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Eric Crouch Retires


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a WR's delimma in St. Louis, will be the same as the RB.

You have Isaac Bruce, Tory Holt, you had Hakim, You have the energizer in Faulk and you have Warner.

Any player coming in will be immediately pressed to satisfy Martz's hunger. The problem is, like many teams of the past, Those are once in a while players, that dont' grow on trees. Like some great ones back then, they all happen to be on the same team and Martz thinks he can just scoop up more, by snapping his finger. Don't count on it. The St> Louis "slide" is on the way.

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Very respectable...the man took it to the distance and became a college super-star....and respectfully bowed out when he realized he had no specialized skills to contribute in the NFL..

Lot of pride there...i'm sure the Hiesmen trophy winner is going to have no trouble finding a job...

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He may have been miscast as a WR. But as a college QB who threw for 4,481 yards/29 TDs and ran for 3,434 yards/59 TDs, WR was not the only choice.

Why not make him a 3rd down RB? He obviously has very strong running skills, and must have reasonable pass-catching skills if he was even being considered at WR. As a third-down RB with so much experience as a Heismann QB, he would be a serious threat for HB option passes.

With Faulk in St. Louis, he might not be the right fit. But any team without a good 3rd down back might benefit from at least looking at Crouch.

Here are his college stats:


The retirement story:


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As a Nebraska Alumni, I'm touchy about people dissing Eric Crouch. He is a class guy from top to bottom. It's not his fault that they wanted to make him a receiver. He had the class to admit he couldn't hack it. As far as Martz is concerned, give him credit for taking a chance the exact same way that Bill Cowher did in signing Antoine Randle El. Martz would be considered a genius if Crouch was able to adapt like that. As far as Nebraska QB's are concerned, they are a product of their system just as much as Shane Matthews or Danny W. are of theirs. So you Florida alum who chuckle at Crouch should zip it. I think Crouch would work in a system like Pittsburgh if given the chances that Kordell Stewart got. They are similar quarterbacks. The best ever Nebraska QB Tommie Frazier had blood clots in his legs that ended his career or we might have seen the predecessor to Michael Vick already playing in the NFL. Remember what Frazier did to our beloved Steve Spurrier in the National Championship game a few years ago. So, I end my defense of Nebraska and Crouch here, but be very careful about criticizing Nebraska's system on the one hand while praising Spurrier's on the other. You can't have it both ways.

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Very well said Reagan. I am also an alunmnus of the University of Nebraska, and I still live here, so I was also going to rise to his defense. You made many of the points I was going to make as well. Let me add just a couple things.

His agent was quoted in the local paper as saying that injuries were the thing that pushed him to this decision. He was injured most of training camp, and still suffers from his injuries in college. Anybody who watched him play the last two years knows that his body took a brutal beating. An option quarterback takes a lot of hits, and Crouch took more than his share since he ran the ball more than your average option quarterback.

To echo the remarks of Crouch being a classy guy, notice this other quote from his agent: "Steiner (his agent) said Crouch didn't want to be placed on injured reserve just to collect a paycheck. "

By the way, the last Nebraska quarterback to be successful in the NFL was Vince Ferragamo, who graduated before Tom Osborne moved the offense towards the option attack. As Regan stated, the Nebraska system is not geared towards recruiting pro-style quarterbacks, it is geared to getting guys who can help them win games in their style of offense. And I think they have been pretty successful at that.

I will agree that there is a valid criticim to be made of Mike Martz in this deal. It is that he picked Crouch with a 3rd round pick, when I don't think that many teams were interested in this "project". He could have waited until rounds 6 or 7, and most likely still been able to draft Crouch. If a 6 or 7 round pick doesn't pan out, it is not a big loss.

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An update: Crouch has returned his $395K signing bonus. This is a mind-boggling story. Guy gives up his dream career before his team gives up on him, and gives back the $395K cushion that would be a big help in cushioning the transition to a new career. It's bizarre that he didn't wait until at least the offseason after this year.


POSTED 6:10 a.m. EDT, September 13, 2002 (FRIDAY)


A league source tells us that several of Eric Crouch's St. Louis teammates shed no tears at the departure of 2001 Heisman winner Eric Crouch.

According to the source, Crouch "acted like a 4-year-old" during his time with the Rams, and the players believe that Crouch packed it in prematurely because he went from being a big fish in the NCAA to an irrelevant tadpole in the NFL....

The biggest difference, of course, is that college players don't get paid, in theory. The fact, however, that Crouch's $395,000 bonus (which he returned) didn't seem to be an issue in his decision-making process makes us wonder whether someone was slipping comparable coin to him during his days in Nebraska.


Rams teammates surprised at Crouch's departure

Sept. 12, 2002

SportsLine.com wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- Eric Crouch's Heisman Trophy did him no good in the NFL.

Crouch announced his retirement Wednesday night after failing to make the transition from quarterback to wide receiver with the St. Louis Rams, who chose him in the third round of April's draft.

Crouch was back on the ground floor with the Rams after starring at Nebraska. He also pulled a hamstring and bruised a thigh, missing much of the preseason.

"His determination to learn everything and do the right thing, he just didn't know how to do it because it's all new to him," wide receivers coach Henry Ellard said. "As a star player, you're used to things going your way and knowing what you need to do, where here it was a different story."

Coach Mike Martz envisioned Crouch as a future star when he took him with the 95th overall pick of the draft. The Rams signed Crouch to a three-year, $1.3 million contract that included a $395,000 signing bonus.

Crouch gave the bonus back after deciding last Friday that the NFL life was not for him. The Rams filled his spot on the 53-man roster Thursday by signing fullback J.R. Niklos from the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad.

"To each his own," defensive tackle Jeff Zgonina said. "It's only money, right?"

Crouch announced his retirement via fax and his agent, Jim Steiner, said his client would not do any interviews this week.

The news came as a bit of a shock to teammates who never got the chance to get to really know Crouch, let alone say good-bye.

"I thought he might take some time off and then really think about it," quarterback Kurt Warner said. "You're always surprised, with all the success he's had and the talent and everything, you never suspect something like this would happen or that he would choose to do that."

Ellard said it's tough enough for a young receiver coming out of college to make the transition to the NFL, let alone a quarterback trying a new position.

"Frustration comes in, and this offense can easily frustrate a guy because of all the little things we do," Ellard said.

Then came the injuries.

Crouch returned to practiced last week after being injured in the preseason opener Aug. 10 against the Tennessee Titans, and coach Mike Martz said then he was "light years away from being ready."

That shouldn't have been a huge surprise for Crouch, even if he hadn't been injured. The Rams drafted him knowing it might take a while for him to make an impact and they've got one of the best receiving corps in the NFL without him.

"He was a project guy that you take under your wing and you bring them along slowly but surely," Ellard said. "We were in a situation where we could have done that with him.

"But all the success he's had, maybe that started to wear on him."


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Crouch did the right thing. He had two injuries before his first game as a nfl player. I would rather be able to walk after I stop playing football than spend time as a backup which is what he would do this year. It is not like he had no skills, he was drafted but maybe there are more important things in his life other than fball. I mean he is not a failure just bc he retired from fball. I thought he was overated (most heisman trophy winners are) but he did have some skills, hopefully he will use his popularity and fame for good use. He could go back to Nebraska and probably win a Senate seat, now that would be alot more useful than playing backup wr for the Rams. Good luck to Mr. Crouch!!

Of course, wouldn't it be pretty cool if the Skins picked him up? Think of all the trick plays you could run. Line him up in the slot and then move Shane to the slot and then have Crouch line up under center, run the option with Davis. Or WR screen where the pass is actually a lateral and then bomb down field to Gardner. He could also be a sub qb. He has somewhat of an arm. I would like to get him just for the trick plays. That was probably what the Rams were thinking too.

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The biggest difference, of course, is that college players don't get paid, in theory. The fact, however, that Crouch's $395,000 bonus (which he returned) didn't seem to be an issue in his decision-making process makes us wonder whether someone was slipping comparable coin to him during his days in Nebraska.

I know Profootballtalk is not exactly the New York Times, but this is a ridiculous comment. First of all, it is extremely cyncical to conclude that the only possible explanation for someone putting his own happiness ahead of money is that he was paid under the table and doesn't need the money.

And while I am not naive enough to believe that Nebraska runs a squeaky clean program (I would venture that if you looked at all of the major college programs, including Florida's, you would find a similar amount of indiscretions); the idea that someone could pay $400K to a high profile player in a high profile program without getting caught is hard to believe. Also, Eric waited tables at an Omaha restaurant to make a little extra money during the summers of his college career. The would seem like an odd way to spend your free time is you are already gettting "comparible coin" to a NFL player.

Finally, the thing that may be hard to understand to those who live in an area where people have a relatively normal attachment to their teams, is that Eric is set financially already. In Nebraska, past Husker players are revered. Past Heisman winners are worshiped. Believe it or not, Johnny Rogers, who won the award in 1972, is still cashing in on it to this day. It is hard to turn on the TV, or open an newspaper, without seeing Johnny the Jet endorsing something or other. So, I am sure if Eric decided thats what he wants to do, he will have no problem making back that $400K here.

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That is really too bad b/c the kid can flat out play football. I too think he would be better suited as a third down back. I gotta believe, with the running ability and field vision he displayed at Nerbaska, someone can make use of him.

He showed a lot of class bowing out, but I feel sorry for him b/c deep down, he knows he can play in the NFL and I would have to agree with him

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