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: Marvin Jones, wide receiver, Detroit Lions

Defensive Players of the Week: Everson Griffen, defensive end, Minnesota Vikings

Coach of the Week: Gary Kubiak, head coach, Denver Broncos

Goat of the Week: Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback, New York Jets

This week, we have the Colts and Jaguars playing in London for what is a home game for the Jaguars. In the first four weeks of the season, Jacksonville has had to take a cross-country trip to San Diego and now across the Atlantic to London. That is a serious disadvantage for the Jaguars, unless they plan on bringing the Concord airplane out of retirement; a plane that got you get over there in three hours.

In my opinion, all regular-season NFL games in London are a folly. You cannot export this game six hours away to European time zones and expect NFL teams to play at the same level as in the U.S. The overseas travel diminishes the games, and these games should not be counted. It is not on equal footing, and it is not fair for those teams, especially for the Jaguars, who essentially have seven home games per season. It hurts the integrity of the league and the integrity of the schedule. Anyone who has traveled to Europe from the U.S. would agree.

No other professional sport is foolish enough to schedule a game like this. Look at the added burden on the player whose body will never know what time it really is or whether it is really day or night. Body clocks are completely off. Even while staying in a five-star hotel in London, the players do not have the training facilities with rehab whirlpools and training equipment to help the players. Sure, they have something, but not the same as at home.

For the players rehabbing from injuries and trying to get ready to play on Sunday, it makes their job that much harder without their normal treatment facilities. The players need everything that they have at their team headquarters, and you won’t find that in London, even at the fanciest hotel. So much for the NFL caring about player safety above all else. It is certainly not a home-field advantage for Jacksonville.

The only thing that might compare to playing in London is playing on Thursday night. Before the past few years, it was only a once a year thing with Thursday games on Thanksgiving only. As a veteran of the Cowboys, it always gave us an edge, and I do not think we lost once on Thanksgiving during my time there. We had an advantage because we were the home team and I was sleeping in my bed until our normal hotel the night before the game. The other team had a game on Sunday. Two days of practice and then flying out on Wednesday. Is it fair to have players play a game on Sunday and then a game on Thursday? No!

The league saying it cares about player safety above all else, but how can they say that with Thursday night games and games played in London a week after a U.S. game?



AFC

What a shocking week. Perhaps no game was more shocking than the Steelers getting rolled by the Eagles. Who expected Pittsburgh to only score three points in the battle of Pennsylvania? Pittsburgh now plays a tough Chiefs team that is getting it together. Which Steelers team is going to show up? The one from Weeks 1 and 2, or the one that stunk it up last week?

Baltimore wasn’t impressive against Jacksonville. The Jaguars really had a chance to win but could not find a way to do it, and that is common with young teams. Blake Bortles was bad in the first half and missed a lot of open receivers. He’s throwing it in the right place, but is just off a little bit. The Jaguars had a terrible performance with the kicking game as they would have won if it weren’t for a missed field goal and a terrible blocked kick.

In the NFL, there is no excuse for a blocked field goal attempt. That left guard is going to get cut this week for sure, or Jacksonville will at least think about it to send a message to the rest of the team. You just cannot let a center-guard seam get busted on a field goal attempt. That is the most fundamental blocking rule, even in high school. Step to the inside and hold your position, we are coached. That guard did neither. How can you let a guy come over the center on a field goal that is going to win the game?


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



According to the New York Times, Ryan Fitzpatrick quarterbacked not only the worst game of his career, but maybe the worst of the last 2,717 games with an 18.2 passer rating. Six interceptions had something to do with it. You wonder about the decision=making given that Fitzpatrick is a smart guy who went to Harvard.

The Dolphins had a real tough day going into their game dealing with the news of the accidental death of Jose Fernandez. All of Miami was in shock, and it clearly affected the Dolphins in the first half. You had to think something was not right when you saw the score at halftime on Sunday. Miami, however, overcame those emotions and had a great second half while still sad knowing the whole city was suffering from that tragic death. How sad and yet how brave of the Dolphins to play on as well.

Cleveland deserves some credit for playing well on the road while suffering two narrow losses in a row. Yes, they are still the Browns, and while baseball continues, I think everyone in Cleveland will be focused on rooting for the Indians.

The Oakland Raiders are back and will seek to prove it this week in Baltimore. They will continue to improve. On the road at Tennessee with an early start time, Oakland got the win. Denver really surprised me going into Cincinnati and beating a good Bengals defense on the road with a young quarterback. Is this the year of the young QB? Maybe!

I am just learning about Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian, who was named AFC Player of the Week. He threw four touchdown passes. You have to be impressed by the coaching of Gary Kubiak and his staff. Coaching counts.

The Colts had a comeback win over San Diego. It was hard to see Chargers LB Manti Te’o go down. He was a key to the Chargers’ defense and losing him will hurt them. The Colts deserve credit even if appearing lucky – no pun intended – to win. Houston now looks like the best in the AFC South then get news J.J. Watt may be lost for the season. Ouch!!!



NFC

The NFC East is crazy as ever. Carson Wentz is 3-0. Dak Prescott is 2-1. There are two rookie quarterbacks at the top of the division while the Giants Eli Manning and the Redskins Kirk Cousins trailing. I think both rookies will continue to play well and may fight for that Rookie of the Year award along with the division title.

The Redskins versus Giants game was very exciting. The only thing Eli Manning did well was calm his receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on the sideline. But Eli, maybe you don’t want him calmed down on the sideline. Beckham made some dazzling plays.

Washington has to worry about the confidence of Kirk Cousins. Even though D.C. came back and won, Cousins did not have a great game, but it was better than Manning, and that is what really counts. He won.

There is a lot of pressure when you are expected to play like a franchise quarterback. Cousins missed some throws but in his defense, often he could not step into his throws, thus throwing off his heels. I don’t know if it is the lack of confidence in his line or was he under that type of pressure up the middle?

By end of the game, All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams was playing left guard, and he had never played guard in high school or college. I guess that makes Bill Callahan the best offensive line coach in the league. They will be shuffling players around the line this week at Redskins Park.



And what about the new Purple People Eaters? The Minnesota defense held Carolina to 10 points at home. Clearly, the Panthers were affected by the unrest in Charlotte, so this result must be seen in this light. A lot like Miami being affected by off-the-field events.

Everson Griffen had three sacks to lead the Vikings to an eight-sack day against Cam Newton. That is a lot of hits.

The Panthers management was considered for the Goat of the Week because they did not upgrade their offensive tackle positions to protect Cam Newton. Remember how he was abused in the Super Bowl? This weakness is coming back to bite them this season, so I don’t know what the Panthers were thinking bringing back the combination of Oher and Rammers this season.

I was not that surprised that Green Bay jumped out to a big lead, but I was surprised that Detroit came back to make the game competitive. In the end, the game ended as predicted in Las Vegas; Green Bay, favored by seven, won by seven. How do they know?

Minus a few plays, Tampa Bay played well, though not well enough to win. Was the Atlanta versus New Orleans game a track meet or a football game? That was a ton of points, way over the over! How many people watched the game? They say only eight million, which is a very low rating. Supposedly, every adult in America was watching the debate. I admit I was flipping back and forth a couple of times, but the debate had more hits. Some like exciting high-scoring games broadcast from the Big Easy. Now, not as predicted, there are two 1-2 teams in the South with the Panthers being one of them.

It looks like Tampa Bay doesn’t have a chance this week against Denver, but that is usually when the Bucs win. New Orleans versus San Diego should be another high-scoring game.

A lot of people thought the Seahawks were overrated at 14-point favorites last week, especially after having such a hard time scoring on the Rams the week before. Seattle put up a lot of points, but suffered a real blow with Russell Wilson’s sprained MCL. How about the Rams – not Arizona – tied with the Seahawks for first place at 2-1?

Very surprising is the Cardinals at 1-2. I did not see that coming. How could Arizona go up to Buffalo and lay such an egg? The Cardinals only scored 18 points, while the Bills put up 33. If you had Arizona in the office pool, yikes!

So now, this week, Los Angeles at Arizona becomes a really big game. With the Rams’ defense, the Cardinals will have a hard time getting back on track but should play with desperation.



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