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Round Two: Should The Rams Have Cut Incognito Earlier?
12.16.2009 11:46 am
Should Rams have cut Incognito earlier?
By Roger Hensley
QUESTION: Was Richie Incognito’s level of play worth keeping him on the roster for as long as the Rams did, or should they have cut him loose earlier?
Coach Steve Spagnuolo gave Incognito two chances. He was benched for a handful of plays after a couple of hot-headed penalties in the season opener against Seattle and had a sit-down with Spags. When Incognito had a similar meltdown in Game 13 against Tennessee, Spags had enough. So it’s hard to argue with the head coach’s approach. Keep in mind, Incognito’s contract would’ve been up after this season, and maybe the team was hesitant to commit big bucks to retain him anyway.
Incognito had talent, that’s why he stayed as long as he did. You put up with problem children in sports for only one reason — ability. That’s why a good player with problems is an eccentric and a bad player with the same issues is unemployed.
Richie played hard. The Rams were trying to rebuild this team with physical play on both lines. In many ways, Richie embodied what Spagnuolo wanted to do with the Rams. But the new coach was also stressing a team-first mentality and ultimately these personal fouls are selfish penalties. When Richie tried to plead innocence on his latest beef, that was the last straw. His remarks to Jim Thomas further proved his lack of self-accountability.
Incognito is a solid offensive lineman, so it made sense for the Rams to give him some slack. They’d invested a third-round draft pick and a fair amount of money in him. After his problems in Seattle in the opener this year, he’d behaved himself until last Sunday’s blowup. So, I’d day the timing was right — particularly conisdering the Rams probably weren’t going to re-sign Incognito after this season.
KEVIN WHEELER (Host of “Sports Open Line” on KMOX)
They should have cut him loose sooner because he clearly wasn’t doing anything to help the team win more games. Richie is okay as a player but not good enough to make it worth putting up with his ridiculous lack of self-control, and it’s not like this guy doesn’t have a history of behaving badly.
A poll of 296 NFL players conducted by Sports Illustrated said he’s one of the dirtiest players in the league, he’s had four games in the last two years where he received multiple personal fouls (two of them this season) and he had a history in college as well. This guy was the first freshman ever to start the season on the offensive line for Nebraska, he was All-Big 12 as a sophomore and despite being one of the best players on the team he was still kicked out of the program for his behavior. That behavior included multiple suspensions for violation of team rules, three assault charges being filed against him (one conviction), on-field fights against opposing teams and an accusation that he spit on an opposing player.
And now he’s acting smug after the Rams cut him. He’s the last guy you want to build around. Incognito has talent, there is little doubt about that, but at this point he’s been nothing more than a 320-pound waste of talent both in college and the NFL. He’ll show up somewhere else soon and things will go well for a short time, but unless he grows up and learns how to control himself he’ll be repeating this experience of being cut many times over in the future.
-12-17-2009 #2Registered User
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Re: Round Two: Should The Rams Have Cut Incognito Earlier?
I always felt Incognito should have been cut earlier, but I understood the Rams' reluctance to do so, given their struggles on the offensive line. In any event, while a good team can take the occasional chance on a "problem" player, a bad team cannot and should not.
He's gone- that's all that matters.
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