Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dreamin' Broncos Could Prolong Vermeil's Sleepless Nights

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dreamin' Broncos Could Prolong Vermeil's Sleepless Nights

Article excerpt

So now we know. The new "mellow" Dick Vermeil doesn't like losing any more than he did 15 years ago.

The agony of defeat leaves him tossing and turning. He looked tired following Friday's workout at Rams Park, prompting a question about rest, or lack thereof.

"I started sleeping really good on Wednesday night," Vermeil said. Which doesn't say much for Sunday, Monday or Tuesday night. "You lose a football game like that, I don't have the ability to turn them off," Vermeil said. "I may sometimes be able to delay the thought, but when it comes back to you in the middle of the night, you can't go back to sleep." What about the so-called "24-hour rule" that many coaches preach in the NFL? Twenty-four hours after any game - win or lose - you've got to let it go and move on. "That's bull," Vermeil said. Last week's 15-12 loss to San Francisco hit Vermeil and his players like a bull-rush from Bryant Young. "They were down Monday," Vermeil said. "Just like all of us in this whole organization. It was like the city morgue. . . . I expect them to feel pain. Hell, if they don't feel pain from having lost to San Francisco like they did - if they don't feel pain from that damn thing, then they don't belong in a Ram uniform. And I don't belong standing here. I will never get over it. I never get over a loss, let alone a loss like that. "Our day will come. Our day will come. We're going to be better. It's behind us now. It's behind us." But is it? Can the Rams put San Francisco behind them? "As I told the squad, the only thing we can do is come out of experiences like last week and get better," Vermeil said. "That's the only option we have. To build a football team and eventually become successful, you have to learn in losing. "Someone doesn't give you 12 games, and you go to the playoffs. You have to earn them. Sometimes it takes years. It took me three years in Philadelphia to earn that right, and I don't know how long it'll take here." If the Rams indeed have left their heart and soul with San Francisco, they could get pummeled today. Because the task in Denver is daunting. Not only are the Rams (1-1) facing the Broncos (2-0), they're taking on the NFL's best home-field advantage - Mile High Stadium. …

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