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  1. #1
    Chris58's Avatar
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    The Rams Center of Attention- An Historical View

    There has been much discussion here about the importance of the health along the OL this coming year. Truly, the team's success requires a fully healed offensive line. Another area of concern is who will man the center position. Right now, there is a lot of speculation as to what the Rams will do but I am confident a good solution will be found.

    This got me to thinking about the center position and who has played it over the 50 years that I have followed the team. I'll bet most fans, especially you who have started following the team since their move to St Louis can name the three that have been the primary place holders at center. When the Rams moved from LA, the position was being played by Bern Brostek, a mountain of a man at 6'3" and 300 lbs. He played center for the St Louis Rams from 1995-96 and was the center for the LA Rams from 1992-1994. Mike Gruttadauria was the center from 1997-99. And Andy McCollum played the position from 2000-2007.

    Though Andy Mcollum and Mike Gruttadauria are often cited as fan favorites here, they aren't particularly noteworthy compared to four other Ram centers who held down the position for 33 years from 1960-1992. In those 33 years these four centers won 14 Pro-Bowl selections and 5 All-Pro honors. During that time the Rams record was 255-200-5, for a winning percentage of .554.
    What follows is a thumbnail description of these four anonymous yet noteworthy warriors.

    1960-1964- Art Hunter. Art was big for his day at 6'4" and 245 lbs. He was a one time Pro Bowler and of the four centers I researched, he toiled for the worst teams with a winning record of 19-45-4, for a .279 winning percentage.

    1965-1974- Ken Iman. Ken was 6'1" and 240 lbs. He played with some great linemen like Charley Cowen, Bob Brown, Tom Mack, Joe Scibelli, Joe Carollo among others. He played in 140 consecutive games during this time, never missing a start. He was only named a Pro-Bowler one time; a fact which I attribute to all his other Ram O linemen being perrenial All-Pros. The NFL had to throw a bone to someone else I guess! Kenny's career winning percentage was .659 (89-45).

    1975-1981- Possibly the most dominant Ram center ever was Rich Saul. At 6'3" and 241, he was not physically imposing by today's standards, but how he dominated the awards during his 7 years as our center. He missed only one game in 106. He was a 6 time Pro-Bowler and 3 time All-Pro. His winning percentage of .660 (70-35-1) is the best of all the Rams centers. He was also an integral part of the team that went to the Rams first Super Bowl.

    1982-1991-Doug Smith was the beginning of the larger centers. He was 6'3" and 259 lbs. Once again Doug was a model of durability. He started 136 of the 143 games played during his ten years. He was a 6 time Pro-bowler and one time All-Pro. During his tenure the Rams record was 77-75, .507.

    So you can see that the Rams have a rich history at the center position. And it why I am confident that the Rams will find a standout performer to next man the position.


  2. #2
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: The Rams Center of Attention- An Historical View

    Well ofcourse they will find a new center. I believe since the slump we've been in since the GSOT days, it's time to turn it around.

    Great find though. And a great read.

  3. #3
    blood85 Guest

    Re: The Rams Center of Attention- An Historical View

    Doug Smith, the memories of my then Los Angeles Rams.

  4. #4
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: The Rams Center of Attention- An Historical View

    thanks for that , i played center for 2 years in pop-warner . then i played QB/K for the rest of my day , who da thunk it . great post , i love these old day history posts . great info too , WHO here knew that IMAN - SAUL and even SMITH were so light and just dominated in that time. and there were some players back then , and they wern't pu&&*'s either . thats just something right there .

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