Jean Fugett: Around the NFL

By Jean Fugett; thanks to Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

WalterFootball.com is proud to partner with former Redskins and Cowboys tight end Jean Fugett, Jr. Esq. Fugett grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and attended Amherst College. He was the last pick of the 13th round in the 1972 NFL Draft. Fugett made the Cowboys as a backup to future Hall of Famer Mike Ditka. Fugett eventually became a starter for Tom Landry’s Cowboys and started in Super Bowl X. He made the Pro Bowl in 1977.

As a free agent, Fugett went from being the lowest-paid starting tight end to the highest-paid with the Washington Redskins. While playing for legendary Redskins coach George Allen, Fugett attended law school at George Washington University at night.

During and after his playing days, Fugett worked with CBS, the Washington Post and other media. He went on to serve as Director and Vice-Chair of the McCall Pattern Company Management Committee, founded a Baltimore law firm and partnered with Fanfone in Europe.

After the death of his brother Reginald F. Lewis in 1993, Fugett took over TLC Beatrice International Foods, the largest black-owned and black-managed business in the world at the time. Fugett has served on committees with the NFL Players Association and on the Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association Maryland Chapter.


WalterFootball.com would like to thank Redskins president Bruce Allen and senior vice president/executive producer of media Larry Michael for connecting us to Fugett. Now, let’s let Jean take over.

Offensive Players of the Week: Spencer Ware, running back, Kansas City Chiefs and Alex Smith, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive Players of the Week: Minnesota Vikings, team, Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter

Coach of the Week: Jack Del Rio, head coach, Oakland Raiders

Goat of the Week: Hue Jackson, head coach, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Browns front office

In the first few weeks, we are shaking out teams and finding out who is good and who is not. Entering the season, we really are not that sure about teams. In my day, we had six preseason games and you had a better idea about teams; how they would be playing and who would they would be using. Now, with only four preseason games, you don’t necessarily know who the starters are going to be going into Week 1 of the season given how little starters are playing in the preseason games. Teams conceal how they are going to use players, and systems that will be in played as the preseason plays have a vanilla flavor, nothing fancy.

Even going into Week 2, we can’t really be sure about a team. Look at a year ago when the 49ers destroyed the Vikings in the season opener on Monday Night Football. Months later, the Vikings were in the playoffs and San Francisco was one of the worst teams in the league with a top-10 pick. After this week, we will have a better idea after seeing teams play two games and then we will know “If they are who we think they are” as the late, great Dennis Green would have said.

There were a few things that really stood out to me from around the league in Week 1. The Steelers had to figure that Josh Norman would be shadowing Antonio Brown. It is not unusual to have a cornerback who is asked to play both sides and follow a receiver around the field. The Redskins failed to do it, and you saw the results. To invest that amount of money in a cornerback, and then go into the game knowing that if you are going to have any chance of beating the Steelers you need to limit their passing game with Brown, that is a prescription for danger.

Cleveland as an organization is my goat of the week. The team did a poor job of setting up the offense and protect RG3. It was mistake to think he would stay healthy. You have to wonder what Cleveland would look like with Carson Wentz at quarterback. The decision to essentially trade Wentz to the Eagles looks like a horrible one at this point.

Road games can change how teams that opened well at home play in Week 2. Some teams will have long flights. Jet lag affects NFL teams and the NFL games as well. USA to Europe; and back; last week Miami to Seattle and back. Almost the same time airborne. You get the idea.

Professional baseball and basketball travel provides more adjustment time. It is more difficult to win on the road in football than it is in Major League Baseball or the NBA. This week for example, Jacksonville to San Diego is a long trip for the Jaguars.



AFC

The East standings look like business as usual with New England 1-0 and the other three teams 0-1, but the standings don’t illustrate how well Miami played at Seattle. The Dolphins were very impressive against the Seahawks, and I was surprised they played so well on the road. I can’t remember seeing a Miami team hit like that and attack the ball the way they did. Ndamukong Suh rolled up Russell Wilson, and that refers back to what we said last week. He is a guy you have to double team every play, and even so, he made a difference in the Seattle game. If the Dolphins continue to play like they did last week, we are going to have to reevaluate what they are going to do this season.

New England could have a tough time beating the Dolphins this week. I was not surprised that the Patriots were able to run their offense without Brady, but how many points would they have put up with Brady? They are so well coached. They run their same stuff and it works. The Bills would be better if they could get all their players on the field and get Sammy Watkins going. I was surprised the Jets gave up so many yards in pass defense. They should have an edge over Buffalo on Thursday night.

In the South, Houston is 1-0 in first place with the other three teams 0-1. The Texans look like they may have found a quarterback and a system that works for them. Jacksonville you can see the improvement, but the team still has something missing and we’ll see how it looks after Week 2. Tennessee is young and somewhat talented, but there is no way the Titans were ready to compete with Minnesota’s defense. The Titans are going to Detroit for Week 2, and that will be tough because I think the Lions are a serious playoff contender.

I need someone to explain to me what the Colts have been doing in their team building. I don’t know what they are looking at and thinking about in terms of how they put that team together with their offensive line and their defense. Aside from Luck, so much of the team fails to function. I feel sorry for Mr. Luck, until I look at the contract extension he signed.


Former Redskin and Cowboy tight end Jean Fugett was a Pro Bowler in 1977 and a starter in Super Bowl X.



In the AFC North, you have three teams that are 1-0. Pittsburgh was as good as advertised. Cincinnati found a way to win, although many didn’t think the Jets would keep it as close as they did. Baltimore also found a way to win. What can you say about Cleveland? The quarterback curse is alive and well. You would have thought RG3 would have learned how to get down and avoid blows like that. The Ravens will get a cupcake next week going against a quarterback who rarely wins in Josh McCown.

San Diego really surprised everybody on its way to a blowout, but then Kansas City woke up to pull off that all-time franchise comeback. I really liked the Chiefs going into the season, they must have read that and gone to sleep on us. Oakland is going to have shootouts this year. If Michael Crabtree stays healthy and Derek Carr continues to grow, the Raiders will remain tough to beat. I’m still not sure how good Denver is and how long they will last in the playoff race. It was amazing the Broncos were able to win, but they won because the Panthers missed a kick that most NFL kickers are going to make.



NFC

Who would have thought that teams are talking about must-win games in Week 2 for Dallas and Washington with both of them 0-1? My friends in Washington are not happy. All my friends in New York are a lot happier. The Giants played a great game in Dallas, and I’m happy to see Victor Cruz back on the field. Dallas gets pretty good grades, and you would have expected more out of the Cowboys’ running game. However, they are a work in progress and the most important statistic was Dak Prescott with zero turnovers. But they have to get more out of Dez Bryant; one catch for eight yards is not going to cut it.

Carson Wentz got consideration for Offensive Player of the Week for how he performed in his first start. That was impressive from Philadelphia, but let’s see how the Eagles play in Week 2 when they are not playing a team that is as bad as Cleveland.



Surprisingly, Tampa Bay is in first place at 1-0 and not Carolina. In the South, we have quarterbacks who can throw touchdowns with Jameis Winston throwing four and Drew Brees throwing three. We didn’t expect Cam Newton to be 0-1 right now, but hosting the 49ers should let the Panthers get back on track. Atlanta needs to bounce back, and the jury is still out on the Falcons this year.

Mike Zimmer has done a great job with the Vikings. The defense in Minnesota looks like an old George Allen defense designed to get turnovers and interceptions. The Vikings used that to win the game last week. The Packers did not play as well as many expected them to. The Lions played a style of game I think we will see a lot this season from them: the high-scoring shootout. I believe that Chicago will be challenged all season.

Out west, Seattle already has a lead on the Cardinals in the division. San Francisco won, but Los Angeles was terrible in the season opener. Chip Kelly got off to a good start with the 49ers. I think Seattle may have taken a turn for the worse when Ndamukong Suh stepped on Russell Wilson’s ankle. The way Pete Carroll reacted quickly announcing that he thought Wilson will play this week, I think that injury is serious. Hopefully, Wilson will play, but if he can’t do that play-action scrambling, Seattle becomes a more ordinary team on offense. But the Seahawks still have a great defense to carry them. Arizona does not want to go 0-2 and fall too far behind Seattle. With Tampa Bay coming to Arizona, I expect the Cardinals to rebound against the Buccaneers.



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