Sean McVay is building something special in LA, something that is giving me flashbacks to The Greatest Show on Turf. For those who do not know, The Greatest Show on Turf was the nickname given to the 2000 St Louis Rams. The team had an extremely explosive Offense and were one of the best to ever play the game and they had distinct players who filled their roles perfectly.
They had a Hall of Fame Quarterback with a strong arm, a dynamic and dangerous Running Back, Wide Receivers who caught every ball thrown their way, a Tight End who got to block when they needed it and finally an elite Offensive Lineman who led the by example and dominated at the point of attack. After the recent trade for Quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Rams are nearly there with what could be the newest incarnation of The Greatest Show on Turf. Losing Cam Akers was huge for their production, however they can get themselves back into the business of practically unlimited possibilities with one roster move.
Trade for Kareem Hunt.
Excitement grows in Inglewood
It is big talk saying that the 2021 Rams can live up to the lofty heights of The Greatest Show on Turf, however I feel if they added someone like Hunt they would be very close to bringing back what made them Superbowl Champions.
Matthew Stafford (Replacing Kurt Warner)
I mean this one has to be obvious, Sean McVay inherited Jared Goff when he took over the Rams and while he managed to succeed despite the obvious limitations, he wasn’t able to win the big one. Goff and that experiment is over and the Rams, in typical Sean McVay fashion chased what they want. Clearly happy to give up First Rounders, McVay could have jumped up in the draft to take one of the premier Rookies. Instead he showed he wanted a known commodity and chased what he felt he needed. Matthew Stafford had only just requested a trade when he was already in his Rams photoshoot.
Stafford gives the team a strong veteran presence, having already had a Hall of Fame career and still working in his prime. Stafford is far better than Goff and he took them to a Superbowl, but with his supporting cast, Stafford could easily take them one further. Remember what he did in Detroit with Megatron. He made the Lions a credible threat every year, and while they never really broke out, if he had a supporting cast like this one, the sky would have been the limit.
Kareem Hunt (Replacing Marshall Faulk and Cam Akers)
Before his torn Achilles, this was the spot locked up by Cam Akers. The second year back was ready to breakout and stake his claim as one of the best in the league at his position. These plans came crashing down before camp even really began when he ruptured his Achilles. Even the most optimistic fan will know that injury has him done for a significant portion of the season and most realise he will not take the field in 2021. The Rams have been talking up Darrell Henderson as his replacement, however Cam himself replaced Henderson before he could even try to win the job, so for me that is not the answer.
Bringing in Kareem Hunt is!
After this season the backup in Cleveland will hit free agency and at 27 years old he should be ready to hit his stride as a teams number 1 player. problem is, his past legal problems have meant he currently serves as a backup to Nick Chubb. We all know how talented Kareem Hunt is and McVay will too, bringing him in for one year feels like a no brainer. He should not cost the world, with or second or third round pick being about his price and you get a fresh, motivated player and Hunt gets to finally do his audition. Atop the depth chart in LA, playing for a prove me contract and maybe winning a Superbowl, this is the best chance he has at a career resurgence.
Rob Havenstein and Andrew Whitworth (Replacing Orlando Pace)
Orlando Pace is without a doubt one of the best Offensive Linemen to ever do it and that Gold Jacket is proof of this. Pace bookended the vaunted Line that protected Warner and the members of The Greatest Show on Turf. The seven time Pro bowler blocked for three MVPs in as many years, with Warner winning it in 1999 and in 2001, sandwiching Faulk in 2000. The league got put on notice during the 1997 draft and Pace set the pace for the Rams to really ball out.
His replacements in this version are Rob Havenstein and Andrew Whitworth. They are by no means the level of the great Orlando Pace but both are serviceable players and can help as primary protectors for Matthew Stafford. Having started over 300 games between them, they have the experience required to keep Stafford on his feet, and to open up holes for whoever is running behind them.
The Current Rams Wide Receivers (Replacing Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Az-Zahir Hakim and Ricky Proehl
Having watched Isaac Bruce enter the Hall of Fame in the most recent class, we were again reminded at just how dominant The Greatest Show on Turf was. Bruce is the fourth member of the famed Offense to enter the Hall following Warner, Faulk and Pace. At their peak they were close to unplayable, Bruce and Holt caught everything thrown their way and their production with the ball in their hands was legendary. Hakim and Proehl while not household names left their mark on the team.
Acting as Bruce and Holt in this lineup are Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, to receivers who put up excellent numbers with possession based game. We then have Van Jefferson who while somewhat of an unknown quantity after an average Rookie season will excited at the thought of catching passes from Stafford. Finally we have the one-two punch of pure speed with veteran DeSean Jackson and Rookie Tutu Atwell. They have a very similar game and Atwell could not be learning from anyone better with Jackson sitting on the cusp of a Hall of Fame career.
Tyler Higbee (Replacing Ernie Conwell)
Conwell is barely recognisable on the list of incredible players who competed for The Greatest Show on Turf, however his impact cannot be overlooked. A veteran leader in the locker room, his impact was minimal on the field, however his stamp was all over the team. They were accountable for their actions and always came ready to suit up and play ball, something Conwell helped to foster.
Higbee from both a player and a fantasy standpoint I could not be more excited about. He is primed for a breakout year, especially with Stafford under centre. He is alone at his position in terms of competition and he will be ready for short yardage situations. TJ Hockenson has quietly become the go to guy in Detroit and I do not see any reason why Higbee cannot match and surpass him with the supporting cast in LA.
Sean McVay, take the plunge and chase Hunt as he is the only piece you need for The Greatest Show on Turf 2.0 to be a reality.
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