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DE Deacon Jones

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Jones played on three NFL teams over his 14 years in the league, but he’s best known for his days sacking quarterbacks for the Los Angeles Rams. Teaming with defensive tackle Merlin Olsen, the eight-time Pro Bowl selection became part of the Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome” that also included Lamar Lundy and Rosey Grier. Jones was so good at sacking the quarterback, in fact, that it earned him the nickname, “Secretary of Defense.” Former Rams coach George Allen would later call Jones, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980, the “greatest defensive end of modern football.”

DT Merlin Olsen

Maybe it was in Olsen’s blood for him to play football. After all, three of his brothers and one of his nephews ended up playing in the NFL. On the field, there weren’t many better defensive tackles than him. The 1962 Rookie of the Year lasted 15 seasons in the NFL, all of them with the Los Angeles Rams, and remarkably was elected to the Pro Bowl a record 14 times. But perhaps even more impressive was the fact that Olsen only missed two games in his entire career while earning his way into the Hall of Fame in 1982.

RB Eric Dickerson

When Dickerson passed on going to the USFL to play for the Los Angeles Express, the Rams were eagerly waiting for him to join their franchise. Once he arrived, the former SMU standout quickly took hold of the spotlight. In his rookie campaign, Dickerson broke records for most rushing attempts (390), most rushing yards gained (1,808) and most rushing touchdowns (18) to earn Pro Bowl, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors. The next season, he continued to write his name in the record books, breaking O.J. Simpson’s mark of 100-yard games in a season with 11 and his single-season yardage total with 2,105 on the ground. While Dickerson did benefit from the NFL adding two extra games to the schedule that year, no one has since rushed for more yards in a season.

RB Marshall Faulk

Faulk showed in his first two seasons with the Colts that he had the chops to be an elite running back at the professional level. But after injuries plagued his third season in Indianapolis, Faulk was shipped to St. Louis as personal problems mounted with the Colts’ front office. What seemed like an innocuous trade at the time — the Colts received second-round and fifth-round draft picks for Faulk — turned out to be one of the best transactions in Rams history. In his first season in St. Louis, Faulk totaled an NFL record 2,429 yards from scrimmage and helped his team win Super Bowl XXXIV. The following season, the San Diego State star proved to be just as good, winning the league’s MVP honor while setting a new NFL record with 26 total touchdowns. Faulk would lead the Rams back to the Super Bowl in his third year, but they would ultimately fall short against the New England Patriots.

QB Kurt Warner

If it hadn’t been for an unforeseen circumstance, the Rams may have never won a Super Bowl with Warner leading the charge. But the former Arena Football League star unexpectedly got his chance in 1999 when Rams starter Trent Green tore his ACL in a preseason game. With Green done for the season, Warner stepped in and put together one of the best seasons by a quarterback in NFL history. Throwing for 4,353 yards, 41 touchdown passes and a completion rate of 65.1 percent, Warner won MVP honors and was later named Super Bowl XXXIV MVP after leading the Rams to a thrilling win over the Tennessee Titans. Although he didn’t win another championship in St. Louis afterward, he posted outstanding numbers during the 2000 and 2001 seasons to earn three straight Pro Bowl selections.

Tagged: Colts, Rams, Cardinals, Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner

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