Greg Eno

Archive for the ‘Shaun Rogers’ Category

Browns Prove Dumbness Not Relegated To Allen Park

In Lions NFL, Shaun Rogers on March 5, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Another Mistake By The Lake.

Until today, that was the less-than-flattering nickname given to the city of Cleveland, Ohio. Like many city monikers, it was neither accurate nor fair. Chicago isn’t all that Windy, Philadelphia doesn’t show much Brotherly Love, and Detroit is losing claim to being the Motor City.

But the new Mistake By The Lake is the Browns’ decision to wrap DT Shaun Rogers in green thru the 2013 season, to the tune of $42 million. His current contract was set to expire in 2010; the Brownies added three years and about $20 million to the pot.

That sound you hear is hundreds of thousands of Lions fans clutching their bellies, laughing and pointing across Lake Erie.

“SUCKERS!”

Why the Browns decided to lock Rogers up so quickly, when there was hardly a sense of urgency to do so, is beyond me. They acquired him Friday from the Lions for a draft pick and CB Leigh Bodden.

The Browns, you’d think, would have liked to have seen Rogers squeeze himself into his football pants, at least, before hooking him up with so much dough.

But Rogers is their problem now, so I really shouldn’t care. But it’s nonetheless amusing to see another team spend its money so foolishly.

There is nothing — zero, zip, nada — that makes me think that Rogers will suddenly become a 16-game beast on the D-line, just because he’s changed teams. The whole “change of scenery” thing is a nice thought, and I think it’s cute that the Browns think that it applies here, but once a scalawag, always a scalawag. The change of scenery theory mostly applies to hard-working but frustrated players who either struggle to find playing time or are caught in a system that doesn’t exploit their virtues. It’s not designed to be a panacea for all — especially overweight, out-of-shape, brooding dudes like Shaun Rogers.

Like I’ve written here, Rogers could have owned Detroit. He could have turned this town on like no other D-lineman since Al “Bubba” Baker — a modern day Alex Karras, if he had only smiled or talked. After his monster performance against the Broncos in that 44-7 win, Rogers was silent. That was his chance to seize the moment. I would have taken outrageous. I would have taken a Roy Williams-like propensity to say goofy things. I would have taken some humility, some leadership. I would have taken the ability to play more than four plays in a row without needing an oxygen tank.

But none of those things was Shaun Rogers interested in doing, so now he’s gone, someone else’s concern. The change of scenery theory might apply for a series, a quarter, a game. Maybe even a stretch of several games. But it cannot, I maintain, apply for a 16-game NFL season, because Rogers hasn’t shown, in seven years, the gumption to prove otherwise. He’s poison, and it’s time now to infect another’s apple.

The Browns will regret today’s decision as early as the midway point of next season. They may even regret it in the first week of training camp, when they look over and see Rogers doubled over, gasping for air.

Give Big Baby His Rattle And Send Him Home (And Not Just Him)

In Lions, NFL, Shaun Rogers on December 23, 2007 at 5:46 pm

The desperate pass landed square into the mammoth torso of Shaun Rogers, and the football stuck to him like Velcro. Off he went, rambling some 60 yards or so toward the Denver Broncos goal line, falling into the end zone, his 360 pounds (or more) crashing onto the turf. He was gassed, but he had scored. The crowd roared, and Ford Field was rocking with Rogers’ score putting an exclamation mark on an improbable 44-7 win.

That was November 4. And Rogers is still gassed, seven weeks later.

They call Rogers, the Lions’ defensive tackle, Big Baby. I’m not sure how he got that moniker, but there is something frightfully ironic about it. Somewhere in the barrel of goo that is him, there’s a joke to be made about that nickname. But the joke, I’m afraid, is on all of us. Has been for quite a while now.

Shaun Rogers was one of President Matt Millen’s rare competent draft picks, back in 2001. Ever since he entered the league, Rogers has, when he has cared to, been a dominant force along the line of scrimmage. He just hasn’t cared to all that much, or all that often. Now it seems evident that he simply can’t anymore, this season.

The Lions have not gone on this six-game losing skid because of Rogers, that’s for sure. But he hasn’t done them any favors, either. He reached the zenith of his season in that Broncos game, when he was that player that he could sometimes be – a beast inside, making tackles, disrupting plays.

In a fit of excitement, having been duped by Rogers in the Denver game, I served up some sugar about Big Baby the next day on the Internet, for all who cared to visit to lap up:

Shaun “Big Baby” Rogers is beginning to play the kind of defensive football that gets people into Pro Bowls unanimously and makes quarterbacks and offensive coordinators curl into the fetal position…
Watching the 350+ pound Rogers racing toward pay dirt, the football looking like an M&M in his hands, while the crowd swelled and a roar grew with each of his pounding strides, was a watershed moment, at least in the Matt Millen Era. Rogers was among the first players Millen drafted, in 2001, and here he was, a behemoth running like a DB toward the end zone. The Lions already had the game well in hand, but Rogers’ touchdown will be one talked about for years.

And as if all that blather wasn’t embarrassing enough, there was this line:

Big Baby could own Detroit.

What a fool I was!

Eight games is half a season. The Lions moved to 6-2 with their lopsided win over the Broncos, who were in disarray at the time. Another decent half, and the Lions would make the playoffs.
How could they not, with Big Baby shaking his rattle so?

Six losses later, the Lions’ season is over. The fact that the end has come in December as opposed to October, as in previous campaigns, is not cause for celebration.

Neither is the deterioration of Rogers’ overweight, woefully out of shape body.


Rogers, winded as usual; this may have been taken after the second play of the game for all we know

Every week, Rogers gets shuttled in and out of the lineup more and more often. It’s impossible not to figure out what’s going on. Big Baby needs another nap.

Coach Rod Marinelli tried like the dickens to ensure that this wouldn’t happen. He knew that, last season, Rogers was carrying too much girth. So in training camp, he allowed Rogers to work at his own pace, in his own way. Perhaps, the coach reasoned, this wide berth would keep Rogers fresher as the season wore on. Marinelli made the mistake of treating Big Baby like a grown man.

Oh, Rogers is grown, alright – fully grown, and then some. He’s a shameful excuse for a football player right now – stealing his paycheck while he can barely keep upright for more than three or four plays in a row. He peaked in his team’s eighth game, and has been as invisible as a 360-pound fraud can be, ever since.

“I’m in a slump,” was how Rogers recently and casually tried to explain away his disappearing act since the Denver game.

It’s more plausible that the fact that you can barely fit him into a piano box is what’s causing Rogers’s hideous play of late.

Yet the Lions, and even some of their fans, seem reluctant to bid farewell to Rogers. They chew on their fingernails, afraid that as soon as he’s out of Detroit, Shaun Rogers will become a consistent, useful force for another NFL team.

I’ll take my chances.

Truth? I don’t care if Rogers turns into the second coming of Deacon Jones, Reggie White, and Bruce Smith wrapped into one. I don’t care if he makes the Pro Bowl every year until he retires. He needs to go. Goodness gracious, accountability needs to start somewhere.

If that’s all that’s keeping him here – the fear that he could fulfill his potential elsewhere – then that’s not enough justification. What keeps a football player on your roster should be what he’s done – not what he could do for someone else.

The Lions are paying Rogers a lot of dough to gasp and wheeze on every other play. They may as well pay him some more to leave town entirely.

It’s not just Rogers, so you know. He’s only a symptom. It’s clear that the Lions need to start all over again – blowing this thing up. Nobody should be untouchable, save perhaps the rookie receiver Calvin Johnson. Millen, Marinelli, and everyone in between should be shown the door. It pains me to say that about the coach, because I truly believed that the Lions had found the right man when they hired Marinelli from Tampa Bay two years ago.

But every week, Marinelli falls on the sword, taking the blame for his team’s lack of readiness to play that Sunday’s game. “It’s on me,” is his new favorite line in describing the latest massacre played out on the football field.

Then if it’s always on you, coach, I suppose you should be replaced.

Get rid of them all, I say.

Bill Parcells was just hired by the Miami Dolphins as an executive. It was reported that the Atlanta Falcons had tried to hire him, too, but the Dolphins got the nod. The Dolphins are 1-13. Yet Parcells saw something in Miami.

The Lions didn’t place a telephone call, despite presumably knowing that the well-regarded Parcells was shopping his services. There are those who say that Parcells could have been had, if the Lions had cared to get involved. They are 30-80 in the Matt Millen Era.

They deserve Shaun Rogers, come to think of it.

Big Baby Could Own Detroit, But Chooses Not To

In Lions, Shaun Rogers on November 5, 2007 at 5:25 pm

When Cecil Fielder played in Detroit, they called him “Big Daddy.” He led the AL in RBI in three straight seasons (1990-92), and one of my favorite photos is one of Big Daddy roaming the left field roof at Tiger Stadium, in his uniform, carrying a bat and smoking a cigar. It was homage to his clearing that roof and coming close on other occasions.

For a few seasons, big Cecil owned Detroit, at least during the summers. He burst into town with a 51-home run season in ’90, and he was one who you’d stop whatever you were doing to catch his at-bat. He struck out a lot, but oh, when he connected….

The Lions had a pass rushing maven named Al “Bubba” Baker, in the late-1970s, early ’80s. As a rookie, Baker recorded 23 sacks, which is mind-boggling. And he was a loquacious, loud, barrel of a man who thrived on his notoriety, and was eager to add to it at every opportunity. It was a sad — and quiet — day when Baker took his act to the Cleveland Browns. At least for me.


Baker: Still the Lions’ best sack specialist ever

Today, the Lions have a player who, like Big Daddy and Bubba before him, could own Detroit. If only he wanted to.

Shaun “Big Baby” Rogers is beginning to play the kind of defensive football that gets people into Pro Bowls unanimously and makes quarterbacks and offensive coordinators curl into the fetal position.

Rogers was a beast yesterday, in the Lions’ 44-7 dismantling of the Denver Broncos. He made sacks. He disrupted the Bronco’s feeble running game. And he, in a moment that could have been one of the biggest in Lions history had he wanted it to be, intercepted a pass with incredibly soft hands and charged 66 yards for a touchdown, adding a stiff arm at the end for good measure.

Rogers tumbled into the end zone, and Ford Field was quaking on its foundation. Watching the 350+ pound Rogers racing toward paydirt, the football looking like an M&M in his hands, while the crowd swelled and a roar grew with each of his pounding strides, was a watershed moment, at least in the Matt Millen Era. Rogers was among the first players Millen drafted, in 2001, and here he was, a behemoth running like a DB toward the end zone. The Lions already had the game well in hand, but Rogers’ touchdown will be one talked about for years.

Yet it won’t go down in history as one of the team’s greatest (and funnest) plays, because Rogers won’t allow it to be so.


Rogers (right) won’t let us in to help better enjoy the ride

Rogers is still giving us all the silent treatment, and while he thinks he’s doing it to just the press, he’s doing it to all the fans who live and die with the team. Times are good now; the Lions are 6-2 and looking like they’re getting better, instead of regressing. Rogers’ play, excluding the TD, was awesome enough. But the interception and return should have been a moment we all enjoyed with him. It would have been great fun to hear him talk about it afterward.

Big Baby could own Detroit. Just like Bubba, and Big Daddy. Were he engaging and jocular, like Baker and Fielder, we would have been dying to hear him wax descriptive about his dynamic play. And we would have hung on every word, and smiled and laughed with his every large, round grin and hearty chuckle.

But Shaun Rogers does not want to own Detroit, apparently. He’s content to do all his talking on the field. That’s fine, I suppose, but it sure would be nice if he were to understand how powerful it would be for him to assume a more vocal, gregarious role with his football team.

Rogers owes nothing to anyone, I guess. Not even the paying customers, save for 100% effort every Sunday. Ahh, but they’ve wondered about that effort in the past. It’s probably the no. 1 reason Big Baby clams up.

Detroit, in the fall, could be Shaun Rogers’s oyster. It would probably expand to the off-season, too — if he cared to have that happen. But he appears to not want that. There’s no telling how much more fun this ride could be with the Lions if that weren’t the case.

No More Rogers For Lions, Please

In Lions, NFL, Shaun Rogers on June 20, 2007 at 3:02 pm

It’s a good thing wide receiver Calvin Johnson’s last name isn’t Rogers. For if it was, I would have advised the Lions against selecting the high-class player from Georgia Tech with the #2 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft — no matter how much of a sure-thing he appears to be.

The Lions have never gotten much out of the Rogers name. Their current Rogers — “Big Baby” Shaun — is again trying management’s patience, this time combining his here-today/gone-tomorrow desire to play with criminal charges that he groped an exotic dancer against her will.

It began in 1985, when the Lions established yet another mark for ineptitude by hiring coach Darryl Rogers away from Arizona State University. Rogers never had the credentials to be a successful pro coach — mainly because he’d only coached in college, which has rarely been the resume of a winning NFL leader. Then Rogers compounded the problem by essentially bringing his entire ASU staff over to the Lions — and none of THEM had had any NFL experience. The result? A lame duck coach who counted pigeons on the Silverdome ceiling, wondering aloud, “What does it take to get fired around here?”

Then there was Reggie Rogers — that potentially-dynamo of a defensive lineman. This Rogers had all the tools, physically: he was strong, fast, and reckless. Unfortunately, he combined the last two of those in his automobile, and was tagged with vehicular manslaughter, ending his playing career before it really got started.

And, of course, Charlie Rogers — draft bust extraordinaire.

Four Rogers, four headaches — in their own way.

The first-name Rogers haven’t been that bad. Roger Zatkoff — ornery, mean lineman from the 1950s. Roger Brown — a very competent DL from the 1960s.

Well, at least the Tigers have Kenny Rogers. He seems to have done quite well with that surname.

Maybe we can get “Big Baby” to change his last name to Merriman? Then at least we can pretend.