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Thread: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

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    Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    Posted by Mike Florio on June 1, 2013, 2:32 PM EDT

    As former Titans coach Jeff Fisher tries to bring the same consistency in the standings to St. Louis, he’s well on his way to replicating one of his more overlooked accomplishments in Houston and Tennessee.

    Rounding up problem children.

    The well-respected coach takes more than his share of chances on players with less-than-respectable character traits. It’s a Machiavellian mindset that trickled down to former Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who has had plenty of dice rolls on bad guys come up craps during his time in Detroit.

    Of Fisher’s first draft class in St. Louis, half of the 10 players taken already have found trouble at the NFL level. Second-round cornerback Janoris Jenkins, a known risk who slid out of round one, was suspended by the team for one game last year. Second-round running back Isaiah Pead, who slid to third on the depth chart last season, will miss the first game of the 2013 campaign due to a suspension under the league’s substance-abuse policy.

    Cornerback Trumaine Johnson, a third-round pick in 2013, was arrested for DUI in March. Per one league source, Johnson had been removed from multiple draft boards last year after being suspended from his college team due to an alleged frat-house non-food fight, and for being arrested and Tasered in October 2011 after allegedly resisting arrest.

    Receiver Chris Givens, a fourth-round pick, was suspended by the team last year, and guard Rokevious Watkins, a fifth-round pick, recently received a one-game suspension under the league’s substance-abuse policy — which as with Pead implies some sort of legal violation relating to one of the substances covered by the policy.

    Also, the team’s two seventh-round picks last year, while staying out of trouble in the NFL, had incidents off the field at lower levels of the sport. Linebacker Aaron Brown was accused of misdemeanor assault while at Hawaii, and running back Daryl Richardson admits that he “got into a little trouble” in high school.

    It all creates a strange disconnect for which Fisher rarely is questioned. He’s a member of the league’s Competition Committee, and few in the media ever tie the propensity to pick college players of less-than-ideal character back to Fisher. In contrast, whenever the Seahawks have a guy get suspended, people presume that coach Pete Carroll has responsibility, directly or indirectly, for the situation.

    G.M. Les Snead, while not believed to have final control over the roster (especially since Fisher was hired before Snead), also deserves a mention on this point. Snead came from the Falcons, where G.M. Thomas Dimitroff frowns on taking character risks. However, Snead and Fisher have been smiling at their opportunities to get talented players later than they otherwise would have been available, but for the off-field issues.

    It continued this year with linebacker Alec Ogletree. Of the board in Dallas and presumably elsewhere, the Rams took him at the bottom of round one despite a suspension at Georgia and a pre-draft DUI.

    Our goal isn’t to cause trouble for Fisher or Snead, both of whom we respect and like. But the reality is that they have taken plenty of chances on players with issues unrelated to football ability, and for reasons neither known nor apparent the dynamic rarely has been mentioned, or even noticed, by the media.


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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    Really Florio?? You add Richardson to the list of "problem children" because he got into a little trouble in High School?? I would challenge him to look at any NFL team, list the players recently drafted that received NFL suspensions, team discipline, had run-ins with the law at some point in their lives, and had trouble in High School, and I'll bet the Rams are pretty average when it comes to "problem" players.
    Last edited by r8rh8rmike; -06-01-2013 at 06:02 PM.

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    Really is right. There was a time I kinda' liked this guy. Shark time.
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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    This is overstated.

    Jenkins and Givens were suspended by the team. Other teams might have let that stuff go (whatever it was). That's just Fisher instilling discipline.

    Two one game suspensions by Pead and Watkins. Hardly troubling. Fisher is on record saying Watkins's should be challenged. The Rams knew about Pead's since last year, and was described as a "minor violation."

    Another two are Aaron Brown at Hawaii and Richardson in high school. So... nothing regarding the pro level.

    The only troubling one is Trumaine Johnson's DUI. And speaking from experience, that's not something that's often repeated.
    Last edited by evil disco man; -06-02-2013 at 12:20 AM.

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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by evil disco man View Post
    This is overstated.

    Jenkins and Givens were suspended by the team. Other teams might have let that stuff go (whatever it was). That's just Fisher instilling discipline.

    Two one game suspensions by Pead and Watkins. Hardly troubling. Fisher is on record saying Watkins's should be challenged. The Rams knew about Pead's since last year, and was described as a "minor violation."

    Another two are Aaron Brown at Hawaii and Richardson in high school. So... nothing regarding the pro level.

    The only troubling one is Trumaine Johnson's DUI. And speaking from experience, that's not something that's often repeated.
    Good points. Jenkins and Givens were reportedly suspended for one game because they missed curfew, an "offence" most NFL teams would just overlook. Fisher has already gone on record as saying this about the Watkins suspension: "We respect the league’s decision, but personally and respectfully, I disagree with the suspension and the circumstances regarding the suspension.", and I'll bet he feels the same way about Pead.

    I agree the Johnson incident qualifies as a problem, but when put into the proper perspective, the overall point Florio is trying to make with this article has no basis IMO.
    Last edited by r8rh8rmike; -06-02-2013 at 03:07 PM.
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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    Yawn. I will take the "troubled" kids over what we had the past years before Fisher......

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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by evil disco man View Post
    Jenkins and Givens were suspended by the team. Other teams might have let that stuff go (whatever it was). That's just Fisher instilling discipline.
    Exactly. You're going to blame Fisher for lack of discipline by citing the number of times he has disciplined his players? The apparent substance policy violations are annoying but nothing to get bent out of shape about yet.

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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    Exactly. You're going to blame Fisher for lack of discipline by citing the number of times he has disciplined his players? The apparent substance policy violations are annoying but nothing to get bent out of shape about yet.
    Agreed. And I like how you made the "yet" provision.

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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    Jeff Fisher's ability to reach many of these guys and standing amongst the league's coaches give him the benefit of the doubt when bringing in a player with warts. But let's be honest: The Rams are taking a calculated risk here- to suggest otherwise is to delude ourselves. If any or several of these guys who we are counting on to be the core of our team get themselves suspended for multiple games or prove themselves repeatedly troublesome, fans' tune will change in a hurry. I'm not at all happy with Pead's poor judgment. I trust Fisher's decisions but don't think we should make a practice of targeting a talented but troubled prospect high in every draft.
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    Make a practice of?
    Please.
    Jenkins missed a curfew. Ogletree's done nothing. Neither Johnson nor Pead were high in the draft. You're just negative NJ. Period.
    Last edited by VegasRam; -06-03-2013 at 12:13 AM.
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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    Pacman

    "He never turned his back on me," said Jones. "He came to my house several times. I could go to him and talk to him about anything. And I did. I got to a point in Tennessee where I ran out of options on my own and I turned to him. Coach Fisher was a great person. Great about caring, great about calling. Can't get any better than him."
    It's funny how players like Jake Long after signing with the Rams for less money said Fisher is the reason why.

    How his ex-players could not wait to come and play for him in St.Louis. Cook, Cortland ect...

    Even players that did not listen at the time respect him.

    "I definitely wanted to apologize for the things that I did, letting him know about the frustration, a lot of different things that was going on in my life at the time, and want him to know that I really did appreciate him trying to make me become one of those type of leaders on the team, a successful quarterback," he said.

    He said during his time with the Titans he was "immature and not paying attention and not listening, and taking my frustration out on a lot of people wasn't the right thing to do."

    He said he hopes Fisher reads his letter and forgives him.
    Fisher is a great coach and a leader of men. This is the NFL not the church flag football team.

    There will always be guys that get in trouble on all teams it's how you deal with it that counts. I can give you a long list of Rams that got in trouble before fisher got here and I'm sure you can too.
    Last edited by Rambos; -06-02-2013 at 10:17 PM.

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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam View Post
    Make a practice of?
    Please.
    Jenkins missed a curfew. Ogletree's done nothing. Neither Johnson nor Pead were high in the draft. You're just negative NJ. Period.
    You really don't think a 2nd round pick is high? 2nd round picks in this league are GOLD.
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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    I'm a little leery of the Fish guru thing. The guy has had his share of flameouts. That said, he also has a squad with 4 pillar guys at key spots; Sam, Long, Lau, et al. Some, like Finnegan, he brought in. Jake Long is a stand-up guy, by all accounts. These aren't the 70s Raiders.

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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam View Post
    Make a practice of?
    Please.
    Jenkins missed a curfew. Ogletree's done nothing. Neither Johnson nor Pead were high in the draft. You're just negative NJ. Period.
    I think you're way out of line, Vegas, not to mention dead wrong. First off, I very clearly stated I trust Fisher. Secondly, if you have several guys on your team who are being counted on and there's a track record of bad behavior/character issues, one has every right to cast a watchful eye. Thirdly, "making a practice of" was a very accurate statement that illustrates that in two consecutive drafts we have targeted not one but MULTIPLE guys where there are concerns. And fourth, in my book, a 2nd round pick IS a high selection; and any guy we have starting (as Johnson did for a small portion of the season) is important to our success.

    I'm not gonna' debate this point- I have better things to do today. I have no problem taking a flyer on a guy from time to time- what I DON'T want is a roster littered with potential trouble. If that makes me negative, I'll be negative all day.

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    Re: Half of Rams’ 10-man 2012 draft class has gotten in trouble

    On Pead and Watkins...........in 2009 David Vobora was suspended 4 games for taking a mis-labeled nutritional supplement. What do you have to do to get suspended just 1 game? OD on Flintstones chewables?

    On Richardson.......he went to Abiliene Christian University, which is a sister school to my own alma mater, Harding University (as is Faulkner University, where Ray Ray Armstrong technically finished up, but I digress). These schools have some of the strictest student ethics agreements in the country. If he managed to abide by those rules, I can't imagine him having a lot of trouble staying clean by NFL standards.
    Goldenfleece and gap like this.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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