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September 27, 2022
Takeline
The Most Awkward NBA Media Day of All Time

In This Episode

Alongside host Jason Concepcion, comedian and podcaster Jamel Johnson (Air Buds, Sorry We Love Football) joins the show to discuss the fracas from this year’s NBA Media Day. Later, NBA staff writer Jared Weiss (The Athletic) joins the show to help unpack situation between now suspended Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. The team held a press conference to announce Udoka’s suspension Friday. Finally, senior NFL reporter Kalyn Kahler (The Athletic) hops on to recap Week 3 of the NFL season.

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

[AD]

 

Jason Concepcion And true Sophie’s choice in Pittsburgh where the decision is.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion Is Mitch Trubisky ass or is Matt Canada ass? Which one, do we fire Canada or do we pinch Trubisky? What do you think? Who is actually to blame for the goings on in Pittsburgh?

 

Kalyn Kahler I think it’s like both of them. There’s not really an answer. Sorry. They’re both ass.

 

Jason Concepcion They’re both sides of the ass.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah.

 

Jamel Johnson Two things can be ass.

 

Jason Concepcion Welcome to Takeline. I am Jason Concepcion. Once again joined by the incredible, the super funny, one of the greatest to ever do it, truly. Jamel Johnson. Jamel, how are you?

 

Jamel Johnson I’m good. I got new glasses. Good to see you, brother. Come on. Went and hit Costco hard.

 

Jason Concepcion Let’s go. Got another great show lined up for you today. Maybe not if you’re a Celtics fan or a fan of women not getting their names dragged through the mud. The situation between now suspended head coach Ime Udoka and the Celtics is still under some amount of clouds. It’s hard to know exactly what’s going there other than the fact that Ime has been suspended for a year. We’re going to be joined by NBC’s staff writer for The Athletic, Jared Weiss to help us talk about that. Week three in the NFL is now in the books. We’re going to be joined by Kalyn Kahler, senior NFL reporter for The Athletic, to help us recap the third weekend of NFL action. But first, let’s get to some of the things that have stood out to us from Media Day. We’re recording this on Monday is NBA Media Day, which means lots of fun clips of NBA personalities giving comments that won’t matter. And we will not remember in two days. Time to say nothing of two weeks. I’ll start. First of all, I’m going to start with this, Jamel. I’m a Knicks fan.

 

Jamel Johnson Hit me.

 

Jason Concepcion Knicks fans and NBA watchers writ large have been critical of the Knicks for not engaging with the media, for not allowing their various players and coaches to be available to the media. Leon Rose has notably been silent for much of his tenure as the lead executive for the Knicks, but he recently went on and did an interview with MSG’s Alan Hahn, after which I’ll just say that it’s fine with me if Leon never speaks again. Yes. Ryan and Zuri, play the clip of Leon from the interview.

 

Leon Rose Clip First of all, I just want to say thank you very much for your unwavering support. You guys are truly the greatest fans in the world. And I really think you’re going to have you’re going to love this team. You’re going to love rooting for this team.

 

Jason Concepcion That is wow. The magnetism, the charm, the sense of power, full personality. Just wow, wow. I’m knocked back in my seat from Leon Rose.

 

Jamel Johnson The sound of a man who has a warehouse full of rugs.

 

Jason Concepcion Yes.

 

Jamel Johnson That he absolutely has to sell.

 

Jason Concepcion That’s right.

 

Jamel Johnson Or his life is over.

 

Jason Concepcion Hey, everybody, this is Leon Rose Rose’s Rugs and more. And you’re going to love how my rugs look on your floor today.

 

Jamel Johnson When you walk on this rug, you’re going to. I have to tell you what, folks. You are going to like the way your shoes feel on these rugs.

 

Jason Concepcion Show me your toes. I’m Leon Rose.

 

Jason Concepcion Anything standout from Media Day for you?

 

Jamel Johnson Okay. Well, off rips Wizards media day. Boring as hell.

 

Jason Concepcion That’s the way you want it, though, right?

 

Jamel Johnson That is true. A nice, boring media day. I mean, the last time our media day was interesting, Brad called Trump a clown. Hey, man, get in line, brother.

 

Jason Concepcion Yes.

 

Jamel Johnson Whatever. The big story this year is, Porzingis has a beard. That’s what’s coming.

 

Jason Concepcion That I thought something was wrong with my laptop screen. It fucked me up.

 

Jamel Johnson Using the touch screen too much. You used to.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah. I was like, it’s all smudged and the hell is going on here.

 

Jamel Johnson Yeah. So that’s that’s us. The biggest take for me is Patrick Beverley and Russ are best friends now?

 

Jason Concepcion Ah sure, I believe it.

 

Jamel Johnson Hey, if you say it out loud into a microphone, I am gonna believe it.

 

Jason Concepcion That’s right. Everything that I know about human nature and about emotions and about the way men feel when they’re made fun of in public, that’s out the window now.

 

Jamel Johnson It’s over.

 

Jason Concepcion These two men have sewn it up. They have bridged what seemed like an unbridgeable divide. And I believe it. I believe it.

 

Jamel Johnson And I believe you. You know.

 

Jason Concepcion You described it as it’s like, well, first of all, I said I think that they should come out before game one. Game one at home. I’m talking about Krypto, game one at home at crypto if that is indeed what they are doing, they are still calling it and I think Russ and Pat should walk out to center court and embrace in front of everybody.

 

Jamel Johnson I think they should walk out in front of the building with a red and blue rag tied together, holding the rags.

 

Jason Concepcion Robb. Robb. Like kneeling below the flag?

 

Jamel Johnson Yeah. Yeah. And they’re like James Worthy and like AD are in the background at that Burger King. Within that photo, there’s like a Burger King behind them. Anyway.

 

Jason Concepcion Another thing that stood out to me was Devin Booker kind of coming out as a Robert Sarver guy. Play this, Zuri and Ryan, play this.

 

Devin Booker Clip It was tough. You know, it’s tough for me because you know, that’s not the Robert over that I know. It’s not the robber. Sorry that welcome me to Phoenix welcome with open arms but at the same time I’m not, you know, insensitive to everybody that’s involved in the situation, you know, and I understand everybody’s personal experience with other people. There are always going to be different, but it’s tough to read because that’s not the person I know.

 

Jason Concepcion And so I that.

 

Jamel Johnson Why.

 

Jason Concepcion Listen everybody can have their own opinions about everything is a free country that’s part of what’s great about about the United States of America still and for a limited time only you could speak your mind about stuff. And I got to tell you. Devin Booker, what’s on Devin Booker’s mind is kind of, Hey, Robert Sarver was cool to me.

 

Jamel Johnson It made me think, man, this would be the worst version of winning time. Devin Booker and Robert Sarver pal-ing around the greater Phoenix area. Winning Time Season six.

 

Jason Concepcion Oh, man. Well, let’s see what else. LeBron was asked about passing Kareem. He said that he would be humbled to do so. Kyrie gave a 15 to 20 minute preamble before answering questions.

 

Jamel Johnson Before sitting down.

 

Jason Concepcion Before sitting down. And, you know, honestly, it did seem kind of he and Kevin Durant both seemed pretty clear eyed about the situation with regards to their asking for trades, which was heavily reported on over the summer, both basically saying, hey, the reason we’re still here is in large part because I guess it’s hard to trade superstars and we acknowledge that.

 

Jamel Johnson Which is such a funny like, oh geez, I guess we’re too good.

 

Jason Concepcion I guess we’ll do. I guess we got to stick around now.

 

Jamel Johnson Well, drill.

 

Jason Concepcion Brother, I really enjoyed I don’t know if you listened to Ben Simmons interview and the Old Man and the three, but he basically was came out strongly in favor of Steve Nash, who both KD and Kyrie were as recently as a few months ago trying to get fired.

 

Jamel Johnson I’m fine with that because I feel like I’ve said it on the show before and then we keep saying it. Things weren’t technically working.

 

Jason Concepcion And they were working. I think you’re absolutely right about that.

 

Jamel Johnson They were actually working for a lot of this time. If you go back to last year, the toe knuckle over the line, that was a good team that was winning games and Kevin Durant was the best player in the universe. And it didn’t matter that James Harden wasn’t playing or was just coming back from an injury at the very end of it, it was just it was going fast, swimmingly, fantastically.

 

Jason Concepcion I agree with you. And I feel like, you know, it’s like if I’m Icarus right now, I’m saying, hey, the wings got me up there. I know how it ended up was not good. But let’s not overlook the fact that I was flying. I got up in the sky and that’s true. They had a good team. Harden was there. It didn’t work out for various reasons, but what do you do? Another thing that stood out to me, Giannis, among other players, this has been, you know, various euro basketball reporters have been kind of running with various quotes from NBA players, mostly of European background, because the Euro Cup was over the summer whatever the name for the I forget the name what is the name of that.

 

Jamel Johnson Euro basket euro basket baby.

 

Jason Concepcion EuroBasket. EuroBasket was this summer and and a lot of players were talking about how much more physical the European game is. Here is Giannis. First of all, the game in Europe is way harder than the game of the NBA. I don’t want to disrespect the talent in the NBA is obviously way higher. But the space, you have a lot of lanes to drive, a lot of lanes to create over there. It’s just more intense. Your thoughts on European ball versus the NBA game?

 

Jamel Johnson I think there’s a little bit of truth to this.

 

Jason Concepcion I agree.

 

Jamel Johnson Because I think in Europe they’re just playing basketball. Yes. And I think in America we’re playing basketball. And then at some point they added pro wrestling.

 

Jason Concepcion Yes.

 

Jamel Johnson So there’s like a different kind of gamesmanship. Like clearly the refs are cheating. And I’m not saying they like overseas. They don’t cheat. Obviously they do. I’ve heard of Italy. Right. I know how they get down, you know, but there’s just I don’t know, I think because they put the sponsors on the jerseys, there’s just a different obligation. We’re moving too many units to play real basketball.

 

Jason Concepcion That’s right. Shake Shack makes a better burger, but McDonald’s is selling a billion a week. Moreover, I will say this, it is a more physical game. They play a different style of defense. Obviously, the rules are different as well. We’re not going to go into that now. But I will say, when you have talent, the way the NBA has talent, you also move to protect the talent. You know.

 

Jamel Johnson Hey.

 

Jason Concepcion Adam Silver does not want like Marco Markovich grabbing Giannis around the neck and throat every time he is driving towards the basket. He doesn’t know. He doesn’t want to see that. And he knows by heart experience because of the TV ratings, you know, in the 2000s and various fights that were happening at that time, that that’s not necessarily what the fans want. They want to see a little bit. They want a little bit of wrestling. They want a little bit a little bit of wrestling.

 

Jamel Johnson Was it a foul? Was it not? Who knows? Hey, where is the logo? Let’s make it the free throw line.

 

Jason Concepcion What are your thoughts on on your wizards going into the season?

 

Jamel Johnson I mean, the verdict, Sal, we’ve got talent. The talent is young. It’s about time. We’re right at the point where we’re going to stop calling them young. I don’t know how young guys are going to be after this season came Porzingis stay on the floor. It’s just all question marks. I mean, with what happened to Boston, maybe there’s some things shifting in the East. The fact that Jalen Brunson didn’t tap up. RJ Berry, that picture day. Is there room for us? Who knows? Just a lot of questions.

 

Jason Concepcion I will address this. That, to me just shows you the amount of interest that there is in a particular kind of lens for the sport, which is, you know, we love the drama. We love the.

 

Jamel Johnson Drama. It’s literally on TNT.

 

Jason Concepcion Was that an actual snub? I think he probably just I think it’s clearly innocent. But even if it’s not, I think everybody’s people are going to love it. One more thing I will say about next day, Derrick Rose showed up and did his interviews without a shirt on, in part to prove that he has lost weight because Seb’s, who comes from the Pat Riley School, has put certain fitness guidelines into place. And I’ll just say that giving our players body dysmorphia is maybe not the best way to go, but I’m glad that Derrick is healthy. All right. Up next, Jared Weiss to talk Celtics. We’re recording this on Monday is NBA Media Day. You are probably being inundated with various clips of NBA players and coaches saying things that’s happening in the New England area right now, of course, as well, where conversation as you would expect is centered around the suspension of head coach Emilio Doka and his replacement by Joe Missoula. We’re joined now by a person who has covered the Celtics since 2011, co-founder of Silence Media Network, Jared Weiss. Thank you for joining us. What was the vibe at Media Day today? What was the energy like?

 

Jamel Johnson Vibe, great word there.

 

Jared Weiss The vibes were actually more immaculate than you would expect, for they got to me the most awkward media day of all time. You just suspended the coach and it kind of feels like I was a guy firing a couple days before Media Day started under this incredible shroud of mystery. And that was honestly the main theme from this is the players are like, what the hell’s going on? We don’t even know they get this thing that they didn’t know. I certainly expect that, you know, the team can only tell them so much, obviously, but like they know they have at the very least, they have a lot of intel and a lot of suspicion about what’s going down. And they probably have some inclination of how they feel they should feel about the situation. But their bottom line is they’re saying the team has not told them exactly what’s happened. And so they have no team taking away their coach and they’re not even sure exactly why.

 

Jamel Johnson Well, can you just take us back to the beginning of this? I woke up a couple of days ago, you know, saw the media long jokes. I didn’t know what was happening. How did this begin? What led to the eventual suspension? How long was the investigation? Who was the investigators? Was it the FBI?

 

Jared Weiss I think the feds were in on this one. I mean, they said they contracted the law firm. That was. They said that in about July is when they had it reported to them. And that’s when they took action and hired a law firm to investigate. And they say they got the report from the law firm back on Wednesday, Wednesday night. That’s when reports start coming in about what’s going on. So they got the report on, say they needed a little bit of time to deliberate on how to handle this. Once they got that report. And all of a sudden the clock starts ticking because it’s out there, people are very, very wildly speculating about what’s going on and they have to take action real fast. But taking action on something that they can’t say, what they’re taking action on for legal reasons and protecting people involved reasons and also stuff like that. So there’s been so much more fallout from this than you would get in almost any other kind of, you know, situation where someone’s getting punished in the basketball arena.

 

Jason Concepcion Let’s talk about it getting out there. So Shams and Woj initially broke the story. I think at first his post was pretty sparse in terms of details, just that it looked like there was potentially a suspension of indeterminate length coming for MJ token that the Celtics were mulling. This word came in shortly thereafter and I think a very important thing happened, which is that Woj handed the word consensual to his post, that Emma was involved in some kind of a consensual relationship. And this is what has spurred the Celtics to potentially suspend him. We know, of course, that suspension did happen. Now, as you well know, Jared, as we all as anybody who has any kind of contacts or any kind of like interaction with people who cover the league or involving the league, know that relationships are often how these stories are broken. And it seems to me that understanding how the sausage gets made, this is my read on it. I think someone leaked to Woj, probably someone who is related to EMU Dockers, his side of things, CAA, somebody who’s a CAA client and a huge office break. Stories are related to CAA clients in an attempt to get in front of this announcement, by muddying the waters, by saying, Hey, it was consensual, whatever it was. And the result of that was like a 24 hour cycle in which numerous people who work for the Celtics female employees of the Celtics had their names like dragged through it, which led to, you know, Brad Stevens coming out besides Wick Grousbeck, the co-owner of the Celtics, to give really an emotional speech about how they were going to defend their employees and yada yada without really giving too much information. Is that kind of your read on the tick tock that the Celtics really had their hand forced here by the leak of this and that the leak, wherever it did come from, didn’t come from Wick or Brad or the parties involved with that.

 

Jared Weiss It’s funny because Grousbeck specifically said that he wasn’t, but was that leaked? Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion Specifically sad.

 

Jared Weiss Yeah. Because he was talking about how traumatic this experience was for the organization and how they had to be this like awful balance to manage of what can we do to help stop all the rampant speculation? The doxing of all these female staff members and even some male staff members that are getting pulled into it that were had nothing to do. The situation, but how do we put a stop to that? Also in their obligation to protecting the people that are involved with this, having the confidentiality. So, I mean, their their decision was to keep everything under wraps. I mean, they refused to answer any questions about this investigation, about what went down. All they were willing to say was, I mean, they spoke a lot about how tragic the way that people in the organization got treated by the public during this fiasco while it was happening. And I think it’s probably still happening, but they wouldn’t answer any questions about the investigation, about what they uncovered, actually tried to ask the most basic question. I thought that they could that was of importance to respect, which was can you just say whether or not your investigation determined that, you know, because behavior harmed any other people or was just inherently a violation of policy? And he wouldn’t answer that. And so I think that was a pretty bold statement by him not answering. That meant that they were drawing they were putting up a complete brick wall. On commenting whatsoever anything whatsoever on the situation. And so who knows that they’re going to continue to maintain that brick wall with respect, doesn’t really ever speak publicly except for like on draft night or in some sort of massive situation like this. Brad Stevens, who knows if he’s going to be speaking again. They’re doing a press conference again in the near future. So at this point, it’s on Joe Missoula and the players have to account for that. Who spoke at Media Day today? And that’s the that’s pretty much he’s going to be speaking for the rest of the season as the situation drags out, because it’s probably going to be more twists and turns there. So I think everybody is just kind of left in this state of confusion. That was the main thing that the players were saying at Media Day, and it’s really on the themselves to provide some answers. But obviously they can only do so much to provide answers because there’s some people here who at least seem to be entitled to the privacy of not have those answers provided.

 

Jamel Johnson So why wouldn’t Brad Stevens just go back to the bench?

 

Jared Weiss He basically said, hell no. He basically ammo.

 

Jamel Johnson Yeah, does that speak to how much he never wants to coach again? Like this is an emergency situation. You have experience, but I don’t know.

 

Jared Weiss I think there’s a few things here. I think one I think probably doesn’t want to go back to coaching this team after seeing the way that it’s pretty much same group, how things changed under Udoka after he left, I think he decided that he’s not the one that coached this team anymore and it’s probably doesn’t make sense for him to go back into doing it, especially because if he does that, then the team basically needs another. GM You’re leaving a hole in the front office at that point. And I think also it said Joe Missoula is someone who is probably going to be getting a head coaching job really soon, either in the next cycle or the one after that that he was a finalist for the Utah job. He’s been coming up a lot lately as a strong candidate. So I think they’re looking at this as we can test out Missoula, see if he really is ready to be a top level head coach. And it’s not so we can have it, take it from there. There’s obviously the window is technically open for Udoka to come back. He just doesn’t seem like that’s there and it doesn’t seem like there’s a way for that to happen, but at least that gives them some flexibility.

 

Jason Concepcion Missoula has a domestic battery arrest on his own record from 2009 when he was a college basketball player. Brad was asked about it and basically said, trust us on this.

 

Jared Weiss Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion Couple of questions on that. Is there any more inkling of what Brad’s kind of calculus there is? Has he let any of that out? You know, how he came to this judgment besides like, hey, just trust me on this. And secondarily, he may doesn’t come back, right? There’s no world in which he is sitting on the bench a year and a half, two years from now.

 

Jared Weiss I think the only way that happens is how, by the way, that would be July 1st next year. If that were to happen, that’s when the suspension ends. That’s when they got to have a decision on what they’re doing there. I think that the only way that happens is if more information comes out that shows that he didn’t do anything wrong. It seems like at the very least, the reporting that Tom has that we have out there at the Athletic is that he was engaged in a relationship, but that seems pretty widespread, agreed upon with the consensus reporting. So a relationship in the workplace generally doesn’t get you fired, but clearly there’s more to the story than simply just that. So we’ll see what comes out from there. But I would be really surprised with the way things are looking right now. It seems like things may be unfolding that a judge would come back as far as Missoula’s backgrounds. I mean, credit to Stevens, it was definitely more than a trust. That’s like when they were defending the punishment that they gave to a joker. That one was a real trust us. The person basically said, trust us, but you have to actually get that probative at some point. But with Brad, he went pretty into it. He talked about how he feels like Missoula has its own ingrained practice and state in the past. I know a big thing with Missoula is that so he was arrested for seems like grabbing is the girl that he was seen by the throat at a bar back in 2009 I think it was when he was at West Virginia. And I know since then he has really overhauled his life and he has become a very faith based person and things change dramatically. And everything everyone’s talked about and it’s been long enough that you can certainly imagine that he has atoned and he’s changed from that. And I do believe that the. Charges were downgraded and eventually just dismissed eventually. That was part of it. The big mistake. It was living his life irresponsibly at that point and has changed significantly over that time period. So enough that people along the way have been willing to forgive him and accept that he’s changed from there on out. So I think at this point they obviously recognize that that is something he also addressed and will probably have to address it more now that he’s the head coach because he hasn’t really had to address a much bigger game system coaching or the face of media very often. People are really focusing in on this. Whenever you have a head coach, it’s like everybody’s going to bring this up. Opening night when he is the head coach, I’m sure every news outlet in the country is going to bring this part up, so he’s going to have to address it. And he kind of started to do that on Monday. I think he did a pretty good job at it, but he’s probably going to have to talk in greater detail about what happens and how he’s atone for that if he’s going to get everyone’s forgiveness and acceptance.

 

Jamel Johnson Hey, doesn’t it feel like Danilo Gallinari got hurt six years ago right here? Do you even remember he was on the team?

 

Jared Weiss I think he just did that just so he could avoid this whole mess. He didn’t talk today. Was he ever really on the team if he got hurt and it didn’t even show up in Media Day?

 

Jamel Johnson So he teleported about a day.

 

Jared Weiss Or if I were Salt Lake, I would I would have loved to teleport. I’m having to speak to the media today, that’s for sure.

 

Jason Concepcion Jared, last question. You know, this is a thing that I think a lot of people have wondered, okay, clearly the Celtics think that there is some and a significant amount of truth to whatever the allegations are against him, considering that they have taken the step of suspending him for a year. So why not just fire him? Why not just fire him outright? Why take this.

 

Jared Weiss Route? I don’t have any insight into this, but I think we can make some pretty good, educated guesses about what are the potential motivating factors. And I think the obvious one is if this was regarding a workplace relationship, then there’s obviously going to be legal concerns and legal ramifications abound here. And so if they have just decided that he violated their workplace conduct policy and they obviously want him away from the team for a long time then and they were forced to act. The question is, how long did they know that this was the way things are going to play out? You don’t know if they were getting updates on what’s going on in the investigation or if they weren’t allowed to do a single thing until the investigation was finally given to them. But you would imagine that they’ve had an idea for a while that this was a very, very strongly potential course of action that they were going to be taking. So it seems like the suspension was reacting quickly to how this what we found out from the investigation and how this guy leaked. And we’re trying to find a middle ground between something that at least removes him from the team and allows us to deal with this, but also doesn’t expose the significantly legally to firing him, because if he feels like he was unjustly fired, then he could take legal action. So that’s certainly a big part of it. But I don’t know if that was their motivation. That just seems from the outside looking in the most likely factor that has implications of either justice finding him for a year when then he would come back. It would have only one year left guaranteed on his contract where it’s like how many coaches, especially really successful coaches, go into the lame duck year of their contract. That doesn’t ever happen. And you can’t extend the guy’s contract when he is on suspension for workplace malfeasance. So I think that’s how they tried to navigate the situation. And I also think that there’s just like there’s more to figure out about the situation, more of that unfold about the situation if it becomes a legal issue. So I think the suspension basically allows them to continue to figure out how to handle this situation, but at least shows that they took it seriously and they at least got him out of there.

 

Jason Concepcion He is Jared Weiss, staff writer covering the Boston Celtics and hosts of the Grant and Taco Show and daily doing podcast with the Athletic. Jared, thanks so much for joining take line.

 

Jared Weiss Appreciate you both.

 

Jason Concepcion [AD].

 

Jason Concepcion All right. Week three of the NFL is done. Tom Brady looking weird and not winning. Aaron Rodgers is scuffling by some of our marquee quarterbacks in the league. Have really struggled last weekend to help us unpack. All the things we have seen is Kalyn Kahler of the Athletic. Kalyn, welcome to take line.

 

Kalyn Kahler Thanks for having me. Excited to be here.

 

Jason Concepcion Week three done. Any personal highlights from this weekend’s round of games?

 

Kalyn Kahler Probably not. Whatever happened last night, it’s whatever that was. It was funny because after the game, they interviewed Russell Wilson and he was like, that was a terrific game. And he said it like a straight Yeah.

 

Jamel Johnson That’s why I dropped that for you.

 

Kalyn Kahler He’s kind of ridiculous, but he he said it like he really meant it. And like, yeah, he didn’t mean that he played well because he certainly didn’t play well. But I’m like, How could you even say that was a terrific game? The score was, what was it, 11 to 9, ten.

 

Jamel Johnson It was a baseball score.

 

Kalyn Kahler It’s insane.

 

Jamel Johnson Cricket score.

 

Kalyn Kahler The safety. Where Jimmy Garoppolo gets a safety because he goes out of his own end zone. And Dan Laskey is like celebrating on Twitter because he’s not the most recent person to do that now. I mean, I’m like, oh, my God, this is this is brutal. Yeah. So that that was not the highlight. I don’t know what the highlight. I mean, I guess like the Dolphins honestly are a highlight for me and it’s really fun. I’m excited to see that too. Was not in concussion protocol. That was good news today because that was kind of scary looking.

 

Jason Concepcion Let’s talk about that. The NFLPA has come out and and said that they want to investigate how it what metric was used to get to a back on the field after what looked like a pretty scary injury after which he had significant problems walking off the field under his own power. Any any new news there to report?

 

Kalyn Kahler I don’t think so, unless I missed it. But, you know, it’s interesting. I think McDaniels said that he was not in concussion protocol today. So so that would seem to suggest that they have checked him out and made sure that he didn’t. And they and they said after the game it was his lower back, I believe was the report that that’s why he was wobbling, because his back gave out. He was hit. It was a back injury which like it, I guess there could be. And if he’s really not in the protocol this week, I mean, I guess we have to take their word for it. But it is interesting that the P.A. wanted to kind of look further, because I don’t remember how many plays like how much of that game did he miss? I was at the Bears game yesterday, so I was kind of following along as it was going on, but I don’t know how long he was actually off the field for.

 

Jamel Johnson According to my fantasy updates, it wasn’t terribly long.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah, it says they’re initiating a review, but I don’t think anything else has come out.

 

Jamel Johnson That in play. One level of echo the dolphin. He’s like, All right, good. He’s good.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah. He said his McDaniels said to Tagovailoa. I told him that his back was like Gumby. That flexible cartoon character.

 

Jason Concepcion It kind of current current reference for everybody.

 

Kalyn Kahler Anyone who’s younger than what age. I don’t know what era was Gumby.

 

Jason Concepcion Like literally like 60 years old. And that’s Gumby was I think in like 1968. Anyway.

 

Jamel Johnson Speaking of the sixties in the old men Packers Bucks.

 

Kalyn Kahler the old men show.

 

Jamel Johnson The old man show. Another boring ass game. Big win for the Packers who struggled in this exact game last year. So good for them. Tom Brady looking pretty normal.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah.

 

Jamel Johnson Does it seem like he’s finally regressing or is this just a matter of time before he breaks out of it again?

 

Kalyn Kahler Somehow I feel like he’ll probably break out of it because they were without Mike Evans, they were without Julio Jones. They were trying to break in a few young guys and Cole Beasley. So I think it will get better. But I do think this is a really weird season in Tampa, and I, I certainly don’t think that this is a Super Bowl team, mainly because Tom has like built his entire career and fortune and reputation on being, like, the most insane all in hard working person with the craziest work ethic in the league. And this year, you know, he misses 11 days of training camp. He is, it appears, now practicing on Wednesdays. But there was that report last week that he was not going to do Wednesdays, but I think he is now doing Wednesdays. So who changed his mind about that? But all I say all this to say that, like Tom to me is not the same Tom this year. And I don’t I don’t really mean like specifically his his stats so far which aren’t the same, but they’re not that far off. I mean, the offense is not good, but I do think it’ll get better and it’s only week three. But I say that I don’t think he’s the same person as his work ethic and his identity. Like I think he is still unable to quit the NFL, but he’s not. I don’t know how you can be 100% all in if these things have come out where you’re not training, you want to take Wednesdays off. So I don’t know what’s going on with the Bucs, but it’s it’s a little weird to me.

 

Jason Concepcion Kalyn how much of his slow start is due to the significant cranial stretching operation that he clearly underwent in the offseason, after which it. Now it. Here is it an inch and a half inches of length have been have been grafted on to his skull.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah, he looks he looks very weird. I wish people would talk about him. I wish people who actually played played with him right now, like, would talk about him honestly, because, I mean, I don’t know, it would just be so interesting to see what people think. And I’m sure he’s like, Gronk has to be making fun of him. I have to say, I know that he is behind the scenes and Gronk is able to do that. Like he’s earned the ability to do that with Brady. Whereas I think a lot of people who he plays of now probably wouldn’t feel that way, that they would be able to kind of like rib him about that. But I’d love to hear what Gronk is.

 

Jason Concepcion I’m just saying he looked he he labored when he needed to move in the pocket, which is not been a new thing, you know, in his recent career or even, you know, the longer range. Looking back, he’s never the quickest guy. But it has to throw off your center of balance when you are when you’ve gained an inch and a half to two inches of head length.

 

Kalyn Kahler Well, who is that? He looks he looks thinner to me, so maybe he’s.

 

Jamel Johnson They put it in his skull. Yeah, that’s why they. Yeah, I see.

 

Jason Concepcion Like, Gumby legs stretched.

 

Kalyn Kahler There’s another Gumby. Yeah. That’s coming over to the display in Florida. Well, look, guys in Florida.

 

Jamel Johnson That’s where. Okay. Let me ask you about some of the younger quarterbacks. Let’s talk about some quarterbacks under 50. Joe Burrow. His offensive line is still terrible. They finally get a win against the Jets, right? Yeah. Lamar Jackson lighting it up. But now the Ravens defense is asked for the first time in maybe 20 years.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah, it’s been a while. It’s been a while.

 

Jamel Johnson And they’ve got the same record. Who do you think is going to come out of this AFC North? It’s early.

 

Kalyn Kahler Ravens. I think Ravens. And I think I say that because I trust in Harbaugh more than I do and Jack Taylor in that Staff Harbor. Obviously, he’s got more experience. But I mean, this last game for the Bengals, it was good that the Bengals offense had really struggled to perform on the first couple of drives of each game. They would get off to a really slow start for like the last year. So it was really good that they were able to score a touchdown on that first drive, and I think it will temporarily get people off of their Taylor’s back to give up playcalling because that’s something that Bengals fans and other people in the media were bringing up over and over again is like, you know, is this an example of a head coach who needs to delegate that to somebody else so they can try to spice things up on offense and play a better bowl game? But I think this week was good for him to get us off his back for a little bit. But I do think the Ravens I would pick the Ravens over the Bengals because I feel like the Bengals last year got a ton of breaks on their way to the Super Bowl that are just not going to happen again. And as you mentioned, the offensive line is just really not that much better for the work that they did to it. So, yeah, I think I would pick the Ravens for sure.

 

Jamel Johnson If any Bengals offensive linemen are listening and you know what you did to Tony, the one guy you guys are dogging it out there.

 

Jason Concepcion And true Sophie’s Choice in Pittsburgh where the decision is.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion Is Mitch Trubisky ass or is Matt Canada ass? Which one do we fire Canada or do we pinch Trubisky? What do you think? Who is actually to blame for the goings on in Pittsburgh?

 

Kalyn Kahler I think it’s like both of them. That’s not really an answer. Sorry. They’re both ass.

 

Jason Concepcion They’re both sides of the ass.

 

Jamel Johnson Yeah, two things can be ass.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah. Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion Yes. True.

 

Kalyn Kahler I mean, Mitch, Mitch has played very similarly to how he’s always played. So, yes, I think he’s actually not. I mean, he’s actually doing fine. He’s doing fine. But they’re not using everyone on offense like it’s they’ve had a hard time incorporating everybody. George Pickens is great. He had a good catch this week. But they’re not spreading the ball around. They’re not really incorporating Chase Claypool the way they should. What else are they not doing? I don’t think they’re getting much. And it kind of feels to me a little bit like Chicago, where they weren’t coaching Mitch to his strengths necessarily. So there’s not enough, like, designed rollouts going on and. Yeah. So I think both. But like it is a hard decision because it’s like, okay, Kenny Pickett, their offensive line is good. Either this is also their offensive line. It’s not good right now. So do you want to hurt your rookie that you you probably want to build around? No. But at the same time. I don’t know. I could see like probably they’re going to go for like two more weeks of Mitch and then make a change.

 

Jason Concepcion I’m I’m shocked that Matt candidate is not the genius to finally unlock the full power of.

 

Kalyn Kahler I know.

 

Jason Concepcion That has been waiting in Mitchell Trubisky all these years.

 

Kalyn Kahler Some people really believe that. And I was like, I don’t know. And then the funniest thing to me is that Mike Tomlin, all I actually admire this about him like all offseason, every time he’d be asked like, Oh, you fired now like first time you haven’t had a quarterback in forever. And he’s like, Oh yeah, I can’t wait. I love this challenge. Just the great you know, this is a great I think he used the word challenge every time or I don’t know what contests are like test or something. Like he kept phrasing it like this is this like epic thing that he cannot wait to take on? And I was like, Why I you’re not fooling anybody.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah, I can’t wait. Mitch Trubisky, I this is great. We want this.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah. Right. Like, you’re not talking us into it just because you seem like you’re into it. I’m not. I’m not getting on board.

 

Jamel Johnson There’s no way he gave him black air forces.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah. No.

 

Jamel Johnson Everybody got black air forces and he got some court classics. He did not get black airforces. There’s no way.

 

Jason Concepcion Oh, oh, oh.

 

Jamel Johnson Okay. I got a question about another sinking ship, the Raiders.

 

Jason Concepcion Oh, man.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah. My gosh.

 

Jamel Johnson A team that I picked to win the AFC West on this program. And oh, no, I wasn’t on Quaaludes when I said I was sober, but they’re blowing money. Davante Adams Who knows what’s going on? Derek Carr Question mark. They’re 0-3. The sky is falling. Is there any way they can turn it around or is it time to just blow it up immediately?

 

Kalyn Kahler I do think they’re going to get it together. They have a lot of different things going on, like they just haven’t been able to finish the game yet and. Hopefully next week they’ll figure it out. Who do they have? They had somebody. Who? Oh, they the Broncos next week? I think so. Should be a team. That’s a team that you could probably figure it out against if you’re going to have exciting television. Yeah. So I don’t know. I think Josh McDaniels I think part of the problem is Josh McDaniels offense is like really hard. Again, soon as he left New England, they were like, we’re cutting half of the shit out like they all the offseason, all training camp. The story in New England was that they were simplifying the offense because McDaniels had been there for so long, and he just kept adding and adding and adding and adding and adding. And I think it got to a point where like nobody there even like knew what was happening. And so I don’t know how much of that playbook went straight to Las Vegas, but probably a good chunk of it did. And I think it’s just taking a little bit longer for them to really get the hang of it, because it doesn’t seem like Derek Carr is like totally comfortable yet and I do think their is like an underrated quarterback. So I don’t think Derek Carr is bad and he should be a lot better with Davante Adams, but I just think he’s not totally comfortable because Josh McDaniels offense is so complicated.

 

Jason Concepcion To remaining unbeaten teams Philadelphia and Miami. Which one has impressed you more?

 

Kalyn Kahler I actually got asked this question yesterday. We had a roundtable with some of our NFL writers at the Athletic, and I picked Miami only because they had a bigger turnaround and less time, in my opinion. Like we saw some stuff from the Eagles last year, I think, and it’s not like so shocking to to see them have success. But the Dolphins, on the other hand, are huge. I mean, first year of at the staff, whereas in Philly you’re on the second year of that staff. So, you know, to win your first three games against, you know, not easily walked over opponents especially the bills which by the way, I just have to list some stats that I could not get over, please, because as I said, I was at the Bears game, so I didn’t get to watch this game closely. And I actually want to go back and watch like the condensed version that’s on my list to do today. Because I looked if you just look at the stats of this game, they had 90 offensive plays, 90, 90 of those plays, 31/1 downs, 400 yards passing. This is the bills we’re talking about the Bills?

 

Jamel Johnson Yeah. The team that lost.

 

Kalyn Kahler Yeah. Exactly.

 

Jason Concepcion The team who’s of its quarter went ape shit in the box.

 

Kalyn Kahler That’s what that is. Why I say I have to, I need to watch this game like, like as soon as I get off this call because I don’t understand what happened. Because Miami had like 197 passing yards. So half of the passing yards, they had, I think 15/1 downs, half the number of first downs, and they only had 39 offensive plays and yet they won. So to me, I mean, that’s amazing to me. Just pulling that off is incredible. So, yeah, kudos. Good job. Mike McDaniel, too. I’m still I don’t think he’s like really turned on him personally have turned it around that much I mean he’s had a couple of the games were just kind of like mediocre normal so I’m excited to watch him going forward to see what more we’ll see from them because I think as a team they’ve been great but I don’t think too was like has taken the light years and bounce from last season forward.

 

Jamel Johnson Jalen hurts on the other hand. His look good in the first half of every game in the second half. I don’t think the Eagles have scored. They might have scored 10/2 half points this year. It’s just weird how dominant they look until after halftime.

 

Kalyn Kahler I don’t know. I mean, it could be like a I don’t think it’s a playcalling issue because if you think about it, your first two drives of every game or at least your first drive is like a scripted drive that you’ve got all the plays that you’ve gone over it with your quarterback, like, this is what we like. You’re all on the same page. But I don’t know that I would say it’s like a playcalling issue, and I actually think they’re handling their playcalling really well there because Sirianni is not the play caller, which I believe is important and makes you a better head coach if you delegate that. So I don’t know how to explain that, but that’s a good observation.

 

Jamel Johnson Hey, thanks, dude.

 

Jason Concepcion She’s Kalyn Kahler, senior NFL reporter for The Athletic. Kalyn, thank you so much for joining us.

 

Kalyn Kahler Thanks for having me. It was fun.

 

Jason Concepcion [AD].

 

Jason Concepcion That’s it for us. Follow and subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And don’t forget to subscribe to Takeline show and check out my pop culture and entertainment podcast, X-ray Vision, which comes out every Friday. Jamel, what do you have to plug?

 

Jamel Johnson Airbuds is a podcast about basketball.

 

Jason Concepcion Let’s go.

 

Jamel Johnson Sorry, we love football is a podcast about NFL football.

 

Jason Concepcion Let’s go.

 

Jamel Johnson I am broccoli house on Instagram. It’s non profit comic on Twitter. You can email me personally at baby Telemundo at gmail.com. Good evening. Thank you for listening.

 

Jason Concepcion Takeline is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Ryan Wallerson and Zuri Irvin. Our executive producers are myself and Sandy Girard. Engineering, editing and sound design by the great Sarah Dubalaska and the folks at Chapter four. And our theme music is produced by Brian Vasquez. Mia Kelman is on the Zoom for vibes and the vibes are fantastic all the time.