. On SCHOOLED, he revealed that he, Damon Huard, Dan Marino and Rick Mirer all wanted to get in the wine business together. On the football side, Bledsoe goes into detail on how he was involved with the rebuilding of the New England Patriots, a franchise that had been struggling much like the current Cleveland Browns. He discusses how the Patriots had a vision of what was needed to improve and the Patriots turned it around with Bledsoe. Drew also talks about how he is developing two sons at quarterback, one at Washington State and another in high school.
Rank #13: Brandon Marshall
This week on SCHOOLED, The Professor talks with Brandon Marshall. Current wide receiver with the NY Giants, he has played for the Broncos, Bears and Jets as well. They discuss how they both grew up in the same area of Pittsburgh, why Marshall declined an offer to play at Florida, what we can expect to see with Odell Beckham Jr. and Marshall playing together this year, and his journey to becoming a mental health advocate. To learn how you can help eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health by raising awareness and improving care for those in need, visit Project375.org.
Rank #14: Eagles Analysis with Donovan McNabb
The Seahawks/Eagles game is scheduled for prime time Sunday, so we're going prime time with former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. You can hear Donovan on ESPN Radio every Sunday starting at 9 PST. On this week's SCHOOLED, Donovan goes in depth describing how Andy Reid coached him into being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He breaks down the rapid rise of Carson Wentz, talks about the differences in the current offenses from when he played, details how more trickery is involved with the play calling, and talks about the play of Russell Wilson. He also breaks down the benching of Eli Manning, the future of Kirk Cousins and what he thinks about Dak Prescott in his second season.
Rank #15: John Nordstrom on 20 Years of Paul Allen's Seahawks
Former Seahawks owner John Nordstrom joins us this week on SCHOOLED with the Professor and he gives us great insight on the NFL franchise he started, and how he and others reached out and got billionaire investor Paul Allen involved in buying the Seahawks to save football in Seattle. The timing of this podcast is perfect. On Sunday, the Seahawks celebrated the 20 years Allen has owned the franchise. Nordstrom goes into great detail on what was needed to bail the Seahawks out of a bad ownership situation with former owner Ken Behring, who was trying to move the team to Los Angeles. Nordstrom tells us his favorite memories of being the owner of the team, reveals how closely he follows the team now, and tells us about one of the former Seahawk players who lived near him: Marshawn Lynch.
Rank #16: Tod Leiweke: The NFL's #2 Man
Former CEO of Seattle's Seahawks and Sounders, Tod Leiweke is the NFL's #2 man. On this week's SCHOOLED, the first COO since 2003 talk s to The Professor about reinventing the Hawks under owner Paul Allen, climbing a mountain with Roger Goodell, and his unlikely journey to the league.
Rank #17: The Evolution of Quarterbacks with Lew Freedman
This SCHOOLED with the Professor, we're going old school: the evolution of quarterbacks with veteran sportswriter and winner of more than 250 journalism awards Lew Freedman. Lew is publishing a book that comes out December 15 that does a great job of discussing the history of passing offenses in the NFL. "Baugh to Brady: The Evolution of the Forward Pass" is going to be a must read. What I respect is Lew’s great feel for the history of passing offenses and each stage of quarterback’s development. Sammy Baugh was the first true passing star in this NFL. Freedman talks about how he opened the eyes of NFL coaches that a quarterback can do more than just make handoffs. Baugh had great throwing skills and was probably two decades ahead of the league. Freedman takes us through the year. He talked about how Johnny Unitas set up the look of current NFL passing offense. He talks about how the 49ers and the quarterbacks of the 1980 moved the sport more to passing. We get into a discussion about current passing offenses.
Rank #18: The One and Only Jim Kelly
Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly played all of his 11 years in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills. Between 1991-1994, they played a record 4 consecutive Super Bowls, and although they lost each time, his revolutionary no-huddle "K-Gun" offense led to one of the league's greatest offensive juggernauts. On this week's SCHOOLED, The Professor talks to his old pal Jim about his unusual path to the NFL (via the now defunct USFL), how choosing beer over a car for his MVP prize was a bad deal for the beer company, what made the 1983 NFL draft class - where Kelly was picked in the first round - so legendary, and why Joe Paterno was no fan of Clayton's.
Rank #19: Wade Phillips: Son of Bum
Wade Phillips, son of legendary coach Bum Phillips, is a Super Bowl-winning defensive coordinator and former head coach who has been in the NFL since 1976. On this week's SCHOOLED, The Professor talks to his old friend about the hard-hitting defenses of the Houston Oilers & Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s, Wade's 2016 Super Bowl win with the Denver Broncos, and which athletes have impressed him the most in his 41 year career. Pick up Wade's new book "Son of Bum" wherever books are sold.
Rank #20: Pass Coverage with Ronde Barber
This week on SCHOOLED with the Professor former NFL cornerback Ronde Barber (now a semi-finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and an analyst for Fox) educates us on pass coverage in the NFL. Ronde talks about how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two-deep zone defense worked under Tony Dungy. He details how the Cover Two has morphed into the Cover One, Cover Three defense used by the Seahawks and several teams in NFL. And he goes into the evolution of the cornerback position back when he played and where it is now.