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Rams to celebrate 15th anniversary of the GSOT

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by -X-, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. -X- The Retired RODfather Staff

    Jun 20, 2010
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    Up For Grabs Eight weeks into a season dominated by defenses, only this much is certain: It's anybody's ball game


    Standing together on the field at the St. Louis Rams' practice
    facility last Friday were two men whose sudden prominence is
    emblematic of a year in which things have grown exceedingly
    strange in the NFL: Dick Vermeil, at 63 the second-oldest coach
    in the game, and his quarterback, Kurt Warner, the instant
    superstar. They are perhaps the last two men you would have ever
    expected to be making headlines this year, but they are on top
    of the world in this upside-down season. "You know," Vermeil,
    flashing a quick grin, told Warner, "in seven weeks, you've
    turned me from a jerk to a genius."

    Even a genius couldn't have predicted that the marquee game of
    the first eight weeks would turn out to be the unbeaten Rams,
    who haven't had a winning season since 1989, on the road in
    Nashville against the once-beaten Tennessee Titans, a franchise
    that last made the playoffs as the Houston Oilers, in 1993. The
    biggest attractions from '98--the Atlanta Falcons, the Denver
    Broncos, the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Jets--are 9-22.
    John Elway, Reggie White and Barry Sanders have retired; Steve
    Young, Michael Irvin and Dan Marino are injured and might have
    to join them. Bad things happen in threes? The top three rushers
    from last year--Terrell Davis, Jamal Anderson and Garrison
    Hearst--are out for the season with injuries. The three leading
    passers in '98--Randall Cunningham, Vinny Testaverde and
    Young--have been benched, knocked out for the year by a ruptured
    Achilles tendon and sidelined by a concussion, respectively.

    More remarkable still, the fans don't seem to miss them. The NFL
    appears on its way to an attendance record. Last year 75% of the
    games played to full houses; this year 94 of the first 114 games
    (82%) were sold out. Through seven weeks three of the four NFL
    TV partners reported ratings increases (ABC was down a point),
    thanks in part to a schedule that opened a week later than last
    year in order to avoid the ratings-poor Labor Day weekend. CBS's
    ratings, up 15%, are particularly stunning because the network's
    biggest draws, the Broncos and the Jets, are in last place in
    their divisions.

    Denver fans might be mourning the departure of Elway, but local
    TV ratings for Broncos games in the first seven weeks were up 11%
    over the same period last year. Detroit Lions fans may never see
    Sanders run in silver and blue again, but ratings in that city
    were up 16%. Folks in Wisconsin have apparently gotten over the
    Green Bay Packers' loss of White and coach Mike Holmgren, who
    left to coach the Seattle Seahawks; in Milwaukee, Green Bay's
    first seven games garnered a record 44.6 rating and 71 share,
    meaning that 71% of all TVs turned on while the team is playing
    are tuned in to the Pack.

    There is some justifiable hand-wringing going on in NFL front
    offices about the quality of play. "How much more can this
    league withstand?" says San Francisco 49ers coach Steve
    Mariucci, presiding over the decline of a once proud franchise.
    "The injuries and retirements have had a drastic effect on
    teams' production, records, confidence and swagger."

    Pittsburgh Steelers president Dan Rooney is so concerned about
    the degree of player movement since the 1993 advent of
    unfettered free agency that he has persuaded NFL Players
    Association executive director Gene Upshaw to convene a meeting
    with leading players and owners after the season to discuss
    revising free-agency rules. The Steelers have lost 37 players
    from the 49-man roster that played in the Super Bowl in January
    1996. Could free agency be revamped? "You never know," Upshaw
    says. "At least we'll talk it through."

    Some of the unimaginative strategy this season--the Baltimore
    Ravens, the New Orleans Saints, the New York Giants and the Tampa
    Bay Buccaneers have set offensive football back to the Nagurski
    era--is due in part to the lack of cohesiveness caused by free
    agency and the need for unproven or unskilled backups to step in
    for star quarterbacks. "We're at the crossroads we all knew was
    coming," says first-year Ravens coach Brian Billick. "We're in a
    transition time for quarterbacks in a quarterback-driven league.
    Three quarters of the teams are in quarterback flux."

    But what's so bad about unpredictability? Fans like to watch
    close games. They like exciting finishes. Sure, star players are
    still a big attraction, but even more important to fans is that
    their team has a chance to win every week. "In 20 years, when
    you're gone and I'm gone," Bill Parcells told his precocious
    quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, after Bledsoe found fame and
    lucrative endorsements in just his second season with the New
    England Patriots, "none of these fans around here will care
    about you. They'll care about the next guy wearing the blue
    jersey. Fans love the uniforms, not the players." Parcells's
    words still ring true.

    In the first two weeks this fall, 17 of the 30 games ended with
    the trailing team in possession of the ball and having a chance
    to win or tie in the last two minutes. Green Bay's first three
    wins came on last-minute touchdown passes by Brett Favre. Five
    of New England's first seven games were decided by one or two
    points. All told, 41 of the season's first 114 games (36%) have
    been decided by a field goal or less; at the same point last
    year 18% of the games were that close. Somewhere, Pete Rozelle
    is smiling. One New Jersey country club has been holding an NFL
    knock-off pool for years. The rules: Put $100 into the kitty.
    Each contestant picks one team each week that he thinks will
    win. He can't pick a team more than once, and as soon as he
    picks a team that loses, he's out. Last man standing wins the
    pot. Before the '99 season no winner had ever been crowned
    before Thanksgiving. On Oct. 10 the last 29 players (of the
    original 69 who entered) were knocked out, all victimized by
    either the Philadelphia Eagles' upset of the Dallas Cowboys or
    the Chicago Bears' win over the Vikings. (A rule change allowed
    those final 29 players to start anew the following week.) "Paul
    Tagliabue has exactly what he wants, and it isn't parity," one
    pool player says. "It's creeping communism."

    "You've got to bring your best to the stadium to win every
    Sunday," says Patriots tackle Bruce Armstrong, a 13-year
    veteran. "In the early 1990s we'd go to Buffalo, and the Bills
    were just a better team. We had to play much better than them,
    and they still had to turn the ball over for us to win. It's not
    that way this season, and the players who've been around sense
    it. It's why I keep telling our younger players, 'Just hang in
    there and we'll have a chance at the end of the day to win.' You
    have to accept that no matter what your team did last year or
    how good anybody thinks you are, most games will go down to the
    last minute."

    "I like the game the way it is today," says Bucs director of
    player personnel Jerry Angelo, "because I know when I go to the
    stadium we're going to see two teams get after each other.
    Seldom is the game over at halftime. I like to get to the last
    chapter before I know who committed the murder. What we're
    getting are games played with more intensity because the players
    know anything can happen. No team can just turn it on at the end
    and pull out a win like some of those teams could when they had
    dynasties, like the Steelers of the '70s."

    The biggest reason for so many close, low-scoring games?
    Blitzing. Lots of it. From any position, at any time. Last
    Saturday night, as the Rams' offensive players had one final
    tune-up for their game at Tennessee, offensive coordinator Mike
    Martz showed them a videotape of a play from the Titans' Oct. 3
    game at San Francisco. Tennessee's defense was in its usual 4-3
    alignment, but at the snap all three linebackers looped into
    pass-rush lanes and stormed the quarterback. Mind you, this was
    on first down--a rushing down. Three linebackers run-blitzing is
    the kind of craziness that offenses have been seeing all year.
    "Fellas, expect this kind of blitzing from the very first snap
    tomorrow," Martz said. "They'll come after you all day."

    That the Titans did. While allowing Warner to throw for 328
    yards and three touchdowns, Tennessee also sacked him six times
    and caused four fumbles in a 24-21 win. Coming off a bye that
    gave them an extra week to prepare, the Titans' coaching staff
    devised a bizarre 3-0-8 scheme--three linemen, no linebackers
    and eight defensive backs--that was used about a dozen times.
    St. Louis running back Marshall Faulk was also double-covered
    almost every time he came out of the backfield.

    "When we watched them on tape," said Tennessee coach Jeff
    Fisher, "everyone except Baltimore laid back and played it safe.
    And got beat by about 35 points. We said, 'Why not be
    aggressive?' I thought the eight defensive backs would
    neutralize Faulk and challenge their short and intermediate

    Defenses are getting so sophisticated that some have taken to
    calling audibles just before the snap. "The way we work it is if
    we see one formation, we can blitz it; another formation, we
    play zone," says Green Bay safety and defensive signal-caller
    LeRoy Butler. "I think defenses are way ahead of offenses. They
    know we've got a nickel in, but they don't know if we're going
    to blitz or play zone or man."

    Says San Diego Chargers coach Mike Riley, "I bet we're getting
    blitzed 60 to 70 percent of the time, in some fashion. Either a
    zone blitz or an all-out blitz."

    "Never in my career have I seen some of the things I'm seeing
    now," says Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith. "The Giants'
    defense coming at us with eight to stop the run--and we've still
    got Troy [Aikman, at quarterback]. Washington's putting an
    eighth man up and blitzing to stop the run. I guess teams
    believe what everybody's been saying about football in the '90s:
    You stop the run, you win games."

    What's frustrating is that so many offenses are incapable of
    fighting off the superior defenses and are playing
    ultraconservative football instead. "It's a reflection on the
    caliber of quarterbacks in the game today," says Buffalo Bills
    general manager John Butler. But that doesn't explain why the
    Jacksonville Jaguars, who have a very good quarterback in Mark
    Brunell and whose top running back, Fred Taylor, has been slowed
    by a hamstring injury, are nevertheless second in the NFL in
    run-pass ratio on first down, running the ball 63% of the time.
    Even with a dominating line, the Jaguars are averaging only 3.9
    yards per attempt, down from 4.7 last year. In fact, only 11
    teams are averaging more yards per carry than they were in '98,
    and the 3.75-yard league average is almost a quarter of a yard
    less than it was last year and the second-lowest figure this
    decade. Even in some of the prime-time matchups, teams play
    snoreball. The winners of the last three Monday-night games in
    October scored 16, 13 and 13 points. "If I'm the Packers, I say
    my best chance every week is putting the ball in Brett Favre's
    hands," says Holmgren. "But when your quarterback is young and
    inexperienced--like our Jon Kitna--you approach the game

    Of course, offensive coaches will eventually figure out how to
    counter the latest defensive fad. Don't be surprised if they go
    the way of Joe Gibbs's old max-protect package, using a fullback
    or an extra tight end, or both, to pick up stray blitzers, then
    run safe routes. Some of that's happening already; though the
    league's overall quarterback rating is down from last year,
    completion percentage is up a half a percentage point, to 56.8%.
    Says Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, who, after
    losing Elway and then Davis and then tight end Shannon Sharpe,
    has been patching together an offense all season: "For a few
    weeks, defenses come up with a package that hurts you, then you
    find the way to beat it, and you have a few good weeks."

    After practice one night last week, in preparation for Sunday's
    game against the Cowboys, the Indianapolis Colts' second-year
    quarterback, Peyton Manning, spent 3 1/2 hours studying tape at
    the team's training facility. "I try to play the game in the
    film room," he said from his car phone shortly after 9 p.m. It
    paid off against Dallas, as Manning completed 22 of 34 passes
    for 312 yards and a touchdown, leading the Colts to a
    come-from-behind 34-24 win.

    Quarterbacks like Manning--and Warner--are beginning to break
    the defensive stranglehold on the game. Soon enough, some of the
    five quarterbacks drafted in the first round last April will
    help fill the void at their position--and make their coaches
    suddenly look like geniuses.
  2. LetsGoRams Active Member

    Jun 25, 2014
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    Great stuff, X - looking forward to that Monday night game as I will definitely be there... and may try to get to the party on the 11th too.
  3. theramsruleUK Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2013
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    Yeah gamepass

    I fully expect you to come back from your vacation and record it for me :)
  4. -X- The Retired RODfather Staff

    Jun 20, 2010
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  5. theramsruleUK Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2013
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  6. Rams and Gators Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2013
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    You can rewind 24 hours with the scroll bar using Gamepass. Or at least you can on a computer, not sure about IPad.
  7. Rams and Gators Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2013
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    I've Loled reading quite a few posts on here.
  8. -X- The Retired RODfather Staff

    Jun 20, 2010
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    I have a couple of times too, but I do more AOTNing.
    Now we need an AOTN smiley.
    Rams and Gators likes this.
  9. theramsruleUK Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2013
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    No way!! Serious?! Does this mean I don't have to watch nfl am on repeat for bloody hours?! :) it's not AM anymore guys, it's 4 in the afternoon god damn it
  10. Rams and Gators Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2013
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    You never had to in the first place :whistle:.
  11. Rams and Gators Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2013
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    Just AOTNed at that.
    -X- likes this.
  12. theramsruleUK Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2013
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    My need for nfl is that strong, true story
    Rams and Gators likes this.
  13. -X- The Retired RODfather Staff

    Jun 20, 2010
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    And I ... at that.
    I don't see an end to this, AOTN.
  14. VARam Guest

    This is nice, but I want new memories. We're sounding like bears and jets fans. I'm tired of reliving 1999 annually during Super Bowl week. Fisher and Snead better deliver...
  15. Zombie Slayer You are entitled to nothing.

    Aug 10, 2013
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    For the rest of my life I'll never forget what happened in that Saints playoff game when he muffed that punt. I truly believe we complete the comeback and win that game if he doesn't. I doubt they would have won the super bowl that year but who knows with that offense. Too bad the defense that year was so bad.
  16. Ramatik Member

    Jun 24, 2010
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    That would be one helluva game to meet up at.

    I'm sorry to say, I just can't "inform" the wife. I will have to plead. Heh :)

    But maybe... just maybe...
  17. Selassie I H. I. M. Staff

    Jun 23, 2010
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    I like to talk a big game... There may actually be a bit of pleading involved with my wife after I "inform" her. :whistle:
    Ramatik likes this.
  18. LesBaker Mr. Savant

    Aug 23, 2012
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    I've often said that if the Rams got to the SB they would have beaten the Ravens. Here's why I say that.

    First the only way they slow down Faulk is to have Lewis shadow him, thereby erasing the best defensive player they have. He become a non factor.

    Second the Ravens secondary was not really that good. There is no way they could have covered the receivers and Warner would have hurt them because of his courage and toughness and that lighting fast release. He would have stood in and delivered the ball enough times that they would have had some big plays and scored some points.

    The year before, the Ravens defense was essentially the exact same group and Warner burned them, in his FIRST game. Imagine the 2000 Rams O.......they would have hung right around 40 on that team.
  19. RamBill Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2010
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    Rams to Celebrate ‘Greatest Show’ 15th Anniversary
    By Zoe Wolkowitz

    The St. Louis Rams are embracing a vital part of team history, with the announcement they’re celebrating the 15th anniversary of the “Greatest Show on Turf” throughout the 2014 season. The era’s Mike Martz-led, attack-oriented offense, impacted the NFL forever.

    “If you stack up the talent we had and the consistency we put together for those three seasons, you can definitely make the argument that it was the best offense ever just because of the time period”, former Rams quarterback Kurt Warner recently told The Fast Lane. “It was when we did it and how we did it that we ushered in a new era of pro-football.”

    Martz’s aggressive style wasn’t primitive, but primal.

    “Mike was crazy back then. He was Mad-Mike. He always wanted to throw the ball 30-40 times a game, it was unheard of,” former Rams running back Marshall Faulk said in a recent 101ESPN interview.

    The Greatest Show offense advocated mixing aerial and ground attacks, a kind of backyard football game that stifled defenses.

    “The way we were throwing the ball all over the field, we were considered crazy! I can literally still hear the commentators in my head right now, ‘What are the Rams doing? They look crazy!’” former wide receiver Torry Holt told The Fast Lane in a recent interview.

    St. Louis’ 1999 team was the only offense in NFL history to score 500 points, consecutively for three years. The Rams won 12 games over the course of the season by 16 points or more.

    “Coach Martz was very creative, very innovative, and he believed in us all the time,” says Holt.”It didn’t matter what anyone else was doing in the NFL at the time or what the defense was going to try and do. All that we liked to do was throw the ball and throw it to someone with a lot of gas.”

    Martz always said “play fast and be aggressive.” That offensive mentality started during “The Greatest Show on Turf” continues to inform and define the NFL.

    “I think we changed the game. We raised the bar, we raised the standard, and we changed what the passing game should look like,” said Faulk.

    Martz’s former players say he has yet to receive credit for the innovating offense he introduced.

    “I wish Mike could get his due with how he shaped and changed the NFL and people could just stop pretending that what they are watching Peyton Manning do, Aaron Rogers do, Tom Brady do, is the first time they saw this,” said Warner.

    In recognition of the Rams’ glory days, the team will wear blue and yellow throwback jerseys as they host the 49ers on October 13, and the team will recognize members of the 1999 squad at halftime.
  20. Prime Time RODerator Staff

    Feb 9, 2014
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