Before there was Case Keenum, the Rams had another controversial quarterback named Marc Bulger. Every week this poor soul got beat up by both defense lineman and fans alike. He endured this for I guess four years. Why am I telling you this?
Well one day, I wrote a post that said he would be clearing his locker out for the last time as a Rams’ player and someone responded to my post. He praised Bulger as a great player to which I responded in “Your Joking,” like tone. No, he wasn’t because his admiration of Bulger went way back to his playing days at West Virginia.
You have every right to ask me what does this have to Keenum? A lot because like Bulger, Keenum has fans that will fondly remember his college days. And to be perfectly honest we all have our favorite college teams and the players on those teams. That is why I wanted to write this post about Keenum’s college days before I tear him apart this season.
So, after I googled Keenum’s college days, I found this article from NFLDraft.com titled, “A look back at why Case Keenum went undrafted,” written by Dane Brugler. Please click on this link to read Brugler’s article. It was posted on October 18, 2013.
According to Brugler Keenum has average at best arm strength, so his throws seem to flutter especially when he does not have time to warm up. His legs do not give him much mobility and his height and weight (6-1,208) which would be rather on the small size for a pro quarterback.
While lacking physical tools, though, Brugler points out he does have the mental tools. He can make quick decisions prior snaps and is able to read a defense so that he knows where to put the ball. He has a natural feel for the pocket, and despite his size has an excellent vision of the field. Finally, he is mentally and physically tough.
Brugler further points out that his college passing yards have been inflated. He threw very short passes. Below is Keenum college statistics provided by sports-reference.com
His average yards for passing yards does not change much in the pro’s with a career average yards for passings yards is 6.64 though he has a career-long pass of 66 yards. That long pass occurred in his first year with the Houston Texans. This chart proves Brugler’s point about his inflated passing yards. He has only one year, 2011, where his average for passing yards attempted was a little more than ten yards.
So, what have we learned about Case Keenum’s college days? What lacks in the physically, he makes up mentally. Finally, remember that Case Keenum is mentally and physically tough.
There always has to be someone that has to sound ugly after a terrible accident. Well, I have chosen to be that someone. While others make their politically correct responses, I will tell you my not so politically correct response, as to why the Rams left Case Keenum in the game, but first, let set the scene.
We all know that they had two quarterbacks suited for the game. They would be Case Keenum the starter, and Nick Foles his backup. They listed Sean Mannion, third string backup QB, inactive.
So they go to Baltimore with just two quarterbacks. One of those quarterbacks just happened to have been benched earlier in the week, Foles. Move forward towards the end of the game where Keenum takes a nasty shot.
As Keenum laid on the turf holding head, one has to imagine the panic that overtook Fisher and his staff. What do I now? raced through his mind. Do I have to go with the other dufus that I just benched?
He sent his head trainer out on to the field who returned with the good news that Keenum said that he felt okay. Fisher felt relieved by not having to send in Foles, as well as no one else was the wiser of what just happen.
But as Karma would have its way because that ignored concussion could have just cost the Rams the game. Keenum’s last fumble could have been the after effects of his hitting the turf. Watch the video of the hit and see him wobble as he gets up.
I don’t if what I just written about why Fisher left Keenum is true. Don’t lie though because you probably thought that same thing when you first heard the news of Keenum’s concussion.
As the game clock tick its final moments away while Kousins and Washington celebrated their victory over the Rams, those knee jerk reactions took over my emotions. Even though this was one loss, I felt something drastic had to be done to save the season, but which knee jerk reaction would turn this Rams team away from another season of self destruction?
My first knee jerk reaction was to pull QB Nick Foles from the starting position. It did not matter that he had completed half of the passes that he had thrown or that he had thrown a TD, yet I wanted him replaced with Keenan.
The kicker here is that all I know about Keenan is that he had a good preseason against second team players. I never saw him play against starting players, so how do I know how well he would play? For all I know, he’d probably throw not one interception, but two. All that did not stop me from wanting Fisher to do the unrealistic and put Keenan in the game just do something.
Just do to something. Do you know how that sounds or better yet, vague? But, it did not stop me from wanting Foles replaced with Keenan, and it did end there. I wanted Frank Cignetti and Gregg Williams fired for I thought was terrible play calling. Like I would know what terrible play calling even looks like, yet just to do something, I wanted both fired.
Though, I must confess that I have my doubts about Williams’ defensive coaching abilities. I just can’t wash, “Bountygate” and his suspension for it from my mind, but that is for another post.
You ever notice how after good night sleep, all your problems or thought were problems disappear or look different? This is when your are glad that you did not embarrass yourself on social media by posting your knee jerk reactions. Well for me this is one of those times that I am glad to have kept my knee jerk reactions to myself.
So to answer the question, should we panic? My answer would be no for now. and for two reasons. This first answer would be the young offensive line which did not help Cignetti do what he wanted to do by not blocking, plain and simple. For the second reason, what would you expect would happen when you have the Rams’ 23rd ranked running defense going up against Washington’s run heavy offense? It would collapse and for Williams, I will not let him off that easy. Its his job to make sure it does not collapse.
|2015 Rams Quarterbacks during drills|
The other day I wrote about how Sean Mannion and Case Keenum looked better than Nick Foles in the Rams and Titans’ preseason game. I also did make the suggestion that maybe the Rams should put Keenum into this Saturday’s game against the Colts. I would this just to see how he perform with the starters.
Well, just after I made that in my article, I a came across an article written by Curt Popejoy in Fansided. The title of this article suggests that the Rams could have a quarterback controversy brewing between Foles, Keenum, and Mannion. He draws this conclusion from the three quarterbacks’ performances during the past two preseason games. He also points out as I do that Foles does not look good so far as compare too Mannion and Keenum.
Unlike my suggestion to try Keenum with the starters, he suggests the possibility that a move could be made if Foles looks disastrous after their first three games.
Either course whether now or later if a quarterback change should get made, Les Snead and Kevin Demoff will be asked to explain why they gave Foles that two year extension only to have him sitting on the bench.
Yet, to save face, I would bet that they will keep Foles as starter and hope that over time he works out all his wrinkles.
I could see them choose to blame his poor performance on a poor running game or poor defence which meant that he had to throw more then they would have like. Yet, that excuse should countered with if he is quarterback, shouldn’t you expect him to throw the ball more than you would like? .
Some quarterback controversies are easier to solve then others, while this possible quarterback controversy falls into the later. Look the Rams took a gamble on Foles by giving him that extension and I know why because they were looking for him to fill the roll of game manager in game plan that relied mostly on the running game. They believed that his past skills of two years ago would be good enough for him to fulfill that role. Well, so far it looks like they guessed wrong.