For every brilliant columnist or blogger that posts an article to the public, there are hundreds that will comment to express their own opinion on the matter. Whether that be a congratulatory posting filled with additional, supporting evidence or a whole-hearted dismantling of the article, piece-by-piece, there are always those who feel passionately about a subject, one way or the other. While some are “homers” simply throwing in their two cents in support, other comments are truly informative, thought provoking, or, if nothing else, views from the other side of the pasture. Rarely are those comments given the respect and recognition they deserve; until now. We, here at Ramblin’ Fans, support the opinions of our readers, and all readers alike. Thus, here is the first segment dedicated to those commenters…
An article by Bleacher Report’s Chris Trapasso highlighted his “Top 7 Contenders for Defensive Rookie of the Year.” Unlike a majority of the posts from Bleacher, Trapasso did not simply run down the 2012 Draft list and rave about the first 7 seven defensive players he recognized. Some of the more intriguing inclusions from his list were LB Lavonte David, a late second round pick up by the Tampa Bay Bucaneers, and LB Mychal Kendricks, a mid-2nd round choice by the Philadelphia Eagles. Missing from that list, of course, were any mention of the new St. Louis Rams. So, as I scrolled through the comments reading the comments from fan of various team enraged that a member of their team did not make the cut I found Kevin Hennig, a Rams fan, whose simple wrote…
If you have never been to Bleacher, there is a common trend where the writer will seemingly always, for better or worse, reply back to comments left on their articles, and Chris Trapasso is no different. His rationale against Janoris Jenkins went as follows,
A real darkhorse. I just think it’ll be hard for him to win the award on a team that struggles in the W/L column. Also, Charles Woodson was the last CB to win the award in 1998
Although, there is no doubt that Jenkins is a “darkhorse” candidate for Rookie of the Year honors, I find it hard to believe that the St. Louis Rams’ record will reflect negatively on his chances. If anything, the Rams past record will benefit Jenkins due to a little thing people in the psychological world like to call “self handicapping.” In the context of football, this concept works in two directions; 1) if the Rams improve from 2-14, then Jenkins’ production will be magnified, as he will be partially credited with reviving a franchise from the depths of the power rankings, or 2) if the Rams finished around 2-14, then those analyzing Jenkins’ performance will likely look at his production in a vacuum, spreading the “blame” of the seasons outcome to other, potentially more deserving, players. Moreover, if the Rams were to finish 8-8 this season, for example, they would likely finish second in the NFC West, miss the playoffs, and fall in the middle-of-the-pack in the NFL, sitting at .500. However, one could also say that the Rams, after the addition of Jenkins, improved by 6 wins in a single season, likely leading the NFL in record differential from the previous year. Bad records can sometime bode well for players, look at Sam Bradford! Bradford won Offensive Rookie of the Year after finishing the season with sub-.500 season. However, in comparison to the previous season, Bradford looked as if he had completely turned around a franchise, pulling them up from the basement of the NFL to a team competing for a playoff birth in January.
Trapasso makes a good point that secondary players rarely get a return on their efforts in the eyes of the ROY voters. Since 2000, 10 out of 12 of the Defensive Rookie of the Year recipients have been linebackers. The only two players to break that mold, were Julius Peppers in 2002 and the Lions’ Ndamukong Suh in 2010. Moreover, since 1980, only 4 out of the 31 players awarded the honor were chosen outside of the first round, and only 2 out of the 31 were cornerbacks.
However, “darkhorse” or not, if Jenkins plays at the level that many have projected, he could easily put up numbers worthy of recognition. If you add in the fact that the Rams have two dominate, pass rushing DEs and that he will play six games within a QB-deprived, NFC West, and you have the makings of highly productive year for an instinctual, playmaking CB.
Shout out to commenter, Patick Maclean for ending the discussion with his post,
He’s more likely to father an illegitimate child, or be arrested for narcostics, than win ROY.
Keep on commenting, you might see your argument highlighted in our next “Fan Commenter Focus” piece
Fun Fact: The rookie record for interceptions is held by Richard” Dick” Lane at 14 interceptions. Dick Lane went undrafted, but was picked up by the Los Angeles Rams in 1952.