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Thread: Martz rumors unnerved team
Martz rumors unnerved team
Martz rumors unnerved team
By Jim Thomas
Of the Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz
Story continues below adMike Martz was getting ready to board the team bus Saturday afternoon for the drive to Lambert Airport and the flight to Arizona when he got a call from ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
"He wanted to know if there was any chance that I wouldn't be here next year," Martz said.
As in fired or resigned. Martz said no, he didn't plan on resigning and didn't think he was about to be fired.
"If it were true, then you deal with it, that's fine," Martz said. "But when it's not true, it's just maddening and aggravating."
Martz said he didn't know until after the Rams' 31-7 loss to Arizona that Mortensen reported Sunday morning that Martz could be in trouble at the end of this season.
But with the Rams playing a late game against the Cardinals, apparently several players watched or heard about the report on television in their hotel rooms.
"So the players were very, very concerned and upset when they got on the bus to go to this game," Martz said. "Well, that was a nice, warm, fuzzy way to play a game. I didn't know about it till after the game, because nobody wanted to tell me."
Martz said that after the game "a couple of the (assistant) coaches had relayed the concern from players. ... It was an emotional thing before the game for some guys. I'm very close to some of these guys.
"It was very divisive, destructive and did hurt this football team. Not because they love me or anything else like that. It's just disruptive. Guys are always worried about their future. But (assistant) coaches are worried about it, too."
Just to make sure, Martz said he spoke with team owner Georgia Frontiere and club president John Shaw about his status after the Sunday report.
"Georgia was very encouraging," Martz said.
Shaw told the Post-Dispatch on Monday that Martz had the "complete support" of the organization, and that the possibility of firing Martz "totally hasn't entered my mind."
When Martz addressed the team at a meeting Monday, he told them he was not resigning and was in no danger of being fired.
On Thursday, Martz said Shaw's words of support helped a great deal.
"The one thing that's been constant for me in my tenure here, that's never wavered, has been John Shaw," Martz said. "Everything he says is absolutely the way it is. So I feel at peace with all that. He knows we're busting our butts trying to get this thing done. He knows the issues that we have, and what we're dealing with. He understands all those things. And he's trying to help.
"I feel like we're going to come out of this storm. And that's the only way you work your way out of it, when everybody's on the same page and you're working in the same direction. That's why some organizations win, and some others don't. Because everybody's on the same page. You're trying to help each other instead of all of that other stuff."
As if to emphasize the point, a copy of a letter signed by Frontiere was placed in the locker stall of each Rams player Thursday. In the letter, Frontiere dismissed the rumors about Martz's demise, reiterated the organization's support for him, and emphasized the importance of team.
At least one player told the Post-Dispatch that Martz had instructed the team not to comment on the letter, that it was "family" business.
Speaking generally about the votes of confidence from Shaw and Frontiere, quarterback Marc Bulger said: "I think most of the guys knew that to begin with. But maybe for some of the guys that weren't sure, if it helps them, great. And if it helps Coach Martz, great too. ... But as far as the team, the core group of guys knew that he was going to be here.
"Rumors are going to fly. We hear them about ourselves all the time. And 90 percent of the time, they're not true. So when he tells us he's going to be here, we (believe) that."
Reporter Jim Thomas
Re: Martz rumors unnerved team
A firm and decided Coach Martz supporter.
Re: Martz rumors unnerved teamShaw told the Post-Dispatch on Monday that Martz had the "complete support" of the organization, and that the possibility of firing Martz "totally hasn't entered my mind."LET'S GO DODGERS
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