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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    By Bryan Burwell
    Of the Post-Dispatch


    For five years, Mike Martz has stood there firmly at his perch as the Rams unappreciated genius head coach, an unswerving example of pride and genius, arrogance and attitude, boldness and bravado. Even with his Super Bowl pedigree, he was forever the unloved interloper who could never do quite enough to erase the unpardonable sin of not being Dick Vermeil.

    There was always something about him that they just couldn't love, refused to embrace and loved to scorn. Yet through it all, Martz stood there defiantly defying convention, always doing it his way. It is what always intrigued me about Martz, always fascinated me with him. He was a man who spit at convention, railed against the status quo and broke convention with the zeal of a mad genius.

    Yet now, it seems that his greatest strengths have conspired against him. His defiance has become his biggest weakness. In these reeling times with his football team teetering on the edge of playoff extinction, Mike Martz is sounding a lot like a man who exposed himself fully to all his detractors.

    I admire his creative spirit and combative attitude. I did not believe this before, but I am wondering now how Martz can survive as the Rams head coach. If team president John Shaw was not thinking about firing him before, after listening to this odd performance at his Monday afternoon news conference, the thought has to be creeping into his mind.

    Martz used a 15-minute session with reporters to darned near condemn himself with his own words. In one odd stream of consciousness, he tried to explain why he chose to play quarterback Chris Chandler and didn't play rookie running back Steven Jackson. In doing so, his words spoke shocking volumes.

    Martz essentially admitted two things: He lost his poise and he has no idea what is happening in the game unless it is written down in front of him on his game-plan placard.

    First of all, he admitted he lost his poise after Chandler went into another meltdown in the first quarter. "I got very upset with (Chandler) in the game. ... I regret being that upset with him," Martz said. "I got unsettled, quite frankly, with the quarterback situation and it took me a while to get going. I could have handled that situation much better."

    Even if it was true, how could you admit that? How can the man in charge tell the whole world that he lost his poise, lost his direction and purpose, even for a brief moment? It's alarming to hear the head coach of a professional football team say that he flaked out in the heat of battle. Isn't that was he essentially what he eviscerated Chandler for doing against the Panthers and Cardinals?

    But then he went further. Much, much further. When someone asked him why the powerful first-round draft pick never got off the bench, particularly against a team that defends the run as poorly as Arizona, Martz said some of the most inexplicable and damning words of the day.

    "(The Cardinals) started out the game defensively with a great deal of pressure and we did not handle the pressure very well," he said, referring to Steven Jackson. "Marshall (Faulk) stayed in the game for protection purposes. All the things they were doing, I'm not sure Steven would have been able to deal with them, in fact I know he would not have been able to do the things we needed him to do ... it was fairly complex what they were doing from a pressure standpoint."

    However, a few minutes later, he criticized himself for not being able to adjust to the Cardinal defense for an entirely different reason.

    "I didn't do a good job of calling a game," Martz said. "I just did a bad job. With the pressure that was really simplistic in what they were doing, it was something that you should be able to deal with."

    Okay, so now I'm confused. Was Arizona's defense too "complex," or was it "really simplistic"?

    When pressed about Jackson not being in the game, Martz responded: "I wasn't aware of Steven not being in the game ... it was (running back coach Wilbert Montgomery's) judgement from a blitz pickup standpoint that Marshall was clued into it and Steven wasn't. ... Why Steven Jackson is an issue, it surprises me, and takes me back a bit."

    Again, he was asked if he felt it was unusual for a man who has so much control over his offense to be unaware of the personnel on the field, Martz seemed perplexed.

    "But I don't know," he said. "I don't know. How can I know? How can I call plays and do all that stuff and watch the defense? I just don't concern myself with that."

    And why the heck not? Isn't he the head coach? Isn't he supposed to know what is going on in all aspects of the team? If Martz wants to just concentrate on the offensive play calling, then he should demote himself to offensive coordinator. Otherwise, the head coach's job is to be CEO. He is supposed to have his finger in everything. This is his team. If he doesn't concern himself with all aspects of the game during the game, who exactly has that responsibility?

    That's precisely why special teams coaches can call squib kicks without the head coach's knowledge. Wow, when you hear some of the things coming out of his mouth, I'm not sure whether I'm supposed to scratch my head or pull my hair.

    He is fighting for his coaching life now and he knows it. The rumors are swirling that he has already contemplated resigning if the Rams do not turn this season around. But when asked about that Monday, Martz, as always, reverted to his old, prideful ways. "No, I would never resign," he said. "I love this job. I would never leave this job. ... No way, Jose."

    Ultimately, that may not be his decision.


  2. #2
    lakerams Guest

    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    wow!!

    that pretty much sums up the season, now doesn't it.

    I wonder what Jackson thinks of Martz after those comments.

  3. #3
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    I wonder what the team thinks after those comments. Has Mike Martz lost this team or do they still believe in him?
    Sprtsmac :football:

  4. #4
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    That's just plain scary.

  5. #5
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    Wow! This is disturbing...and plays right into the criticism others have leveled at him that he's not head coaching material.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

  6. #6
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    Quite a revealing article. It'll be interesting to see what repercussions Martz's comments have on this team.

  7. #7
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    I wonder if Martz will even be able to put complete sentences together at the end of the season. I know what he says doesn't translate very well in print, but this stuff is lunacy. The man is losing it.

  8. #8
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    Apparently this article doesn't bother the staunch Martz supporters who say anyone that criticises Martz either hates him or just gets off on bashing him.
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  9. #9
    Paulxxx is offline Registered User
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    Martz is an ass. We should have gotten rid of him a long time ago. With the team we had we should have won at leat 3 Super Bowls. Offessensive genious my ass.

  10. #10
    rampete is offline Registered User
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith
    By Bryan Burwell
    Of the Post-Dispatch


    ...Okay, so now I'm confused. Was Arizona's defense too "complex," or was it "really simplistic"?.....



    ..."But I don't know," he said. "I don't know. How can I know? How can I call plays and do all that stuff and watch the defense? I just don't concern myself with that."

    And why the heck not? Isn't he the head coach? Isn't he supposed to know what is going on in all aspects of the team? If Martz wants to just concentrate on the offensive play calling, then he should demote himself to offensive coordinator. Otherwise, the head coach's job is to be CEO. He is supposed to have his finger in everything.
    why burwell is having a problem with understanding the first statement is a conumdrum in itself...

    it's obvious to me that smartz used the words "fairly complex" in regards to steven jackson's ability to identify and pick up blitz schemes. then, smartz used the term "really simplistic" in relation to how he, the media appointed genius, saw what was being done to his baby o-line/qb...gee, that was really difficult to analyze...

    burwell must have taken a city college course in identifying a CEO of a professional corporation because he states near the end, "the head coach's job is to be CEO. He is supposed to have his finger in everything." the last i heard, CEO's don't bother with personnel issues below the junior executive level of their firms...should smartz have known which players took part in every play he schemes? one would like to think so, intuitively. but what does that matter? unless this is some new habit smartz picked up recently, it doesn't explain the potentially bigger enigma of how was he able to win those games in the past five seasons not knowing who is playing at all times, unless this issue is irrelevant to begin with...

    going off in a tangent, my personal take on the central role of a head coach is to be a leader of a group of men; capable of uniting them for a common cause, not dividing them...i think this has been smartz's biggest weakness in the past, in that he is misguided into thinking that the players will play for him and his cause if he babys the core veterans, especially in public...notwithstanding warner...

    i'm not compelled, by any means, to excuse or rationalize the thought processes of smartz but to write an article based on these types of premises make me quizzy...

    hell, i long for the days of a ram tough defense, inspite of a predictable and useless offense...

  11. #11
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    Hey,I'm a Security Guard !I'm watching three Monitors at the same time,but somehow I miss a Lady shoplifting in monitor two.Guess what??I'm fired!!!
    ST.LOUIS RAMS:THE MOST FRUSTRATING TEAM IN THE NFL!!!

  12. #12
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    "I love this job. I would never leave this job. ... No way, Jose."
    He may love his job (who wouldn't, considering what they are paying him), but if he truly loved the team, he would acknowlege him lack of
    HC-ing abilities, and go back to OC.

    We're finally seeing the real man behind the mask...
    "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie', until you can find a rock." Will Rogers

  13. #13
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    Well - I hate it when I'm right! The guy is melting down right in front of us.

    Now we have insight into the game within the game. Martzie is simply overwhelmed as HC. He is unable to adapt and adjust.

    Really, the game is simple (too simple for Martzie). Block - Tackle - Catch and hold onto the ball. Why does Martzie make it sooo complex?

    Yikes!!!

  14. #14
    lakerams Guest

    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    he can't help himself.

  15. #15
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    Re: Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him

    The genious cannot even use his mouth to get out of this one. He knows he called a terrible game when he needed to be great. Bad things happen and this team needs to move on. Personally I think he needs to address the teams and let them know "Hey I dropped the ball, we all dropped the ball. I take credit for these mistakes and want to move on." He needs to be honest with his players because they really do have that "I have lost all faith in this team look right now." They look flat and unisnspired.
    LET'S GO DODGERS

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