Most people try to avoid trouble. Former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher seems to attract it; the new Head Coach of the St. Louis Rams has a penchant for collecting bad boys. One of his often overlooked accomplishments in Tennessee and Houston was taking players with less than stellar reputations, and turning them into a solid, stable team. Of the draft class selected by Fisher in 2012, four out of ten of the players have been in some sort of trouble. Here is a roundup of the guys and their offenses:
According to ESPN, On June 1, 2009, Jenkins was arrested near a bar by Gainesville Police for fighting and resisting arrest after punching a man in the head. Police were forced to use a taser on Jenkins after fight escalated. When asked why the fight started, Jenkins told police it was because he thought someone “was going to steal the gold chain” around his neck. Jenkins was forced to do community service and be on probation.
On April 23, 2011, Jenkins was cited by a Gainesville police officer and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession. He was cited for the same violation in January 2011, and paid a $316 fine. The Florida Gators dismissed him from the team due to having two drug arrests in less than four months.
According to NFL’s Ian Rapoport, running back Isaiah Pead will be suspended without pay for the first game in 2013 for violating the NFL Policy on Substance Abuse. Pead was a second-round draft pick in 2012. He played in 15 games his rookie season, carrying ten times for 54 yards.
The former University of Montana standout pled guilty in May to reduced charges of reckless driving and refusing a breathalyzer test, receiving a 90-day suspended jail sentence. Johnson will be required to pay eight-hundred dollars in fines and make a two-thousand five hundred dollar donation to the county DUI Task Force. He must also enroll in the NFL’s substance abuse program.
Another Ram, another violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Guard Watkins was a fifth-round pick in 2012, and played just one game in his rookie season before going on injured reserve. He was suspended without pay for the first game of the 2013 season.
ESPN crunched the numbers and figured out that Pead’s suspension will cost him $34,000 in salary, while Watkins’ suspension will cost him $24,000.
Fisher has publicly come out in support of Watkins, saying that he didn’t feel Watkins deserved to be suspended. What remains to be seen is if Fisher can create magic with this team of ne’er-do-wells. The one constant among these troubled young men is raw talent, which they have in spades. However, problems off the field have ruined the careers of many a talented man in the NFL. If Fisher can manage to quell his players’ natural rebellion, the St. Louis Rams will be in great shape for the second game of their 2013 season.