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: Stefon Diggs, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings

Defensive Players of the Week: Marcus Cooper, cornerback, Arizona Cardinals

Coach of the Week: Bill Belichick, head coach, New England Patriots

Goat of the Week: Darrell Bevell, offensive coordinator, Seattle Seahawks

Now, halfway to the quarter mark, two games does not sound like a lot, but we are nearing NFL Bermuda triangle territory. Statistics show that if you are 0-2, you have about a 12 percent chance of making the playoffs and if you go to 0-3, that is pretty much the kiss of death as your Super Bowl chances are lost somewhere in the NFL Bermuda Triangle.

So, in Week 3 of the season, you will have NFL teams playing out of desperation with their backs against the wall. The head coach of these teams will be looking over their shoulders at their possible successors, their coordinators. When you go to 0-3, there will be some teams with management looking to make someone responsible so the fans will keep coming to the games.

We have already seen a coach as a fall guy in Buffalo with offensive coordinator Greg Roman being fired. The Bills act like they are shocked that they are 0-2, already making excuses before they show up against Arizona. Will the Bills show up? You have to wonder if Rex Ryan will be next.

Sometimes you get some improvement by changing the head coach during the season, but it is more difficult to do what the Bills just did; replace a coordinator in the middle of season. That can require changes the system, with new dynamics on game day for the position coaches’ responsibilities of talking to their players. Now, one of them is the coordinator calling plays. It has been two games, and the Bills’ ownership knows what they have in Rex Ryan. Most teams will only go as far as their player talent will take them. There are very few coaches, like a Don Shula, Tom Landry or Bill Belichick, who are so good that they can win with inferior talent.

We know the NFL rules now favor offensive football, and the scores from last week reflect that. Both the Jets and Bills topped 30 points in their Thursday night game. The Cowboys scored 27 with a rookie quarterback. Pittsburgh scored 24 against a very tough defense. Carolina puts up 46. Arizona scores 40. New England scores 31 with their second- and third-string quarterbacks. Atlanta gets 35, and San Diego gets 38.

You have to wonder how good the defenses are around the league today. Even good defensive teams like the Patriots gave up 24 points at home, while the Panthers, a Super Bowl defense team last year, gave up 27 at home. There will be a lot of high-scoring games this season; bet the over.



AFC

In the East, the Jets got things back on track against the Bills and got extra time to prepare for this week’s game against the Chiefs. As stated above, Bill Belichick is a genius, and he continues to win with backup quarterbacks. Now, Belichick has a serious test with a good Texans team and he has to start a rookie third-string quarterback.

I have to take Bill O’Brien and the Texans against the Patriots. I think New England would need its first-team players to beat a team like Houston. The Texans are playing exceptional football defensively. Nobody wants to play them with Jadeveon Clowney coming into his own, J.J. Watt shaking the rust off, and Whitney Mercilus harassing the quarterback.

The Patriots are trying to win with replacement parts or non-market parts. The Patriots are going to have a hard time starting rookies on the offensive line and their third-string quarterback, Jacoby Brissett. Those backups haven’t had as much practice time before this week, so you could see more false starts and players not executing in the 2-minute drill. This is going to be a pressure-packed environment for Brissett.


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



The Dolphins has played well, but despite playing well, they have played themselves into a 0-2 hole. In two weeks, the Dolphins have injured two quarterbacks. Nobody wants to play them either. What quarterback gets to start against the Fish this week?

That nightmare falls to Browns rookie quarterback Cody Kessler. He did not see players like Ndamukong Suh, Mario Williams, and Cameron Wake at USC, so this could be a rough week for Kessler to make his NFL debut. With the way Miami hits the quarterback and the Browns having their starting quarterback get injured in back-to-back games this season, newly signed veteran Charlie Whitehurst could be starting for Cleveland in Week 4. Seriously.

Jacksonville had hopes, but let’s face it, Jaguars fans and Browns fans are used to being 0-2. I know a lot of people in Indianapolis that are surprised to be 0-2. The Titans have played well defensively, and they had a surprising road win in Detroit.

We knew that Pittsburgh and Cincinnati would be good. You can discount the 1-1 record for the Bengals because their loss was against a very good Steelers team. Cincinnati is a playoff team, and the main reason they aren’t 2-0 is because they had maybe the hardest game on their schedule with a road trip to Pittsburgh in the second week of the season.

Will Denver be able to play as well on the road as they travel to the Bengals this week? I’m not so sure. Cincinnati has a really tough defense. Kansas City appears to be having some early season troubles. They were fortunate to make a big comeback in Week 1, and then couldn’t score a touchdown in Houston. The Jets coming to Arrowhead won’t be an easy game either. This is a big game for both of those teams.

Baltimore is 2-0 and goes to Jacksonville, so the Ravens have a real shot to be 3-0 and in the race with the Bengals and Steelers. But the Ravens better not sleep on the Jaguars, because they are another desperate team playing at home.



NFC

In the NFC East, who would have thought that last year’s division champion is the only 0-2 team in the division. However, looking at the history of this division we see that there is a pattern of going from worst to first and vice versa. That bodes well for the Cowboys this year, but the Giants are 2-0 and who would have expected the Eagles to be 2-0 with their rookie quarterback. Washington is very desperate going to New York and the Giants can deliver a possible knockout blow to the Redskins if the Giants win that game.

The South has three 1-1 teams, except for the Saints, who are a very desperate 0-2 hosting the Falcons on Monday night.



The Bears are in desperation mode in a major market, and they are in a competitive division with tough teams in Minnesota and Green Bay. The Vikings are undefeated despite the changing quarterbacks. A lot of people are wondering if Green Bay is overrated. Yes, Chicago is in a tough spot and John Fox says that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The West has four teams that are 1-1, and the NFL couldn’t be any happier with that parity. Arizona bounced back in a big way against Tampa Bay, and now, the Cardinals go to Buffalo. The question is if the Bills will show up for the game with all the discord they are going through. The Cardinals are in a great position to go to 2-1.



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