Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 38
  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Age
    44
    Posts
    8,230
    Rep Power
    61

    Emotional homecoming

    BY VAHE GREGORIAN
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/26/2006
    Mike Martz


    ALLEN PARK, Mich. Speaking in a hush as he prepared to leave practice last Thursday, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz grimaced slightly and subtly shook his head at the mention of returning to St. Louis this week.

    "It's just too hard for me right now; this is going to be a hard week next week," he said.

    Even as he declined to address it, Martz couldn't fully resist the sentiment and nostalgia at play in facing the team he was instrumental in taking to two Super Bowls, the team that fired him after last season.

    "It's going to be emotional, you know, walking into the (Edward Jones Dome)," he said. "Just the smell it has. There's just a kind of ambience to that whole thing. ... You see the helmets, and, you know. ... "


    His voice trailed off, and a moment later Martz politely excused himself to get back to work for those wearing the helmets of the team he's trying to revive now. While the Lions logo bears little resemblance to that of the Rams, there is a common denominator to his current situation and the one Martz encountered in 1999 when he began his second tour of duty with the Rams.

    Coming off a 4-12 season, the Rams were the losingest team of the 1990s in the NFL until that astonishing breakthrough season that ended with a Super Bowl victory. With a 5-11 record last season, the Lions entered 2006 with the NFL's worst record over this decade, 21-59.

    But with the Lions trudging to an 0-3 start this season, and their offense only beginning to blossom, those similarities for now appear purely coincidental. First with Martz coordinating and then as head coach, the Rams from 1999-2001 did things never seen before in the NFL -- and perhaps never to be seen again -- as they became the first team in league history to score more than 500 points in three straight seasons.

    "They were everywhere," Lions receiver Mike Williams said, turning into broadcast voice and adding, " '(Kurt) Warner threw for so-and-so yards and 10 touchdowns.' "

    For that reason, Lions players, including several former Rams, expect Martz to be welcomed warmly this Sunday.

    "How do you boo a guy when your organization was a doormat, and the guy took your organization and made them champions?" Williams said.

    Former Rams receiver Az-Zahir Hakim said Martz was his guru and the best thing to ever happen to him professionally, and figures he was about the best thing to ever happen to St. Louis Rams football, too.

    "I think they'll greet him with open arms," Hakim said. "They'll welcome him back home, because that's where we did it, you know what I mean? I'm sure it's always going to be love in St. Louis; that's just how St. Louis is. Once you have done so much for that town, you can't do nothing wrong."

    Former Ram Mike Furrey said he believed Martz was unfairly fired, and cornerback Dre' Bly, felt Martz was under-appreciated.

    "I mean, he basically made football fun in St. Louis," said Bly, who called Martz "the inventor" of the so-called Greatest Show on Turf. "You know, everybody was looking forward to seeing The Show, and now The Show is gone. ... People in St. Louis got spoiled because of the way it was."

    But by the end, the way it was was no longer. Inconsistent play, dissension within the organization and Martz's eccentricities became focal points. He was fired after the Rams went 6-10 in the 2005 season, in which he missed the last 11 games with a heart ailment that he says is no trouble for him now.

    "I feel good. I really do," said Martz, guiltily adding that he hasn't been diligent about his newly prescribed diet and exercise routines. "I'd like to tell you that I am (doing them), but I'm not. But don't tell the doctor. ...

    "Once we get on our feet here and everyone's on the same page, and I think that will happen, I'll do it. ... I just can't fall back into those bad habits."

    If concentrating on his health is contingent on the Lions gelling on offense, Martz may be some weeks away. The Lions sputtered offensively in their first two games, plagued by penalties that Martz edgily addressed last week by saying, "Enough is enough. This won't be tolerated."

    Still, on Sunday the Lions scored 24 points against Green Bay and amassed 424 yards as quarterback Jon Kitna threw for 342 yards and completed 25 of 40 pass attempts.

    It was enough to validate hopes that the offense -- 27th in the league last season -- is on its way to new life with Martz.

    If fans aren't sold yet, it's clear that players are, even as they come to terms with Martz's impatience and often prickly teaching technique.

    "Obviously, he's very stern and can get after you at times," reserve quarterback Josh McCown said. "But when you get past the abrasive part of it and just get to the message of what he's trying to tell you and that he's trying to harden you and toughen you up, you're really thankful for it."

    Top receiver Roy Williams said Martz's mentality is what he lacked his first few years in the league. But perhaps no one is more appreciative of Martz than Kitna, 34, who spent the past two seasons as a backup but had thrown for more than 18,000 yards in his career.

    "I feel like I've got a new lease on life in terms of football," said Kitna, who considers Martz similar to his former coach Mike Holmgren in one respect. "Geniuses. ... 'A Beautiful Mind' is what I call those two."

    Not long ago, Kitna was concerned about his own mind getting on a wavelength with Martz, his voluminous and confounding playbook and the uptempo style that Kitna equates to the "gas pedal is always down. He never coaches with the brakes on." Now, he says, he's ready to accelerate.

    If the season isn't quite putting the brakes on for Martz, it is what he called "a breath of fresh air." Or, as Furrey put it, "I think he can finally sit down and not have anybody nagging him. He's back to being stress-free."

    If Martz wouldn't quite put it that way, he acknowledges that as a head coach he had gotten far away from what he loves most about the business.

    "I love coaching quarterbacks. ... It's a very personal and intimate level there, and I missed that I really did," said Martz, who has spent the past two games on the sideline instead of the traditional coaches' box perch. "I just get too frustrated upstairs. ... I just feel like I see things better on the field, get a better feel for the game. ... I feel comfortable down there."

    To what degree that reflects a desire to be a head coach again is unclear, though Martz would like to run a team again one day. For now, he's consumed with this one, even if he knows it can't be what the Rams had.

    "That was a special place in time, and that will never be repeated," he said, adding, "We'll have our own moments here, whatever they are. ... Whatever happens here has its own life or meaning. That's why you coach."


  2. #2
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    29 Palms, Ca.
    Age
    55
    Posts
    11,305
    Rep Power
    127

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    For that reason, Lions players, including several former Rams, expect Martz to be welcomed warmly this Sunday.
    This is going to be very interesting to hear. There was obviously an enormous amount of venom and spite aimed at Martz throughout the years that sometimes seemed to border on hatred. I guess we'll see if those in attendance at the game will put all that aside and give the man some love for the amazing things he did for the organization.

  3. #3
    ramstiles's Avatar
    ramstiles is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    surrey, england,
    Age
    60
    Posts
    757
    Rep Power
    16

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    Martz deserves to be shown respect for what he did in st louis

  4. #4
    Varg6's Avatar
    Varg6 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    3,617
    Rep Power
    43

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    Quote Originally Posted by ramstiles View Post
    Martz deserves to be shown respect for what he did in st louis
    He does, and he will from the players of the Rams, but will the fans like it? I have a feeling a lot of boo-ing will go on, I hope I am dead wrong on that one. The man doesn't deserve that, but thats what I think may happen...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  5. #5
    jkramsfan's Avatar
    jkramsfan is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Destin,Fl.
    Age
    50
    Posts
    3,507
    Rep Power
    44

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Varg6 View Post
    He does, and he will from the players of the Rams, but will the fans like it? I have a feeling a lot of boo-ing will go on, I hope I am dead wrong on that one. The man doesn't deserve that, but thats what I think may happen...
    i agree with you on that but i hope the fans of st. louis will give him the respect he deserves for what he did when he was there, it ended badly but that doesnt take away from what he accomplished.

  6. #6
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER's Avatar
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Surf City USA
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,306
    Rep Power
    57

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    Okay, I'm probably going to get heavily criticized for this but here goes...

    i agree with you on that but i hope the fans of st. louis will give him the respect he deserves for what he did when he was there, it ended badly but that doesnt take away from what he accomplished.
    Respect for what he did? What Mike Martz did was take over a team built by Dick Vermeil that won a Superbowl, and had the potential to be a dynasty, and virtually destroyed it. He failed to return to the big game the year following the SB, then got the team back a year after that and was favored to win SBXXXVI by more than two touchdowns, and lost it. All the while, pays little or no attention to the defense, while building his GSOT, and the team and organization begins to crumple around him because of his ego. Granted, he does know his offense, or should I say, he does know how to use Coryell's offense, and we had a great offense during his stay, but as a head coach? Does anyone remember the bad game calling? The poor use of timeouts? Horrible clock management? The inability to adjust his offense during a game when things were going bad? His hiring of Marmie? Bad drafts?Special teams? Turnovers?

    Listen, I don't "hate" the man, nor do I spit venom at him or would I boo him. I simply thought he stunk as a head coach. Great O-coordinator and X's and O's guy, but as an on-the-field general....awful. I respect the man, as a man, but for what he did in St. Louis? Not a chance. Best thing that happened to the Rams was giving him the boot while we still had some of Vermeil' playmakers. Hopefully, it's not too late to clean up his mess.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

  7. #7
    RealRam's Avatar
    RealRam is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    8,309
    Rep Power
    68

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    Martz deserves to be shown respect for what he did in St. Louis. -- Ramstiles
    Beautifully said. :r

    There were some very bitter times and regretful results in the latter part of his tenure as HC but ... the madness, the miracles Coach Martz was instrumental for at the helm of the Rams, we may never see again.

  8. #8
    Fat Pang's Avatar
    Fat Pang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    1,603
    Rep Power
    64

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    Mike Martz deserves respect for what he did in his tenure with the team as 'O' coordinator and head coach. I would hope he is afforded it when his current team visit the dome this weekend.

    Take Mike Martz out of the equation in '99 and we don't win the SB it's that simple for me. As for being a team that Vermeil 'built' I would have to disagree, although I know it's arguable.

    What's more, with no Mike Martz you get no Kurt Warner.

    I get a little distressed when people start saying that Martz 'destroyed' a dynasty. It's a very emotive term. People weren't saying he ignored the D in Lovie Smith's time with the team or that he was sytematically knocking the team down when we were in the playoffs consistently. You can criticise him for many things that relate to game management, his drafts and his choice of assistant coaches but you can't in all seriousness label him as a franchise wrecker. Nobody who has played for him or employed him has ever suggested such.

    For me, he was the catalyst who made it all happen for us in our rise from worst to first. A prickly character who would have been best served in his time as head coach by having a strong GM above him who was responsible for personnel decisions. Pencil in someone like a Bill Polian and I think you see a different approach from him along with more success.

    He deserves better from us.

  9. #9
    tanus is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    535
    Rep Power
    12

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    Okay, I'm probably going to get heavily criticized for this but here goes...



    Respect for what he did? What Mike Martz did was take over a team built by Dick Vermeil that won a Superbowl, and had the potential to be a dynasty, and virtually destroyed it. He failed to return to the big game the year following the SB, then got the team back a year after that and was favored to win SBXXXVI by more than two touchdowns, and lost it. All the while, pays little or no attention to the defense, while building his GSOT, and the team and organization begins to crumple around him because of his ego. Granted, he does know his offense, or should I say, he does know how to use Coryell's offense, and we had a great offense during his stay, but as a head coach? Does anyone remember the bad game calling? The poor use of timeouts? Horrible clock management? The inability to adjust his offense during a game when things were going bad? His hiring of Marmie? Bad drafts?Special teams? Turnovers?

    Listen, I don't "hate" the man, nor do I spit venom at him or would I boo him. I simply thought he stunk as a head coach. Great O-coordinator and X's and O's guy, but as an on-the-field general....awful. I respect the man, as a man, but for what he did in St. Louis? Not a chance. Best thing that happened to the Rams was giving him the boot while we still had some of Vermeil' playmakers. Hopefully, it's not too late to clean up his mess.
    Sigh, some people will never get it. You need to wake up from LaLa Land. I don't see how any reasonable person can say he stunk as a head coach with all of the success he had here in st. louis and I can't believe I even wasted my time responding to this post.

  10. #10
    bigredman's Avatar
    bigredman is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    El Paso, Texas
    Age
    57
    Posts
    1,815
    Rep Power
    61

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    Wahhhhhhhhhhhh....sniffle sniffle....Wahhhhhhhhhhhh

    Cry me a river.

    Kick his pompous ass!

    Show him respect for pushing Vermeil out of the HC position? Show respect for later taking a team to a Super Bowl and then getting all caught up in his own press clippings to lose the game? Show respect for his continued arrogance to refuse to change his offensive scheme, pay attention to the defense and special teams, and hire his untalented buddies to replace coaches that had enough of his bull? Show respect for his lousy clock management and stupid challenges? Show respect for someone who clearly had his head up his butt as a head coach?
    He had a great deal of respect in the bank as our offensive coordinator winning that Super Bowl. What happened after that drained that account with me.

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    Last edited by bigredman; -09-26-2006 at 10:02 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  11. #11
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    29 Palms, Ca.
    Age
    55
    Posts
    11,305
    Rep Power
    127

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    Wahhhhhhhhhhhh....sniffle sniffle....Wahhhhhhhhhhhh

    Cry me a river.

    Kick his pompous ass!

    Show him respect for pushing Vermeil out of the HC position? Show respect for later taking a team to a Super Bowl and then getting all caught up in his own press clippings to lose the game? Show respect for his continued arrogance to refuse to change his offensive scheme, pay attention to the defense and special teams, and hire his untalented buddies to replace coaches that had enough of his bull? Show respect for his lousy clock management and stupid challenges? Show respect for someone who clearly had his head up his butt as a head coach?
    He had a great deal of respect in the bank as our offensive coordinator winning that Super Bowl. What happened after that drained that account with me.

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    What do you really think BRM?? Is it safe to say your venom and spite border on hatred?

  12. #12
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER's Avatar
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Surf City USA
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,306
    Rep Power
    57

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    Sigh, some people will never get it. You need to wake up from LaLa Land. I don't see how any reasonable person can say he stunk as a head coach with all of the success he had here in st. louis and I can't believe I even wasted my time responding to this post.
    I can't believe that there are any Ram fans that think Mike Martz is head coach material. As I said, he can draw up some pretty nifty plays, but nothing that Air Coryell didn't, or couldn't do. As for all his "success".... how many Superbowls did we win with Mike as HC? I guess my definition of success varies with yours. Lala land? What the hell does that mean?

    You can criticise him for many things that relate to game management, his drafts and his choice of assistant coaches but you can't in all seriousness label him as a franchise wrecker. Nobody who has played for him or employed him has ever suggested such.
    First of all, I didn't say he wrecked the franchise, I said he destroyed our chance at a dynasty. The franchise will be around for a long time, no matter how many bozo's Georgia hires to run the thing. But from 1999 through 2003, we had the talent to win the SB, but reached it only once (with Mike at the helm) and then blew a game we had no business of losing. Oh, and do you not remember the Panthers playoff overtime game in 2003 he botched? Do you really think that any respectable player is going to badmouth a former coach, unless your TO?

    If a coach "can be criticized for many things that relate to game management, his drafts and his choice of assistant coaches", I sure the hell can label him a crappy head coach! For cryin' out loud, that's what a head coach gets paid to do, manage the freakin' game!

    ...and Martz couldn't do it.
    Last edited by RAMFANRAIDERHATER; -09-26-2006 at 11:55 PM.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

  13. #13
    Fat Pang's Avatar
    Fat Pang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    1,603
    Rep Power
    64

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    Imagine being as crappy as that and still having a winning record..............

    Not a lot of difference between 'franchise wrecking' and 'virtually destroying' a team. Destroying the Rams as an entity would be beyond even the diabolical genius of mad Mike I reckon. Besides, did we really expect that one SB win would give us divine right to win every game subsequent to that? I know I didn't.

    He was the architect of the GSOT, the brains behind our SB win, he made us look a lot better than we were for a while and he won more than he lost. I just can't throw insults at the man for any of that.
    Last edited by Fat Pang; -09-26-2006 at 11:58 PM.

  14. #14
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER's Avatar
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Surf City USA
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,306
    Rep Power
    57

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    With the talent he was handed, even Mike Martz couldn't screw it up enough not to have a winning record.


    I wouldn't consider what I said an insult. Consider it "constructive criticism."
    Last edited by RAMFANRAIDERHATER; -09-27-2006 at 12:02 AM.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

  15. #15
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    29 Palms, Ca.
    Age
    55
    Posts
    11,305
    Rep Power
    127

    Re: Emotional homecoming

    I've leveled my fair share of criticism on Mike Martz, but there is no doubt that he was a substantial reason we won a Super Bowl and had a wild, amazing, top of the heap ride for more than a few years. Although he never became the great coach I always thought he could be, I will always be greatful for the thrills and excitement he was responsible for.

    If I was going to be at the game on Sunday, I'd be giving him a standing ovation. It makes no sense to harbor resentment and animosity toward a guy that although flawed, created something that was truely special.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •