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: Steve Smith, wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens

Defensive Player of the Week: Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive end, New York Giants

Coach of the Week: Jay Gruden, head coach, Washington Redskins

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

Right now, we are in the portion of the season where teams are going against more than their opponents, and that comes into play on Thanksgiving for six teams. It is not only who your team plays, but is when they play them and how the travel affects each team from week to week. As the league plunges toward mediocrity, there are teams with a lot of losses in every division. We start the elimination list by looking at the losses and the division record. If a team is in third in your division, it ha to overtake at least one of the two rival and potentially other teams in other divisions, which, mathematically, is very tough to do. Over the next six weeks, you have to look at teams that can go on win streaks. The schedule is very unfair to some teams, but that is the reality of the NFL.

The Thanksgiving Day games: First for lunch, the Lions play the Vikings in a division-championship-intensity game. There is a lot on the line. This season, the talk has been mostly about the Vikings; first how good they were, and then how they were playing so poorly while the media said little about the Lions. In a national TV game, players always play hard. They know the other teams around the league are watching. I think the Vikings have been through so much, that this game will really test their resiliency. The Lions are a team that is finding itself with the benefit of flying under the radar. The Vikings were very high profile with their amazing win streak. Then with their losing streak, the coverage got very negative and Norv Turner left the team!

Then for dinner, Washington in Dallas. Usually, Dallas has a real edge at home on Thanksgiving, but Washington has prevailed in years previously, and I recall being in one of those games. During my four years with the Cowboys, we believed that we could win every game on Thanksgiving. As a pro player, you are sore on the first two days after a game. This time of the year, most starters are playing with injuries and really need six or seven days for the body to recover. Whoever invented football seemed to know that.

I think the Redskins were very decisive Sunday night and understood the limitations of the Packers’ defense. Washington must have taken a look at the tape of the Cowboys’ slow start against the Ravens and how Baltimore limited Ezekiel Elliott to under 100 yards. The Redskins don’t have the same front seven as Baltimore, but they do have better pass defenders in their secondary than the Ravens. The key will be if the Redskins can stop the Cowboys on first down. Dak Prescott is creating more believers every week, and you can’t count him out. The Redskins can’t be counted out either with the way Kirk Cousins is executing. Jay Gruden is really coaching him well, too. This game could come down to the last possession.

For dessert, Pittsburgh has a tough test facing a passing team in Indianapolis. I think the edge goes to the Steelers because they have the better defense. Their offense is really tough with a great All-Pro trio in Big Ben, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell.

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


  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Carolina Panthers



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



    AFC


    AFC North

    Is Cincinnati’s playoff streak over?

    Yes, I believe so, and who would have thought that at the beginning of the season? Losing Jay Gruden and Hue Jackson as offensive coordinators seems to be especially painful this year. There are still six games, but I don’t think Cincinnati can overtake both the Steelers and the Ravens. The Bengals almost certainly will not be making the playoffs for the first time in six years. With A.J. Green and Gio Bernard both going out, that is the end of the Bengals’ season.

    Raven Steve Smith caught his 1,000th pass of his career, and congratulations to him on a great career. His Ravens played well on the road, but couldn’t hold off the Cowboys. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh cruised over the Browns.

    AFC South

    Are the Colts and Titans still in the race?

    Yes, they are, because both could win the division thanks in part to the referees robbing the Texans of a potential win in Mexico. It is all or nothing, however, because the Colts and Titans are essentially eliminated from the wild-card race. How lucky or how good are the Colts to beat the Titans 11 straight times; this time after they almost blew a 21-point lead. The Titans were starting to get a lot of hype, but showed that they still have some growing up to do. They maybe read too many of the headlines last week because they certainly came out flat in Indianapolis. How do you come out flat against a team that has beat you 11 times in a row? Was there another team that received a beatdown as bad as that? Jacksonville, probably because Bortles is not the man, is playing like the losing Jaguars of old. The good news is that they will be drafting in the top 10 once again.



    AFC East

    Are the Dolphins off the elimination list?

    Yes, they are. They have had an incredible run. There is no question Miami has played well and has a favorable schedule over the AFC West competitors. The Dolphins get San Francisco this week, and that is a game they should win. I was very impressed with how they won with 14 points late in the first quarter against the Rams. Miami should have won the game earlier going against a rookie quarterback in Jared Goff, who wasn’t playing well. The Dolphins are one game behind the AFC West teams. The Dolphins are an emotional team, and they were able to catch fire in the fourth quarter to continue their win streak. Right now though, I don’t think that the Dolphins will be a better team than the Raiders, who won Monday night, the Chiefs or the Broncos. All three should get into the playoffs, but we will see.

    The Patriots played well against San Francisco, but how well can you say they really played considering the opponent. Buffalo beat the reeling Bengals, and the Jets had a bye and they needed it.

    AFC West

    Three teams are holding pace, but Oakland has the lead.

    Kansas City comes off a five-game win streak without really being spectacular during that stretch. The team is tied with Denver, and the Broncos are trying to make it to the playoffs on the back of their defense. Hopefully the Raiders, now in charge, didn’t party in Mexico because they will get in during the middle of the night and then have to prepare to play a desperate Panthers team. The Chargers were on a bye, but they already have let too many games get away from them in the best division in the NFL this season. While San Diego fields a tough team that nobody wants to play, San Diego will not be in the playoffs this year.



    NFC


    NFC East

    Three could teams remain in control.

    New York had a slow start while hosting Chicago, but the Giants’ defense shut the Bears out in the second half. For Dallas, Dak Prescott had a great game with three touchdowns and 300 yards, and that building confidence will be put to the test in these final six games. The Eagles weren’t ready to take down a team like the Seahawks on the road.

    NFC North

    Are the Packers eliminated?

    Yes, we added the Packers to our elimination list. To see them trying to cover wide receivers with linebackers created mismatches of epic proportions. The Redskins understood that advantage with touchdown strikes late in the game. With the Packers decimated by injuries, it is not looking good for this season.

    The Lions have won five of six games recently despite consistently trailing in the fourth quarter. That obviously doesn’t bode that well for the future if falling behind continues. However on the other hand, the team may have gained important confidence that will be needed down the stretch. We will see on Thursday.

    Minnesota won the hard way by getting a defensive score and a special teams score on the way to 30 points on the board against a suddenly fading Arizona Cardinals team. Maybe the Vikings can make the playoffs if Adrian Peterson returns? We knew going in to 2016 that Chicago would have a difficult season, and now they Bears are without QB Jay Cutler for the last six games. Who knew that Green Bay would have six losses 10 games into the season?

    NFC South

    Is anybody eliminated in this division?

    No, not yet. You cannot put the Saints nor the Panthers on the elimination list despite their losing 4-6 records because both are only two games back in the NFC South with division head-to-head games remaining. I also think that Tampa Bay is a legit threat to Atlanta at only one game out now. This week will be tough week with a road game at Seattle. The Bucs have played better on the road, but the 12th man is tough to beat in the Great Pacific Northwest. Half of the Bucs’ remaining games are in the NFC South, which gives them more than a chance.

    NFC West

    Is Arizona still alive?

    The Seahawks put a choke hold on the NFC West with their win over the Eagles, while the Cardinals lost another game with the loss to Minnesota. The Rams, already eliminated, believed it was a good time to see if Goff the 2017 NFL Draft’s No. 1 pick can play without pressure. San Francisco is already in “wait until next year” mode. Not clear where they are headed?

    Happy Holidays!



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