ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Rams organization is mourning the loss of Merlin Olsen.
Olsen died early Thursday of cancer. He was 69.
Olsen was a first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Rams out of Utah State in 1962, when he was rookie of the year. He was part of the team's storied "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line.
Olsen was named to 14 consecutive Pro Bowls, was NFC defensive lineman of the year in 1973 and NFL MVP in 1974.
The Rams honored Olsen during a game Dec. 20, with a video tribute narrated by Dick Enberg, Olsen's longtime broadcast partner. Olsen did not attend because of his health.
Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom called Olsen a "towering figure" both on and off the field. General manager Billy Devaney says he was 1 of the best players in NFL history.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.