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It’s been long time since Rams last visit
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
The last time the Rams played in New Orleans, Kurt Warner was still throwing darts at quarterback, Marshall Faulk ruled the backfield, and “Mad” Mike Martz orchestrated the Greatest Show on Turf.
That’s right, it’s been a while. Sunday’s contest in New Orleans is the first for St. Louis since Super Bowl XXXVI against New England.
“We haven’t been there since we lost the Super Bowl, which is still somewhat of a bitter feeling after so many years,” wide receiver Torry Holt said. “So hopefully, we can go down there and play well and get out of there with a win.”
Just seven weeks earlier that season, the Rams clinched a playoff berth in the Superdome with a 34-21 Monday night victory over the then arch-rival Saints. If he’s going to relive memories Sunday, Holt would rather it be that game than Super Bowl XXXVI.
“I’m hoping it’ll be the Monday Night memories from 2001, when Isaac (Bruce) went off and had such a great game,” Holt said. “Him and Marshall, the defense — and just the team period — everybody played well.”
Bruce caught three touchdown passes in that contest. The 2001 campaign marked the last season for the Rams and the Saints in the NFC West. Realignment in ’02 put the Saints in the NFC South. The teams have met only twice since then — in 2004 and ’05 — with both games in St. Louis.
Checking out the town
Most Rams players stay close to the team hotel Saturday, perhaps going out to dinner or doing a little shopping if there's a mall nearby. Holt planned to check out the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.
"With the Katrina deal, I want to see what New Orleans is about and if the aura and the feel of New Orleans are kind of still there," Holt said Friday. "I just remember going to New Orleans. It's such a great, lovely, and bubbly place."
New Orleans ties
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett isn't the only member of the Rams contingent with ties to New Orleans. Rams linebackers coach-assistant head coach Rick Venturi, and Rams secondary coach Willy Robinson were part of Haslett's New Orleans coaching staff.
Defensive end James Hall is a New Orleans native. Backup defensive end Trevor Johnson was with the Saints late in the '06 season, recording four tackles in the regular-season finale against Carolina. Johnson was released before the Saints' playoff run to the NFC championship game.
Johnson, who has one sack and eight tackles in a reserve role for the Rams this season, moves up from the No. 4 end spot to the No. 3 role due to Leonard Little's season-ending toe injury. Johnson figures to get increased playing time the rest of the season in the defensive-line rotation.
Re: It’s been long time since Rams last visit
Man I HATE the aints, I hope the Rams win.
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