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  1. #1
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    Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    ST. LOUIS - Win or lose, Mike Martz is doing it his way.

    The St. Louis Rams' coach was defiant Monday in the face of persistent questions about his heavy reliance on the pass, insisting his air-first philosophy will work. He defended his 54-15 pass-run ratio in a 28-25 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints, like it or lump it.

    "Look, you can find another coach then,'' Martz said. ``We're going to play fast and furious, that's what we do, and we're going to run it because we want to run it, not because somebody feels like we've got to be balanced.

    "That's just the way it is. Get used to it.''

    Martz pointed out the Rams' go-ahead touchdown, a 19-yard scramble by Marc Bulger with 28 seconds to go in regulation, came while the team was in passing mode. The nine-play drive that began with 1:48 remaining was all pass. And the Rams were successful at the start of the game while calling 11 pass plays and one run, scoring one touchdown and driving deep into New Orleans territory before Bulger fumbled on a scramble.

    So don't talk to him about balance.

    "You want to sit in that meeting room with me and look at tape with me all year long, then we'll discuss it,'' Martz said.

    The passing game isn't what got the Rams beat. The culprit was a soft defense perhaps still adjusting to new coordinator Larry Marmie, and to injuries at cornerback and linebacker.

    The Rams allowed points on five consecutive possessions at one stage of the game, and put up little resistance on both the drive that forced overtime and the Saints' winning march. Twenty-four seconds was two more than the Saints needed to tie it after getting possession at their 42 following a botched squib kick, and the Saints needed only six plays to move 54 yards to set up John Carney's winning 31-yard field goal in overtime.

    St. Louis has been particularly vulnerable against the run, allowing big games to aging Emmitt Smith, quarterback Michael Vick and now unsung Aaron Stecker, who had a career-best 106 yards in a fill-in role for the injured Deuce McAllister.

    The end result is that just like last season, the Rams are 1-2. But also like last season, when they finished 12-4 and won the NFC West, they're counting on recovering from the sub-par start.

    "No one in this locker room is going to give up,'' Bulger said. "It will be tough, but we just have to get it going.''

    Martz is just as confident, even though the Rams' next two games are on the road at San Francisco and Seattle.

    "I do believe we're going to be fine,'' Martz said. "It's just not going to happen overnight, obviously, but we're going to end up being a pretty good team.''

    Other problem areas have been penalties, especially on special teams, and turnovers. The Rams had 12 penalties for 85 yards against the Saints, including five false starts and four on special teams. Orlando Pace had two of the false starts.

    "That's absolutely unacceptable,'' Martz said. "The discipline type of things have got to be eliminated.''

    And, after leading the NFL with 46 takeaways last year, after three games this year they're the only team in the league that has not created a single turnover. Every other team has at least two.

    "It's frustrating because it is part of our identity and that is something that we took a lot of pride in last year,'' strong safety Adam Archuleta said. "I don't know exactly why, or why not it's happening, but we need to figure it out.''

    On offense, the bright spots have been Bulger and Bruce, who leads the NFL in catches (25) and yards (348). In the backfield, Martz thus far has been unwilling to fully integrate first-round pick Steven Jackson, who had only two carries for 15 yards against the Saints as Marshall Faulk's backup.

    "We want to spell Marshall and we didn't do that as much as we would have liked to, looking back in hindsight,'' Martz said. "We absolutely want to get him more involved, no question.''

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  2. #2
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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    Hey Mike... a question...

    If you're going to pass 80% of the time, why draft a RB in the first round?

    You could have taken a WR... or a pass blocking lineman... or a TE....

    Why a running back?

  3. #3
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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    "It's frustrating because it is part of our identity and that is something that we took a lot of pride in last year,'' strong safety Adam Archuleta said. "I don't know exactly why, or why not it's happening, but we need to figure it out.''
    Allow me, your not creating turnovers for much the same reason teams are running over you. Your light, your fluff, your overrated but most of all your entire unit is afraid to hit somebody. Look at the tapes especially you Adam. You haven't delivered a hit on anyone all year. Your not around the ball and it looks like the critiques were right when they said you were to small. You have used up all your courage and probably have felt the effects of the hits you use to deliver. Do me a favor and stop implying that you duh just don't know why!

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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    AV

    I agree what a waste of a pick if you aint gonna run the ball

    We should have took another WR there were plenty of good ones left
    at least he would get sight of the ball

  5. #5
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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    I actually expected things to stay in the air this year despite the RB pick in the first round. If I am not mistaken, they drafted Jackson to have someone to go to in case Marshall wasn't healthy all season. As of right now, he is in good shape, which is why we haven't seen him on the field very much.

    The problem in drafting a WR early is that you have guys fighting for playing time at that position as it is, so that could potentially make things worse there, and chances are, he might have just ended up being cut anyways.

    Drafting Jackson WAS definitely the right move, and I am sure that we will be seeing more of him in the future.

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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    Here is a thought.

    Did you ever know someone, who thought they were a genius? MM spends too much time trying to out-think people. He thought... Hmmm - NO has the worst run defense in the NFC (with the exception of the Rams), so I know what I'll do... I set up a game plan based on the pass. Haslett would never expect that. Hmmm - Yes, that's it!!!

    And that played right into Haslett's game plan.

    Martz needed to go two years ago - now he really needs to go - and take Mammie with you.

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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    AV, I agree with you on the reasoning behind drafting running backs in the first round if you aren't going to implement the run; i.e. Trung & Steven. While I think that Jackson has great potential and will be a great asset as well as the future, why is he not drafting WRs and/or TEs to fit his philosophy?? He is like a politician speaking out of both sides of his mouth; saying one thing and doing another. The more I hear him speak the more I think that he needs some real mental help...

    :confused:
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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    I don't think he was so sure about Faulk going into the season AT THAT TIME. It was iffy, and Gordon wasn't on his best side at that time either.

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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    2004 - Steven Jackson - so far, we're not using him; he's non-existent
    2003 - Jimmy Kennedy - injured, non-factor
    2002 - Robert Thomas - slow to warm, now a lackluster starter
    2001 - Damione Lewis - injuries, slowly becoming a pass rush DT, poor run stopper
    2001 - Ryan Pickett - injuries, decent run stopper when healthy
    2001 - Adam Archuleta - solid rookie season w/ huge upside, pass coverage has always been a question, now tackling is a question, appears tentative
    2000 - Trung Canidate - Trung who?

    Injuries you can't control. Restrictive play-calling you can't control. Attitude & effort can be controlled.

    With the obvious exception of Trung, I still hold out hope for the whole list. I still say that the 3 1st round DTs will pay-off. I think Arch is being unduly demonized lately. He's still second only to Aeneas in tackles. And Jackson's day is coming (just no time soon apparently). However, having said that there is an obvious drafting problem here. Either these guys aren't any good, which means our scouting process is flawed; or we can't develop our talent, which means our position coaches aren't any good. Is there another option? It's got to be one or the other, any either case something has to change.
    "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

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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by RamTime
    Allow me, your not creating turnovers for much the same reason teams are running over you. Your light, your fluff, your overrated but most of all your entire unit is afraid to hit somebody. Look at the tapes especially you Adam. You haven't delivered a hit on anyone all year. Your not around the ball and it looks like the critiques were right when they said you were to small. You have used up all your courage and probably have felt the effects of the hits you use to deliver. Do me a favor and stop implying that you duh just don't know why!
    You nailed it RT. I was thinking the same thing. Pisa has had the only hit all year and that was in the first game. That one even hurt him. Arch is looking more and more like he was overrated, as was Pickett and DLew. Thomas too. And Polley. Can't really critique Kennedy yet because well, he hasn't played.

  11. #11
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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by Martz
    That's just the way it is. Get used to it.'
    I used to coach varsity football at a high school in Alabama. The head coach was one who felt his way was the only way. Early in his career he had the personnel that played well running options out of the Wishbone. Think part '60s U of Oklahoma, and part '90s Nebraska. But after time, the personnel changed and didn't really fit the option style, they would have been better suited to the short passing game of, for instance, a West Coast team. But the HC just didn't want to change from his wishbone. We, as asst. coaches, confronted him one day and told him, "Coach, the O just isn't getting it done. We're going to keep losing like this." To which he replied, "At least we will lose MY way." He was gone within a year.

    My point is this, former success should not, can not predicate current strategies. Personnel change and so should play design. It's a shame that Martz has this Air Coryell identity thrust upon him, because now maybe there is some small part of him that feels he has to live up to that image. Is he afraid if he leans on the run more, he will stop being Mike Martz?

    I know it's been stated here before, but since '99, the Rams are 25-21 when Faulk has less than 20 carries. They are 25-1 when he has 20 or more carries. If Faulk isn't capable of that kind of workload, I think Jackson is.

    I'm baffled by Martz obtuse statement almost defying anyone to question his passing strategy. There are no one-dimensional teams with SB rings.
    "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

  12. #12
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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by AugustaRamFan
    Here is a thought.

    Did you ever know someone, who thought they were a genius? MM spends too much time trying to out-think people. He thought... Hmmm - NO has the worst run defense in the NFC (with the exception of the Rams), so I know what I'll do... I set up a game plan based on the pass. Haslett would never expect that. Hmmm - Yes, that's it!!!

    And that played right into Haslett's game plan.
    Well if that was Haslett's game plan it wasn't a very good one as Bulger passed for over 300 yards. Yes, I would like to see some more running plays. But if the defense makes a play or two in this game, the Rams win.
    Sprtsmac :football:

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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    I agree that Martz actually thought "the saints have given up 170+ yards per game on the ground, so they're going to do everything they can to stop the run in this game, so we'll just go ahead and pass."

    He used reverse psychology on himself....again.

    definitely he started passing more as the run wasn't working and they were behind, but mostly, he came out with that game plan. It didn't play into Haslett's plans at all. We actually would have still won throwing the ball all over the place, if we had any defense.

  14. #14
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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    Guys, I'm not so sure about this running the ball business. I don't think we have the O line to do it. We have speedy WR's, and we are starting to put Bulger in the shotgun of all things just to protect him. The holes haven't been there, and it just seems to ME that Faulk can't run behind this line.

    Don't get too hyped up about the YPC stat of the Rams. Remember, Bulger had a 19 yard TD run.

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    Re: Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio

    "Martz Loses Cool With Media Over Pass to Rush Ratio."
    I don't blame him! :angryram:

    We'll have our running game against teams our coaches deem fit. Faulk, Jackson or Harris.

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