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About Trent Green

I hate to run this picture with this story,
but this was the defining moment in Trent Green’s Rams career.

In 1999, Trent Green was acquired from the Washington Redskins to be the perfect trigger man for new offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s offense.  Green grew up in St. Louis, attending Vianney High and was going to quarterback the new rebuilt St. Louis Rams offense.  The Rams had brought in guard Adam Timmerman to help Pro Bowler Orlando Pace on the offensive line.  They had traded for running back Marshall Faulk.  They drafted Torry Holt 5th overall to compliment Isaac Bruce and Az Hakim.  There was a lot of potential for greatness in the Rams offense and it all keyed on Green.  And then came that fateful night.  (I do not mean to be overly dramatic about this, but this one meaningless preseason game changed the course of the St. Louis Rams forever.)

I didn’t attend the game as I had a concert to go to and the game was not even on live TV, it was on tape delay late at night.  So, I had planned on watching the game after I got home.  (It’s kind of weird that this happened in front of only a small preseason crowd and no one watching at home live.)

So, I watch the game when I return home and I see Trent Green dropping back and Rodney Harrison (the dirtiest player in the history of pro football, I’m exaggerating…slightly) coming on a blitz and diving in desperation right at Trent’s knees.  (When you think of Rodney Harrison, keep these words in mind: preseason, blitz, dive, desperation, knees.) Trent crumpled to the turf and pulled off his helmet.  Isaac Bruce came from the sidelines to Trent’s side.  When Bruce got close to Green and saw what happened, he slammed his fist down on the turf in fury.  Meanwhile, head coach Dick Vermeil and all of the Rams offensive staff came running out as well.  They all saw that the worst had happened; Trent Green’s season was over before it even started.

We all know the story from there.

I always felt bad for Trent Green.  I think he would have been able to pilot the Greatest Show on Earth equally as capably as Kurt Warner.  And after he returned from his knee injury he was stuck at number 2 on the depth chart.  He went to Kansas City a year later and had some good success.  He did however get a few concussions along the way.  He got another concussion playing in Miami and then he returned to the Rams to be their number 2 QB again.  I thought Green should have retired after his 3rd or 4th concussion, but to his credit he kept playing and I kept cringing every time he got hit.  Trent Green’s a good guy and I didn’t want to see him get another concussion.  But, he did not get another concussion and retired after the 2008 season.

It’s hard to say too much about Trent Green with the Rams, because he had such a strange career here.  His injury was tragic and infuriating at the time, but it paved the way for Kurt Warner’s emergence with the “Who is this Guy?” Sports Illustrated cover story and the Rams surprise championship in 1999.

Under Warner, the Rams became the first juggernaut team in the 2000s decade.  They flamed out quickly, but perhaps Trent Green is the only person who can complain about how things played out.  He won’t complain, but we wouldn’t begrudge him if he did.

Thanks for everything Trent.

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