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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

The LONG road back

Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008, at 6:15 PM

Run, Trent! Your line leaks like a sieve.
Trent Green didn't have a very good day on Aug. 28, 1999.

Fresh off a year in which he had thrown for nearly 3,500 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Redskins, he had signed a four-year $16.5 million contract with the Rams. Beginning the seventh year of his NFL career, Green was a well-paid NFL starting quarterback.

And then Rodney Harrison struck. (Yes, he was dirty even when he was 20-something and played for the Chargers.) The safety hit Green and ended his season.

You all know the story from there. Grocery bagger/Arena League QB/unknown backup Kurt Warner came in and set the league on fire. Warner went on to lead the Rams to the Super Bowl XXXIV championship (In what I believe was the most exciting Super Bowl game of my lifetime, but that's another story.) and pick up the next two NFL MVP trophies.

The bottom line was, Green wasn't getting the Rams QB job back.

But let's fast forward nine years. Never mind the 1,950 completions Green has had since then. Forget the 139 touchdowns, 97 interceptions and 24,509 yards he has compiled in that time.

You can also throw out the two Pro Bowls (2003, 2005) and the three consecutive years of more than 4,000 yards passing ('03-'05).

None of that really matters. Instead, I'd like to look at it as if the last nine years and a month have been an extended quest to regain the Rams' starting job.

It's a comeback 3,373 days in the making.

You see, on Tuesday the Rams decided to bench starter Marc Bulger, and who should be second on the depth chart but 38-year-old Green? Sure, he may be a little long in the tooth. A guy who has been knocked out of the last two seasons with concussions and is in his 16th year in the league probably isn't ideal for the Rams.

But neither is being 0-3 and looking like one of the worst teams in the history of organized professional football. (Unfortunately for us all, they don't play Green's old team and cross-state rival Kansas City. If those two played, we might be able to settle that title.)

Bulger has been awful this year, so why not go to Green? Maybe it's destiny. This guy grew up in St. Louis, so maybe he was born to be the starter in that town. Mr. Harrison just got in destiny's way. (I'll bet that wasn't the first or last time he did that.)

What Trent Green's story tells us is when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Or maybe he's been making Scotch. What else takes nine years to get what you originally wanted?

Showing comments in chronological order
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I know you are writing this on Trent mostly but how about them COWBOYS Sunday night?? And the Favre-lead Jets???

-- Posted by calcans1 on Tue, Sep 23, 2008, at 6:31 PM
Jared Jernagan's response:
What can I say? The Cowboys beat the Pack like a drum. I can't say I didn't see it coming. I tip my hat to a better team.

But Wade Phillips is still an awful coach in the playoffs. The Eagles will be the team to beat in the NFC playoffs, regardless of what happened two weeks ago.

Jared if I would have known you would be writing about Trent I would have given you a little insight on him. Having worked with him for 2 years while at IU. He is absolutely the most generously nic human being I have ever met. He was not and still is not a prima donna type athlete, he gave over a million dollars several years ago to redo the IU home locker room for FB. THe thing is I haven't seen or talked tp this man in 10 plus years and he would come up to me and treat me with dignity and respect that a great human being would do, and would not skip a beat and would call me "Psycho"(IU players gave me that nickname my freshman year}.

-- Posted by jaredscousin on Tue, Sep 23, 2008, at 11:34 PM
Jared Jernagan's response:
He does seem like a good guy. I thought it a funny little twist that he's returned to the Rams' starting job, but I didn't want to go too far in making fun of him.

I just hope for his sake there isn't another concussion. That scares me bad for the guy.

Jared not only does Wade have a horrible play-off record so does Romo.

I don't think that the Eagles will be there at the end though. Right now they are looking good. McNabb is playing good and that is the key. However he will not be able to stay healthy all season so the Eagles will make the play-offs via the wild-card route and will be out in the 1st round.

The Packers and Cowboys will have a great season again but their play-off play is still a mystery. As bad as it pains me to say it the Giants may be a repeat...Being a COWBOY fan for life I may need to get some therapy for that remark....

-- Posted by calcans1 on Wed, Sep 24, 2008, at 10:07 PM
Jared Jernagan's response:

I'm glad to hear you say that. I think way too many fans are the chest-thumping, 'We rule the world'-type.

I'm glad to know there's a Cowboy fan out there who sees his team's flaws the way I see the Pack's.

All I can say is that as a fan purely of football, I'm excited because the whole NFL seems wide-open.

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...and the beat goes on...
Jared Jernagan
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.
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