Category: football

Jones shows he belongs in the NFL by Neil Miller/The New York Extra

If there were any doubts about Dan Jones being a NFL caliber quarterback, they were erased by this past Sundays work. With touchdowns by passes, and setting up a run for Le’Von Bell, it showed that Jones has the tools to compete in the NFL.

East Rutherford, N.J., Sunday, October 13, 2019. Le’Veon Bell of the Jets slips the grasp of Cowboys linebacker Joe Thomas. (The New York Extra/David L. Pokress)

Although the Cowboys made a late run to try and win the game, marked by several penalties in the final drive,the Jets prevailed for their first win this season.

East Rutherford, N.J., Sunday, October 13, 2019. Sam Darnold passing against the Cowboys. (The New York Extra/David L. Pokress)

All That Matters is This: Daniel Jones is Undefeated

Robbins Nest

09/29/19 Washington Redskins vs N.Y. Giants at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford N.J. #8 Dan Jones runs for a first down in todays game Neil Miller /The New York Extra

By Lenn Robbins

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Really, the only thing one needs to know about the state of Daniel Jones as the Giants quarterback is this:

They are undefeated.

It doesn’t matter if his two victories have come against the bipolar Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the utterly dysfunctional Washington Redskins.

Nor does it matter that he threw the first two interceptions of his NFL career in Sunday’s 24-3 win over those repugnantly-named Redskins. And we’re loathe to point out that he’s the first Giants rookie QB to win his first two starts since Phil Simms in 1979, because that became one rocky ride before Bill Parcells regained his genius.

09/29/19 Washington Redskins vs N.Y. Giants at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford N.J. #8 Dan jones throws in the 3rd quarter today Neil Miller/The New York Extra

Jones is 2-0 and the Giants are 2-2, a better record than the Steelers (0-3) and the same as the Philadelphia Eagles.

We can’t say that he’s won the games he was supposed to win because, truthfully, when the Giants were 0-2, the only “winnable” game on the schedule, possibly, was the Dec. 15th home game against the Miami Dolphins, who are the first NFL team in history to tank in September.

Jones threw interceptions on back-to-back first-quarter possessions and seemed as nonplussed as a medical examiner dictating gory descriptions the mortal wounds into a recorder.

When asked if it was easy to put those two potentially catastrophic mistakes behind him, The Rookie said, “Yeah, I think you have to be able to do it.

09/29/19 Washington Redskins vs N.Y. Giants at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford N.J. #8 Dan Jones runs out of the pocket in todays game Neil Miller /The New York Extra

“If you can’t, you’re going to struggle at times because football is going to go up and down. You’re going to have good plays and bad plays. Certainly try to do it, and I think you have to be able to.”

It doesn’t matter that Jones, statistically, had a pedestrian day. He was 23-of-31 for 225 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 78, much better than some guy named Brady (45.9) on Sunday.

Sorry. No need to overthink this by even hinting at comparisons to Simms, Brady or, um, Nathan Peterman.

A quarterback has to do two things, and two things only:

  1. Win. Duh.
  • Get his team in the end zone, which, of course, has a direct correlation to No.1.

Jones led the Giants to touchdowns on their first two possessions. They had a 14-0 foot on the Redskins’ throat before Jay Gruden, keeper of Dan Snyder photos, started thinking of replacing Case Keenan with rookie Dwayne Haskins.

That cushion allowed Jones to get away with his first two picks and his 78 quarterback rating. The Redskins offense is about to be reported by a whistleblower so no threat there.

Jones, hailed by the Giants fans like MAGA maniacs at a Trump rally, improved to 2-0.

“Not only is he a quick learner but he’s a fast thinker,’’ Giants coach Pat Shurmur said of Jones.

Do we dare think the Giants can go to 3-0 next week against a higher quality opponent in the Vikings? No. We stay in the moment. Jones is 2-0. He’s rallied his team from 18 down one week and shook off the first two picks of his career the next.

“Getting back to 2-2, you feel good about it,’’ Jones said. “But at the same time, if we’re going to keep winning, we have to address a number of things. We have to improve a number of things as a team if we want to keep it going. I think it’s important that we understand that and like I said, keep moving forward.”

Moving forward with their undefeated quarterback.

A Bleeping Star Is Born as Jones Rallies Giants

Robbins Nest

By Lenn Robbins

8/01/19

Sorry Lady Gaga. Apologies Bradley Cooper.

A F&$ping star has been born.

Daniel Stephen Jones III, the quarterback the Giants allegedly drafted too high, the seemingly second coming of mind-mannered Eli Manning, the old-school drop back passer, shattered all those preconceived notions on one glorious evening in Tampa.

Jones, the No.6 pick in the draft, bolted seven yards with 1:18 left for what proved to be the winning touchdown as he rallied the Giants to a 32-31 win in his first NFL start.

Afterward, after Jones had rallied the Giants from an 18-point deficit, after the rookie from Duke had run for two touchdowns and passed for two touchdowns, after he completed 23-of-36 passes for 336 yards, it was learned he dropped the ‘F’ bomb in the huddle.

Now that’s a quarterback for New York.

“(He) cussed one time,” wide receiver Russell Shepard told reporters after the game. “I ain’t never heard him scream. He started screaming and cussing. We were in the red zone and he was like, ‘Let’s f—ing score.’”

“The fact that he did that (curse) was an eye-opener because we never seen him get out of his personality. He’s very mellow, very mild-mannered individual. He doesn’t get too high or too low. To see him get like that was pretty impressive. That was the thing that propelled us offensively to keep fighting.”

The Giants had gone 55 games in which they had failed to win after trailing by 18 points or more at halftime. They trailed 28-10 and Jones had played like a rookie quarterback making his first start on the road no less.

And then the third quarter started and Jones, before our very eyes, transformed himself from a wide-eyed, overwhelmed 22-year-old rookie into a seasoned season savior. Jones completed 5-of-8 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns.

When Matt Gay yanked a 34-yard chip shot that would have ruined Jones’ debut, the Giants, led by a jumping up and down Jones, celebrated as if they had won the Super Bowl. It was only their first win of the season after two miserable losses.

“We had a chance there at the end of the game,’’ Jones said. “That’s all you can ask for, We kinda struggled to move the ball there at points and — just a great job, great job moving the ball down the field as a team. We got some guys open, and they made plays. So great job, loved the fight and loved the grit of this win.”

Lost in all this, of course, was Eli Manning, the two-time Super Bowl MVP who should be remembered as one of the franchise’s all-time greats. He was the only player on the winning sideline that knew just how impressive Jones’ performance was.

But Jones is not Eli. He just penned the first chapter in his book. Some of the words might have to be blacked out.

“I was just excited,” Jones told reporters when asked about his huddle expletive. “I don’t know exactly what happened.”

What happened is a star has been born. A F5$king star.

OBJ and Gettleman Deliver a 1-2 Knockout Punch

File photo NY Giants #10 Eli Manning Neil Miller/The NY extra copyright 2019

Robbins Nest

By Lenn Robbins

Safe to say in their storied history, the Giants have never absorbed a 1-2 punch like this.

Eli Manning, the second son of a regal football family, had become the No.1 quarterback the Giants have ever known. Two Super Bowl titles. Two Super Bowl MVPs. Zero embarrassing moments in a city that has made a fool of millions.

He was benched on Tuesday. A 2019 knockout punch.

The end of an era. Sixteen seasons, 233 games, 231 starts, 56,287 yards and 361 touchdown passes came to an end in the form of a press release.

“Eli was obviously disappointed, as you would expect, but he said he would be what he has always been, a good teammate, and continue to prepare to help this team win games,’’ coach Pat Shurmur said in a statement.

Good teammate, for sure. Better person, no doubt. Fall guy? Of course.

Manning’s benching came two days after the Giants dropped a 28-14 decision to the Buffalo Bills, a loss that dropped them to 0-2.

Has Manning been bad? Yep. Has the entire offense been bad? Yep. Has the defense been bad? Yep. Have the special teams been bad? Yep. Coaching? Yep.

Front office? Yes! Hell yes!

The 0-2 start is not an indictment of Manning. It’s a referendum on how lacking this roster is in elite talent.

With the exception of Saquon Barkley, is there one difference maker, one player that keeps an opposing offensive and/or defensive coordinator downing Red Bulls at 3 a.m.? No.

The only other game-changing offensive player the Giants had was on full display Monday night in MetLife Stadium, the building Big Blue calls home, in the Cleveland Browns 23-3 win over the Jets.

Odell Beckham Jr., the most exciting wide receiver in the game, was traded away because GM David Gettleman didn’t believe he fit the culture in East Rutherford.

That culture is in shambles today.

The Giants are the Miami Dolphins of the north.

One day after Beckham torched the Jets for 161 yards receiving and one touchdown, the Giants decided this was the best day to bench Manning in favor of the player that was drafted as his replacement.

Daniel Jones will start at quarterback Sunday when the Giants play at Tampa Bay. A road game. Nothing like giving a rookie his first start on the road.

We all knew, Eli knew, that sooner or later the Giants would turn to Jones, the No.6 pick in the 2019 draft. So it begs the question, ‘Why didn’t Jones get more than some mop up time in these first two games?”

Why has he only been getting backup reps in practice and splitting time with Alex Tanney on the scout team?

The Giants weren’t going to win these first two games. Not with this roster; not with this management.

It doesn’t matter if Jones turns out to be a franchise quarterback. Given his skill set as a pocket passer, he will never provide the jaw-dropping, you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me moments OBJ dropped on us, not once, but twice.

He made one of his patented one-handed, ‘did you see that?!’ catches in the first quarter for 33 yards. He turned a short slant into the longest catch and run of his NFL career, an 89-yarder.

If OBJ was still a Giant even he couldn’t have prevented a third straight 0-2 start. This franchise has bigger problems – a GM that claims to have an impressive resume; ownership that cares but is stuck in the past, reacting instead of proacting.

The Giants should have taken a page out of the New York Rangers playbook. In February of 2018, management sent fans an email stating they were building for the future. Translation: The current season will be an audition for future roles.

That’s what the rest of this season is for Big Blue. Jones’ audition for the lead role begins Sunday. He should make friends with Barkley immediately. It’s all he has.

Manning will say the right things. He’ll hold the clipboard and help Jones as best he can. But no one can get this franchise off the canvas. This 1-2 punch ended the season, and if Jones fails, many more to come.

Bills Might Have Just Pushed Jets and Giants Over the Falls

Robbins Nest

file photo NY Giants #10 Eli Manning Neil Miller/The New York Extra/copyright 2019

By Lenn Robbins

You know the state of professional football in the metropolitan area is in sad, sad shape when the best team in the Empire State doesn’t call MetLife Stadium home.

The fact that the Buffalo Bills have beaten the Jets and Giants is just the wild wings appetizer in this story.

The Bills (2-0) have their quarterback of the future in Josh Allen.

He has such a powerful arm it’s rumored he can throw a pass from the Anchor Bar to the Statue of Liberty. From his knees. He is more mobile than Sam Darnold or Daniel Jones.

The Jets (Darnold) and Giants (Jones) believe they are set at that vital position but we don’t know. Jones didn’t play in the Giants 28-14 loss to the Bills on Sunday and Darnold (mononucleosis) won’t play Monday night against the Browns.

The Giants (0-2) have their back of the future in Saquon Barkley, although his name will always be linked with Darnold, which takes us back to the franchise QB issue.

Should the Giants have drafted Darnold? Is Jones the real deal?

The Jets (0-1) have their star back in Le’Veon Bell but he’ll be a salary cap albatross before Gang Green makes the playoffs. You read that right.

The Bills got their back of the future, Devin Singletary, in the third round of the draft. It didn’t cost them the second pick in last year’s draft (Barkley) or a Brinks truck (Bell).

The Bills have a balanced, aggressive defense. The Giants have a defense that allowed Dak Prescott and Allen to look like Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.

The Jets defense looked good in Week 1 in a 17-16 loss to Buffalo. It will be without LB C.J. Mosley and first-round pick DL Quinnen Williams against the Browns.

As bad as Cleveland’s petulant QB, Baker Mayfield, looked in a Week 1 loss to the Titans, we expect Gang Green’s defense to be exposed.

Worst of all, it feels as if the Bills are building something, as if there’s a plan and everyone is drinking the same sports drink.

The Giants are a QB change away from acknowledging what every Big Blue fan knows – this roster is lacking and the season is a long, cold march to the draft.

The Jets want us to believe they can be competitive this season but we’re about to meet Trevor Siemian who couldn’t win the starting QB jobs in Denver or Minnesota. He’ll play quarterback until Darnold can return.

The Jets follow Monday’s game against Cleveland with the Pats, Eagles and Cowboys. It’s possible that by the time Darnold returns the Jets could be in draft lockstep with their MetLife neighbors.

The Bills next face the Bengals so 3-0 is probable. Buffalo hasn’t done that since 2011. Spoiler: The Bills finished 6-10.

 Forget the future. The Bills are 2-0. They’re having fun.

When a reporter asked Allen what he thought he had proved to New York City fans and New York City teams, the second-year QB picked apart the question.

“Um, [there’s] one New York team,” he quipped. “I’m just kidding.”

They’re laughing upstate. We’re about to cry Niagara Falls tears down here.

The Darnold-Mayfield Showdown Gets Kissed Off

ROBBINS NEST

09/08/19 Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford N.J. New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold #14 leaves the field in dejection after the game today

By Lenn Robbins

Stars rise fast these days. Some handle it well. Some don’t.

Sam Darnold, 22, would have made the 15th start of his NFL career Monday night when Gang Green hosts the Cleveland Browns and their second-year quarterback, Baker Mistakefield, 24. It’s likely Darnold will miss more than just Monday’s game with mononucleosis.

Mayfield was the No.1 overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft. Darnell went No.3. You know ESPN is scrambling to replace all those Mayfield-Darnold comparisons.

It’s a shame that Darnold has been sacked by the kissing disease, as it’s referred to in KidsHealth.org. Because Mayfield is the kid in this tandem. Darnold is the adult.

Mayfield’s talent-laden Browns, considered the favorites to win the AFC Central, got pummeled by the Tennessee Titans, 43-13 last weekend. The ailment he’s suffering these days is a bruised ego.

Mayfield, who any minute now could declare himself the best young quarterback in the NFL, completed 25-of-38 passes for 285 yards with three interceptions, one touchdown and garnered a QB rating of 64.

Darnold wasn’t much better in his team’s season opener, a soul-sapping 17-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He completed 28-of-41 passes for a meager 175 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. His QB rating was 84.9-percent.

09/08/19 Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford N.J. New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold #14 throws in todays game

So, on paper, after one week, the Jets have the better quarterback.

Now, let’s put these silly analytics aside. Because really, QB rating is nonsense. If a quarterback gets his team in the end zone and wins games, the rest is window dressing.

John Elway’s QB rating? 79.9. Johnny Unitas? 78.2. End of story.

Here’s why we’re perfectly comfortable with Darnold being in New York and Baker Blabber being in Cleveland.

After the Jets blew the game against the Bills last week, this was what Darnold had to say:

“We never really got into rhythm and I put that on myself.”

file photo N.Y.Jets #14 Sam Darnold walks off the field after the Jets lost last Sunday Neil Miller /The New York Extra

After the Browns got pulverized by the Titans, this is what Baby Baker had to say.

“We don’t really give a damn what’s going on on the outside,” Mayfield said when asked how stunned the NFL world was by his team’s debacle.

Darnold said “I.” Mayfield said “We.”

Darnold has shown uncanny poise and has an understated presence. Guys like to be around him.

Mayfield has dissed former teammates (see: Duke Johnson) and coaches (see: Hugh Jackson) and opponents (see: Daniel Jones). He likes to be the light and the moth.

Mayfield can be seen on TV hocking Progressive Insurance, which in theory is fine. But it makes you wonder if some of the veterans on the Browns, that have never had a sponsorship deal, are a little irked.

Darnold hasn’t filmed a national television commercial but he did dress up as Santa Claus last Christmas and surprised kids at a New Jersey mall.

We won’t get to see Darnold-Mayfield Monday night, which is disappointing. Both seem to be remarkably gifted. Mayfield is more mobile. Darnold has an Elway-strong arm.

Here’s the shame: The QB that carries himself like a petulant child didn’t get the kid’s virus.

Jets’ Gase Put An Incomplete Team on the Field

09/08/19 Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford N.J. New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold #14 leaves the field in dejection after the game today

Robbins Nest

By Lenn Robbins

 One of the many factors that contributed to Mike Maccagnan getting stabbed in the back by Adam Gase was the feeling that the former GM gave out overly generous contracts to Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley.

09/08/19 Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford N.J. New York Jets head coach Adam Gase during the 2nd half today

The two will earn a combined $33.5 million this season. The rest of the roster, starting with Gase, should earn nothing.

What other conclusion can one draw after the latest Jets debacle, this one epic even by Gang Green’s lowly standards?

The Jets forced four first-half turnovers, led 16-0 midway through the third quarter, and lost, 17-16, to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

 Gase, making his Jets head coaching debut, put an incomplete team on the MetLife Stadium field. The Jets were putrid in special teams, porous on the offensive line and unable to sustain defensive intensity for 60 minutes.

“When you take a loss like this, it kind of defines you,” Bell told reporters. “We’re going to see how guys respond. When you have that many turnovers and we still don’t win the game, we didn’t deserve to win that game.”

The Jets built their lead largely because they had two NFL-proven stars in Bell and Mosley. And then they got exposed by a Buffalo team that had a solid plan and solid, if not spectacular, roster.

The Jets kicker, Kaare Vedvik, who was signed off waivers last week, missed a PAT and a 45-yard field goal attempt.

09/08/19 Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford N.J. New York Jets kicker Kaare Vedvik #6 reacts fater missing a fg in todays game

“It sucks,’’ Vedvik told reporters. “Everybody wants to do their part in helping the team win. A close game like that, it’s bad.”

The offensive line, which was so suspect the Jets had to woo Ryan Kalil out of retirement in early August, gave up four sacks and never allowed Sam Darnold, who got hit nine other times, to feel comfortable.

“Whenever you have the lead going into the fourth quarter, that’s never the result you want,” Darnold, who was 28-of-41 passing for 175 yards and one touchdown, told reporters.

The defense looked competent until Mosely left the game midway through the third quarter with a groin injury.

09/08/19 Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford N.J. New York Jets inside linebacker C.J. Mosley #57 runs in a interception for a touch down in the 1st half today

“When he went out, it was kind of a game changer as far as they didn’t have somebody that vocal in the middle of the field that was able to make all their calls and all their check,” Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen told reporters after the game.

Bell, who should have gotten the ball more than 23 times, finished with 92 yards from scrimmage, a touchdown reception, a leaping two-point conversion catch and showed that despite a year away from football, he remains a dominant back.

09/08/19 Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford N.J. New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell #26 celebrates his catch for a 2 pt conversion in todays game
09/08/19 Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford N.J. New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell #26 runs for a gain in the 1st half today

 Mosley scored the Jets other touchdown, their first of the season on a 17-yard interception return. Before leaving midway through the third with a groin injury and defense’s heart, he had five tackles, two passes defensed and the Pick Six.

Gase, allegedly a quarterback whisperer, couldn’t protect a 16-point lead at home by calling plays like a coach that was trying to protect a 16-point lead.

“I felt like our energy died, man, and we wasn’t playing team ball,” safety Jamal Adams told reporters. “So any time you do that, a team is going to take advantage of it.”

The way Gase’s team is constructed, don’t be surprised if the Jets get taken advantage of a lot this season.

Chiefs Can’t Wait: This is the Last Sunday With no NFL Until February

Robbins Nest

By Lenn Robbins

There have been many impassioned debates as to whether or not Tom Brady is the greatest football player of all time.

Recently we wrote that Brady is the pick for the greatest quarterback of all time.

Now we have learned that there is another facet of Brady’s greatness that ends any debate Sorry, Montana. Apologies, Namath. Regrets, Unitas. Brady has indeed taken the quarterback position to a new level.

He is the Football Whisperer, the Freud of the Football. Not the game of football. The actual football.

Consider his recent remarks when asked to assess the play of free agent wide receiver Jacobi Meyers, who has impressed throughout training camp and the preseason.

“The football doesn’t care how old you are, whether you were drafted or not. The football doesn’t care how much experience you have. It just knows, when I let that ball go, it’s got to be in the hands of the guy who it’s intended for.’’

Wait, the football doesn’t care, as in the football has feelings?

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this discovery but we will try.

This is like finding life on Mars. Or fresh water in the ocean’s depths. Or a neurotransmitter in the deepest recesses of the brain that can be stimulated to guarantee lifelong virility. (Willing to volunteer for the trial).

Tom Brady, six-time Super Bowl champ, three-time Super Bowl MVP, husband to one of the highest-earning supermodels of all-time, might just win a Nobel Prize for science.

This is like Kobe Bryant winning an Oscar for his truly wonderful animated short film, “Dear Basketball.”

Brady, we know, has an intimate relationship with footballs. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for deflating balls in the 2015 AFC Championship Game.

We wonder: If he knew then what he knows now, would he have, um, deflated the balls? Maybe his

Football Whisperer skills were still being honed and he couldn’t yet communication with the oblong, leather, ball.

We’ll let the psychologists, therapists and linguists pursue this new avenue of study. We’ve got bigger issues to address. With this being the last Sunday we won’t have NFL football until February 9th, and all those priceless preseason games in the books, it’s time to make our picks.

AFC East: Pats – as long as the 42-year-old Brady doesn’t get injured or caught deflating footballs.

AFC North: Browns – Mayfield leads them to their first divisional title since 1989, despite monthly reports he’s not liked in the locker room.

AFC South: Texans – Without Luck, Texans have the best QB in the division – by far.

AFC West: Chiefs – Andy Reid is a Hall of Fame coach, right? Right?

Wildcards:  Steelers – Addition by subtraction; AB and his treasured helmet are gone. Chargers – Because I believe in the Ravens less, not exactly a ringing endorsement.

AFC Championship Game: Chiefs over Pats

NFC East: Cowboys – America’s soap opera team.

NFC North: Packers – Mr. Rodgers really likes the neighborhood now that the McCarthy house has been sold.

NFC South: Saints – Drew Brees is starting to slip. Really? Really?

NFC West: Rams – Todd Gurley’s knee is as shaky as my short game but that defense is as solid as my 19th hole storytelling.

Wildcards: Bears – Taking a healthy but unproven Mitch Trubisky over a proven but not necessarily healthy Carson Wentz. Seahawks – They just stole the best DE, in football, Jadaveon Clowney, and Texas didn’t even file a police report.

NFC Championship Game: Seahawks over Cowboys

Super Bowl – Chiefs over Seahawks.

Seeing is the NFL Believing in Oakley’s Prizm Visors

Robbins Nest

By Lenn Robbins

Andrew Luck chose life over football.

He was done with the blood in his urine, the pain in his body, the cobwebs in his head. The 29-year-old Colts quarterback, with full life to be lived, did what any sane, mature, young man should do. He retired.

These are some of the responses Luck received:

credit twitter

Some television announcers quickly bemoaned their disappointment because they were going to pick Luck in their fantasy football draft.

Some Colts fans, who must be a quarter of a chromosome short of human, booed Luck as he tossed passes on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday when the news broke.

Many debated whether or not Luck should repay some of his contract.

How Luck’s retirement affects the Colts also made for a lot reading.

Luck’s short and long-term health was not a sexy story, so it got buried.

Now, consider these story lines:

Luck now probably has a good chance of watching the child he and longtime girlfriend Nicole Pechanec are expecting to grow up. He can push her on the swings, attend her school functions, maybe even toss a football around.

Luck now probably avoids being one of the former NFL players sitting at home that don’t know they’re sitting at home because their brains are irreparably damaged.

Luck now probably won’t be one of the former NFL players – such as Jim Otto, who literally is sitting at home –  because they’re cripples. Otto had his right leg amputated in 2007 after injury led to surgery and infection.

Luck no longer is one of the current NFL players that are considering the long-term health risks associated with their profession. Other players are actively managing their injury care.

“I think it takes an immense amount of courage, an immense amount of self-reflection and a lot of guts to do what he’s doing,’’ said Texas defensive end J.J. Watt.

Here’s one of the undisputed truths in life that none of us should ever forget: The only people that truly care about you are your family, close friends and pets.

Big business certainly doesn’t care. And the NFL, which finishes its preseason Thursday, is very big business.

It’s so big that three days after Luck announced his retirement, the NFL and Oakley announced a four-year deal in which the sports performance equipment company becomes the league’s official helmet visor provider.

It didn’t seem like a particularly interesting announcement until one recalls that tinted visors have been banned by the NFL since 1998. Visors only could be used if the player was granted medical exemption.

Tinted visors were banned for safety.

Medical personnel feared that a helmet with a tinted visor could make it more difficult to see a player’s eyes in evaluating possible concussion. And removing a helmet with a visor could be hazardous in the event of spinal cord injury.

Oakley claims, and the NFL nods in agreement, that its visors can be easily and safely removed without removing the helmet.

Oakley claims, and the NFL nods in agreement, that its subtle pink tint visors will not hinder medical personnel from looking into a player’s eyes.

Oakley claims its Prizm Clear visors feature Prizm technology which makes, “the colors on the field pop. The football against the green field and the white hashmarks and sidelines should all stand out more to the player.”

Sorry, just teared up for sec. Oakley better patent that statement because it sounds like a Hallmark card in the making.

Here’s the deal. We’d love to believe that these visors are safe and truly offer a scientific breakthrough in vision, but why in the world would any player take Oakley and the NFL’s claims at face value?

Read of the terrific and terrifying book, “League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for the Truth,” by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, and any mature young man will question if their health is the league’s priority.

We don’t know how much Oakley is paying for this partnership. We do know that the Oakley logo will have a place on every NFL field. And that’s not cheap.

We do know that Oakley’s Sutro frames with Prizm-lense sunglasses go for $163 a pop, so yes, we hope colors will pop, pop, pop.

None of us know exactly what the last four years have been like for the oft-injured Luck. He should go on to live a happy and healthy life. He won’t end up like Otto or so many others.

You don’t need Prizm lenses to see that.

The Gettleman/Shurmur Ticket Has Had a Good August

Robbins Nest

By Lenn Robbins

8/01/19 New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur Neil Miller /nysportsextra

We are as far away from knowing if the Dave Gettleman/Pat Shurmur partnership is going to restore the Giants to where it once was – one of the NFL’s most respected, professional franchises – as we are to the first snowfall (Apologies).

But August has been a very good month for the Giants.

8/01/19

From the Mara Family, to George Young, to Bill Parcells, to Tom Coughlin, the Giants set a standard on and off the field that every Big Blue fan could proudly wear. Even in seasons when a championship wasn’t won, the Giants walked with the Steelers, the Packers, and the 49ers among others, franchises that would have the late Aretha Franklin bellowing out, ‘Respect.’

And then the worm turned. Jerry Reese. Bob McAdoo. The utterly galling benching of Eli Manning. The ridiculous antics of Odell Beckham Jr.

It was enough to wear that LT jersey inside out.

Until now.

Gettleman set the tone in late July at the start of training camp when the naysayers were in the midst of a blue-faced filibuster: Letting Landon Collins walk in free agency was ridiculous. Trading away Beckham was a travesty. The drafting of Daniel Jones was buffoonery.

Gettleman uttered these words:

“Give us some credit for the experience and our resumes…they’ve just gotta trust,” he implored fans.

Since then, it doesn’t seem so outlandish to trust this Gettleman/Shurmur ticket.

Jones, the player Gettleman has gambled his reputation on, has performed so efficiently and handled himself so admirably, it’s not folly to think he might develop into a QB for the ages. That’s the expectation when you a QB with the No.6 pick.

When Browns child quarterback Baker Mayfield called out Jones as being a loser at Duke in that GQ article, Jones responded like a man who just might find a home in the United Nations one day. (Assuming there is a United Nations).

“I wish we did win more games,” Jones told reporters. “I played a big part in that, so I take responsibility.’’

Take note: This is what accountability sounds like.

Jones then went out the next day and completed 9-of-11 passes for 141 yards in a 25-23 preseason win over the Bengals. Jones might not want these practice games to end. He’s completed 25-of-30 passes (83-percent) for 369 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Has he fumbled the ball a couple of times? Yep. Has he bounced back? You bet.

When your first-round QB draft choice plays this well, and your incumbent, Manning, is entering his 16th season, even a 14th street fortune teller can predict what’s coming: Who’s the starter?

Shurmur ended that folly immediately and unequivocally.

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8/01/19 New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning #10 Neil Miller /nysportsextra

“I’ve said it all along: Eli is our starter, and we’re getting Daniel ready to play,” Shurmur told reporters. “I think he’s done a good job in the preseason. As I’ve mentioned all along, he’s getting better. And he’s going to continue to do that, so that at whatever time we need him to play, he’ll be ready.”

8/01/19 NY Giants #8 Daniel Jones Neil Miller / nysportsextra

You can offer that as coach’s Exhibit A in how to diffuse a rookie/veteran quarterback controversy.

Look, everyone knows Jones will be the starter one day. It likely will be at some point this season.

But Shurmur didn’t throw in a “for now,” as in “Eli is our starter for now.” He didn’t say, “We feel good about both guys.” And thank goodness he didn’t utter the dreaded, “We’ll play whoever gives us the best chance to win.”

This all sounds exactly the way a professional franchise should operate. Yes, the Gettleman/Shurmur ticket did well in August. The real campaign, of course, is soon to begin.