Black Quarterback: The Your Way Episode
By Brandon Simmons
Odell does Leadership his Way
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. is eccentric, to say the least; so of course his leadership style has to be as unorthodox as his hair. Sunday, ESPN aired an interview in which he claimed the reason for the Giants’ 1-3 start, is they were lacking heart in their play. Beckham also went on to imply that he may or may not be happy with quarterback Eli Manning.
How did the team respond to these comments? They lost to the Carolina Panthers but not without their best offensive performance of the year. They scored 31 points while Beckham put in 8 catches for 131 yards and a 2touchdowns; not to mention he threw a 57 yard bomb to rookie running back Saquan Barkley. In addition to Beckham’s numbers, Barkley had 81 yards receiving and wide receiver Sterling Shephard had 75 himself. OBJ did nothing but call his team out and they responded. If he would have had a mediocre statline, people would be calling for his head; but he didn’t and he balled out. The entire offense did their thing. They were about to win this game, had it not been for the Panthers kicker Graham Gano kicking the game winning field goal, which sounds like an obvious statement, but nothing could be more dramatically true.
After Jerry Rice, all wide receivers have some sort of boisterous, swag about them and Beckham is continuing that tradition. The guy who was paid a heavy contract extension in the offseason is calling out the franchise quarterback and bragging about L.A. But the team has listened enough to the point where they actually showed some heart to win; at least almost. Now, he has failed along the way to even get to this point. This was the same guy who beat up a kicking net on the sideline; he willingly lunged head-first into a player during a game because of some pregame issue; he also posted a photo of being on an island trip the week of his first playoff game. Beckham is also the same player who has set quite a few receiving records during the first few years of his career and has been sort of the difference maker for how the team gets their success.
OBJ might have the Giants fired up right now, as a franchise player is supposed to do. It’s going to work because there is not a player on that team more visible than him. Manning is the QB, and has been around longer, but it seems he would rather shy away from the attention on him, knowing blame may follow if he has a bad performance. Beckham is not afraid to get in front of the cameras and express himself, good or bad. He’s far from being polished as a leader, but in due time, the whole team will shine because of his actions.
Browns Winning their Way
Life has been really changing for the Cleveland Browns on their own terms. Last year they could not win a single game; but this year they have made more memories than in the last few years. The team found their potential franchise quarterback in rookie Baker Mayfield; they also doubled their win total from the past 2 seasons, which is just 2 games this year. For a lot of teams, the Browns’ season would be a mediocre mess, but this Cleveland that we’re talking about.
Sunday, the Browns beat the Baltimore Ravens in the same fashion that their success should be measured: ugly. Cleveland’s rookie kicker, Greg Joseph, kicked a wobbly game winning field goal that pretty much describes the wobbly ride of their season. They opened the year up with a tie game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor lost his job to Mayfield in the 2nd half of the team’s 3rd game, but they ended up winning based off the rookie’s 2nd half performance. The fact they are sitting at 2-2-1, and a major contender to win the AFC North, is a pot many people did not expect them to be; therefore they are already winning in preparing for a better future.
Do the Raiders even Watch Football?
The Oakland Raiders – or head coach Jon Gruden – must have a real issue paying attention to football. Apparently, they missed the Super Bowl where the Seattle Seahawks played the New England Patriots, but the Seahawks failed to give running back Marshawn Lynch the football at the one yard line and end up losing the game. Fast forward to 2018, where Lynch is now a member of the Raiders, and they are playing the Los Angeles Chargers. Oakland is lined up 1st and goal at the 1, but instead of avoiding the past mistake of Lynch’s former team, they repeat it, as Raiders QB Derek Carr drops back and throws an interception in the end zone. Ironically, it was Carr who declared the team would always give Lynch the ball at the goal line, which makes this even worse.
This is probably the 2nd biggest blunder the Raiders have committed in regard to football knowledge. Everybody will not let them forget about letting Khalil Mack get over t the Chicago Bears via trade. Instead of paying him, the Raiders are watching their $100 million coach become clueless as to why there is no pass rush. Not getting Lynch the ball on that first down is a bad look, even if he does not in. You turned the ball over and gave away a scoring opportunity when you didn’t have to. Despite his previous head coaching experience, and Monday Night Football stint, Gruden is really getting a remedial course in football, the hard way.
Shout outs to New Orleans Saints quarterback, who became the all-time passing leader. Coming into the game Monday, Brees only needed 201 yards to pass Peyton Manning’s 71,940; he got that in the first half on a 62 yard touchdown pass to Saints wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith. Brees finished the game with
Shut out to the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers, who might as well have just been shut out from the game. The heavily-criticized group combined for only 5 catches in the Cowboys’ loss to the state rival Houston Texans. While many people have agreed with Dallas in cutting wide receiver Dez Bryant, this group has not played at a competitive level all year.
There’s only one blockbuster game this weekend, but also a couple of sleepers. The Tennessee Titans will host a Baltimore Ravens team, who has a solid defense this year. The Titans are no slouch on the defensive side of the ball either, so you can expect a low scoring, competitive slugfest. The main event will be the New England Patriots taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been kind of challenged these last couple of weeks, even throwing his first interception of the year in Sunday’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was still able to get off 300 yards, but things become different when you’re playing against Bill Belichick. This will be Mahomes’ biggest test of the season but until then…I’ll holla.
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