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Thread: Burwell: Givens and Jenkins need to wake up

  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Burwell: Givens and Jenkins need to wake up

    2 hours ago ē By BRYAN BURWELL.

    When you treat professional athletes like grown men, thereís an expectation for them to actually behave like adults. Thatís always been Jeff Fisherís way of doing business as a football coach.

    As a former player, he understands what rules make sense and which ones are just plain stupid. Itís one of the reasons the causes of Sundayís benching of Janoris Jenkins and Chris Givens go well beyond disappointing and race all the way to just plain stupid. We still donít know for sure what the two talented rookies did to get into Fisherís doghouse, but trust me on this, it wasnít for something trivial. The rules Fisher creates for the Rams would have probably worked quite well with teams like the old renegade Oakland Raiders, who could dance with the devil all week, then show up on Sunday ready to go to war.

    But even the renegade John Maddenís Raiders had standards, among them being that showing up on time for work is a big deal. Itís the same with Fisherís Rams, so straying out of bounds with the Ramsí head coach takes some doing. And now Jenkins and Givens are going to find out the hard way that getting out of Fisherís doghouse might be even harder than getting into it.

    Fisherís no wide-eyed novice in dealing with bad boys. He has had some very good success stories and some notable disasters. But with each one he has learned what worked and why things went wrong and not only kept good notes but made corrections all along the way. Itís what distinguishes him from the naÔve coach who thinks that he can play Father Flanagan with every unrepentant knucklehead who lands at his door. Fisher knows he canít save everyone. Heís not one of these guys who fool themselves into believing, ďOh, itíll be different with me.Ē

    ďI think you have to look at each individual and set of circumstances and what the issues were,Ē Fisher told me last spring during rookie minicamp. ďThatís what we did (with the 2012 draft class).Ē

    You give them clear rules that make sense. You surround them with strong-willed leaders in the locker room and you surround them with smart people outside the locker room who will help teach them how to make better decisions with their lives than they did in the past.

    One of the drawbacks of dealing with young players is that sometimes their immaturity gets the best of them and they do dumb things. But this isnít college, where coaches might look the other way when a kid misses a curfew, shows up late for meetings or misses a practice.

    Fisher definitely isnít one of those coaches. He gives you the simple responsibility of expecting you to behave like a grown man. But that means that when youíre given that sort of responsibility, Fisher expects you to actually behave like a grown man. And thatís why Jenkins and Givensí stupidity must really frost the coach.

    The Rams took a chance on both of them. Jenkinsí off-the-field escapades in college are well-documented. Itís the reason he fell from a sure high first-round selection into the second round, costing him millions in guaranteed money in the process. But there were a few good reasons Givens was still available in the fourth round even though his performance grades had him slated much higher. Several NFL sources have said quietly that the league had some suspicions about his off-field behavior, too. And now theyíve both done something severe enough to tick off Fisher ó who does not tick off easily. They have now merited a one-game benching that could end up even longer if Fisher doesnít see any meaningful attitude adjustment.

    ďItís an issue thatís between me and the players and the club and the players,Ē Fisher said after Sundayís game. ďThey violated rules and I deactivated them. As to whether they play next week or not, I donít know. Weíll see.Ē

    On Monday, Fisher said both players would be back on the practice field Wednesday but offered no guarantees that their game status would necessarily change just yet.

    Well, good for Fisher.

    The world is full of guys like Jenkins and Givens. In high school and college I played with a few of them and watched their self-destructive behavior get the best of them. Professionally, Iíve covered the lives of so many gifted young men who had all the talent in the world, but for some reason allowed demons and bad choices to derail their lives. I donít know if thatís whatís happening here with Jenkins and Givens, but I do know that every one of those tragic stories I witnessed in the past started out just like this.

    The craziest thing is, the Rams have provided all their players with all the proper support systems you can imagine to ensure they they donít run into trouble. But all the support systems in the world wonít help if the athlete doesnít want to be helped.

    A young player who continues to make knuckleheaded mistakes can find himself on a startling free fall from promising starter to benched trouble maker to unemployed in a hurry in pro football. On Sunday, the Rams moved on without Jenkins and Givens without skipping a beat. Trumaine Johnson replaced Jenkins and did a decent enough job at starting cornerback. Danny Amendola came off the injured list and lit up San Franciscoís secondary.

    And Brian Quickís 36-yard touchdown catch?

    In the original game plan, that was drawn up for Givens.

    Thatís how quickly things move in pro football. One manís misfortune is anotherís opportunity, and letís hope that Jenkins and Givens donít have to learn that lesson the hard way.


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    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Burwell: Givens and Jenkins need to wake up

    The key for me is that Fisher deactivated these guys and our team didn't miss them. If that doesn't hit home with these 2 then they are destined for the unemployment line. I don't know what they did but I knew this was going to happen sooner or later with one of our very young players. This is a perfect opportunity to show our entire team that Fisher means business.

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    Re: Burwell: Givens and Jenkins need to wake up

    Hopefully, this was a one time infraction, but when you have a checkered history, there will always be concerns about repeat transgressions. This is the risk one takes when bringing players of this ilk into the fold. A lot of people disagreed with me when I was a vocal opponent of the Jenkins selection, and this is exactly why- you knew it was only a matter of time before you'd have to deal with this type of nonsense. On top of that, Jenkins has absolutely sucked on the field for the better part of three weeks. He'd better get it together.

    As for Givens, you'd hope that seeing Quick's TD and the overall performance of the rest of the receiving crew makes him realize he's not above the team.

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    Re: Burwell: Givens and Jenkins need to wake up

    Learning to be part of a team and honoring that is essential in this league. It is never about the individual....these two kids need to grow up and start acting like adults. If they need any help in understanding how to be a professional....go see the guy that wears number 39 and emulate him.

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    Re: Burwell: Givens and Jenkins need to wake up

    I like the fact that Fisher is makng them sweat, and leaving the door open for another inactive game against the Jets. I think he really wants to make the point NOW, that these guys need to follow te same rules as everybody else and decide if they want to be professionals or not. I've always been an advocate of getting problems straightened out early, as opposed to later, when it's often too late.
    Rambos, MauiRam and NJ Ramsfan1 like this.

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    Re: Burwell: Givens and Jenkins need to wake up

    The Fisher wrath is just one part of it. The players are the other and you know that did not go over well with them.

    I read Fisher had them running steps at the stadium Sunday before the game, classic! I never heard any coach doing that have you guys?

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    Re: Burwell: Givens and Jenkins need to wake up

    I heard that this is due to them missing curfew, or missing practice entirely one day. It ranges depending on where you read. But either way, this will surely get their heads back on track.

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