St. Louis Rams of 1999 is one of the best underdog story in NFL historical past.
The Rams have been coming off a 4-12 season. They misplaced quarterback Trent Inexperienced to a knee damage within the preseason. They weren’t anticipated to be good. As a substitute, they received a Tremendous Bowl.
Kurt Warner has change into the poster boy for that poor story, and for good motive. Warner’s story has been advised many instances: he went from bagging groceries to an everyday season and Tremendous Bowl MVP. He ended up within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame.
Let’s not neglect the coach of that unimaginable Rams group of 1999. The coach who took that former grocery bag, made the group imagine in him as their new quarterback, and oversaw a group that received probably the most unlikely Tremendous Bowl title ever .
The Corridor of Fame didn’t neglect Dick Vermeil’s profession. He lastly obtained the decision and will probably be inducted within the class of 2022. He would not be in it if not for that unimaginable 1999 season.
Dick Vermeil had an unconventional path
Vermeil had an odd profession. He grew to become the pinnacle coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976 after two seasons as UCLA’s head coach. He led the Bruins to a Rose Bowl victory in one in all his two seasons there. After two shedding seasons to start his time in Philadelphia, the Eagles took off. They went on a streak and ended up in Tremendous Bowl XV, though they misplaced to the Oakland Raiders. Vermeil coached two extra seasons with Philadelphia after which left, on the age of 46.
He was burned, he mentioned. Vermeil wouldn’t coach once more till he was 61.
In between, Vermeil was a well-liked faculty soccer broadcaster for ABC. He seemed to be settled on his teaching profession when the Rams made Vermeil a shock rent in 1997. He was additionally given management of soccer operations. And for 2 years, it regarded like the sport had handed from Vermeil. He was 9-23 after two seasons. The gamers did not purchase into his old-school mentality, particularly the grueling coaching camp practices. He was at risk of being fired.
Vermeil regarded like a coach who had taken 14 seasons off. Then 1999 occurred.
Vermeil wins his Tremendous Bowl
There was magic for the 1999 Rams. Vermeil memorably mentioned by means of tears after Inexperienced’s damage, “We’ll rally round Kurt Warner and play good soccer.” His new offensive coordinator, Mike Martz, helped. So did rookie defenseman Marshall Faulk, who was acquired in a commerce brokered by Vermeil.
The Rams went 13-3 and beat the Tennessee Titans within the Tremendous Bowl. Vermeil’s return, virtually 20 years after coming simply in need of a championship with the Eagles, was price it.
Warner took the limelight. Martz obtained a variety of credit score for his revolutionary offense. However Vermeil pushed all the best buttons for one of many biggest championship tales in sports activities historical past.
“He deserves one hundred pc of the credit score for the turnaround,” then-Rams vice chairman of participant personnel Charley Armey advised the Baltimore Solar throughout the 1999 season. “He made the best strikes with the employees, with the gamers, with practices. He did every part proper.”
Vermeil left once more after the 1999 season. He would return for 5 extra seasons with the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and whereas it wasn’t dangerous – Vermeil’s Chiefs went 44-36 – it did not end in any playoff wins. Vermeil retired completely after this.
In contrast to the primary time he was drafted by the Eagles, Vermeil left the NFL with a Tremendous Bowl ring from one of many biggest single-season contests in sports activities.
“Successful a Tremendous Bowl does not change an individual,” Vermeil advised the Delaware County Every day Instances in 2014. “Nevertheless it modifications the best way all people appears to be like at it. It is nice. Unexpectedly you change into a Tremendous Bowl-winning coach and that is the way you current your self. However you are the identical particular person.”