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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    1999 Will Never Happen Again

    Nearly a decade after it happened, the upsurge of 1999 remains mind-boggling. Not only did the Rams go 4-12 the year before their 16-3 run to the championship, they had suffered nearly a decade of ineptitude.

    Its not the first time a team turned things around quickly, but it certainly was a unique way of doing it. It wasn't the typical situation of a team stock-piling talent over the years and having it all come together at once. That was part of it, but that wasn't it alone. It also wasn't a situation in which a team gains quick success through trades and FA signings. Again, that was part of it, but that wasn't it alone.

    Looking back, the turnaround can only be described as the intersection of three factors:

    1) Good Drafting: You can't overlook how well the Rams drafted in the years leading up to 1999. Orlando Pace, Kevin Carter, Torry Holt, Az Hakim, Grant Wistrom, Roland Williams, Dre Bly and Todd Lyght (not to mention undrafted FAs like D'Marco Farr and London Fletcher) were all quality players drafted by the Rams.

    2) Smart Trades & FA Signings: Marshall Faulk is the obvious key here, but acquiring Adam Timmerman, Ray Agnew, Mike Jones, Jeff Wilkins and Ricky Proehl were all big moves as well.

    3) The Unexpected: The third factor is the one that is unlikely to be repeated. They surprised the rest of the league to such a degree that opposing teams didn't catch up for years. Mike Martz unleased an offense that nobody expected, lead by a QB that nobody had heard of, with a stable of skill players that nobody could match. The results were truly a sight to see.

    I recognize that one should "never say never." Still, looking back, 1999 was such a rare situation that I certainly don't expect to see it again. Indeed, I think that a lot of the things that made the Rams rise so unique also rendered the formula a volitile one, and the team a fragile one that could not sustain its greatness as long as we would have liked it to.

    The Rams will, one day, get back into contention for a championship. I hope it happens soon. But, when they do, it will be in a more conventional way than 1999.

    1999 was truly unique. It was a privilege for all of us to witness it. We likely won't ever see such a thing again.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -08-03-2008 at 12:06 AM.


  2. #2
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    To a point '99 likely will not occure in our life time. Right now certainly not with the current roster. The Rams still have Holt, but for how long? S. Jackson is no M. Faulk. And is seems the Rams have been paying catchup on defense ever since the loss to the Pats with little return. '07 chalk it up to injuries, bad game palnning, under achieving or whatever on choices was a set back and still is a ghost the haunts the Rams

    But it can come back, the spirit of '99


    It might not comeback vintage '99 as we know it, but perhaps in a *******ized forum. We know Bulger can throw the ball dead on. That is a real plus. Recalling all those years the Rams didnt have a soild QB I remember still. Give him time to throw and targets, and you got part of the Old '99 season. Its possible in a year--perhaps two that can happen in terms of acquiring the talent. Throw in a scheme that maximizes that talent and your more then half way there.

    In '99 the Rams had that special chemistry where it all came together. The Defense played with fire and passion; the offense played with deserved contempt for the opponents defense. So what--3rd and 20--big deal, might as well been 2nd and 1, back then--or so it seemed. But a fire in the bellies of the defense and the offensive line matched with some talent--it'll comeback...and then the Rams will deserve to wear the Blue and Gold.

    Personally, I don't think Linehan can get it done--hope I am wrong...but from what I've seen in 2 seasons--notta. If there is to get success this year and coming out of it with a respectable showing, it'll have to come from the players themselves--one or a few to take the leadership role.

  3. #3
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    Absolutely a great post. I feel so privileged to be part of one of the greatest seasons the NFL has ever experienced. When the chips are down...it really helps me to go back and look at the magic of '99.

  4. #4
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    Too true. We'll never have quite the same combination of factors to bring about an extraordinary rags to riches story like that. However, there still are surprises in the NFL almost every year.

  5. #5
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    S. Jackson is no M. Faulk.

    Your right but he is a hell of a RB and if healthy and used to his talent can do as well or even better than M. Faulk.

    To ignore his talent is just being ignorant. M. Faulk will always be one of my favorite Ram but not even him alone could beat the Pats. It takes much more than a RB to win a championship...

    GO RAMS.....

  6. #6
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Absolutely a great post. I feel so privileged to be part of one of the greatest seasons the NFL has ever experienced. When the chips are down...it really helps me to go back and look at the magic of '99.
    I agree, I still get goosebumps watching different parts of the 1999 season,as much as we all want the Rams to win the Super Bowl this season,I for one don't think the 99 season will ever be duplicated,it was a special season with special players and coaches and very special to all of the long suffering Rams fans. I also don't think the NFL will every see a season like the St. Louis Rams 1999 season again.

  7. #7
    RANDYRAM Guest

    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    NICE POST!
    One thing that a lot of people forget is that what Dick Vermell did was to go out and get as many coaches with super bowl experience as he could. In fact the Rams had more super bowl experience coaching than any other teem that year!

    Witch IMHO is one the things that has been sorely missed by this teem ever since 99!!
    If you have prov en coaching that knows what it takes to win in the NFL you are going to in prove your chances of winning !!!

    So how long is it going to take the FO to realize this and pay for some winning coaching staff instead of Scott yes man linehan???

  8. #8
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy
    One thing that a lot of people forget is that what Dick Vermell did was to go out and get as many coaches with super bowl experience as he could. In fact the Rams had more super bowl experience coaching than any other teem that year!
    Who did you have in mind, Randy? Between Vermeil, Martz (OC), and Guinta (DC), there was exactly one Super Bowl......and that was Vermeil's trip with the Eagles.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  9. #9
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    While it's nice to wallow in the afterglow of GSOT '99, it's all in the past. As a long time Ram fan, I've seen the good the bad and the ugly. But ultimately, I've always enjoyed the anticipation of a new season as opposed to reliving seasons past. I mean no criticism to AV here. I just can't wait for this season to begin because AV is right; '99 will never happen again, therefore I waste no time wistfully looking back. If I spend time pining for '99, it can't do anything but disappoint with unrealistic expectations for this team.

    Perhaps this year's Rams team will put their own stamp on a season no one saw coming. Wouldn't that be wonderful??

    GO RAMS!
    Last edited by Chris58; -08-03-2008 at 08:43 PM. Reason: bad punctuation

  10. #10
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    Looking back, the turnaround can only be described as the intersection of three factors:

    1) Good Drafting: You can't overlook how well the Rams drafted in the years leading up to 1999. Orlando Pace, Kevin Carter, Torry Holt, Az Hakim, Grant Wistrom, Roland Williams, Dre Bly and Todd Lyght (not to mention undrafted FAs like D'Marco Farr and London Fletcher) were all quality players drafted by the Rams.

    2) Smart Trades & FA Signings: Marshall Faulk is the obvious key here, but acquiring Adam Timmerman, Ray Agnew, Mike Jones, Jeff Wilkins and Ricky Proehl were all big moves as well.

    3) The Unexpected: The third factor is the one that is unlikely to be repeated. They surprised the rest of the league to such a degree that opposing teams didn't catch up for years. Mike Martz unleased an offense that nobody expected, lead by a QB that nobody had heard of, with a stable of skill players that nobody could match. The results were truly a sight to see.
    I would add a 4th factor.

    One of the easiest regular season schedules a team could ever want.

    It certainly helped the Rams steamroll through the regular season, and earn home-field. In the playoffs, when the competition got tougher, they won a shootout with the Vikings, then squeaked by the TB Bucs 11-6, thanks to the late heroics of a certain Mr. Proehl. In the Superbowl, the Rams had the ball inside the redzone, I believe 5 times in the first half, and came away with only 16 points. Then, a last second tackle preserved the win. I'm not saying the GSOT wasn't great, as they led the league in scoring that year. But I will say that the numbers were aided by a very weak schedule. They did what they had to do, but it certainly helped that their competition that year was abysmal. Realize that they played ONE team in the regular season with a winning record. ONE! ...and they lost that game. (Titans) Of course, they played four teams with winning records in the playoffs and won them all. But it wasn't easy, even for the GSOT.

    Here's the 1999 Rams opponents final regular season records.

    Ravens = 8-8
    Falcons = 5-11 (played 2X)
    Bengals = 4-12
    Whiners = 4-12 (2X)
    Browns = 2-14
    Titans = 13-3
    Lions = 8-8
    Panthers = 8-8 (2X)
    Saints = 3-13 (2X)
    Giants = 7-9
    Bears = 6-10
    Eagles = 5-11

  11. #11
    jkramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    I would add a 4th factor.

    One of the easiest regular season schedules a team could ever want.

    It certainly helped the Rams steamroll through the regular season, and earn home-field. In the playoffs, when the competition got tougher, they won a shootout with the Vikings, then squeaked by the TB Bucs 11-6, thanks to the late heroics of a certain Mr. Proehl. In the Superbowl, the Rams had the ball inside the redzone, I believe 5 times in the first half, and came away with only 16 points. Then, a last second tackle preserved the win. I'm not saying the GSOT wasn't great, as they led the league in scoring that year. But I will say that the numbers were aided by a very weak schedule. They did what they had to do, but it certainly helped that their competition that year was abysmal. Realize that they played ONE team in the regular season with a winning record. ONE! ...and they lost that game. (Titans) Of course, they played four teams with winning records in the playoffs and won them all. But it wasn't easy, even for the GSOT.

    Here's the 1999 Rams opponents final regular season records.

    Ravens = 8-8
    Falcons = 5-11 (played 2X)
    Bengals = 4-12
    Whiners = 4-12 (2X)
    Browns = 2-14
    Titans = 13-3
    Lions = 8-8
    Panthers = 8-8 (2X)
    Saints = 3-13 (2X)
    Giants = 7-9
    Bears = 6-10
    Eagles = 5-11
    it may have been an easier schedule looking back NOW, but they only won 4 games the year before and they can only play the schedule they are given

  12. #12
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    The schedule helped, no doubt, but you can't forget that the Rams weren't just winning games against those weaker teams, they were blowing them out. The average score of the Rams' 13 regular season wins was 34-11.

    Also, I think its a mistake to call the Vikings playoff game a "shootout." The Rams built a huge lead and the Vikings made the final score closer with some later (and insignificant) TDs.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -08-03-2008 at 10:55 PM.

  13. #13
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    First of all, all those names were basically unheard of; Warner, and cast. Marshall was special, but then who would have known he could produce like he did. As for schedule, this was a 4 win team and the Falcons went to the superbowl the year prior.

    As for this year we do have key acquisitions as well as draft picks. Hopefully with the chemistry as well as suggestions from Daddy Long, maybe Jr. can produce.

    I know this can't be GSOT but c'mon can anyone really predict what a team is gonna do?

    Last year week 1 Giants were ranked 19 and packers were ranked 23 Browns 31.

    My point is we can all rally together for optimism in 08'. It looks like a tough schedule but every team has the possibility of what happened to the Rams in 07 to happen to them.

    GO RAMS 08!!!!
    LA RAMMER

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

  14. #14
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    No S. Jackson isn't a M. Faulk...Faulk was a freak of nature, equally talented at catching the ball as well as running it. While other teams paniced at the sight O Faulk stepping on the field, his double threat capability freed up Holt/Akium/Bruce--Proele, (Tackle elegible plays) and Warner made them pay dearly trying to Shut down Faulk or if they blitzed. What Matz and Vermile ran was a version of the Falcons RED GUN offence under Glandville. Just the Rams had the tools and the will to exicute it.

    S. Jackson isn't as flexible as Faulk was. But he still can pickup a few tricks. I just wished Faulk could have remained with the team to mentor Jackson more. As a RB, yes he is a very good one--and can be one of the greats which time will only tell. Get Jackson in space in the secondery, he is a safty/CB's worst nightmare. But he has to get into the secondary and where the RAMS line failed him.

    But look at what Faulk offered....he was as dangerious as a WR as he was as a RB--its like playing with 12 men on the field. Jackson can be just as dangerious to an opponents defense, but in a different way.

    People are likely tired of me saying the Rams ought to go back to a 2 back set eitther 2 RBs and/or a FB & RB...but with Jackson--his talents and the threat he brings to the field just begs for it. Draws, Reverses, Counter Trade, Power I, Sweeps, Flanker Screens, etc--even the Flea-flicker are plays that capitalize on his talents. Catching your opponents with there pants down is part of the game
    Last edited by Ram Dragoon; -08-03-2008 at 11:20 PM.

  15. #15
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    Re: 1999 Will Never Happen Again

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    The schedule helped, no doubt, but you can't forget that the Rams weren't just winning games against those weaker teams, they were blowing them out. The average score of the Rams' 13 regular season wins was 34-11.

    Also, I think its a mistake to call the Vikings playoff game a "shootout." The Rams built a huge lead and the Vikings made the final score closer with some later (and insignificant) TDs.
    You're absolutely right there. The Rams did blow out most of their opponents that year, which they should have. But I called the Vikings game a "shootout" simply because they got off to a quick lead, (first play from scrimmage was a TD) only to trail at halftime. They regained the lead when Horne took the kickoff back for a TD. It was back-and forth for two quarters. Then the Rams took the game over, before allowing some "meaningless" scoring at the end.

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