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Thread: The Fire Within
-11-23-2004 #1RamTime Guest
The Fire Within
THE FIRE WITHIN
Congruence: The relationship between your words and your actions.
Walk your talk.
Talent is necessary however motivation is the fire that begins from a smoldering ember. Without fanning the ember into a flame, that ember will continue to smolder. The Rams have shown a smoldering ember that is capable of roaring into a bonfire. This was apparent in the final minutes of the Seattle game, in San Diego two years ago and against San Francisco in the final Monday Night football game of that same season.
So what fanned those flames into bonfires within each of the players on those days? My guess is embarrassment. Embarrassed due to being apart of a grossly underachieving team.
What fanned the flames of the New England Patriots when they upset the heavily favored Rams in the Superbowl? My guess is urgency.
I also theorize that someone on that team (Probably Belichick) saw the urgency and implored that urgency throughout the entire squad.
It seems that Mike Martz has recently discovered that talent alone is not enough. It took the Rams to drop to the parity level as far as talent before he emphasized the importance of getting his team up for games.
Only after the loss in Miami did he come out and talk about intensity with intensity. I donít know if anyone else has realized this but the recent articles from the Post Dispatch along with ďMartz on the Mikeďhave shown a noticeable escalation in Martz talking about being up and ready for games.
It looks as if he has discovered a new tool in coaching and is now going through the adolescent stages of applying it.
What I am refering to when I say "adolescent stages" is hitting on Wednesday before the Seahawk game which to Mike Martz is what fanned the ember into a flame.
I think Martz believed that it was the hitting that motivated the team. I believe it was more then that. I think the team was responding to Martzís intensity more then the hitting itself and that intensity is what carried over into the game against Seattle.
My feeling is that Martz may have put to much emphasis on the hitting and never realized that it was his own intensity and urgency that fanned the ember into a roaring fire.
In sum Mike Martz may have had the illusion that all he had to do to get his team up was hit on Wednesday; not realizing the intensity he himself brought on the prior Week.
I know there are a lot of fans here on the board that measure everything by wins and losses. This was oh so very apparent during the Warner Bulger debates. At that time, I was not compelled to look at the W/L column to base my feelings on. I saw a very good QB that looked to be getting a bum rap and I saw another QB that had great potential who probably felt as bad for Warner as anyone did.
What I see now is Martzís continued learning curve. Even the biggest Martz apologists have acknowledged that he has things to learn.
Right now Martz is going through the learning stages of what I consider to be the most important entity in coaching which is fanning the flame each week into the fiery potential that this team possesses.
I wanted Martz gone in 2000 when the defense was less then a spark because I was afraid that the Rams would waste that talent and not win at least one more world championship.
Well now I donít want him gone. To fire him now would be reacting to that waste instead of looking at the present and the future. (Again I am looking at more then wins and losses.)
That talent pool has dried up and now Martz is seeing the importance of the fire. He is still here, we have invested so much in his training and he does possess some head coaching qualities above most if not all other coaches in the NFL.
I still maintain that if were going to get rid of Martz then we have to do it 4 years ago when it would have done some good. Well that is not possible now is it?
I think now is when we have to be patient. We have to watch the rest of the season and see what happens as far as Martzís growth in team motivation.
If he makes strides in this area then I think firing him may be the football equivalent to pulling your stocks out of Microsoft prior to 1988.
All one has to do is look at Lovie Smith and the Rams defense. Is it that hard to figure out why the Rams went from worst to one of the top defenses in one year? Isnít it obvious now that Lovie Smith was getting by on motivation more then Talent?
The Rams defense last year made up for their inability to stop opposing teams with intensity that ultimately created turnovers.
Now with virtually the same players we are seeing what lack of motivation and intensity brings to a squad.
I could be wrong and most likely that is the case however the motivation, the intensity or the fire within is what I believe has been missing since 2000. Now I am seeing an urgency towards fanning that fire. Albeit another learning curve for Martz, I think we wait and see how quickly he can fan the ember but moreover how continuously he can keep the fire from smoldering.
One thing for sure, Martz must realize that the hitting in practice was not the only reason he was able to build a bonfire.
Re: The Fire Within
I agree RT, but who on this team could you point to on the defense and say this guy gets us pumped up? Tyoka could but he isn't talented enough to play every down.
Man, I REALLY miss Fletcher.
-11-23-2004 #3RamTime Guest
Re: The Fire Within
If I lived in St. Louis and could attend practices then perhaps I could say who could. My answer to your question is very telling in that it sure as heck is not apparent by watching the team play on Sundayís when it should be obvious. In other words, there is nobody that I see filling Dot Comís role or even trying to fill his role. On some teams it's obvious in every game, in every win, in every loss and with players like London Fletcher and Ray Lewis it's every play. The offensive equivalent was one of my favorites because he lacked God gifted talent and tried to make up for it with enthusiasm. Remembers a kid named Todd Kichen?
Another thing I left out of the original post that may start an argument but I think that it is more important for the defense to be fired up and then the offense. Not to say that the offense should go to sleep however they are not delivering the hits that the defense delivers to propel the motivation throughout the team.
Re: The Fire WithinOriginally Posted by RamTime
4 years into his tenure, sMartz is now only getting around to realizing that STs are equally important as his long-past vaunted offense? 4 years into his tenure, now he is realizing the importance of preparation and motivation? The fact he has coached this long is testimony to the fact that he was a long-term investment.
If you want to use the analogy of the stock market, I think a better comparison is any of the high-flying internet stocks of 2000. They rose on early hubris and the circle-jerk mentality of their followers. The bubble burst and now they have to succeed on their merits. Sticking with sMartz is like gambling that the penny stock is going to return to the glory years of $100 a share. With his wins, sMartz has delivered some earnings, but that doesn't mean that stockholders will ever see that stock price rise to initial expectations under the existing business plan.
I say all this, again, not because I'm trying to make a case for sMartz to be let go. I have readily admitted that it could get worse if Shaw were left to his own devices and select some coaching dog as he has done in the past. But I say this to urge caution when trying to justify tolerating additional learning curves when very little thus far has shown a man to learn to climb the present curve.
So if you do prefer the Devil you know to the Devil you don't, then "Be sober, be vigilant; because the ... devil ... walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." - I Peter 5
-11-23-2004 #5SFCRamFan Guest
Re: The Fire Within
RamTime, I agree with your analysis on Martz. He seems to be living in the past too much. Rather than spend the offseason developing plays & schemes he would be better served learning how to develop a team. Motivation and a sense of urgency. You only have 16 games to make it into the playoffs. You can't develop a team over that period of time, but you can develop schemes for your team to adapt to in order to be successful. However, you must have a "team;" a cohesive, self-motivating unit that reacts with a sense of urgency and purpose. That is where he should start, IMO...
-11-23-2004 #6RamTime Guest
Re: The Fire Within4 years into his tenure, sMartz is now only getting around to realizing that STs are equally important as his long-past vaunted offense? 4 years into his tenure, now he is realizing the importance of preparation and motivation? The fact he has coached this long is testimony to the fact that he was a long-term investment.
You have every reason and every right and all the proof one should need in penning your reply. I cannot say I disagree; I am going to closely watch to see if he really gets it, and how fast and complete he can apply it. He needs to start with his buddy. He needs to light a fire under his DC a$$ and stop coddling him. He needs to call out Marmie like he has Landeta and others in the past. Sure it may simply e the final proof that what we have been saying fort years has been right on the money and it may e to late anyway, but Iíd sure like to see what a motivated Rams football team can accomplish under him.
Nothing use to irk me more then when people said, ďGive him time to learn, Itís his first season or itís his second seasonĒ. I screamed "At the expense of this talent?" I also replied many many times "There are only 32 contiguous people on the planet that get a shot at head coach in the NFL. Knowing (what ever the latest blunder at the time was) is expected from someone in his position."
So now that we have spent the best talent this team has ever seen teaching him why not take a look at what we bought and be sure that maybe just maybe he may have been worth the investment.
I say this because if he gets fired because he doesnít have what it takes to get it done then why in the hell didnít we do it when it would have done us some good? Its not as if it was not obvious then! In fact it was more apparent at least to me! Which pisses me off even more knowing I was right from the get-go? I donít want to be right on my past statements about firing him after 2000. I very much remember being cyber stoned and called a closet 49er fan along with every other anti loyal comment one could think up for supporting an online petition through ramsworld to get rid of him immediately before he squanders the talent. I donít know if I could live with that.
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