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Fisher stumbling down same Pacman road with Jenkins pick

by | CBSSports.com Senior NFL Columnist

NEW YORK -- There are always those head coaches in the NFL who believe they can fix anyone.

I mean, anyone.

Dude robbed his grandma? He's misunderstood. Grandma owed him money. Beat up the mailman? Check was late. Mailman deserved it. Caught driving in stolen car with hand grenades, six AKs and the cheerleading squad? Just blowing off a little steam.

To those coaches, any problem can be fixed, any malady rationalized, any bad guy deserves a second chance. Or third. Or 14th.

St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher is that coach.

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Fisher drafted Pacman Jones when he was coach at Tennessee and Jones would become one of the most notorious figures in recent NFL history. There were indications Jones would be -- ahem -- problematic. He was on probation for charges of assault even before being drafted and the Titans were so concerned they tried to insert behavioral clauses into his contract.

As Jones became entangled in an array of arrests, shootings and general skullduggery, Fisher kept believing he could change the Pac. Nobody ever changed the Pac.

So, here we are years after Jones, and Fisher thanks he can save Pacman the Remix: Janoris Jenkins.

Fisher again believes he can control Jenkins when no else could. Fisher will justify drafting him in the second round by citing risk/reward ratio. Fisher will say he's on a short leash. Zero tolerance. All the buzz words.

But like Jones, Jenkins will likely prove, again, that jackasses are jackasses. We're not talking about one or two issues. We all screw up. The problem is, Jenkins has a lengthy list of jackassness.

And once again, while all these NFL teams talk about how they want character guys, they truly don't care. They just want the athletes. The amount of baggage a team will tolerate is directly proportional to the 40 time. This is proven repeatedly.

How Jenkins was even drafted -- let alone in the second round -- is stunning. In just a two-year period at the University of Florida, Jenkins was arrested for fighting, tasered, arrested for fighting again, arrested twice in three months for marijuana possession, and kicked off the Gators. That is some track record. That's a Pacman Jones starter kit.

To go along with all that, Jenkins also has four different kids by three different women.

And Fisher thinks he can contain this guy?

Just the fact Jenkins was picked in the second round already gives the player a large amount of power. The Rams are forced to have patience with Jenkins should he again screw up because a second rounder is a high pick. Don't think Jenkins doesn't understand this.

"I don't have [anything] to hide," Jenkins told reporters after he was picked by the Rams. "That was my past. That was a year ago. I took my second route to go to [North Alabama] for a reason, to show people I wasn't a bad kid and I wasn't running from my problems."

Players deserve second chances. Even third chances. Jenkins pushes that envelope far beyond that and he's been rewarded with a shot to make an NFL team.

"I know my off-the-field issue was a factor," Jenkins told Sirius radio. "But, you know, my past is my past, I put that behind me. And everybody that skipped over me, they just gonna pay for it."

Later in the same radio interview, when asked if the Jones comparisons were fair, Jenkins said: "I mean, no, because I never shot up a strip club or nothing like that."

Or Fisher is going to pay for selecting Jenkins. One or the other will happen.

Hopefully this is wrong, but it will likely be the former. Good luck, Jeff, and have a good lawyer standing by.

Day and night.


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