Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Goodness, Mrs. Olsen, the Rams Are on Their Third Cup

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Goodness, Mrs. Olsen, the Rams Are on Their Third Cup

Article excerpt

They must be brewing up some strong coffee at Rams Park. That, or someone is spiking the Geritol. Dick Vermeil and The Sunshine Boys never rest.

Tuesday, I wandered around upstairs and stood in the hub where the coaches work. I parked out of the way, to avoid being trampled. The activity level is startling. These people are like the Amish raising a barn. This is the coaching equivalent of an ant farm.

Rams coaches were dashing through the hallways, ducking in and out of offices, having quick meetings. Players were popping up, getting some face time. The phones were constantly buzzing and beeping. The secretaries were trying to keep pace. It was lunchtime, and tuna sandwiches were flying around. The staff is writing playbooks, studying the draft, pumping up the current Rams, selling the program to free agents, supervising workouts and holding a seminar on quarter backing. It's March, and the room smells like game day. What's it going to be like in September, when the Sunshine Boys begin to prepare for actual football games? Vermeil calls Rams Park "The Campus." There is a college environment. It's corny but true. Used to be, Rams players moved this fast only on payday. Now, everybody is hustling. No wonder the Rams were able to snatch kicker Jeff Wilkins from the San Francisco 49ers. No surprise that free-agent fullback Craig Heyward wanted to play for the Rams. Ol' Ironhead came to town for a one-day visit and stayed for two days. He didn't want to leave. The atmosphere is contagious. Heyward is a Ram after rejecting pitches from the San Diego Chargers and Atlanta Falcons. Vermeil said he got a call from one free-agent linebacker - the guess here is San Diego's Lewis Bush - who told the coach he'd sign with St. Louis for less money than he's being offered elsewhere, as long as the Rams made a competitive bid. "He really wants to be here, because he liked what he saw," Vermeil said. "The money isn't the most important thing." What's not to like? …

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