Rams bellyaching 4 months later
BY TOM E. CURRAN
Journal Sports Writer
Consider this the first of many shots over the bow of the upstart
defending Super Bowl champion Patriots. Asked earlier this week if he
felt the Rams were a better team than the Patriots, wide receiver
Asked earlier this week if he felt the Rams were a better team than
the Patriots, wide receiver Isaac Bruce,
a member of the vanquished St. Louis Rams said, "No Doubt. We knew
it. And they knew it. I guess both teams played outside themselves.
Not taking anything away from them -- because they had a great plan,
a great scheme and they outplayed us in a lot of aspects of the game -
- but we didn't get in our rhythm. We didn't move the ball like we
normally would so we kind of played outside ourselves."
The Rams are still dumbstruck that the first day of the rest of their
dynasty turned into their first day of explaining what happened when
the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI, 20-17.
"Nine times out of 10, we would've beat them," said Bruce, who
cracked ribs on the first series of the game and spent the rest of
the day ducking for cover. "But that day, they beat us."
The initial respect and admiration for what the Patriots accomplished
over the last nine games of last season will begin to fade in the
coming months. Expect "yeah, buts" and skepticism to fly.
St. Louis defensive end Leonard Little
told the St. Louis Dispatch that he could have changed the outcome of
the Super Bowl if he'd either forced a fumble by Tom Brady
on the first play of the final drive or knocked down a pass on the
second play of the final drive that he said he tipped.
"If I made two plays I should've made then the game would've been
over," he said.
And the Patriots' historic win still haunts St. Louis.
Rams' center Tom Nutten
said he couldn't get away from ads for the Patriots' Super Bowl
video. "Every time you see it, [you think], 'That should have been
us.' " he lamented.