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Patrick Creighton: Bob McNair doesn’t care about his players' concerns, and now it’s on tape

Bob McNair can't stay out of the news. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

In light of the leaked audio to the New York Times of the special emergency meeting between NFL owners and players from October 2017, we have now gotten a real accounting of just how phony Bob McNair is when he talks about caring about his players.

As if the “inmates running the prison” comment for which McNair apologized, then rescinded his apology were not enough, we now have more direct quotes from the Texans owner.

“You fellas need to ask your compadres, fellas, stop that other business, let’s go out and do something that really produces positive results, and we’ll help you,” McNair said at the meeting.  We know now, thanks to hindsight, this was a huge blast of hot air up the tailpipe.

McNair clearly was never interested in helping the players address their platform, just in getting them to stop kneeling in protest of social injustice during the anthem.

Colin Kaepernick has made a difference, in donating $1M to multiple grass roots charities, in being the face of a movement, culminating in his receiving an award from Amnesty International just last week.  Other players have worked with civic leaders and law enforcement officials to help bring communities back together. Owners have done nothing.

The disingenuous words of McNair are disturbing, the self-serving nature of which is blatantly transparent.  

The main objective of the owners in this meeting was, as Bills owner Terry Pegula stated, to ”put a Band-Aid on what’s going on....”

While he is clearly not the only owner who was seeking a self-serving solution, Mr. McNair’s repeated patterns both public and private continue to show an uglier side of a man previously known for being magnanimous and charitable.

Mr. McNair made it clear via his words and his subsequent actions that players cannot trust him when he speaks on working with them.  These aren’t issues of football, owners, players, or the like, they’re human issues. Players want to make a positive impact, owners are hindering them.

Former 49ers S Eric Reid made what could be the most powerful statement of the three hour meeting:

“Everyone in here is talking about how much they support us.  Nobody stepped up and said we support Colin’s right to do this.  We all let him become Public Enemy number 1 in this country…”

All the owners fell silent, including McNair.

The sports world gets up in arms when NBA players are told to "shut up and dribble" yet the NFL can pull the same thing and it’s supposed to be OK?  

McNair has dug himself a credibility hole, and until he backs up his previous claim on helping the players with their platform, he’s never getting out of it.

Patrick Creighton is the host of “Late Hits” weeknights 7-9p CT on ESPN 97.5 Houston; “Straight Heat” weeknights 9p-12a CT on SB Nation Radio; “Nate & Creight” Sundays 12-5p CT on SB Nation Radio.  Follow him on Twitter: @pcreighton1

 

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RAVENS 33, TEXANS 16

5 observations from the Ravens win over the Texans

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Let's be honest; the Texans were not going to beat the Ravens. Baltimore has better players, a better quarterback and a better coaching staff. (And oh, a better kicker). All of that was on display in the Ravens' 33-16 win.

The Ravens move to 2-0, while the Texans dropped to 0-2 after facing the AFC's two best teams.

The Texans will still likely contend for a playoff spot, but nothing the last two weeks indicates they are anywhere near contending in the AFC. A look at five things from the Ravens win:

1) Oh, Brien...It did not take long for Bill O'Brien's goofy coaching to rear its ugly head. Down 3-0 at their own 34 as the first quarter was running out, O'Brien chose to go for it on fourth and one. The play was predictably blown up, the Ravens quickly scored to make it 10-0, and the Texans were instantly in a hole against a superior opponent. You can't give points away against the Ravens. They might have scored anyway with a punt, but there was no stopping them with a short field.

2) Some positives on defense. Despite the score, The Texans looked much better on that side of the ball against an explosive offense. J.J. Watt had two sacks, the team had four total, and they kept Lamar Jackson from destroying them. Seven of the points were scored by the Ravens defense, and O'Brien's gaffe led to seven more. The Ravens wore them down in the fourth quarter, but they played well enough until then to keep the team in the game had the offense been better. They did not force any turnovers, however, and that was one of the differences in the game. They were also blown off the ball on a fourth and one in the fourth quarter that led to the Ravens' 30th points and could not stop the run at all in the fourth quarter. But that's what the Ravens do with a lead, and the Texans offense gave them no breaks by being unable to stay on the field.

3) The difference between real contenders...The Ravens were just so much more skilled on both sides of the ball. Defensively, they focused on taking away the run. David Johnson averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Will Fuller had as many catches as you did. The Ravens forced two turnovers on just really good football plays. The Texans don't make plays like that. They might against lesser teams, but if your goal is to compete with the best, it's just not good enough.

4) Deshaun Watson needs to be better. His numbers looked so so on the surface (25 of 36, 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception). He was sacked four times and added 17 rushing yards on five carries. He did not make plays late when they needed one here or there to maybe get back in the game. With his big contract, it's time for Watson to stop being close to elite and take the next step. His interception was more of being fooled by Marcus Peters than throwing a bad ball, but the Texans were just 3 of 9 on third downs. Throw in the ill-advised fourth down play, and they were just 3 of 10 extending drives. Give the Ravens a lot of credit, but again, to compete with the best, you have to be better than that.

5) Now what? The Texans travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who have not been impressive in their two wins. Still, it's hard to see Houston as anything but serious underdogs. They are last in the AFC South, and have a lot of work to do. The defense showed some promise at times, but will have to continue to improve. The offense has a long way to go. They match up better with the Steelers than they do the Ravens and Chiefs, but that does not mean they can win. If you were hoping they would give you some indication they can be more than just also-rans, they failed to do that on any level against either the Chiefs or Ravens.

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