Above is a brief glimpse at my interview with Redskins TE Chris Cooley and his candid take on the Donovan McNabb/Mike Shanahan debacle in D.C. Hear the entire podcast by clicking the link below or subscribing on iTunes.
As usual, I entered the podcast day with no intention of talking about the labor situation but circumstances forced my hand. And by circumstances, I mean a clandestine meeting between Roger Goodell and several influential NFL owners and DeMaurice Smith and several influential NFL Players Association players under the watchful eye of Judge Arthur Boylan, the very judge charged with overseeing the court-ordered mediation between the two sides in this soon-to-be three-month old mess.
Where in the world did this come from? What in the world does this mean?
To make heads or tails of this, I phoned up our affable legal expert Gabe Feldman to provide perspective on what this secret meeting means, especially when it took place on the eve of the all-important lockout injuction appeal to the 8th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeal. After Gabe coughs up his crucial information, NFL Network reporter Albert Breer, who has been all over this labor dispute from the beginning, unloads his reporter’s notebook. All of this, I promise you, as always, is news you can use. There will be NO legalese allowed.
All for the football discussion, we’ve got a player guest list that runs the gamut: Cooley, Boston College linebacker, cancer survivor and NFL rookie free-agent-in-waiting Mark Herzlich and Lions starting quarterback (when healthy) Matthew Stafford.
I have full, wide-ranging discussions with all three, especially Cooley, who holds his own when I hit him with a barrage of questions about his seemingly controversy-ridden organization. What was up with McNabb and Shanahan last season? Why didn’t that relationship work? Did McNabb truly refuse to wear a wristband containing the Shanahan playbook? Does Clinton Portis’ broadside comments about the lack of cohesion and professionalism in the Redskins’ locker room hold water? I hit Cooley on every last one of the topics, before he reveals the two separate prank phone call campaigns he’s been perpetrating on Jay Feely, A.J. Feeley, Carson Palmer, John Elway, John Fox and Marvin Lewis. For real.
As for Herzlich, his story is an inspiration that requires every last person to root for him. We catch up with the young man as he waits for his chance to play in the NFL and prove everyone how much heart truly means in being successful.
Stafford rounds out the podcast with a chat that will interest everyone who is eager to have the roar restored in Detroit. Of course, having his shoulder restored to health is the first step in that process. We ask Stafford about his readiness, his frustration in waiting to prove his worth to the deal that gave him a boatload of cash and of the time he and I first met the night before he was drafted first overall by Detroit. Please listen for that last story since it reveals the exact amount of money Stafford had in his wallet one night prior to striking it rich.
Good times all around on the podcast which is, yes, heading for NFL Network television soon. More on that on the next podcast with guests Jason Sudeikis, Ronde Barber, Darren Sharper and Kellen Winslow Jr. already booked for next week.