When George Allen finally got his chance to be a head coach in 1966 with the Rams, he faced a daunting task. Poorly coached (though there was talent on the roster), and having been the player personnel director of the Bears (later was an assistant and then defensive coordinator of the 1963 champions) he upgraded the roster with a series of astute trades.
Allen also assembled an excellent staff, especially offensive coordinator Ted Marchibroda. The Rams highlight film for 1966 was called "The Road Back", and is very appropriate for the third and final segment of this series of the best teams ever to not win a playoff game though compiling an outstanding won/lost record over 52 games.
|Tom Moore. Colorization by John Turney|
|Tom Mack and Ken Iman. Colorization by John Turney|
|Roman Gabriel. Colorization by John Turney|
The Los Angeles secondary was a cohesive, ball-hawking group led by all-time Ram interceptor Eddie Meador. From his post at free safety, he helped disguise coverages that stymied opposing passers to the tune of a 42.6 defensive passer rating in the 40 wins! In the 12
Though the secondary was sound, the linebacking corps was a key element in the success of the Rams. Whether dropping into coverage, or on the blitz Pardee (his birthday is April 19th) at left linebacker, and Maxie Baughn at right linebacker were savvy veterans who made many a key play.
Allen brought with him from Chicago a man who could teach all the Ram defenders the defense from the huddle and make the necessary adjustments. Bill George when healthy enough to play in his 15th and final campaign gave Los Angeles a blueprint for leadership (he was nicknamed "the general" in Tom Bennett's book) and set the standards for former Steeler pro bowl middle linebacker Myron Pottios to learn from.
|Jack Pardee. Colorization by John Turney|
|Deacon Jones. Colorization by John Turney|