I recently asked, "Who should be in the Ring of Honor?" There was a good turnout for that question. Now I ask, "Who should be in the Arizona Cardinals’ Hall of Shame?" I am taking nominations for those players who, in retrospect, the Cardinals should never have drafted, or signed. Name those players who dogged it after getting paid the big bucks (like LB Cody Brown). Name someone who quit on their teammates (like QB Timm Rosenbach?). Name someone who jetted out of town like a booster rocket the moment they were eligible to become a free agent ( S Antrel Rolle, or LB Karlos Dansby?). I’m sure there are others you can remember. Don’t just name a player. Tell me why a player belongs on the list. Build a case. Here are a few nominees that I can think of…
QB Timm Rosenbach
In retrospect, perhaps I’m being too harsh on Rosenbach. He was a Supplemental first round draft pick (number two overall) in 1989 (Pro Football Reference). He was the Kevin Kolb of his day. And I mean the sack-magnet Kolb. He was sacked 43 times in 1990, which was second in the league that year. Rosenbach got hit so many times, and received very little help from his sieve-like OL (tackles Luis Sharpe and Tootie Robbins, guards Derek Kennard and Lance Smith, and center Bill Lewis), that he just couldn’t take it anymore. It just looked bad when, a year after quitting the NFL, he took up bull riding. Really? The bulls couldn’t possibly do much more damage than a 300 lb defensive tackle, right?
Rolle was/is a heck of a good player, and is still playing well for the NY Giants. The Cards drafted him at number eight overall in the 2005 Draft. However, things seemingly soured during the last year he played in
TE Leonard Pope
Pope was the number two rated TE in the 2006 Draft, right after Vernon Davis of the 49ers. He was a third round pick of the Cards. Pope could catch, but he couldn’t block worth a damn. Reportedly, he just couldn’t learn how to get his pads down low, and keep them there. Pope was a 10,000 RPM turnstile directly to the QB. Pope was probably the reason that Matt Leinart developed a facial tic that hindered his downfield vision whenever Pope lined up. The Cardinals allowed him to leave in free agency, where he signed with KC. He’s still playing, last year with the Steelers. Too bad he learned something after he left the Cardinals.
WR Early Doucet
Early Joseph Doucet III was a highly rated receiver out of LSU in 2008 when the Cards drafted him in the third round. Fans and coaches alike had high hopes that Doucet would pair with Larry Fitzgerald and become a devastating, one-two punch in the vertical passing game. For a while, that mindset looked good. His numbers steadily increased each season, and he had a record year in 2011 (54 receptions, 689 yards, 12.8 yards per reception, and five TDs). Then came 2012. His production fell in half. But most memorably, Doucet sealed his fate in the second-to-last game versus the Bengals, when he dropped a wide open, nearly perfectly thrown pass from John Skelton (there’s two words you rarely hear mentioned in the same breath; Skelton and a perfectly thrown pass), with no defender within 10 YARDS, for a TD. A TD that the Cards desperately needed to win that game, and keep their wild card playoff hopes alive. It is telling that, since he was let go as a free agent, there have been no reports (that I have seen) of him being looked at by any other NFL club. If Leonard Pope can still be viewed as salvageable, Doucet will get another chance somewhere.
I’ve had my say. What say you, ROTB Best and Brightest?