Volume 96, Issue 10
Friday September 13, 2002

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Crouch calls it quits
Rams rookie couldn't make jump

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Eric Crouch, the Heisman Trophy winner last year for Nebraska who tried to make the switch from quarterback to receiver with the St. Louis Rams, has decided to retire.

"I have given this a lot of thought," Crouch said in a statement released Wednesday night. "This decision was tough and not something I took lightly.

"I have played football since I was eight years old, and I have benefited from this wonderful game's many opportunities, including a college education, the Heisman Trophy, and a spot on a pro football team; not to mention the many friends I have met around the world. I am so grateful."

Rams coach Mike Martz said Wednesday night that Crouch informed him of his decision last Friday.

"This has caught us all by surprise," Martz said. "He came in Friday and told me the news."

Martz drafted Crouch with the intention of transforming him into a secret weapon of sorts who could give the Rams' top-ranked offence yet another dimension. But Crouch was sidelined much of the pre-season with a deep thigh bruise. Last Thursday, a day before Crouch decided to quit, Martz said the budding wide receiver was "light years away from playing."

A day before leaving the team, Crouch gave no indication he was leaning toward quitting, although he expressed some frustration with his status on the team. Asked what reporters were missing in the closed practices, he responded: "You're missing me run all the scout team plays, that's what you're missing."

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2002 THE GAZETTE