Hello Rams Fans!
I hope that you were pleased with last month's draft, and so far the rumblings from OTA's are quite positive with respect to the newcomers. Names like Brian Quick, Michael Brockers and Janoris Jenkins are quickly becoming household names, and all three appear well on their way to starting jobs.
This offseason, the roster sizes were increased from 80 to 90, per the new CBA, so the addition of quite a few free agents seemed plausible. The Rams elected to go young this year, with a smattering of 30+ aged veterans added (Mario Haggans and Scott Wells in particular). This is a far cry from last year, when pretty much anyone with an AARP card could sign with the Rams.
Today, I want to bring your attention to one 30 year old veteran that already has some history with the team, albeit one that was cut short after the 2010 season. He was originally hired to pave the way for Steven Jackson, and Steven was the primary reason why he decided to join the Rams for the start of the 2009 season. He helped lead Steven to two of his three Pro Bowl seasons, even with 8 men in the box pretty much all day, and provided some fire and punch. He was a two time Pro Bowl alternate, and is currently gazing at Jeff Fisher's regime and saying "this is my kind of football". I'm talking about Mike Karney, in case it was not yet obvious.
Why do I think Mike deserves a second chance with the Rams? See why after the jump
By his own admission, Mike still closely follows the Rams organization and thinks very highly of the pieces now in place (Fisher, Snead and Demoff). He felt that there was a lot of unfinished business when Coach Spagnuolo and Billy Devaney elected to part ways with him after the 2010 season (philosophical differences may have been at play, but I don't want to put words in his mouth), and regrets that he could not continue to impart his will on opposing linebackers for Steven. He told me recently, and I can hear the sincerity in his voice, that "he is still the same guy they brought in in 2009" would like to prove it again. He is still healthy, and feels terrific.
Well, times have changed and there is a new Sheriff in town in Coach Fisher. Coaches Fisher and Schottenheimer will be highly focused on the ground game this season, as they ease Sam Bradford back into the passing game. This means that the use of multiple backs will only increase, and reports from OTA's indicate a movement to this approach. They also brought in Ovie Mughelli for a visit, an established (but coming off an injury that limited him last year) fullback that paved the way for Michael Turner the last few years. Mughelli is coming off a contract that paid at least 3 million per year. In contrast, Mike is also Pro Bowl caliber and would love to play for the veteran minimum. With rosters increased to 90, it makes sense to take a look at Mike to see if he is the best option available.
So, does Mike deserve a second chance? If so, please visit this petition to get him a tryout: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bring-mike-karney-back-to-the-rams/