(FootballSTL) -- Bill Parcells said it better than anyone ever has: You can’t make the club in the tub.
It’s essentially a signal to everyone in NFL training camps anywhere that your best ability is your availability. If you can’t even get on the practice field, then the team cannot count on you to produce when it matters.
No one has been more frustrating over the last few years than former Ram and current Chargers wide receiver Danario Alexander. The ex-Mizzou standout easily would’ve been a first round pick save for the multiple knee operations he endured during his time in Columbia.
As a senior in 2009, Alexander hauled in 113 receptions (wow) for 1781 yards (double wow) and 14 touchdowns.
But the Waco, Texas native went undrafted in 2010 because of the health factor. The Rams took a flyer on him as a free agent and, occasionally, reaped the benefits of that decision.
Yet between 2010 and 2011, Alexander still was only available and played in 18 out of a possible 32 games. But that didn’t bother the previous regime of Steve Spagnuolo and Billy Devaney. They kept him around.
In came Jeff Fisher and Les Snead, though, in 2012 and all of a sudden the culture changed. This past training camp Alexander was only able to get on the field for, I believe, a couple days. That’s it. A couple days.
When cuts came down...and the name Danario Alexander was on that list...it was a mild surprise but not a huge one. The reason? It finally was true at Rams Park. You can’t make the club in the tub.
Sure, Alexander has gone on to San Diego, gotten healthy (for now) and played well. He’s been in five games while amassing 365 yards on 20 catches and three touchdowns. But that doesn’t change the point.
If you can’t be counted on to stay healthy, you can’t be valued enough to take up a roster spot. You see, they only allow you 53 of those. Just 53. It seems like a lot but in reality it isn’t. All but eight dress for the game and of those eight inactives each week most of them are young guys who are developing.
If you waste a roster spot on someone you can’t count on then that hinders the development on someone else.
Sure, it can be frustrating seeing someone the Rams cut having success somewhere else. Especially when he plays a position this team could certainly use help at.
95% of teams would have cut Alexander in that situation. It’s bad luck. Not bad roster management.