Black Quarterback: The Who’s Tricking and Who’s Treating Episode
By Brandon Simmons
Owners comments backfires
Houston Texans owner Bob McNair has opened another wound in the going protest controversy. Friday, ESPN released an article in which he stated, “We can’t let the inmates run the prison.” When the statement was released to the public, NFL players, as well as other athletes, blasted him for what he said. Not only that, but it seems he has been imprisoned by his own words.
Texans players have responded to these comments in multiple ways. Friday, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and running back D’onta Foreman left practice. The players even kneeled during the anthem before the game on Sunday. Perhaps left tackle Duane Brown has a more insightful view on McNair. He spoke out about different moments he saw with the owner that were sort of questionable. There was one instance he described that happened in his rookie year in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected president.
The Houston Texans have been one of the few teams that have kind of avoided any type of protest. It’s no indication as to whether this was something decided by the players but now McNair will have to deal with something he has obviously been wanting to avoid. If you can also remember, he was one of the few owners listed as donating to Trump’s campaign when SOB-gate broke out during Week 3. Hell, he was one the owners to speak against the divisiveness brought on by those particular comments. But this should definitely be a wake up call to the owners that the players are serious, and it should be a wake up call to the players tp be serious about going at these owners to get things done.
Saints Go Sneaking in
It’s kind of hard to consider the New Orleans Saints as a surprise team, especially with Drew Brees at quarterback; but when you’ve had a porous defense for the past 4-5 years and have been sitting near the bottom of the division for that same amount of time, throw the shock factor out. Still, the Saints are now sitting at 4-2 in the NFC South and just might have this win in the bag.
It wasn’t al gumbo and biscuits for them this year. New Orleans struggled defensively as always and could not find anything to do with newly-acquired running back, Adrian Peterson, and traded him after 4 games. But things turned around after that abysmal 0-2 start. They won 4 straight games being their usual explosive, offensive selves. But the best part about this has been their defense. By Saints standards, they have played exceptional. In 3 of the 5 w straight wins, they have held opponents to 20 points and under, including a shutout on the road against the Miami Dolphins. Also, in the first 3 games of this streak they had at least 4 sacks.
And even though the Saints have this potent offense, they still have to somewhat rely on this defense. It’s obvious that New Orleans’ offense can go out and get you fifty-leven points on any week, but the defense has to make the necessary stops. It sounds elementary, but the Saints defense hasn’t exactly been a high grade of any of the league’s 32 defensive units. Right now, they caught a good pocket under defensive coordinator, Dennis Allen and needs to continue that if they want to take this division.
Tricks is Treating
The NFL trade deadline did not disappoint this year; in fact it exceeded any expectations of it tat may have been had. There was equally wins and losses from the teams that were involved. Fresh off their classic battle, the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans decided to get in a deal when the Seahawks traded cornerback Jeremy Lane (who failed a physical at time of article), a 2nd round and 3rd round pick to the Texans for left tackle Duane Brown. The Carolina Panthers sent wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills for a 3rd and 7th round pick. The Philadelphia Eagles acquired running back Jay Ajayi from the Miami Dolphins for a mere 4th round pick. The biggest deal had to have come from the San Francisco 49ers, who acquired Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garroppolo for a 2nd round pick.
There were some losers, but the biggest of those did not even get involved. The Cleveland Browns continued to embarrass themselves by botching the trade at the last minute. According to Bleacher Report, the Browns agreed to a deal with the Cincinatti Bengals to acquire quarterback A.J. McCarron for 2nd and 3rd round pick. However, that fell apart when the Browns did not call the league office by the deadline, which was 4:00 p.m. eastern.
Taking the disastrous Browns out of the equation, there were some solid winners and losers, who actually participated. The 49ers actually might be on to something (which will be discussed later) while the Seahawks got some much needed help on their offensive line. The Texans might have filled an immdediate need in the secondary, receiving a proven veteran such as Lane. Ajayi going to the Eagles, might be a loss for the short-term for the Dolpins, but it all depends on how they use the 4th round pick in the long-term. Ajayi’s arrival should develop a strong 1-2 punch alongside power running back LeGarrette Blount.
Have 49ers got a Sale on Gold?
Late Monday night, on Halloween Eve, the San Francisco 49ers decided to do some light tricking to treat their future by trading for New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garroppolo. It seems like they did it for a cheap price; all the Niners gave up was a 2nd round pick in 2018 and cut quarterback Brian Hoyer. Now they have a solid option at quarterback for the forthcoming season.
Garroppolo comes to the 49ers as an interesting case. He started 3 games last season when, Tom Brady was serving his defaltegate suspension, and went 2-1. A lot of the Patriots fans seemed to be high on him as a successor to Brady but there was one problem: Brady wasn’t trying to leave. Instead, the then-39-year-old quarterback made headlines by proclaiming he could play into his 40’s, nd judging by his play this season, it looks like that will ring true. The Patriots have reportedly tried to re-sign Jimmy G. but no luck at all. So went about this the Patriot way: get rid of him for a quality draft pick and keep it moving. So now San Francisco is gaining the possible heir to one of the greatest QB’s in league history.
Even though there was some expectations of an Aaron Rodgers-type transition, will this be more a Brett Favre deal for San Fran. Many people might not remember that the Atlanta Falcons drafted Favre but traded him to the Green Bay Packers. In no way, shape or chance in hell do I think Garroppolo will be Brett Favre at this moment, but it’s a possibility that he could give this team some success. He’ still young and eager for a chance to compete for a starting spot, which would mean he is as coachable as he needs tobe, especially in a new system. True, the Niners do have C.J. Beathard right now at the QB spot, and it would serve him right to compete for his current starting spot, but if Garrapolo can do more, in terms of winning games and putting the team in a competitive position, he will get that nod, and rightfully so.
Should the Cowboys Suspend their Season
Monday night, a judge ruled that Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot should have his suspension upheld. The 6 game punishment is a result of him violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy under the domestic violence rules. Despite the courts declaring he did nothing wrong legally, the league conducted its own investigation and have gone to war with Elliot over multiple appeals. It seems that even though another appeal could happen from Elliot’s team, his season, as well as the team’s playoff hopes are over.
It’s not as far-fetched of an idea as one may think. Elliot is key to taking the pressure off of quarterback Dak Prescott and having the offense control the ball. Without him, the Cowboys are prone to putting their defense on the field too many times, leaving them fatigued and susceptible to mistakes. Sure, any other team’s schedule, they might have gotten by on that notion, but their next stretch of games are going to be with the Chiefs, Falcons, Eagles and Chargers. All these teams have quarterbacks that will require to play at a certain level of defense that your unit has proven to play at yet. Even more so, the other teams in the NFC are playing at high levels; and the 7-1 Eagles just reloaded their running back group with Ajayi from the Dolphins.
Elliot will not make probably make a return until either Week 14 or 15, but by then, most playoff spots will be taken. The main thing for the Cowboys the rest of the year is going to be how well can Dak lead the team on his back while they are without their best player.
Juju Smith-Schuster finds his bike – Last week the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver sent a tweet out saying he could not find his bike, but apparently it was returned to him only a few days later. Soon, he will not need to worry about it as he is scheduled to take his driver’s test this week. He also found it time to get 7 catches for 193 yards in the Steelers’ win over the Detroit Lions Sunday.
Dolphins can not find the end zone – The Miami Dolphins got shut out on Thursday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens. It was the first time in a month, that they’ finished with less than 10 points for a game.
The midseason has finally arrived so now the real playoff positioning fun begins. The Atlanta Falcons will be on the road to set up some potential tie breakers when they play the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons pulled off a close win over the New York Jets and the Panthers are coming off a win as well; plus they have linebacker Luke Kuechly back in the lineup. Even though the Saints are on top in this division right now, it should put one of these teams a step closer to overtaking 1st place. But until then…I’ll holla.
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