By Gary Norris Gray, Staff Reporter
OAKLAND — Attention, attention, click those heels together, stand straight up, and salute when these young Black men enter the room. This is the future of the National Football League. These twelve souls are changing the face of professional football at the quarterback position in the most positive way, winning.
In a time of war there are commanding officers leading the troops on the battle field; these officers find a way to defeat the enemy, the same can be sighted on the football field and the quarterbacks of the National Football League are leading their teams to victory.
Michael Louis Ingram, Editor In Chief of BASN Newsroom coined the phrase Field General Wilson six years ago when number three took the Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl in Back to Back years. Other sports media loved the term and started using it on their broadcast. The Field Generals have increased since then and they are leading their teams to divisional titles.
This year in week number three the game of the week was between two Black quarterbacks, Kansas City played the Baltimore Ravens, Patrick Mahomes against Lamar Jackson. Both Mahomes and Jackson gave America a show. The mobile quarterback has taken charge of the league. Times are slowly changing in the No Fun League; the league actually promoted this game on different networks.
NFL’s-Black Commanders in Chiefs
Russell Wilson-Seattle Seahawks – The Commander and Chief – 5 star – Wilson is the de-facto leader of all the current Black quarterbacks in the NFL. He is the senior citizen. Mr. Wilson has won more games in the first seven years than any other quarterback of our time. Wilson continues to make a habit of winning games in the fourth quarter. He has won 75 games with a 64% passing rating and 196 touchdowns with 16 rushing touchdowns.
Colin Kaepernick- San Francisco 49ers- General- 4 star- Kaepernick has shown what he can do on the field. Now if only one team would give him the chance to shine again. He has won playoff games and happened to be one play away from being a Super Bowl Champion.
Kaepernick torched the Green Bay Packers in a NFC conference playoff game running for 181 yards and scoring two touchdowns. He passed for 263 yards and was 17 for 31 and two more touchdowns. The 49ers won the game 45-31
Kaepernick burned the Packers so badly the league changed the rules. Mobile quarterbacks became targets in their winter meetings. Stating that once said quarterback left the pocket he was fair game. Said quarterback was now a running back.
Too bad America will never get to see this brother play again because of his strong political commitment.
Cam Newton- Carolina Panthers- Lieutenant General- 3 star- Superman hit the Carolina coast and this former MVP led the Black and Blue Panthers to the playoffs and the Super Bowl but Newton still does not get the respect deserved. It started when he was a senior at the University of Auburn. A sports writer named Nolan Nawrocki decided to vilify Newton by writing about off the field issues, not his football gifts. That was 2011 and it won’t go away, the 2019 injuries have hampered this running quarterback. Newton has won playoffs and entered the Super Bowl but the Nawrocki ghost writing still haunts number one. The Newton fashion show must continue.
Patrick Mahomes- Kansas City Chiefs– Major General- 2 star Mahomes is the new rising star in the NFL he has already earned the rank of General with his command of the game. He has thrown for over 1,000 yards and its only game three. He is the younger, stronger, and faster version of Field General Russell Wilson and will gain his five stars very early. The Chiefs should enter the Super Bowl either this year or next. The time is getting near. Kansas City needs to find a defense to keep the opponent off the field
Dak Prescott- Dallas Cowboys- Brigadier General- 1 star- Prescott might earn his stars this year with the Dallas Cowboys off to a 3-0 start in the weak NFC East. Prescott has one of the best passing records for 2019 in week three. He has a 66.7 passing rating and 9 touchdowns with 920 yards rushing. Jerry Jones, pay the man!!!
Teddy Bridgewater- New Orleans Saints- Brigadier General – 1 star- Bridgewater has taken charge of the New Orleans Saints offence after the Drew Brees thumb injury two weeks ago. Bridgewater beat Field General Wilson on a cold rainy afternoon in the Wild Card playoffs in 2016 with a game ending scoring drive. He became a Field General in Minnesota years ago when a devastating leg injury delayed and almost ended his budding career.
The Vikings released Bridgewater a year after the injury and continued in a different direction. Teddy still wanted to play football and searched for a team. The New York Jets signed him in 2018 as a mentor for their rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. The Jets did not know what they had and traded him to New Orleans the next year.
He continues to be accurate with a 65% passing rating and a 33-27 victory over Field General Wilson last weekend completing 19 of 27 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns
Lamar Jackson- Baltimore Ravens- Brigadier General- 1 star – Jackson has given the people of Baltimore what they want, a winning team, something to look forward to on weekends. Jackson is the new star on a rebuilding team that is ahead of schedule in 2019. He is tied with Field General Mahomes with the longest pass and catch, 83 yards.
Field General Jackson was informed that teams wanted him to move to wide receiver, that he was not accurate, that he had no chance at playing behind center in the NFL, that he could not read NFL coverages. These same individuals most not have seen Mr. Jackson play last year.
This is what white quarterbacks never have to face questioning their skills. These guys can stink up the place and very few owners or head coaches complain as former Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Chicago Bears Mitch Trubisky are recent examples.
Deshaun Watson- Houston Texans – Brigadier General- 1 star-Watson would have more stars and is slowly moving into the company of Wilson, Kaepernick, and Newton. If it were not for the leg injury last year he would have moved up in the ranks to be a 3 star field general. This is the fastest running quarterback I’ve ever seen creating that explosive offense play and Watson should be around Houston for years. Teams are very careful about linebacker blitzing against Watson because of this speed. This is an asset that cannot be copied.
Jacoby Brissett- Indianapolis Colts– Major- Brissett took over the Colts last year mid-season after Andrew Luck went down with another injury. Last year’s learning curve made him a better quarterback as he guided Indianapolis to a Wild Card Game victory over the Texans 21-7 before losing to Field General Mahomes 31-13. Many in the state of Indiana are expecting more Colt playoff victories from this gifted quarterback.
Jameis Winston- Tampa Bay Bucs– Lieutenant Colonel- This quarterback frustrates many football fans with his size, skills, and arm. If the Tampa Bay organization gave him the receivers for his style the Bucs could win. He still has to find his way to gain his stars. Winston inconsistent play keeps him away from Field General stars. He has the ability to be the best quarterback in the division if he receives the correct guidance from the coaching staff.
Winston reminds me of the former Oakland Raider quarterback JaMarcus Russell; he too needed coaching staff guidance which never came forth. Tampa Bay completes in the weak NFC South division and with Drew Brees going down at the start of the season and Matt “Matty Ice,” Ryan not being able to find receivers, the playoff door is open for Jameis to take charge and change his legacy.
Kyler Murray- Arizona Cardinals– First Lieutenant-Murray’s first year in the Arizona desert has shown progress. The rookie came back to tie the opening game after a very slow first half against the Detroit Lions. Murray will be earning his stars soon with his leadership qualities in Arizona. He took charge in the huddle in spring training which was very impressive. Playing in a pro set in college has also given Murray the head start needed to play in the National Football League.
Dwayne Haskins Jr.- Washington Football Club– Second Lieutenant- Haskins is just waiting to enter the playing field so he can move up in the ranks. The Washington Football Club’s offensive line is terrible so setting on the bench is not such a bad idea. Wait a year, wait for another head coach, wait for a new start in 2020. Haskins will continue the changing NFL legacy of the new mobile Black quarterback.
In Conclusion these young Black men are opening the window for the future of more African American quarterbacks in the National Football League. These men continue the foundation for the Black mobile quarterback. These men will speed up the game and change the role of the quarterback in the NFL. The question remains will the league accept them for what they are or will the league continue to try to make them in to something they are not, pocket passers.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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