Found August 27, 2012 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
ST. LOUIS -- There was talent but no trust. Danario Alexander had size and speed, but he was no sure thing. The former Missouri star carried promise, but there was no way to show that potential on enough Sundays.
In short, that's why the former St. Louis Rams wide receiver was waived with an injury settlement Monday. There will be cruel questions attached to his tenure in the Gateway City: What if he never had five surgeries on his left knee? What if he never had hamstring problems that kept him off the field most of training camp? What if he never had to worry about his body when his career tried to take off?
"We felt like we were better off going into this week keeping healthy receivers and evaluating them for potential, not only for spots on the roster, but for potential practice squad (positions) than hang onto Danario," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "It's unfortunate that he never really got to do much for us."
We'll never know how much Alexander could have done. That, above all, is his legacy in a Rams uniform. He was a streak across the sky, a flash who was probably destined for a short NFL career when he arrived in St. Louis as an undrafted free agent in August 2010.
Alexander never wanted to hear such talk, of course. He ignored the doubters, and he fought to keep a vision alive.
We watched Alexander through it all. We watched because he lived his football life on the edge. It seems silly to give such thought to someone with pedestrian stats -- he had 737 yards receiving and three touchdowns in 18 games played. But his fascination is found in nuance, not numbers, promise, not production.
Yes, Alexander's intrigue comes from the fact that he raced against time. He ran from that next hamstring pull and that next hit to the knee, that next missed practice and that next mention on the inactive list. The struggle produced victory and defeat -- leaving his followers to wonder how much stamina he had left. The struggle was never short on drama.
In the end, his chase became too much. It was obvious by his absence in the second preseason game, against the Kansas City Chiefs on Aug. 18, that his time with the Rams would end soon. By then, Alexander had made few showings in training camp because of hamstring issues -- he spent most sessions on the sideline watching rookies Brian Quick and Chris Givens while wearing basketball shorts and a flat-bill cap. At last, time had caught up with him.
But time is a funny thing. It teaches along the way, and Alexander gained lessons as a stop-and-start curiosity.
In June, I sat with him in a small room at Rams Park and asked if he ever wished things were different. He was optimistic then. He was hopeful that he would be part of the Rams' vision with Fisher and first-year general manager Les Snead. He was hopeful that health problems were behind him. He envisioned a productive future.
There was a brief moment when Alexander opened up about his fragile career. He admitted nothing is certain in the NFL. He said he used the challenge as motivation.
"The uncertainty is scary," Alexander said then. "You do this your whole life, and you want to continue to reach your dream and play in the NFL, and there's a slight chance that might not happen. That makes me go even harder. You've got to be able to stay tough mentally and keep your head up, because there is always a bright side."
If there's a bright side for Alexander in Monday's news, it's this: He extended his dream longer than most expected. What began as a signing to excite fans who recalled his historic college career became more than publicity. He went from the practice squad to a legitimate deep threat to someone you watched on the sideline and thought, "Just what could he do if healthy?"
"There's potential there, and there's athletic ability," Fisher said. "He elevates and catches out of frame and runs well. It's unfortunate. I'm disappointed for him that he didn't get a chance, but that was out of our control. We had to move on."
Now, Alexander does too. He produced highlights in St. Louis -- but not enough of late to survive the first round of cuts. He made an impression when on the field -- but not enough of one to justify a roster spot despite an open wide-receiver race. He showed glimpses of great skill -- but not enough of them to earn the new staff's trust.
What if Alexander had stayed healthy?
Sadly, the question will linger.
You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at email@example.com
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Rams have become at a fixture at the top of April's draft and their anemic passing game holds a good amount of the blame. St Louis finished last season as the 30th ranked passing attack while averaging just 179 YPG. Former first overall pick Sam Bradford missed 6 games last season due to injury and has reported that his ankle won't be 100% until after this season (sounds...
The Saint Louis Rams are once again ready to begin the regular season with a receiving core that looks like the extra’s names at the end of the movie. With the exception of Steve Smith, the Rams receiving core is literally unknown, and for good reason. Terrell Owens can catch the ball, is in great shape and the Rams could use the publicity.
ST. LOUIS It figures to be a nervous couple of days around Rams Park this week.
After 15 players were trimmed from the roster by Monday's deadline, the Rams still have to make 22 additional cuts by Friday at 3 p.m. to reach the regular season limit of 53 players.
And with their final preseason game set for Thursday night at 6 p.m. against the Baltimore Ravens, the next few...
The 2011 Rams were depressing in the way an abandoned strip mall is depressing. Not really hurting anybody, but not serving much of a function, either. No one questions that it’s sad to look at, but no one really cares enough to try to improve it. Meanwhile. are enough other options out there that locals can avoid it without much thought. Furthermore, both A.J. Feeley and Kellen...
Filed to ESPN: #Jets close to finalizing deal for Rams RT Jason Smith, league sources. RT Wayne Hunter part of deal. Smith, No. 2 pick '09.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 28, 2012
And with that, the de-evolution of the Rams' tackle position is finally complete. It cannot possibly get any worse. From having a future Hall of Famer in Orlando Pace in his prime...
The Jets and Rams have completed their swap of struggling right tackles, with New York acquiring Jason Smith from St. Louis for Wayne Hunter.
Both Smith, the No. 2 overall pick by the Rams in the 2009 draft, and Hunter had lost their starting jobs and the trade gives both a chance to rejuvenate their careers elsewhere.
Smith was due $4 million this season, but a person familiar...
By: DR RAM @DR_RAM_ Not pretty, but let’s get to it. - The Rams secondary was a leaking boat in the Bering Sea. With no Darian Stewart, the awful play
The New York Jets have acquired Jason Smith from the St. Louis Rams for Wayne Hunter in a swap of disappointing right tackles.
Kenny Zuckerman, Hunter's agent, confirmed the deal Monday night, telling The Associated Press it was pending physicals on Tuesday.
Smith was the No. 2 overall pick by the Rams (No. 28 in the AP Pro32) in the 2009 draft, but failed to live up to lofty...
The New York Jets have had concerns about the right tackle spot throughout the preseason, and on Monday they tried to address that issue by acquiring Jason Smith from the St. Louis Rams, multiple media outlets reported Monday. In exchange, the Jets gave the Rams offensive tackle Wayne Hunter, who had been part of the problem for the Jets on the offensive line. In fact, both...
The roller coaster that is the St. Louis Rams’ preseason continued Saturday night, hitting another dip after losing 20-19 to the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium.
Although the game was close on the scoreboard, the Cowboys were firmly in control throughout, despite starters Demarcus Ware, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, and Dez Bryant all missing the game. The Rams again flashed their...
Try! I’m known for trying to do almost anything when it comes to the St. Louis Rams. In doing so, I’ve learned a great deal. For instance, Photoshop doesn’t really capture the majesty of a Rams game ticket, or at least that’s what the guys at the stadium entrance have told me on more than one occasion… Call it Kismet or Karma, I’m left with tailgating in the parking...