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Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's head
BY JEFF GORDON
Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
The mood in Rams Nation continues to worsen as the season progresses -– or, in the case of the Rams, regresses.
Naturally, fans want to fire coach Mike Martz, defensive coordinator Larry Marmie and about half the team. Here is a sampler of what folks have been writing to the “Letters to Gordo” bureau:
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“I have another take on this disaster. Cutting Sean Landeta was political and had the reverse effect. The Rams quit, plain and simple! The Martz Era is over. We lost to Miami, Dave Wannstedt is gone. We lost to New Orleans, Jim Haslett is going. Need I say more?
-- Ed Chandler, Las Vegas
GORDO: No, those were horrible losses. There is no shame in losing at Green Bay, but there IS shame in packing it in -– which Martz admits the defense did as that game deteriorated. There is still time to salvage the season, but how do you spark players once they are in this frame of mind?
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“It does not get much worse than this as a Rams fan. One can say whatever one wants about what things were like before 1999, but after seeing what Mike Martz has done to what could have been a wonderful dynasty is dreadful! The Packers game Monday night was the worst display of heartless football I have ever witnessed. Martz, he looked so clueless and showed no fire and the team followed suit.
"As much as I hate to say this, I firmly believe that the Cardinals with Dennis Green have a much brighter future at this point than the Rams do. I am not sure what can be done to fix this mess! It is a very sad time but at least we can remember the happy times of 1999 and 2001 . . . until the Super Bowl, when Martz's destruction of this franchise began.”
-- Craig Girch, Terryville, Conn.
GORDO: Let’s not get too eager to jump on that Dennis Green bandwagon. What he has done with his quarterbacks is truly bizarre. The Gridbirds could have jumped into the playoff race had Green not made the peculiar decision to try Shaun King.
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“Once again, we hear Martz say ‘We know what the issues are.’ He's been saying that all year but he can't fix it. I don't blame the players -- I blame Martz simply because it has been the same issues no matter who is out there. So unless the Rams stage a miracle finish and go 4-1 down the stretch, I would hope we've seen the last of Mike Martz as head coach. I think the team takes its cue from its head coach. Martz has a one-track mind: pass on nearly every down and the heck with establishing the run, defense, fundamentals like blocking and tackling and special teams. As a result, the Rams are a one-dimensional team with a great passing attack and little else.
“I am not surprised that over the years the Rams play on the field has gradually become a mirror image of the Martz mindset. As I have been saying the last three years: the Rams need to put Martz where he is best suited -- as offensive coordinator -- and hire a balance-minded coach who stresses fundamentals, minimizing turnovers and penalties and manages the game like he knows what he's doing.”
-- Mark Ferry, East Brunswick, N.J.
GORDO: I believe the Rams would run more, and run more effectively, if they had a better offensive line. That unit did not distinguish itself in Buffalo. At Green Bay, the Rams got in such a hole so quickly that Martz couldn’t keep pounding away with Steven Jackson.
As for Martz, fans want to banish him to the booth -– but his track record as a head coach blows away just about everybody since he took over for Dick Vermeil. For instance, look at the how the Chiefs crumbled this season on Dick’s watch.
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“Larry Marmie , Larry Marmie , Larry Marmie . . . vomit.”
-- Garin Bougie, Portland, Ore.
GORDO: At least the sight of the Rams defense doesn’t make you violent.
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“How much longer must we endure the return of the Tommy Prothro Era with these two Bozos? Both are clueless! It was pathetic Monday night watching the non-existent defense. And why keep Marc Bulger in a blowout with less than two minutes in the game? I guess he wants to destroy another young quarterback. Please let John Shaw know that us longtime Rams fans have seen this sorry excuse for coaches before. Get rid of the entire staff and bring in people who know ALL aspects of the game.”
-- Robert D’Ippolito
GORDO: I’ve only read about the Tommy Prothro Era –- and heard Dick Vermeil talk about it -– so I’ll have to take your word for its futility.
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“Is anyone else tired of hearing every Monday this quote, ‘We know what the issues are. We looked at the tape and we know what we have to do. We'll fix it.’ It seems that almost every Monday the past couple of years, save for the 12-4 record last year, we have been hearing this from Martz. Hey Mike, it appears you don't know what the issues are because they keep happening every week. The same issues.
"I understand the point that you can't deny his record, but when is enough enough? Martz is a great offensive mind, no doubt, he can make a decent talent a good quarterback (Trent Green, Kurt Warner, Bulger). But he cannot draft good talent (see Bernie’s column), he cannot coach a complete game on all sides of the ball, he admits to being flustered and having tunnel vision during games.
“Bobby April quietly admitted Martz does not put his best players on special teams and it does not receive the focus it needs. Bill Belichick embarrassed Martz in the Super Bowl because he came in with a plan, Martz flew by the seat of his pants and he was arrogant enough to think he could just throw the ball and win that game. His offensive stars are starting to fade, and it's apparent the cupboard is pretty dry.
"Shaw will not fire Martz, he can't just because of his won-loss record. But if this team will ever win again when it counts, Martz will have to relinquish his GM powers and Shaw must hire an associate coach who basically plans the game from all aspects, manages it, but lets Martz be Martz, but with a guiding voice in case he reverts back to his tunnel vision. However, this will never happen, so what are we to do?”
-- Patrick Rooney, Chicago
GORDO: I would certainly endorse the addition of a true assistant head coach with a command of the sidelines and the game situation. Martz could still game-plan the offense and establish the overall plan for the program.
We saw still another game situation gaffe in Green Bay when Martz hesitated, then called for the fake field goal that the Packers sniffed out with ease. The Rams don’t have the talent to overcome sloppy game management.
Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's headWe saw still another game situation gaffe in Green Bay when Martz hesitated, then called for the fake field goal that the Packers sniffed out with ease. The Rams don’t have the talent to overcome sloppy game management.
He is like a child that is given too many new toys at one time. The carton becomes more exciting than the toys...This space for rent...
Re: Letters to Gordo: Fans call for Martz's headGORDO: I would certainly endorse the addition of a true assistant head coach with a command of the sidelines and the game situation. Martz could still game-plan the offense and establish the overall plan for the programJUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS
"HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"Adm. William "Bull" Halsey
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