Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where Are They Now? - Returns

Last year we started the series Where Are They Now for the off season. I decided that we could try it again this year.

We'll start the series off with....

Wendell Tyler
In his 10-year NFL career with the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers, Tyler rushed for 6,387 yards and scored 50 touchdowns. But he also fumbled 64 times—more than all but eight other running backs in NFL history. "I either gave the fans a thrill or a chill," says Tyler, 47. "There was no in-between."

Overall wear and tear, including a knee injury, forced Tyler to retire in 1987, and for the next 10 years he owned a landscaping business in his hometown of Lancaster, Calif. After getting his real estate license in 1994, he bought, renovated and resold houses. Since 2000 he has worked for Century 21 Yarrow & Associates.

In his spare time he helps coach Marc's team. "I love being around the game," says Tyler, who with his wife of 31 years, Carmen, have four children: Candace, 31, Wendell Jr., 28, Megan, 23 and Marc 22. "I tell the kids that you have to have confidence—even if you fumble."

Growing up in Louisiana, Tyler dreamed of playing in the NFL. He started making his case to the pros in the final game of his junior season at UCLA, the 1976 Rose Bowl, in which he rushed for 172 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown dash, in a 23-10 upset of No. 1 Ohio State. The Rams took Tyler in the third round of the '77 draft. He didn't get much playing time in his first two seasons, but he broke loose for 1,109 yards in '79 and 1,074 in '81. Three years later, as part of a potent 49ers backfield that included fullback Roger Craig, he gained 1,262 yards and then was the leading rusher (65 yards) for San Francisco in its 38-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX.

But the defining moment of Tyler's life came on the night of July 4, 1980. He was in the passenger seat of his brother-in-law's car on a mountain road in West Virginia when the vehicle crashed into a concrete storm drain. Tyler suffered a dislocated hip and missed all but four games of the following season. "That accident changed me," says Tyler, who became a born-again Christian soon after. "I had taken my life and ability for granted. After the accident I realized there was someone higher than me."

He returned to form the next season, but he still had trouble holding onto the football. "I was always trying to go for extra yards," says Tyler of why he fumbled so often. "I tell my son to protect the ball. All good backs fumble."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Thank God It Is Over!

I thought I was glad to see 2008 end. That was nothing compared to this year. This miserable year just drug on and on and on, wasn't even sure if I was going to make it out with my sanity in tact.

Now it is time to lick our huge gaping wounds and take a look at the mess they call the Rams. To our dismay, the fans, we've come to realize that this was probably the worst Rams team to ever don those wonderful horns. The absolute worst. How sad is that?

We have no one qualified to be a QB
We have just one stud, in Steven Jackson on offense. We didn't get to find out about Laurent Robinson who looked as if he might have had a shot at being a stud.
We still can't stop the run. The brightest star on the defense was rookie James Laurenitis.
Our corners and safeties are too small, Bartell would have to be the best so far.
The only thing we seemed to improve upon, which has always been our weekness and that would be Danny Amendola for kick returns. We may have found something there.

So with this knowledge, what the heck are they going to do with first round draft pick? Some say QB, some say defense. I believe if you pick a QB in the first round, then you better be darn sure that he is good enough to start, otherwise forget it. I would suggest that the Rams focus on Suh of Nebraska, this is one guy that I feel could make all the difference in the world for the defense. He is an immediate impact player combined with Long and Laurenitis, we might just have a defense that improves on the spot with just one player.

As for QB, according to all the scouts this is a QB rich draft which means we could wait until the second round before trying to fill that need, even so, with a rookie QB and three pieces of dead weight on the roster, the Rams will still have to look outside of the draft to get a decent veteran on the team. (Ahhh had we just kept KW).

There is far more work to do on this team than it looks like Spags anticipated. 2010 will have to show some major improvement or Spags' days as a HC in the NFL could be numbered.