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Wed, Jun

The Greatest All-Time Players of the LA Rams

LOS ANGELES

ONLINE SPORTS - The Los Angeles Rams have one of the longest histories of any Pro American Football team. The franchise dates back to 1936 when it was based in Cleveland, Ohio, and were known as the Cleveland Rams for the first decade of the franchise. Out of all the different US states they feature heavily in the best sportsbooks because they are known for building strong and stylish offensive teams.

Hall of Famers like Elroy Hirsch, Tom Fears and Norm Van Brocklin and defensive legends like Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen gave the Rams such star quality they became the first NFL team to have their games televised. Some of the modern greats are Kurt Warner, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk helping the team to 3 Super Bowls and 32 playoffs.

In 1946 after the Rams moved to Los Angeles to become the first professional team to play on the West Coast, they changed their names to what is now, The Los Angeles Rams. Their first stadium was the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until 1979, before moving to play at the famous Anaheim Stadium (now Angel Stadium of Anaheim) until 1994. Two whole decades were spent away from LA in St. Louis, Missouri before returning to Los Angeles in 2016 to their current home at the SoFi Stadium, located in Inglewood, California. The greatest players that ever played for the Rams is an exhaustive list and we will try to put together some select picks below to show the talent and achievements of some of these legends.

The 1960’s Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen

Considered by many to be the best of all time for the LA Rams, Deacon Jones was a formidable defensive player. He was a stalwart of the Rams defensive line in the 60’s but his aggressive style was revolutionary and laid the foundations for many modern players to model themselves on his style and positioning. Modern day pass protection for the quarterback and blocking plays would be developed to counter Jones and his style of play.  He was strong but fast and coined the term "sacking the quarterback". If there were statistics for “sacks’’ back then, he would have topped the league every year. Sacks only became part of the official statistics in 1982.

His signature move was the head slap, a blow to stun offensive linemen to shake them up and give him a jump on their plays. Jones was selected five-times in the All-Pros and six-times in the Pro Bowl team and. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 for his popularity and contribution to the game.

His partner in defense was Merlin Olsen alongside Rosey Grier and Lamar Lundy, this duo were an immense part of the "Fearsome Foursome" and shook up offensive lines and quarterbacks throughout the NFL. Olsen was arguably a better technician than Jones and his impressive 14 picks for the Pro Bowl team and nine times for the All-Pros probably testified to his skill and longevity. But as a more gentle soul and less of a showman than Jones he was overshadowed by his partner and better known for his sportsmanship and reverence. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2 years later in 1982.

1990’s and 2000’s

Marshall Faulk was one of the most versatile playmakers in any Rams team as a running back, he was capable of winning games with his game-changing runs and catches. He was quick  and elusive making him dangerous on any offensive plays and difficult for opposing teams to predict and counter. It was this mix of flair and on field leadership that sparked the Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" era. Faulk is unquestionably part of any conversation about all-time great running backs and NFL stars with a crazy work ethic and all-around athleticism, he was simply legendary and deserves to make this list.

He was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year 3 years running in 1999, 2000 and 2001 selected for the Pro Bowls seven times and made the All-Pro team 3 times. His 1999 season was probably his best with over 2,000 combined yards (rushing and receiving) and 12 touchdowns for the season. He finished his career with 12,279 rushing yards, 6,875 receiving yards, and 136 total touchdowns. Remarkable stats for both rushing and receiving totals. He was inducted to the NFL Hall of Fame in 2011.

Faulk's teammate Isaac Bruce also makes the list of legends. He was a wide receiver in the same Super Bowl XXXIV winning team and helped the Rams to countless victories because of this running and vice-like catching grip that scored the winning touchdown in the final against the Tennessee Titans and scored him 1024 career receptions and 91 touchdowns. He duly became a Hall of Famer in 2020 ranking 2nd in all time NFL history for receiving yards. He made the All-Pro Team in 1999 and the Pro Bowls four times. Isaac is also well known for his charitable foundation and initiatives for youth development.

There are more legends and certainly some that could have made this shortlist but these four players here spanned the most successful decades of the LA Rams franchise giving fans great moments and lighting up the NFL. Their contributions to this always attractive team make them iconic in the hearts of Rams fans but also the wider NFL audience that loved their style and attacking panache.

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