The first two weeks of 2015 have been action-packed for the St. Louis Rams. Brian Schottenheimer is going to Georgia, leaving the Rams without an offensive coordinator. Kurt Warner and Orlando Pace are among the finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Stan Kroenke may be attempting to move the team back to Los Angeles. St. Louis is putting a stadium plan together to keep the team in Missouri.
Two weeks is just a blip on the screen for a Rams fan of 45 years. Those 45 years are filled with plenty of fond memories: Jack Youngblood playing in the Super Bowl on a broken leg, Eric Dickerson breaking the single season rushing record, Hacksaw Reynolds roaming the middle of the field, the GSOT years, the Fearsome Foursome...I could go on and on.
Thinking about 45 years of Rams teams and players (plus the events of the last couple of weeks) led me to the idea of constructing an all-time 53-man Rams roster. The roster is comprised of players from the Cleveland Rams, Los Angeles Rams and St. Louis Rams, dating back to 1945. All of these players aspired to greatness...and achieved greatness in a Rams uniform. The horns will always be the horns.
Rams' All-Time 53-Man Roster
C Rich Saul Doug Smith G Dennis Harrah Kent Hill G Tom Mack Tom Newberry OT Jackie Slater Bob Brown OT Orlando Pace Charlie Cowan TE Billy Truax Terry Nelson WR Torry Holt Tom Fears Henry Ellard WR Isaac Bruce Elroy Hirsch Harold Jackson RB Eric Dickerson Steven Jackson Dan Towler RB Marshall Faulk Lawrence McCutcheon QB Norm Van Brocklin Kurt Warner Bob Waterfield PK Jeff Wilkins P Dale Hatcher DT Merlin Olsen Roosevelt Grier DT Larry Brooks Coy Bacon DE Jack Youngblood Lamar Lundy Andy Robustelli DE Deacon Jones Kevin Carter LB Jack Reynolds Les Richter Tank Younger LB Isiah Robertson Jack Pardee LB Kevin Greene Maxie Baughan CB Jerry Gray Pat Thomas Rod Perry CB Dick Lane Leroy Irvin S Nolan Cromwell Eddie Meador S Aeneas Williams Dave Elmendorf
Honorable Mentions: G Riley Matheson, QB Roman Gabriel, DE Fred Dryer, WR Jack Snow and RB Jerome Bettis.
The Honor Roll
Of the 53 players on the roster, 50 were awarded Pro Bowl/All-Pro honors during their careers. Elmendorf, Truax and Nelson are the only players on the roster who didn't receive post-season honors in their careers.
The Rams have 8 retired numbers. All 8 players associated with those numbers made the all-time roster: Waterfield (#7), Faulk (#28), Dickerson (#29), Olsen (#74), Jones (#75), Slater (#78), Bruce (#80) and Youngblood (#85).
The all-time roster includes 16 players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Tom Mack, Jackie Slater, Bob Brown, Tom Fears, Elroy Hirsch, Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson, Norm Van Brocklin, Merlin Olsen, Bob Waterfield, Deacon Jones, Jack Youngblood, Andy Robustelli, Les Richter, Dick Lane and Aeneas Williams.
Orlando Pace, Kevin Greene and Kurt Warner are among the 15 finalists for 2015 induction into the Hall of Fame. Future candidates for induction include Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Steven Jackson.
Future Roster Additions
Which current Rams players have a good chance to make the All-Time 53-Man Roster in the future? Five candidates come to mind: James Laurinaitis, Chris Long, Aaron Donald, John Hekker and Robert Quinn.
Aaron Donald made the 2015 Pro Bowl in his rookie season. He has a bright future ahead of him, and can only get better. Robert Quinn was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl this season, and was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2013. John Hekker was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2013, was a first-team All-Pro in 2013, and a second-team All-Pro in 2014.
James Laurinaitis and Chris Long are the longest-tenured players on the current edition of the St. Louis Rams. Although neither player has earned Pro Bowl/All-Pro honors, both have been stalwarts on the Rams' defense throughout their careers. Both Long and Laurinaitis will be remembered for their consistently fine play and leadership skills.