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Sights And Sounds: Super Bowl Week Heats Up At Radio Row

We're just a few days out from Super Bowl LII kicking off at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., and unsurprisingly, things are heating up at Radio Row.

The media, and NFL stars alike, gathered in droves at the Mall of America, in advance of the biggest NFL game of the year Sunday afternoon.

While the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles were obviously the talk of the town, the Washington Redskins made sure to own the news cycle Monday night by trading for quarterback Alex Smith.

Not only did the trade result in the Washington Redskins acquiring their quarterback of the future, it also signals the start of the Patrick Mahomes era in Kansas City.

NFL analyst Brian Baldinger chatted with about not only the trade, but his confidence in Derek Carr getting back on track in 2018.

 "I think the release is still there. The competitive fire is still there," said Baldinger. "The willingness to attack down the field, all that is still there. Sometimes you have to listen to a different strategy, a different coach. Coaching is the most important thing in this whole business, that separates it. If you look at the coaching that Carson Wentz has gotten over the last two years, and to see where he's at right now, he's on this trajectory that you want to be on, and I think Derek needs that. He needs Jon right now."

Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Theismann – who now serves as a radio analyst for the Washington Redskins – also shared his insight on the blockbuster NFL trade, additionally touching on myriad other subjects, including Jon Gruden's return to the sideline, Derek Carr's future, and why Gruden and Carr are going to be a great fit together.

"I've talked to Jon every year for the last nine years, since he left football," Theismann said. "We've been friends for a long, long time, and I asked him, 'when are you going to get back into coaching,' and the one thing he told me on a consistent basis, on an annual basis, he said, 'I would only consider going back if I knew I had a quarterback,' and that's exactly what he has in Derek Carr."

In addition to all the hubbub going on at the Mall of America, downtown Minnesota was busy as well Wednesday afternoon, as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held his annual state of the league press conference.

During his remarks, Goodell talked about the league's international slate of games for 2018, as well as the future of Thursday Night Football.

Other notable sightings at Radio Row today:

-Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly

-Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis

-Hall of Fame cornerback Mike Haynes

-Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen

-NFL analyst Brian Billick

-New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara

-Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson

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