Rams work on changing uniforms, but don’t expect to see anything soon
Cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and receiver Brandin Cooks will provide the Rams a new star-studded look on the field during the upcoming NFL season.
Barring changes from the NFL, however, fans will see the new players and their teammates in uniforms that have stirred controversy since the Rams returned to Los Angeles before the 2016 season.
While the Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars will sport redesigned uniforms this season, Kevin Demoff, the Rams chief operating officer and vice president for football operations, said the Rams would don the same combinations as last season, when the Rams won the NFC West and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
Demoff said the Rams and Nike have worked together the last few months in starting the process for a redesigned uniform and that the Rams probably would make an announcement about a timeline in the coming weeks.
“By the end of the offseason, our fans will know what the timeline and process will be and how to get involved in the jersey process,” Demoff said.
Since their return to Southern California after a two-decade absence, the Rams have been planning a major rebrand, including uniforms. The original target was 2019, to coincide with a move into their new Inglewood stadium. But the stadium opening has been delayed until 2020, so the Rams will decide by the end of this spring whether to introduce redesigned uniforms in 2019 or 2020, Demoff said.
The Rams had blue and white uniforms in the mid-1960s and then changed to blue, yellow and white in the ‘70s. The St. Louis Rams’ colors were blue, gold and white.
The Rams’ home uniform last season was a white and blue jersey with gold accents, white pants with a navy blue stripe, and a blue helmet with white horns and a white face mask.
The road uniform was most often the white jersey with blue pants that featured a white stripe. Against the Dallas Cowboys, the Rams wore blue jerseys and blue pants. Against the Jaguars, they wore blue jerseys and white pants.
Demoff said that after surveying the Rams’ schedule, he did not foresee a circumstance that would force the Rams to don blue jerseys on the road this season.
The Rams wore so-called “throwback” uniforms twice last season in home games against the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. The uniforms featured blue and yellow jerseys and yellow pants with a blue and white stripe.
Demoff said the Rams would continue to talk to the league about trying to expand the number of times they can wear the blue and yellow “throwback” uniforms.
The Rams requested to wear the uniforms for a Week 6 game at Jacksonville and for the home wild-card playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons, but the requests were denied, Demoff said.
“We have spent the year educating them on our fan base,” Demoff said of the NFL. “We forwarded them all of the fan complaints, the emails we get, so I think they’re well aware of our fans’ preferences.”
The Rams also wore yellow-dominant color-rush uniforms in Week 3 against the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Running back Todd Gurley, for one, is a fan of the ensemble, which he described last season as “something different.”
“Obviously just generic jerseys every game for us anyway, because we wear the white jerseys every game now,” he said laughing. “So it’s like we get to wear something different other than the throwback colors, but it’s just cool man.”
The NFL is expected to revisit the color-rush parameters league-wide this offseason.
The Rams’ uniform situation is one of several the league is studying, an NFL spokesman said.
“As we do every offseason, we are working with Nike and a number of our clubs, this year including the Rams, on various issues and ideas around their uniforms,” the spokesman said in an email.
Demoff said he understood some fans’ frustrations, and that the team was working with the league to come up with solutions.
“It was always with the idea that we’d be able to revisit it during the offseason when there’s more time to plan,” he said. “Hopefully, they recognize the challenge we have and appreciate the connection the fan base has to the blue and yellow.
“If we can avoid wearing our Navy jerseys next year, we will.”
Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein
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