Brandon Stokley: No time for regrets in January

- Advertisement -

Wide receiver Brandon Stokley played a lot of January football as a key component to the Indianapolis Colts’ offense with Peyton Manning for many years after winning Super Bowl XXXV here as a member of the 2001 Baltimore Ravens. He comes home to discuss winning and losing “The Big One” and the legacy of Lamar Jackson as an NFL quarterback.


ravens, year, game, good, baltimore, lamar, super bowl, played, team, win, drafted, offensively, felt, passing, nfl, lost, talking, watched, season, quarterback


Nestor J. Aparicio, Brandon Stokley

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn s, t am 1570, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive, you know, this whole week’s going to be special. So I’m going to say this one’s going to be special or that one’s going to be special. This one is going to be special. But what’s also going to be special is what we’re doing two weeks from now. So instead of radio row, which we’ve done for 27 years, now dating back to Minneapolis in 1992, we’re gonna do something called crab cake row, we’re offering a cup of soup, or bowl of soup for anybody that wants to come out to any of our shows are gonna be live from 9am till five beginning on February 5, at fadeless. In Lexington market, we’re going to have Maryland lottery scratch offs, including these ravens scratch offs that are going to be lucky Super Bowl scratch offs. Hopefully it’s a purple pep rally. We started to fade these on the fifth sixth will be a cost of seven. We’re going to be a Coco’s the eighth which is Thursday at State Fair and then the ninth hopefully, the Friday before the Super Bowl. We’re gonna be Pappas in Cockeysville. Luke is headed to Las Vegas if the Ravens win here this week. This guy here gave us some thrills that night in Tampa is January the 28th 2001. So on the 23rd anniversary of the first Purple Rain in Super Bowl 35 We welcome Brandon Stokely back on to the program. We always seem to forget about all that cold stuff. And I know at one point I forgot about the Broncos thing, which is even more hilarious. But I did think of you when Peyton Manning was talking the sidelines with his kid who I’m sure you’re like Uncle Brandon to at this point. And he was down and I thought, is he putting that 2006 whammy on us that you were part of back in the day? You know, when you came in here took our lunch money because I remember that. And then I thought now it turned out to be good luck. So there is no whammy on all of this. There’s just good memories. And you being a guy watching from afar at your alma mater here in Baltimore trying to do it again. Right?

Brandon Stokley  01:55

Yeah, absolutely. Nothing but good karma coming your way from Peyton from myself. So it’s all good Baltimore. That was a nice win. taking that next step, right. It’s not an easy thing to do. Sometimes those by weeks, man, they they seem great. But when you’re rolling like the Ravens were rolling, you just want to keep it going. I mean, look no further than 2012 You know, when I was on that Denver Broncos team that the Ravens came in and upset us so but they found a way to get it back going there and that second half, but it was a good way. Good win, not something that runoff get ready for that AFC Championship Game. Then

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:32

listen, I had came hearing on who lost a Super Bowl and won a Super Bowl. You’ve won big games lost big games, you were part of a lot of really good teams with Peyton. And what was the best team you played on the set the team that won or was there I there? i There were five or six of those teams that had some of the ball roll the right way against Tom Brady. You guys would have been the chance but like it feels to me like your best team might not have been the team that won.

Brandon Stokley  02:57

Yeah, I think the best team was the old 405 colts teams. We got a little defensive go with our offense. And you know, we just couldn’t couldn’t finish it off there until finally Oh, six. But I think it was that old five team possibly. We got beat by I think it was a Steelers, they’re in the playoffs. So yeah, you know, it’s a hard thing to do in the NFL. It’s, it’s one game in the playoffs. And if you don’t play really good football, you’re gonna lose and so it’s not you know, it’s not the best of seven. Like, again, you know, all these other sports. It’s just one and I felt like that 2012 Broncos team I was on was was as good as any also, we were rolling. It was Payton’s first year. And we just we had a really good defense and you know, next thing you know, Flacco throws this Hail Mary. And we go to overtime and you know, Guy we’d never heard of all of a sudden kicks his game winning field goal and now he’s the best damn kicker in, you know we’ve ever seen in the NFL. So things like that happened in the NFL, but I wouldn’t say a couple of those teams are probably the best teams I were on. I was on and we didn’t even win it with those teams.

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:13

Was that the greatest game you ever played in? Or do you not think about it that way because you lost it that Denver game too, because he was cold as hell I was there. You know, it’s back and forth. Touchdown, touchdown. Everybody’s laying your big punches. Special teams like that that game kind of had. I remember going to the bathroom with Eric the cost of doing overtime when you could see your breath in the press box was so cold that that he just was wearing hand heaters in the press box. And I just remembered that this is the greatest game I’ve ever seen. Like I I just felt that way about it. And having seen all these great games and the chiefs in the bills and you never hear we get a couple of pretty great games that boy that was great game

Brandon Stokley  04:50

man. Not if you lose, it’s not a great game. No, like no Yeah, no, I mean Come on. So definitely not a great game for me and one of the one of the ones I was actually talking about that game with Joel Driessen a teammate tight end yesterday we’re watching some of the games together and and I asked him if he’s has watched that game if he’s watched the replay of it at all in the film of it and he has I never have because that’s our last game of the season. And you know you’re not gonna You don’t need to go in and watch film on Monday anymore the season’s over right so I’ve never watched that game and never going back and seeing a couple plays I’d like to but at the same time you know it’s like all that’s gonna do is be more painful I think so.

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:47

Dude is when I think of you I think about glory and championships and your rings and you show me that God awful culturing that you know, like just all of your like your career your success your relation with painting, like all that. I don’t think about how awful the awful is, right? I mean, you were a part of the awful here and Oh, six like my wife has video me blubbering that night that you guys came in the field goal night, the oh six night like, like the losses are just awful. And everybody whoever won every fan has experienced as the Cowboys how they feel right now. It’s the Bills fans, right? Like what the pills players are, like, a like everybody loses except one team. And you tasted it twice. And all the years you played and it’s beautiful, but like you bring up any of the other ones. Everybody’s got what Lamar had going on at halftime on on Saturday, which is I’ve lost a couple of them, got to win them. If you’re going to be the next level, you got to win a couple of them and pain didn’t win as many as he wanted to win, you know,

Brandon Stokley  06:44

there will be none of us do you know, I mean, like I felt like I left three three Super Bowl rings out there. You know, I mean, I felt like I could have had five total ended up with to not complain and but you know, I think for me, the losses stay more than the than the than the wins feel good. It’s just like they just linger and they and that’s just kind of that’s just kind of how it is right? You you think about the the what ifs a lot more than you think about you know, the Super Bowl win and, and how great some of those times were that’s just you know, that’s that’s the nature of sports, you know, you look at that guy missing that field goal last night and you think about some of the close calls and you know, would you could you have should you have made that play or not you know, why did you do certain things those are the things that that just stay with you for so long. So you know, the wins are great, but man those losses they don’t they don’t ever go away.

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:40

I’ll get to the game and Lamar in a minute. But I want to get to your brand is stoke lease here he is out in beautiful Denver, Colorado, as in the house to paint and built and doing sports radio, because he always idolized what I did ever since I brought him in here. We went through all that Cajun nonsense back. We were both people face kids over at the barn and having fun. All these years later, I’ve done 27 Superbowl radio rows. This is the year we’re not going I’m doing this special thing for the Maryland Food Bank and for hunger year, really shining a spotlight on 100 other charities and doing all the crap that I’m doing. But Superbowl week back in the day, we would get broken down football players coming in. It was always about charity that was always, you know, Peyton kumbaya was about Pepsi Man of the Year, but there was always something they were doing for kids or something they were doing in the community, or there’s always an angle for every event that I did, you know, and all those years, but I always had broken down players and players with CTE and hardships and all that I keep hearing on he’s like, I’m healthy. I’m lovely and beautiful. I’m happy. I’m like, you know, I want more of that. So like, a little bit of like, what, what’s Brandon stoke Lee’s life? Like because it feels to me, like you’re pretty healthy. And you’re doing okay, as a former player who played the game for a long time, and I think you probably had a couple of concussions as I remember it. Yeah,

Brandon Stokley  08:56

so far, so good. You know. So, you know, we’ll see, it’s football is a tough sport. It’s a violent sport. And, you know, it was a different era that we played in then compared to now. So, you know, you didn’t have the awareness of the concussions and how to treat it and how to, you know, protocols and like it is nowadays, so different era football. And so, you know, we’ll, we’ll see, but

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:24

you’re doing okay.

Brandon Stokley  09:27

I mean, look, I’d love to help the

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:31

kids what’s going on, you got kids running around, ball where we

Brandon Stokley  09:34

got a 20 year old. I got a 20 year old in college, second year in college and I got a junior in high school. So yeah, no complaints. They’re great, you know, so families healthy and you know, that’s the most important thing and and so yeah, they’re good. And you

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:51

talk football for a living now like literally so when people talk to you about Lamar and about this offense and about things you’ve seen and things you’ve never seen before, and things that defensive coordinators are trying to see. And you know, quarterbacks are getting tricky now. You know, fake slides. I mean stuff that they shouldn’t be doing stopping Lamar to stops. Everybody’s kind of afraid to hit him. It’s crazy. What Lamar is doing and what he’s attempting to do over these two weeks. And you know, we’ve never played an AFC Championship game here, right? You talk about the game we played out in Denver mile high and like every game we ever played was on the road. We’ve never had this game franchise. 1971 colts played the raiders here very young John mad Johnny Unitas in that game. But that’s the last time the game was there’s 53 years ago, AFC Championship game. Well, you guys screwed it up when you came in and beat us and upset. You know what I mean? A couple of these games we’ve lost where we had an opportunity to maybe be that team. This is the year that it’s all come to them. And it’s mahomes. And here we are and Bran I can’t begin to tell you you won a Super Bowl year where there was no expectation there was just throw ride right? By the time Flacco one one we had had the Lee Evans and the kind of thing and lost a couple of games. And it felt like my God finally, with this thing with Lamar, and especially last year, nobody wanted him out in the open market. And the chippy has and where they are like, this city is about to explode here. And you know that cuz you played here, but like where it is? We’ve never experienced this before. But nobody’s experienced Lamar before.

Brandon Stokley  11:22

Yeah, you know, I think when you when you look at Lemoore, obviously, a lot of success is probably going to want a second MVP. But he had one playoff win going into last week. And so it’s all about trying to take that next step. And I like what they did offensively this year, changing the coordinator. And you know, trying to take that passing game to the next level and getting a different perspective on it, I think and also upgrade those positions around him. And they’ve done a good job. And Lamar has had a great year, obviously. And he’s tough to he’s just a tough guy to deal with if your defense if they can get that passing game going like it was when he won that first MVP. So I think with his legs and with the ability now in the passing game, and taking that next step in the passing game, they’re tough to deal with, you know, when I watched the Ravens over the last few years, to me, there was just too much gray area in their passing game. And it was like receiver was doing one thing and the quarterback was thinking another thing and it didn’t, it just didn’t seem like they were on the same page just seemed like it was too much street ball there. And at a certain point, you can’t play backyard football all the time, you have got to have your receiver and quarterback on the same page. And it seems like it’s so much better this year, for whatever reason. And I think having the distraction of the contract probably helps. And you know, they got a good defense to go with it. And when you’re playing at home, and they earn that number one seed they’re going to be tough to deal with in the AFC Championship game. It’s gonna be a good game, though. You saw Kansas City, and what they’re making up their champions there. So that’s gonna be a great environment, and it should be a great game.

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:01

What do you make of this chiefs team? Brian, I mean, you seem a couple of times out in Denver, Denver radio seeing them but and seeing them for years and everybody in your division is trying to chase them. No different here. And we always thought this pathway for Lamar would be burrow, Allen mahomes You have to beat all these quarterbacks maybe on the road. This pathway has been different for him. And part of the pathway is chiefs haven’t been as good. She just haven’t been as good offensively. They’ve dropped balls, they’ve had issues, but they’re here and they’re knocking on the door and they have to do it on the road, not at home. And it feels like maybe this defense is the best version of a defense. They’ve had to maybe deal with Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson because they know down the line, it’s they’re gonna have to beat them not necessarily an agent Russell Wilson or whatever the raiders were throwing out in their own division. Part of what spagnolo tried to build there is we’re going to see Lamar on a cold day hopefully in Kansas City. But however it goes here, this is about stopping. Lamar mahomes Josh Allen, the mobile gadget ree weird, different than a drop back and run can do different things. And, and offense is built and designed around what their strengths are.

Brandon Stokley  14:15

Yeah, I think when you look at Kansas City, obviously they’ve taken a step back this year. But the standard is been at such a level. And you know, they haven’t transitioned last year with Tyreke Hill and kind of moving on from him starting to go with some younger guys. Some draft picks that they got from that trade. And you know, they bulked up their offensive line a couple years ago. So they made they’re making a little bit of a transition and it hasn’t gone as smoothly offensively for them. They put some a lot of resources into that defense and the defense is really good this year. They do a good job. Their defensive coordinator like you talked about Steve Spagnola he’s he’s done a great job there. So but offensively they just been a little bit off and you know when they run on the ball, I think that’s the key for them as their running game and Pacheco, he you know, he runs the ball as hard as anybody in the NFL. He’s, he’s a dynamic running back. But when they get that running game going, their offense can look good. But when they don’t have that running game, and now they’re just relying on mahomes, with those receivers, the lack of playmakers that they have, you know, Kelsey, still getting it done, obviously. I don’t think he’s what he was, you know, three, four years ago, but he can still get it done. mahomes is that’s a security blanket, but the rest of the guys around him in that passing game, leave a lot to be desired. So I think for the ravens, you got to look at the chiefs and say, Hey, we need to slow down that running game. And you saw it, you saw it against the bills. I mean, that running game, set everything else up, and they were able to dictate the game and control the game and take some of the pressure off that passing game and mahomes

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:49

Well, so much of this is Lamar Lamar, Lamar, and when I think about what Eric is built around him, whether it was giving Odell Beckham maybe too much money to give them a bit of a binky, where they are with Mark Andrews and him going out and Isaiah likely being excellent ze flowers being the draft pick the wide receiver that we’ve been waiting for since you read it’s so clear. Yeah, right. We’ve been waiting for him since you and you know and payment being involved. But But more than that the running game and haven’t Dobbins taken away from them and this running back by committee, and our buddy Anthony Mitchell’s kid, brown, you know, before he had the game taken away from him. But defensively, we spent last spring like worried about the March contract and I’ll be like, who’s rushing the quarterback? What are we going to do? We’re losing Coleus Campbell, how are we going to step up? What’s up with this Kyle Hamilton guy, they drafted a safety and they drafted a senator with two first round picks. How was that gonna equate to a Super Bowl? And I mean, Kyle Hamilton’s become like this, this swiss army knife row, Quan Smith, the notion that this franchise would trade for a lottery pick, give him big money in the middle of the season a year and a half ago, and have him become like sort of this latter day, Ray Lewis and Alice inspired Patrick Queen around him. And now the secondaries responded to Marlon Humphrey being injured in an hour Justin Mata BK has really established yourself as the best interior lineman in a sport and he’s gonna get a lot of money. They just got a lot going on right now, that’s going to be as you know, impossible to keep together. I mean, it feels that they’re going to bring a U haul in the back and pull coordinators out of here when this is over with that this, this band is not for long around Lamar and Lamar has a special group of talent this year, that’s not going to be easy to replace the bad

Brandon Stokley  17:34

look. I mean, that’s what the Ravens do, man. I mean, they find guys all over the place. And they’ve done such a great job since I was drafted, you know, back in the day, you know, since 99. Before that, obviously, with Ozzy and building that culture there and setting that standard there. And it’s just it’s continued now with Eric taken over and, and they do such a great job of finding the right guys and putting them in the right place to be successful, coaching them up well, but you’re right, you thinking like this year, maybe they’re taking a step back, heading into this year with the changes with the coordinators, and what is it going to look like? And then all of a sudden, they take a big step forward. And that’s just what they do. And, you know, some of those guys, like, you know, you’re like, hey, I don’t know if that guy is going to help them much this year, and they turn out to be great players. So it’s just something that they do, they built a standard there. They’ve had the continuity and consistency from the front office down for so long now. And it pays off. And so you give those guys a lot of credit scouting department development coaches, from the top down from Steve shoddy down. They’ve done a great job of continuing that standard. And, you know, just delivering year in and year out. Right,

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:49

so please, here he is at Denver, Colorado, he caught a big pass back in Super Bowl 35. It will be the 23rd anniversary when the Ravens get together with the Chiefs this week, January 28. You don’t forget January 28 2001. And that glorious night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. I wrote a book about that one and the second one, we are featuring lots of folks with Joe Flacco is coming on you caught two passes from him as well. Brian Billick will be your Marvin Lewis a whole bunch of folks came hearing from the Super Bowl 35 teams. So I’m looking forward to that NFC side because you do sports radio for a living i i want to like throw some professional stuff at you above and beyond Lamar in the laws. But on the NFC side, this is also let me see they’re gonna be the best night of our lives. And we’re all going to be in the streets of Baltimore, sort of half watching this game or it’s going to be morbid. I mean, literally, there’s no in between with the championship game at home. But the second game is going to happen and it’s going to matter and what the Ravens have whacks both of these teams, right, like so. You look at it and you’re a raving fan. You’re like Brock Purdy, I don’t know, you know, but, and Jared Goff, trying to get back to a Superboy by losing one and having sort of that, that piss and vinegar that you want to have and the whole city of Detroit mean, it’s a good story either. Either way, it’s always a great story for the Super Bowl if somebody new gets into this thing, but the San Francisco story and where that is where the Ravens start sort of tarnish both of those teams during the course of the season. They the NFC feels a little weaker.

Brandon Stokley  20:14

Yeah. You know, I would be careful with that thought process, though. I think when you look at both those teams, obviously, they’re very talented. That’s why they got to the NFC Championship game. I mean, I’m looking at the 40 Niners as you know, maybe the probably the most talented team in the NFL, obviously them in the Ravens with what they have there. And you’re right, I was surprised Baltimore, was able to go into San Francisco and control that game like they control that game towards the end of the regular season. Yeah, I was really surprised by that. And obviously that game against Detroit early in the season. I mean, they just manhandle Detroit and in that football game, but I will say this, you know, you brought up how you how they how they did, they beat both those teams, and they beat the 40 Niners late in the season. Well, there was once upon a time in 2012, where my Denver Broncos team went to Baltimore, and just absolutely whacks the ravens, right, and, and then a few weeks later, we’re at home and a playoff game against Baltimore, and we lose that game. So that’s the crazy thing about the NFL, every game takes a life of its own, and every game is unique. It is a one on one. So you know what you did three, four weeks ago, man, that doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter. So I think when you look at the 40, Niners and their talent and what they can bring to the table, they’ll obviously make a lot of adjustments from that previous game. So I think if you’re Baltimore, you probably shouldn’t be pulling for Detroit. You know, if you do win next week, I mean, that’s the most favorable matchup I would think over San Francisco. San Fran just scares me with the talent they have. offensively. So but first thing you got to do is get there, right? You got to win this week. And I know it’s going to be a great environment. I mean, that’s that place is going to be rockin it should be a great football game.

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:07

All right, well, stay warm out there in Colorado. And this winter, I always think of Jack Torrance in the shining out there in Colorado. But you know, I mean, nothing like those rocky mountains out there to get out on on the slopes, do all the stuff you do. It’s good to see you. I’m glad you’re healthy. I’m glad you’re Well, glad you’re still talking sports. And you know, at some point, you get to come in and be an alum. I mean, usually you still look good. And purple, Brandon, you know, Oh, I

Brandon Stokley  22:32

love it. You know, that’s my spot, man. I mean, they drafted me, and 99 So I got to spend four great years there. And then I got to finish my career there. No one remembers that because I didn’t do anything. But I was so fortunate blessed to be able to start my career in Baltimore and finished my career in Baltimore be a part of that organization. So, you know, I’m always a raven, and I’m pulling for him this weekend. Hopefully, they can take that next step and get back to another Super Bowl. So they’re a fun team. And it’s a great organization. So I’m gonna be pulling hard for him this weekend.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:04

You know, I buried the hatchet with Indianapolis. So but I you know, I would kick you in them in the chops by saying, you know, there’s something anti Indianapolis about those years, but I’m gonna be nice to you and say, We’re gonna we have a chance to write our own script here and another championship, but we’ll never have prints play halftime like you guys did. So. I lost out on that back in OC, right. It’s totally joining us here from Denver, Colorado, always number 80 in the program and one of my favorite people. We’re catching up lots of Super Bowl 35 folks here this week, we are doing the cup of Superbowl crabcake row begins on February 5 be telling you more about that in the Maryland lottery our friends at window nation and Jiffy Lube. I am Nestor we are wn sta in 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive

- Advertisement -