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 Player of the Week: Jay Ajayi, running back, Miami Dolphins

Defensive Player of the Week: Denzel Perryman, linebacker, San Diego Chargers

Coach of the Week: Doug Pederson, head coach, Philadelphia Eagles

Goat of the Week: Dan Quinn, head coach, Atlanta Falcons

There were a lot of interesting events last week.

First: I send my sympathies to the Los Angeles Rams for having to fly 12 hours back to L.A. after a bruising loss to the Giants in London on Sunday. Years ago, I was fortunate to have a job where I flew back and forth across the Atlantic many, many times. In fact, some international companies have rules that dictate for no decision be made within the first 48 hours of such a travel.

That’s a lot of time zones, and science has not quite defined what that shifting means in terms of the chemical actions in our body, which rely on the clock in the head to operate. Some people call it jet lag, and just like climate change, some people don’t think it’s real. I assure you it is real, and I cannot imagine making such a trip in two days being requested to play in an NFL football game and then have to suffer back in a plane not fitted for people weighing 300 pounds for 12 hours. Life in the fast lane.

Meanwhile, the Giants only had a six-hour flight to and back from the game in the United Kingdom. Just based on travel arrangements alone, it was not an equal or fair game. I continue to wonder why these contests are not considered exhibition games? The NFL playing in Europe should be a preseason affair. The regular season games that are played there severely challenge the integrity of the Super Bowl competition and need to be further examined and studied.

Halfway through the season now, and there are so many surprises. At this point, it looks like the NFC has an advantage over the AFC based on wins and losses. In the AFC, nine teams have four or more losses for. In the NFC, only five teams have four or more losses, but 10 teams have lost three or more. By now, with the byes, it is very difficult to compare records, so I use total losses as a gauge for where a team truly stands. A team can always get an additional win, but cannot redeem a loss or a tie. So look at your team, and look at the loss column, and compare to see what your chances are.

So far, the AFC teams are losing more and the NFC appears stronger. In the NFL, anything can happen, so hold on to your seats because we are about to see some very interesting playoff races in the second half of the season. Remember, this is a league where one loss, one missed field goal or one tie can make all the difference in a season, a career and whether you keep your job or not.

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


  • AFC

    In the AFC East, the Patriots have a two-game lead over the Bills, who with an injured LeSean McCoy, could not win after winning won four in a row. The Dolphins and the Jets got much-needed wins, but both are already way behind New England without much reason to think they have shots at catching the Patriots. Miami and the Jets are playing for the wildcard.


    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, with Big Ben out, this division is wide open. You couldn’t believe Belichick last week when he said he was still worried about playing Pittsburgh. The Steelers are 4-3, while the Ravens and Bengals are only one game behind them. Even with a four-game losing streak, Baltimore is only one game out of first place, and with Joe Flacco at quarterback, the Ravens are in every game.

    In the AFC South, everybody is trashing the signing and performance of Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler. He had a lot of pressure going against Denver after spurning his former team to take more money and more love from the Texans.

    I will not say that I spurned the Cowboys when I signed with the Redskins back in 1976. I was asked by a reporter if the Cowboys made me any offers after I became a free agent? I had to answer in the affirmative, “Yes, they offered me everything, except money.” That wasn’t the case for Osweiler, but it looks like it has worked out well for Denver, so far. While Houston is still wondering if Osweiler was worth the contract, it is up to QB-guru head coach Bill O’Brien to prove he made the right decision. At least, Houston is wondering while sitting in first place.



    The best quarterback in the AFC South division has been carrying the Indianapolis Colts on his back. At 3-4, they have been in every game because of Andrew Luck, and will continue to compete especially if they can get some things corrected on defense. The Titans and Jaguars will stay around .500 this season, but both are young and improving.

    The AFC West now is a virtual tie at the top with Denver, Oakland and Kansas City because all of them have only two losses. Kansas City is for at 4-2, while the others are 5-2 – the bye difference. San Diego, after a string of bad luck, is playing really well now, having won two straight against quality teams in the Broncos and the Falcons. The Chargers are 3-4 after they gave a few games away early in the season. Philip Rivers is playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. This is going to be a really exciting playoff race.



    NFC

    The Cowboys are coming off of a bye, so they should be rested and ready to go. The Eagles are only one game back. The Redskins and Giants are 4-3, so all the teams in the division could still win it. This NFC East race will be unbelievable!

    Minnesota started out so well at 5-0 but have many problems due to injuries. Many were surprised the Vikings lost to the Eagles, but the Vikings had won those first five games without much offense. Many forgot that Teddy Bridgewater has been out and Adrian Peterson has missed games. A good defense and a workable schedule helped the Vikings start out 5-0 before running into a tough road game.



    The Packers had looked and played so poorly, until last week, and could take control of the NFC North race at 4-2. It was sad to see Eddie Lacy go out with surgery, but it seems like Green Bay can put anybody in the backfield and still compete. Having Ty Montgomery running up the middle like he was in high school was fun to watch. The Lions are a gritty team, and they found a way to win late against the Redskins to get the victory. The City of Chicago is so focused on the Cubs that the fans probably forgot that the Bears are still playing.

    The NFC South has three teams in the hunt, with Tampa Bay and New Orleans still fighting to stay in it. Carolina had a bye last week, while Atlanta gave away overtime to the Chargers. That decision by the Falcons to go for it in overtime on fourth-and-1 at their own 40-yard line really helped the other South teams as they chipped away at the Falcons’ lead. Two years ago, there was an 8-8 division champion, so it isn’t the strongest group in the league.

    In the NFC West, what an interesting game between the Seahawks and Arizona last week – for the purists maybe. It had to be frustrating for some fans to watch these teams go up and down, yet score no points. Bad decisions, bad plays, and finally bad kicks. We can also add bad officiating. If we were using drone officiating as we proposed last week, a penalty would have been called on the blocked field goal. How could all those officials not see it. We all saw it on television many times over. Seattle got away with Bobby Wagner jumping over the center and stepping on the center’s back on the way to his field goal block, which was a penalty. This tie result is going to be a factor before all is said and done in this playoff race. Complicated and interesting. Good luck!



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