Rams History: The Greatest Show on Turf was better than you think
By Bret Stuter
The Rams franchise has won two NFL Championships in the Super Bowl era of the NFL. The most recent Super Bowl victory, SB LVI, was the first victory for the LA Rams for the city of Los Angeles California. But the team also won a Super Bowl for the city of St. Louis, Missouri. That victory came at the expense of a very good Tennessee Titans team and sealed the legacy of the Rams franchise’s Greatest Show On Turf era.
The team was heralded for the nearly unstoppable offense, the brainchild of head coach Dick Vermeil and offensive coordinator Mike Martz. But there is more to the story of that team than simply an overwhelming effective offense. That defense was solid as well.
It was a bit of Destiny taking matters into its own hands as the team was all set to play with quarterback Trent Green under center. But Green injured his knee and the Rams were forced to start back up quarterback Kurt Warner.
They were not just a long shot, the team was literally the longest shot in NFL history. That’s quite the hurdle. At the opening kickoff, even the team itself was focused on playing competitive football. Nobody was talking playoffs or even Super Bowls.
Four players: RB Marshall Faulk (2011), OT Orlando Pace (2016), QB Kurt Warner (2017), and WR Isaac Bruce (2020) have all been inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame from that team. Head Coach Dick Vermeil will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame class of 2022.
Now, we have one more item on the NFL Hall of Fame “To Do” list.
The Saint Louis Rams were way ahead of their time. At a time when fullbacks and tight ends were still quite common in NFL offenses, the Rams were putting pressure on defenses by throwing multiple eligible receivers into the secondary, creating mismatches, and then throwing the ball to the open receiver.
What we now consider standard offensive packages were incredible innovations at that time. But it all worked to set the stage for the Rams to innovate and win today.