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    Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    BY JEFF GORDON
    STLtoday.com Sports Columnist
    10/04/2005


    Here is a shocker: Rams Nation did NOT take Sunday’s 44-24 loss very well. In fact, they have resumed their call for Mike Martz’s head. It may or may not comfort them to know that Martz was just as upset about the game as they were.

    Anywhere, here is another sampling of public opinion:


    * * *

    “You have got to be kidding me! How often do you ever see a double reverse work successfully inside the 10-yard line? Down near the goal line, this play is designed for a significant loss in yardage. Bad play call. I can't wait to hear Martz say, ‘That one is on me. I shouldn't have made that call.’

    "The Rams defense is atrocious. Larry Marmie needs to go back to college. When you hire a coach from a bad team and a bad program (the Cardinals), it should tell you something -- you get bad results. Marmie received congrats for the all-out blitz call that sacked Kurt Warner and saved the Cardinals game. What about the passive defensive calls prior to that play that put the Rams in that position? Bring back Lovie. He's got to be tired of the Bears by now.”

    Frank Ober, Lynchburg, Va.


    GORDO: Yeah, I’d like to see Marmie mix it up a little more to take some pressure off the cornerbacks. But apparently safeties Michael Hawthorne and Jerome Carter either got lost or decided to free-lance way too much in that game. Cover-2 is supposed to mean Cover-2, not run up and try to hit the guy that isn’t getting the ball.


    * * *

    “I am a longtime Rams fan from L.A. About a year ago I e-mailed and stated that coach Martz was a good offensive coordinator but a bad head coach. He proved it in the Super Bowl and has continued his poor leadership up to now. He has wasted two good years of talented players. Marshall Faulk is getting older and so is Isaac Bruce. Some people weren’t made to be head coaches and he proves it every week. I still say he will never beat the top coaches even if he has the better talent. . . . Maybe we just don’t have the patience you have in St. Louis, but you’re wasting some good talent out there. Time to make a change.”

    Jim Vazquez


    GORDO: The overall game management Sunday was suspect –- and that really eats you up on the road. We’ll find out, quickly, if the guys want to play for him. He turned up the heat on the players. Let’s see how they respond in Game 5. This could be the swing game for their season.


    * * *

    “How many times is Martz going to shrug off his stupidity and say, ‘that was a coaching mistake, we'll fix that’, or we know what went wrong, ‘we'll fix it . . . ’ FIX IT ALREADY MARTZ! I'm tired of hearing the excuses! With all the talent the Rams have had on this team since 1999, they should have at least three Super Bowl rings. I think if Dick Vermeil were still there, they would.

    Michael Merwin, Hoosick Falls, N.Y.


    GORDO: Well, Vermeil has had plenty of his own issues in Kansas City. And he had plenty of issues before the ’99 breakout. So we can’t assume this team would have continued winning titles on his watch. He hasn’t proven himself to be another Bill Belichick in this salary-cap era,


    * * *

    “I've been on the fence with Martz. I'll admit right off the bat that over the years I have enjoyed the exciting plays he's been responsible for and think he can be a great, creative offensive mind. But this game dissolved any remaining support I had for him.

    “When you're inside an opponent's 10-yard line, clearly in field goal range with a chance to make it 27-25 with a touchdown, you don't try to get cute. You go to the basics, which have been proven to work over the course of decades of football. Unfortunately, Martz is always determined to win the flashy way -- to win ‘his’ way-- and the interests of the team and fans all fall by the wayside.

    “I am convinced that with all of the talent on this team, any solid coach could win with meat-and-potatoes play calling. I'm done with the craving for flashy, highlight reel plays that work about every now and then. I want to see the best chance for this team to succeed, and Martz's creativity has outgrown plain and simple rationale.”

    Ben Scherliss


    GORDO: That was a strange, strange call that close to the end zone. The Rams keep saying it would have worked had there not been a fumble. And there may not have been a fumble had Faulk been in the game to execute the pitch. Instead, the play broke down and the play stands as a symbol of all the things fans dislike about Martz.


    * * *

    “Are you tired of hearing Martz claim responsibility for picks, and this time a fumble? Why can't this guy just for once tell us all that his PLAYERS made a mistake? I swear to God he just doesn't WANT to see things that everybody else does, which tells me that this so-called genius is about as . . . let's just say this: stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of ignorance. ‘Nuff said.”

    T. L. Schesky


    GORDO: Actually, Mike did throw some players under the bus at his Monday news conference. Although he didn’t name names, it WAS refreshing.


  2. #2
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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    GORDO: Yeah, I’d like to see Marmie mix it up a little more to take some pressure off the cornerbacks. But apparently safeties Michael Hawthorne and Jerome Carter either got lost or decided to free-lance way too much in that game. Cover-2 is supposed to mean Cover-2, not run up and try to hit the guy that isn’t getting the ball.
    Score one for Gordon, excellent call Gordo.
    With all the talent the Rams have had on this team since 1999, they should have at least three Super Bowl rings.
    How anyone can assume that this team is/has been so uber-talented that three Lombardis is a given is beyond me? The talent level between NFL team #1 and NFL team #32 isn't that great. No team is so talented that their fans should EXPECT 3 super bowls in 5 years. To believe in such says more about the misalignment of fans' expectations than it does about team performance.
    I am convinced that with all of the talent on this team, any solid coach could win with meat-and-potatoes play calling.
    Actually with this team, meat-and-potatoes play calling would get us killed. Our interior O-line is not physical enough to run between tackles at this point, and short crossing patterns with our receivers would cause more wear and tear which will lead to more injuries, more turnovers, and absolutely waste their talents......speed and hands. This team was built for high risk, high reward vertical play, not the "meat-and-potatoes".
    Unfortunately, Martz is always determined to win the flashy way -- to win ‘his’ way-- and the interests of the team and fans all fall by the wayside.
    Since when do we as fans have the first clue what is in the best interest of this team. Martz has no clue how to do our jobs, so maybe it's time to realize we have no clue how to do his. And, I pray that this team NEVER makes decisions based on the best interest of the fans. Screw us, who cares what we think? I certainly hope Martz doesn't.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    I don't really think that one play hurt us all that much and I've been one of Martz's biggest supporters on the Internet. However, some things are glaring that haven't been fixed on his watch.

    1. Special Teams have been a killer for 5 years now.
    2. The Defense just doesn't really scare anyone. Ever under Martz.
    3. I don't think we need to run the ball thirty times, but twenty wouldn't be bad.

    He's starting to even frustrate me.

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    We’ll find out, quickly, if the guys want to play for him. He turned up the heat on the players. Let’s see how they respond in Game 5.
    This quote intrigued me. Besides calling out some players (without using their names), what has Martz done this week that might "light a fire"?
    This space for rent...

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    He had a team meeting as soon as they got off the plane at Rams Park.

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    Wooo... Not the dreaded meeting after a long flight... I feel for the players.
    This space for rent...

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    Should he have made them run wind sprints or something?

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    Quote Originally Posted by thoey
    Wooo... Not the dreaded meeting after a long flight... I feel for the players.
    I'm curious as to what you would want him to do.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    I'm curious as to what you would want him to do.
    Kidnap their first born. :tongue:
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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    Well, seeing how the airport is a whole five minutes or so from Rams Park I can see your sarcasm. However, they just got beat up by the Giants. Beat up. You're tired. You just want to go home and go relax or to bed. No, Coach wants to have a meeting. How long? I don't know. However, 1 minute was considered too long to some of those knuckleheads on the Rams.

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    Thanks TX, for understanding that in the context that I meant it. This team needs some fire. Whether it is through wind sprints, butt chewing, fines, what ever.

    They get payed to play a game. That should be all the motivation they need.
    This space for rent...

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    They get payed to play a game. That should be all the motivation they need.
    So then motivation is not the responsibility of Martz?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    I believe it is the coaches job to provide the players with what ever they need to succeed. If they lack heart, then yes, it is his job to either provide that heart to them, or get rid of them.
    This space for rent...

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    I never made it past high school ball, but laps are always good motivators. First, they get/keep you in shape. Second, they're mind-numbingly boring so usually, players do what they have to to stay out of doing them. Lastly, it's embarrassing. If you're doing laps, everyone knows you screwed up.

    As far as the 3 Super Bowl expectation, it's not really that out of line. The post said "since 1999" so one SB's already in the bag. The second, should have been won in most people's estimation. The third one is the stretch in expectation but hardly unrealistic or lofty if you agree with points 1 and 2. "If" the Rams had won those first two, an additional SB appearance in one of the remaining four seasons since 1999 would have almost been expected wouldn't it?

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head

    Quote Originally Posted by thoey
    I believe it is the coaches job to provide the players with what ever they need to succeed. If they lack heart, then yes, it is his job to either provide that heart to them, or get rid of them.
    Can a coach give a player heart though? Isn't that something a player either has or doesn't? A game plan, physical and mental preparation in practice.....yes, a coach HAS to provide that. But I don't see how a coach could do anymore than that. And in the salary cap era, "get rid of them" is a lot harder than it sounds in some cases.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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