By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Wednesday, Oct. 19 2005

Out of sight, but not out of mind. Tight end Ernie Conwell and defensive tackle
Brian Young no longer play for the Rams, but their thoughts are with the team's
ailing head coach, Mike Martz.

"My heart just goes out to his wife and his family," Conwell said Wednesday. "I
can't imagine what they're going through. ... We've been praying for Coach
Martz and his family - that he'll have a great recovery. And that first of all,
his health will be strong. I know he misses football. I know how competitive he
is, and what he means to that team there. So definitely we've been thinking
about Coach Martz."

Conwell spent his first seven seasons with the Rams before signing with the
Saints as a free agent before the 2003 season. After Conwell heard that Martz
had been sidelined with a bacterial infection of a heart valve, Conwell made
some calls to friends in St. Louis.

"When I talked to everybody, I think everybody assumed that it was something
that was going to pass fairly quickly," Conwell said. "But anytime you're
dealing with your heart, you've got to take that seriously."

Young, who spent his first four NFL seasons in St. Louis before signing a
free-agent contract with the Saints in 2004, learned of Martz's condition from
Conwell.

"I think Martz is a good guy," Young said. "I liked him a lot when I was there,
and I still do. I wish the best for him. I hope everything turns out OK."

Young said taking a leave of absence was a smart decision for Martz.

"But I'm sure it's killing him at the same time," Young said. "It would be hard
for me. It's something that you love to do. It's something that you have done
your whole life. To have to sit out during the season like this, it's just
rough for him."

Conwell and Young spoke with St. Louis reporters on conference calls Wednesday.


Martz is on the mend but down about loss

Interim head coach Joe Vitt, who is running the club in Martz's absence, said
Tuesday that Martz was feeling better health-wise, but was down about the
team's 45-28 loss to Indianapolis.

"He's bleeding for us right now," Vitt said. "He feels for us."

Vitt said he didn't ask Martz how it felt to watch the Rams-Colts game on
television. "I could tell by his voice, it wasn't easy," Vitt said.


Bulger, Bruce are questionable

Although he's not expected to play until after the Rams' Nov. 6 bye week,
quarterback Marc Bulger was listed as questionable Wednesday for the New
Orleans game. Bulger suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder
Monday in Indianapolis. Under NFL parlance, "questionable" status means a
player has a 50-50 chance of playing.

Wide receiver Isaac Bruce, meanwhile, has been upgraded to questionable this
week. Bruce was listed as doubtful in each of the past three weeks, missing
games against the New York Giants, Seattle and Indianapolis because of a turf
toe injury.

The only other players listed on the Rams' injury report were wide receiver
Torry Holt (knee) and safety Jerome Carter (hip). Both were listed as probable.

Because of the Monday night game, the Rams did not practice Wednesday. They
will hold their first practice of the week today in preparation for Sunday's
game at the Edward Jones Dome against the Saints.