NFL

NFL AM: Case Keenum Named Rams Starter For 2016

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Rams Retain Fisher, Keenum Stays Starting QB

Have the St. Louis Rams ever been further away from a championship?

After announcing that head coach Jeff Fisher would be retained for next season, the priciest sub .500 NFL coach decided to announce that Case Keenum would be the incumbent starting quarterback for next season.

“Case is an incomplete pass and a field goal away from potentially being 5-0 as a starter. He’s managing things well,” Fisher said. “I think he’s got a chance to be a really good quarterback.”

With all due respect for Fisher, Keenum has turned into a nice backup quarterback that gets the most out of his limited skills.  The fact that he has limited skills is why he can’t be the starting quarterback on a legitimate contender.

When you look at the numbers, Keenum is probably the team’s best option, but that doesn’t mean he’s the answer.  In five starts, he completed just shy of 61 percent of his throws, for 828 yards with four touchdowns and an interception.  The 27-year old has such arm limitations that it’s impossible to have a successful deep passing game with him under center.

If Keenum were to start 16 games next year, he would likely have some highlights and even beat Seattle once.  But at the end of the day- at the end of the season- the Rams would be exactly where they are now, on the outside of the playoffs looking in.

Fisher’s .430 winning percentage with the Rams ranks dead last among active coaches who have been with their teams at least four seasons.  At this point, his reputation as a great coach is simply a fabrication.  How many coaches get a fifth season to turn things around?  Especially when you’ve had multiple first round picks in three of those years.

It’s difficult to say whether or not Fisher is the problem in St. Louis, but it’s crystal clear that he’s not the solution.

Coughlin Speaks About Stepping Down

The New York Giants and two-time Super Bowl winning head coach Tom Coughlin parted ways Monday, in what was an emotional farewell.

“I met with John Mara and Steve Tisch this afternoon, and I informed them that it is in the best interest of the organization that I step down as head coach,” Coughlin said in a statement. “I strongly believe the time is right for me and my family, and as I said, the Giants organization.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as head coach of the New York Football Giants. This is a not a sad occasion for me. I have spent 15 years with this organization as an assistant and head coach and was fortunate to be part of three Super Bowl winning teams. A Lombardi Trophy every five years is an achievement in which we all take great pride.”

In an organization that can only be described as first-class, co-owner John Mara expressed his appreciation for Coughlin’s efforts.

“It is difficult to come up with words adequate to describe the appreciation we have for everything Tom Coughlin has done for our franchise,” Mara said in statement. “In addition to delivering two Super Bowl titles, Tom represented us with class and dignity, and restored the pride to our entire organization. He has all the qualities you could ever ask for in a head coach, and set very high standards for whoever will succeed him.”

The Giants have suffered three consecutive losing seasons, the first time that’s happened since they had eight consecutive losing campaigns from 1973-1980.  New York has missed the playoffs four years in a row and six of the last seven, though the one year in that stretch they made it ended up in a Super Bowl title.

“Obviously, the past three years have not been what any of us expect, and as head coach, I accept the responsibility for those seasons,” Coughlin’s statement read. “I think it has been evident these last 12 years here how much pride I take in representing this franchise. I am gratified and proud that we were able to deliver two more Lombardi trophies to the display case in our lobby during that time. That is a tribute to our players and staff, and it was truly fulfilling to be the leader of those teams.

“I appreciate the support of John and his family and Steve and his family, and of Jerry Reese and his staff. I think our organization is a great representation of what I mean when I talk about ‘team.'”

It’s a shame that Coughlin’s Giants career had to end this way, with an injury-ravaged roster that had virtually no chance to win consistently.  Hopefully the head coach that helped build the Jacksonville Jaguars and restore greatness to the New York Giants next stop will be in Canton.

2016 NFL Draft Order Set

The NFL Draft order for the non-playoff teams has been determined, and here’s how it lays out:

1. Tennessee Titans: 3-13 (.492 strength of schedule)
2. Cleveland Browns: 3-13 (.531 SOS)
3. San Diego Chargers: 4-12 (.528 SOS)
4. Dallas Cowboys: 4-12 (.533 SOS)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-11 (.473 SOS)
6. Baltimore Ravens: 5-11 (.508 SOS)
7. San Francisco 49ers: 5-11 (.539 SOS)
8. Miami Dolphins: 6-10 (.469 SOS)
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-10 (.484 SOS)
10. New York Giants: 6-10 (.498 SOS)
11. Chicago Bears: 6-10 (.548 SOS)
12. New Orleans Saints: 7-9 (.504 SOS)
13. Philadelphia Eagles: 7-9 (.508 SOS)
14. Oakland Raiders: 7-9 (.512 SOS)
15. St. Louis Rams: 7-9 (.528 SOS)
16. Detroit Lions: 7-9 (.536 SOS)
17. Atlanta Falcons: 8-8 (.478 SOS)
18. Indianapolis Colts: 8-8 (.500 SOS)
19. Buffalo Bills: 8-8 (.508 SOS)
20. New York Jets: 10-6 (.441 SOS)

  • The Titans picked second last year and now first this year.
  • The Browns have picked in the Top 10 five of the last six years.
  • The Chargers haven’t picked in the Top 10 since 2004, when they eventually selected Philip Rivers.
  • The Jaguars have selected in the Top 5 in each of the last four years, while not selecting higher than 10th in nine years.
  • The Bucs selected first last year, and have selected in the Top 10 in three of the last four years.

 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.