LA Rams: 15 greatest linebackers of All Time

LA Rams August 22, 2020 in Inglewood, California.
LA Rams August 22, 2020 in Inglewood, California. /
8 of 16
LA Rams All-Time Lists Jim Collins
(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images) /

. ILB. (1982-87). Jim Collins. 9. player. 51

LA Rams inside linebacker Jim Collins was an unheralded star of the 3-4 defense designed by the NFL legendary defensive guru, Fritz Shurmur. Shurmur was the Rams’ defensive coordinator from 1984 to 1990, and the reason for his success was due in large part to inside linebacker Jim Collins.

Collins was the perfect role player in Shurmur’s defense, a system that played less into allowing one or two players to crowd the highlight reels. Instead, Shurmur’s defense depended upon everyone playing their responsibility, and Collins was ideally suited for that task.

Collins was a teammate to Carl Ekern, and the pair of Rams linebackers had a healthy competition of who would lead the team in tackles. More often than not, Collins came out on top. The 6-foot-2 230-pound linebacker played a large role in the Rams’ defense, both figuratively, and literally.

Collins was incredibly versatile, a player who led the team in tackles, recorded a quarterback sack and intercepted a pass all in the same season. In 1984, Collins was voted in as an alternate to the Pro Bowl. The starter, New York Giants LB Harry Carsons, publicly stated that he felt that Rams LB Jim Collins was more deserving to start that game.  After that, NFL reporters and fans paid far more attention to Collins’ place.

Collins helped the Rams to get to the NFL Playoffs in four of his eight seasons with the team. Like many on this list, however, he never benefitted from winning the Super Bowl with the team.