Turf Show Times: Ramdude's RAMblins 10/31/13

"We really should cook, but I jus want to see one more, pleeeez Mr. White."

Happy Halloween, Rams fans! I've been a little scarce lately with the posts - keepin up with football, trying to figure out how we're ever gonna dig our way out of this hole we keep finding ourselves in. And I'm a late-comer to Breaking Bad on Netflix, yo (5.5 seasons and I'm at the end of #3). Binge-watching can really take a lot out of your day/night/day! Not to mention, I've got a season of Walking Dead and The League in the hopper. Makes me long for baseball season with nothing else to watch - NOT! (Sorry Cardinals)

Hey, Monday night was pretty damn good - mostly.
I only watched with one eye that saw Zac Stacy, the Defense, Ginger P (Hekker) and a little squint of Pettis - nothin else. We shore broke one off in Seattle. Then, of course, we bandaged the wound and gave them our insurance information right at the end.

History Repeats Itself????

We know what happens to people who cannot remember the past (doomed to repeat like 8th grade). However, what of people who do review the past? Are they destined to be rewarded by it or just fooled again???

Back in August (24th), I did a short analysis of one of the "glory decades" for the LA Rams, the 1970s. The 70s started with the tail end of the Fearsome Foursome's and Roman Gabriel's careers. However, the Rams put together a solid decade winning the NFC West Division every year from 1973 through 1979. Pretty cool, huh? But that's where I quit the original analysis.

This week, with the help of the St. Louis Rams official web site, I decided to look at what happened to the Rams after they got to the playoffs each of those years. Here's a summary. Gold is a win, and blue is a loss.

Div Rank Post Season Results in 1970s
1st (12-2) 1973 NFC Divisional Playoff Game • Dallas 27, RAMS 16

> Texas Stadium, Dallas, TX • Sunday, December 23, 1973
1st (10-4) 1974 NFC Divisional Playoff Game • RAMS 19, Washington 10

> Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA • Sunday, December 22, 1974

1974 NFC Championship Game • Minnesota 14, RAMS 10

> Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, MN • Sunday, December 29, 1974
1st (12-2) 1975 NFC Divisional Playoff Game • RAMS 35, St. Louis 23

> Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA • Saturday, December 27, 1975

1975 NFC Championship Game • Dallas 37, RAMS 7

> Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA • Sunday, January 4, 1976
1st (10-3-1) 1976 NFC Divisional Playoff Game • RAMS 14, Dallas 12

> Texas Stadium, Dallas, TX • Sunday, December 19, 1976

1976 NFC Championship Game • Minnesota 24, RAMS 13

> Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, MN • Sunday, December 26, 1976
1st (10-4) 1977 NFC Divisional Playoff Game • Minnesota 14, RAMS 7

> Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA • Monday, December 26, 1977
1st (12-4) 1978 NFC Divisional Playoff Game • RAMS 34, Minnesota 10

> Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA • Sunday, December 31, 1978

1978 NFC Championship Game • Dallas 28, RAMS 0

> Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA • Sunday, January 7, 1979
1st (9-7) 1979 NFC Divisional Playoff Game • RAMS 21, Dallas 19

> Texas Stadium, Dallas, TX • Sunday, December 30, 1979

1979 NFC Championship Game • RAMS 9, Tampa Bay 0

> Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL • Sunday, January 6, 1980

Super Bowl XIV • Pittsburgh 31, RAMS 19

> Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA • Sunday, January 20, 1980

If you'll notice, even if we won a playoff game, we ultimately lost to either Minnesota or Dallas EVERY YEAR except 1979. After the 1979 season, we beat both Dallas and Tampa to finally meet Pittsburgh in our first Super Bowl - #14. Of course, then we got thumped by the Steelers. So it was somewhat of a hollow decade after all - kings in own division, not so much outside of it.

Now, let's skip ahead 15 years to 1995, the year the Rams moved to St. Louis. I was curious about what happened personnel-wise between 1995 and 1999 when they won the Super Bowl. The Rams web site supplied data to create this table showing the primary starters for each year.

Year Record 1995 7-9 1996 6-10 1997 5-11 1998 4-12 1999 13-3
NFC West Rank Coach/Player 3rd 3rd 4th 5th 1st
Head Coach 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Rich Brooks

Dick Vermeil

Quarterback 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
QB Miller, Chris

QB Banks, Tony

QB Warner, Kurt

WR / TE 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
WR Hester, Jessie

WR Kennison, Eddie

WR Holt, Torry

WR Bruce, Isaac

WR Proehl, Ricky

TE Drayton, Troy

TE Conwell, Ernie

TE Williams, Roland

RB / FB 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
RB Bettis, Jerome

RB Phillips, Lawrence

RB/FB Holcombe, Robert

RB Faulk, Marshall

HB Cook, Marv

FB Harris, Derrick

FB Heyward, Craig

Offensive Line 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
LT/RT Gandy, Wayne LT LT RT RT

LT Pace, Orlando

LG Goeas, Leo

LG Gerak, John

LG/RT Miller, Fred

LG Nütten, Tom

C Brostek, Bern

C Gruttadauria, Mike

C Flannery, John

RG White, Dwayne

RT/RG Wiegert, Zach


RG Timmerman, Adam

RT Ashmore, Darryl

Defensive Line 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
DE Carter, Kevin

DE Gilbert, Sean

DE O'Neal, Leslie

DE Jones, Mike D.

DE Wistrom, Grant

DT Jones, Jimmie

DT Johnson, Bill

DT Agnew, Ray

DT Farr, D'Marco

Linebacker 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
LLB Jenkins, Carlos

LLB Jones, Mike A.

MLB Conlan, Shane

MLB Jones, Robert

MLB Hill, Eric

MLB Fletcher, London

RLB Phifer, Roman

RLB Collins, Todd F.

Secondary 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
CB Lyght, Todd

CB Parker, Anthony

CB McNeil, Ryan

CB McCleon, Dexter

SS Wright, Toby

SS Jenkins, Billy

FS Lyle, Keith

Special Teams 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
K McLaughlin, Steve

K Lohmiller, Chip

K Wilkins, Jeff

P Landeta, Sean

P Horan, Mike

P Tuten, Rick

Working from top to bottom, one of the first things you notice is how bad our records and NFC West ranks were from 1995 through 1998 - reminds you of now. Then, all of a sudden, in 1999 we earned a 13-3 record and #1 rank on the way to our only Super Bowl win. What happened????

HC: Maybe one of the most significant changes was the hiring of Dick Vermeil as head coach in 1997. In my opinion, we have been coach-poor for many years in the Rams' history. On the surface, this may have looked like just another coaching retread trying his luck, but that was far from the case. Vermeil started churning the roster until he got one of the finest ones in NFL history by that fateful year! (Hmmm. We just added a new coach a year ago.)

QB: At QB, Trent Green was supposed to take over from Tony Banks in 1999. However, an injury put the ball in the hands of relative unknown Kurt Warner who had been added as a back-up in 1998. The rest is history.

WR: As we know, Isaac Bruce moved with the team from LA. But in 1999, a young Torry Holt was added to the other side of the field. Lets take a moment to look over one of the best WR crews ever assembled. They were rather low on experience (other than Proehl), but loaded with talent. Sound familiar?
# Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Exp. College
80 Bruce, Isaac WR 6-0 188 6 Memphis
81 Hakim, Az-Zahir WR 5-10 179 2 San Diego State
88 Holt, Torry WR 6-0 190 0 North Carolina State
82 Horne, Tony WR 5-9 173 2 Clemson
87 Proehl, Ricky WR 6-0 190 10 Wake Forest
83 Thomas, Chris WR 6-2 190 4 Cal Poly-S.L.O.

RB: Sadly, we let Jerome "The Bus" Bettis go after the 1995 season. However, a deal with the Colts brought Marshall Faulk to the Rams in 1999. (Colts got second- and fifth-round picks in the next draft.) That allowed Robert Holcombe to move to Fullback for a nice one-two punch. Is Zac Stacy our .... Nah. Not yet.

OL: Now the O-line was a hot mess during this period! We had people coming, and we had people going. We had people changing between guard and tackle, and people changing between right and left tackle. By the time the smoke cleared in 1999, we had added Orlando Pace, Tom Nutten and Adam Timmerman - guys who would be mainstays on the line for years to come. Seems like our current line has been under construction lately.

DL: The D-line had a little more stability. In fact, DE Kevin Carter and DT D'Marco Farr started every year from 1995 through 1999. Key additions here were DE Grant Wistrom and DT Ray Agnew.

LB: During this period, important additions at LB were: Mike "The Tackle" Jones in 1997, Iron Man London Fletcher in 1998 and Todd Collins in 1999.

Secondary: The secondary also had some stability with CB Todd Lyght and FS Keith Lyle starting all five years. The biggest addition to this group was CB Dexter McCleon in 1997, a starter in 1999.

ST: The Rams have had a very good string of kickers over the years. But probably one of the best ever was Jeff Wilkins, added in 1997. He kicked for the Rams until he couldn't kick no mo'. This is certainly a strength for the Rams today.

So you can see, putting the 1999 Rams roster together was no walk in the park. As we struggle with disappointment now, know that we've done it before, and it all worked out.

We're frustrated now because one key player is suddenly out for the season. But it hasn't been so long ago that we had so many holes to fill that missing one player would hardly matter! Rams fans, we'll get thru this. If history repeats itself, I think we're due to win the SB next year. Place your bets!!!!!

Trick or Treat!!

Pumpkin Zombies!!!! Need I say more?!?!??!?! I didn't think so.

A few more Treats...

You know, we needed to lose Sam like a bull needs a motorcycle.

Get outta the way kid!!!!!

Hmmm. Not sure what to think... Doug, is that you??

Have a great week Rams fans. Don't eat too much candy.

Let's terrorize the Titans! 
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