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Lamarcus Joyner threatened to quit because he wasn’t starting

Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (20) is pulled down by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner (20) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney) AP

The fifth and final edition of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” started Tuesday night with one of the most revealing scenes of this year’s series.

The Rams were on the practice fields at UC-Irvine — presumably sometime last week — but safety Lamarcus Joyner was not. The HBO cameras caught a brief conversation between Rams coach Jeff Fisher and La’Roi Glover, the team’s director of player engagement, about why Joyner was not there.

Eventually, the cameras showed Joyner walking on to the field dressed in shorts and t-shirt and wearing a backpack. Joyner apparently was ready to walk away from the team. Fisher asked Joyner if he’d overslept, and Joyner responded, “I don’t even know where my mind is at right now.”

In another scene, Joyner told secondary coach Dennard Wilson, “The Rams can have their money, man,” an apparent threat/hint that he was ready to walk away.

In scenes that followed, Fisher and Joyner met in Fisher’s temporary office. Joyner’s primary gripe — surprise! — was about playing time, specifically that he wasn’t running with the starters in the team’s base defense. He even told Fisher he’d go work at Wal-Mart and be happier than he was.

“I work hard,” Joyner told Fisher. “I do want to be starter. Ya’ll can have your money back. I don’t play football for money. Coach, I love this game.

“What’s my role? Be honest with me.”

Fisher responded by telling Joyner he wanted Joyner to be the team’s nickel cornerback.

“The nickel spot inside, it’s the hardest position to play,” Fisher told him. “You’re the best that I’ve had here in years. It’s a starting position.”

Joyner, a third-year player, told Fisher he wasn’t sold and wondered if his passion for the game was gone.

“I want Lamarcus back,” Fisher said. “I’ve got to pull [the passion] back out of you.”

Fisher told Joyner a story from 2000, when Fisher was with the Titans and quarterback Steve McNair was sidelined with a sternum injury. Fisher said he wondered if the big hit McNair had taken had taken away some of his passion to play the game, but circumstances in that week’s game dictated that the Titans needed McNair to come off the bench late and lead the game-winning drive.

McNair did, in four plays.

“He had the passion,” Fisher said. “He had to capture it.”

After Joyner told Fisher he was going to “walk out of here with a clear conscience, no matter what happens,” the scene ended with the two hugging. Apparently Joyner was going to that night’s meetings and not to Wal-Mart.

Maybe Joyner really wasn’t ready to return that money. Or maybe the passion is back.

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47 Responses to “Lamarcus Joyner threatened to quit because he wasn’t starting”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Sep 6, 2016 11:59 PM

    WalMart turned him down. His only work experience was playing a child’s game several months of the year.

  2. kindbass says: Sep 7, 2016 12:01 AM

    It’s crazy how much of coaching is being a babysitter for adults.

  3. bluenose1965 says: Sep 7, 2016 12:01 AM

    Old Lamarcus isn’t the brightest bulb.

  4. jdphx says: Sep 7, 2016 12:04 AM

    Or maybe…. That was how HBO’s script read?

  5. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says: Sep 7, 2016 12:09 AM


  6. barsfordays says: Sep 7, 2016 12:13 AM

    Not sure if I just gained respect or lost some for Joyner.

  7. hamlet423 says: Sep 7, 2016 12:20 AM

    is anything real on hard knocks? I have to think 90% or more is staged for the cameras!

  8. switchwitch59 says: Sep 7, 2016 12:36 AM

    Wow, give that guy a truckload of Kleenex. I didn’t realize Safeties were Divas, too. Is there any position left in the NFL that isn’t occupied by Divas?

  9. runningoutofboundsisforgringos says: Sep 7, 2016 12:41 AM


  10. greenwhodat26 says: Sep 7, 2016 12:46 AM

    This. This, millenials, is the prime example of why other generations make fun of you. You set a bar for what you perceive to be hard work, and when it doesn’t pay off as you see fit, you take your ball and go home. Entitled and petulant.

  11. therealbillybuffalo says: Sep 7, 2016 12:56 AM

    Cry baby.

  12. wdcskins says: Sep 7, 2016 1:06 AM

    Or maybe these beautiful moments are scripted. By the two entertainment organizations that cooperate on it. Maybe?

  13. pittsburghdamned says: Sep 7, 2016 1:07 AM


    Who says Walmart would even hire him?? Maybe they do background checks

  14. louiedogg16 says: Sep 7, 2016 1:15 AM

    Must be rough making all that money and then told you actually only need to work part-time but your pay will still be the same.

  15. flipola says: Sep 7, 2016 1:24 AM

    Sounds like forced theatricism for the cameras.

  16. Pointy Williams says: Sep 7, 2016 1:30 AM

    That’s hilarious!!.. What, is this guy ten years old or somethin??

  17. hrmlss says: Sep 7, 2016 1:50 AM

    What an asshatt.

  18. skolkr says: Sep 7, 2016 2:11 AM

    Somebody needs a nap.

  19. therealraider says: Sep 7, 2016 2:12 AM

    Or maybe it’s a bunch of made for T.V crap..

  20. mykelane says: Sep 7, 2016 3:28 AM

    Bye Felicia

  21. Bl00dwerK says: Sep 7, 2016 3:55 AM

    Nah. He rang me up in sporting goods an hour ago.

  22. thesneakysalamander says: Sep 7, 2016 4:02 AM

    “Director of player engagement?” That is an actual job?

  23. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Sep 7, 2016 4:52 AM

    amateur drama

  24. gofor2with3pointlead says: Sep 7, 2016 5:21 AM

    Some dudes are like that. They can’t be taken out of the game or off the field unless carried or carted. Thanks usually comes with a sense of the team is bigger than self. Passion has done some men wrong, when misplaced.

  25. motleytrap says: Sep 7, 2016 6:23 AM

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    Three years and the only thing this guy is known for is trying to knock Bridgewater’s head off.

  26. drudema says: Sep 7, 2016 6:51 AM

    Another immature man child who thinks he’s entitled. Let him walk away and see how the rest of the world puts food on the table. This kid needs to be drop kicked in the nuts by reality.

  27. theageofquarrel says: Sep 7, 2016 6:53 AM

    Yeah,he wouldn’t have given that money back. The dude knew where the cameras were.

  28. bigdawgdaddy says: Sep 7, 2016 7:05 AM

    Or maybe he was just being a entitled punk who needed his ego stroked because he’s not as good as he thinks he is.

  29. bigredgoog says: Sep 7, 2016 7:42 AM

    I suspect this will not be the last time Lamarcus needs encouragement (hand-holding) in his career. That is O.K. and why there are coaches. Some coaches treat everyone and every situation the same and others balance the desire for consistency with the need to be effective. I thought Fisher knocked it out of the park.

  30. norseyapper says: Sep 7, 2016 7:46 AM

    Let’s give him one week at Wally World or some other real life job and see if his “passion” amazingly reappears.

  31. volforlife75 says: Sep 7, 2016 7:57 AM

    I’m taking my ball and going home!!!

  32. ab420420 says: Sep 7, 2016 8:02 AM

    Maybe he should’ve stayed at a Holiday Inn last night

  33. helldog33 says: Sep 7, 2016 8:06 AM

    “Either you start me or I sweep floors over at Walmart”. Man, sounds like he’s got ’em by the balls.

  34. suncawy says: Sep 7, 2016 8:24 AM

    Money is better in the NFL. Walmart employee’s don’t look happy.

  35. 2since96 says: Sep 7, 2016 8:36 AM

    Hes just mad he plays for Jeff 8-8 Fisher…

  36. eazeback says: Sep 7, 2016 8:54 AM

    seems like someone I wouldn’t want on my team if he’s gonna be sulking and expects to be handed a starting gig

  37. catquick says: Sep 7, 2016 9:02 AM

    What makes him think Walmart would hire him?

  38. jm91rs says: Sep 7, 2016 9:04 AM

    While I’d imagine this sort of thing really does happen pretty often, that sounds like a made for TV moment to me. I feel like most coaches would say “fine, retire. If you aren’t in it, go away”.

  39. urmomsmyho says: Sep 7, 2016 9:26 AM

    Fisher handled this the right way but if I had one takeaway from HN this year (aside from the fact that Goff was bad draft pick), it’s how unimpressive Jeff Fisher is as a coach. He’s so uninspiring — he’s really the one that needs to recapture his passion.

  40. collectordude says: Sep 7, 2016 9:36 AM

    Let the entitled whiner walk away.

  41. PurpleRaid18 says: Sep 7, 2016 9:47 AM

    A part of me thinks this was definitely been scripted by HBO… but another part of me thinks this is simply the kind of people the Ram’s roster is made up of, and thus how the Ram’s coaching staff/front office, deal with them. I mean that with all respect to their fans… But this team is perennial underachievers for a reason.

    Can you imagine Bill Belichick reacting the way Jeff Fisher did? No. No you can’t. He’d help pack the dude’s bags.

  42. silvernblacksabbath says: Sep 7, 2016 9:54 AM

    Drama baby…

  43. tattooit says: Sep 7, 2016 9:56 AM

    I wonder if Fisher realized how it sounded when he said “I remember one year when Steve McNair took a big shot to his chest”.

    REALLY!?? Is that really the story and choice of words you want to go with there Fish? Come’on.

  44. dirkanger23 says: Sep 7, 2016 10:06 AM

    Lamarcus at his Walmart interview:

    “So I wanna make 5.5 to work here.”

    “$5.50 a hour? Your hired!”

    “Nah man $5.5mil. With incentives.”

    “…………….get out”

  45. codiablo says: Sep 7, 2016 10:15 AM

    Was Joyner out there playing nickel when Jarius Wright caught 3 passes for 35 yards from the slot in the last pre-season game?

  46. Grugenhagen says: Sep 7, 2016 10:34 AM

    Sounds like more 7-9 BS to me.

  47. justanotherfan101 says: Sep 7, 2016 1:27 PM

    I gave up watching reality shows many years ago when I found out they were scripted. It sounds like 95% of this story is made up.

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