Kevin C. Cox / AAF / Getty Images
The NFL could find its future in the AAF, the high risk bet of the Browns, and the numbers show that the post-season Pats race might have been better than we thought. All this and more in the 10-point position this week.
1. The last test tube of football
During its first weekend of play, the Alliance of American Football proved incredibly fun and surprisingly good quality. The beginning assessments suggest that there could be a long-term future for the start-up and that the NFL was watching as close as anyone else at home.
The NFL does not consider only the AAF as a minor league system. (Hall of Famer Bill Polian is one of the architects of the AAF, and no one is more hardcore than the NFL.) He sees the AAF as a test tube; he wants the FAA to beta test the rules and ideas that he can potentially use.
The NFL thinks that the AAF, as I have been told by the NFL team leaders, can also serve as a rebirth for former NFL players like Trent Richardson, who scored two touchdowns during his opening match for Birmingham this weekend.
But back to what the NFL can fly to the league. Where will it be? Some ideas will make their way into the NFL, say officials; the others do not go:
Rush with up to five defenders. If you rush over five, you are penalized. It's only a matter of time before something like this becomes a part of the NFL. The league has been trying for some time to build the offensive and continues to look for ways to protect offensive players, to the detriment of those on the defensive side of the ball. Limiting the number of players who can blitz would be a big step in that direction.
No blow to send. Football traditionalists hate to potentially rule out this rule, but it was played out in the FAA, it seemed … good. Starting each possession after the score on the 25-meter line did not plunge the game into a black hole because the kickers were not there. And that could keep a lot of players healthier.
Transparent opinions. It's one of the most fascinating parts of AAF viewing and one of the most fascinating things I have seen in all sports. the verification process was released in plain view and offered a useful window on the arbitration apparatus that could avoid many criticisms of the referees.
The Alliance's replay magazines offer complete transparency … and Memphis coach Mike Singletary may well have some talent with this one. https://t.co/ZdmKI48Va3
Oh, but do not expect that in the NFL, maybe never. When I asked an NFC East assistant coach if it would happen one day in the NFL, he replied, "Are you kidding me?"
"We are not usually a league that likes transparency," he added.
Faster games. The AAF used a game clock running and had no waiting time for television, which allowed for an apparently faster pace. This is another idea that may appeal to fans, but not to the NFL, which advertisers may not be kind enough to not have the time or space to spend their millions of associations with the NFL . The NFL would not look too nice not to touch those millions.
More violence. The NFL moves away from these types of hits, which seems to be the most discussed piece of the opening weekend of the AAF.
Several league officials said they believed the NFL would continue to focus on de-escalating blows and protecting the quarterback. This should allow the AAF to have an open way to occupy the brutal approach, at least for the moment.
Eliminate the extra point. The NFL has dropped a few points in recent years to try to add some uncertainty to the process. For years, we have also been talking about eliminating it completely. AAF eliminated the extra point, forcing the teams to score two points after each touchdown.
It's impossible to say with certainty if the NFL would ever duplicate that. But I've heard enough people from the league talk about it to think it's just a matter of time before the NFL.
looseness One of the highlights of the opening week came after the Orlando Apollos defeated the Atlanta Legends (big names). After the match, Orlando coach Steve Spurrier noted that this was his sixth straight win in the opening game with a new team.
"Even won with the Redskins," said Spurrier. "It's not easy to do."
Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associate Press
Typical spurrier, and it was hilarious. The league needs more personality from its main coaches. As the NFL became more powerful, its coaches became more reluctant to show their human side. All too often, coaches and players are too scared to express themselves or even tell jokes like Spurrier's.
So, although the NFL certainly does not care about the market share that AAF might take, it can learn a thing or two from the young child.
2. Wanted: some stars
As entertaining as it is, the future of the AAF is not surprising.
What we do know is that almost all leagues that are alternative to the NFL (with the exception of the Arena Football League) have not just failed, they have also failed.
What AAF needs are more recognizable names. I would not be stunned if the league ended up giving Johnny Manziel a boost. He is under contract with the CFL for another year.
AAF contracts are typically three years in duration and worth approximately $ 250,000, but if the league wishes, it could go higher for a player like Manziel. Or any other big name.
Now that games are a reality, expect the AAF to conquer big names that will give it lasting power.
3. Saturation point?
There is another interested AAF observer, the renovated XFL, which is expected to debut next year.
Who knows what the football landscape will look like next season, but for now, the XFL seems to have fallen behind. Next year, football fans will have watched a season of AAF and another season of the NFL. Will they want to watch two novice leagues in addition to the NFL?
I'm not so sure.
4. Are you with him or against him?
David Richard / Associated Press
In a lighter tone, quarterback Baker Mayfield has made a name for both his promise on the field and his willingness to applaud those who doubt him or cross him.
He already had a chance with Hue Jackson. Now he is in a big ox with former running back Arian Foster.
Normally, this kind of thing is not great. In this case, however, this could be a good thing.
Mayfield adopted the American and global view of the Browns. I like that. Brown fans certainly do. It's good to have a token on the shoulder when one is brown and that one is trying to reverse nearly 20 years of bad football.
5. Something is wrong
Here are some excerpts from what John Dorsey, chief executive of #Browns, had to say about his decision to sign Kareem Hunt https://t.co/mVrQunToZo
Browns general manager John Dorsey said the Browns had conducted a thorough examination of Kareem Hunt, who was released by Kansas City last year after being filmed for assaulting a woman. having thrown to the ground in the hallway of a hotel the floor.
The explanation of Dorsey poses only one problem: he did not speak to the victim. This is from the story of her press conference given this week by Mary Cay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
"I talked to a lot of people [but] I did not have the opportunity to talk to this victim, "Dorsey said. This is probably part of his private life. "
Dorsey was asked when he was trying.
"No," he says.
The reason the team did not talk to the victim is unclear is that if we do not talk to the woman involved, it is impossible to call whatever the verified analysis by the Browns.
The Browns signed Hunt because he's talented and thinks it's worth it. That's all. That's all.
Dorsey takes a huge chance with Hunt, whom he wrote when he was working in the Chiefs Office. He had the same kind of luck in preparing Tyreek Hill, which worked from the point of view of football, although it probably leaves many fans uncomfortable by encouraging someone who admitted to having assaulted a woman.
It may also work in Cleveland, but Dorsey and his team were much more open to criticism than they had once again made a single phone call.
6. The playoffs for a team of all time
Jeff Roberson / Associated Press
Despite the general lack of fanfare for another Patriots title, their playoff performance deserves it.
In their three playoff games (division round, conference championship and Super Bowl) in 2018, the Patriots outscored their opponents by 544 total yards, according to the game. Elias Sports Bureau.
It may not seem like much after three games, but it is.
The last time a team had an advantage over 500 yards in the playoffs, was in 1989, when the 49ers outsold their opponents by 599 yards. This team had Joe Montana and Jerry Rice and won all three playoff games by a combined score of 126-26. ESPN.com has already ranked this team among the best in the Super Bowl era.
This is not a bad company to hold, even for a team as used to winning as the Patriots.
7. The Eagles have won gold, but will they lose it?
Eagles Wide receiver Golden Tate recently commented on the status of his contract on Twitter. When Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted the Falcons had hired linebacker Bruce Carter for a one year extension, Tate tweeted:
@AdamSchefter Oh, so you do not have to wait until March to sign extensions. Hmm interesting, good to know
My favorite part of this tweet from Tate was the "peace sign" at the end.
The Eagles traded against Tate during the season and finished the year with 30 catches for 278 yards in 278 regular season games with Philadelphia. For the Eagles, not signing for a long-term contract would be a big mistake because they do not have a range of captivating dynamics. Give Tate, one of the most underrated receivers of the game, a full season in the Philly offensive and he would dominate.
If the Eagles are smart, he will come back.
8. A brief but rare look at the NFL Executive Board
Morry Gash / Associated Press
Louis Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana, commented NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about his dissatisfaction with the call interfering with a foul pass at the end of the game for the NFC title.
The governor then made the answer of the Goodell public.
In addition to illustrating how powerful the NFL has become and fostering exchanges between a Governor-in-Office and the Commissioner about a play, it also provides insight into the decision-making process within the office. Commissioner. These moments are far too rare.
9. The wrong message
Ron Harris / Associated Press
A little over two years ago, Eric Reid, a 49ers defender, joined quarterback Colin Kaepernick on his knees to protest social injustice, mainly unjustified shootings by police on black men.
This week, Reid has signed an extension of contract with the Carolina Panthers. And Kaepernick?
It remains unsigned and, as I say for two years, it will probably remain that way. And in a week in which Kareem Hunt has found work, it remains a pox of the football house.
10. Just dream
Here is the cover of my next children's book, "Dear Black Boy". You can pre-order now. https://t.co/wzIC0kZLfc https://t.co/QUQYGTkuCw
Martellus Bennett, who won the Super Bowl with the Patriots before retiring, remains one of the most talented people I know. Next month he will publish a book entitled Dear black boywho tells black kids that they can be more than athletes. They can be anything. This is another revolutionary moment for a player with a lot of them.
Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @mikefreemanNFL.