The 1999 St. Louis Rams is the story of one of the best underdog group in NFL historical past.
The Rams had been popping out of season 4-12. He misplaced quarterback Trent Greene to a knee harm within the preseason. He was not anticipated to do effectively. As a substitute, he gained a Tremendous Bowl.
Kurt Warner has change into the poster boy for that underdog story, and for good motive. Warner’s story has been advised numerous instances: He went from bagging groceries to regular-season and Tremendous Bowl MVP. He ended up within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame.
Let’s not neglect about that unimaginable 1999 Rams group coach. The coach who took on that former grocery badger, obtained the group to consider in as their new quarterback, and oversaw a group that gained probably the most inconceivable Tremendous Bowl title ever.
The Corridor of Fame didn’t neglect the profession of Dick Vermeel. Finally he obtained the decision and he can be included within the orbit of 2022. He would not have been there if it weren’t for that unimaginable 1999 season.
Dick Vermeal had an unconventional path
Vermeel’s profession was unusual. He turned the top coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976 after two seasons as head coach of UCLA. He led the Bruins to a Rose Bowl victory in one among his two seasons. After shedding two to begin their time in Philadelphia, the Eagles took off. They discovered success and completed in Tremendous Bowl XV, though they misplaced to the Oakland Raiders. Vermeel coached two extra seasons with Philadelphia after which handed away on the age of 46.
It was burnt, she mentioned. Vermeel wouldn’t coach once more till the age of 61.
In between, Vermeal was a well-liked faculty soccer broadcaster for ABC. It appeared like he had settled into his post-coaching profession when the Rams surprisingly employed Vermeel in 1997. He was additionally given management of soccer operations. And for 2 years on, it appeared like the sport had handed Vermeil. He was 9–23 after two seasons. The gamers did not undertake his old-school mentality, particularly to the grueling coaching camp practices. He was at risk of being fired.
Vermeal appeared like a coach who had taken 14 seasons off. Then 1999 occurred.
Vermi gained his Tremendous Bowl
1999 was magic for Ram. “We’ll rally round Kurt Warner, and we’ll play good soccer,” Vermeel memorably mentioned via tears after Inexperienced’s harm. His new offensive coordinator, Mike Martz, helped out. So what was new was Marshall Faulk, which was acquired by Vermeal within the brokerage enterprise.
The Rams went 13-3 to defeat the Tennessee Titans within the Tremendous Bowl. Vermeal’s return nearly 20 years after coming in simply wanting a championship with the Eagles was effectively value it.
Warner got here into the limelight. Martz obtained a number of credit score for his modern offense. However Vermeil pushed all the correct buttons for one of many best championship tales in sports activities historical past.
Charlie Military, then Rams vice chairman for participant personnel, advised the Baltimore Solar in the course of the 1999 season, “He deserves one hundred pc of the credit score for the turnaround.” “He took the correct steps with the employees, with the gamers, with observe. He is carried out every part proper.”
Vermeel stepped down once more after the 1999 season. He would return for 5 extra seasons with the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and whereas it wasn’t dangerous—Wormie’s Chiefs went 44–36—it did not lead to any playoff wins. Vermeel retired for good after that.
Not like retiring from the Eagles for the primary time, Vermeal walked away from the NFL with a Tremendous Bowl ring with one of many largest single-season runs within the sport.
‘Successful the Tremendous Bowl does not change an individual,’ Vermeal advised the Delaware County Each day Occasions in 2014. However it modifications the best way everybody appears to be like. It is wonderful. All of the sudden you change into a successful Tremendous Bowl coach and that is the way you’re launched. However you’re the similar individual.”