I sat down to write and discovered that there were a number of things on my radar and couldn’t decide on just one. Therefore you’re getting my thoughts on several issues related to the National Football League.
SI.com’s veteran NFL writer Don Banks finally became the first true writer to say what we mere little folk have been saying for a long time; the problem in Washington is Daniel Snyder. When he took over in 1999, the Redskins had gone through a period of great success that including winning seasons and Super Bowl wins. Snyder has now been through eight head coaches and his team just set a dubious mark by losing double-digit games in five of the last six seasons.
Banks calls Snyder “the one constant” throughout this period of futility and he’s absolutely right. While some suggest owners like the Rooney Family in Pittsburgh can often be “too hands off” Snyder has proven to have his hands in everything and nothing he does seems to work. Perhaps it’s time to let football men do their jobs rather than be micro-managed by Snyder.
If couldn’t get any worse with Head Coach Jay Gruden, the defense and Robert Griffin III, yesterday there was a fight at practice between two teammates. Good times in the beltway once again…
New Discipline Policy Already Off to a Bad Start
Yesterday the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the new player discipline policy. This was needed because of the mess surrounding the Ray Rice domestic violence situation. The National Football League Players Association immediately issued a statement saying the following;
Our union has not been offered the professional courtesy of seeing the NFL’s new personal conduct policy before it hit the presses. Their unilateral decision and conduct today is the only thing that has been consistent over the past few months.
The NFL claims it involved the NFLPA each step of the way so again, we have someone not telling the truth which sums up this entirely ridiculous situation. Things got worse for Goodell Wednesday when transcripts of the Ray Rice Disciplinary Hearing were released. TO say that there are “inconsistencies” with Goodell’s comments would be a gross understatement. As they say, stay tuned.
Johnny Football is Coming
We saw a brief glimpse of former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel in Buffalo nearly two weeks ago but that was a dress rehearsal. The real thing is about to go down this week at home when the Browns host the in-state rival Bengals.
While Head Coach Mike Pettine will have to answer all kinds of questions related to this decision, I feel it’s the right one. The Browns have slipped to 7-6 and are now looking up at everyone in the AFC North. Brian Hoyer has struggled and even though I don’t think he’s received a lot of help from his pass catchers, the move had to be made.
Besides the fact that Hoyer has been less then average recently, Pettine feels this is the right time because the Browns are at home but I can also see where this could backfire. If Manziel struggles early, the home fans in Cleveland aren’t exactly known for patience and they could get on him especially if the team is trailing. Playing on the road can sometimes galvanize a team in times like this but I could be wrong too.
The move also sets into motion the placing of Manziel at the QB position for years to come. Should he play well in the final three games, it’s unlikely the team would sign Brian Hoyer to another contract. One way or another, the Johnny Football era has begun.