Thrust into the lineup after starter Eric Hill hurt his right biceps before the season finale against the 49ers, middle linebacker London Fletcher did a decent imitation of Adam Sandler's Bobby Boucher in The Waterboy, making a team-leading 12 tackles. "He played at a different speed than anyone else," says John Bunting, the Rams' co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Fletcher is listed at 6 feet, but, says Bunting, is "maybe 5'10" in hockey skates." His lack of height and big-time collegiate experience—Fletcher attended tiny John Carroll University in Ohio—has prompted comparisons to former Saints and Panthers standout Sam Mills, an old teammate of Bunting's in the USFL. Fletcher had to persuade Bunting to sign him as a rookie free agent in the spring of '98, telling the coach, "If you bring me in, there's no way you'll be able to cut me." Now Bunting says, "This guy's much more than a diamond in the rough."