Sunday, May 25, 2014
'Greatest Show On Turf' to Carolina?
By David Newton
The St. Louis Rams had one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history from 1999 to 2001. Wide receivers Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Az-Zahir Hakim and Ricky Proehl, along with the running back Marshall Faulk and triggerman Kurt Warner, were so dynamic that they became known as "The Greatest Show On Turf.''
Proehl, now the wide receivers coach of the Carolina Panthers, is planning a reunion.
Proehl, according to his Twitter account, wants to bring Holt, Bruce and Hakim to training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., to help develop his new receiving corps. Here's what he wrote:
"The Greatest Show on Turf'' was awesome, setting all kinds of league records with Mike Martz attack-oriented offense that scored 500-plus points in three consecutive seasons.
Proehl isn't trying to reincarnate that. The Panthers still plan to run a more conservative, ball-control offense.
But he wants to pull on the experience the Rams receivers had when they all came together in 1999 as he replaces the top four receivers from last season.
Perhaps he even sees the similarities the 1999 Rams receivers have with what the Panthers are building.
In Holt, St. Louis had a 22-year-old rookie that burst onto the scene with 53 catches for 788 yards and six touchdowns. That could be Kelvin Benjamin, the 28th pick of the recent NFL draft, for Carolina.
In Bruce, the Rams had a 26-year-old veteran that already had been selected to one Pro Bowl. The Panthers don't have a Pro Bowler, but they do have a couple of proven veterans in Jason Avant, 31, and Jerricho Cotchery, 31.
In Hakim, the Rams had a second-year player who had shown glimpses of potential but done little. That could be Tiquan Underwood, Brenton Bersin, Marvin McNutt or Tavarres King for the Panthers.
In Proehl, the Rams had a 31-year-old journeyman known for his precise route running and ability to make clutch catches. Avant and Cotchery probably would fall more into that category for Carolina.
The Rams went from 4-12 in 1998 to 13-3 and Super Bowl champions in 1999.
The latter is what Proehl ultimately would like to duplicate.
He hopes reuniting "The Greatest Show On Turf''' can help jumpstart that process.