Updated Oct 6, 2010 - 11:28 am
Burns: Beanie's message was right; venue was wrong
The messenger was right on target. So was the message itself.
The venue? That's where it all went wrong for Beanie Wells.
On Monday, the Cards second year running back officially waded into waters that had typically been reserved for Matt Leinart. He professed confusion about his role and a strong desire to get more carries.
"It's crazy," Wells said, "I have no clue what they're thinking upstairs - I'd like to know." He also added, "No discredit to Tim [Hightower] - Tim's a great football player, but I hate sitting on the sideline watching, not really be out there contributing to the team."
And for the record, I agree. Completely.
I just looked at the game log from Sunday's southern California meltdown. Beanie didn't touch the ball until there were about ten-and-a-half minutes left in the second quarter.
I consider him to be one of the most talented, game-changing players the Cards have on the roster and I can't find a reasonable explanation for what took so long to hand him the ball. Or why LaRod Stephens-Howling got a carry before Wells. I understand the game got out of hand, but all this happened before the Chargers made it look like some video game.
I'm a big "In-Whiz-I-trust" guy, and I would never presume to know more about this than the Cardinals coaching staff. There has to be a reason.
So what exactly is Beanie doing wrong?
What is he not doing right?
Legitimate questions that should have been asked….in private.
Somehow professional athletes (and I guess people in general) make things a lot harder than they have to be. This isn't that complicated. You have a problem with your role? Assuming the coach is a reasonable guy, you walk into his office, close the door and say, "coach, I'm frustrated. I feel like I can do more, I want to do more, I know I can help us win games. What do you need me to do?"
And yeah, you can probably label me a hypocrite. As a member of the media, I can tell you that guys poppin' off about their role makes for great radio. I have never tried to goad a guy into doing it (and I couldn't tell you if Beanie was goaded) but you bet your butt I've asked a thousand athletes whether or not they were happy about their role.
And about 90% of the time they play it safe and give me the boring, Crash Davis cliché answer.
Don't like your role? The guy with the mic or the notepad ain't the one to complain to. Do so at your own risk.