The Rams, who won their only
It was a similar ending in Anaheim, where the Rams went 23-57 in their final five seasons amid shrinking crowds and growing rancor, their fans angered by what they thought was a concerted effort on the team's part to disillusion them, thus making it easier to justify a move.
The current field boss is
The Rams have gone 27-36 since 2012 under Fisher, finishing third or fourth in the
Part of the reason for the Rams' struggles has been instability at quarterback, a position they sought to solidify by acquiring Nick Foles from Philadelphia for
But Foles was erratic, failing to hit open receivers and generate any semblance of a consistent passing game, and was benched in favor of
The Rams are owned by billionaire real-estate magnate Stan Kroenke, a Missouri native who purchased a 30% stake of the team to help pave the way for the move to St. Louis in 1995 and increased his share to 40% in 1997.
Kroenke became majority owner in 2010, after the death of former owner Georgia Frontiere, saying at the time that he would do everything in his power to keep the Rams in St. Louis.
His loyalty to Missouri eroded over the next five years. He dismissed his home stadium as second-rate, portrayed St. Louis as a dying town, and said the city's proposed plans for a new stadium would mean "financial ruin" to anyone who owned a team playing in it.
Kroenke's 2014 purchase of 60 acres of land on the Hollywood Park site for an estimated $101 million got the Rams-to-Los-Angeles ball rolling, and he secured the necessary votes from
Here's a little more of a primer on Los Angeles' new pro football team:
Are they winners?
The Rams have been mired in mediocrity for four years, improving from the dreadful club that went 13-65 from 2007-2011 but only enough to hover around .500. The defense, anchored by tackles Aaron Donald and
Thrown for a loss
The quarterback situation in two words: a mess. Foles, who passed for 27 touchdowns with two interceptions in leading the
The Rams raised eyebrows last April when, with the 10th overall pick, they took Gurley out of Georgia just five months after he had suffered a torn knee ligament. But the talent evaluators knew what they were doing. Gurley missed the first two games but still finished third in rushing with 1,106 yards and had 10 touchdowns, a remarkable feat considering the team's young line and anemic passing game.
Donald had 69 tackles, 49 quarterback pressures, 11 sacks and 22 tackles for loss. He might be the league's best defensive tackle. Brockers, who had 27 solo tackles, is one of the league's best nose tackles. Johnson, a lock-down corner who had seven interceptions and broke up 17 passes, is the team's top priority in free agency. Jenkins, also a free agent, broke up 15 passes, had three interceptions and made 64 tackles.
Gurley is 21 and, with superior speed, power and field vision, figures to be more productive with experience and better blocking. He had 11 gains of more than 20 yards — second-most in the NFL — and a league-leading five plays covering 40 yards or more.
Explosive and athletic linebacker
Tests in the West
Arizona (13-3) won the division in 2015 and reached the playoffs in 2014. San Francisco won the division in 2011 (13-3) and 2012 (11-4) but finished last this season after Jim Harbaugh, who guided the team to the Super Bowl after 2012, left to coach at Michigan. The
The struggles of Foles and the passing game led to the firing of offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti in early December, and wide receivers coach Ray Sherman, running backs coach Ben Sirmans, offensive assistant
Rob Boras, who replaced Cignetti, could be retained, but the Rams have reportedly expressed interest in
The Rams, who boosted their defense with several key first-round picks in the past five years, have the 15th overall pick in April. They might have a shot at one of the top two-rated quarterbacks in the draft, Jared Goff of California and Paxton Lynch of Memphis, or they could look to bolster a receiving corps that hasn't had a wideout break the 1,000-yard mark since Torry Holt in 2007.
Where to see them
The full NFL schedule for next season isn't out yet, and the Rams don't know for sure where they will be playing their home games, though it looks like it will be at the Coliseum. What's known is that the home games will be against Arizona, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Carolina, Buffalo and Miami, plus a game in London against the
Dan Reeves moved the Rams from Cleveland to Los Angeles in 1946, and the team remained in Southern California through 1994, playing 33 years in the Coliseum and its final 15 years in Anaheim Stadium.
During its Southland stay, the Rams had four owners — Reeves (1946-71), Robert Irsay (1971-72), Carroll Rosenbloom (1972-79) and Frontiere (1979-94) — 14 head coaches, including Sid Gillman, George Allen, Chuck Knox and John Robinson, and made 21 playoff appearances.
Among the highlights were a Norm Van Brocklin-led NFL championship in 1951 and a surprise Vince Ferragamo-led run to Super Bowl XIV, where the Rams lost to the
The franchise produced 15 NFL Hall of Famers, including defensive ends