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SCHOOLED with The Professor

Can't get enough of the NFL? Get SCHOOLED with 'The Professor' John Clayton. Each week, 710 ESPN Seattle's human database dives deep into all the news in and around the National Football League. Interviews, analysis, and stories from a Football Hall of Fame career. Further your football education with new episodes each week.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Earl Thomas & The Cowboys with Tim Cowlishaw

The Earl Thomas holdout has become one of the biggest stories in Seattle this summer. Thomas announced Sunday he’s not going to show up for any Seahawks activities until he gets a new contract. With no talks going on, this looks to be a long holdout. So what about a trade to the Dallas Cowboys? Tim Cowlishaw from ESPN’s Around the Horn and The Dallas Morning News joins us on Schooled with the Professor to discuss a possible trade. (Spoiler alert: He wasn’t optimistic.) The Cowboys have put their money into the offensive line and not in the secondary. With Dallas locking up Zack Martin to the highest paid guard salary in NFL history, the Cowboys are a fascinating team. Cowlishaw breaks down the Dez Bryant situation and his release, and talks about whether the Cowboys are d

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Concussions with Jermichael Finley

You'll have to go back to last year's Brandon Marshall episode to hear a story as emotional as former Green Bay Packers TE Jermichael Finley. Due to an in-game injury, Finley had to quit football at the young age of 27 while he was one of the best tight ends in the game. On SCHOOLED, he takes us through his dangerous ride. He starts with being in an ambulance - in uniform - heading to the hospital after being knocked out in a game. Not only were concussions an issue, but his neck and back were destroyed to a point he wouldn’t play again. He visited a few teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, but no team wanted to take a chance. The next year was tougher. The effects of concussions were changing his life. Finley grew depressed and quiet. His kids felt some days their father wasn&rsqu

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Patriot Way with Ted Johnson

Former Patriot linebacker Ted Johnson, who is doing radio on 610 in Houston, joins us to talk about the Patriot Way. Johnson speaks about what it is like to play for both Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll and contrasts their coaching styles. He also shares how Belichick communicates and how hard he coaches them. The timing of talking to Johnson is perfect. Cassius Marsh talked about how playing for the Patriots and Belichick almost made him want to get out of the game. Tom Brady has skipped the offseason program along with Rob Gronkowski. Johnson also talked about concussions, he being among the first to speak out about dangerous head injuries. Johnson had some strong opinions about the concussion problems and how players are suffering.​

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

New Rule Changes with Al Riveron

Al Riveron, the Senior Vice President of Officiating for the NFL joins the Professor LIVE from the spring meeting in Atlanta. There have been a lot of changes this off season, and Al Riveron is just the man to ask about how they will all be implemented and what effects we might see from those changes.   Al explains how the controversial new helmet targeting rule will be enforced, what the new standard for a catch is, and how kickoffs have changed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Team Trends and Schedule Analysis with Warren Sharp

We get into some football analytics this week on SCHOOLED with the Professor. Warren Sharp does an amazing job of analyzing team trends and strength of team’s schedules. With the Supreme Court giving the states the rights to legalize gambling, Sharp’s forecast on teams will be very valuable. He also does a great job of breaking down team tendencies. Sharp breaks down one of the Seahawks problems of last year: getting pass completions to running backs. He discusses how low those numbers were compared to other teams in the league, and also goes in depth on the Seahawks schedule and how difficult is it, particularly toward the end of the season. Get ready for some in depth football on SCHOOLED!

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Joel Corry: QB Contracts in the Salary Cap Era

Matt Ryan became the first $30 million player in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers should be next. But what about Russell Wilson? On SCHOOLED with The Professor, John Clayton talks with Joel Corry, a former agent who studies contracts and the salary cap like no other as a writer for And his thoughts might surprise you! He talks about the possibility of Wilson playing out two years on the franchise tag similar to what Kirk Cousins did with the Washington Redskins. He makes a bold forecast on how Wilson might be able to top an Aaron Rodgers deal while discussing the challenges of getting quarterback contracts done in the salary cap era. Finally, they get into the salary cap, the future of negotiations in the league and little bit of about what might change in the next collective bargaini

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Al Smith: From the Field to the Front Office

Al Smith was a top middle linebacker when he played for the Houston Oilers. His style of play resembled Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner - interesting considering they both played at Utah State! Al Smith joins us on Schooled with the Professor to talk about several things. Smith made a successful transition from player to front office executive. He talks about how difficult it is for former players to get the opportunity to work with teams, but he also talks about the successes of Ozzie Newsome, John Elway and others. Smith discusses how his leadership on the field gave him an edge to work in the front office. Pick up Al's book "Think Like a Pro, Act Like a Pro" wherever books are sold.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Devin Hester on Eliminating Kickoff Returns

Devin Hester announced his retirement on Monday by signing a one day contract with the Chicago Bears. He was clearly the best returner in his generation and may have been the best in NFL history. Many feel if there is a place for a returner in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, there should be a gold jacket waiting for him. But the timing of his retirement is interesting. The NFL is holding a two-day summit in New York City to discuss the possibility of eliminating the kickoff return. Hester joins us on SCHOOLED with the Professor to get his thoughts on that possible change. Naturally, he doesn't like it, believing it takes too much excitement out of the game. But here on the podcast, Hester goes into even more depth on what this could do to change the game. He discusses how it would take away

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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 overseeing which players the NFL invites to draft night. Gil says this is one of the most unique drafts ever because there is no real consensus as to who the top six picks should be. He also explains how the approach to the NFL draft has changed, why Shaquem Griffin is his favorite invite ever, and some new things the NFL is doing to reward some of the draftees high school coaches. This week on SCHOOLED with The Professor!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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 f

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Alliance of American Football with Bill Polian

NFL Hall of Fame GM Bill Polian on the Alliance of American Football: an alternative football league scheduled to begin next February after the Super Bowl. One of the biggest voids in pro football is the lack of a developmental league. Well, there might be good news on that front. Bill Polian joins us on SCHOOLED with the Professor to talk about a candidate to be the complementary league of the future. Polian remains an analyst at ESPN, but over the past year, he has been working with Alliance of American Football. After quietly working on the project, the news recently broke about the Alliance. It’s going to be an eight-team spring league based in the South, and games will air on CBS. The league is in the process of hiring coaches, and they have the wherewithal to get good ones. Polian

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hometown Love with Charlie Batch

Going back to Pittsburgh over the weekend and being surprised to find out my hometown, Braddock, PA, named Sunday, March 18th after me put me in nostalgic mood for Schooled with The Professor. That’s why we reached out to former NFL quarterback Charlie Batch. Batch played for the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers, but he grew up in Homestead, PA, a steel mill town just across the river from Braddock. With the downturn in the steel industry, both towns had major drop-offs in business. Both were tough towns. When I was going up in the 1960s, Braddock and Homestead thrived with businesses. That isn’t the case now, but that’s why we talked to Batch. He is developing businesses and opportunities in Homestead with his foundations. Batch is also working on scientific evaluations tools

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Quarterback Value with Bruce Gradkowski

Quarterbacks are in the news both in free agency and the draft. On SCHOOLED with the Professor, we caught up with former NFL quarterback Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski is getting into broadcasting and scouting after his NFL career. He offers great perspective and opinions on the current state of quarterbacks in the NFL and also what’s ahead in the draft. He studied the current group of first-round picks and offers insight on whom he thinks could have promising NFL career. We also talk about how the big contracts given to quarterbacks impact the game and the value of quarterbacks currently. With quarterbacks being such a big topic, it was a good time to catch up with an educated student of the QB position.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

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!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The NFL Combine with Dan Shonka

On this week's SCHOOLED, National scout and General Manager of Ourlads' NFL Scouting Services Dan Shonka breaks down the combine and NFL draft prospects with our one and only Professor John Clayton. Dan shares his analysis of the top quarterback prospects, his favorite running backs in what he says is a loaded class, and the weakest position group in this year's draft.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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 and the football. John Pollard, who lives in Seattle, joins us on SCHOOLED with The Professor to talk about the advanced science of scouting. With the chips on the players' uniforms and in the football, Zebra can do analytical reports on every position. It can determine if a player is slowing down with fatigue. It can study the breakaway speed of a receiver. It can evaluate so many things about a quarterback. Pollard, for example, goes in depth discussing Russell Wilson. Though the tracking system, Zebra determined how Wilson buys more time in t

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

QB News with Joe Theismann

Quarterbacks are in the news in the NFL: Alex Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins. Kirk Cousins is a free agent. Patrick Mahomes takes over the Kansas City Chiefs. Jimmy Garoppolo signs a $137.5 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. With so many quarterback topics making headlines, we went to Joe Theismann, former Redskins quarterback, to get his opinions on the quarterback position in the NFL. Theismann likes the Smith trade and believes he fits in well in Jay Gruden's offense. He's really looking forward to see what happens to Cousins in free agency. Theismann is a big fan of Russell Wilson and spends plenty of time talking about Wilson's virtues and how Brian Schottenheimer will do as his offensive coordinator. Theismann is a big fan of players who love the game, and be

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lesley Visser, Pioneering Female NFL Analyst

Today on SCHOOLED with the Professor, Lesley Visser joins John Clayton live in Minneapolis to discuss her new book "Sometimes You Have To Cross When It Says Walk." Lesley is the only woman enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and shares her experiences being one of the pioneers of women in sports broadcasting, shares some great work stories about John Madden and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and she and The Professor make their Super Bowl picks!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Offensive Lines with Howard Mudd

Offensive line is a big topic these days. The Seahawks changed offensive line coaches, going from Tom Cable to Mike Solari. Next week, Kevin Mawae and Steve Hutchinson are in the final 15 for voting in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Howard Mudd, a legend among offensive line coaches, joins us on SCHOOLED with the Professor, to take about the current state of the offensive line in the NFL. He didn’t waste time getting into the Seahawks offensive line, and raves about the hiring of Mike Solari. Solari executes a theme that Mudd followed through his years of coaching. Mudd says it’s the job of the offensive line coach to get the job done regardless of the talent. He stressed technique. Mudd details how Solari improved a troubled New York Giants offensive line last season. Mudd talks about

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Cornerbacks with Everson Walls

Everson Walls played 13 seasons at cornerback in the NFL for the Cowboys, Giants, and Browns. Walls led the NFL with 11 interceptions as a rookie in 1981, which still stands as the most by a first-year player in NFL history. Walls is also the only cornerback in NFL history to lead the league in interceptions 3 different times. He is one of 15 finalists for the 2018 NFL Hall of Fame in his 20th and final year of eligibility. Walls discusses how much the game has changed, how much he hates "diva" wide receivers, and asks the Professor to get up there and "preach" to get him into the HOF on this week's episode of SCHOOLED with the Professor.