Rank #1: Ryan Gustafson-Seattle Dragons President : Joins Us to Discuss the Naming of Seattle's XFL Team
Wednesday was a big day for the Seattle Dragons of the XFL. The 8 XFL teams announced their team names and opened the doors with the news tickets are soon for sale. You can place deposits on season tickets right now.
On Schooled with the Professor, we talked to Ryan Gustafson to get the full story on the progress of Seattle’s XFL franchise. Ryan took us behind the scenes to update everyone on how the league is progressing and where everything is heading. The first season opens after the Super Bowl in February.
Ryan discusses why the Dragons name tells a story about Seattle and how the XFL is trying to present a fast-paced, fun game for fans. While the AAF didn’t make it as a league this past year, the AAF proved there is interest nationwide in football after the NFL season. Get to know the XFL through Ryan and the Seattle Dragons on this week's episode of Schooled with the Professor.
Rank #2: Chris Berman on 40 years at ESPN and how the NFL has changed over those years
One of the highlights of training camp was seeing Chris Berman of ESPN. I had the pleasure of working with Chris for more than 20 years and he’s the absolute best.
He joined us on Schooled with the Professor to talk about our love for pro football and some of the history of the game. We talked a lot about the Seahawks, a team that he respects and likes from what he saw of practice.
Chris has been a big fan of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s and 1990s and the Buffalo Bills team that went to four consecutive Super Bowls. Chris also discusses the current state of the game. It’s turned into more of an offensive league. Chris, like myself, loved the old physical play of the game when the NFL was a defensive league. Chris loved the simplicity of the game in the 1970s, when there wasn’t nickel pass coverage schemes. But Chris also talks about how the 49ers and the West Coast offense took the game to a new level. On Sept. 7, Chris celebrates his 40th year at ESPN. It was fun catching up with Chris on Schooled.
Rank #3: Steve Raible previews the Seahawks ahead of the pre-season opener
With the start of the Seattle Seahawks season Thursday, we needed to get a great breakdown of the team. Who better to do that with than Steve Raible, the voice of the Seahawks?
Much of the theme of this week’s Schooled with the Professor is discussing the off-season. As a former Seahawks receiver who has been around this franchise from the beginning, Steve discusses how good this offense can be. Even though it’s too early for him to make a prediction, he does see signs this could be one of the best offenses in team history.
Raible also breaks down what Russell Wilson has worked on to improve his game, talks about the evolution of Tyler Lockett at wide receiver and what he sees from the rest of the receiving corps. He talks about the idea of getting the ball more to the running backs and how that could open up the offense. Like everyone, he’s waiting to see the pass-rush and how good the defense can be. A detailed Seahawks breakdown on Schooled with the Professor this week.
Rank #4: Brian Billick on NFL offensive trends in the NFL
We have quite the education on this week’s Schooled with the Professor.
Brian Billick from the NFL Network joins us and as he does so well, he breaks down the current state of offenses in the NFL. Billick, as a former NFL coach, has one of the best offensive minds in the game. He’s been on some of the best offenses in NFL history. Having just been to the Baltimore Ravens camp, Billick talks about the potential running offense of the Ravens with Lamar Jackson at quarterback. He asked John Harbaugh ifJackson would top Cam Newton’s record number of carries for a quarterback and Harbaugh didn’t shoot down the idea Jackson might get 200carries this season.
Billick discusses the current state of running offenses in the NFL. He breaks down some of the ways passing offenses continue to open up and what defenses might try to do to stop it. Get out your notepads and take down the knowledge from Brian Billick talking about the current game on Schooled.
Rank #5: David Shields on his Documentary- Lynch: A History
We have a fun class on Schooled with the Professor this week. David Shields, a professor at the University of Washington, just did a documentary on Marshawn Lynch. Lynch: A History is available Sunday on Amazon and Vimeo.
Shields tells us he got into this project because he felt Lynch’s silence made a statement. He put together the documentary using more than 700 video clips. Shields discusses how Lynch's youth in Oakland shaped his personality and gets into how his experiences in Buffalo turned him silent on the media. Lynch was one of the most unique players in the NFL, Shields tells us why.
Rank #6: Pat Kirwan on how teams are preparing to combat new offensive trends this season
With training camps opening this week, we thought this was the perfect time to preview what to expect around the NFL.
Our go-to guy for Schooled with the Professor is Pat Kirwan. I work with Pat and Jim Miller as a fill-in on Sirius radio. Kirwan is the best in the business at studying the league. We start out getting into the increasing trend of teams using three-receiver offenses and how defenses have had to adjust. Defenses are in nickel 65 percent of the time and that number increases each year.
Pat broke down the NFC West, talking Rams, Seahawks, Cardinals and 49ers. He worked with Pete Carroll in the past so he gives great insight on what he thinks about the direction Pete has this team headed. We go in depth on quarterbacks talking Russell Wilson and others. It’s the start of training camp and we have plenty of good football analysis on Schooled.
Rank #7: Draft expert Tony Pauline on the supplemental draft and a review of the Seahawks picks
After a quiet June in the National Football League and a slow start in July, things are in the beginning stages of heating up.
On Wednesday, the NFL held its supplemental draft and Washington State safety Jalen Thompson went to the Arizona Cardinals for a fifth-round pick in 2020. Tony Pauline at draftanalyst.com joined us on Schooled with the Professor to talk about Thompson’s prospects in the NFL.
Pauline also gives a detailed evaluation of the Seahawks. We discuss draft trends from the past couple of years. Tony believes this defense could go down as a good one because many of the players are very talented. Tony breaks down the impact of the draft around the NFL on Schooled.
Rank #8: Tony Dungy - a Powerful Message
One of the highlights of my career covering the NFL was watching the development of Tony Dungy. I covered him when he was an undrafted rookie with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was at training camp the first day he came to the Steelers to interview for a coaching position. I kept in touch with him and watched him grow into a Super Bowl caliber coach. He joins us on Schooled with the Professor. Dungy is a class act. He was a great coach who learned from Chuck Noll and the Steelers. We talk about his development as a player and coach. We discuss the Steelers dynasty of the 1970s. As a great family man, he and his wife recently wrote a book "We Chose You" about their seven adopted children. Dungy, who used to be on the Competition Committee, talked about his worries about the new pass-interference-challenge rule. He also talks about the top teams in the AFC and the NFC.
Rank #9: Phil Steele's College Football Preview
One of the highlights of the sports year comes in June. That’s when Phil Steele publishes his College Football Preview.
As we do every year, we catch up with Phil and preview the college football season. He joins us on Schooled with the Professor. Steele is the absolute best at previewing the season.
He discusses the many statistical formulas he’s perfected throughout the years. He believes teams that lose an abundance of close games make major position jumps the next year. If teams win a huge portions of games decided by a touchdown they usually drop. Steele tells us how he puts together a magazine that has more info than any other. He spends an hour talking to more than 100 head coaches and goes over every player on the roster.
Because he wants the best information, he delays sending the magazine to print until June. We also talk about the impact of the transfer portal and what it’s doing to teams. Steele has more positive reviews of the PAC-12 than the past two years when he had the PAC-12 as No. 5 of the five major conferences. He gives us the forecast of Washington and Washington State.
College football is the topic on Schooled.
Rank #10: Evaluating the Off-season with NFL Network's Steve Wyche
The off-season programs of the 32 NFL teams are concluding this week. With the closing of work on the field for players, it was time to wrap up what’s been going on this off-season. Steve Wyche of the NFL Network joins us on Schooled with the Professor to take a look at the league and where teams stand as mini-camps conclude.
Wyche gives us an update on Todd Gurley and his knee problems and how he might be used this year. Steve spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and has raves reviews of Kyler Murray’s strong arm and how the Air Raid Offense will look in the NFL. We discuss Russell Wilson and what Steve thinks about the Seahawks this year.
OTAs and mini-camps have been different this year. Coaches are allowing more players to sit out practices, Wyche explains why. He also gives an overview of the NFC West, which he thinks is one of the best divisions in football.