Week in Review: Logan Ryan's surreal 2020, Jared Goff takes charge, more
The veteran DB just may be morphing the New York Giants into a legit contender and Goff is, in fact, his own man. We wrap up the week here at Go Long.
Good morning, everyone. I figured we’d keep wrapping up each week here on Saturdays in case anyone missed any stories throughout the week. Hope all on the free email list are enjoying what Go Long has to offer. You can subscribe or gift the Go Long newsletter here below any time you’d like — this free trial of sorts will be wrapping up soon.
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What an incredible Sunday of football ahead. Buy that six-pack of IPAs and nestle on into that recliner. We’re going to learn plenty tomorrow. Are the Giants for real? Can Tua Tagovailoa hang with Patrick Mahomes and deliver a signature win? Will the Buffalo Bills follow up one statement win with an even bigger statement win? On Monday morning, we’ll analyze it all in The Thread.
Never, ever hesitate to hit me up any day, any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TyDunne. Would love to hear what you want to read.
Here’s what was cookin’ at Go Long this past week. (Just click the headline to read each story.)
The Thread: The Houston Texans have Deshaun Watson… now what? What a joy it is to watch Watson play professional football. He has had MVP-like production this 2020 season, so let’s all hope the Texans don’t screw this up. To get a sense for what the GM-less, head coach-less Texans should do next, Go Long caught up with the man who probably knows Watson better than Watson knows himself: his private quarterbacks coach Quincy Avery.
Avery has been with Watson since high school. They talk daily, meet weekly and Avery’s thoughts, I think, will surprise people here.
He says the Texans should hire a head coach FIRST and actually believes that the DeAndre Hopkins trade helped Watson’s game.
“Just not having that safety blanket available to him where he can fall back on, ‘Ahhh, if I don’t do this right, I can just get it to Hop. I can just make a throw to Hop and put him in a situation where he can make a tough contested catch.’ He’s had to be so diligent and so consistent with not only his footwork but his reads and pre-snap knowledge and his study throughout the week going into a game. When you have to be that dialed in each and every week and be precise in all the things that you do, it creates a situation where there’s nothing to fall back on. The onus is on you.”
Jared Goff is ready to fight. One theme you can expect at Go Long is for us to challenge all preconceived notions and narratives in our brains, whether it’s everyone being offended that the Packers would draft a quarterback or everyone assuming the quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams is nothing but his head coach’s puppet. I never really understood that one.
This season, Jared Goff has truly become his own man on (and off) the field.
The Rams are 9-4, Super Bowl contenders and a huge reason is Goff’s evolution. Really enjoyed my chat with the quarterback for this one and thought his comments on pressure stood out.
“Everybody can play quarterback and be happy and talk to the media when you’re winning games and throwing for a million touchdowns and everything’s going your way. I think that’s the easy part. It’s when things aren’t going your way, the offense is struggling, you’re struggling, the team’s struggling and there’s some divisiveness maybe going on within the team. At that point, how do you make it right? How do you take care of business and do what you’re supposed to do as the quarterback? I think that’s the part I’ve always enjoyed — making things right and being that backbone for the team when they need it.
“Off the field, you’re the leader of 53 guys. You’re the leader of the organization. You have to be able to handle those situations gracefully. And at the same time, it’s being the person you are and being genuine.”
Go Long Q&A: Bruce Smith is still seizing the day. He’s one of the greatest players in NFL history. His record of 200 sacks just might last forever. But what’s most impressive about Bruce Smith just may be his worldview. He has traveled just about everywhere to learn about different cultures and different perspectives to sincerely challenge his mind. His thoughts in this Q&A, I believe, are such a good lesson for all.
Smith’s story on visiting Iraq was wild, too, in case you missed it. Here is what happened the day before playing a flag football game with the troops:
“There was also a situation where we were having a pep rally the night before the game and the insurgents started shooting rockets over into the base. So we were on stage. There must’ve been 500, 600, 700 troops in this auditorium that was built. And the commander of the base was introducing us all and giving a little background and so forth and obviously all the troops were fans of all the teams in the league and college-wise as well. So we heard a faint ‘Boom!’ go off and everybody looked at one another like, ‘What is that?’ Shortly thereafter there was another ‘Boom!’ and the commander said ‘Everyone get on the ground!’ And we thought to ourselves, ‘Oh, man, they’re pulling a fast one on us. They want to get some laughs.’ And the commander said, ‘No. Everyone get on the ground.’ So we got on the ground! And we’re looking around… looking around… and the troops are on the ground. The commander’s on the ground. Everybody’s on the ground.”
How Logan Ryan made the New York Giants believe. He’s one of a kind. I first met Logan Ryan back when he signed with the Tennessee Titans and we’ve kept in touch since — nobody broke down how the Titans shut down Lamar Jackson better than him. (All that took was a little “Engage Eight” magic.)
And this conversation was quite different than that one. Ryan opened up, at length, on being unemployed all summer, the death threats he received after injuring Dak Prescott and, above all, nearly losing his wife. What a harrowing night that was. One moment, Logan and Ashley believe they’re having a child. The next, Ashley is heading into emergency surgery because this was, in fact, an ectopic pregnancy.
All along, Ryan is changing everything we thought about the New York Giants.
“It was emotional and still is. My wife is more important to me than football. I thought about it on the football field all the time. I think about my child that I lost all the time. I don’t have it all together all the time. I just did the best I could moment to moment and realized I had strength to keep pushing from one moment to the next moment in supporting my wife and my wife supporting me. She was able to make a physical recovery. Emotionally, I think that takes time. Who knows how much time? It’s still taking time.”
Thank you all so much for reading and the support. See you Monday AM!