Martz opens up on his conflict with Turley
By Jim Thomas
Of the Post-Dispatch
12/28/2004

The rift hasn't exactly been a well-kept secret, which probably explains why Rams coach Mike Martz decided Tuesday evening to discuss his spat with offensive tackle Kyle Turley.

Turley visited Martz in the coach's Rams Park office on Dec. 13 in a meeting that eventually degenerated into Turley yelling obscenities at Martz. Things got so loud that employees on that side of the second floor of the complex could hear Turley yelling.

"Kyle came in to see me because he was concerned about the comments I made," Martz told the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.

What comments? Well, the previous week, when asked by a reporter about Turley's status for the 2004 season, Martz replied icily: "I have no idea where he is. I have no idea if he wants to play, or can play. ... I have not seen him."

Turley didn't like those comments, and that led to the boisterous meeting at Rams Park.

"He felt offended," Martz said. "He was agitated and offended by them (at the meeting). I wasn't shouting at him. But he was animated. Players get like that. Kyle's a very emotional guy. He wears his emotions on his sleeves. But by the end of the discussion, it was resolved. It was resolved and we move on."

It may be resolved, but Martz did file a complaint with NFL security that Turley threatened him. Because of that, Turley could be subject to a fine.

The root of the ill will?

Turley was angry because he felt he was rushed into action during training camp after having offseason back surgery. Martz claims the doctors cleared Turley to practice, so he practiced. Turley aggravated the back injury early in camp and ended up on the injured reserve list.

In turn, Martz was upset at Turley because Turley initially didn't return several phone messages from Martz, who was seeking to check on Turley and his status last August.

Despite all that, Martz said he wants Turley on the team next season, back injury permitting.

"I'd like to have him back if he can play," Martz said.