By Jeff Gordon
STLtoday.com Sports
Monday, Oct. 11 2004

Rams coach Mike Martz is feeling pretty good these days. During his Monday
afternoon news conference, he had the pleasure of breaking down his team’s
dramatic 33-27 overtime at Seattle.

“It was such a thrill to be on the sideline and watch them, their attitude, how
they responded to everything, how positive they stayed throughout the game,
even the first half,” Martz said.

Here were some highlights of the session:

On the big comeback: “Obviously this is a terrific win for this team. It’s
obviously understated. We ARE getting better. They did not get disillusioned.
We have a lot of young players that are learning how to compete. We had some
players show up in this game and make plays to help us win this game, guys like
(Shaun McDonald) and Kevin Curtis and of course Brandon (Manumaleuna) and the
running back, Steve Jackson. DeJuan Groce came in and did a tremendous job.

“We are making progress and getting better. I know the first half didn’t come
out the way any of us wanted, but they went in at halftime and it was what we
need to do, it’s a step-by-step process and here is the way we need to go about
it. They weren’t discouraged and they were able to get the job done.”

On the play of quarterback Marc Bulger: “To have three interceptions and come
back and compete and to play at the level that he did and make those kinds of
plays under pressure, it’s clearly a statement of what an incredible player he
is.

“He does have ice in his veins. He doesn’t ever get unnerved. I’ve never seen
him get unnerved in any situation.”

On the play of the offensive line: “I was very, very pleased with the play of
the offensive line, particularly Grant Williams in the second half. He gave up
a sack in the first half on a rush on that side. He came back in the second
half and was outstanding on the left side. He was a major reason why Marc was
able to move around and make some of the throws that he did.

“It all starts in one particular area, that’s the front, the offensive line. If
(Bulger) can hold the ball and make the throw, he’s going to make it and we’ll
catch it. If we can hold up like the last play of the game, when they came
after us with everybody, and he hangs in there . . . it’s just a terrific
effort by the offensive line, and by Steven Jackson, stones the blitzer over
here. Marc hangs in there and he knows because they are picked up . . . instead
of taking the shorter throw, he is able to take the deeper throw and it ends up
with the touchdown.”

On the play of the special teams: “The punt return (by McDonald) was huge. I
thought we covered our kickoffs very well. Just a solid effort on the kickoff
returns. Sean Landeta, his best effort so far in terms of punting the ball.
Great hang time and distance. There is only one return. Erik Flowers had four
tackles on special teams. Just an incredible job. Special mention for Trev
Faulk again.”

On reestablishing the run to start the second half: “We don’t get any points
out of it, but that drive where we came down the field and ran the ball, ran
the ball on third down several times and got first downs, at that point, I just
felt like if we could get the ball back, if our defense could get them back
out, we could mix it in there pretty good and have some success. Our plays came
off the field with a different look about them. They were excited and
energized.”

On the play of his defense: “None of this is possible without the terrific
effort by the defense in the second half. We throw an interception over there
on the sideline and give them great field position, we hold them to a field
goal, that wins the game for us. That clearly wins the game for us. That
three-and-out, the third-and-one at the end of the game, we stacked him up and
they don’t get it . . . the intensity really picked up in the second half.”

On the play of linebacker Tommy Polley: “Ten tackles and a pass broken up. Just
a great comeback by Tommy, who was out with a fractured rib. He’s done a great
job coming back and making his presence felt on this football team.”