Updated: October 18, 2016


Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Staff Reporter

OAKLAND, CA.-At the beginning of the 2016 National Football League Season there was a possibility of having eight starting African American quarterbacks behind center. Not now because of rules, coaches, and injuries that is only a dream. The NFL declared war on these quarterbacks by changing the rules four years ago. Rules set by the rule committee chairperson Jeff Fisher to restrict the African American quarterback outside of the pocket. The league wants their quarterbacks to stay in the pocket.  Black quarterbacks have changed the position and the league can’t keep up with these fast athletes. The mobile quarterback gives the offense another weapon, the NFL does not want it. The problem is most Caucasian quarterbacks cannot run as fast and the quarterback position is the last power position on the field and is slowly slipping away to African Americans. The NFL did the next best thing TARGET Black quarterbacks to knock them out of the game.


Two more African Americans should have been considered for the position this fall. These two remaining quarterbacks sat on the pines on the sidelines the first five weeks. Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and Geno Smith of the New York Jets. That would have been an opening day record of ten Black starting quarterbacks. IT DID NOT HAPPEN!!!

This targeting of African American quarterbacks started in earnest on the field a year after Colin Kaepernick played in the Baltimore-San Francisco Super Bowl. The Green Bay Packers made their Bay Area visit and number seven was torching the Pack again with his legs, rushing for 49er first downs. In the third period linebacker Clay Matthews decided to launch himself at Kaepernick who was running out of bounds, just missing hitting Colin’s helmet. That is a 15 yard penalty by the rules, but a yellow flag could not be found. Three weeks later the league fined Matthews but the message was sent.


sel Vikings Jets

1.) The season did not get off to a good start for the Midwest team when Minnesota Viking second year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had a serious no contact knee injury in pre season. Ending the season for number 5 before it could ever get started. He had surgery September 8th to repair the knee and looks good for the 2017 season. Bridgewater guided the Vikes to the playoffs last year as the third seed. Last year the Vikings defeated the Green Bay Packers for the NFC Central Division, their first title in many years. The sun is shining bright in Minneapolis-St. Paul with Teddy Bridgewater behind center.


2.) There was great anticipation in Cleveland, Ohio when the Browns hired a new coach-African American Hue Jackson and traded for veteran Black quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Browns headed in a different direction with Griffin behind center. It did not last long. In week number two the Philadelphia Eagles put Griffin out of the game and on the injured reserve list with a bone fracture. Griffin was blind-sided out of bounds twice; yup you guess it no yellow flag. Guess he has not earned that quarterback protection yet.


3.) The first game of the season Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton got a royal beat-down from the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos. Newton got hit in the helmet four times and not one flag. Guess Cam still has not played enough years to get that quarterback protection either.

Head referee Ed Hochuli stated last year Cam Newton had not earned the roughing the passer call yet when he was bounced out of bounds the second game of the year. Newton had not gained that NFL reputation. So, question, how does one qualify for this protection?

It seems like Andrew Luck- Indianapolis, Aaron Rogers-Green Bay, Drew Brees-New Orleans, Tom Brady-New England, and Eli Manning-New York have this protection. Touch them and it’s a guaranteed flag, 15 yard penalty, and a first down. Touch them again in the same game and you could be out, suspended for the rest of that game.

It is also very interesting that rookie quarterback Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles  received this quarterback protection his second game of the year. Wentz already earned that reputation HMMMMMM…While Dallas Cowboy rookie Dak Prescott does not have a chance.



4.) The Field General-Russell Wilson had a very, very, very hard beginning of the season with the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson got sacked eight times the first two games and threw for two interceptions. The Seahawks split their first two games of 2016.

The opposing defenders were throwing The Field General around like a rag doll. The third game the Hawks changed the game plan and got the ball out of Wilson hands. The General’s knee injury forced Wilson and the Hawks to limit his scrambling abilities.

The defense still cannot get a square-solid hit on Russell because he slides before getting tackled. He also continues to win football games faster than anybody else.


5.)  Tyrod Taylor from the school (Virgina Tech) of Mike Vick also had a very rough start but the Buffalo Bills have finally turned the corner with four straight wins. Taylor has locked up the starting position from E.J. Manuel, another African American quarterback. The Offensive Coordinator Anthony Lynn changed the Bills playbook at the line of scrimmage keeping the ball in Taylor’s hands. Tyrod can now make the quick intelligent decisions at the line. Taylor got hit by blindsided tackles three times with this new Buffalo offense skim in four games, not a yellow flag could be seen. Not enough NFL credibility yet for this young man.

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6.) The Dallas Cowboys have one of the new bright star behind center. I’m not a Cowboy fan but it is so exciting to see a new strong young brother take control of America’s Team. Rookie Dakota ‘Dak’ Prescott took over the position in game two from veteran Tony Romo who had another back injury. Prescott has taken the Cowboys to a 4-1 record and has looked like a seasoned veteran doing it. His spirals are clean and tight and he understands how to audible out of a called play to a play that will defeat that defense. He also has a rookie running buddy in the backfield Ezekiel Elliott. They have become the new tandem in Big D

It will be interesting to see what Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones and the Cowgirls or sorry I mean Cowboys do after the bye week expecting a healthy Tony Romo.

Hey Mr. Jones, Dak Prescott would look good in a Black and Silver (Raiders) or Big Blue (Giants) uniform.


7.) Second year quarterback Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a running piñata behind center and the results are ten interceptions in five games and a 2-3 record. The Tampa Bay offensive line is not giving Winston enough time to scan his receivers. The pocket is collapsing before Winston can release the ball. Wilson might be suffering from the infamous sophomore jinx as the Bucs continue to suffer offensive power outage.

NFL: Preseason-Chicago Bears at New England Patriots

8.) The New England Patriots had to plug in Rookie Jacoby Brissette because of the suspension of Tom Brady which was finally enforced by the league at the beginning of this season and the injury to second stringer Jimmy Graoppolo in week two. Brissett came in and played well until he received a thumb injury. He guided the Pats to 27-0 victory over the Houston Texans and started another game with a fractured thumb Brissette went 34-of-55 for 400 yards, and he also rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown this season. Very strange to see a Black quarterback in Foxboro, Mass. Maybe New England is starting a new tradition, NOT!!! Tom Brady returned and got blown out by Buffalo.

In closing Jeff Fisher and the NFL can change the rules and African American quarterbacks adapt and flourish. The last power position is slowly changing the game. There are three more brothers coming up through the NCAA, look out NFL.

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, Disabled Community Activist. Email at

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod


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