Are St. Louis Rams Returning To "The Greatest Show On Turf"?

By Bryan Zarpentine
Tim Heitman – USATODAY Sports

Judging by their selections in the 2013 NFL Draft, especially on the offensive side of the ball, the St. Louis Rams may be looking to return to the days of old when they were “The Greatest Show On Turf”. It’s been over a decade since the Rams unleashed an unstoppable offensive force on the league that was led by Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, and Torry Holt, but the organization is showing signs of returning to that speed-based lightning-quick offense.

The Rams are content to move forward with Sam Bradford as their quarterback, at least for the foreseeable future, and now they are in the midst of overhauling their corps of wide receivers. It started when they let Danny Amendola sign elsewhere, and continued during the draft when they traded up to the eighth overall pick to take West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Tavon Austin. It was no secret that the Rams coveted Austin heading into the draft, but trading up to get him reinforced how much they wanted to make him a focal point of their offense moving forward, indicating a renewed importance on speed for the Rams offensively.

The next step was drafting Austin’s West Virginia teammate, Stedman Bailey, another undersized but speedy wide receiver, later in the draft. With both Austin and Bailey in the fold, the Rams added an incredible amount of speed to their offense in a short period of time. As most teams that have played West Virginia over the last few years already know, Austin and Bailey are a frightening tandem to face as they are both tough to grab a hold of and both capable of taking it to the house every time they touch the ball. The Rams are betting on this being as true in the NFL as it was in college, which is why they used two of their early-round draft picks on offensive skill players with incredible amounts of speed.

With last year’s returning receiver, Chris Givens, also possessing blazing speed, the Rams now have three wide receivers that can fly all over the place, especially on a turf field in an indoor stadium. These three speed demons, in addition to the loss of Amendola and power running back Steven Jackson, will give St. Louis a brand new look on offense in 2013, and an offense that’s somewhat reminiscent of the group that was in St Louis at the turn of the century.

We won’t know until this fall if this offensive transformation is going to pay off for the Rams, but the organization appears to be making an effort to return to the days of “The Greatest Show on Turf”. That will be something to look out for during the 2013 season.


Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at  He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer.  Follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him to your network on Google+.

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