YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Rams Go to Battle Like in Colosseum

October 31, 2005|From Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Joe Vitt took over as the St. Louis Rams' interim coach with a no-nonsense reputation and just-the-facts demeanor. That doesn't put him above using some inspirational tools now and then.

Before the Rams' 24-21 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Vitt showed a clip of the film "Gladiator" to the players, to keep them fired up and fighting -- despite the absence of Coach Mike Martz and most of their stars.

The Rams got another big finish from the defense and a career game from Steven Jackson, who said he was ready to play immediately after watching the clip.

Jackson had 179 yards in 25 carries and scored the winning touchdown, Mike Furrey's 37-yard interception return led to the go-ahead score and the Rams stuffed the Jaguars most of the second half.

"You've got to be innovative and be young and fresh, new with it," Jackson said. "I think he's doing a great job of getting us ready to play. The juices are flowing when you go into the stadium, you've got 70,000 looking for entertainment and they don't want anything but entertainment."

Fred Taylor, who was questionable because of a bruised right ankle, had 165 yards in 22 carries for the Jaguars (4-3). That included a 71-yard scoring run in the first quarter. But he was limited to 51 yards in 14 carries after the first quarter.

"I feel as though there were some cuts out there that I could have made that I could not really get to because of my ankle," Taylor said. "It was like only one-half cut and go."

The Jaguars were hurt by two missed field-goal tries. Josh Scobee was wide right on a 44-yard try that would have tied the score with 9:25 left and with a 48-yard try in the first half.

The Rams (4-4) have won two of three since losing Martz for the season because of a bacterial infection of a heart valve and with Vitt in charge.

They expect injured quarterback Marc Bulger and receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce to return after their bye next week.

End Leonard Little, the team's best pass rusher, also should return after sitting out two games following the shooting death of a younger brother.

Los Angeles Times Articles