Raiders

Test results show why NFL won't let Antonio Brown wear desired helmet

Test results show why NFL won't let Antonio Brown wear desired helmet

Antonio Brown and the Greek tragedy that is his helmet continue to envelop the Raiders.

After the NFL reportedly put Brown's preferred helmet, the Schutt Air Advantage, on its prohibited list of helmets, the star receiver did not show up to practice Sunday as he continues to search for a solution.

Brown reportedly was back with the team Monday as the Raiders had a meeting to break training camp, but it's unclear if he'll suit up for practice with an acceptable helmet Tuesday in Alameda.

With each day the saga gets more ridiculous, and I'm sure some people are wondering what the big deal is? Why does AB need this helmet? Why won't the NFL continue to let him wear the helmet he has worn for his entire career?

Well, from the NFL's perspective it's a pure safety issue. While Brown might feel like the league has it out for him, and that his desired helmet is fine from a "helping lessen head trauma" perspective, it's just not.

In his "Football Morning in America" column, NBC's Peter King did a mini dive on the differences between Brown's helmet, which was last made in 2011, and one of the NFL's approved head protectors, and the results are staggering.

When it comes to weight, the VicisZero1 weighs 4.53 pounds while Brown's Schutt Air Advantage weighs 3.70 pounds. So yes, the safer helmet with better technology weighs a little more. Browns wants to be as light as possible. That all makes sense. 

Now onto the important stuff.

In terms of force absorption, the Schutt Air Advantage allows 73 g's of force to impact the brain, King notes. On the other hand, the VicisZero1 allows only 53 g's to impact the head. That means Brown's preferred helmet allows 37.7 percent more force of impact on the brain than a model approved by the NFL. Let that sink in. Brown wants to wear the helmet that allows his brain to feel 37.7 percent more force of impact.

Absolutely insane.

[RELATED: Agent Rosenhaus defends AB's helmet drama]

Yes, he's worn the same helmet forever. He reportedly takes his helmet home with him, and brought the same helmet he had in Pittsburgh to Oakland with him. But this goes beyond preference.

How Brown's helmet tragedy gets solved is anyone's guess. The smart money is on him finding a helmet that isn't made with styrofoam, collecting his millions and being really good for the Raiders.

The NFL has more than its fair share of warts, but its decision to ban a helmet that is akin to wearing the same one Ralph Warren wore in Princeton's 1891 loss to Yale seems fair to me.

Ex-Raider Antonio Brown cut by Patriots amid sexual assault probe

Ex-Raider Antonio Brown cut by Patriots amid sexual assault probe

Former Raiders receiver Antonio Brown was released by the Patriots on Friday.

Brown is facing a federal lawsuit from his former trainer, Britney Taylor and has also been accused of sexual misconduct by his former artist who he sent menacing text messages to. 

Brown agreed to terms with New England merely hours after he was released by the Raiders on Sept. 6. 

The federal lawsuit filed in Florida is the latest twist in an offseason that has been filled with numerous turns related to Brown. He only arrived in New England after procuring his release from the Raiders, which occurred following a helmet-related holdout, frostbitten feet and an altercation with Oakland's general manager, Mike Mayock.

[RELATED: AB addresses Patriots for first time since signing]

The lawsuit, first reported by the New York Times, alleges that Brown sexually assaulted Taylor on three occasions, twice in June 2017 and once in May 2018. Darren Heitner, Brown's lawyer, said his client "denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit" in a lengthy statement. Brown reportedly intends to countersue Taylor for civil extortion, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson.
 

Paul Guenther, Mike Zimmer similarities at odds when Raiders face Vikings

Paul Guenther, Mike Zimmer similarities at odds when Raiders face Vikings

Mike Zimmer and Paul Guenther go way back. The respected defensive coaches linked up and became fast friends in 2008, when Zimmer was hired as Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator. Guenther already was on staff, helping several different position groups.

Guenther took over the linebacker corps in 2012, and was given the defensive coordinator job Zimmer vacated to become Minnesota Vikings head coach. Guenther could’ve gone with Zimmer to Minnesota – or to Washington with Jay Gruden, for that matter -- but stayed put and on a path that eventually paired him with Jon Gruden as Raiders defensive coordinator.

Guenther and Zimmer remain friends. Their families are close.

So are their defensive schemes. That’s logical, considering how long Guenther worked under Zimmer running an excellent defense.

“The foundation of it came from him, for sure,” Guenther said. “The coverage, the fronts, all the stuff we do. I owe him a lot of gratitude from working with him. I learned a lot from him, but I’m going to try and kick his ass on Sunday.”

Guenther and Zimmer will throw new wrinkles into familiar systems when the Raiders and Vikings clash at U.S. Bank Stadium, trying to keep the other team off balance and counter any insight provided to their respective offensive staffs. These two know each other well and how each other thinks, meaning this coaching chess match will have an influence on Sunday’s outcome.

“Paul will always have his spin on things, that’s kind of how he’s always been, but I think they’ll be much, much improved,” Zimmer said in a conference call. “They’ve got much better talent all the way across the board. I think former [Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict] really helps them get guys lined up and he understands their system so well, but they’ve got good players upfront. They’re much, much improved in the backend in my opinion as well, so yeah I think they are going to continue to get better.”

Zimmer’s right. The Raiders have improved this year, with talent upgrades and greater scheme comfort. It’s early yet, but the Raiders rank fifth in run defensive with 63 yards allowed per game. The pass rush still has issues, but they have five sacks in two contests. That’s a step in the right direction, even if the pass defense as a whole needs some work. Guenther’s scheme is effective, as we’re seeing as the Raiders acquire more quality players.

[RELATED: Why Raiders should use restraint when pursuing Ramsey trade]

While the Raiders are rebuilding their defense slowly and largely through the NFL draft, the Vikings are an established crew with most impact players having worn purple a long, long time.

“We know Mike Zimmer’s scheme is a very solid, very successful scheme since his time in the NFL,” Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “Also, now you add players as well. They’re very talented on defense and again, as you mentioned, they’ve had a number of players that they’ve drafted that they’ve been able to keep in their second contracts. That’s very rare. He’s been able to maintain continuity in terms of personnel, and he’s maintained continuity in terms of scheme being there. Certainly a challenge for us.”

It will be a bit easier on Sunday for a few reasons. The Raiders' offense has been practicing against this scheme all spring and summer, so quarterback Derek Carr knows it well. Guenther also has insight on Zimmer and vice versa, adding intrigue to this matchup.

“The systems are very similar,” Guenther said. “Obviously, he’s doing his wrinkles and I’m doing mine, but ‘Zim’ is a good coach. I learned a lot from him. We worked together a long time in Cincinnati and we had a really good time. He’s a good friend.”