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Week in Review: Where will Allen Robinson play in 2021 and beyond?
Plus, Johnathan Abram is a human missile straight out of the 70s (for better or worse) and Cowboy great Darren Woodson tells all.
NFL on a Saturday? NFL on a Saturday. What a beautiful thing.
Hope you enjoy the games and, please, be on the lookout for an announcement here at Go Long first thing Monday morning. Psyched to share what’s next for our subscribers.
As always, feel free to comment at the bottom of any post at golongtd.com, reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TyDunne.
Here’s what’s been rollin’ at Go Long this week. Just click on the hyperlink to catch up on anything you might’ve missed.
Josh Allen elevates. It’s certainly up for debate but Allen’s performance in the second half of Buffalo’s Sunday Night Football win over the Steelers, to me, was his best yet. I know the Steelers were missing some critical pieces on defense but they really, really thought that they had the third-year starter on the ropes. You could feel it. Sense it. Coordinator Keith Butler decided to send blitzer after blitzer in an attempt to bury Allen.
And Allen calmly made the right throw. Again and again. That’s what he will need to do come January four wins in a row to deliver a Super Bowl.
We took a look at this signature moment in this past week’s edition of The Thread. Here is Allen’s head coach at Wyoming, Craig Bohl:
“He could run sideways, be 55 yards out and throw a dart in the end zone. And yet with some of the throws you think would be a little bit easier, sometimes his numbers weren’t efficient. Now, he made up for that in our game because he could make so many big plays. He may walk out of a game and throw 54 percent and then you look at the number of throws he had to the number of touchdowns and yards per attempt and they’re off the chart. But he did need to improve. I think some of that came from changing a mentality of being a gunslinger to being more of a refined quarterback. Coach (Brent) Vigen did a great job with him here. But I think the Bills have done an even better job of continuing to refine his skills. That’s all part of growing up.”
Can Johnathan Abram, 'legalized butt-whipper,’ save the Raiders? It’s not looking like he’ll be able to in 2020 after Vegas’ close loss to the Chargers. Abram’s latest injuries — a concussion and a bum knee — shouldn’t be a shocker. No DB in the NFL plays with his abandon. Enjoyed trying to figure out why and how Abram plays this way in our conversation. Which was wild. Long term, he just may be the Raiders’ best shot at recapturing that 70s glory. Ex-Raider greats Lester Hayes and George Atkinson sure believe.
The big question will be if Abram — taking names, kicking ass, throwing his body into harm’s way every Sunday — will last in the NFL.
“I have to win. Whoever they put in front of me, I have to whup his ass.”
Q&A: Darren Woodson opens up on avoiding gangs, his wild Cowboys days, depression, finding purpose. The Dallas Cowboys legend up for the Hall of Fame this year didn’t disappoint with so many stories from his wild playing days with the Cowboys, a group that played hard and partied even harder. I guess part of me expected that but I had no clue Woodson dealt with depression when a back injury forced him to walk away.
Woodson was unbelievably honest on just how difficult it was to, finally, retire.
And as he explains, he’s not alone. Woodson knows so many of his former teammates weren’t able to find purpose in life after the final whistle.
“I wasn’t a part of meetings. I wasn’t around the guys. I was going through a rehab process. I was having setbacks. I’d get better and have these major setbacks. I can still remember being out on the field during the rehab process and I was getting better. This was in early October. I felt like, at the end of October, ‘OK, I’ll be ready to go and play the est of this season.’ I felt like my legs were getting stronger. And then during the rehab process, I had a major setback. The nerve gave out. The leg gave out. And that’s when they put me on IR. And when they put me on IR, I just went into this spiral of depression.”
The Zen of Allen Robinson. There’s no need for any of us to worry about the Chicago Bears wide receiver. As Robinson tells Go Long, he is just fine. (Even though that wasn’t always the case.)
There isn’t another star receiver in the NFL who’s had to deal with more issues around him — rough QB play, all the losing — like Allen Robinson. Back in Jacksonville, he let the stress get to him. Robinson would lose his mind a bit. Not anymore.
Does that mean we should expect to see Robinson re-sign with Chicago? He told me he has enjoyed his time with the Bears but… I don’t know. This is just me talking here, not Robinson, but I really get the sense he’ll want to sign with a Super Bowl contender in his upcoming free agency if he’s able to after seven years with the Jaguars and Bears.
Could that be Green Bay? Maybe Miami? New England? The spring should be fascinating. Count on Robinson weighing all options and he’ll most certainly have many options with the season he’s having.
The Bears thought they were on the cusp of contention in 2018 but, now 6-7 in 2020, are in a must-win situation against the Vikings. The good news is things have settled down a bit on offense with Mitchell Trubisky back at quarterback. They had a great rapport in last weekend’s blowout win over Houston. Maybe there’s still hope for the Bears.
“Whatever the hand is that I’m dealt, is the hand that I’m dealt. I think a lot of people go wrong — not just in football — but in life as far as comparing to other things and comparing to other circumstances other people have. For myself, I remove all of that. I don’t compare to anything. There’s a point that Kobe Bryant would make: ‘Get over yourself.’ That’s a quote I try to put at the forefront. Whenever anything comes about, I try not to put anything else to the forefront of ‘OK, what can I do? How can I be better here? How can I thrive here? How can I make this situation successful?’”
Thank you for reading, everyone. You can expect stories landing in your inbox right up to Christmas Eve with that announcement coming Monday.