Friday, October 07, 2005

An Autumn Ritual: Charlie Rogers Goes "Bye-Bye"

Two rarities: Rogers in action, and catching one

Charlie Rogers is like that little microcassette on those "Mission: Impossible" episodes. You know, the ones that self-destruct in five seconds?

Rogers, the Lions’ third-year receiver who STILL hasn’t played the equivalent of one NFL season, and barely half of one, is, as you know, suspended for four games by the league for a violation of the substance abuse policy. We all told him to look out for his shoulder; we didn’t know he should have been looking over his shoulder.

The ironic thing is that Rogers’ suspension came right after he uttered some comments of frustration in the lockerroom immediately following the Lions’ loss to the Bucs.

"I’m not sure what they want out of me," Rogers said Sunday after the loss. Well, I’d say for darn tootin’ what they DIDN’T want was you suspended for four games, Charlie!

Speaking of Charlie, the last players named Charlie who amounted to a hill of beans on the Lions were tight end Charlie Sanders, from 1968-77, and on defense, Charlie Weaver, a decent enough linebacker in the early seventies. So maybe going back to Chuck or Charles is the way to go. But then there are haunting images of Chuck Long trying to play like a lion, so never mind that.

Rogers’ problem, of course, has nothing to do with how his name is spelled. It has to do with all the missed time and the whispers that he is not a durable, big play receiver yet, and may never be for that matter. It has to do with an apparent lack of maturity that reared its head in the post-loss lockerroom Sunday, and has now been grossly evident after the NFL suspended Rogers.

To me, Rogers has the makings of being the Carlos Pena of the Lions: remarkably talented but only able to showcase a portion of that talent at a time, leading to demotions and worse. Call him snakebit or stupid, Rogers has nonetheless fallen far short of his NFL aspirations. Right now he must be on the "pay per catch" plan, because there is no other way to demonstrate the amount of dough the team has shelled out to Mr. Rogers.

But when all’s said and done, all the Lions want is for Charles Rogers to be healthy, happy and productive. Yet judging by his postgame comments, the injuries and the suspension, I don’t think Rogers has come close to achieving that trifecta.

So long, Charles. Again we hardly got to know yee.

1 comment:

Ian C. said...

Greg, I have a call for you from the Charlie Batch Fan Club on line #1.

Cheech Rogers looks like a lost cause, but hopefully, this is the sort of thing that compels him to get his life back in order.

But I think it's looking obvious that the Lions weren't just "taking the best player available" when they drafted Roy and Mike Williams. They probably had serious doubts as to whether Half-Baked Chuck could ever be a #1 receiver for this team.