Former first overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, Mike Vick, headlined a star-studded group of guests on this week’s Chargers Weekly, preparing listeners for the Bolts’ Week 6 Sunday night matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Vick sat down with Chris Hayre and discussed the possibility of becoming a Charger earlier in his career, Vick’s new show “NFL: The Grind,” which premiered on EPIX in September, as well as the former quarterback’s admiration for Philip Rivers.
“I love Philip’s passion for the game, and I love the way he’s just been consistent over the years, and I always admire any quarterback who’s been an iron man for their team,” Vick said. “(He’s) accountable every week, and I always preach that. Accountability at the quarterback position and being present; it reverberates in the locker room and to your teammates, and you know, he can always go to another player and say... ‘I started 200-plus games.’ You gotta be a strong man to do something like that with amazing willpower.”
Additionally, Michele Tafoya, who will be reporting from the sidelines on NBC’s Sunday Night Football coverage, joined Hayre to chat about Rivers, injuries for both teams and the Steelers’ greatest strength.
“The bigger story with the Steelers this year is defensively,” Tafoya said. “They are doing things this year that they weren’t able to do as well last year. Turnovers (and) getting to the quarterback. I think that the changeup in how their defense is designed is making them a little more difficult. That’s going to be something new for the Chargers to look at, as opposed to they looked at (the Steelers) last year.”
Meanwhile, “Good Morning Football” host Kay Adams stopped by the podcast to share her thoughts on what the Chargers need to do against the Steelers to improve to 3-3 before their upcoming two-game road stretch.
“Limiting those mistakes inside the five (yard line), in the red zone, at the goal line,” Adams said. “They aren’t having a problem because of great players like Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen (with) getting the ball down the field, but once you’re there, you have to score. They’re going to have to do that and stop the run. We’ve seen 100-yard rushers against the Chargers on defense this year, (and) that cannot happen.”
Lastly, Steelers Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter, Ray Fittipaldo, chatted with Hayre about Devlin Hodges, the Steelers’ third-string quarterback who may be making his first career NFL start against the Chargers Sunday. Besides mentioning the fact that Hodges grew up in the same part of North Carolina as Philip Rivers, Fittipaldo analyzed what he saw from Hodges last week, concluding that the lights won’t be too bright for the 23-year-old on Sunday night.
“He was a guy that was way off the radar, even though he was a record-setting quarterback at Division 1 AA Samford…Tell you what, he came in there against the Ravens in what could have been a field-goal-winning drive…This guy will not be afraid of the moment, and this guy will be ready for it, believe me.”
On this week’s edition of Playmakers, Lisa Webster, mother of Chargers center Mike Pouncey and his identical twin brother, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, joined host Hayley Elwood. The proud and busy mother discussed raising two boys who have accomplished their dreams of playing in the NFL, what football means to their family and more.
“Football brings all of us together,” Webster said. “We take turns going from Pittsburgh to California. As soon as the schedules come out, I’m highlighting (and) figuring out which games we’re going to.”
Webster, who also works a full-time job, added that all this coordination “keeps me on my toes.”
Although Mike won’t be playing, Webster and her family will be attending this Sunday’s game as her sons’ teams face off on Sunday Night Football at ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park.
“I’m super proud of them,” Webster said of her sons. “Not only have they accomplished NFL stuff, (with) the Pro Bowl and everything (Mike is a four-time Pro Bowler, while Maurkice has made the Pro Bowl seven times). They do a lot for their communities. They’re great fathers, they’re great sons, great brothers, (and) they’re great guys all-around. They’re humble, they help out a lot of people, (and) they take good care of our family...They get along with everybody.”
On Sunday, the family will be wearing customized jerseys with the Chargers’ colors on the front and the Steelers’ on the back, and vice versa.
Kicker Michael Badgley and defensive end Isaac Rochell were back at it again this week on Backstage: Chargers with special guest Austin Ekeler. In addition to talking about getting slept on by college scouts after scoring 43 touchdowns his senior year of high school and the evolution of Ekeler’s rockstar celebration, the running back discussed his “gamer” mentality:
“People ask me, ‘Who do you compare yourself to?’” Ekeler said. “I don’t really compare myself to other people. You see it in the stats, and that’s great, but for me, you can’t really compare yourself to anyone else besides yourself in the past…I want to be the best that I can be.”