From 1946-1994, the Rams called Southern California home ... and will again for the 2016 season. In preparation for the NFL's return to Los Angeles, here's a look at some of the all-time best players (and one coach) to suit up for the Rams. All these men (like Deacon Jones) are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and each spent at least five years with the Rams in SoCal. Get ready, LA, the NFL is FINALLY back!
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Elroy 'Crazy Legs' Hirsch, WR/RB, 1949-57
With a nickname like 'Crazy Legs', you know the internet would have loved a guy like Hirsch in today's game. One of the first, if not the first, player to be designated as a 'flanker', Hirsch, a running back from Wisconsin, split out wide to get better separation from defenders. During the Rams' championship run in 1951, Hirsch played a critical role with 66 catches for 1,495 yards and 17 touchdowns in 12 games.
George Allen, head coach, 1966-70
Allen, whose famous motto was 'the future is now', led the Rams to a 49-17-4 mark during his Los Angeles tenure. During that time, the team won at least eight games in each of Allen's seasons and advanced to the conference championship game twice but with both ending in defeat.
Eric Dickerson, RB, 1983-87
One of the greatest running backs of all time, Dickerson gained 7,245 of his 13,259 career yards (as well as 56 of 90 touchdowns) while a remember of the Rams. The No. 2 pick in the 1983 draft out of SMU, Dickerson earned Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year honors that season after he set rookie records in rushing yards (1,808) and TDs (18).
Merlin Olsen, DT, 1962-76, and Deacon Jones, DE, 1961-71
Half of the legendary 'Fearsome Foursome', Olsen and Jones teamed up to lead the Rams from a one-win squad in 1962 to an 11-win team in 1967. Known for their intensity and physical play ... Hall of Famer Dick Butkus called the 'Fearsome Foursome' the 'most dominant line in football history' ... Olsen and Jones terrorized backfields together for nearly a decade.
Jack Youngblood, LB, 1971-84
A name containing blood in fitting for a fearsome linebacker such as Youngblood. The Hall of Famer played the entire Super Bowl XIV (a loss to Pittsburgh in 1979) with a fractured left fibula. Youngblood compiled 151 1/2 career sacks ... with at least nine in all but four of his 14 seasons with the Rams.
Jackie Slater, OT, 1976-94
Slater played 19 of his 20 seasons with the Rams in Los Angeles. He is also the only player in NFL history to play for one single team/franchise in a trio of different cities (LA, 1976-1979, Anaheim, 1980-1994, and St. Louis 1995). One of the most dominate offensive lineman in history, Slater assisted seven different running backs en route to 1,000-yard seasons. Teammate Jack Youngblood: 'Jackie Slater didn't want to just beat you, he wanted to dominate you.'
Norm Van Brocklin, QB/P, 1949-57
Many know the legend of Van Brocklin's 554-yard (!!), five touchdown performance on opening night of the 1951 season. But, few may know that during the early years of his career with the Rams, Van Brocklin split time at QB with Bob Waterfield. Van Brocklin passed for 16,114 yards and 85 scores during his time in Los Angeles, which included a 38-14 loss to the Browns in the 1951 NFL Championship.