Jean Fugett: Around the NFL

Jean Fugett: Around the NFL

By Jean Fugett; thanks to Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell 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. would like to thank Redskins general manager Bruce Allen and senior vice president/executive producer of media Larry Michael for connecting us to Fugett. Now, let’s let Jean take over.

After watching preseason football, I’m still trying to get a feel on how much the game will change this year by how the rules are going to be called. I think there is a lot of uncertainty and I wonder if the penalties will be called as much as they were in the preseason. I think as a result of that there is uncertainty on how the game is going to be played be this year. Teams will have a better idea after the first couple of weeks. Right now, you can’t say this is how they called it last year, so we know what gets flagged. The playoffs aren’t called the same. I think that is the biggest thing that could change the game this year.

The second thing that could change the NFL is the new head coaches and what effect they will have on those franchises. Plus, you have other teams like Cincinnati that lost both of their coordinators, so some teams could look completely different.

You also have to consider which coaches are on the hot seat entering the season. I think there is a lot of pressure on the Dolphins. Many thought Joe Philbin wouldn’t survive last year, so he’s on the hot seat. I think there is a lot of pressure in Denver to win, so big things are expected from John Fox and his staff. The time is now. If they don’t win now, how many more years do they have with Peyton Manning? Manning should announce his final season ahead of time so he can do the tour like Derek Jeter has.

There is always pressure in Dallas. If the Giants get off to a slow start, there is going to be a growing hot seat under Tom Coughlin. I think there is a real hot seat under Mike Smith with the Falcons, while the Panthers will have an excuse with the quarterback being hurt.

I think there is some some behind-the-scenes pressure on John Harbaugh in Baltimore and, to a lesser degree, Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh. There isn’t pressure yet on Jim Harbaugh, but it sounds like things are bubbling under the surface. If things don’t go well for the 49ers, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jim Harbaugh moved on and ended being the the head coach of the New York Giants.

Those are the big factors I’m eager to see heading into the year, and so with that onto my season predictions.

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


In the AFC East, the New England Patriots got a lot stronger. After that, it isn’t clear, but I think the Jets are better than the Dolphins and Bills. Just getting a player like Revis is such a huge get for New England. Who is going to want to play New England this year?

If you look at the AFC North, I’m not sure how the Baltimore Ravens, or as some would call it “Houston North,” are going to be able to adapt their personnel to the Houston offensive scheme under coach Kubiak. I still think the Steelers will be better than many believe, and I have the Bengals winning. I have the division going Bengals, Steelers, Ravens and Browns.

However, I think as the year goes on nobody will want to play the Browns. Everybody knows they are going to miss Josh Gordon and they have to get their quarterback situation sorted out, but they have solid coaching with good young players and I think their defense could be tough. Cleveland plays well in the division and has a last-place schedule. The Browns could end up making a run at 8-8.

In the AFC South, the Colts are clearly the creme of the crop. I think Houston and Tennessee will be trying to find their way. They don’t have clear identities. The Texans will play excellent defense, but I’m wondering how they’ll score points this year. Jacksonville, when I figure that team out I will let you know.

In the AFC West, Denver is the leading team, but you have to wonder if Peyton Manning can put two seasons like that back to back. The Broncos are going to be good, but their schedule is much more difficult this year than it was last year. They are also totally dependent on Peyton Manning. You could say that about New England, but if Manning gets hurt it is hard to see how Denver would win at all. If Brady were out for a few weeks, I think the Patriots would somehow still win.

In the rest of the West, the Raiders have improved and the Chargers are still very good, but it will be difficult for the Chiefs to repeat their success they had last year. It could end up Broncos, Chargers, with the Raiders and Chiefs fighting for third place.


In the NFC East, you really can’t judge any of the teams by their preseason because none of them played all that well. With that, I’m going to go with my bias with the Cowboys winning the division. I have the Eagles coming back to the pack with the Redskins and Giants playing .500 ball. I think 9-7 might win this division, and that wouldn’t be a surprise.

In the NFC North, we don’t know how the players will perform on the two teams with new coaches, Detroit and Minnesota. The Vikings have problems because they have a deficit at the quarterback position. It is hard to win in the NFL without an established quarterback. I have them finishing fourth, but they will play competitively. A lot of my friends tell me the Packers are going to be really good. With the Bears, I’m still not a believer yet. Detroit is kind of hard, but with Stafford and Megatron, the Lions will score points. Their defense has always had good players who didn’t play with discipline. Maybe this year will be the year. So starting the season, I have to say the order will be Packers, Lions, Bears, Vikings.

In the NFC South, it will be a lot of the same. Can the Falcons rebound? Can the Panthers repeat? Will the Buccaneers improve? And can the Saints keep marching on? I’m worried for the Panthers with the injury to Cam Newton. If a quarterback starts a season with a rib injury, that means the quarterback will not finish the season. The Falcons really should have pressure on their shoulders with the way they played last year, so they’re either going to be a lot better or with a couple of tough losses they could be worse. I think Tampa Bay will be improved, but it won’t be early in the season. The Saints have stars, but I’m not sure they have the team to win it all. This is a tough division to predict. I think the Saints and Falcons will fight for the title. The Panthers will come back and the Buccaneers will have more wins.

In the NFC West, the Rams’ season is already over with Sam Bradford out for the year. The Michael Sam issue clouds them, too. They have a good defense, but it will be hard for them to score points. The 49ers have issues. Can the Cardinals figure everything out? They have a good staff, but Carson Palmer? However, the Cardinals could pass the 49ers this season.

Seattle, starting this season, is the best team in the NFL. Head and shoulders above everyone else. That includes the 49ers.

Thus, I have the Seahawks and the Patriots in the Super Bowl with the Seahawks repeating.


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Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 13 Recap - 12/4
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 12 Recap - 11/27
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 11 Recap - 11/21
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 10 Recap - 11/13
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 9 Recap - 11/6
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 8 Recap - 10/30
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 7 Recap - 10/23
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 6 Recap - 10/16
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 5 Recap - 10/9
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 4 Recap - 10/1
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 3 Recap - 9/25
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 2 Recap - 9/18
Jean Fugett's Around the NFL Week 1 Recap - 9/10
Jean Fugett's 2014 NFL Season Preview - 9/5

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2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

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