PRO FOOTBALL : Ram Notebook : Lansford at Home in Great Indoors
Somewhat lost in the glare of Charles White’s brilliant season is Ram kicker Mike Lansford.
Lansford lined up three times inside the Silverdome Sunday for field goals of 48, 47 and 48 yards. Three times he connected.
This season, Lansford is 16 of 18, but more impressive is his performance on field goals of 40-49 yards. He’s seven of seven.
It is indoors where he is most at home.
“I love climate control,” Lansford said of domed stadiums. “It really makes it a lot easier to kick it in the dome.”
Lansford can think of plenty of reasons why he enjoys the great indoors. There is no wind resistance, no freezing temperatures to bother the bare foot.
Lansford, who equaled his season best with his 48-yard kicks, was in trouble only once. That would have been the second 48-yarder, which came late in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand. Historically, Lansford said, he has his most difficulty in meaningless situations.
Lansford’s kick floated toward the goal post, bounced on the standard behind the crossbar and fell to the ground. Rather than celebrate, Lansford jogged quickly off the field.
“I just kind of laughed,” he said. “I was just basically guiding that ball.
“If you’re having the kind of year that I’m having, it’s a stat-builder.”
Enough so that Lansford may earn himself a Pro Bowl selection.
Said Coach John Robinson: “I don’t vote (on Pro Bowl), but I think he’s a really good field goal kicker. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the guy in the five years that I’ve been here. Every time it’s clutch, he’s going to give it his best effort.”
Surrounded once again by reporters after his fourth consecutive 100-yard game, White was seen instructing everyone to go elsewhere.
“Those are the real heroes,” he said, pointing to the Ram offensive line. “Why don’t you go over there?”
Yelled a lineman: “Hey, Charlie, those guys are all Detroit writers. Why don’t you tell someone from California?”
Sure enough, when the Ram reporters finally found White, he gestured first to his linemen before answering questions.
John Robinson, who is becoming something of an authority on young quarterbacks, had this to say about the Lions’ Chuck Long:
“He’s in a learning process right now. In years to come, you’ll speak of (Bernie) Kosar, (Jim) Everett, (Vinny) Testaverde and Chuck Long. He will be considered right up there with the best of them.”
Ram guard Dennis Harrah, whose bad back has forced him to split time with Duval Love in recent weeks, played most of Sunday’s game. He left the game with two minutes remaining in the half and then again late in the fourth quarter, when the Rams had clinched the victory.
Afterward, Harrah said his back felt OK, but winced when he reached down to pick up his old beat-up garment bag.
“That bag was given to me by Carroll Rosenbloom 13 years ago,” Harrah said. “That bag looks like me.”
There was a time when Coach John Robinson would have considered not making the playoffs a huge disappointment. But considering the way this season has gone, he’s satisfied with getting four straight victories.
“That’s enough,” Robinson said. “After you lose a few times, you say ‘Oh God, just let me win.’ I’d like never to forget that. I’d like for my team never to forget that, the joy of just playing. I think there’s a genuine joy out there of watching each other play. I’m starting to like watching Henry Ellard and Ron Brown.”