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Hey, if you got a Break, Take it!  Spring forward!

BB and I were grabbing an early dinner at Stonewerks Friday when I glanced at the tv over the nearby bar.

Holy moly!  The Bears reportedly had traded the number one pick to the Panthers. Oh, this is gonna get fun. The intrigue is just starting.

First the details. Chicago gets Carolina’s first-round pick at number nine, a second-rounder at 61, Carolina’s first-rounder in 2024, the Panthers’ second-round selection in 2025, and veteran receiver D.J. Moore.

Let the unpacking begin. Among other things, this means:

The Bears are now officially committed to quarterback Justin Fields, and now they have significant draft capital to build around him.

The Texans, who have the second selection, are not currently guaranteed they’ll get the QB they want.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Houston did contact the Bears about trading up, but it was Carolina that was able to reach a deal with the Bears.

There is, of course, no doubt the Panthers will take a quarterback. But there is considerable doubt and mystery about who that will be. Carolina head coach Frank Reich built an NFL reputation as a quarterback guru, but he had a miserable experience at QB in Indy, which ultimately got him fired. I’m guessing Reich still has nightmares about Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan.

Reich is bound and determined not to be stuck in QB Hell again. He now has plenty of options. If Carolina gets it right at QB, the Panthers could get pretty good pretty quickly.

So. Bryce Young? C.J. Stroud? Will Levis? Reich and the Panthers reportedly like all of them, whatever that means. If they genuinely would be happy with any of the three, the Panthers could conceivably now trade down a few spots before the April 27 draft. And that might then mean the Texans could still move up to the top spot.

But let’s get real. No coaches and g.m.’s EVER “like them all the same and would be happy with any of them.” That notion is a media and fan fabrication. No. You rank players. There is a guy the Panthers want. I strongly suspect it’s either Stroud or Levis. Young does not strike me as a Frank Reich quarterback.

So, if the Panthers stand pat and stay at number one, Houston will still have ample qb options with the second selection. But THE guy the Texans want might not be available.

If I were Texans g.m. Nick Caserio, I would have been talking with the Panthers Friday afternoon even before BB and I finished our appetizers.

I was very saddened by a pair of passings of NFL luminaries on Friday. Otis Taylor. His electrifying catch and run that sealed the Chiefs’ upset of the Vikings in SB IV remains one of the half-dozen or so most significant and memorable plays in Super Bowl history.

And also on Friday came news that longtime Steelers and Jets executive Dick Haley had died at 85. Haley was universally loved and respected throughout the NFL. 

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.