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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    Manumaleuna impresses Martz
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/17/2004

    MACOMB, Ill. - When Mike Martz said that tight end Brandon Manumaleuna has "been consistently excellent throughout practice and our preseason game; he's not had any lapses," the Rams head coach apparently had a lapse of his own.

    On the 11th play of the Rams' first series vs. Chicago on Thursday, blitzing Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer charged by Manumaleuna and sacked quarterback Marc Bulger. The 9-yard loss stalled the drive at the Chicago 15-yard line, and Jeff Wilkins booted a 33-yard field goal. The Bears won 13-10 in overtime at the Edward Jones Dome.

    So, Manumaleuna hasn't been perfect since camp opened July 27 at Western Illinois University. But he's been good enough that Martz probably can be forgiven for his episode of selective memory.

    "Brandon's come light years," Martz said. "He's done just a great job. He finally, at this point, I think, is ready to take off."

    The Rams certainly hope so, considering that in the offseason, they put up $8.3 million over five years to prevent him from going to Carolina as a restricted free agent. Manumaleuna, 24, said he appreciated the Panthers' interest. "It was good to know that you were wanted somewhere," he said.

    But he was glad that the Rams kept him. "I was comfortable with everybody here, I like everybody on the team, and the organization's fine," he said. "I looked at it as, I couldn't lose either way."

    After making only nine catches in his first two years since the Rams selected him in the fourth round of the 2001 draft, Manumaleuna came up with 29 catches for 238 yards last season, his first as the team's No. 1 tight end. He expects even more this year.

    "I would like to have better numbers after this year, so I do have some bigger goals. We'll see what happens," he said. The first step in that direction was the shedding of 13 pounds in the offseason, dropping him to 275 on his 6-foot-2 frame.

    "He felt that I'd be a better receiver, and he also wanted to get me more involved with the offense," Manumaleuna said. "So, he asked me if I'd come in a lot lighter. I did that, and ... everything's going well."

    Bulger's arm is fine

    Quarterback Marc Bulger reported that his right (throwing) arm was "a little sorer than it was" Monday, after he suffered what was termed a mild bruise. Bulger was bumped by tackle Greg Randall, who had been pushed back by defensive end Leonard Little.

    Bulger, who felt a jolt of pain to his upper arm, said he was scared "for about two seconds. But you know pretty quick if you're hurt or not, and I realized I wasn't."

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  2. #2
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    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    Quarterback Marc Bulger reported that his right (throwing) arm was "a little sorer than it was" Monday, after he suffered what was termed a mild bruise. Bulger was bumped by tackle Greg Randall, who had been pushed back by defensive end Leonard Little.
    Hate to think what could have happened to that frail thing if Bulger had actually been jumped by a frothing DE rather than having someone just pushed into him. Maybe there is something to be said for weight-lifting for QBs?

  3. #3
    AugustaRamFan Guest

    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    I don't get it!

    Correct me - Didn't MM say Manu had come "light years" last year? As I recall he was the second coming at FB and TE.

    Now he is come "light years" again. OOppss!

    Either Manu will be All Pro this year, or he was reclamation project 2 years ago.

    I won't be critical of MM yet....plenty of time for that later. I just don't understand the guy. Maybe I'm not supposed to....

    ARF

  4. #4
    coy bacon Guest

    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    Quote Originally Posted by AugustaRamFan
    I don't get it!
    Correct me - Didn't MM say Manu had come "light years" last year? As I recall he was the second coming at FB and TE.
    Now he is come "light years" again. OOppss!
    Either Manu will be All Pro this year, or he was reclamation project 2 years ago.
    I won't be critical of MM yet....plenty of time for that later. I just don't understand the guy. Maybe I'm not supposed to....
    ARF
    Not a few posters have noted MM's inconsistent statements. We certainly hope that he keeps his feet clean.

    But, cut MM some slack. I expect him to talk out of butt. In fact he better do it. He is the team's leader and HC and he better be saying positive things about the players. Just take his statements and season them with salt. DO NOT expect his statements to be completely factual and realistic. Expect his statements to be cheerleader like, sales-pitch like, motivational - "you can do it" type of rhetoric.

    Next time Martz praises another player, accept it, shrug, don't believe it in full, and hope it is fairly accurate. Don't take the man's bull too seriously. Judge him by his winning record (very good), and playoff performance (not so good).

  5. #5
    rampete Guest

    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    martz, smartz, fartz, or wartz is, by my best estimation (which isn't saying much), playing the dime-store psychologist...

    he's taking the positive reinforcement theory, when he's not using the negative reinforcement on his rookie qbs, as a tool to build up the confidences of his players; something he probably picked up from vermeil... martz doesn't smother his players with emotional displays but seems to go out of his way to praise the established skill players...

  6. #6
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    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    Quote Originally Posted by coy bacon
    Next time Martz praises another player, accept it, shrug, don't believe it in full, and hope it is fairly accurate.
    I try. I really do. But it's like listening to an LP moment. You know what to expect if you have heard the music already. But rarely have I known anyone to get to the point where the LP skips, have to get up to do something about it and say: "Boy, is this ever refreshing."

  7. #7
    moklerman Guest

    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    I would cut Martz more slack on his public statements if that's how all coaches did it. But when a guy like Parcells can make it to the playoffs with a team led by Quincy Carter, all the while telling the whole team that they better work their collective asses off or they'll be replaced, I don't see why Martz can't do it either.

    I think Martz wants people to think he's full of it or something.

  8. #8
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    But when a guy like Parcells can make it to the playoffs with a team led by Quincy Carter, all the while telling the whole team that they better work their collective asses off or they'll be replaced, I don't see why Martz can't do it either.
    Because Mike Martz isn't Bill Parcells? :confused:

    I don't know, maybe I'm not understanding your point. But from what I'm hearing, this sounds like trying to say, "When a guy like Michael Vick can scramble all over the field while dodging pressure, I don't see why Drew Bledsoe can't do it either." They're fundamentally different, so I wouldn't expect them to be capable of exactly the same things.

    Mike Martz is a different kind of head coach than Bill Parcells, so I wouldn't expect Parcells' media and player relation tactics to work from Martz, not to mention the differences in their teams.
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  9. #9
    moklerman Guest

    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    Drew Bledsoe scrambling and running like Michael Vick is a physical impossibility. But I see your point. Mike Martz saying something this isn't pulled directly out of his butt or actually having any kind of substance is probably just about as impossible as Drew Bledsoe rushing for a 60 yard touchdown.

    I've never been a big Parcells fan but I'll take his player interaction and straight-forward style over Martz's bologna any day of the week. Martz seems to like the sound of his own voice as well as playing coy for the media.

  10. #10
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    I've never been a big Parcells fan but I'll take his player interaction and straight-forward style over Martz's bologna any day of the week.
    And that's fine, but to expect Martz to be able to handle things exactly like Parcells is unfair. They're not the same person, so they're obviously going to be different in how they handle things.
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  11. #11
    moklerman Guest

    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    To ask Martz to be identical to Parcells would be unfair, but I never suggested that. I don't think it unrealistic for Martz to adopt certain management practices though. It's not like I'm asking him to be taller or something like that. It's not like Parcells is the only one who coaches "old school". Look at Coughlin, Haslett, Capers, Billeck, etc. There are lot's of coaches who don't play all the stupid little games that Martz seems to. To me, it's a choice for the coaches in how they address the players and media.

  12. #12
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    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    What stupid games are y'all talking about? The only place this year I see a problem is with Gordon. Ok, so Martz was hard on him. Gordon didn't waiver and he may be a better RB for it.

    Martz is constantly taking up for his players, not caring what the fans think. To me, that's what I like about Martz. To heck with the fans, they are always going to be fickle and short sighted anyway. Treat your players like players, and they'll perform for you. As they have.

  13. #13
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    To ask Martz to be identical to Parcells would be unfair, but I never suggested that.
    It sounded like you suggested in your first post that you wish Martz would handle things like Parcells. I'm simply saying that Martz is probably a different kind of man with a different personality, thus making it unlikely he'd have the same tactics as Parcells. But it doesn't matter. I'm not going to spend my day arguing semantics. To me, it seems like Martz has to be doing something right based on this team's winning percentage. If that means talking up players in the media, so be it.
    Last edited by Nick; -08-19-2004 at 01:27 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Treat your players like players, and they'll perform for you. As they have.
    Sure would like to have seen Bulger perform like the player he was paid to at the end of regulation against Carolina.

  15. #15
    moklerman Guest

    Re: Manumaleuna impresses Martz

    It's taking less and less time for the "look at his record" argument to pop up these days. I never suggested that Martz be identical to Parcells. I suggested that he handle the media and player interaction more like Parcells. MORE LIKE. Not identically. Martz is so far on the other end of the spectrum that the two are completely dissimilar.

    We'll see how Martz handles a tough schedule this year. I'm curious to see if everyone will be so leniant and supportive of him if the Rams go 7-9 again. I haven't been privy to a conversation where criticism of Martz is actually accepted. With the numerous instances of contradictions, misinformation and grudges against players I don't see how my feelings on Martz are so vehemently argued.

    I guess when my point of view is exaggerated into terms of absolutes to argue against my position, semantics are necessary. When I say that Martz should handle the media and player interaction more like Parcells that doesn't mean that I want them to be identical coaches. I don't even want them to handle the specific examples identically. What it boils down to is that I believe a lot more coming out of Parcells (and other coaches' mouths) more than Martz's. It may just be how it is, but that doesn't mean that I can't hope for it to be different.

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