Legendary Peter King of NBC Sports returns to Baltimore to discuss halftime speeches vs. adjustments, the revolution of Lamar Jackson and how the Ravens became the hunted in the AFC race for Super Bowl glory in Las Vegas. No beer or coffee nerds talk in this one: just football and who is going to win.
lamar, quarterback, halftime, years, ravens, game, crab cake, team, lamar jackson, peter, baltimore, win, story, threw, andy reid, patrick, buffalo, roster, halftime speech, losing
Nestor J. Aparicio, Peter King
Nestor J. Aparicio 00:01
Welcome home we are W N S T A and 1570 tasks in Baltimore and Baltimore positive it is a no secret that I have been calling Kaepernick from radio row. I am gathering many of my radio row friends this week next week in anticipation of the magic moment that the Ravens will have a third Super Bowl parade here. So far, so good. But we are taking our radio row to crabcake row. It is a cup of soup or bowl. That’s the question we’re going to ask you. You want a cup of soup or a bowl of soup and it’s all free. As long as you’re giving to the Maryland Food Bank will be beginning of February 5 Live from nine until five. We’re going to start things downtown at the world famous Lexington market it fails. Tuesday will be a Costas on my side of town and Dundalk. Wednesday we moved to Lara Ville and beautiful Coco’s pub. That’s going to be a great one then Thursday State Fair in Catonsville Friday. Hopefully Super Bowl Friday. We will have a cup of Super Bowl at pappases restaurant where they have delicious crab cakes that’s Oprah’s crab cake was I don’t know where Peter kings crab cake places. I’m probably gonna have to bring him in here and take him to each and every one of these. So let’s do it. Let’s go you know, I
Peter King 01:09
wish you would. I love when a man I love crabcakes they’re, they’re like my all time favorite. I don’t I don’t really have a favorite because listen, anytime I’ve gone to dinner in Baltimore over the years, I always look at the menu. And usually I get some sort of green thing before the meal, you know, some sort of salad but if there’s a crab cake on the menu, I said just bring me a big one of those. So that’s what I usually do there. They’ve all been good. Every
Nestor J. Aparicio 01:41
single one of them stuff this Why did a crab cake. Every single one’s different. They’re all made with the grand mom’s recipe. And Peter King. If you are on my airwaves, I’m celebrating 25 years of just the radio 32 years of being on and I’m doing this countdown with our friends at Curie and foreign data counting on our stories of glory. They all involve some big moment and you know we’ve had this Super Bowl March in New Orleans. We did we threw this big party in Tampa. And you know we did free the birds with Peter eight. I mean, I’ve done these crazy things. One thing we’ve never done in this city is hosted AFC Championship game in the modern era since 1971. I Peter I’ve been to probably a dozen championship games AFC NFC ours, others losing I’ve gotten on buses in Foxborough after Billy Cundiff, Pittsburgh, we lost the game, Polamalu picked off Flacco, his rookie. So I know the awful side of all this, but in my own city, I can’t imagine what’s going to take place in downtown Baltimore on Sunday night, if this team goes to the Super Bowl and never seen anything like it, man.
Peter King 02:41
The cool thing to me is that the last time Baltimore was the host team, for an AFC Championship game is for the first AFC Championship Game 53 years ago, and I was looking at up over the weekend after I I didn’t even know that that was the case until after the game when someone I forget in the Ravens locker room mentioned and I said, Wow, that’s and I went back, sure enough, but the coolest thing of all. I mean, I think this is so much fun, is that there’s a University of Louisville quarterback who threw a touchdown pass in that game 53 years ago. And there will be a little University of Louisville quarterback who throws a touchdown pass. Everyone hopes this week at the game. And it’s just very interesting to see the connection. And really and what it says honestly about the sport of football. You know, Johnny Unitas was an absolutely classic pocket quarterback through a beautiful spiral. incredibly smart guy always wanted to call his own plays. And Lamar Jackson is a 2020s NFL quarterback, you better be able to move. But Nestor you know, one of the things that really impressed me about what happened in the victory over Houston is that, you know, it was Lamar Jackson who said to T Martin, and I believe others at halftime Hey, listen, we we’ve got to get out of this. You know these deep balls, we’ve got to we’ve just got to move the chains. We got to call a few more runs. And in the second half. In the first half is average time to throw was 3.5 seconds. In the second half. It was 2.7 seconds, never got sacked. And that’s Lamarr kind of taking ownership taking stuff into his own hands and saying hey, let’s do it. It was a it was almost like it reminded me anyway of like as We talk about it a Unitas moment, what would Johnny Unitas have said to let’s say Shula or Don McCaffrey or whoever, if something wasn’t working, hey, we’re not doing this anymore. We got to fix it. So I like how Lamar kind of took ownership against Houston and really helped turn the tide of this game.
Nestor J. Aparicio 05:21
You’ve written these who’s your stories of the halftime speech, and I mean, the halftime adjustments legitimate, but the halftime speech with the oranges in your mouth that we remember from high school that rah rahs everyone and they make commercials about? I don’t, I’ve never known that to be like a real thing for the most part other than sort of lore of what sports writers would come up with, or somebody would come out with. In this case, I felt like it was very legitimate. Everybody talks about it again, after 38 years, Peter, I’m not a reporter anymore. I’m not there. Right. So this would have been the first thing I would have heard that Lamar gave his speech, the first thing I would have been doing is in the corner with the guard or somebody I know on the team and say, What did he say what the hell happened in here at halftime, and I think as a reporter, there was a there’s a story there that probably leads Purple Rain three if they win this thing a couple of weeks from now, because they had been losing 13 to 10. If the kid doesn’t kick the field goal straight. And then the other part of this is me watching it on TV in my home now. From everywhere they went at halftime. It was a 15 minute referendum on lumbars postseason careers. 15 solid minutes from Scott Van Pelt and Ryan all the way through to bucking. Everybody was piled on to Holy ish, it’s 1010. They might lose. Here we go. And Lamar didn’t feel that way. In the locker room. They had an adjustment. They there’s a story here, right?
Peter King 06:44
Well, I mean, I, I kind of feel the way you feel about halftime speeches. It isn’t that I’m against them. Because obviously, it happens a lot. But I think the only reason I’m against them is that and again, I am going to say something now that you are going to say that you’re going to be surprised to hear me say because it’s a little bit critical of the media. Nesta, it’s an easy story. What changed that game, to me, is the way that Todd Monken started changing how he called the place. And I’m sure that if you’re Todd Monken going into that game. You say, Hey, we’re playing the 23rd rated defense in the NFL. They don’t have a great pass rush. So we are going to take advantage of that. And we have speed finally for Lamar. It isn’t just Hollywood brown being the sole guy. It’s ze flowers. It’s Odell it’s Rashad Bateman. He has legitimate speed at receiver now. So we’re going to take advantage of that. And we’re going to throttle these guys throwing downfield. Well, at halftime, he changed smartly. And Lamar was part of that process. I that’s what I think is a big story. And I’m not saying it’s hard for me to get into the head of guys like Zeidler and, you know, whatever Isaiah likely or whoever it is say, Hmm, well, boy, Lamar went bad crap at halftime. So okay, now we’re going to play harder, and we’re going to do this. I just I believe it’s more about exactly what you do at halftime, not what you say at halftime. Peter King
Nestor J. Aparicio 08:46
is here it is late January. That must mean good things for the Baltimore Ravens. You can read Peters work, of course, everywhere out on Twitter, the original Monday morning quarterback, I missed you on TV from time to time, but it’s nice to catch up with you a couple times a year if we do this. So this story with the ravens and I’ve had Eric shots on the DVOA and all the rankings and how they rank up against others. It’s pretty interesting team from a balance standpoint, defensively. It’s an incredibly interesting team from how it was structured where Eric de Costa goes out at the trading deadline and trades for middle linebacker and gives him a king’s ransom this time last year their quarterbacks hurt didn’t show up with their playoff game piston back and forth over $250 million, only a quarter of a billion dollars. They’re going back and forth. No other team wanted him they dangle them out for some draft picks and you know, give us your quarterback and maybe we can’t match the offer. Maybe they were always going to match the offer that’s fair to constantly answer. But boy has the narrative changed here in 12 months in a in a massive way for John Harbaugh for his legacy for all of it for a whole bunch of guys that this isn’t together for a long time because all these coordinators are getting gigs and a lot of guys like Patrick Queen a lot of these players are going to disappear. This is a one time act they better cash in this way. like, man, they really better went well.
Peter King 10:01
And and Nestor, you know, you brought up two things that I think really are important when you talk about the Ravens one is that think about this. Think about I remember specifically at the league meetings in Phoenix last spring, I polled a lot of people around the NFL, you know, very off the record. Here’s what I would say, I’d say, you know, off the record, I just want to know, I don’t want to assume anything off the record. Do you have any interest in Lamar Jackson, you know, in making them a contract offer. And basically, probably trading, I’d say I think it ended up would have been a one and a two might ended up being two ones. But they have any interest. And I could not find one team that had legitimate interests, there were a couple that I believe had investigated it looked into it. And this doesn’t have to do is with Lamar Jackson’s ability. It has to do with Lamar Jackson’s availability he missed over the previous two years in 21, and 22. Total of 34% of the Ravens offensive snaps because of injury. Now, I would personally I would not have paid him a fully guaranteed contract. It’d be one thing if you know if he were Marcus Semien, and a guy who played every game, and never even in the ninth inning of a 17 to two Game Ever wanted to come out of the game. So in Lamar wasn’t like that it wasn’t like he wanted to get hurt. He just simply was hurt two years in a row. So to me, I would have never done that. However, however, the other aspect of the story is that teams just basically kind of dismissed it. And now you look at it, and you say, okay, so I was in Buffalo for the Kansas City Buffalo game. And I spent some time with Andy Reid after the game. Andy Reid loves Lamar Jackson, loves them. mahomes really, really likes Lamar Jackson. And I think one of the reasons they like Lamar Jackson, is that he leads in his own way. And as sort of a byproduct of that. He his teammates love them. And the only thing that matters is winning, he could give two craps about his stats, because when I was writing about why I picked them for MVP, and I said, I don’t care about stats. And I had a bunch of email to say what do you mean, you don’t care about stats, you always write about stats you write about this. My whole point was, in this particular case, if you watch the Baltimore Ravens play football, you see, excuse me, you see a guy who every game controls the game. And I just simply don’t care if he throws for 58 yards or 358 yards, controls the game controls the line of scrimmage, and he makes everybody on defense a little nervous. Is he going to run is he going to pass and notice very, very rarely does anybody get a big hit on him. So I think the guy’s done a great job. What was
Nestor J. Aparicio 13:34
obviously in the beginning different was like bumper car offense, trying to figure this out trying to get Greg Roman to figure out what to do and trying to get the right personnel to do the things they wanted to do, because he sort of inherited this malling offensive line with Orlando Brown and Marcia yonder going into the hall are really good. And like all that was happening for them in 2018 and 19. But the wide receivers weren’t right, the defense certainly wasn’t what they were, and his maturation and somebody saying, we’re going to put you in the pocket and make you stay there. It never felt like they were going to be able to coach him up to be able to pass the ball, move around and not do the instinctive thing, which is the sticks are right there. And I know I can get there. And that’s all we need to do. And they did that all day in 2019 until they pass and come from behind this notion that he’s looked like Ben Roethlisberger the last 810 weeks, patting the ball moving sideways and finding ze flowers that feels to me to be lethal. And the whole thing about quarterbacks like that he stopped and people are afraid to hit him. We’ve seen guys now fake the slide, quarterback faking a slides. I mean, that’s something I’ve thought about Lamar do it, but my God that would be that’d be against the rules, kind of sort of for having him do that. But he is much more well rounded. And this is really because to your point, Todd Monken has made him that and they’ve made him believe he needs to be that to not get smeared in November.
Peter King 15:01
Yeah, I I like, the way Todd Monken is calling this offense right now, because he understands the key to success with this quarterback is diverse is a diverse play sheet. And that’s how he calls the game. I mean, the other day, I would not have predicted at the end of the game that I would have looked down and seen that Lamar ran for 100 yards, but he ran for exactly 100 yards, not that I didn’t think he was effective in running the ball. But I don’t know, I probably would have said, I don’t know 7075. But very seamlessly and effortlessly almost rushed for 100 yards. And I just think that Todd Monken has it in his head right now. Just keep throwing changeups at a defense. And by the end of the game, they’re gonna look around like I think Houston looked around and said, How did that happen? We were in a 1010 game at the half. And we had Lamar on the ropes. And in the second half, it’s 20 for nothing. And it’s like we didn’t even show up. I just I’m impressed with how he keeps a defense on edge.
Nestor J. Aparicio 16:16
Last thing for it because we do have to go mahomes Come in, in the Baltimore, the only thing he hasn’t done is went on the road i i saw him sort of piss and vinegar and him and buffalo down on the field. Like they said we couldn’t win on the road and everything they’ve ever told Patrick mahomes, they can’t do what he’s done. This would be one right coming into this hellhole here on Sunday against the hot team and the quarterback and the well rounded in the DVOA and all of that, and when and that that would say something about the Kansas City Chiefs. And I know they’re capable.
Peter King 16:47
You know, I I just believe, with Andy Reid and Patrick mahomes, that playing on the road just doesn’t matter. The best team is going to win Sunday. And I don’t believe that as much as everybody in Baltimore I’m sure says all men who were going to make like life hell for Kansas City when they when they come in this week. I don’t think you do that to Patrick moms, you’ve got to be really, really solid. Fundamentally, you probably got to beat up Travis Kelce, a little bit. And you’ve just got to be extremely disciplined in what you do. If I if I started to look at this game, I look at a lot of the people where the cost is collected. You know, and I think great example is to Davian clowny. You know, nobody has wanted him for years. And yet, he goes into a place and he has eight or 10 sacks and make some impact plays. And you look at guys like that, who do cost is gathered. They might be one year players who knows. But those are the guys, I’m telling you, those are the guys who are going to make the difference in this game, I believe because the Ravens have done an excellent, excellent job in making sure that they care who the 46th guy on the roster is. I’m not so sure they’ve done exactly the same kind of job in a place like buffalo. They’re very concerned with the top end of the roster. And they might say they’re concerned with the end of the roster. But that’s where I think the cost is really done a good job, he has built a solid roster and he cares who the 48 4950 of players on the roster are. Those are the guys who are likely to make a huge impact in the championship game. Really
Nestor J. Aparicio 18:49
revolutional thing for 50 years you covering the sport, if Lamar wins a championship and they win with this style, right? It is different than mahomes or other teams winning this. This is a different brand of football than we’ve seen win a championship.
Peter King 19:03
Very and you know the other part of it that I like, is I like quarterbacks who are who they are. And after the game the other day. I said to Lamar, I spent five minutes with him maybe. And I said to him, You know what I remember about the last time he won the MVP. And you could tell he was thinking, what what do you I said, I remember you were in Miami. And you know, that’s your part of the world and he goes, Wait a minute, I’m from Broward. I’m not a Miami guy. But I said okay, but you’re South Florida guy and you’re basically home. And I’m not saying you were miserable, but you were really unhappy. And he goes I was I don’t care about the MVP. I care about winning. And he went through a whole thing a whole reason about What that year taught him and what that year taught him is. Listen, if you’re right there on the doorstep and you don’t win, you’re gonna regret it forever. And I think that’s one of the things that’s really driving Lamar this year.
Nestor J. Aparicio 20:12
Because he’d already have one then he could get to and then he could have all the spinner King has been doing it forever and ever and ever. What do you want me to tell people to find you what’s the best way just add on Twitter would have put but you still write your column. I will get up on Monday morning and read it. You’re in a lot of different places these days. Just
Peter King 20:28
go just go to NBC sports.com Every Monday and look for football Morning in America you’ll find me All right. Well,
Nestor J. Aparicio 20:34
I’m glad I found you as always, I hope I find you over crabcake Are you too in the sphere or in the winner’s circle at the parade in two weeks here? before Valentine’s Day? Oh, you too. crabcakes Peter King. We love Peter King from a find him out on the interwebs you can find me doing crabcake row two weeks from now all the information up at Baltimore positive.com