Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 1 year ago

Doug Whaley

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

    Doug Whaley is the current Senior Vice President Of Football Operations for the XFL. Before that, he was the General Manager of the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL) from 2013-2017. Before joining The Bills, Whaley spent 11 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers as the team’s Pro Scouting Coordinator, where he won two Super Bowls. Whaley worked directly under Kevin Colbert, who is the Director Of Football Operations. In his time with the Steelers, Whaley helped scout and draft defensive players such as Lamarr Woodley, Troy Polamalu & Lawrence Timmons. Doug was born In Columbus Ohio and then moved to Pittsburgh as a teenager and attended Upper St. Claire High School. He went onto play college football at the University of Pittsburgh.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Welcome everyone to huddle up with gusts, where we talked to our guests about how sports shape their life. I'myour host, Gusts Farrat, fifteen year NFL quarterback, and I'm joined bymy all time friend and Co host, Dave Hagar. You can now findus under the big top on sports circus with south a ring master, onamp TV, AA, MP tvcom and you can also find us on RADIOCOMor wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. Hello everyone, this is gust ratwith huddle up with Gust fifteen, your NFL quarterback. I'm here withmy cohost, Dave, I guess, and you know, we are broughtto you by the western Bonda Venture Hotel Out in beautiful Los Angeles, ifyou get a chance to go there and stay. And you can also findus under the big top at the sports circus on amp TV and saw thering master is really kind enough, Dave, to host us. So we're excitedthat you can see us now on am TV, on the sports circusand also find us on RADIOCOM. Today, Dave, we have another great guest. As usual. He's going to fill us in on what the xflis about. And what they're doing and how they're going to progress. Sojoining us in the huddle right now, Doug Wailey. Doug, great tohave you and thanks for joining us. Gus and David's my pleasure. Iappreciate you having some time for me today now. We appreciate it. Sowhere we always start and what we want to ask you first is, canyou think back to when you were a kid and that fost moment where youfell in love with sports? Right, it could have been baseball, football, whatever it was, but give us said kind of inner, inner spiritof where you were and how you fall in love with sports. Live olderbrother, he's five years older than me, and he was heavily involved in sportsat a young age, football and wrestling and baseball, and my fatherwas his coach in Midget League football. So he would I would go topractice with them and that was my introduction to sports and my love of Sports, and I actually ended up fipping on my age because I was young andtold the organization I was six when I was actually five, just to startplaying early. So I was in love with especially football, at a veryyoung age. Well, you were probably like David I. We watch thesteelers growing up. So were you a steelers fan growing up? Actually,a lot of people I claimed Pittsburgh from home as my hometown, but Iwas actually born in Columbus, Ohio and moved around a lot as a kid. I didn't move to Pittsburgh until I was in ninth grade. So Ibecome a became a Pittsburgh steeler fan. When I grew up we were inColumbus, it was the Cincinnati Bengals. I also, once I moved aroundto West Virginia, I started looking. I was actually a chargers Fan,but obviously once I came to stealer country it was all over. I'm asteeler fan. I've been a steeler fan growing up. So Great. Sowhen you would go out when you were a kid and you'd go out andplay youth football, who is that player? You wanted to be? Chuck Muncy, Chuck Months, and then when I was on defense, it wasRonnie Lott. Did you wear the Chuck Muncy glasses? I didn't, butI had not enduring the games, but around the school I would every oncein a while and if it was Ronny Lot, you have all your fingersstill. You all good? Oh Yeah, actually, when I go off nowI still take my fingers like Ronnie Lot now, you know, andyou know that's kind of where we all kind of fall into play. Weall had people that we emulated and wanted to be like. For me itwas Terry Bradshaw growing up here in Pittsburgh, and then every pirate I love.I wanted to be a pirate because my dad would listen to him onhis transistor Radio Swell on the back porch all the time and and you know, he didn't have a lot to complain about the pirate it's not like wedo today, Dave. No, we can have fifty consecutive podcasts on theproblems of the pirates. I think, yeah, I tell you this much, and I'm a glutton for punishment. I'm still I still go to gamesand, unfortunately, I support them. What it has done, though,I think it's in a bad way. It's soured me on the pirates,but is also has made me appreciate the game a little more. So I'mgoing to pirate games, looking at other players and just being out there andenjoying the sport, which is a sad sate to be and as a piratefan. What was your expectation of where you were going to be, whatyou wanted to do, moving on into college, moving on into your aftercollege life. Yeah, after college I was really studied to be a stockbroker, so studying for my series seven and sixty one just to sell stock.So while I was doing that I was volunteering with my high school coach atUpper St Clair, Jim Render, and so during the fall I'd study duringthe day, at night go help them and are the defensive coordinator for him. At the time. Was Jimmying got...

...and Jim actually coached with the steelersdirector of football operations at that time, Tom donahoe. So, long andshort of it, he was asking me what I was doing. I toldhim I was going to go to New York to be a stock proper andhe asked if I ever thought about coaching. I was like, I'm not reallydidn't want to do a coaching he said what about personnel, and Isaid hadn't thought about that. So he told me to write a letter ofthe interest to Tom Donahoe and I wrote a letter and then I got aletter back from Tom Saying Hey, know, appreciate you a new knew everything aboutyou from following you at St Clair and Pitt but we don't have anythingat the time. So I've stocked out away. Didn't think anything of it. Was in New York for a whole year and then my mom called meand said, hey, that guy named Tom Donno called you. You wantto call him back? Called him back and there was an internship that theyhad in the personnel department for the steelers. It was a year with an option. I talked to my boss, is in New York selling stock andthey said, well, you have actually a year of inactivity on your licensethat you don't wouldn't have to retake the test. Why don't you try itand after the year we can reassess? And the rest is history, becausethat year we went to sit the super bowl with the against the cowboys andPhoenix, and then that spring I actually got on as the northeast scout forthe Seattle seahawks. What is it like to be a scout? I meanI've known a lot of scout in my time in the NFL, but whatis it like to be a scout as far as do you just have acertain territory or you going to every galege game? Were you were you ascout for players already in the NFL or college scount? I don't. I'mnot sure how that works. So I started as a college scout. Sothe northeast. So I took the northeast region. So I had from Maineall the way to Virginia, all the way west to Michigan and Indiana.So that was my region and what I would do is I would go toevery school in that region that had a senior prospect that we thought was worthyof being evaluated. So I would be on the road. I go tocamp at with Seattle for a probably two weeks in August just get acquainted withthe team that we have, the players we had on the team, andthen start making my schedule and then and I'd be on the road from Septinto August all the way till November. After November there's a little down timeand then in December and January you start look going to Allstar Games and thenafter January you get ready for the combine combines in February. After the Februarycombine, then you'd do the pro days in March and then you fly backearly April and you have draft meetings from April all the way till the draft. Then after draft you you get look at the supplemental draft guys and thenyou really have some downtime in June and July. So do you have youwhen you were a college scout, do you claim to say I'm the guywho found him? Right, we have any guys like that? Like well, I mean there's always a diamond in the rough. I know that Dougwhalley went out and found somebody. Well, the way you look at especially whenyou're when you're a college scout, there's going to be at least twoor three other people that evaluate those players, but you're the the point person,as my dad was. He was in Vietnam and and then military.He was the Recon so college scouts are the reconnaissance people that really go outcanvas their area and point out the guys that Upreschel on. People like thedirectors, the college directors, the player personnel directors in the GM's and thecoaches need to watch. So when you when you're really making a pick,it's a collective thing where everybody's going to add their two cents. Again,the first person is a college scout in a plate, then a player,Personnel Director College, then maybe a GM and then a coach will all sitthere and give their two or three cents about what they think about this playerand then then you come up with a team grade. And so yeah,you can say, Oh, I found this guy, but there's a lotof other people that go into make it a pick. So, Doug whenyou're like so you're in the Northeast as a college scout and you are obviouslylooking at the physical capabilities and how they are as a player. Are youable at that point to talk to them at all? Do you have anypersonal interaction? No, not, not during the fall. Most of thepersonal interactions come during the allstar games, during the combine in the spring.When it's the fall, you want those guys to be focused on their theirjob at hand, and that's being the best football player and helping their teamwhen we don't want to be in there distracting them, having them thinking abouttheir next step and and the NFL's in the pros. We want to makesure they're concentrating on being the best that they can be. So you havethe seriou. I think you were there...

...for ten years. Is that right? Yes, what was where did you end up with the steelers. Likewhat was your last job? My last job was pro personnel coordinator. Sowhen I when I'm with that job, that was more veteran free agency.So I was looking at all guys that were I did a little college justto stay in that, but my main focus was advanced scouting for our coaches. So I'd always be a week ahead. We opened up with Baltimore, Iwould make sure I'd watch Baltimore's last two preseason games and go to thosegames. If our second opponent was Kansas City, I'd go to Kansas City'sfirst game. So advance report to make sure we can whatever we can't getoff film if we can get some stuff at at the Games, like Oh, this guy was injured. Well, did he come back out or didthey take them into the the to the locker room, and how long wasin your rocking room? Or Oh, I saw him. He was outfor the rest of the game, but I saw him running on the sidelines. So little things like that that you could pick up that you can't pickup on film I would do. But for the scouting purposes. Was Allunrestricted free agency. Restricted free agency, any injury placements during the year oranything that we need to do add or subtract practice squadwise. So how doesthat work? You literally just think have a list of tackles, you havea list of the safeties, and that's yes, really, yeah, it'sit's yeah, it's all the emergency list. It's emergency list and it's always it'salways changing and it's one of those things where you can never get atotal handle on it because there's always going to be some guys getting cut,getting waves, some guys getting on injured reserves and there's always new guys comingin every year. So it's a fluid situation, but you really have tojust a kind of get compassite as best you can. Have a lot ofpeople. We got actually have our college scouts help during the preseason. Theywould go out and look at preseason games to help us build our board offor emergency replacements. Do you think the current system for during the season,when a player gets hurt and you have to bring a replacement in, andyou know, say it's a left tackle, your left tackle gets hurt, you'regoing to put somebody else in, but then you got to bring anotherguy in, and do you think that system is efficient. How the NFLdoes that now, or do you think there's a better way to do that, because I know you got to fly in ten guys and then you're goingto pick the best out of ten guys who've all been at the gym onlyand not really working under skills so well that that a you just saw servedme up a softball and it's one of the things that we have done atthe xfl is because of that situation because, like you said, when you're especiallythe later you get in the season, you don't know how well these guyshave stayed in shape and and anybody that's been a competitor knows there's adifference in being in shape running around in shorts and Tshirt and then being inactual physical shape to play a sport. So what we decided to do atthe xfl because of that. We have a forty man what we call teamnine, and it's forty guys from all different positions in Dallas actually working andpracticing every day. So when we have injury replacement we know these guys haveare in shape and are ready to play, and in shape not just in shorts, but they put on helmets and shoulder pads and have been practicing forfour or five days for multiple weeks in rows. So there is some inefficiencies in the NFL side of it, but also that that they're in adifferent level than us. But we thought this would be a very unique wayto help that's that process further and be more efficient. So they're going throughpractice, or so you have a you know, they're going through all thegame plans there. You know they have to go to different types of systems, right. Well, so what we did is, what will we do? A lot of most of the guys that are in team nine were incamp with a team, one of our teams, and what we'll do thereis it's a lot of more fundamental things. So they'll do some one on ones, wide receivers, dbsoline, D line, nine on seven and sevenon seven and just general concepts, because guys can't get picked up from frommaybe not a team that they went to the camp with but another team.So but we just want to make sure they have no general concepts, whichmost of them do, but be able to show them in competitive situations tothe team so that all the every practice gets pushed out to every team sothey can constantly evaluate those guys on team nine to see, one if there'san injury, where they which guy they want to go or if those guyscan upgrade over somebody that isn't playing as well on the active roster. Formjust like having a ready bullpattern right. Well, what you need that.And then you know Jim's orange going to...

...call plays differently than then you knowanother coach from other team, who's the coach that came from Oklahoma, bopsteps, Bob Soup, so he's going to call it different kind of offensethan Jim Zorns and which your quarterbacks just basically need to understand how to throwa comeback and you know just that timing, because if you're late on any ofthat because you haven't been thrown to the proper people, there's no wayyou can go to a game and be accurate, correct, correct and andone of the things that when we talk about concepts is, yeah, it'ssomeone I say call it a comeback, some my might call it a stopor whatever, but if you know the general concept, you just have toadjust your brain to what they're labeling it. Well, Doug, as you know, I played with seven teams and had adjust my brain every year andI don't know if that was a good thing or bad thing, but itis very hard to do because that language, it's like learn a foreign language whenyou go from digitsus Somem the West Coast to these in betweens and tryingto figure it out west coast is very the verbiage is real long and drawnout. But you know, it's interesting that you guys are doing that.I'm really glad you are, because that's going to help your your game asit goes to keep the best athletes playing. At the time. It was interestingto hear about after your first week. A lot of the players were saying, but we went through camp and everything, but until you get inthe game and go through games situations, you don't know what kind of shapeyou're in exactly. Yeah, no doubt, and that was another reason we thoughtabout this team nine and a thing that is going to help us aswell because of our play clock being twenty five seconds and it's starting to mimicwhat a lot of these players are used to coming out of college, andI know the West Coast it's a lot of verbiage, but because we havesuch such short amount of time, in between plays. Our offenses are startingto be real condense and concise with how they play called play. So it'smore two, three word play calls instead of those fifteen, sixteen word playcalls that you're used to, because you just don't have the time to dothat. So that's more reasons why we start thinking. Let's talk about concepts, because concepts. Now they may just call inside zone Detroit or so.Once you know that and you say, okay, it's inside zone, nomatter what they call it, you know the concept. Always. I alwayssaid that, like what do we have to tell everybody what to do?We're all freaking adults here. We can all get her playbook and learn.And I got to stand in a huddle say seventeen word plays just so Icould tell a fullback to run a flat. Like, exactly, what does ithave to happen? But you know, the other interesting thing is that youguys do well is you put a head set in in every offensive playershelmet except the lineman. Correct, correct, correct, and that's if you lookat it, and that takes a good four to five seconds off ofevery play because you don't have to huddle up. And then another thing thatwe didn't even think about unintend the consequences. That's a positive thing is your receiversaren't running as much because they're not running into the huddle and then runningback out to where they need to be when they're split out. So theycan just stay where they are. Sometimes they may have to cross the formationif they have to line up on the other side, but you're decreasing theamount of running they're doing by maybe at least a mile of a game ormaybe even more, right and you're still doing all the RFY detags on themto track them as well. Not this year. We're going to start nextyear, though. Yes, it'll really tell you. Oh, yeah,absolutely. Um. Do tell us about the transition then from being pro personaldirector of the steelers to then becoming general manager of the bills. How didthat happen? Well, it was right around two thousand and ten when BuddyKnicks became the gem of the bills. He interviewed me and I first wentup there as assistant GM under Buddy Knicks and that was where I got exposureto already been with the personnel under college, Doing College and then pro. Sonow I got exposed to negotiating contracts at a higher level. I'll didit as a smaller level with the steelers, but really immersed into contract negotiations andthen dealing and knowing the basics of the cat and how to manage that. So that was a nice step for me and gradual step in my maturationto get to the ultimate goals being at GM. And then was the assistantGM under buddy for three years and then two thousand and fourteen he decided tostep away and I turned into the GM. Was Blessed enough to have that opportunityand from there it's it opens up your eyes because, as they say, the further you get up, get promoted in your field, the lessactual of work that you do to get you to that feel that you get. Have to be aware of because what you do is you start doing thatgeneral managing instead of actual working and personnel. And so that that was the biggestdifference for me is instead of just always worried about s scouting and gettingthe best players, now it's scouting players,...

...cap coaching, strengthen conditioning, trainers. So now you got to start overseeing all of that Stuf, equipmentdoing. Yeah, you're doing with the owner more right like you had it. Absolutely agents travel, so it it's an encompassing job. That it wasvery enlightening. So, like, how many people is a general manager ofan NFL team see you as their boss or reporting to you? I meanit's five thousand and sixty or like. Well, if you look at players, well, EST Claire's. Yeah, let's say in the spring you haveninety players, let's say conservatively, coaching staffs around twenty five. So yourone hundred and fifteen. Then you got a personnel to partner in a numbertwenty. So you're talking about the trainer, strength and conditioning, close to betweenone hundred and fifty and one hundred and eighty people. Wow, yeah, that's a lot. That's a lot. And then there's always somebody that leavesor and you got to or that you'll have to, you know,fire or you know you're going in a new direction. Those conversations can't beeasy. You know that, especially when people that have endor for years andyou just the ownerships. We got to move in a new direction. Dugingwhat you take care of it. You're like, Oh, okay, Igotta yeah, it's good, it's not easy. Yeah, that, buteverybody knows what type of business we've signed up for and you try to keepit professional when everybody knows it's not. But it's not personal, it's professional, it's just business. So again, not easy conversations. I've been onboth sides of them. Fun But it's it's just the business. Ward ofthat war in was Anthony Lynda coach when you were there. He was aninterim coach. He was there here. Yeah, yeah, he was.He up was started the running back coach and then went to the OC andthen the interim coach. So I was with him for two years. Excellentcoach. We played together in Denver. That's how old, almost old belt. Wow, yeah, how about that? I got a great ant of thein story, but we can't talk about it on the air because Idon't know if it's it's good for as most weird. It's an Anti LynnMarshal aire story. So something I'll tell you guys. It's it's pretty funny. It's my favorite go to when we're hanging out when I when I comeback last yeah, yeah, I'll tell you that. A Land Story.Yeah. So then now you're at the bills. You were there. Youtalked about how you know it doesn't work out. So how was that?You know, the ownership came to you and said we're moving in different directionafter yeah, it was two thousand and seventeen. Ever after the draft.Walked in said we're going in a different direction. I thank them. Imean, obviously they could have moved on for me when they bought the teambecause when I got promoted to the to the GM position, I Ralph Wilsonwas the owner and then when Ralph Wilson passed the the pagoulas bought the team. They actually came in and they kept me. So they gave me ashot to stay on his GM when they first got it. They didn't haveto appreciate it that and that that year it was two thousand and seventeen,I took the whole year off. That that next year didn't didn't get intofootball at all. Did some other things outside of football, some other interestthat I started to investigate. And then that next year in two thousand andeighteen, I ended up the NFLPA approached me about handling their NFLPA Collegian Allstargame, which is an Allstar game that they put in every year Passadena,California for guys that have exhausted their college ill was ability and it's and it'sall star game. Give them another shot to get in front of Scouts,to show them, the scouts, how well they can play. And obviouslythat's when they start having interview. The interview process so the scouts can andany other team personnel can get to know the players personally. Valet stay andplay in your next getaway to Los Angeles, the Western Bonaventure Hotel suites offers effortlessaccess to all the city of angels has to offer, whether you're hopingto catch a concert or sporting event. Our hotels just moments from all theaction and accessible to Hollywood, beaches, museums and theme parks. The packageincludes a guest room and valet parking. For reservations, use Promo Code PSFand the code box when making your online reservation, or call one two,one hundred and three, six, two four one thou and ask for PromoCode PSF. Well, it's funny. I coach in that game and twothousand and nineteen, so I don't think you were there that you're night.Coached under Mike tys, okay, that offensive coordinator, and that year Ireally enjoyed it. I mean I put a lot of work and a lotof effort in trying to make it plays as easy as possible in five daysto give these guys an understanding of, you know, what we're calling andwhat routes are going to be running all of that. But it was agreat experience, that only for me,...

...but for the kids and and Ithought the NFL PA to, you know, a good job. And you know, they're not bringing in the high level guys, are not bringing inthe top guys from Alabama, Ohio State and all that. They're giving alot of guys that would normally to get a shot a shot to go andshow that what they can do in an all star game. And that wasthe thing that was the most exciting and intriguing for me because it went back, it got me back to my pure just scouting days, as saying,hey, everybody sees that first and second and third round Guy, but thisguy there's something about him I really liking. If he gets more exposure then itwill help his draft stocks. So it got back to that part ofthe genesis of me and this business, and that's just that pure let's identifysome talent and make them get their talent exposed to other people to help bettertheir draft positioning. Right. So we had a kid day that your eyecoach running back from slipper rock. Okay, yeah, then when it came outand played, I think he was made it to the league and Idon't know if he's feeling a team or not, but you know, hewas pretty good. He had a great understanding of the game. He madesome plays while he was out there, did really good on special teams.Those are all the things that we try to, you know, preach tothose kids were in there, when they're in the meetings, you know thatit's not just what your position is offensively or defensively, but most of youguys can make a team by being good on special teams as well. Absolutelyposition flexibility and ability to play teams, and that's a lot of things thatthese young guys when they go into all star Games, they finally start seeingthe importance of it, because a lot of these guys are all stars andthey're coming from their college program where they just usually played offense or defense.They didn't have to make their mark on the special teams to get noticed.So these are things and then add to the fact that they're getting coach,especially at the NFLPA and and all these and even the senior bowl. Youcan coach coach by pro teachers and pro coaches and pro players, expro players, so they understand what is going to be expected of them once they stepinto an NFL building. Dug, you've interviewed a ton of players as ageneral managers, scout setter at combines and everything. Um, have there beenmany players that have, I guess, talk themselves out of injury? Yourinterests, like you had to your real high and a guy, and thenyou talk to him and you're like Whoa? Yes, yes, there is.And then I look at it this way. Football players are across sectionof just people in general. So you're going to have some really intelligent people, you're going to have some people that struggling, they're gonna have some reallygargay's, brilliant out their personalities that people are really drawn to, and thenthere's some people that are really kind of introverted. So you have that wholespectrum and and there are some guys that can definitely talk themselves out of you'relike who, I like them, but wow, stuff. That said,there's some mysteries that that he's dealing with or we would have to deal withif we decided to have him on our team. Right. So, Hey, real quick, I want to go back to the bills, because onething always wanted is as a GM you have a lot icons have played forthe bills. Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Emmett, am it and not init, but Theurman, Thomas, theremon, yes, a lot ofother guys like juice. Yeah, juice, but you know, how did youdeal with those guys coming back and trying to be a part of thebills and always wanting to be around? Is that's something the goals really wantedto make make part. You know, because I will. I know someother no doubt about it. Don't know. Yeah, know that that we asa button the buffalo and it's such a tight nick community. I don'tknow if this is still the stat but at one point the bills and buffalohad the highest amount of Lumni players still in the area. So yeah,so that we opened up our arms and had nothing but respect and anytime thoseguys could come back and and be a part of whatever we were doing,it was it was benefit us and it's pays homage to the history and thereason why buffalo is still considered has fans are everywhere and considered organization that hada nice run that probably won't be seeing or duplicated again and how I wouldsay in my lifetime. But to go to four straight super bowls just becauseof the way the system is set up now, that that would be very, very hard to comment. Parity is too much. Know, and Idid hear Jim Kelley throws amazing parties when when he was back in his day. Back in his day, not now so much. There's a different,different Jim Kelley now. But you know, back in the day Jim grew upand he's Brady, which was like twenty minutes from where I grew up. Yes, been PA here. So actually my wife's Dad, Harry,he coached all JIM's brothers in high school.

So okay's like there's some crazy connection. My cousin Mitch played for the bills a long time ago, youknow, so there's some bills connection to go way back for me. Butthat's it. Really interesting that you say that. How teams need to bringthose people in because there's nothing better than somebody who's been to the top somany times and come back in and talking to your team or talking to somebodywho's having problems and saying, you know, hey, this doesn't last forever,but if you do it right and you do it the right way andwork hard, then it could be great. Yes, yes, you, andit's all about history. Know your history and if you know your history, or better chance to realize what, like you said, what it takesto get to that, that point where work. That was everybody's goal isto get to the Super Bowl. Right. So how did you get now fromworking with the NFLPA that that bowl, to xfl? I mean that's aninteresting jomp. Yeah, I was with the NFLPA and then a itwas I'm trying to think, probably mid made at Fall Octoberish, and Igot a call from recruiter asking if I'd be interested in talking to Oliver Luckabout the xfl. And, as someone taught me a long time ago,it cost you nothing to listen. So I had interview with Oliver Luck,came here to Stanford Connecticut. We talked what they were trying to do andwhat the XFL is all about really interest me and it was about reimagining or, I always say, just evolving the game. This game is the NFLand football is at the highest level it can be. It's a great game, but there are just like anything, there are little things that we canalways make better and we can always evolve, and the things that they wanted todo to evolve the game, I thought, fit very well with howpeople are consuming their sports and entertainment these days and I think it was itwas going to be a natural fit and a natural flow that these little minortwigs that a lot of people and you're going to have the purest, andabsolutely there's always purest that want to stick with the pure purity and sanctity ofwhat they're watching now. But if you look at the younger generations, they'rethey're they're evolving and they're saying, well, yeah, that's great, but wouldn'tthe game be a little better if we did this, this and this? So that was the mindset that I've had and the XFL had and itwas a natural fit. I'm imagining like at the beginning of the XFL,there's just a big grease board and everybody come up and rite you're crazy ideasdown and we're just going to go through and we want to see what allweek we come up with and where we can change the rules. And,you know, I think some of the rule change you guys have made,like shortening the clock, getting more plays out there, making the kickoff morecompetitive without trying to mass injuries, you know, because everybody running down tosomebody who's standing still forty yards is is kind of insane, like exactly.And some of the things we did, like you said, are we're commonsense thing and there were some of the things that we had that were outthere that we didn't put in there. So we've had, we've gone througha lot of iterations of rules and we shortened them and got them concise tothe point where the main thing is we didn't want to to come across gimmicky. And from this we just ended week three and every review we've I've seenor that's been out there, people have been this is interesting, but noone said, oh, it's a gimmick. So that was one of the mainthings we didn't want to do. We wanted to make sure when peopletune in, they knew it was football, but it was a football that theythought, hey, I like that. Oh that's interesting. Oh, thatmakes sense and that makes the game safer, more and competitive and justsomething that as evolved just like, like I said, just like people's howthey consume their sports entertainment as welld and we hope bar our game has involvedto help keep up with that. Well, I think you guys are doing andthe gimmicky things in other ways, not for the players health and safety, but, you know, letting us listen into what the coaches are allsaying, you know, putting headsets and everybody's helmet, hearing what the quarterbacksyou know, brock hereds, going out and interviewing guys right on the fieldafter a touchdown. It's like crazy. How you know you're loosening up therestrictions that the NFL put on everything, you know, and now you evenhave what's the celter? You guys are drinking after the game, but likeSeltzer, but I seltzer and the one dude, the I think it wasa linebacker, Dave. He just took the CAN, ripped it off,drunk through it, like it was like hey, hey, that's what everybodywants to do. So exactly's making a gimmicky and entertainment in other ways thatare that people really enjoy and it's not gimmicky. Gimmicky's doing an injustice,you know, seeing saying even though we're getting gimmicky, was there the oldxfl? The way they do? They'd run to the center to grab right, right, right. That's it's it's...

...still a game. We know.Yeah, yes, that's what we want to do. When you turn onthe TV or are going to the stadium, you say, Oh, this isfootball, but the access and the other things that you're not used tofrom the NFL or from college, that's where we start drawing in our fans, saying hey, listen, we're going to give you more access, becausethat's what a lot of people want. Hey, what are they saying inthe in the huddle? What are they say? How is a quarterback andat a court, at a head coach communicate during the game? What's goingon in at halftime, in the locker room, stuff like that. Hey, someone just scored. Let's hear what his raw emotions after he scored orraw emotions after he made an interception or a big play. So those arethe type of things that are going to draw some fans and and fans wantand that's how they've evolved to consume their entertainment. I think what they shoulddo, Dave, is not take the players but have two fans who canrun out and try to get the ball from the goalies and get the ball. It could be I could take a long time. Yeah, yeah,no, but you slam and Bud light felter go get the ball. Butthen you got guys pulling hamstrings. You don't know now, but that's athat's a you guys got to you gotta Create Your Fan Base, you know. Yeah, I think you're doing it in the right way and you're gettingthat out there and it just got to build it and I think if youkeep that purity of the game but take some of those things that are sorestrictive in the NFL off, I think you guys are doing it the rightway and it's it's actually a lot of fun to watch and that's what we'relooking for. We want fun, Fan Fan and family friendly football that peoplecan go out on an affordable way and enjoy. So that that's our goal. So what is your actual like? What are your duties for you dayin and day out being in the XFL? Well, as a best way todescribe it as I'm the Troy Benson of the xfl. So anything thattouches the football field, be a players, coaches, trainers, facilities, anythingthat's going to affect the game that is being played as under my jurisdiction. And so anything for football ops. And then I'll make sure that anymajor decisions that have to be made I've bet them and then pass them alongto the commissioner. So that that's my day to day. So during theweek right now I'll watch all four games to make sure the play if there'sanything going on that is opposite of what we're trying to do achieve rules.Wise, I'll talk to all the coaches to see if there's anything that cameup this week that they need help rectifying or if there's any issues that weneed to look at broadly and maybe expand something from a leaguewide system and justmake sure everybody on our eight teams feel they have everything they need to competefor a championship get their teams ready to compete for any championship right. So, if I think back to some of my days in the NFL, theNFL changed a lot from the fifteen years I was in there. Right whenI first got in there, we could have a hat deal with a certaincompany and where that had after the game and during the game and you getto pay a little extra money, especially if you're back up. That's likegreat, because I wasn't making the money. The third was, are you lettingthe players do things like that, or are you guys saying we're aNike, Nike League or under Armor League? How are you guys approaching that kindof aspect to help the players maybe try to make more money? Well, right now we're just because we're in the infancy of our league. It'sgoing to be we're going to do league deals, so it's going to bewhen we're going to try to build it as an xfl brand and then oncewe get really established and then have a chance for guys to break off andmaybe do stuff that something will consider down the road. But right now wewant to establish, like I said, the brand of the xfl and thenafter that maybe have the chance for for the players to be able to breakoff and do something on their own, because you don't even know who yourxfl stars are going to be a exactly exactly. So it's hard for toput the cart before the horse or right now. So we want to makesure as a league we set some some some roots and some ground positioning sowe can spring board forward for not only the League but the players. Howdid you guys do the contracts are all the same or is it putting onposition or you know, we have a core standard contract where probably ninety percentof our league is has and has signed now we did. Our quarterbacks arein different contracts and there's some specific players that we targeted that we needed togo above core to get them in our league. But I like I said, ninety percent our players as core contract. One of the things that in ourresearch talking to fans, they wanted. They wanted a little more compensation tiedto the competitiveness of the game,...

...as in a winning bonus. Soeverybody's going to get a winning bonus. And then another part of our contractthat's a little unique, but it's not as distant as an NFL contract,because a lot of guys do have that Game Day activation bonus. Right,if you're active, you're going to get bonus. So everybody that's active getsa bonus for our guys. So there's we have fifty two guys on theroster. Forty six game day active. So those forty six guys will getan act game day active bonus on top of their base salary. And thenany every winning team we have a basically a hundred hundred thousand plus dollars thatgets split up from the as bonuses for the winning team. That's good.That's kind of like making the pro bowl. You want to win because it's adifference between twenty Fivezero and Tenzero. Right. Yes, definitely. Nowtell us about so the seasons. So we've just completed week three. Whereis the championship game? What's it called? WHAT'S THE SCENARIO THERE? It's goingto be in Houston, Texas, at tdcu stadium, which is onthe University of Houston, and the April Twenty six, and right now it'scalled the xfl champion chip. We're still designing the trophy and looking at whatthe winners will get. There's been some things talked about, but once wedecide, will make sure everybody knows what we're going to do. There,Start Your Day sunny side up at the Weston Bonaventure Hotel and sweets and enjoybreakfast for two on us. No matter how you plan to spend your tripto Los Angeles, start every day with a hearty meal to kickstart your morning. Enjoy breakfast for two on us for each day you stay for reservations.Be sure the Promo Code S Ford B appears in the Promo codebox when makingyour online reservations at Marriottcom. BACKSLASH LA xbw or call one eight hundred twoto eight ninety, two hundred and ninety and ask for Promotional Code S forB. I think if you're an xfl champion, you shouldn't get a ring, you should get a belt. All right, that day, like Isaid once, we to side. Everybody know you ret my there. Something'sbeing talked about, but nothing has been decided yet. All right, hey, we're going to go into our no huddle real quick. This is wherewe fire some questions at you and then, you know, fire the question theanswers back. But I'm going to do a little intro here real fast. So okay, hey everyone, thanks for joining us again. On HOWDOUP WITH GUSS? I'm here with Dave and you know we want you towatch us on RADIOCOM and we really appreciate you tune and in to hear thisepisode with Doug Walley and you can also see us under the big top atthe sports circus with ring master sal and also on amp TV. So,Doug, we're now into the no huddle. Dave always fires first of Dave,let him does. who were two or three players right now? Iknow you have to remain neutral, but that you're excited about who the league'sexcited about. who kind of emerged is hey, these guys might be maybethe next face of the XFL. Well, PJ Walker, the quarterback in Houston. He's played really well. I think right now he is a leagueleader for the MVP. Yesterday, Josh Johnson. He had missed the firstgame because injury, and week two you could see some promising things and hewas just a little off here and there. He had a big game this pastweekend. And then the wide receiver out of for Houston, Mr Phillips. He's got to think, a total of seven or eight total touchdowns.So He's Cam Phillips. He's shown a lot and those three guys right noware pretty much the face of the offensive explosion in the XFL. It's awesome. What is the one? What is the biggest surprise that you and Olliverof had and you didn't really see it coming. I think the biggest surprisefor us is that the rules that we did institute that are a little differentthan the NFL or that all over college, all over football in the football universe, are now that the conton what we were trying to achieve with thoserules have that they're really achieving those goals and there's no unintended consequences where we'relike, oh, we didn't think of that and that's going against what wewere trying to achieve by instituting that rule. So the rule changes have come tofruition the way we thought and there hasn't been any backlash or anything thatwe didn't think of that's come up to make our debt was detrimental to ourgame. Now, as a personal evaluator, what is your biggest pet peeve?Biggest pet peeve, I would say,...

...is everybody focusing in on one partof the process. What I will we always used to say, isthe process takes a full year and it starts from fall camp and it goesall the way till draft day. So you want to make sure you haveevery bit information before you put that final draft grade on it and it's easyfor media to say, well, guess what, after this guy should bea second rounder. But they don't do they don't know about the medical theydon't know about the conversations you have in the mental and all the other aspectsthat go into putting a final draft grade on a player and stacking them onthe board. So if the media says this guy should be a first rounderand he goes in the third round, then it's hey, the whole NFLmissed because we say he's a first rounder. But they're some other parts of thethe process that go into making that grade and that's probably, for me, my biggest pet pete. So what do you think the XFL like?What do you guys talk about? Is as we want to be a leaguethat competes with the NFL. We want to be a league that can candrive players to the xfl. What is that the what does that goal foryou guys? Our goal is to be a standalone professional football league that helpswith the ecosystem of football at people love football, people should love more football, people should love opportunities for players, coaches, strength coaches, video guys. Were trying to just have a standalone league where people, and instead ofthem going in the doldrums after the Super Bowl, say, oh guess what, I have another ten to twelve more weeks of football that we're not tryingto compete with the NFL. We're not trying. As I say, there'sMcDonald's, but guess what, there's plenty other fast food restaurants out there likeBurger King, Wendy's, and we just want to give the fans that arewholeheartedly all into football another outlet to cure what, to give them what theywant, and that's more football. All right, Doug, is there somethingyou can tell us about Vince McMahon that maybe the general public doesn't know?I would say he is one of the things he stresses most to people,I know, to all his employee's, as to treat everybody with respect.He is one of those guys that that is utmost in his vocabulary is respect, and especially for people that you're working with and working for. It's allabout professionalism and respect. It's good. It's good one. What do youare you guys surveying the players, because one of the things that when Iplayed, you know, we had Grapes of players but it was this likethey always fell on deaf ears. So you guys like surveying, talking tothe players constantly? How do you guys think we can improve? What areyou guys feeling that we don't need to do, that we should do better? What we're going to set not definitely have a nice survey of the playersright after the season and say, okay, you've gone through this whole season,what went well with the offseason, what went well with the during theseason? What do you think we should do for next year? Because that'sthat old saying. Every day you got it to get better or worse.You don't stay the same. So we wanted to but we want to makesure we get all the information, give them the whole year so they cansay, Hey, in the first part of the year this was great oran end of the year this was bad, blah, blah blah. So wewant to make sure that they have all the information and then we'll surveythem after two more days. Okay, Doug, what's your biggest pleasant surprisethat you've had so far with the season? Asn't surprises the how we came outin the first three weeks and played pretty eat solid football. We wantedarm. One of our main goal is to have a long runway so wecould step out of the shadows of xfl one, two xfl to and makesure when people flip it on xfl they're like anything that football's pretty good.So the thing that we were worried about is coming out of the gate,usually the offenses are behind the defenses and you have a lot of penalties andat the football's not as crisp. So my our biggest surprise and most pleasantsurprises the crispness of football that has been displayed these first three weeks. Right, all right. So last question. What are the expansion goals or plansfor the xfl going into the future? Right now we're worried about this yearand going in the next year and now, obviously, if things keep going,that's something that will have to discuss and look into. I'm not surethat we're satisfied with eight teams, but...

...don't know where it can go andhow many more teams. But if we get this solid base and footing set, the sky's the limit. Yeah, I would say that if you'RE gonnago to Ohio, you go to Columbus because that's your home, your homeMut and not Cleveland or Cincinnati. Guy, definitely not Cleveland. Yeah, I'mthat leaveland. But Hey, we appreciate you joining us and coming inand tell us a lot about your life and how sports influence your life andjoining us in the huddle. It was great to have you on and thanksfor taking the time. Thanks, bells, I appreciate it. And then nexttime I'm back in the Bard You well, I'll come over and Igot to hear that after he lends. All right, all right, butlike sulzers, but like als around. Yeah, all right, fellas,see buddy forth care. Hey, we want to thank you for joining ustoday on huddle up with guests, where we talked to a wide range ofguests about how sports shaped to life. As always, I'm joined by mygreat friend and Co host, Date Hagar, and we want you to be ableto follow us on all of our social media at huddle up with gustsand we really appreciate you and thank you for your time and listening to.

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