Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Drew Bennett era ends

Drew Bennett might not have been as bad a player as he was just flat out unlucky. He was signed by the Ravens after working out for them last week, but the day after the workout, his knee swelled up and according to reports, will require surgery. In light of that, he has announced his retirement.

Bennett right now has to go down as the worst free agent signing in Rams history. He was paid $12 million for two seasons here, the second of which he notoriously caught fewer passes than Marc Bulger did. He had bad hands, just-average speed and played a lot shorter than his 6'5" height. His durability was questionable when the Rams signed him, and he didn't do anything to change that perception, missing basically all of 2008 with a foot injury and failing to survive even one workout in Baltimore.

But let's also acknowledge that Drew Bennett's a good guy the Rams put in a difficult situation. He didn't complain in the press or rag on the fans or divide the locker room or anything like that. Scott Linehan made it so obvious Bennett was going to be a red zone target that defenses double-teamed him and made it highly difficult for him to prove himself where he was perceived to be the most valuable. He was miscast in 2007 as a third wideout but was especially miscast in 2008 as the guy who was supposed to replace Isaac Bruce. Those are big damn shoes to fill, so as a guy being used wrong, or so predictably that defenses could easily take him away, or as a guy being asked to replace a legend, I don't doubt Drew Bennett was pressing a lot of the time he was a St. Louis Ram. And that just made his job that much more difficult.

Drew Bennett never should have been a St. Louis Ram. The front office should have kept Isaac Bruce. Scott Linehan should have worked out a running game that was competent in the red zone. He should have figured out how to get the tight end involved in the passing game down there. He did neither, even with Bennett on the field.

Bennett should be able to retire comfortably for his efforts, and Linehan's even got a job in the NFL these days. But we fans have to live with the 5-27 wreckage of their last two seasons.

photo - USA Today

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