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Ram Notebook : Lott Finds Forearms Fire More Than 49ers

September 15, 1986

Forty-Niner safety Ronnie Lott was assessed a 10-yard personal foul penalty early in the third period when he threw two right forearms into the face of Eric Dickerson after a 20-yard run by Dickerson.

Dickerson jumped up and bumped Lott.

"We had some words," Dickerson said. "But then it was forgotten. A couple of plays later I told him 'Hey, we're better than that.' "

Said Lott:"I was trying to get the team fired up. I wanted to get them a little more excited and wanted to create something. I don't know if it worked but sometimes you need to be a little bit more aggressive."

Mike Wilcher, a natural right-hander, used his left hand when he flipped a lateral to LeRoy Irvin after recovering a blocked field goal attempt by Ray Wersching in the second quarter.

It was a dangerous play, as Wilcher tossed the ball as he was falling down. Irvin ran 65 yards for the Rams only touchdown.

And if it would have failed?

"It would have been a long walk to the sideline if one of those other guys stepped in between us," Wilcher said.

Bill Walsh is a recognized genius in how to produce touchdowns. But when it comes to knowing what makes news, the man is lacking.

Walsh went about 10 minutes into his postgame news conference before mentioning that Joe Montana would have back surgery Monday morning and probably be lost for the season.

Walsh only addressed the situation when a reporter asked him specifically about Montana.

As Walsh matter of factly explained that the National Football League's top rated passer probably will miss the entire season, those in attendance went bug eyed. In minutes, the 49er locker room was pandemonium.

There were a lot of sad and gloomy faces in the 49er locker room. But safety Ronnie Lott preferred to take the route of the one angry man. He scowled at reporters questions. And he admonished anyone who thought that the loss of Montana would only affect the 49ers passing game.

"Joe's the most competitive person I've ever met," he said. "His desire to win rubbed off on other players. All players. We're going to miss that. If the other guys on this team could be just as half as competitive as Joe, we'd be all right."

The blocked second quarter field goal that resulted in the Rams' only touchdown of the game came after defensive back Vince Newsome sealed San Francisco's John Frank and allowed Jerry Gray to get through.

Walsh was asked if his line's performance on that play bothered him.

"Of course it bothered me. It's those kind of errors that can cost you games."

Ram Coach John Robinson, who was criticized in the press for overworking Eric Dickerson in the Rams' season-opening victory at St. Louis, had a little fun with some members of the media after the 49er victory.

Dickerson, who carried the ball a club-record 38 times against the Cardinals, had 78 yards in 19 attempts Sunday. So Robinson seemed more than a bit surprised when someone suggested that he didn't call Dickerson's number often enough this time.

"You're right," he said, smiling and shaking his head. "We should have given him the ball more.

"But you guys all kept saying we should mix it up more and so we mixed it up. We didn't do anything else very well, but we sure mixed it up."

Robinson and former Ram quarterback Jeff Kemp met briefly on the sidelines before the game and someone wondered what sort of words of wisdom were exchanged.

"I said, "Hi, Jeff, how you doin'?' " Robinson said.

So much for dramatic reunions.

Kemp, of course, was doing just fine for most of the afternoon. He completed 19 of 24 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown.

"Jeff won nine football games for the Rams (in 1984)," Robinson said. "He's a fine man and everybody here wishes him well."

Kemp, of course, led the Rams to those nine wins and a playoff berth after first-string quarterback Vince Ferragamo went down with an injury. Now, the son of U.S. Represenative Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) has an identical opportunity what with Montana out as a result of season-ending disc surgery.

Times staff writer Chris Dufresne, Steve Lowery and John Weyler contributed to this story.

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