Quinn tops Rams' mark for sacks in single season

News-DemocratDecember 22, 2013 

— Robert Quinn got the hero treatment after the St. Louis Rams' 23-13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Quinn was carried off the field by teammates Chris Long and William Hayes after breaking the Rams' single-season record for sacks.

As he was being carried off, fans chanted "MVP."

"I just got finished with an interview and I saw Chris and Will walking back out," Quinn said. "I'm looking at them, and they hoisted me off. It was a great honor to break the record. The guys were happy for me, and I couldn't have done it without them. A lot of the credit goes to them."

Long said he and Hayes pulled the stunt as a way of getting some national attention for Quinn.

"We said, 'Well, nobody is going to pay any attention to us anyway even though he should be the Defensive Player of Year. They won't even talk about us on SportsCenter or ESPN," Long said. "We did something that was good footage, so they'll probably put that on and it'll help get him in the conversation, as he should be."

Quinn had three sacks against the Buccaneers, giving him 18 for the season.

"To get 17 sacks is tough, to top that is even tougher," Quinn said. "I can't do it by myself. There is no way you can get that many sacks during the year by yourself. A lot of the credit goes to my D-line and defense for helping me to get to that number. Like I keep saying, the Man upstairs has been great. I can't ask for anything more than that."

The Rams' old record for sacks in a season was 17 by Kevin Carter in 1999.

"What can you say about Rob?" Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "Very impressive when you take into consideration the history of this organization and the pass rushers and the Fearsome Foursome. All of that stuff. I'm happy for him."

According to unofficial records, Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Rams defensive end Deacon Jones had 26 sacks in 1967 and 24 sacks in 1968, but sacks didn't become an official statistic in the NFL until 1982.

Quinn said he got to meet Carter but not Jones, who passed away on June 3.

"I think the year before I got here they said he came back and spoke to the team," Quinn said of Jones. "I never actually had the opportunity to meet him."

Quinn got the record in thrilling fashion, chasing down Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon as he ran toward the sideline on the final play of the game.

Two plays earlier, Quinn hit Glennon as he was starting to pass. The play was ruled an incomplete pass, but it easily could have been ruled a sack-fumble.

Rams defensive line coach Mike Waufle slammed his hat to the turf on the sideline in disgust with the call.

"At first I thought, 'OK, we'll go get it next week for you,"' Long said. "They tried to chip us, they tried to everything under the sun to him and he just kept coming and made the play and now he's the record holder."

Quinn has a special appreciation for life after being diagnosed with a brain tumor during his senior year in high school in 2007.

The tumor proved to be benign, and after having two holes drilled in his head during surgery to drain the fluid that had built up around it, he was able to resume his athletic career.

"When I was 17 and told that I could be anywhere from being brain dead to never playing sports again, you start looking at life a little different," Quinn said. "You're not guaranteed anything in life, so take advantage and appreciate all the little things in life and make the most out of your opportunities. That's kind of how I live, day-to-day."

Long injured

Fisher said the Rams fear the worst with left tackle Jake Long's knee injury.

Fisher said the Rams suspect that Long has a torn ACL in his right knee.

Long was injured on the Rams' first offensive series. His knee buckled as he was backing up in pass protection against Adrian Clayborn. He was taken off the field on a cart.

Rodger Saffold moved from right guard to left tackle to replace Long, while Shelley Smith entered the game at right guard.

Quick hits

The Rams were playing their second game without wide receiver Tavon Austin, who was inactive due to an ankle injury.

Also inactive for the Rams were: Running back Daryl Richardson, guard Harvey Dahl, cornerback Quinton Pointer, guard Brandon Washington, guard-tackle Mike Person and defensive tackle Matt Conrath.

* Zac Stacy posted his fourth 100-yard rushing performance of the season.

* Linebacker James Laurinaitis was credited with 1.5 sacks, giving him 3.5 on the season.

* By going 3-for-3 against the Buccaneers, kicker Greg Zuerlein has connected on 25 of his 27 field goal attempts (93 percent) this season.

* Rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree had a team-leading eight tackles and shared a sack with Laurinaitis.

* Former offensive tackle Jackie Slater was honored during a break in the action in the first quarter. Slater played 20 seasons with the Rams, with his final season being their inaugural season in St. Louis in 1995. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

* Nikko Smith, the son of Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, sang the National Anthem.

Contact Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

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