Updated: August 30, 2015

By:-Gary Norris Gray- BASN Staff Reporter


OAKLAND, CA- We are at the beginning of a new football season and there are many changes. Ray Rice opened the door for the National Football League to discuss physical abuse. The League also will be giving females a chance to be a part of the game. The Arizona Cardinals and the NFL have grasped the concept of the rising feminist movement. The Glass Ceiling is breaking into pieces as the Red Birds hired Jen Welter as an assistant coach for this year preseason and the League hired its first female referee, Sarah Thomas.

The NFL is still struggling with the issue of race and African American leadership. Black starting quarterbacks as of August 15th are eight, an increase of one from the 2014 season. Also there is an increase of one in African American Head Coaches: former Defensive Coach Todd Bowles will lead the New York Jets in 2015.

The Philadelphia Eagles are having culture wars in their training camp as another African American leaves the City of Brotherly Love via a trade to their cross state rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Head Coach and General Manager Chip Kelly continues to build a team in his own image. Cornerback Brandon Boykin had other ideas and made it be known to the press that Kelly continues to have problems with strong Black men. A few words to Mr. Kelly; this is not Oregon, this is not college, and he will find out after the first month of the season.

Black quarterbacks will carry the torch of history and HBCU’s -Historically Black Colleges and Universities will be represented. The Arizona Cardinals drafted Phillip Sims a Ram from Winston Salem State University. Sims will be trying to crack the starting lineup.


These young men will carry the legacy of Tennessee Titans-Steve McNair, Philadelphia’s Donovan McNabb and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick and Super Bowl winner Washington’s -Doug Williams, Mr. Williams also was the MVP-Most Valuable Player of that game breaking eight existing Super Bowl records.
In 2015 African American quarterbacks still don’t get respect.

FIRST WEEK Starting Sept. 10-Ending Sept 14th

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins vs. The Washington Football Club
Carolina Panthers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams
Detroit Lions vs. San Diego Chargers
Tennessee Titans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Oakland Raiders
Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos
New York Football Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers

* Black Quarterback-Starters

*1) Russell Wilson- Seattle Seahawks- What more can the FIELD GENERAL and reigning National Football Conference Champion do for an encore? Playing in the Super Bowl two straight years and winning more games in three years than any other quarterback in NFL History, which is still not enough. Wilson and the Hawks did not change parts on the field. The Seattle management re-signed Wilson so the contract issues are out of the way. The Legion of Boom led by Richard Sherman should lead them to the playoffs for the 3rd straight year. Wilson has to capture that magic behind center that led them to two Super Bowls. The Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams have improved this year so it might be a real challenge for the Aqua Birds to win the NFC Western Division.
Just hope that the last play of last year’s Super Bowl does not haunt Russell Wilson the rest of his career.


*2) Colin Kaepernick- San Francisco 49ers-There is a different mental atmosphere in Santa Clara, California. The San Francisco 49ers have been on the police blotter more than on the football field since 2012. It happened again August 6, 2015 when linebacker Alton Smith was arrested for alleged DUI. This is not the first time and the team needed a break from Jim Harbaugh. Two weeks later more troubles as Ahmad Brooks and Ray MacDonald were arrested for alleged sexual assault. San Francisco released Brooks.
The Niners are a team in transition with a new coach (Jim Tomsula) as the Jim Harbaugh era ends. Another blow to Niner Pride was the cross bay moves of Wide Receiver, Michael Crabtree from San Francisco to Oakland, running back, veteran, Frank Gore headed east to Indianapolis and three other players retired including linebacker, Patrick Willis, so this team is in makeover mode and might end up last in the NFC West Division. Kaepernick was sacked 52 times, second most in the National Football League. The offensive line has to improve if the Niners want to get into the playoffs. Verdon Davis might be a better tight end this year as his mind will be on football.

Other departures, Anthony Davis retired, Mike Iupati went to Arizona, Alex Boone went from right guard to left guard.
There is change in the air in Santa Clara, California.
On the bright side, Kaepernick may finally have a free hand in running the Niners offense now that control freak Harbaugh has headed for the University of Michigan.

The pieces continue to fall for the Niners as Alton Smith gets arrested for alleged DUI charge. The organization released the linebacker the next day.

sel Vikings Jets

*3) Teddy Bridgewater-Minnesota Vikings- Bridgewater was the most improved player in 2014 and should lead the Vikings to the playoffs this year. Bridgewater reminds me of a younger, stronger Donovan McNabb with the arm of an older James Harris only with a bigger body. I just love the way this young man plays the game. Bridgewater studies the game and understands the history of African American quarterbacks. It would not surprise many if this young man becomes the third Black quarterback to win the Super Bowl. Last year was a pleasant new bright horizon in Minnesota.


*4) E.J. Manuel-Buffalo Bills- E.J. might have to start all over again with a different offensive system. Ex-New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan heads northwest to Buffalo. Ryan will not have to work hard on the Bill defense; it is the Buffalo offense that has to improve. The Bills lost three games by a field goal last season that might have gotten them to the playoffs. Stagnant offensive play calling stopped the Bills scoring drives. Adding ex-Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, who had a career year, will definitely change the Buffalo Red Zone offense.
E.J. Manuel learned how to hold on to the ball with only three fumbles the last six games. If the offensive line blocks for him this team could be dangerous in December. Lastly Manuel will be looking over his shoulders with Matt Cassell and Matt Sims on the bench. The Bills will probably carry four quarterbacks this year.


*5) Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – The Carolina Panthers overachieved last year making the playoffs and winning a first round game. Nobody expected or believed in these guys because the Carolina receivers were a BIG liability. Newton played injured most the 2014-15 season which hampered his mobility. With the addition of running back Cameron Artis Payne it will be an Auburn Tiger backfield.
The Cats defense carried the team into the playoffs and Newton won three late games. This year it should be different. A healthy Mr. Newton will be wearing that Superman suit every Sunday afternoon.

*6) Geno Smith– New York Jets- This is Smith’s third year in New York and with the new coaching staff he may get a chance to prove that he belongs behind center. Smith will be looking over his shoulder the whole season as ex Buffalo Bill Ryan Fitzpatrick waits on the bench. Smith has to stop being inconsistent in reading red zone defenses. Veteran Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey should help Geno Smith. This could be do or die season for Smith and the New York Jets. Wide out Brandon Marshall from the Chicago Bears should help the Jet offense.

On Tuesday August 11th the Jets reverted back to their own ways, fighting in the locker-room as Geno Smith received a sucker punch to the jaw from teammate linebacker IK Enemkpali breaking his jaw. Smith will lose 6 to 8 weeks over alleged 600 dollars.

Ryan Fitzpatrick will take first team snaps until Smith’s return.

geno smith

*7) Jameis Winston– Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Winston is the new kid on the block. With his pro style offense at Florida State University he should fit in quickly. He has a very big body that can take the hits that running quarterbacks receive all year long. Winston had to discard his baseball style of throwing the football because he is telegraphing where the ball is headed. Winston also has to learn how to throw the football in a three step drop, set up.
This Northern Florida team should see a vast improvement in the offense this year and maybe shake up the NFC South Division. This will be a learning experience for Winston. He will have to cut down on his mistakes off the field and mature.


*8) Robert Griffin III- The Washington Football Club- Robert Griffin III could make a powerful political and social statement about the name of this team and the effect it has on Native Americans. Griffin’s words could be very powerful because the Washington fan base would listen. Other players likewise should support this effort to get the name changed.
Last year The Washington Football Club and Griffin had a dose of reality ending up in last place of the NFC East and they are back to square one. Wide out DeSean Jackson should light up the Washington skies with his speed downfield opening up the WFC running game; but it wont mean anything if the head coach continues to undermine Griffin’s leadership.
Mr. Griffin is healthy for the first time in three years. Head Coach Gruden will limit Griffin’s movements behind center meaning he does not have to be Superman. The WFC should make noise this year in the NFC East but they are one year away from the playoffs. Washington has to fix their offensive line or Mr. Griffin will be going to the hospital again.
PLEASE DO NOT USE FEDEX until this company stops supporting Dan Snyder and the Washington Football Club’s team name. The corporate name of FedEx should be removed from the stadium.

African American NON STARTERS:-


9) Michael Vick- FREE AGENT- The New York Jets released the veteran over the summer. Vick could help teams with his football knowledge and his passing skills. Michael Vick would look good in Black and Silver or New York sky blue.


Vick will stay in the Keystone State. The Pittsburgh Steelers understand the value of a seasoned quarterback and signed him in the third week of preseason. The question now is will the Steeler faithful accept him in a Black and Gold uniform? So far on social media Steeler fans are forgiving Big Ben for his mistakes (2) but they are unwilling for forgive Vick who has paid the price.

10) Tyrod Taylor- Buffalo Bills- from Hampton, Va. Taylor played five games last year as backup to Manuel. Could be, this year starter with the new coaching staff (REX RYAN) from the Meadowlands. Taylor has a Super Bowl ring with the Baltimore Ravens behind Joe Flacco and is a good fit to lead the Bills to a AFC Eastern Conference Title.
11) Josh Freeman– Miami Dolphins- Freeman moved from Minnesota to Miami after many years in Tampa Bay. Freeman has all the skills to be a starter and Tannehill has to be looking over his shoulders.
12) Thaddeus Lewis– Cleveland Browns- Lewis comes from the Buffalo Bills to Cleveland. Lewis has played well in pre-season.
13) Tajh Boyd– Pittsburgh Steelers – The New York Jets drafted him in 2014. The New Steel Curtin will not have to worry about the quarterback position because they are three deep with talent.
14) Stephen Morris– Jacksonville Jaguars- un-drafted free agent from the University of Miami.
15) Jameill Showers-Dallas Cowboys- un-drafted free agent from (UTEP) University of Texas at El Paso.
16) Travaris Jackson– Seattle Seahawks – The Jackson Five may have broken up but Travaris is hanging in there with the Seahawks.
17) Phillip Sims- Arizona Cardinals- un-drafted free agent from an HBCU- Historically Black College and University-Winston Salem State. Sims will carry the torch for all HBCU’s. Rookie Sims may have passed Logan Thomas for the backup quarterback position. Sims has improved in every aspect of the quarterback position
18) Joe Webb-Carolina Panthers- Mr. Webb moved from the Minnesota Vikings to the Black Southern Cats backing up Cam Newton. Webb has plenty of experience behind center and if Cam Newton goes down this season Carolina has a solid backup to fill the void.

Black Head Coaches- 5
Todd Bowles- New York Jets- Rookie Head Coach could not see this coming; The Pre-Season did not start well for Mr. Bowles as he had to deal with the Sheldon Richardson arrest and suspension. It continued with the locker-room fight with starting quarterback Geno Smith. Revis Island has returned to Giant Stadium and the Jets have two shutdown corners. The Jets can stop anybody on defense and with these two; it should be easy for Gang Green. JUST SCORE TOUCHDOWNS
Coach Bowles is another defensive coach with the big question at quarterback. Geno Smith ended the season on the positive note, not throwing the ball away. Can he do this at the start of this season? That answer is no, Ryan Fitzpatrick will start for New York until Mr. Smith heals.

Mike Tomlin- Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers are the football version of the St. Louis Cardinals; they just win year after year. The Black and Gold know how to do this. The Pittsburgh administration signed Tomlin until 2018, it is a franchise that hardly ever changes head coaches.
Running back Le’Veon Bell’s suspension was dropped from three games to two games. Tight end Heath Miller should help 11 year quarterback Big Ben Roethlisberger run this prolific offense. Big Ben thinks his team can score 30 points a game. That’s fine but they have to find a new Steel Curtain or they will be bounced out of the playoffs the first round again because they cannot stop anyone.

Jim Caldwell- Detroit Lions-The Mid-West Silver Cats made the playoffs and scared the life out of the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs. Matthew Stafford could be the stumbling block for Detroit to move to the second round. Stafford throws ducksnorks into defensive zone coverage that are often intercepted. Stafford cannot scramble out of pass rushes and gets sacked often. Without Megaton-Calvin Johnson the Lions had the weakest offense in the playoffs last year. Wide out Golden Tate was their shining star and truly golden the last six games.
This team must find a running game with running backs Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah to relive pressure on Stafford and in order to move to the next stage. They lost star defensive linebacker Ndamukong Suh who went to Miami and gained another aging linemen from Baltimore-Haloti Ngata. Miami got the better end of that deal. Lions should be in playoffs again in 2015 with the Silver and Power blue defense.

Marvin Lewis – Cincinnati Bengals- Marvin Lewis will go to the playoffs AGAIN and lose in the first round AGAIN. This team is so predictable. How long will Marvin Lewis stay with veteran quarterback Andy Dalton? Cincinnati will be looking at cornerback Leon Hall to be the defensive leader after his injury recovery. Last year the Bengals could not hold on to big leads early in the season. That directly points a finger at the Cincinnati defense. The Bengals drafted University of Southern California defensive back Josh Shaw, the guy who sprained both ankles jumping off his apartment balcony and made up story to cover his tracks. This team might need a change in coaching leadership to move on to the second round of the playoffs.

Lovie Smith- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- This could be a make or break season for the Bucs. Smith finally has a quarterback that he can depend on and mold into the offensive style in Jameis Winston. The Tampa Bay defense was never the problem, it was crossing the goal line for the offense. This is Lovie Smith’s 3rd year in Northern Florida.
Black General Managers-6
Detroit Lion Martin Mayhew- SEE ABOVE


Baltimore Raven Ozzie Newsome-Ozzie Newsome is the elder statesmen of the Black General Managers group. This organization has to answer the question of why they paid Joe Flacco his new contract three years ago. Flacco could have deferred his payments to help pay other teammates. He did not and the Ravens have not played well since. Baltimore plans to have a more dominate running game, meaning Justin Forsett will carry the load. Bernard Pierce moved to Jacksonville and another chance. The Birds just have to score more touchdowns to win their close games.
The defense was never the problem in Baltimore. They lost defensive linemen Ngata who went to Motown and was the star of the Purple Bird defense. C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs and of course ELVIS Dumervil will have to take that spot now.

doug whaleynew bills owners

Buffalo Bill Doug Whaley– Bills former owner Bill Polian will be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame this August. Mr. Whaley will work with the new owners Terry and Kim Pegula who stepped right in and have signed free agent defensive linemen Jerry Hughes. Buffalo will be heading in a different direction in 2015 with new head coach Rex Ryan former New York Jets head coach. The Bills will be on Prime Time in 2015 something that has not happened in about 20 years.

Houston Texan Rick Smith-Smith is the young blood of the Black General Manager fraternity and he is beginning to turn this expansion team around. The Texans have to figure out who will be behind center quarterback Brain Hoyer or Ryan Mallett both are journeymen quarterbacks. The Texans should also look at next year’s draft and groom a star for the future.
J.J. Watts will lead Houston again this year with a seasoned tackle Vince Wilfork and former rookie outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney will be a benefit boxing in runners forcing them to run inside and into the strength of the Texans defense. Houston secondary also closes down many offenses with its leader cornerback Kareem Jackson, Jumal Rolle, and A.J. Bouyle.


The New York Football Giant Jerry Reese-O.K. the vacation is over for Big Blue. They have missed the playoffs the past three years. It will be ten years ago when they won the Super Bowl. Eli cannot be the 2014 Manning . It is time for Eli to take command of this underachieving team. Manning took them to the playoffs in 2008. The Giants have stacked up offensive receivers signing former Oakland Raider James Jones to go along with Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, and Rueben Randle. The Gee-men could be putting up pinball numbers in 2015 if Eli Manning and the offensive line cooperate. After the first two weeks of camp Manning looks good.
Defensive linemen, Jason Pierre-Paul has not signed a contract yet and he is the key to New York defensive scheme. Paul injured his hand on July 4th playing with firecrackers.

reggie mckenzie

Oakland Raider Reggie McKenzie-The Oakland Raiders have not been in the playoffs nor had a winning season since their Super Bowl appearance in 2002.


JUST WIN BABY is a distant memory. COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE cannot be found and where did The PRIDE and POISE go.
This will be Mr. McKenzie’s fourth year and there seems to be a new attitude in the Napa Valley training camp. The team is finally showing some improvement with another 8-8 season. The Raiders stole wide receiver Michael Crabtree from the San Francisco 49ers. The quarterback position is now stable with Derek Carr behind center. Carr took control of the offense and the team played better the second half. The Raiders are a very young team with a mixture of sagely veterans and they are all learning under their head coach Jack Del Rio who is also a seasoned veteran. McKenzie found a gem in tight end Clive Walford. This could be the season that the Black and Silver move into the playoffs. WE WILL SEE!!! The only question is will The BLACK and SILVER play in Northern California or Southern California in 2017-18
Black Ownership -0- This is a Black Eye in the NFL pun intended.
Black ownership should be addressed by The National Football League.

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

One Comment

  1. steve woodson

    December 7, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    it is sad but unfortunately that is the way white men want to keep it to make themselves feel superior even though they are not black coaches have to feel a sense of responsibility to hire blacks when they get a coaching job because white men dont and never will

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