From Greatest Show to a Cooper Kupp/OBJ mix

LOS ANGELES — In 2012, Les Snead was appointed general manager. RamsHad gone over half a century without receiving a wide receiver who could make a difference.

Snead didn't make things any easier in his five first seasons. From 2007 to 2016, the Rams' wideouts never reached 800 yards. It was not enough for a Rams fan base that associates Rams success to top-tier wideout production — Tom Fears and Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch, Henry Ellard, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and Henry Ellard. It was not just about elite, but also for better.

“Now that I think about it like this, I can't believe that they didn't burn down my house considering you go from these receivers to the things we were doing,” Snead joked, laughing.

Snead can laugh now that the Rams have reversed their course at wide receiver. This position has been crucial every time they reached the Super Bowl.

Los Angeles is getting ready to face the Cincinnati BengalsIn Super Bowl LVISunday, 6:30 p.m. at SoFi Stadium ET, NBC: It's no coincidence that the Rams' return at football's highest stage has coincided with the resurgence a once neglected receiver corps.

In 2021, the triple crown winner will be leading Cooper KuppAs well as Van JeffersonAnd Odell Beckham JrRams receivers were the first to reach 3964, 286 and 3 touchdowns.

The Rams were third in receiving yards in 1999, 2001, and 2018, respectively, and fifth in receptions. They also finished seventh in receiving touchdowns.

Kupp knows the importance of receiver production and winning. Kupp maintains contact with Bruce Holt and Holt. Bruce even congratulated Kupp's single-season franchise receptions record. He wants to do the right thing for them.

Kupp explained, “I grew with my high school coach talking about having respect and admiration for the men who came before us, having respect for our position and the standard set by those who have come before us.” Kupp said, “I have a lot respect for those guys and the things they were able accomplish. I'm glad that we can put a good product onto the field respecting those men.”

The year 2015 was markedly different from 2015 when Rams wideouts were unable to catch 137 passes for 1,635 yards and eight touchdowns. That was last year. Atlanta FalconsReceiver Julio JonesNearly surpassed them in receptions (136), dwarfed their receiving yards (1,871), and tied them for touchdowns.

Bruce said, “The Rams have an extremely long legacy with wide receivers.” “Just to watch the group struggle like we did, and not have that No. We're not used seeing 1 receiver. We are used to seeing the Rams' perimeter players and we have been consistently mentioned with the top receivers in the National Football League.

Find the Next Greatest Show on Turf

Bruce was a bit of a one-man show at first. In 1995, Bruce's second season, he set a new franchise record with 1,781 receiving yards. However, this record was not maintained during the team's 7-9 season.

Bruce put up impressive numbers when he was healthy, but there weren't many victories. Bruce and Rams coach Dick Vermeil both knew they needed more options, especially on the perimeter.

“I don't think I'm naïve or, let's just be real, dumb enough to say I don't need help or accept help,” Bruce said. “No, bring them on!”

Bruce didn't blink when the Rams acquired receivers AzZahir Hakim in 1998 and Ricky Proehl 1999. The same thing happened when Marshall Faulk was traded to the Rams for running back Marshall Faulk. Although Marshall wasn't technically wide receiver, he had 1,048 more receiving yards than any Ram between 2008 and 2017.

Bruce and Holt were part of a team called The Greatest Show on Turf. They each had 1,000 receiving yards or more in five seasons, and the Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV.

Vermeil stated, “They all go to the snap of a ball and you can’t cover them all.” “They could beat anyone one-on-one when you put a bunch together like we did. You could argue that all those guys were not covered.

Snead aspired for something similar when he became a first-time GM in 2012. Jeff Fisher, his then-coach, believed that they had the right quarterback in Sam Bradford. But they needed support to make it work.

The Rams made seven picks on receivers over the next five drafts. They ranged from No. 8 overallTavon Austin) to No. 206 (Mike ThomasThey also tried to improve their corps through free agency.

Snead admits that he wasn't “good enough at my job yet” in order to fully understand the role and feels that he did Bradford a disservice by not being able to get the job right.

Snead stated that if Sam was alive today, he would have to apologize for his early days. “He was gifted. He deserved precise receivers. He deserved to be recognized. Robert Woods. While I don't think you can find Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp in every draft, it is possible. But he deserves precise receivers.”

Sean McVay, the 2017 coach, quickly identified weaknesses in receivers and recommended improvements. Snead was his first stop and quickly erased any evaluation grey areas.

McVay made it clear that he was looking for versatility, adaptability and willingness to block in each position.

The old system that placed an emphasis on height, weight, and speed was abandoned in favor of a simpler one. Can the player reach where he is supposed to, when he should? Can he get open? Can he catch a ball?

Woods was the first player that the Rams signed in 2017. Woods was followed by Kupp, who they selected in the third round. Both were able to fit into the Snead-style “skill over talent” ethos.

Snead explained, “They went to that wide receiver area, and since then, they have set the standard.” “The culture that exists in that room is most likely as rare and unique as any wide receiver room within the NFL.”

The Rams have not wavered in their dedication to the position. They traded even after Kupp and Woods were signed. Sammy WatkinsThey also acquired Watkins' free agency rights the next offseason. Brandin Cooks. Beckham was signed by the Rams just before Woods suffered an ACL tear that ended his season in November.

The Rams have spent $137.810,910 since McVay arrived on the scene to acquire receivers. Not coincidentally, the Bengals spent more cash on the position than the Rams during this time.

The results speak for them selves. From 2008 to 2016, Rams wideouts were 32nd in yards per recieved and 30th among touchdowns. Rams wideouts rank second in yards, 12th on yards per reception, and sixth in touchdowns since 2017.

McVay explained, “You need to almost have complementary parts of one another like a basketball team.” “They are great rivals who love football, and you're checking the box together with all the guys that we have.”

Spread the wealth

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Cooper Kupp is the Fantasy Focus team's unanimous fantasy MVP.

It doesn't matter what you do if there aren't players like Bruce who were willing to share the wealth. This is why Snead loves to tell the story about how Beckham got to Los Angeles.

After cornerback Jalen RamseyBeckham started to recruit, the Rams were in the mix but Beckham wanted Jefferson, Woods and Kupp to confirm his acceptance. Without hesitation, Kupp & Co. signed off, and Beckham embraced a role that quickly gained importance after Woods' injury.

This has resulted in a receivers' room that is eager to compete. The wideouts have a constant competition to see who can record the fastest time using the GPS tracker for those routes.

All this is necessary to get the Rams' receivers back on track. It is likely to play an important role in how the Super Bowl unfolds.

Bruce and Holt were the last pair to win the Lombardi Trophy for the Rams. They had 100 receiving yards and scored a touchdown during the Super Bowl. The 1999 Rams are the only Super Bowl champ to have been held below 50 rushing yards (29).

If the Rams decide to raise the Lombardi once again, it could come down to where they started. Kupp could hold the key. Beckham might be the one. It could also be Jefferson. It could be one of the above or another.

It will not happen by chance.

Bruce stated that he feels there's more to greatness when a player is willing to sacrifice some numbers for the good of the team. You're still a great player, and if necessary, you can take over a quarter. But at the same, spreading the wealth and making sure everyone is eating. Making sure the other guys are satisfied. This is a good thing. This is what propels teams to Super Bowl success.

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