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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, August 15, 2018

Guts and Genius: The NFL in the 80s with Bob Glauber

It’s always great to look back at the history of the game of pro football. Having had the fortune to cover the NFL for more than four decades, I can say the 1980s were special. Thanks to great coaching and great players, pro football went from a physical game that featured running and defense into a smart, situational type of game in the 1980s. So much of that had to do with coaching, and Bob Glauber, who’s been covering the NFL since the 1980s, has written the definitive book on the 1980s. "Guts and Genius: The Story of Three Unlikely Coaches Who Came To Dominate THE NFL in the 1980s" hits the market in November. He joins us on Schooled with the Professor. Bob tells great stories about Bill Walsh, Joe Gibbs and Bill Parcells. Those three coaches won a combined eight Super

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Contract Negotiations with Leigh Steinberg

In his 44 years as an NFL agent, Leigh Steinberg has seen it all. He helped build up the salaries of quarterbacks in what has become a quarterback-driven league. Leigh joins us on Schooled with the Professor to assess where the NFL and players are in contract negotiations. We get into plenty of big current topics: Are the holdouts and lack of progress in talks with Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack a tipoff that teams may be shying away from paying quarterback-like money to defensive players? We talk about the difficulty of teams trying to keep their top players. Leigh looks ahead to see what might happen in future negotiations for the collective bargaining agreement, and also gives a great history lesson in NFL contract negotiations.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

New Territory and Past Memories with Randy Mueller

Today's guest on Schooled with the Professor is Randy Mueller. Randy was the vice president of operations for the Seahawks, and a GM for the Dolphins and Saints. Now, he is venturing into new territory as a GM for the Salt Lake City franchise of the Alliance of American Football. He also gives some thoughts on the current Seahawks and remembers one of his favorite past Seahawks, Cortez Kennedy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Seahawks Stats & Projections with Mike Clay

If you are into fantasy football, is loaded with rankings and studies. So on Schooled with the Professor, we sought out Mike Clay of ESPN to do some studies on the Seahawks. Clay goes into great detail in projecting what to expect from the Seahawks running game this year. He was a big fan of Chris Carson when he was coming out of college. You’ll be surprised how strong he is on Rashaad Penny, and he goes into great detail on how many yards both backs will gain. Clay breaks down the Seahawks receiving group. He has good numbers for Doug Baldwin, discusses the expectations of Brandon Marshall, and breaks down the change at tight end from Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks current trio of tight ends. Lots of stats and trends on Schooled this week.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Great Stories from a Unique Career with Peter King

Peter King has left Sports Illustrated and MMQB to work for NBC sports, and he joins John Clayton on Schooled with the Professor to go over some of the best memories of his esteemed football coverage career. Peter and John have known each other for more then 30 years - King covered the Cincinnati Bengals when Clayton covered the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they talked all the time. This episode, they cover his memories during his 29 years at SI and MMQB. SI gave him the freedom to use his contacts to go to NFL places reporters never entered. Peter talks about spending time riding with John Madden on his bus when he broadcast games, some of the times coaches and general managers allowed him to be in their draft room to open the draft (which happened nine times). Peter was also the first to get

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fred Jackson on playing in the American Flag Football League and how running backs are evolving in the NFL

Running backs are the main topic this week on Schooled with the Professor. Recently retired RB Fred Jackson talks about the halfback position and how it has changed through the years. Jackson had a long career with the Buffalo Bills and ended up with the Seattle Seahawks. He talked about his ex-teammate Marshawn Lynch, why he was so good, and his impact in the league. A big topic was the current running back position. When Jackson entered the NFL in 2006, backs had a heavier workload. Thousand-yard backs were plentiful. Last year there was only one RB who had 321 carries (roughly 20 carries a game) and only nine backs gained over 1,000 yards. As a result, only eight RBs are making $6 million a year or more. Jackson discusses the state of running backs in the NFL and hoping the position ge

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Gridiron Genius with Michael Lombardi

On Schooled with the Professor this week, you will really get a chance to get a great education. Former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi has a book coming out Sept. 11 that details the behind-the-scenes brilliance of three NFL greats: Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belichick. The book is called "Gridiron Genius, A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL." Lombardi worked with all three geniuses. Mike has always been known as a great student of the NFL, so he gives us a history lesson on why these men were so successful and goes into great deal on the differences in the way Walsh, Davis and Belichick build teams. It’s a great study and a great book. You can pre-order it now and should.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

College Football Preview with Phil Steele

What a thrill it is to have Phil Steele on this week’s Schooled with the Professor! Phil has perhaps the best preview magazine in all of sports: "Phil Steele’s College Football Preview." There is more information packed into more pages than just about anything you can find in any pre-season magazine. This week, we get into the many analytical and statistical tools he uses to project how well schools will do in a season. Two years ago, he picked the University of Washington to be the surprise team. They were. His accuracy in the preview is amazing. Phil gets into what makes a team go up one year and down the next, the experience that each team has with players coming back (and what it means in a forecast), and he projects what could be an amazing season for the UW Huskies.

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