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Thread: Martz to Rams: All is forgiven
Martz to Rams: All is forgiven
BY STEVE KORTE
Knight Ridder Newspapers
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - (KRT) - St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz just wants his team to have some fun.
Martz feels like the Rams have been too uptight during their current slump, which has included four losses in their last five games.
"It is legal to have fun and play professional football," said Martz as the Rams (5-6) prepared to play their archrivals, the San Francisco ***** (1-10), at noon today at Edward Jones Dome. "You can do that. That's what we have tried to stress with our guys. They are concerned about making mistakes, and they've played tight.
"You can't do that. You can't play tight. I want to get them away from that."
Martz said he's adopted a policy of amnesty toward any player who makes a mistake as long as they are hustling at the time. That includes wide receiver Isaac Bruce, who fumbled twice resulting directly in two touchdowns for the Green Bay Packers in their 45-17 win over the Rams on Monday night.
"When you have good people and people with good character and you know where their heart is, all sins are always forgiven," Martz said. "That's why I'd never say anything to Isaac about the fumbles. I know Isaac. Nobody hurts more than Isaac does when that happened.
"Nobody works harder or is more committed. Those things you just move on from."
Despite their recent troubles, the Rams remain in the thick of the NFC West race, one game behind the division-leading Seattle Seahawks in the win column.
"Every week is an opportunity," Rams defensive end Bryce Fisher said. "The one thing about the National Football League is you have 16 times to prove yourself. We really want to get back out there on Sunday and show we can play better than we have."
The ***** own the worst record in the NFL. They've lost six straight games. But they'd like nothing better than putting a big dent in the Rams' playoff hopes.
"You always want to be beat the Rams," ***** tight end Eric Johnson said. "We wouldn't mind taking them out of the playoffs. It should be a good battle. We're looking to get our first win in a long time."
The Rams' defense has been shredded for 556 rushing yards over their last three games.
Overall, the Rams rank 28th in overall defense and 31st in rushing defense.
Martz blamed his team's defensive troubles on the transition from a Cover-2 defense to a defense that relies on multiple schemes and more pressure under new defensive coordinator Larry Marmie.
Martz said he tried to institute the change gradually because he didn't want confuse his players, but that decision backfired as players have been slow to embrace the change in philosophy after three seasons under former defensive coordinator Lovie Smith.
"It wasn't fair to Larry, and it took a while for these guys to completely accept what we're doing," Martz said. "Now, the change is complete. They've accepted it and they're trying to learn it."
Martz said he actually was optimistic about his defense even though the team has allowed an average of 33 points per game over its last five games.
"I know it sounds silly after the last few weeks, but I'm really encouraged," Martz said.
While the ***** have sputtered on offense, scoring only 101 points in their last six games, they still rank a respectable 14th in the NFL in defense.
"Defensively, they are very stout," Martz said. "I think they are playing even better than they were earlier - and I thought they were playing very good earlier.
"They play with a great deal of emotion and they fly around. They present a lot of blitz issues for you. They make you spend a lot of hours preparing for them."
Martz said the ***** have been blitzing an unusually high percentage of the time.
"I think anywhere from 50-60 percent of the time you are getting some sort of pressure out of them," Martz said. "That's quite a bit actually. Normally, you see somewhere around 35-30 percent."
One way to counter the blitz is by running the ball.
The Rams will turn to rookie Steven Jackson as their feature back, since Marshall Faulk is hobbled by a bone bruise in his left knee.
"We want to run the ball effectively," Rams wide receiver Torry Holt said. "I think with Steven coming in, that will be good. It'll be some new legs and some fresh legs.
"He'll be excited and enthused, so he'll be running like a maniac, which will be good for us."
Holt said he and his teammates are tired of reviewing game film from losses every Monday or Tuesday.
"It's like, `Oh, shoot, here we go again. We have to go in and watch this debacle. We have to watch this mess that we put on the football field,"` Holt said. "We as a collective group, players and coaches, have to stick with one another, stay focused and keep our eyes on our goals that we set for ourselves this season.
"Our record is what it is, but we still have an opportunity left to finish up strong and move forward."
Re: Martz to Rams: All is forgivenOriginally Posted by Mike sMartz
Unbelievable! :upset:Socrates: Surf to live! and Live to Surf!
-12-05-2004 #3PTHOR Guest
Re: Martz to Rams: All is forgiven
I wonder if he would have been so care free and optomistic if it was the Patriots coming to town ?
It's easy when you know your gonna win.
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