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Thread: Rams Rookies Make Trip From Doghouse To Penthouse

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    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Rams Rookies Make Trip From Doghouse To Penthouse

    Rams rookies make trip from doghouse to penthouse

    9 hours ago • By Jim Thomas jthomas@post-dispatch.com314-340-8197

    Ten days ago, coach Jeff Fisher made it a point to praise rookies Chris Givens and Janoris Jenkins for bouncing back after their one-game suspensions and contributing against the New York Jets, albeit in a 27-13 loss.

    Givens and Jenkins didn’t just contribute this past Sunday against Arizona — they were difference-makers in the Rams’ 31-17 victory, accounting for three of the Rams’ four touchdowns.

    Fisher sent them a stern message in suspending both players for the San Francisco game Nov. 11 for violating team rules. Along with defensive tackle Kellen Heard, who was subsequently released and signed Tuesday with the Colts, sources familiar with the situation said Givens and Jenkins were out partying during the road trip in the Bay Area and either missed a team curfew or were late for a team meeting.

    In a sport where there are only 16 games in a season, not 162 like baseball, a one-game suspension is a pretty stiff penalty.

    “It is,” Fisher said. “And we felt it was appropriate, and obviously they’ve put it behind them.”

    As the saying goes, playing in the NFL is a right, not a privilege. Based on their play against Arizona, Givens and Jenkins got the message. Jenkins, with his two interception returns for touchdowns, and Givens with his career-high five catches for a career-high 115 yards and a touchdown.

    “The issue has been put aside,” Fisher said. “I don’t think the issue had anything to do with their production prior to being sat down. They both have room for considerable improvement — both of them — as an overall contributor.

    “You know, ‘Jenks,’ he has two ‘pick 6’s’ in a game, which I say we could attribute to the reason we won because we got the ball in the end zone twice on defense. But, there were still other things in his play that need to improve, and those are the things that we have to focus on with him.”

    Jenkins was in a little bit of a funk heading into his suspension, allowing four TD passes over a three-game span before the first San Francisco game. Opposing teams seemed to go after him over that stretch, testing him with double-moves, and bunch formations. Until you can hold up against such a crucible, teams aren’t going to back off.

    But Jenkins played well against the Jets, and against San Francisco came up with his first interception(s) since the season opener against Detroit.

    “I’m not sure he was in any funk,” said fellow cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who has been a mentor to Jenkins. “It’s just part of the thing; it’s part of being a defensive back. It’s all guts and glory. He responded well, and he should be defensive player of the week. So I look forward to that.”

    Through thick and thin, Finnegan says Jenkins has continued plugging along in practice, working hard every day.

    “And you just see it pay off,” Finnegan said. “He’s such a phenomenal athlete. The fact that he had two interceptions doesn’t surprise me at all because he does it in practice.”

    Unlike Jenkins, Givens was on a roll at wide receiver before his suspension. With a 50-yard touchdown grab Oct. 28 against New England, Givens became the first NFL player since Pat Studstill of the Detroit Lions in 1966 to catch at least one pass for 50 yards-plus in five consecutive games.

    After the bye week and then the suspension against the *****, the streak ended Nov. 18 against the Jets when Givens had four catches for only 19 yards and with a long of only 9 yards. But as was the case with Jenkins, he enjoyed the best day of his young NFL career against the Big Red, including the go-ahead score on a leaping 37-yard TD grab in the third quarter.

    “You’re seeing more production, different types of production (from Givens),” Fisher said. “The first few weeks it was the long balls. And now he’s making the short catches and runs, the jailbreak screens, and then the third-down catch there in the fourth quarter was a big play for him as well. As we said, we want to get him involved in the short and the intermediate passing game, and he’s coming along.”

    The third-down catch Fisher referred to was a 22-yard gain to the Arizona 23 on a fourth-quarter drive that resulted in the Rams’ final points of the day on a Greg Zuerlein field goal.

    It’s clear that Givens is getting integrated into more of the offense. He’s becoming more than just a one-trick pony. As important as those deep balls are, he’s starting to catch the short and intermediate stuff that keep drives going as he and quarterback Sam Bradford get more in sync.

    “Obviously, he’s got big-play potential,” Bradford said. “I feel more comfortable throwing to him. I think our chemistry’s gotten better throughout the year. Hopefully, it’ll just continue to grow.”

    After the Arizona game, Givens said it was fun “playing every team in the NFL.” This Sunday, the Rams’ “Bad Boys” — Givens and Jenkins — finally get to play San Francisco for the first time, with the ***** coming to the Edward Jones Dome for a re-match of that wild and intense 24-24 overtime tie.


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    Re: Rams Rookies Make Trip From Doghouse To Penthouse

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    As the saying goes, playing in the NFL is a right, not a privilege.
    Whoa... how come nobody ever told me? To think that I've been trudging along this whole time working 12 hour overnight shifts instead of exercising my rights! My career as a backup linebacker could have extended beyond high school and directly into the NFL!

    (Or maybe Mr. Thomas's editor let one slip through the cracks here)

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    Re: Rams Rookies Make Trip From Doghouse To Penthouse

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    Whoa... how come nobody ever told me? To think that I've been trudging along this whole time working 12 hour overnight shifts instead of exercising my rights! My career as a backup linebacker could have extended beyond high school and directly into the NFL!

    (Or maybe Mr. Thomas's editor let one slip through the cracks here)
    You know, I missed that also. I read it as it was meant to be typed, instead of reading it as it was actually typed. Good eye there. Maybe you should apply for the Editors job.


    gap

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    Re: Rams Rookies Make Trip From Doghouse To Penthouse

    I can see Givens being a solid starting receiver for us in the future. Now its time to start getting Quick involved a little bit more. I would rather him be put in when we're in the redzone instead of Pettis, Or maybe even use both of them.

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    Re: Rams Rookies Make Trip From Doghouse To Penthouse

    I just find it funny that our lower draft picks are outperforming their higher drafted counter-parts.

    Richardson is finding success while Pead can't find the field.

    Givens is catching a lot of big play catches while Quick is catching a cold on the bench.


    Maybe we should just trade our first round draft picks for eight 7th round picks.

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