JUDGE: Zampese back at home with Martz, Rams

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Clark Judge

Five months after retiring from pro football, former offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese is back in business. Zampese will return to the NFL for at least a year — maybe longer — with the St. Louis Rams. His job is unclear, though it appears it will approximate what he did a year ago in Dallas when he served as an offensive consultant. "I'll do whatever Mike needs me to do," said Zampese. That would be Rams coach Mike Martz, who convinced Zampese to end his retirement and return to the Rams for the second time in his career. Zampese was the team's offensive coordinator from 1987 through 1993, and it was he who first tutored Martz in the pro game. Martz is more than a close friend to Zampese; he is the prized pupil who never wastes a moment to praise his former teacher. While the two speak to each other frequently they haven't worked on the same staff since 1993 when they were with the then-Los Angeles Rams. "I'd been thinking about coming back," said Zampese. "And Mike mentioned it a few times. It sounded like a good idea." It should. The Rams have everything to make it a perfect fit. For one, Zampese's son, Ken, is on the staff as an offensive assistant. For another, it will reunite Zampese with team presidents John Shaw and Jay Zygmunt, both of whom he admires. Plus, it will bring together Zampese and Martz, close friends and two of the game's best offensive minds. Then there's that matter of the league's best offense, quarterback Kurt Warner and running back Marshall Faulk. "I'd like to do something (in the league)," said Zampese, who returns to St. Louis next Wednesday, "and they've given me the opportunity to do it." Clark Judge can be reached at his e-mail address,
Tagged: Rams, Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner

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