As you are very well aware, today is a very special day. It is Groundhog Day, and Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow.
BREAKING: Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this Groundhog Day morning, per sources, signaling that an early Spring is ahead.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 2, 2020
Wait, I’m sorry, I’m being told that this is in fact not the reason that today is special. My apologies. It must be because today is a rare eight-digit palindrome day, the first featuring eight even numbers since (ironically and mathematically) 888 A.D.
Happy #PalindromeDay— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) February 2, 2020
DDMMYYYY = 02022020
MMDDYYYY = 02022020
YYYYMMDD = 20200202
YYYYDDMM = 20200202
Nope, that’s still not it? I’m at a loss what else could it be. Oh right, there’s a football game of some import tonight. That’s right college football fans, today is what is known as “Super Bowl Sunday.” And for those that follow the professional version of the game that we love, apparently they have been celebrating all week long.
That week of revelry in Miami brought us audio from two former Buckeyes, Terry McLaurin and Nick Mangold, who spoke to SB Nation NFL reporters RJ Ochoa (Blogging the Boys), John Gennaro (SBNation), and Jeanna Thomas (former LGHLer, currently at The Falcoholic).
Check out what they had to say about the Big Game, the NFL, and much more below, and if you are on public transportation with no headphones, we also have the transcripts of the conversations for you to read as well.
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Transcript: Thanks for having me today. Appreciate it. I just go there probably within the last few hours. This past month I really just took it off. Just kind of relaxed, took care of my body, just let myself recover from last year. That first rookie year is really long. You’re playing a bowl game, then you go for pre-draft and then rookie. You guys know how it goes. It’s weird, usually in college the season is over with and you get like a week off and then you’re right back in it and then you have class. So I graduated, so I didn’t have to worry about going back and taking classes and I was just enjoying the free time. But now that January is almost over, Super Bowl is wrapping up and I’ll be down here just training and getting ready for next year.
I’m going to stay in an apartment and just work out here for the next month and a half or so and then head back towards to Virginia closer to April. I’ll be working out with Bommarito here in North Miami and one of my roommates from college plays for the Panthers, Curtis Samuels worked out with Pete at Bommarito for a while. He says great things, so I’m looking forward to really just getting back in the swing of things and then working out with one of my good friends.
Thank you. It was great to be honest. Obviously we wanted to win more games and I feel like with Coach Rivera that’s going to come. But from an individual standpoint, I just wanted to come in and be an asset to the organization that drafted me. I didn’t really care where I was drafted because I knew the type of person I was, the type of faith that I had, type of work ethic I have, I was going to come in and be successful whether it was special teams or offense or both. That was my mentality after I got — before I got drafted, but after when I got to Washington and was able to see that I had a chance to possibly start and be a big contributor, I tried to take the bull by the horns and learn as much as I could as fast as I could and learn from our vets as well. So it definitely worked out and I was very appreciative of the opportunity and I just tried to make the most of it.
It was kind of ironic how things worked out. I met with the Panthers last year at the combine and he was probably the only head coach I really got one on one time with and me and him sat and talked for probably about ten minutes and we didn’t even talk as much of football as we did just life and our views and now that I get to see him on a more personal level and got to rekindle that relationship now that he’s in Ashburn, our views and the way we are just believing in the fundamentals of the game, the toughness, you’ve got to be a tough player to play in this league and play the game of football and as well just being a competitor. You’ve got to compete every day of every moment from practice to games. I feel like his vision for our team is really great and I feel like we have guys in our locker room that are going to be ready to commit to that. Yeah, that was nice, too. Most definitely.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, well, actually my best friends, the guys I grew up with, they grabbed me right away. It’s kind of crazy to see how vigorous and how all that works and all the fantasy football and I’ve got fans saying I need two touchdowns today, I need this, I need that. And I’m like, I’ll try, but it’s cool to see how passionate fans are about the game of football, a game that I love, game that I feel like we all love. And I feel like going into this next year I probably won’t be a sleeper anymore. But some people probably have some good deals. But hopefully I’ll probably go a little earlier next year.
I’ve had the familiarity with Duane from Ohio State, so during the early part of our time in Washington, we were really able to continue our relationship and get acclimated to the NFL game. There are a lot of things that we both had to adjust to from quarterback and receiver, but I think we had a unique advantage of being a quarterback and receiver, one of the more important relationships on the football field, to help our transition. Post route was still a post route, a comeback was still a comeback. So while we were still learning a new scheme, we were able to continue to make plays because we were familiar with how he threw the ball high and ran my routes and I’m just excited for the future for him because the way he played down the stretch of the season is a testament to the work that he was putting in and I feel like the future is bright if he can continue just to work hard and block out all the outside noise and continue to compete. But I’ve always known he had it in him but it’s just cool to now everybody gets to see the potential that he has.
I mean, I got to see two all-pros — more than that. I got to go against Stephon Gilmore, arguably the defensive player of the year. Got to go against Tre’Davious White, all pro, Darius Slay, Byron Jones. They all bring unique and different things and I feel like that’s really where my film study and my study habits really try to come into play to be prepared for that because you’ll get embarrassed fast if you’re not prepared and people think just because you’re fast you get open. That doesn’t necessarily mean the same because all four of those guys are athletically gifted. So I’ll probably give the edge to Darius Slay, me personally, in the game that we were in, I know the circumstances are a little different but I mean, he followed me everywhere from a slide outside with no help and I feel like that’s really hard to do for a corner to guard anybody in this league at receiver but especially a faster guy with no help. But that doesn’t take anything away from those other three guys. They were all tough matchups as well.
It wasn’t like a shock like oh my gosh I got open. But it’s like that confidence that you build. It’s like, okay, I just won on this route. Okay. Now, they’re smart, too. They’re not going to let you win in the same way so it became like a chess match like I have to do something different the next time. That’s when football is fun to me. You’re really playing a chess match; you’re playing the game within the game and it was fun. I’m looking forward to more matchups against Greg Corners going into the future.
The Redskins and Youth Entrepreneurs came to me with a unique opportunity to really get my first taste of giving back to the community and getting involved in the DC area and what better way to get involved than through education and Youth Entrepreneur has really afforded me the opportunity to just to partner with their vision and giving their students the unique skills and tools that they need to be successful in the classroom and business and just in life. But they just don’t stop there. They give them the ability and just encourage them to dream of what they want to do. But oftentimes dreaming is not enough. While that’s a great starting point, Youth Entrepreneurs really pushes them to get the tools that they need to be successful to go push for those dreams and goals that they have which I feel like the vision is the first thing and then you need the steps and the work to get there and they do a great job of doing that and then the teachers that they have that teach the curriculums are not set curriculum. It’s not you have to teach A, B, and C. You get to customize your curriculum based on the students that you may have. So I think it’s a really unique opportunity for myself and I’m excited to get more and more involved.
Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott. He’s been dynamic since he’s been in college so that’s pretty self-explanatory. I think for the Eagles, Carson Wentz can really hurt you. I mean, Zach Ertz is really, really dynamic. But I think a guy who really — Fletcher Cox messes up everything and to do that at like three technique I believe he plays, I mean, it’s unbelievable how much havoc he can wreck. And then the Giants, Saquon. I mean, you guys saw what he did to us in that second half and the second game that we played them and I saw a lot of that in college, too, so he’s a dynamic player, good dude as well and it’s a competitive division and you saw even though the records may not reflect it but the teams are always going to be close and those division games really tell the story towards the end of the year and you saw how close it was at the end. I think they are really in a great position to do so. I love Coach Day, his vision for the team, he’s a guy who mirrors Coach Meyer’s mindset and work ethic and he’s also a great player’s coach as well. He understands how the game is changing. He can really relate to young guys and they love him there. I feel like guys run through a brick wall for Coach Day and while we’re going to be losing some pieces here and there, I feel like Ohio State always reloads and it starts with the way they train this time of year. People are not really talking about what they’re about to start doing next month which is mat drills and I know Coach Mick is working those guys real hard. But I feel like that loss is going to fuel them even stronger because Clemson has kind of been our Achilles heel and I know the team up north is kind of what we strive to be and that’s first and foremost, but I think they’re going to really have something ingratiated to, okay, we’re chasing Clemson, we’re chasing those top dogs because we haven’t been in that championship game since ‘14.
The crazy thing about that, I know we’ve been beating them down for a while now of recent memory, but we always go in that game humble. We never go in thinking we’re going to win it. We have that confidence and we’ve prepared enough to win it and rivalry games like that, especially that one, anything could happen. Anything could happen. No doubt. It’s year round. I remember being at Ohio State and obviously we have the clock and the workouts we’ll do. I know it’s 300 and whatever days it is, they’re doing 300 sit ups, pushups, curls, they integrate periods of practice just on team up north personnel and it’s crazy. That’s why I feel like we’ve been so successful because it’s not just, okay, the last game of the year, now we get prepared. No, you get prepared from now.
What am I watching now? I was watching Dexter. I know it’s an older show. So I’m still trying to finish that up. It kind of was tailing off after — I don’t want to give anything away, but after that happened, yeah, after that happened, it’s kind of faded. But I’m kind of into those crime shows. Criminal Minds, I’m sad to see it go. I’m a big Law and Order SVU fan.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Transcript: Thank you. Thank you. That’s the best intro I’ve gotten I think in years, by far.
No, that, it was beautiful. It almost brought a tear to my eye.
Taylor Swift, yes — no, my first concert was at the Nutter Center in Dayton Ohio. I was in the 8th grade and it wasn’t Hanson — Black Sabbath was my first concert. No, I barely remember — I mean, I — I remember Crazy Train which was fantastic, but after that, you know, I also remember all of just the people around us because it was just me and my buddy. My parents just let us go and see the people watching. Like, we were waiting for after the show, like, we were waiting to get picked up and you’re seeing everybody coming out of the concert and that was some of the best people watching I’ve had ever.
I haven’t been here long enough yet for the full people watching experience. I got in last night, had a lovely dinner at Lure Fish Bar — go Josh Capon, friend of the firm. And then I went to bed. And I have four kids, so I turned the air conditioning down. I think I was in bed by 10:00 and had the best sleep I’ve had in months.
No, that’s the best way to do it. And actually, if you talk to any offensive lineman, that was the routine whenever you would get into a hotel for an away game, the first thing you do is you put your bag down, you turn the air down and you close the shades. I will guarantee almost two a man, every offensive lineman will have that same routine.
No, because they always switch. You know, rare — rarely did we stay in the same hotel, especially like when we go up to New England, we were always staying in different hotels. Miami it was kind of hit or miss. Even Buffalo, sometimes we’d stay downtown, sometimes we’d stay up. So you never knew where you were going to stay. We have stayed in some fantastic ones, though. When we were in Chicago — oh, this was beautiful — we’re in Chicago, we play December 20th or so and huge snow storm, so we get snowed in, we can’t leave. We were staying at the Trump Hotel in Chicago and it was right downtown and all of a sudden, you know, we’re done playing the game and we’re at an away city and we can’t go anywhere. We were raiding mini bars, we were going all over the place, going out to dinner, it was awesome. It was one of, like, unfortunately we lost which was very disappointing. But we were able to make up for it later that evening.
You know, I thought that the biggest thing is Sam can’t get mono, that if we can not do that in 2020 things should be looking up. But you saw when he came back, because people also forget he got mono but then the backup quarterback got hurt. So they were on third string quarterback and that’s going to ruin rhythm, that’s going to ruin a lot of your timing, a lot of what you want to do offensively and also they had a lot of injuries on the offensive line, a lot of movement there. So you saw over the last eight games they won six out of eight. And so seeing that improvement, once things stabilized with Sam and, you know, you kind of got the offensive line going a little bit, things are looking up. So I think now instead of having to do wholesale changes and everything big, you know, Joe Douglas and Adam Gates can kind of tweak it a little bit more, find areas of improvement, and continue to improve on the success that they had at the last half of the season. I think it’s going to be a big off season for them in terms of Sam’s development, in terms of, you know, dialing down the offense because last year was the first year in Adam Gates’ system, so this year now you can really dive into the meat of it and I’m hoping for good things. But I’m always hoping for good things, so I’m eternally optimistic.
Yeah, I think the division will continue to get more and more competitive. You know, hopefully Tom will at some point give up and let someone else have a chance. But, you know, it is fun and it’s neat because the AFC is always, you know, having played in it I’m a little biased. I will admit that. But it’s a lot of fun between Buffalo, New England, New York and Miami, like, those four teams are just so much history and it’s a lot more fun when they’re winning and having better games than when New England’s always winning and everyone else is losing.
Yeah, it’s funny, I am a huge — sidebar real quick back to the AFC, I am a huge AFC fan. When in doubt, I’m usually going to root for AFC teams. But when — and I think it was made A, because of playing, you know, for the Jets in the AFC but then going to Pro Bowls and the Pro Bowls when I first started was AFC versus NFC and so I always had like this connection to the AFC. And then when they made the idiotic decision to go unconference and it just, it really took away — I’m glad that they’ve gone back to it because there is something special about having, you know, being part of your conference. Hey, we’re part of the AFC even though, you know, I — I look at like Kansas City and like, ah, I don’t like you. But, you know, you’re — you’re one of us, so you’re cool. A lot better than, you know, those Cowboys.
So Big 10, no, there’s battle lines in the Big 10. The biggest one being that school up north.
So it’s the same font? Okay. I thought you were saying they took it from Wisconsin.
I hope so, you know, I thought the way that they lost, you know, versus Clemson was such a — we were gifted by the football gods to have a championship game in the first round of the playoffs because that was an amazing game. Ended not the way that I wanted, and I feel terrible for the guys, you know, if it’s a bang bang play in the end zone, that happens. But to have a miscommunication, that’s going to weigh heavy on him for a long time.
I’d like to see it go to eight. I also would like to see it happen quicker. I think they had 15 days or something. That’s forever. That’s a long time. You lose your rhythm, you lose the momentum of the season, too, and I know they have every bowl game imaginable. I think maybe next year I’ll sponsor a bowl game. I’ll let them pay for it. Nick Mangold’s (inaudible). And they just — I would like to see it expand. So you can take away the, you know, number five Alabama being like, well, listen, we would have worked. Well, you probably wouldn’t have, but at least we’ll give you a fighting chance at it. So, you know, I think it would be done pretty easily. It’s just what people — I think people are growing more accustomed to it, so I think it could grow a little bit easier than it was just to make the playoffs happen in the first place. So it would be nice. I think college football would love it.
I like them both, you know, I like the transition that Ryan Day had from Urban. That was one of my biggest concerns was Urban leaving. Like, you know, things are going to be in disarray but Coach Day has done a fantastic job of not only continuing the success that Urban had in, you know, keeping things implemented that way and the traditions that Ohio State has, but putting his own stamp on it and making it his own team which instead of just being, you know, a disciple of Urban, he’s his own guy and I like seeing that. And Adam, you know, I think the jury is still out on him. I think, you know, when you have your starting quarterback get mono, it ruins any energy that you might have had going. So, you know, I’m excited for him. I love his passion, you know, talking to him and talking about football with him. You know, he loves the game, he loves offense and it’s a lot of fun talking because he’s got that energy. So I just, I want to see a full season, I want to see, you know, now that the offense is fully implemented, see where we can go.
I don’t know. I — I know the awkwardness, you know, gets reported in the media but I haven’t been there enough to see behind the scenes because there’s always, there’s the media story and then there’s what’s really going on story and usually it’s somewhere in the middle when you see those two things and, you know, I found that out personally, you know, being on the team and seeing a story come out and be like, well, yes, that’s maybe a little bit true but it’s not the whole story and, you know, all right and you kind of forget about it. So seeing that sausage being made, you kind of are able to sit back and be like, listen, where there’s smoke, sometimes there’s fire but sometimes it’s just a fog that’s blowing through.
Yes, oh, it was amazing. It was a lot of fun. The US Open is coming there in June and so I had the opportunity to be — I think I’m called an ambassador for the US Open I think is the technical term. So they were like, you know, if you want to do this you’re more than welcome to come out. We’re doing the media day for it and you’d play a round. Well, I would love to and so I was able to bring a buddy with me and, you know, it was — other than having to walk, which I am — I am fiercely against walking. I don’t think that’s part of the game, I think it makes it more exercise than fun, but that’s another hill to die on that I’ll die on later. It was beautiful. I loved it and it was kind of a foggy rainy fall day and it was just — and I don’t know, there was something very special about it. I loved it.
I think A, it takes a lot of practice and you need to grow a better beard. You’ll get there, don’t worry. But, you know, Burnzo has been a fantastic partner. I think we’ve been together I think four years now we were talking and being able to use a torch that is usually used in construction and do something else with it and use it for your tailgate. Like, if you’re walking around a tailgate, you know, you’re having maybe an adult drink and you’re throwing a pig skin around a little bit and you look over and there is somebody, you know, hitting a little food with a torch with the fire out there, you’re probably going to stop and see what’s going on because it’s amazingly cool and I’ve loved it and so this year because obviously we’re here in Miami we did some Latin inspired dishes all using the torch which you can find on all the social media for Instagram and Twitter and we’ll throw me out there, too. Come see me at (inaudible). Of course. But it’s a lot of fun and there is something we did a dessert with bananas and it was amazing. A little brown sugar. You slice a banana in half, you put a little brown sugar on top and then you hit it with — caramelize it down and it was so simple and so easy. You’re Mr. Fancy Pants and everyone loves that. So it’s a lot of fun. You can check out all the recipes and everything. We’re also hosting the tailgate party tomorrow at the Butcher Shop in Wind Wood, so that will be a lot of fun. You can come check things out. We’ll do demonstrations because they won’t let me bring a torch in here. I’ve been trying for the past four years to bring a torch in. I was like, you know what would be great on Radio Row? Just as much fun as being at a tailgate and seeing a torch would be torching something on Radio Row and apparently the fire department has frowned upon that even though I said, you know, what if we hire, like, a couple of off duty firefighters to be with us? Have them come on down, it would be great. Apparently I’m still not getting approval on that. Maybe next year Tampa we’ll try to get that done. I just — I don’t know, the suits really have a problem with it. So they do have a smaller one, there’s many a different torch. So they have a whole wide range of torches from small little one which you doing brulee and everything all the way up to a garden hose, you know, where you’re burning off weeds and starting your fire pit and everything and everything in between.