Robinson Glad Everett Stuck It Out
Roused by the recurring criticism of his touchdown-less quarterback, Ram Coach John Robinson on Monday praised the way Jim Everett had toughed out the last quarter of Sunday’s loss at San Francisco.
Everett’s left shoulder popped out of its socket in the third quarter against the 49ers, but the quarterback returned after missing only one series.
Robinson said that even though Everett is still struggling--he is the only starting quarterback in the league who hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass this season and missed both Flipper Anderson and Aaron Cox when they were open deep Sunday--Everett proved he was a battler by sticking out the last minutes of the Rams’ 27-10 setback.
“Jim’s fighting off some external criticism, people having some opinions about his fundamentals, all kinds of things,” Robinson said. “I think he was determined to play. I think he’s responding great to the pressure. . . . Certainly there’s been no lack of criticism.
“People have been ready to jump right in there and say that it’s his fault. So I think he’s a guy who said, ‘Hey, if I can stay in, I’m playing.’
“I thought it was a clear statement. Risky? Perhaps. Was I nervous? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. Were we right? Yes. How will it turn out in the end? We will all live happily ever after.”
With the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter, Everett absorbed at least one more solid hit, but Robinson said he felt the gamble of keeping his $2.4-million-a-year quarterback in the game was worth the emotional result.
For a team grasping for moral victories and praying that its quarterback comes around after a 1-3 start, any inspiration will apparently do.
Everett has been fingered for panicking under pressure, for inconsistent fundamentals, and for not-so-subtly dodging blame when asked to explain his dip into statistical mediocrity.
Sunday’s fourth quarter was about proving those criticisms wrong, Robinson said, although he did concede it would have been sweeter if Everett had put some points on the board instead of throwing an interception in the end zone.
“I was scared to death, but I think there are some things that have to happen . . . that allow him to continue to keep his confidence and work forward from where he is,” Robinson said.
“He’s our quarterback, we think he’s a very good quarterback, we think he and we are going through a difficult period. The only thing you do when things aren’t going well for you is fight. I mean, he can’t defend himself against (media criticism). He has no forum for it.
“And when he does explain it to anybody, some things he’s feeling, he comes out looking like a whiner. And then the next day there’s a column that says, ‘Shut up, take the burden.’
“The only way he can respond is to play. . . . I think he would have liked to have hit Flipper on that long one. I think he would have liked to not have thrown the interception. But Jim Everett came to play Sunday and Jim Everett will come to play next Sunday.”
When asked if he thought the criticism of Everett was unjustified, Robinson did not answer directly, but then suggested that coverage of sports has become obsessed with reporting negatives and bypassing positives.
“It’s tough to be in a place where you’re the leader and all of those things and you’re the guy and you think you’re good and all of a sudden things aren’t going well,” Robinson said.
“I mean, how many stories in the last two weeks have been written about Jim Everett? I would say Jim’s probably gone through 15 TV interviews of, ‘What’s wrong with you, Jim?’ That’s pressure.
“I don’t want to have somebody (a reporter) walk away and say the pressure’s on Robinson so he’s (complaining to) the press. I’m not.
“But what I would say is there’s an increased focus on what’s wrong in sports as opposed to the game itself. Very little is made of the contest or the game. More is made of who got picked off first or who pinch-hitted the wrong guy or who did whatever. I think that’s become the essence of sports (reporting).”
Ram Numbers Highlight JERRY RICE
When he broke away from two would-be tacklers just beyond the line of scrimmage on his way to a 62-yard touchdown Sunday, Ram followers couldn’t help be heard muttering, “Rice just kills us.” In actuality, it only appears that way. In his last eight games against the Rams, the seven-year pro out of Mississippi Valley State has only two touchdown catches. Rice has shown no partiality as to his victims in becoming the NFL’s fourth-leading touchdown receiver--85 to leader Steve Largent’s 100, and 16th-leading yardage leader--8,273 to Largent’s 13,089.
SEASON TO DATE Four-Game Totals (Record: 1-3) First Downs RAMS: 56 OPP: 69 Rushing Yards RAMS: 383 OPP: 487 Passing Yards RAMS: 601 OPP: 755 Punts/Average RAMS: 22/37.0 OPP: 17/43.5 Rushing RAMS ATT.: 100 AVG.: 3.8 TDs: 4 OPP: ATT.: 124 AVG.: 3.9 TDs: 5 Passing RAMS ATT.: 105 CP: 55 TDs: 0 OPP: ATT: 109 AVG: 62 TDs: 4 Penalties/Yards RAMS: 23/188 OPP: 20/145 Fumbles/Lost RAMS: 8/6 OPP: 7/3 Interceptions/Yds RAMS: 2/81 OPP: 4/21 Possession Time RAMS: 27:24 OPP: 32:36 Scoring by Quarters
1 2 3 4 OT TOTAL RAMS 0 27 17 6 0 50 OPP 24 20 10 34 0 88