"We do everything in a hurry," he said. "We get the backs out fast, and our quarterback gets the ball out fast, because our game is based on personnel matchups. If our third receiver is better than their third defensive back, we want to get the ball to him. Fast."
Swiftness is also the mark of the Ram defense, which is sometimes overpowered but never outrun--as it demonstrated again Sunday when a defensive end, Grant Wistrom, raced 40 yards to score with an intercepted pass.
Speed is the first priority of the head coach, Dick Vermeil.
"Power is out, speed is in," Vermeil said. "Since our first day in St. Louis (three years ago), we've been looking for explosive players, drafting for speed."
Vermeil's whole career is a study in speed.
In his second season at UCLA, where he coached in 1974-75, he had the Bruins in the Rose Bowl, where they upset No.1 Ohio State.
In his third season at Philadelphia, where he coached in 1976-82, he had the Eagles in the playoffs--and shortly in the Super Bowl.
In his third St. Louis season, he's led the NFC into the playoffs.
"At UCLA," he recalled, "I was a young man in a hurry."
The difference now is that he's an older man in a hurry.
It's sometimes erroneously said that Vermeil was on the verge of losing his way and his job a year ago--when he was 4-12 at St. Louis after a 5-11 start the year before--but the fact is that he was right on schedule.
Building jobs always take him at most two or three years--but they do take that long.
That's because he lays the foundation his way, bringing in, as a rule, but one kind of player: "the skilled kid who can run and is hungry to succeed."
Though that kind may be hard to identify in most NFL towns, it's a breeze for Vermeil because, he said, "In my years in college broadcasting, I got well acquainted with the great college coaches all over the country."
Today they constitute an informal but effective Vermeil network.
"When I call them up now," he said, "they know just what I want."