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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Bernie: In sizing up Rams, buck must stop at Martz's desk

    In sizing up Rams, buck must stop at Martz's desk
    By Bernie Miklasz
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Sunday, Nov. 28 2004

    In recent troubling weeks, head coach Mike Martz has offered acidic critiques
    of the Rams' special teams, soft physical play, and the lax attitude of his
    young players.

    It's been interesting to see Martz try to transform his team's personality by
    recasting his own image as a tough-guy coach. I'm not sure the players will buy
    into Martz as Bill Parcells Lite, but we'll find out.

    Martz has declined to single players out by name - save for roughing up punter
    Sean Landeta, of course. That's OK; anyone who pays attention to the mediocre
    5-5 Rams can easily fill in the blanks. The offensive line and defense
    routinely get pounded, so no elaboration by Martz is necessary. We don't
    require binoculars to see the weak areas.

    I'm no serial Martz basher. He has pluses as a coach, and I refuse to join his
    irrational mob of hateful, petty critics who won't give him even a small nod of
    appreciation for his successes.

    That said, I have to call him out.

    The Rams are in a state of decline, or chaos, or both. And Martz without
    question is the person most responsible for the distressing reality at Rams
    Park. Martz is more than a coach; he's a virtual football CEO. Martz was given
    considerable authority by Rams management. Martz is also the de facto general
    manager; he only answers to team president John Shaw.

    When Martz analyzes game video, he's seeing his own creation.

    Let's go down the list:

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Martz never prioritized special teams, and they've been inferior
    since he took over as head coach in 2000. This is no coincidence. Martz doesn't
    draft enough players based on what they might add to the special teams. He
    doesn't have the special teams in mind when he makes cuts and shapes his
    roster. He apparently doesn't worry about the special teams when writing the
    inactive list before games. (The Rams' two leading special-teams tacklers
    didn't suit up last Sunday in Buffalo). And Martz has allowed other assistants
    to undermine his special teams coaches.

    DEFENSE: Martz gave former defensive coordinator Lovie Smith a substantial
    voice in drafting players to stock the defense. Because of personnel
    miscalculations the Rams are left with an undersized, passive defense that's
    mauled at the point of attack. When Smith left to become the Chicago Bears'
    head coach, Martz hired an old friend, Larry Marmie. In fairness to Marmie, he
    inherited this collection of smallish underachievers from Smith, and that isn't
    his fault. Perhaps in time we will recognize that Marmie was the right hire.
    But through Marmie's first 10 games, Lovie's leftover defense has gotten worse.

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Of the 47 players drafted since Martz became head coach in
    2000, only six were O-linemen. And only one was drafted in the first three
    rounds. The Rams haven't invested in the offensive line, but they have used
    eight picks on receivers and running backs.

    The Rams' slide is no accident; too many draft picks have been wasted. Charley
    Armey has the GM title and does the extensive bird-dog scouting. But Martz gets
    the final word on the Rams' choices.

    Here are some unfortunate facts: No player drafted by the Rams and Martz since
    2000 has been voted to a Pro Bowl. Of the 15 players recruited in the 2000 and
    2002 drafts, only three are still with the team. Only 21 of Martz's 47 choices
    remain. Of the 24 players chosen in the first four rounds, nine are gone. It's
    difficult to overcome the burdens caused by the salary cap and injuries when
    you're missing on premium draft picks.

    So the next time Martz complains about his players, here's a reminder: He
    drafted the players, and he coaches them. When the Rams consistently won, they
    were a direct reflection of their head coach. It works the same during hard
    times. The Rams are a mirror image of Mike Martz, and we can't ignore the
    cracks.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
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    Re: Bernie: In sizing up Rams, buck must stop at Martz's desk

    Oh no! Bernie is calling Martz out! Whatever will Martz do now?


    I suspect... ignore him as usual.

  3. #3
    Yodude's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: In sizing up Rams, buck must stop at Martz's desk

    While I applaud Martz for his efforts, in all honesty, this is an attitude change that should have been fostered from the start of training camp, not in the middle of a season that started slipping away a few weeks ago.

    Granted the season is far from lost, but it's hard to right a ship when it's already half sunk.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

  4. #4
    RamTime Guest

    Re: Bernie: In sizing up Rams, buck must stop at Martz's desk

    I think Sherlock would e a good name for Barney er Bernie.

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