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Bring back Mike Martz? What is Jim Haslett thinking?
By Jeff Gordon
STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
Thursday, Jan. 08 2009
The Detroit Lions cashiered offensive coordinator Mike Martz and installed a
simpler offense predicated on ball control.
A year later, the San Francisco ***** axed Martz and did the same.
So why does would-be Rams coach Jim Haslett consider Mad Mike a possible
candidate to return here as an assistant coach? Hasn’t Haslett proposed taking
the Rams in the same direction Mike Singletary is taking the *****?
The Martz talk is curious but intriguing. Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch
reports that Mike’s name came up during Haslett’s interview in Los Angeles.
Many Rams fans love this idea. Life with Martz is never dull.
Mike got great mileage from Marc Bulger back in the day, so he knows what
buttons to punch.
Bringing back Martz -– and his ties to the “Greatest Show on Turf days” -–
could play well from the public relations standpoint. The Martz buzz could
offset fan concerns about Haslett returning in spite of his meager success as
He could make the Haslett retention more marketable, should Billy Devaney
select Jim as the next coach. Mike’s return could help move some tickets.
Martz could bring Isaac Bruce with him and allow the good Rev. Ike to finish
his career as a Ram. He might even cheer up Torry Holt and inspire him to stick
around for a while longer.
And I don’t believe he would get goofy again with Haslett is change. Jim has
been around the block a couple times. He would run a tight ship.
Devaney would have Haslett’s back. There would be no turmoil this time around,
so unnecessary strife.
But . . .
Haslett has cited the Atlanta Falcons as a model worth following. That team
built its offense around bulldozing running back Michael Turner, giving rookie
quarterback Matt Ryan a chance to work the play-action passing game.
By staying on the field for long chunks of time, the Falcons offense kept
pressure off a so-so defense. That formula worked well enough to get Atlanta
back into the playoff fray.
This seemed like a reasonable plan for the Rams, based on what Haslett saw this
season. Get the offensive line on the attack. Keep those guys off their heels.
Let them muscle up with their run blocking. Simplify their lives.
Let the offense’s best player, Steven Jackson, do what he does best. Let him
pound away on the ground, catch the occasional swing pass and earn his big
This seems like an appropriate course of action. Maybe, just maybe, tackle Alex
Barron could turn the corner in a ground-oriented offense. Maybe Orlando Pace
could finish out his career on a Pro Bowl note in that scenario.
This is not the sort of offense Martz prefers to run. Even when he has limited
talent to work with, Mad Mike tries to press the matter.
He made Jon Kitna into a passing yardage monster in Motown and he tried to do
the same with unheralded J.T. O’Sullivan. Given Bulger again, Martz would
surely want to put the ball up top again.
Is Marc up to that challenge at this point? Would he be ready for the Rams to
empty the backfield, run four wideouts and dare defenses to blitz?
Shouldn’t the Rams give Bulger less to do next year, not more, while trying to
rebuild his confidence?
Another issue is the young receiving corps. Keenan Burton and Donnie Avery
struggled to learn Al Saunders’ offense last year. Would Mad Mike really blow
The suggested return of Mike Martz is great fodder for debate here at
STLtoday.com. Just the suggestion of his possible return is enough to stir the
As a practical matter, though, Mike Martz II doesn’t make much sense for this
Rams team at this point in time.
Re: Bring back Mike Martz? What is Jim Haslett thinking?
Haslett and Saunders must be very tight?!
By RamWraith in forum RAM TALKReplies: 0Last Post: -12-31-2007, 03:31 PM
By RamWraith in forum RAM TALKReplies: 1Last Post: -11-26-2007, 10:59 AM
By RamWraith in forum RAM TALKReplies: 0Last Post: -10-14-2007, 08:47 PM
By RamWraith in forum RAM TALKReplies: 3Last Post: -01-05-2006, 11:25 AM