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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score
    BY JEFF GORDON
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    09/03/2004

    I believe we all like a little self-deprecating humor in our coaches. In a field of know-it-alls and Inventors of the Sport, the ability to mock oneself is an endearing quality.

    We can only take so much of the Bill Walshs and Marty Schottenheimers of the world.

    However, I'd like to use this corner of cyberspace to give Rams coach Mike Martz a little advice.

    Never, never, NEVER come clean during a post-game news conference. Never admit to a lapse in your cognitive powers.

    Never admit you didn't know what the score was in the last minute of a game.


    You know how some citizens of Rams Nation are. They doubt Martz as a head coach and disparage his game management skills. They bristle every time he burns his timeouts, as he did in the second half of the Raiders game.

    They hang on his every word, waiting for him to make an incriminating statement or use an improper tone of voice. There are folks who walk around town muttering one of Martz's favorite lines, "Shoot, we'll fix that," under their breaths.

    As veteran talk show host Howard Balzer noted on 1380 ESPN Friday morning, Martz should NOT have made a confession after Thursday night's 28-24 loss at Oakland.

    He admitted ordering Jeff Smoker to throw a sideline pass with nine seconds left, even though the Rams needed to get in the end zone.

    "I can't believe I was yelling for a field goal," Martz told reporters. "That was the dumbest thing I've ever done as a football coach."

    Oh, boy. You don't want to get Rams fans going down that road.

    That was tantamount to throwing out a three-hour radio call-in topic. That was like throwing fresh hamburger into the shark tank. Fans will be eager to respond to that assertion.

    "Smoker was yelling at me, 'Hey coach, we're down by four!'" Martz continued. "Can you imagine Jeff Smoker telling me what the score was?"

    Everybody at once: YES!


    Now I'm a pretty big Mike Martz fan. He inherited outstanding talent from Dick Vermeil, but he also had to rebuild an atrocious defense.

    He has accomplished plenty on his own, including winning an NFC Championship and reaching postseason play three times.

    The NFL is a tough place to coach, as Steve Spurrier would tell you. Rams fans tend not to give Mad Mike all the credit he deserves.

    But Martz DOES do some goofy things. He seems to become immersed in his scripted play chart, to the point of becoming impervious to all the drama swirling around him.

    When asked to comment on such-and-such an incident on the sidelines, Martz often has no idea what reporters are talking about. A player could lose a leg on the field and there is a chance that Mike, with his headset on and his eyes on the play chart, wouldn't pick up on it.

    I wish I had a dollar for every e-mail I've gotten from fans eager to see Mike Martz return to the press box and be relegated to offensive play-calling.

    This episode in Oakland, however meaningless, will give Martz's skeptics powerful ammunition. He didn't even know the score in the last minute of the game.

    Yikes.

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



  2. #2
    RamTime Guest

    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    I don't believe him. I'd like to know what the context of the question was that prompted him to make that statement. I think Martz is covering for someone else. I have to read a transcript of the conversation leading up to this statement before I buy it. If it is true, the rest of the Rams coaches and players will have no choice except to keep an eye on Martz and pass him the message of what the game situation is. I would sure hate to be the one that had to check up on a head coach in the NFL during the final minutes of a tight game to see if he were on the right page. Can you imagine that conversation?

    IT MAY GO SOMETHING LIKE THIS.
    RAMS SCORE AGAINST A TIRING PANTHER DEFENSE BUT STILL NEED TO SCORE AGAIN. WILKINS KICKS ONSIDE, RECOVERED BY THE RAMS WILKINS.

    PLAYER1: says to PLAYER2: “You better tell coach the game situation.”

    PLAYER2: “What? He knows what's up! “
    PLAYER2: (Pauses looks back at player1) and says "Oh ya that's right!" he continues "You tell him! I'm not going to tell the coach he is a moron! No way, not me, besides he probably knows the situation."

    RAMS BALL FIRST & 10 AT THE RAMS 42 WITH 2:38 TO PLAY.
    Bulger complete to Bruce at the Panther 38, gain of 20 yards.
    (Rams elect to allow 16 seconds to run off the clock instead of calling a timeout or lining up and spiking the ball or running a play.)

    PLAYER1: then why is the offense standing there admiring the game clock that is running down when we could win it right now?

    TWO MINUTE WARNING.
    FIRST & 10 AT THE PANTHER 38
    Bulger complete to Bruce at the Panther 25 for 13 yards.
    (13 second play swallows up 36 seconds)

    FIRST & 10 AT THE PANTHER 25 WITH 1:24 REMAINING.
    Bulger complete to Faulk at the Panther 19 for 6 yards
    (10 second play swallows up 42 seconds.)

    PLAYER2: Coach! Coach! Coach hey Coach

    MARTZ: What is it! Can't you see I am trying to get this thing into overtime? I'm busy so be quick. What is it that can't wait?

    PLAYER2: (Trembling voice) "Ah coach I know that you already know this but ahem well there is plenty of time left in the game, we are down by 3 the defense is on their heels, I think we go for the win and settle for a tie. Maybe put the rock in Marshals hands with some low risk, high percentage plays out of the backfield and even if we don't get the touchdown we can always......."

    MARTZ: Ya right, I fell for that one too many times. This time I am not giving you knuckleheads a chance to screw it up by turning it over.

    2ND & 4 AT THE PANTHER 19. 42 SECONDS LEFT TO PLAY

    PLAYER2: "But coach what if we turn it over deep in our own end in overtime? The offense is having their way with the Panthers defense look at them they are demoralized, lets go for the jugular! "

    Faulk runs off right end to the Panther 15 for 4 yards
    (12 second play swallows up 30 seconds)
    FIRST & 10 AT THE PANTHER 15 WITH: 03 SECONDS TO PLAY IN REGULATION.

    MARTZ: I just want to get this thing into overtime and give ourselves a chance to win it!

    Wilkins 33 yard field goal is GOOD
    (Rams go 43 yards in 5 plays chewing up two minutes and thirty nine seconds. Even with the use of a timeout and a two minute warning. The Rams burned up an average of 32 seconds per play.)

    Panthers 23 Rams 23 as regulation ends,
    PLAYER2: Should we call heads or tails coach?

  3. #3
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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    The silly thing about sMartz' latest brain cramp, is that people want to make him into a saint for being forthright about it. Point of fact: shooting oneself in one foot doesn't balance out shooting oneself in the other in the first place.

  4. #4
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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    LOL......Ramtime!!

    Are you the least bit surprised?

    Didn't think so...

    and BTW - neither am I.




    :ramlogo:

  5. #5
    RamTime Guest

    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    FERTER, first of all glad to hear from you again, I almost started a thread that would have gather Rams fans to perform an all out cyber search for you a search that would have dropped Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista and Google to their knees. The thread title would have been:
    FERTER, MISSING AND PRESUMED MISERABLE

    If this is true then Martz is so out of touch with his team during the game that it is scary. Think about it for a moment, what is the chatter on the sidelines during this time?

    Does he look to see if Wilkins is over at the kicking net warming up? Are players on the sidelines not saying things like "we need to get to the 37 yard line to give Wilkins a shot"? Or "Come on baby only 25 yards to field goal range" or maybe the rookies asking what Wilkins range is? Or when a TD is needed isn't the entire atmosphere different, the talk on the sidelines different then when we need a field goal?

    Even if you don’t buy any of the above, what about the Raiders 2 and 3 man rushes or half the secondary scattered from the their own ten yard line backwards into their own end zone?

    The biggest misnomer ever perpetrated of Ram Fandom is the label attached to some of us as "Martz Bashers". When will people realize that it is the things that Martz does to the team we love that have us concerned? It's not now nor has it ever been about bashing Martz, It's about his judgment in critical game time situations that have us up in arms.

    Anyway glad to hear from you FERTER.

  6. #6
    Curly Horns's Avatar
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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    No, I'm not missing or miserable, frankly I just have less time as of late and I'm trying to take on a different role.


    I am not sure who Martz would be covering for.....Fairchild perhaps, or his own play calling. I will say it is confusing, but it's not like critical stages of games have not been confusing in the past with Martz.

    I understand what you are saying about misnomers. Yes it can be frustrating having ones Rams loyalty questioned over criticism of a player or coach, but personally I have come to expect it. I can only imagine what I would have been labeled, under coach Knox's first tenure, if the net had been around in those days......LOL

    In the end, just like you, I'm a Rams fan true and through.



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  7. #7
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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    I guess I expect these brain cramps from MM. I have come to expect him to be a second level HC. I expect him to not prepare the team once every 4 weeks. I expect him to let his ego get in the way of calling and executing a solid game plan. I expect him waste 1 to 2 timeouts per half. I expect him to say...ya we'll fix that ... another 16 times this year. I expect him to loose his bravado at the worst possible moment in a key game. I expect him to not respect holding on to the football......

    I guess, I say this so I can not over-react. If I set the bar low, MM might be able to get over it.

    As far as proof goes, if all these things are obvious flaws, what about the other more insidious flaws such as not supporting a player at the right time. I think there may come a day, when the team's poor play may lead to MM's firing. That is, their underachievement, will be his undoing. We may see, that this may be from lack of effort, rather than talent or ability.

    But, before I get set on a MM bashing course, I will wait until we play some tough games.

    ARF
    Last edited by AugustaRamFan; -09-06-2004 at 10:36 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferter
    I'm trying to take on a different role.
    Maybe you are talking about work, but it seems fairly obvious that most ofl the "active moderators" are taking a backseat on this site ... or at least it seems as if AV, TX, and you have posted a lot less since moving back to this site ... seems more than coincidental ...

  9. #9
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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    Well, maybe it's because I still don't have internet access at home since I moved.

    Look, I don't care what the score is during a preseason game. If he is going to have a brain cramp, let it be when it dosen't count.

    For all of you who don't like the guy, take your Super Bowl trophy back because without Martz, we wouldn't even have been there.

  10. #10
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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    TX - How do explain Vermeil's Offensive success with Kansas City...Martz isn't there????

  11. #11
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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    Vermiel has built a good offense using a blueprint that Martz created. And, don't forget, he has the benefit of a QB that Martz developed (Green) an offensive coordinator that was a Martz assistant (Saunders) and the pure luck of finding diamond in the rough Priest Holmes.

  12. #12
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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    Vermiel has built a good offense using a blueprint that Martz created. And, don't forget, he has the benefit of a QB that Martz developed (Green) an offensive coordinator that was a Martz assistant (Saunders) and the pure luck of finding diamond in the rough Priest Holmes.
    Ok, I'm all for giving the proper credit to Martz for '99, but I think Vermiel might have had a little more to do with the Chiefs turnaround than 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

  13. #13
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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    Look at Vermeils record prior to Martz. It was abysmal.

  14. #14
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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    I didn't say that Vermiel hasn't had a lot to do with the Chiefs' turnaround. I think Vermiel is a better motivator and game manager than Martz is. But Martz is a better at building an offense.

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    Re: Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score

    WOW! Now Martz is the genius behind KC's success; incredible! If KC wins the SB this year, they will probably give Martz a ring.

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