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: Drew Brees, quarterback, New Orleans Saints

Defensive Players of the Week: Barry Church, safety, Dallas Cowboys

Coach of the Week: Jason Garrett, head coach, Dallas Cowboys

Goat of the Week: Ryan Grigson, general manager, Indianapolis Colts and Chuck Pagano, head coach, Indianapolis Colts

Anybody who saw Monday Night’s Football game and listened to Jon Gruden complain over and over about the officiating makes you want to be a NFL football populist. We are in election season after all, so maybe we should think about voting for the NFL rules to be changed, Or, maybe the way the game is officiated needs to be changed.

Last year, many thought I was joking when I said we should take advantage of the modern world and use technology to take the guess work out of officiating. We have older men – and one woman – as officials mostly trying to stay out of the way of the players. Let’s face it, NFL rules can be complicated. John Harbaugh, last week, was trying to get a penalty assessed on an extra point when it had to be assessed on the kickoff. If a head coach doesn’t know all the rules, you have to wonder if the officials out there really know everything that needs to be enforced. Many wonder how NFL officials are selected.

Major league baseball also has issues with umpiring such as the sliding at second base, and what about the strike zone? On the broadcast, viewers can see how the ump is doing. The strike zone is not consistent from ump to ump, and the NFL has a similar problem with achieving consistency from crew to crew. One will call pass interference when another would not. Look at how inconsistently pass interference is being called this season. Although part of the game, is it really fair to players and fans? You can see the game better on TV than live with slow motion, zooming, and better angles; so could NFL officials.

To take the guess-work out, I think we should go to what I call drone officiating. We would have at least five cameras covering the game, and they would show everything. You would assign one official to each camera and have a station of these officials watching the games from which they could buzz in the penalties. We wouldn’t have players bumping into officials in the middle of patterns any more. We also wouldn’t have officials questioning each other over the spot of the ball. There would still be two officials on the field, but they would just be there to set the ball down where they were told, and if there was a penalty, they would mark off the yards and then get the play started. Those two would also whistle the play dead. Those would be their only jobs on the field. Considering how inconsistently things are called, it would be better to have things done using TV with slow motion and better views than what the officials are doing now trying to follow around the live game.

Another solution is to go back to the old-school way where defenders could do whatever they want to a receiver until the ball was up in the air. I would tease my teammate when Pat Fisher had his hand on Drew Pearson’s face mask and was punching him as Pearson ran down the field. That was interesting coverage, and Fisher got away with it. Old School. As soon as the ball was in the air, he would let go of the face mask and the official never called a penalty. I know it sounds crazy, but that is how the game used to be played. I know some people would like to let the receivers and corners go at it, and then put the ball up and let the best man win. When the ball is in the air, you have to give a receiver a chance to catch it, but until that moment?

Elimination List
  • Cleveland Browns
  • San Diego Chargers
  • Miami Dolphins
  • New York Jets
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Chicago Bears
  • Carolina Panthers


  • AFC

    One surprise of the week was the Dolphins beating the Steelers. Big Ben was injured, and any team that loses a starting quarterback is at a disadvantage – unless that team is the Patriots. With this injury in Pittsburgh, the Bengals are now back in the AFC North race given that Roethlisberger could be out for four weeks. The Ravens are not going to win the North, so the Bengals have a shot at getting things straightened out. The Steelers will have to lean on Le’Veon Bell to carry them for however long Roethlisberger is out.


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

    Who would have thought Cody Kessler would total 365 yards passing for the Browns last week? Hue Jackson could easily have been the Coach of the Week. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says he misses Jackson, and that is believable considering the drop in offensive production for Cincinnati this season.

    Buffalo has now won four in a row and is playing like a playoff team. Shady McCoy could also be the player of the week with the way he ran the ball over the 49ers. The Bills may not beat the Patriots for the AFC East, but the Bills are going to be in the mix for a wild card as long as McCoy stays healthy. Just imagine if Buffalo had a healthy Sammy Watkins.



    The Chargers got a much-needed victory last Thursday night, and the Broncos are coming back to earth. The most interesting tidbit last week with the Chiefs coming off a bye was that Andy Reid was 15-2 – now 16-2 – coming off a bye. The Chiefs look they are rounding into form.

    When was the last time you could say the only team in the AFC South that lost last week was the Colts? Jacksonville is improving. The Jaguars have done a great job of putting together a talented young team that is in contention for a playoff berth. That was a big win for them with 17 points in the fourth quarter. Tennessee also is 3-3 and clearly improved over last year. That was a huge victory for the Texans and Brock Osweiler. There were questions and criticism about his contract with all the booing going on during the game; it says a lot about Osweiler and the Texans to pull off that comeback. The Colts are still only two games out of first place, so they aren’t on the elimination list yet.



    NFC

    Dak Prescott is going to have lose a game before we can think about Tony Romo starting for the Cowboys. Romo could be a relief pitcher if Dak is struggling and they need to make a change, but they have a bye this week to let Romo recover some more. This is a team that is only going to get better. The Cowboys are stacked at every position on offense, and I’m surprised how well their defense has been playing. They’ve been doing this without Dez Bryant, and they are getting great coaching this season.

    Meanwhile, the Redskins have won four straight and Jay Gruden has this offense looking like his Bengal offenses from a few years ago. That’s why Washington hired Gruden, and he’s developing an offense that can win in any weather, which is necessary playing in the East. The Redskins have done it quietly with a quality rushing attack. They are the No. 5 team in the NFL in total yards. The Giants are hanging on. Odell Beckham Jr. could be considered for the offensive player of the week for his huge performance to lead the Giants over the Ravens. Philadelphia got off to a good start, but the Eagles are finding the division games to be tougher.



    To see Green Bay ranked 25th in offense is astonishing, but even more shocking is the Vikings being 30th in total yards, and yet they are undefeated. They are winning with defense, special teams, and timely offense without turnovers. The Vikings cannot continue at this rate, however, until they get better on offense. Minnesota only has one more touchdown than the Bears, although net points are a big positive for the Vikings.

    The Packers will not get it straightened out anytime soon. Eddie Lacy has a bad ankle, and his backup is also injured, forcing Green Bay to make the rare in-season trade to acquire another running back who now must learn a new defense. The biggest NFL mystery this season: How did the accuracy of Aaron Rodgers disappear, going from the most accurate passers in the history of the NFL to one of the worst this season?

    Obviously something is wrong, and we hope he gets better. Meanwhile, Detroit is getting better, and the Lions could pass the Packers for a wild card. If the Lions can find their way, they have a shot to win as long as they don’t keep losing to losing teams like the Bears.

    The Falcons lost last week on the road against a playoff team in a tremendous game. Brees throwing for 464 yards on 49 attempts with four touchdowns to lead the Saints over the Panthers was phenomenal! It is further proof that the league is a passing league now.

    Carolina did not quit in that game, which is a tribute given how the team’s season has gone, so far. The Falcons, Bucs and Saints are all alive to win the division – with Atlanta in control. The Falcons will continue to win with the top offense in the NFL.



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