Fred Dryer doesn’t live in a house or an apartment. He usually sleeps wherever he happens to park his white Volkswagen bus the New York Times reported in 1973.
“It’s not fancy inside,” he says. “I got my clothes and my bed in it, that’s all. But it’s home. Except sometimes I hole up in somebody’s house for a couple of days, up in the mountains or down at the beach.”
But as a Ram,, he conforms. Particularly under the new head coach, Chuck Knox, and the new defensive coordinator, Ray Malavasi.
“Our coaches are teachers first,” the 6‐foot‐6‐inch, 240‐pound pass‐rusher says. “With the Giants, it was ‘Let’s try this, and if it doesn’t work, we’ll try something else.’ But here things this year are really well organized. Last year, when Tommy Prothro was the head coach, guys were doing and acting the way they wanted to. There was no lesson plan. And when Tommy did say something, sometimes it didn’t make much sense.”
At a pregame meal, for example, each Ram was permitted only one boiled potato.
“Coach,” asked Dryer one day, “I think it would behoove me to have another potato.”
After a long thoughtful pause, Prothro replied, “I believe one potato is enough.”
“I walked away like I was a little kid,” Dryer remembers. “It was ludicrous.”
Now he’s permitted more than one boiled potato. He’s also positioned at right defensive end, which he prefers. Last season he played mostly on the left side after being on the right side with the Giants for three seasons.
“I feel I’m a better pass‐rusher from the right side,” he says. “I feel like I’m sneaking in the back way.”
Against the Green Bay Packers last Sunday, he sneaked in twice to tackle a quarterback in the end zone, the first player in N.F.L. history to record two safeties in one game. He isn’t likely to record another today, not with Tarkenton’s ability to avoid a tackler or to throw the ball away.
“I don’t remember ever being caught for a safety,” Tarkenton says. “But it always can happen, especially if Freddy gets a shot at me. I don’t think the Giants realized how sincere Freddy is about football, how much it means to him.”
I’d like to give a shout-out and a wholehearted “thank you” to Michael over at the Rams 702 Club for sending me some awesome stickers in the mail. Please check out their site for some really great t-shirts, beanies, pins, and stickers. If you’re in the Las Vegas area they have weekly family-friendly gatherings for all the games during the season. It really is a great organization, and if I didn’t live a thousand miles away I would definitely be a weekly attendee…although I’m proud to support them from afar in Texas. Keep up the good work, gentlemen!