Wednesday Morning QB (Week 1)

 

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Week 1 in the NFL season is over and already the amount of controversy in the league is high but it is all surrounding one player.

Antonio Brown has been widely considered the most explosive receiver in the game and was one of the main reasons for a change in the environment in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers were always a defence-first team but when Brown got their things began to shift.

Ben Roethlisberger now had a target that could get open deep downfield and break open a game in one play.

He was one of the top receivers in the league for a number of years and remained that explosive threat as the Steelers became an offensive powerhouse.

He did that alongside Le’Veon Bell as they formed a new version of the triplets except this time in the northeast.

Bell was always the outspoken one out of them all as he caused a lot of problems for the Steelers after they continually used their franchise tag on the young running back.

He made a lot of noise and eventually the Steelers let him walk away as he signed a deal with the New York Jets after sitting out a full year in 2018.

Things got worse for the Steelers when Brown decided that he no longer wanted to be a part of the organization either.

Leading to the end of the season, Brown began making his own noise getting into arguments with Roethlisberger and missing practices.

He asked for a trade when the season ended and got his wish when he was traded to the Oakland Raiders.

It wasn’t necessarily his first choice or a choice at all as the Steelers didn’t involve Brown in the decision while rumours surfaced of the potential of getting a better deal somewhere else.

They essentially shipped him off to a team that was in the middle of a rebuild hoping that he wouldn’t be able to do much.

His time in Oakland started off rough as he began training camp on the sidelines after failing to wear the proper footwear in a cryo-chamber.

Then came the next bump as Brown was told that he would have to change his helmet to one that was approved by the NOCSE certifying that the helmet was safe to use.

32 players were told the same thing but Brown was the only one who made a deal out of it as he filed a grievance against the league and threatened to retire if he wasn’t allowed to use his old helmet.

That grievance failed and after another grievance failed he gave up and found a new helmet but by that time training camp was over and he had yet to play a snap.

The missed time was noticed and the team determined that he would be treated like every other player and would be fined for the missed time.

Those fines did not go over well with Brown as he shared the letter on Instagram voicing his displeasure.

That led to an apparently heated exchange with GM Mike Mayock just before their first game on Monday.

The team debated whether or not they would suspend Brown for that first game and in response Brown sent out a video with a voiceover from head coach Jon Gruden telling him to cut it out and play football.

That video also had a message as Brown asked the Raiders to release him in the caption and on Saturday he got his wish.

Not long after Brown was signed by the New England Patriots giving them yet another weapon to play with, although the antics his showed in Raiders won’t be tolerated.

It almost seemed like he did everything in his power to get out of Oakland, a place he never chose to be a part of and as more details came out that might have been exactly the plan.

Brown had reportedly sought out the advice of social media experts to see what he could do in order to push the Raiders to release him.

It began to look like Brown was becoming the biggest headache in the league all to get out of the situation he had no choice but to enter.

In the end, Brown ended up paying the Raiders $300,000 and never stepped on the field but ended up on the defending champions with the best shot to win a title in the league.

He got what he wanted but the damage might be done to his image as he didn’t just sit out like Bell, he called out members of Oakland management and never stated his true feelings.

If he plays well for New England and doesn’t have any more issues off of the field things might be forgiven but that could be near impossible.

After all of that, he was then accused of sexual assault by a former trainer who claimed he assaulted her on three separate occasions.

The way that the Patriots operate, that could be the end of his time and with teams watching the likelihood of him playing this year if those accusations turn out to be true is next to none.

 

Fifth Quarter

Not Bad for a Running Back

Lamar Jackson was drafted as the future of the quarterback position in Baltimore after years of debate surrounding Joe Flacco. Like so many quarterbacks with Jackson’s talent, along with his skin colour, the question surfaced whether he could actually be a good enough QB. After all, this had been seen before with Robert Griffin III who came in a dual-threat QB but never took off, although a lot of that had to do with an offence that didn’t fit him and injuries suffered due to bad line play. For some Jackson was a glorified running back and would never be able to do enough in the pocket to lead the Ravens. Jackson took that personally and shoed all of his critics in Week 1 when he threw for 324 yards and five touchdowns proving that he has a lot more to offer than just a running game.

Playing for a Contract

One of the biggest stories in the league throughout training camp was in Dallas where their starting running back was holding out for a big contract. All of the news surrounded Ezekiel Elliott and the seemingly endless battle between him and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Both went back and forth but just before the beginning of the year they came to an agreement. The one thing missing with all of those distractions was the fact that their other young star was looking for his own contract. Dak Prescott didn’t hold out but had made it clear that he wanted an extension before the end of the year. Elliott kept most of the attention on him and now after a great Week 1 performance Prescott’s price might have just gone up.

Bad Times in South Beach

The Dolphins were never expected to be a great team this year as the rebuilding process is continuing through the season. Nobody expected them to be this bad though as they were blown out by the Ravens 59-10 in one of the worst showings for a team in Week 1 ever. That result also made things difficult afterwards as reports surfaced that multiple players immediately called their agents after the game requesting to be traded. The Dolphins are hoping to be better but if things continue it could be a bad season with a lot of players potentially on their way out.

  Hype Train Derailed

Heading into the season the Cleveland Browns were one of the most talked-about teams in the league. They had spent so long at the bottom of the league that their limited success in 2018 showed a lot of promise. Some key off-season additions made them a team to watch for 2019 as they had the potential to do something special this year and bring the Browns out of the basement. Their Week 1 game had the makings of that type of story as their first drive was methodical and exciting leading to a touchdown. That is where the excitement ended though as Baker Mayfield threw three interceptions and the Browns lost their opener. As is the case with every season a lot of people jumped off of the bandwagon although there is plenty of time left for the Browns to have a great year.

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