Los Angeles Rams: 30 greatest players in franchise history
By Dan Parzych
Along with Elroy Hirsch, Norm Van Brocklin was a key part of the Rams’ success when they won the 1951 NFL Championship. Van Brocklin split his time under center with Bob Waterfield, which seemed risky at the time, but obviously worked out perfectly.
Los Angeles used a fourth-round pick on Van Brocklin back in 1949. Just like a few other players previously discussed on this list, the former Oregon star saw limited action as a rookie before making a serious impact a year alter.
In fact, Van Brocklin would go on to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl the next six seasons for the Rams. One of his best seasons as a Ram came in 1954 when he led the league in passing yards with 2,637.
Van Brocklin benefited from Waterfield retiring after the 1952 season. This meant the starting job at quarterback belonged to him. He no longer had to worry about splitting reps under center with another future Pro Football Hall of Famer in Waterfield.
Van Brocklin’s career may have ended with the Philadelphia Eagles after Los Angeles decided to send him over in a trade before the 1958 season. However, the nine seasons spent with the Rams were filled with plenty of amazing accomplishments, especially the 1951 NFL Championship.
Speaking of that season, it’s hard to forget that amazing first game of the year against the New York Yanks. Van Brocklin completed 27 of 41 passes for 554 yards and five touchdowns, which kind of foreshadowed what was to come a few months down the road.