The Talk of Fame Network kicks off its fourth season with a trip around the volatile NFC South, where the Atlanta Falcons have to overcome a Super Bowl hangover, and the Carolina Panthers are recovering from their own post-Super Bowl collapse and sudden change in management.
Reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan is coming off a career year but one that ended in stunning defeat when his Falcons blew a 25-point second half lead and lost Super Bowl LI in overtime to the New England Patriots. For Ryan, it was a bitter pill to swallow, but he tells the Talk of Fame Network why he forced himself to watch tape of that loss ... not only the day after the game but three more times over the next few days to "deal with it appropriately.''
Tune in to hear why Ryan believes it was an important step to putting the loss behind him and why he believes the Falcons will face 2017 with renewed faith in themselves and in their new offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian.
Falcons' head coach Dan Qunn agrees. Quinn is aware it has been 24 years since a Super Bowl losing team returned to the game the following season and his is the first to have been defeated in overtime. That baggage could be overwhelming but Quinn insists, "We've analyzed it a lot. When you have that kind of adversity you want to learn from it. That's how you do get stronger. The topics range from finish, to clock management to into different plays and concepts we could have used to try and attack better ... What I can tell you is, man, do I have a lot of belief in our team. I feel like it's all out there for us.''
Newly named "interim'' general manager Marty Hurney feels the same way about the Carolina Panthers after taking over the front office last week, 4-1/2 years after he was replaced by the man he's replacing, Dave Gittelman.
Hurney built a Super Bowl team during his first tenure, and 10 of the Panthers' 22 starters in Super Bowl 50 were also players he signed so one could argue he's actually done it twice. Now he's back for one last try and, as he told the Talk of Fame, "I'll approach it in a different manner.''
Hurney said this time he'll try to keep the emotion out of his decisions and be more "analytical''
At 61, Hurney admits he never thought he'd be back in pro football, but while his approach may have changed one thing has not.
"The goal is to win it,'' Hurney said of the Super Bowl. "There is such a distinct difference between winning and losing the Super Bowl.''
There's that and much more on this week's two-hour show. It's available on SB Nation Radio, on the TuneIn app or you can download the free podcast at iTunes. You can also hear the show anytime on our website, talkoffamenetwork.com.