DE C.J. Ah You is out this week with a wrist injury, which means first-round pick Robert Quinn will more than likely be in action this week. Quinn was (in)famously left inactive last week, causing a bit of outrage among fans. I mostly avoided the subject on the front page of the site, as you may have noticed, because I felt like it was a non-controversy, something best left to talk radio and message boards.
Quinn played no football in 2010 because of the NCAA's exploitative rules and restrictions on the very athletes from which they profit. The lockout scuttled what little time players get in the spring to practice, a particularly costly thing for the rookies.
Though we don't know exactly what Spagnuolo was thinking, your mind does not have to reach very into the imagination to assume that Quinn, after so much time away from football, was simply not ready to play. Occam's Razor makes for bad ratings though and a mini-storm brewed, even after Spagnuolo explained his decision with a pretty straight forward answer...that Quinn wasn't ready enough to use a roster spot at the expense of other needs.
And what if it was something more? Last year, Brandon Gibson and Bradley Fletcher both found themselves out of action and in Spagnuolo's doghouse. Gibson was there to start the season, inactive the first two games because of Spagnuolo's dissatisfaction with his practice habits. Fletcher was never left out of uniform, but he did famously not get the start against San Francisco the first time the Rams played them last year, an overtime loss. Reportedly, Kevin Dockery's start over Fletcher that week had something to do with practice habits as well. Fletcher got into the game after Dockery was burned on a 65-yard pass from Troy Smith to Josh Morgan.
There were a few unsubstantiated rumors that Quinn was perhaps getting some similar bad reviews from the coaches. Again, good grist for talk radio the message boards. Even if that was the case, a good coach would never use the press to send a message.
Last week's tempest in a teapot looks to have blown over now.
Today, Spagnuolo gave Quinn a good review for his work in practice this week, calling his play "impressive." The Rams' pass rush figures heavily into the game plan against the Giants this week, with a relatively inexperienced offensive line still getting used to working together.