Merlin Olsen was a coach's player. Punctual, steady, gifted, a quiet leader, a player you could always count on.
He was a standouHe was a standout as a rookie and thereafter stood out in every game he played for the Rams in a 15- year career. Every game. Fifteen years.
As a rookie Olsen was voted into the Pro Bowl. And in the winters that followed they never played a Pro Bowl without him for 14 consecutive years.
He had the physical qualifications of the best-ever defensive tackles of the day, as evidenced by the fact that he won the Outland Trophy as a collegian at Utah State.
During the off-season he earned a master’s degree in economics. It was Olsen's hard luck to perform for many mediocre teams in Los Angeles – he never won a Super Bowl – but he had as much to do as any other individual with glamorizing defensive football in the NFL.
Starting in the 1960s the Rams fielded one of the most famous of the front fours of that or any other time, the “Fearsome Foursome” of Jones, Olsen, Roosevelt Grier and Lamar Lundy.
Olsen kept order along the scrimmage line, often stopping the draw play himself or quickly identifying the screen pass.
Merlin Olsen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982.
Olsen's Hall of Fame mural.
Olsen's Hall of Fame bust.
Part of the hall's vast collection is this jersey worn by Olsen during his final season in 1976.