OUR SPORTS WORLD
1. Antonio Brown wanted three things. He wanted to be an ex-Steeler, get all the money he could, and play for the team of his choice. When he couldn’t get the latter, he did everything he could to force his way out. He was petulant and disruptive throughout his short stint in Oakland. He even enlisted the help from social media to speed up the process. Less than twelve hours later, Brown was cut and signed with New England. Because...well, of course.
Brown’s bad behavior is nothing new. Pittsburgh covered for him through his career for the sake of the organization. And he’s always been a “me-first” kind of guy. Now that he’s a Patriot, it’ll be curious to see if he’ll follow the program the way Randy Moss did or fail the way Chad Johnson did. At best, Brown connects with Tom Brady and learns the Patriot Way. At worst, he freelances too much, doesn’t study his playbook, complains to everyone in sight, and finds himself buried on the bench. Either way, the New England train will roll on, with or without Brown. My money’s on without.
2. I’ll give Mike Mayock credit for drawing a line in the sand with Brown. He wanted to know whether Brown was all in or not. But Jon Gruden did the team no favors when he tried to buddy up with him. I understand Oakland’s history as a sanctuary for the wayward football players, but that was a generation ago. This current regime doesn’t have the cache nor the clout to handle volatile players. And what happened to the no nonsense version of Jon Gruden? He actually thought Brown’s last social media posting was “amusing?” I don’t get it. This is why the Raiders will continue to be the Raiders.
3. And lastly, Brown railed again and again about not getting the respect he thinks he deserves. Don’t Mayock and Gruden deserve it too? Respect is a two way street. Brown wasn’t demanding respect, he was bitching. There’s a difference.
4. Their 30-point loss had to be the worst possible outcome for the Cleveland Browns. It was supposed to be different this year. They had their franchise QB. They had a great playmaker in Odell Beckham Jr. They had an up and coming defense. Jim Nantz and Tony Romo did the game for CBS. This was their most anticipated game in years. Instead, this is what a raucous home crowd got:
I think the Titans' Delanie Walker channeling Denny Green said it best.
5. Since rejoining the league in 1999, the Browns are 1-18-1 in their opener.
6. Melvin Gordon plans to sit out until week six or eight unless he gets a better contract (which he won’t.) But the Chargers look ready to go with Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson for the rest of the season. Before he became the head coach, Anthony Lynn was one of the most respected running backs coaches in the league playing under run oriented coaches like Mike Shanahan, Bill Parcells, and Rex Ryan.
7. I loved watching a healthy Dalvin Cook run all over the field. If he stays that way, Kirk Cousins becomes a better quarterback and Minnesota will be a tough matchup all season.
8. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown might be Baltimore’s version of Tyreek Hill (hopefully without the off field issues.) Lamar Jackson has gotta be thrilled. Jackson connected on his first seven passes, four were touchdowns.
9. Miami only has 22 players remaining from last season’s roster. By the way they played on Sunday, it might have been 22 too many...
10. Speaking of Tyreek Hill, he was hospitalized with a sternal clavicular injury and might be placed on IR.
11. Nick Foles’ first TD pass as a Jaguar was a beauty...until Chris Jones fell on him and broke his clavicle. To his credit, he had no bad feelings toward Jones after the game. Just a bad break (no pun intended) for a classy guy.
12. Eric Weddle’s head injury was like something out of a war movie. He’ll be put on concussion protocol until the team clears him.
13. Only the Jets can force four turnovers, not give up any, and lose a sixteen point lead at home to the Bills. Adam Gase and his weird stare are off to a bad start.
14. Can a tie actually be a win? For Arizona and Kyler Murray, yes. It certainly felt like a loss for Detroit.
15. New England will play zero playoff teams from last season in their first eight games. They will play road games in Miami, Washington, and Buffalo, host the Giants and Cleveland, and play the Jets twice. A New England 8-0 start is not just possible, it’s likely.