Unlike several other squads stuck in streaks of sub-.500 seasons, the St. Louis Rams have a not-too-distant history of glory days.
The Greatest Show on Turf was great for Rams jersey sales. While it’s the quarterbacks who are generally represented on the racks nationally, St. Louis had other guys who moved the ball. They were pretty popular too.
Let’s not forget about a couple of players whose responsibility it was to thwart ball advancement. They also deserve some love.
The ringleader of the Greatest Show on Turf, Kurt Warner was the last quarterback to lead the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl. St. Louis went 14-2 in 2001, as Warner completed 68.7 percent of his passes for 4,830 yards and 36 touchdowns.
And that was just one of his two MVP seasons.
He went 35-15 as a starter with the Rams, totaling 14,447 yards, 102 touchdowns and 65 interceptions on 1,121-of-1,688 passing.
Marshall Faulk spent seven of his 12 Hall of Fame years as a member of the St. Louis Rams. He was 2000’s NFL MVP, rushing for 1,359 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also caught 81 balls for 830 yards that season.
In 99 games (80 starts) in St. Louis, Faulk averaged 4.8 yards per carry en route to 6,959 rushing yards, adding 470 catches for 4,071 yards and 85 total touchdowns.
Eric Dickerson spent most of his career in the same two uniforms Marshall Faulk did: those of the Rams and the Indianapolis Colts.
Dickerson’s 1984 Los Angeles Rams didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, but he did lead the league—and break a record—in rushing, totaling 2,105 yards on 379 carries in just his second professional season.
He ran for 7,245 yards and 56 touchdowns as a Ram. Now, he’s in the Hall of Fame.
Steven Jackson added to the St. Louis Rams’ growing tradition of running back excellence. The man who now holds the franchise’s career rushing record (10,135 yards) played his first nine seasons in St. Louis.
His best statistical season came in 2006, when, as a 23-year-old, he rushed 346 times for 1,528 yards and 13 touchdowns, adding 90 receptions for 806 yards and three more scores.
All of those numbers—including his longest rush (59 yards) and reception (64)—represented career highs.
Jones played 151 games with the Los Angeles Rams from 1961 to 1971. The defensive end even picked off two passes, taking one back 50 yards in 1966.
This fall, when defenders chase after potential passers, they’ll be doing so in part to pursue the Deacon Jones Award.
Recognized by many as the best defensive player to ever play, Deacon wore No. 75 the whole time.
Forget about those two awkward seasons Isaac Bruce spent as a member of the St. Louis Rams’ division rival San Francisco 49ers. He wore a strange number (88), played 22 games and totaled 82 catches for 1,099 yards and seven TDs—in two years.
Let’s throw those out.
Bruce’s second season was the Rams’ first in St. Louis. He turned in personal bests in the reception (119), yardage (1,781) and touchdown (13) categories in 1995. In 197 career games with the Rams, he amassed 942 grabs for 14,109 yards and 84 scores.
On second thought, he can keep those San Francisco catches. He wouldn’t be one of just eight players in NFL history to collect 1,000 receptions without them.
At least he retired as a Ram.
Like Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt enjoyed a very productive second season (82 receptions, 1,635 yards and six touchdowns in 2000), and he eventually spent his final year with another team (the Jacksonville Jaguars). Holt’s most productive season, however, was his fifth: In 2003, he grabbed 117 passes for 1,696 yards and 12 scores.
Holt wore No. 88 for his first three seasons—the GSOT days—but spent more time in the No. 81 jersey.
He totaled 869 catches for 12,660 yards and 74 touchdowns in 158 appearances for St. Louis.
Numero ocho-cinco before Chad Ochocinco—or Chad Johnson—was even born, Jack Youngblood’s surname was already unique. The former first-rounder was inducted into the Hall of Fame 30 years after he was chosen at No. 20 in the 1971 NFL draft.
He played 202 games for the Los Angeles Rams, including spending his first four years with Deacon Jones.
Youngblood played through a couple of notable NFL transitions, including the introduction of the 16-game regular-season schedule and the sack statistic. His final three seasons (40 games) resulted in 24 sacks.