Ramsdell has become a fixture with Rams
By Lori Shontz
Of the Post-Dispatch
Saturday, Sep. 11 2004


Son of a small-college coach in Pennsylvania. Running back - and two-year
letterman at Springfield (Mass.) College. Graduate student in physical
education and volunteer football coach at San Francisco State. Receivers coach,
University of Oregon.

Nope, John Ramsdell never really expected that such a path would lead him to a
10-year career as an assistant coach in the NFL - and a Super Bowl ring. But it
did.

Said Ramsdell, "It's like winning the lottery."

Perhaps wide receiver Isaac Bruce gets all the glory for being part of all 10
Rams seasons in St. Louis, but Ramsdell - along with many in the front office
and training staff - has been here the whole time, too.

Unlike Bruce, Ramsdell has performed in a variety of roles, from the
entry-level "offensive assistant," (his first job, when he followed his boss at
Oregon, Rich Brooks, to the Rams in 1995) to tight ends coach to H-backs coach
to quarterbacks coach to wide receivers coach.

This season, he is coaching the Rams' quarterbacks.

Ramsdell has managed to stay on the staff through three head coaches, no easy
accomplishment in the transient world of assistant coaches. The transition from
Dick Vermeil to Mike Martz, he said, was simple - "it was the same staff." But
sticking when Vermeil took over for Brooks, he said, was "a luck-out."

He never had met Vermeil. But after a week of limbo, in which he assumes the
well-prepared Vermeil checked up on his credentials, Ramsdell was retained.

Long before he decided to major in physical education, Ramsdell knew he wanted
to be a coach.

"I didn't go to college to find myself," he said.

His goal, however, was to work at the major college level. Instead, he has
spent longer with the Rams than at any other stop in his career.

"I just took it where it went," he said.

Among Ramsdell's favorite memories of the past 10 years are, of course, the
Super Bowl win. He also fondly remembers the team's first game in St. Louis,
played in Busch Stadium.

As for how long he plans to say with the Rams, Ramsdell hasn't thought about
it.

"I never predict the future," he said. "There's enough going on around here to
keep you occupied."