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NFL Musings and Observations (Old Farts)

I have long believed in change. Change is needed in life and the person I am at 36 is much different than the man I was at 21. I would hope I would of changed, life is about changing and growing as a person. I look back to some of the fashion and I cringe. I think back to some of the language I used in my early life "That's so gay" "P@@#y" and some others and I not just cringe, I'm embarrassed. I will admit I used that language in my formative age, then I started realizing my ignorance and arrogance as I started to leave the safety of High School and I changed. Why do I bring up my own guilt? Because it is very specific towards defeating the arguments defending Jon Gruden.

I have a belief that when people don't change they become stuck in a mud and become that old, grumpy uncle who just say over the top things. We have seen what happens when a franchise is led by these old farts. I give you Rex Ryan who after his first two years with the Jet as a Head Coach stumbled until he was fired. He went to the Bills and he was out after two years. He never changed saying he wanted to be a "Bully" and this was different than the newer coaches in the league. The Bills looked like they would be natural playing in the late 90s with this over the top coach. Rex Ryan became an old fart.

Now to circle back to Gruden and his E-Mails. They're unacceptable but what's the difference between that High Schooler and Gruden? I expect a High Schooler who is still forming and maturing to kind of be ignorant. Think back to your High School years, did you think you knew everything about everything? Just the ignorance of youth. Jon Gruden was in his 40s of age. He had worked with people of all back grounds and traits. He showed that while the vast majority of teens and young adults grow out of this ignorance Gruden did not. In his private communications (Nothing in terms of saying anything is ever private) he showed his true self. He is incredibly ignorant at best and a bigot at worse. Either way is this the face anyone would want to have for their franchise?

Mark Davis is the owner of the Raiders and he hired Gruden with the belief he was going to be a valuable asset to his franchise. Looking at some of the weird moves in personnel you had to wonder but that is Xs and Os. That can be debated whether Gruden had failed to evolve with the game and his dismissal of analytics may of showed his hand of refusing to evolve. But Davis can tolerate that lack because it is a purely football aspect. Gruden and his E-Mails showed his lack of empathy for those who don't look like him, act like him and have the same beliefs as him. Why would Mark Davis tolerate that as his face of his franchise? He wouldn't, shouldn't and couldn't given that this is his franchise and a bigot at the head would be bad for business.

More so, his Father Al Davis was a pioneer in terms of giving ANYONE a chance. He hired the first black coach. To Al Davis his belief was "Just win baby" and from what I have read, he didn't care about what a person looked like as long as that goal was met. That is of course the end goal for any person in any line of work. Meet the goals of the organization. Knowing this, Mark Davis has a very real obligation to his late father to honor his belief that bigotry should not, could not and will not be tolerated. He made the right decision to pretty much force Gruden to resign.

Failure to evolve is no ones fault other than the person. To be ignorant or a bigot is a personnel choice. Why did Gruden fail to evolve? I would ague that he refused because he was a powerful person in the NFL, ESPN and in life. When do powerful people change? When other powerful people make them change. This is an ugly fact in life but it is the truth. If you're a military member you understand that the only way to change a colonel or a chief is for someone of equal rank of higher to force them to change. But these old farts normally end up retiring because they fail to adapt and change. Nothing smells worse than a lingering old fart and frankly it is about time that Gruden the Old Fart is pushed out the open window so we all can have a breath of fresh air.

Just some random NFL Thoughts:

1.) Can we just appreciate people who can see the game change and are not stuck in the mud? I'm talking about people who still can't admit that Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson are top 5 QBs in the league. The similarities between both of their careers so far are shocking! Both were highly doubted coming into the league. Both had full support from the franchise. Both had severe growing pains. Both had offensive schemes changed to fully support their abilities. Lamar is well documented as Greg Roman who has his faults has built an offense which high lights Lamar's running ability and counters it will easy reads which really puts the defense into a bind because you can't play two safety high. The Bills have gone from in JA17's first year being more of a two TE team and running more of an older model of offensive philosophy to bringing in WR athletes and spreading it out. They look at what JA17 is which is a wild bronco and said ok, that is what he is and he will always have that in him, lets make him that. Is a Bronco going to want to be a show horse? No, he isn't Tom Brady but a Bronco will love being out in the field getting the work done. The Bills spread it out and gives Allen the easy reads and let Allen be who he is, they just tempered that nature of Allen.

2.) Holy Crap Groot is performing and yet is still a project. Why do I say he is still a project? Because looking at his style he is still learning techniques and going on his talent. As talent meets technique I believe he is going to continue to improve. We saw both in the Chiefs game. The technique play was the run to the right where Groot punched hard with his left hand and set the edge against the LT and strung out the play and he finished with the tackle. Just a fundamentally sound play that doesn't get the love it normally should get but watching his technique grow is amazing. The talent, he picked off Mahomes with a play that only 10 defensive ends can make. It's as simple as that, he tipped the ball to himself and made the catch. When was the last time the Bills had a DE who could legit make that lay? Mario Williams in his prime. Technique and talent meet, look out!

3.) Kyle Shannahan doesn't get the second look he deserves. I believe that he gets a pass because of a narrative built of being a whiz kid on offense. Take out the OC year in Atlanta and the Superbowl year in the 49ers and he does not have as much accomplishments as so many people believe. It's hard to beat narratives force formed but let me ask, does the 49ers seem to be offensive sound? Check out the games and it looks like Kyle is living off of past accomplishments. Is he a good coach? Yes, but is he as high as I believe he should be? No, remember with Tyrod Tayler as a QB and a mostly Rex Ryan team Sean McDermott got to the playoffs.

4.) Size Matters in the NFL and the Bills have countered after being fairly light on the defensive front last year and brought in the big boys. Groot and Boogie with the return of Starr have made the Bills D-Line much harder to move. I brings this up now because the Titans want to run the ball with Henry and the Bills have I believe the size on defense to counter this. Specifically I believe that Edmunds if he remains clean and can run has the physically ability to go toe to toe with Henry. Edmunds is fully healthy and so is Derrick Henry. I'm excited because I think they will meet a few times and I want to see those clean hits.

5.) Spencer Brown is a big man. Is he still raw? Yes, but want to know something I love about him? His personality is equally as big. When I looked at Brown coming out I thought Jon Runyan. He is a big powerful man and he wants to hit the D-Line. Bills are banking on that physicality because with Allen putting points up as he does the Bills will need to finish games. That means running the ball.

6.) One of the big issues MANY teams are struggling with is finishing games. Finishing games to me running the ball. They have the ability to say we're going to gain 2 first downs running mostly. The Bills offensive line putting their will upon the defensive line and the running back delivering the blow. That to me means Zach Moss who just loves delivering the blow. I love watching how he initiates contact and never falls backwards. Is he an elite back? No. However he along with Singletary have a ying and yang but Moss brings a very hard yang!

7.) I saw an amazing thing on-line from Lorenzo Alexander describing Sean McDermott. Someone needs to move a tackle dummy, McD would help, clean up the locker room? McD will help. Someone needs a gatorade he would get it for that person. There is a term I have heard long ago and I believe it. Servant leader. McDermott truly embraces this concept of leadership, to lead you have to serve. It is difficult at best to act like a diva when the leader of the franchise doesn't act like he is bigger or better than any other person or job. I'll give an example, I have several who work for myself and we have to conduct building clean up every night. I can obviously give a direct and legal order to have the building cleaned up and sometimes to be frank I have had to due to work load. However, if I have the time I will either clean it up myself or give a helping hand. This was different than my earlier years when I was lowered rank when I had those above me call me in and said go and clean as they talked in the office on numerous occasions. McDermott has embraced this concept of servant leader and look how the Bills are playing not for themselves but for each other. I'll give another example, Diggs said last year his favorite play was blocking for Know so he could get a TD. That is a direct reflection of McD.

Have a great Week!

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.