SCHOOLED with "The Professor" John Clayton-logo

SCHOOLED with "The Professor" John Clayton

Can't get enough of the NFL? Get SCHOOLED with 'The Professor' John Clayton. Each week, ESPN's human database dives deep into all the news in and around the National Football League. Player interviews. In-depth analysis. Stories from a Football Hall...

Can't get enough of the NFL? Get SCHOOLED with 'The Professor' John Clayton. Each week, ESPN's human database dives deep into all the news in and around the National Football League. Player interviews. In-depth analysis. Stories from a Football Hall of Fame career. Further your football education with new episodes each Thursday.

Can't get enough of the NFL? Get SCHOOLED with 'The Professor' John Clayton. Each week, ESPN's human database dives deep into all the news in and around the National Football League. Player interviews. In-depth analysis. Stories from a Football Hall of Fame career. Further your football education with new episodes each Thursday.
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Can't get enough of the NFL? Get SCHOOLED with 'The Professor' John Clayton. Each week, ESPN's human database dives deep into all the news in and around the National Football League. Player interviews. In-depth analysis. Stories from a Football Hall of Fame career. Further your football education with new episodes each Thursday.




College Football Preview with Phil Steele

What a thrill it is to have Phil Steele on this week’s Schooled with the Professor! Phil has perhaps the best preview magazine in all of sports: "Phil Steele’s College Football Preview." There is more information packed into more pages than just about anything you can find in any pre-season magazine. This week, we get into the many analytical and statistical tools he uses to project how well schools will do in a season. Two years ago, he picked the University of Washington to be the...


Earl Thomas & The Cowboys with Tim Cowlishaw

The Earl Thomas holdout has become one of the biggest stories in Seattle this summer. Thomas announced Sunday he’s not going to show up for any Seahawks activities until he gets a new contract. With no talks going on, this looks to be a long holdout. So what about a trade to the Dallas Cowboys? Tim Cowlishaw from ESPN’s Around the Horn and The Dallas Morning News joins us on Schooled with the Professor to discuss a possible trade. (Spoiler alert: He wasn’t optimistic.) The Cowboys have...


Concussions with Jermichael Finley

You'll have to go back to last year's Brandon Marshall episode to hear a story as emotional as former Green Bay Packers TE Jermichael Finley. Due to an in-game injury, Finley had to quit football at the young age of 27 while he was one of the best tight ends in the game. On SCHOOLED, he takes us through his dangerous ride. He starts with being in an ambulance - in uniform - heading to the hospital after being knocked out in a game. Not only were concussions an issue, but his neck and back...


The Patriot Way with Ted Johnson

Former Patriot linebacker Ted Johnson, who is doing radio on 610 in Houston, joins us to talk about the Patriot Way. Johnson speaks about what it is like to play for both Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll and contrasts their coaching styles. He also shares how Belichick communicates and how hard he coaches them. The timing of talking to Johnson is perfect. Cassius Marsh talked about how playing for the Patriots and Belichick almost made him want to get out of the game. Tom Brady has skipped...


New Rule Changes with Al Riverton

Al Riveron, the Senior Vice President of Officiating for the NFL joins the Professor LIVE from the spring meeting in Atlanta. There have been a lot of changes this off season, and Al Riveron is just the man to ask about how they will all be implemented and what effects we might see from those changes. Al explains how the controversial new helmet targeting rule will be enforced, what the new standard for a catch is, and how kickoffs have changed.


Team Trends and Schedule Analysis with Warren Sharp

We get into some football analytics this week on SCHOOLED with the Professor. Warren Sharp does an amazing job of analyzing team trends and strength of team’s schedules. With the Supreme Court giving the states the rights to legalize gambling, Sharp’s forecast on teams will be very valuable. He also does a great job of breaking down team tendencies. Sharp breaks down one of the Seahawks problems of last year: getting pass completions to running backs. He discusses how low those numbers...


Joel Corry: QB Contracts in the Salary Cap Era

Matt Ryan became the first $30 million player in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers should be next. But what about Russell Wilson? On SCHOOLED with The Professor, John Clayton talks with Joel Corry, a former agent who studies contracts and the salary cap like no other as a writer for And his thoughts might surprise you! He talks about the possibility of Wilson playing out two years on the franchise tag similar to what Kirk Cousins did with the Washington Redskins. He makes a bold...


Al Smith: From the Field to the Front Office

Al Smith was a top middle linebacker when he played for the Houston Oilers. His style of play resembled Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner - interesting considering they both played at Utah State! Al Smith joins us on Schooled with the Professor to talk about several things. Smith made a successful transition from player to front office executive. He talks about how difficult it is for former players to get the opportunity to work with teams, but he also talks about the successes of...


Devin Hester on Eliminating Kickoff Returns

Devin Hester announced his retirement on Monday by signing a one day contract with the Chicago Bears. He was clearly the best returner in his generation and may have been the best in NFL history. Many feel if there is a place for a returner in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, there should be a gold jacket waiting for him. But the timing of his retirement is interesting. The NFL is holding a two-day summit in New York City to discuss the possibility of eliminating the kickoff return. Hester...


NFL Draft Preview with Gil Brandt

Gil Brandt was the Vice President of Player Personnel for the Cowboys for almost 30 years, and is now a senior analyst for overseeing which players the NFL invites to draft night. Gil says this is one of the most unique drafts ever because there is no real consensus as to who the top six picks should be. He also explains how the approach to the NFL draft has changed, why Shaquem Griffin is his favorite invite ever, and some new things the NFL is doing to reward some of the...


Top Draft QBs with Jordan Palmer

Jordan Palmer was a long-time NFL backup, spending five years studying under his brother NFL QB Carson Palmer. He is now training quarterbacks for the upcoming NFL draft including the top two QB prospects Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. On this week's SCHOOLED with The Professor, Jordan describes how he picks the quarterbacks and what he does with them in the long prep before the draft. Palmer gets into what makes Sam Darnold tick, the unique arm of Josh Allen (perhaps the best he’s ever...


Alliance of American Football with Bill Polian

NFL Hall of Fame GM Bill Polian on the Alliance of American Football: an alternative football league scheduled to begin next February after the Super Bowl. One of the biggest voids in pro football is the lack of a developmental league. Well, there might be good news on that front. Bill Polian joins us on SCHOOLED with the Professor to talk about a candidate to be the complementary league of the future. Polian remains an analyst at ESPN, but over the past year, he has been working with...


Hometown Love with Charlie Batch

Going back to Pittsburgh over the weekend and being surprised to find out my hometown, Braddock, PA, named Sunday, March 18th after me put me in nostalgic mood for Schooled with The Professor. That’s why we reached out to former NFL quarterback Charlie Batch. Batch played for the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers, but he grew up in Homestead, PA, a steel mill town just across the river from Braddock. With the downturn in the steel industry, both towns had major drop-offs in business....


Quarterback Value with Bruce Gradkowski

Quarterbacks are in the news both in free agency and the draft. On SCHOOLED with the Professor, we caught up with former NFL quarterback Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski is getting into broadcasting and scouting after his NFL career. He offers great perspective and opinions on the current state of quarterbacks in the NFL and also what’s ahead in the draft. He studied the current group of first-round picks and offers insight on whom he thinks could have promising NFL career. We also talk...


Salary Cap Analysis with Andrew Brandt

The salary cap number was announced this week: $177.2 million. And teams have to be under the cap by March 14. On SCHOOLED with the Professor, we talked to cap expert Andrew Brandt. When the salary cap started, Brandt was an agent. He then spent almost a decade as the Green Bay Packers capologist and now writes about the salary cap for MMQB and The Athletic. We go through the history of the salary cap and talk about how it has evolved. Brandt talks about how the league changed for...


The NFL Combine with Dan Shonka

On this week's SCHOOLED, National scout and General Manager of Ourlads' NFL Scouting Services Dan Shonka breaks down the combine and NFL draft prospects with our one and only Professor John Clayton. Dan shares his analysis of the top quarterback prospects, his favorite running backs in what he says is a loaded class, and the weakest position group in this year's draft.


Next-Gen Analytics with John Pollard of Zebra Technologies

Last week the NFL made a major announcement that didn't get as much attention as it should. The league announced that all 32 teams will be receiving full analytics reports from Zebra, the Illinois based company that puts tracking devices on players and the football. John Pollard, who lives in Seattle, joins us on SCHOOLED with The Professor to talk about the advanced science of scouting. With the chips on the players' uniforms and in the football, Zebra can do analytical reports on every...


QB News with Joe Theismann

Quarterbacks are in the news in the NFL: Alex Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins. Kirk Cousins is a free agent. Patrick Mahomes takes over the Kansas City Chiefs. Jimmy Garoppolo signs a $137.5 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. With so many quarterback topics making headlines, we went to Joe Theismann, former Redskins quarterback, to get his opinions on the quarterback position in the NFL. Theismann likes the Smith trade and believes he fits in well in Jay Gruden's...


Lesley Visser, TV's First Female NFL Analyst

Today on SCHOOLED with the Professor, Lesley Visser joins John Clayton live in Minneapolis to discuss her new book "Sometimes You Have To Cross When It Says Walk." Lesley is the only woman enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and shares her experiences being one of the pioneers of women in sports broadcasting, shares some great work stories about John Madden and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and she and The Professor make their Super Bowl picks!


Offensive Lines with Howard Mudd

Offensive line is a big topic these days. The Seahawks changed offensive line coaches, going from Tom Cable to Mike Solari. Next week, Kevin Mawae and Steve Hutchinson are in the final 15 for voting in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Howard Mudd, a legend among offensive line coaches, joins us on SCHOOLED with the Professor, to take about the current state of the offensive line in the NFL. He didn’t waste time getting into the Seahawks offensive line, and raves about the hiring of Mike...