Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    psycho9985 Guest

    Martz expects more from the boys tonight.

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch


    When coach Mike Martz told his Rams players last week that he was turning up the heat, he wasn't kidding.

    Forced indoors because of wet grounds earlier in the week, players walked into the indoor practice facility at Rams Park and noticed that the air conditioning had been turned off. At the head man's request.

    "I was (thinking), 'Man, it's kind of hot in here,'" defensive tackle Ryan Pickett recalled. "I didn't know what was going on till somebody told me. I'm out here sweating just watching practice. And they were (saying), 'Coach turned the AC off.'"

    Pickett added with a laugh, "Coach is something else, man."

    Yes, he is.

    That was Thursday. Even though the fields dried up, the Rams stayed indoors for practice Friday and Saturday, as well as Sunday's walk-through before departing for Detroit and tonight's exhibition game with the Lions. The air conditioning stayed off.

    "There's no need for it now," Martz said. "It's not that bad, is it? It's OK. We can sweat a little bit. It's going to be a little warm (in Arizona)."

    The Rams play at Arizona on Sept. 18.

    "If we weren't playing in the heat, it'd still be in here," Martz said, referring to the air conditioning. "But our second game is going to be in some heat, and we need to get them accustomed to that to some extent."

    It was an interesting week on several fronts at Rams Park. Following Wednesday's outdoor practice, and before Thursday's indoor session, Rams players ran wind sprints, a rare occurrence since Martz has been head coach. Martz said the team needs to get in better condition, but he said the sprints weren't punishment.

    "No, no," he said. "This is something that we'd scheduled a month ahead of time. No, it just doesn't work like that. I just don't do that. We really try to hold off doing a lot of conditioning until this point (of the preseason) for a lot of physiological reasons."

    One thing that wasn't scheduled, however, was the live tackling during a run-defense period Thursday. During this year's camp and last year's camp in Macomb, Ill., the Rams occasionally have had live-tackling sessions, but using reserves on both sides of the ball.

    Thursday's session was eye-opening because it involved the starting defensive unit, something that longtime Rams observers felt was unprecedented since the franchise moved to St. Louis in 1995.

    Make no mistake, Martz wants to see the run defense show marked improvement in Detroit over what took place eight days ago in San Diego. Against the Chargers, the Rams' defense was gouged for 215 yards rushing, including a pair of 55-yard runs. That showing was at least in part responsible for the move of Adam Archuleta back to strong safety from free safety.

    "You have to have concerns about the run game, because they gashed us," Archuleta said. "Sure, it was only a few plays, but you can't have that. You have to eliminate big plays in the NFL, especially in the run game.

    "And after kind of what happened last year, not being able to stop the run, it's something where we have to be disciplined. We have to read. We have to be in our gaps. We just can't allow running backs to go down the field untouched.

    "It's embarrassing. It's a wakeup call. Whatever you want to call it, it's unacceptable. If you have any type of pride in your game, that hurts."

    The Rams will try to contain Detroit's rushing attack without their best run stuffer - Pickett. He will sit out tonight's contest because of a sore back. In addition, tight end Roland Williams will not play after suffering a hyperextended knee against the Chargers. Cornerback Travis Fisher (back) will attempt to play after sitting out Saturday's workout.

    Traditionally, the third exhibition game is the closest thing to a dress rehearsal for the regular-season opener. This may be even more the case for the Rams, who will be working on a short week following tonight's contest. Their preseason finale is Friday against Kansas City.

    So it's very possible that many of the Rams starters could play well into the third quarter tonight at Ford Field.

    "I want us to compete way better than we did a week ago," Martz said. "I think that's what's important about this game. To get our (starters) together. To try to get a little bit of cohesiveness to both units and special teams. Give them a better opportunity from a game-plan standpoint."

    With the first round of roster cutdowns looming Tuesday, those who don't compete well against the Lions may find themselves out of a job.

    "Obviously, if you're on the fence, you've got to make a statement in this game, and stay on the roster another week," Martz said. "Keep fighting for that spot."


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
    laram0 is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Age
    57
    Posts
    9,312
    Rep Power
    109

    Re: Martz expects more from the boys tonight.

    YEAH YEAH YEAH.... Just Win Baby !

  3. #3
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    29 Palms, Ca.
    Age
    55
    Posts
    12,086
    Rep Power
    132

    Re: Martz expects more from the boys tonight.

    So it's very possible that many of the Rams starters could play well into the third quarter tonight at Ford Field.

    "I want us to compete way better than we did a week ago," Martz said. "I think that's what's important about this game. To get our (starters) together. To try to get a little bit of cohesiveness to both units and special teams. Give them a better opportunity from a game-plan standpoint."
    I know many are concerned with injuries, but this is exactly what I want to see against Detroit. It's critical to get the defense in sync.

  4. #4
    Curly Horns's Avatar
    Curly Horns is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    1st & Goal
    Posts
    2,698
    Rep Power
    58

    Re: Martz expects more from the boys tonight.

    Ok, expecting more is understandable, especially against the run.

    I know that was ugly run defense against the chargers, but I thought the Rams recovered well and the scoreboard showed as much shortly before the end of the first half.

    Even preseason games hinge on momentum.

    So, as a fan, I also expect more from Martz.

    By more I mean less...

    Less of trying to be cute with a surprise onsides kick.

    Not to mention great field position, I felt it gave the momentum back to the chargers and dampened a comeback at the end of the first half for the Rams
    players.



  5. #5
    Nick's Avatar
    Nick is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Age
    32
    Posts
    19,874
    Rep Power
    154

    Re: Martz expects more from the boys tonight.

    Actually, I really liked that surprise onside kick call. Maybe I'm alone in that though.
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  6. #6
    Curly Horns's Avatar
    Curly Horns is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    1st & Goal
    Posts
    2,698
    Rep Power
    58

    Re: Martz expects more from the boys tonight.

    Well you are not alone, Nick. Martz liked the call as well.

    I dunno, I like some of Martz' gambles, but at that point in the game, after scoring the big TD to make the score close to even, I think you need to kick away and play defense with the momentum.

    I'm looking for a better overall team effort tonight.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •