WHAT WE LEARNED: NFL WEEK 5
It was quite the week of NFL action, but the biggest news happened off the field so there’s no reason not to jump right into it.
WHAT’S DONE IN THE DARK WILL BE BROUGHT INTO THE LIGHT
By now, you already know the story. Emails from Jon Gruden to Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington Football Team, spanning from 2011-2018 were leaked after being discovered as part of a workplace misconduct investigation of the WFT. Reportedly, Gruden offends pretty much every group in the country, dishing out racist, misogynist and homophobic slurs like he was firing them into a basketball crowd out of a T-shirt cannon. Gruden worked in slurs like other artists work in paint, oils or marble. Much like the great masters of yore, he saw the figure inside the piece of rock and knew, with enough vitriol, stupidity and bigotry, he could find the ugly smear within.
Friday, two days before the Las Vegas raiders were to host the Chicago Bears (a +5.5 underdog), one of Gruden’s racist emails was leaked. Gruden denied being racist at all and came up with some excuse for his words in the email about NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith.
And, you know, he looked like he was going to survive it. During Sunday Night Football, Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy and Gruden’s former Monday Night Football broadcast partner Mike Tirico vouched for him. Said they believed his explanation, based on their years of personal experience with the man.
But of course he never said anything racist around them. That’s not how these cowards behave. They don’t show their true face in public because they know it would cost them. So they wear the human mask only to tear it off and reveal the racist, homophobic misogynist underneath when they’re around their fellow scumbags.
Monday morning, everything hit the fan. Whoever leaked the first email, leaked more and Gruden’s bigoted goose was publicly cooked. He resigned as head coach of the Raiders and systematically murdered every first head coach fired futures bet in the country.
It turns out the Raiders knew about all these emails Friday and did nothing about it. And while the Chicago Bears are a decent team, Las Vegas has been an upper tier unit in the early season. The Raiders lost at home 20-9 to a sqaud starting a rookie QB. Distractions will kill your team and its chances at winning anything and this one was already malignant in a way none of us knew.
I believe Las Vegas owner Mark Davis was going to try to ride it out, hoping the league would sweep the rest under the rug as they have so many other scandals in the past. Monday afternoon, that dream was dead. The NFL claims they didn’t leak them. I find that very difficult to believe.
The Raiders are 3-2 and should probably be 4-1 if this guillotine wasn’t hanging over the team’s head all weekend. Rich Bisaccia, the team’s assistant head coach and special teams coordinator has been named the interim head coach. Las Vegas was likely heading for a Wild Card spot before this happened. Now, that’s probably all down the toilet.
The last team to make the playoffs with an interim coach at the helm for most of the year was the 2012 Indianapolis Colts with Bruce Arians in for Chuck Pagano, who was diagnosed with leukemia. Arians was obviously head coach material and has proved it since, but that all happened because Pagano had cancer. Jon Gruden was the cancer in Las Vegas. I can’t see them recovering from this.
The Raiders looked like a 10-7/11-6 team to me. Now, I don’t think they’ll post a winning record.
THE CLOCK IS STILL TICKING ON URBAN MEYER
While the national news may have been rightly distracted by Gruden’s Humpty Dumpty impersonation, let’s not forget that Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer’s job security is, shall we say, tenuous.
According to Jason La Confora, players and coaches on the Jags team were convinced Meyer would be fired last week. And that was before taking a public ass whipping at the hands of the Tennessee Titans at home, 37-19. This is a team that’s lost 20 straight games and there’s not a match up on their schedule in which they’d be favored. Frankly, I believe if they’d fire Meyer right now, they’d have a shot against the Miami Dolphins Sunday. As it is? With Meyer still employed? I’m not betting on it.
And as for his relationship with his quarterback Trevor Lawrence? It’s not looking good, with Lawrence publicly disagreeing with Meyer’s “takes” in Sunday’s postgame interviews, whether it’s about running a QB sneak, one of the most basic plays in the sport or over how desperate the team is for a win. Lawrence is saying the right things. Doing the job. He’s getting no help from an inept and overmatched head coach who’d rather be humping co-eds in Columbus.
Owner Shad Khan should fix that today by loading Meyer into the catapult and pulling the lever. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell should be taking over this team as its interim head coach before Daylight Savings Time ends. Hell, he finished out Matt Patricia’s tenure in Detroit last year as such.
As for Meyer’s contract, it seems to me that Khan can fire him for cause, being a public distraction and just inept at his job. He’ll be on the hook for some of the $12 million a year deal, but not all of it. Maybe Khan will get lucky and somebody will release a few Meyer emails and wrap this up for everybody.
Trevor Lawrence is too good to be saddled with Meyer another game, let alone a full season.
The NFL season is rolling along and the Week 6 Schedule is up and taking bets at BetOnline.AG.