Best Of 2002

Best Ram: Aeneas Williams

The best part of picking cornerback supreme Aeneas Williams as Best Ram is that it avoids all that Kurt Warner/Marshall Faulk back-and-forth. Who's more important to the Rams, Warner or Faulk? Which sight scares a Rams fan more, Jamie Martin or Trung Canidate? Yikes. The Rams are by far the best NFL team to watch, and that's because of the methamphetamine offense led by Warner, Faulk, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and on and on. What makes them possibly the best team in football -- last year's glitch-filled Super Bowl game is best forgotten -- is the newly revamped defense, masterminded by Lovie Smith and led by Williams. Born Aeneas Demetrius Williams (he has a brother named Achilles and a son named Lazurus), Williams was a walk-on as a sophomore at Southern University in Baton Rouge. By his senior year, he had tied for the national lead in interceptions with eleven. Named to the Pro Bowl nine times, he came to the Rams last year from the Arizona Cardinals -- yes, those Cardinals, with you-know-who still the owner. Last year for the Rams he made a career-best 100 tackles and returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns. Sure, coach Mike Martz's obsession with trick plays and his devoted observance of Air Coryell is what gets attention and puts points on the scoreboard, but for the Rams to defeat parity and again be the envy of the rest of the league, they have to play on both sides of the ball. Aeneas makes sure that happens. In the epic poem The Aeneid, by Virgil, Aeneas escaped from ruined Troy and drifted for years before finding Rome. This Aeneas may have spent too many years in the ruins of Arizona, but at last he's found the NFL version of Rome -- only this time, licensed minister Aeneas is doing just fine with the rest of his fellow Christians in the coliseum.

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