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    Five Questions: Rams coach Mike Martz

    Five Questions: Rams coach Mike Martz
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Sunday, Jun. 05 2005

    The full-squad minicamp this weekend at Rams Park marks the unofficial
    beginning of Mike Martz's sixth season as the team's coach. The Rams' former
    offensive coordinator, Martz succeeded Dick Vermeil after the Super Bowl
    victory over the Tennessee Titans in 2000. Martz has a 54-33 record (including
    playoff games), which makes him the third-winningest coach in franchise
    history. But Martz also has been a lightning rod for controversy and criticism
    during his reign. This past week, he agreed to answer five questions from the
    Post-Dispatch:

    Q: You've picked up several veteran free agents who potentially could be
    starters, including linebackers Chris Claiborne and Dexter Coakley. How do you
    feel about the offseason moves?

    A: This is probably as active as we've been. The combination of being able to
    make a decision on a guy, then actually finish it off, has been excellent.
    Identifying what you specifically need and then being able to get it is a big
    issue.

    The offseason hasn't ended yet, in terms of our procurement of talent. That
    continues. But we had some bullet points that we had to meet, and we met them,
    in our opinion. And after watching them on the field, at this point we're very
    pleased.

    Q: What convinced you that Steven Jackson was ready in just his second NFL
    season to take over for Marshall Faulk as the No. 1 running back?

    A: I think it's important for Marshall more than for Steven to have Steven take
    over. Marshall's role will be very significant. It's not limited. It's what he
    wants it to be. But it's important for Marshall to get Steven in this role so
    that he can mentor him and they can kind of feed off each other.

    It allows us to use Marshall maybe even in a different role, too, out of the
    backfield. Maybe both of them in the backfield. But the whole idea here is, as
    soon as we made that decision, it's not an issue throughout the offseason for
    anybody. Marshall suggested this during the (2004) season as a way of helping
    Steven, so he's not always looking over his shoulder and makes one mistake and
    he's coming out (of the game), that kind of thing. He's just ready to do it,
    and Marshall's ready to have him step into that capacity. And yet, this could
    be a 50-50 deal throughout the season.

    Q: You've already handed the starting right tackle job to first-round draft
    pick Alex Barron. Why make that commitment now, rather than have him prove it
    on the field later?

    A: For one reason and one reason only. When he comes in here and you say to
    him, 'Listen, I know it's going to take you some time to develop. I know this
    is hard, and you've got to earn this job.' ... On the offensive line, there's a
    time line that guys kind of get into. They get into a comfort zone where,
    'Certainly they can't expect me to learn all this and do this at a high level
    right away.'

    So they have a pace, if you will, and an expectation level that we don't share.
    The only way to move that up is to say, 'Hey, listen, it's on you. You've got
    to get ready. You don't have a choice.' And that speeds up the learning curve
    for him.

    Q: Are there players on your roster that you feel are poised to have
    breakthrough seasons?

    A: A couple of interesting things have happened. No. 1, (former wide receiver)
    Mike Furry on defense, we felt good about putting him over there (at safety)
    and what he might be able to do. From what we've seen in the offseason so far,
    I think he's worth getting excited about.

    Tony Hargrove at defensive end ... I think between Tony Hargrove and Leonard
    Little, with all the issues that Leonard had to live with and Tony kind of
    going through some things in his personal life that he's been able to fight
    through, these guys now have matured. With all these distractions gone, I think
    those two guys as a pair could be significant.

    The other guy on defense would be (tackle) Jimmy Kennedy. I think that he could
    be absolutely devastating inside for us.

    Q: Unless something changes in Arizona, you're going to go against Kurt Warner
    in Week 2. Is that going to be a strange situation?

    A: There's no question it's strange. I'm used to talking to him instead of
    seeing him across the field. That'll be real hard. It's like playing one of
    your kids.

    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



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    Re: Five Questions: Rams coach Mike Martz

    "its Like Playing One Of Your Kids" Do Most People Chase There Kids Out Of Town?

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