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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Landeta defers to coach on critique of punting

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Thursday, Nov. 25 2004

    In his most recent attempt to explain the Rams' mounting special-teams woes,
    coach Mike Martz pointed a finger squarely at punter Sean Landeta.

    The day after Sunday's 37-17 loss in Buffalo, Martz said: "Sean didn't punt
    well at all. And he hasn't for some time now, so that's a major issue." Landeta
    averaged 39.8 yards on four punts against the Bills. His net average per boot,
    though, was 2.8 yards.

    Jonathan "Freddy" Smith returned a line-drive, 39-yard punt 53 yards to the
    Rams' 5-yard line, setting up Buffalo's go-ahead touchdown in the third
    quarter. Landeta's next punt traveled 54 yards but also had less-than-ideal
    hang time, and Nate Clements took it 86 yards to the end zone.

    "Those always come back at you, those rockets that go down the middle of the
    field," Martz said.

    Asked on Thursday whether he felt Martz's criticism was fair, Landeta said:
    "He's the head coach, and whatever he feels is what the deal is. If he feels I
    need to punt better, then I need to punt better." Asked, then, whether he felt
    he needed to punt better, Landeta said, "I just gave you my answer."

    When punters are struggling, they normally recheck their fundamentals and
    mechanics. "If you think you're not hitting them well, you do all that, yeah,"
    Landeta said.

    The amount of blame that should be shouldered by Landeta, a 20-year NFL
    veteran, is debatable, considering the Rams haven't covered punts or kickoffs
    effectively all season. They stand 31st in the 32-team league in kickoff return
    coverage (24.6 yards) and 30th in punt return coverage (15.5).

    Landeta, 42, started the season with a rush. He was named the NFC special-teams
    player of the week after averaging 50.2 yards on five punts vs. Tampa Bay. At
    that point, six games into the season, his 44.8-yard average ranked him fifth
    in the NFL. His net average was 37.0 yards.

    Since then, Landeta's punts haven't traveled as far, and the average length of
    the returns has increased. In the last four games, his average is 41.1 yards,
    but his net - skewed badly in Buffalo - is 25.6.

    Overall, his 43.3-yard average is tied for ninth in the league. But his net
    norm, 32.5, is second to last.

    Talking turkey

    Martz put his troops through a 90-minute workout Thursday, then headed to his
    upstairs office at Rams Park for added preparation work for Monday night's game
    in Green Bay. His Thanksgiving dinner would have to wait.

    But that didn't mean he wasn't thinking about it. "Turkey, gravy and potatoes.
    I'm not real complicated," he said. Don't bother to pass the cranberries his
    way, though.

    "No, no, uh-uh, no," Martz said, virtually recoiling at the thought. "That's a
    subversive plot to undermine American culture, that's what that is."

    Pickett returns

    Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett was back on the field Thursday after missing
    Wednesday's practice because of a family illness. . . . Wide receiver Torry
    Holt (knee) and cornerback Travis Fisher (knee) saw limited action Thursday.
    "We're just going to let them try to recover a little bit, and then they'll get
    pretty involved in the next day or two," Martz said.


  2. #2
    adarian_too's Avatar
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    Re: Landeta defers to coach on critique of punting

    Quote Originally Posted by By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Thursday, Nov. 25 2004

    "Turkey, gravy and potatoes. I'm not real complicated," he said. Don't bother to pass the cranberries his way, though. "No, no, uh-uh, no," Martz said, virtually recoiling at the thought. "That's a subversive plot to undermine American culture, that's what that is."
    Well, well, well. Wonders will never cease. eM & eM said something profound which I can agree with. It must have been the 'shrooms.

  3. #3
    DJRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: Landeta defers to coach on critique of punting

    Landeta hasn't punted well, but that's not the only problem on special teams, the whole unit needs help.
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  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Landeta defers to coach on critique of punting

    No doubt. Our ST need to crank it up in every phase of their performance, NOW!

    I wonder how GB Packers are looking into our ST for this MNF game. We must be ready.

    I like Landeta's response. I trust he'll make it effective on the field along w/everybody else.

  5. #5
    evil disco man's Avatar
    evil disco man is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Landeta defers to coach on critique of punting

    They stand 31st in the 32-team league in kickoff return
    coverage (24.6 yards) and 30th in punt return coverage (15.5).
    Hmm. Better than I thought. At least they're not dead last.

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