After hearing the news about Tyron Smith and his family issues, I talked to Ephraim about the financial and personal strain family can be for young players entering the league. From there, we discussed Chuck Pagano's moving postgame speech, the most affecting locker-room speech Ephraim ever got, and the different kinds of relationships players have with their coaches. Because we're only capable of being mature adults for so long, the conversation than devolved into sophomoric double entendres about Charles Tillman's ball-punching and an argument about the notion of being "overrated" in the NFL. Finally, Ephraim picks out a few players he's been most impressed with halfway through the season.
On any given Sunday (or Monday, or Thursday), your NFL Run & Shootaround crew will be gathered around multiple televisions, making inappropriate jokes and generally regressing to the mean. Catch up on all the NFL action right here.
The King's Speech
This season, with the widespread distribution of RedZone and the behind-the-curtain nature of the year's great controversies (Bountygate and replacement refs), the NFL has made me feel like a bit of a voyeur. Experiencing this league in some kind of hyperactive way, zooming through story lines, injuries, wins, losses, tweets, radio bits, GIFs, and, yes, games, I feel like I'm watching lots of things I shouldn't, or at least lots of things I don't need to see. It's a testament to the NFL's unmatched production values that I (a) can follow it all, and (b) haven't gone insane.
Maybe that's why the footage of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano giving his team a postgame speech after their victory over the Dolphins felt like it brought another manic Sunday to a halt.
In honor of J.J. Watt claiming that Ray Rice is not worthy of a place on the Chipotle menu, I asked Ephraim about the best trash-talk moments from his 13 years in the NFL. The conversation stayed on players' talk with some discussion about Cam Newton throwing his organization under the bus, and then it was on to Newton's sweater game, Richard Sherman's Transformers game, and more. At some point, we discussed football, but I can't exactly remember when.