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Martz on Monday: Still simmering over Sunday
Compiled By Jeff Gordon
Are you still upset about how the Rams played Sunday?
You’ve got company. Coach Mike Martz is still simmering, too. He didn’t rub the game video in the players’ faces Monday, but he hadn’t forgotten the poor performances and blown plays in the 44-24 loss at Giants Stadium.
Corrective action will be taken.
“I was disappointed with some things that happened to us on defense,” Martz said at his Monday news conference. “It’s not the defense as a whole, it’s not what we’re running on defense. We’ve got some guys that didn’t play as well as we have in the past. You can’t have one or two guys do that, you’re going to give up big plays. We had a couple of big plays in that game that have no business ever happening.
“For whatever reason, they did occur. We didn’t play well. Anytime you score five straight possessions . . . there are a lot of things you have to look at. There are some very significant concern about where this football team is.”
But he chose not to browbeat the team Monday.
“I believe this is an anomaly, I really do,” he said. “I did not look at this tape with these players. We’re going to move on. We’ve got to get ready to play Seattle. I understand what we need to do from a coaching perspective to get this right. Some of the guys we have . . . that did not play well, that would be confronted and corrected and if we have to make a change, we make a change.”
“We need to get back on track to where we were building and get there quickly. I think we can do that. We’re not going do that by going back and rehashing what happened here last week. I know what happened. You all know what happened, you saw it. An old-fashioned whupping is what we took.
“I’m not very pleased with some of the guys and their effort. We’ll rectify that. That I know we can fix.”
“We’ll move on. If it shows its ugly head again, than we will make a change. That’s the way it’s going to be.”
Here was Martz’s take on a number of other issues:
On costly mistakes made by the safeties:
“There were a couple of big plays by safeties that hurt us bad in this game, early too, where the receiver gets behind everybody. When we’re in Cover-2, that should never happen. There is no excuse for it. It’s just he decided to do what he wants to do, whatever that was. He’s got no business being up there. Those are the kinds of things that will be dealt with. That kind of thing can never be accepted. It can’t happen or else you cannot play.”
“It takes just a few players to hurt a defense badly.”
On the cornerbacks getting burned by rangy Giants receiver Plaxico Burress:
“Yeah, he had a big day. We’ll get them some help. We’ll change some things. There are some coaching issues as well. There are some things we can do to help some players.”
On the ill-fated end-around call, which resulted in a red zone fumble:
“That reverse down there, I kick myself in the butt for calling the play on the 5-yard line. There are probably a million other things we can do, but then again, if you execute, you score. So who knows.”
On why Steven Jackson was in on that play instead of Marshall Faulk, who it was designed for:
“Just confusion. He just came out. By the time he came out, we couldn’t get him back in. Just one of the things that happens in a game. We still should be able to execute the play. It’s still not an excuse. It’s a convenient excuse for me, really. I can blame someone else that way.”
On the loss of tight end Roland Williams:
“Roland dislocated the knee. It’s a very severe injury. The biggest concern at the time was the (blood) vessels to the leg, so that there is no damage there. Fortunately, they checked him out last night, made sure he’s OK. He has some obvious cruciate, anterior, posterior, all that stuff that’s gone. He will have a major repair of the knee. Obviously he’s done for the season. At this point, I’m bringing Cam Cleeland in.
“Cam’s a very good player. Wasn’t sure he wanted to keep playing or not. There was a terrific reaction by Cam. I’d love to have him back on this team. I know what he can do. He can make a lot of plays for us.”
On the inability to run the football:
“We didn’t make a lot of attempts. Towards the end, we did. Steven was hurting when he was in there. He still hasn’t fully recovered. He got going as he warmed up in the second half, but when you’re down 27-7, there aren’t going to be a lot of attempts.”
On how the loss of Williams impacted that:
“The loss of Roland was tragic. We had a very heavy two tight end package and various other personnel groupings with him. We had a lot of things we were excited about doing, that as soon as he was injured, were done. It took us out of some of the runs we really like, that we wanted to do.
“Didn’t know for sure where our rookie fullback (Madison Hedgecock) was, in terms of assignment-wise. Now you’ve got (Jeff Robinson) playing tight end, who hasn’t played tight end, he’s the move guy, and you have a rookie fullback. So those things combined . . . to expose a back to an unblocked player, some of those things . . . we would be all right with protections and throwing it. I didn’t want to hang it out there and lose one of those backs.
“I don’t go into the games thinking we’re going to lose these guys. I probably got too involved with (two-tight end offense). I really wanted to run the ball here and get things rolling in that direction.”
On Hedgecock’s progress:
“Very well. He’s doing a nice job. We tried to piece him in there a little bit. The biggest thing with him is not if he’s smart enough to do it, he’s a very intelligent guy, he’s certainly good enough to do it, he’s a very talented guy . . . it’s dealing with the pressure of being in big games like that. He’s done it in college, but it’s still not the same. We’ve tried to bring him along a little bit.”
On having to play with just three wide receivers for a big chunk of the second half:
“When Kevin (Curtis) went down, you’re just trying to . . . you’ve got to change gears and score anyway you can, do the best you can. That’s kind of where we were with it.”
On the prospect of moving safety Mike Furrey back to receiver:
“Mike can come in and do a good job there. He can play go over and play X. He remembers the X position. We will carry about 30 plays in for him, if it ever got to that. There are a lot of things we’re doing that he is just not familiar with. We’ll try to get through it.”
On the possible return of injured players:
“Brandon (Manumaleuna) is very close. I don’t know that he’ll play this week or not. If there is any risk at all, he won’t play. Same with Isaac (Bruce). We’ll move on and wait until they are completely ready to go.”
On the play of rookie tackle Alex Barron:
“To go against somebody like (Michael) Strahan and have the success and play as well as he did and keep his composure. I thought he was outstanding in this game, I really did. I was very, very pleased with it. Which is comforting for us, because under that kind of pressure, we’ve not had a guy yet step up to the plate and perform like that. I think we’re starting to settle in on the offensive line.”