By Bill Coats
Of the Post-Dispatch
Wednesday, Nov. 24 2004

Mike Martz said that when he sits down to his turkey dinner tonight, he will
give thanks for "everything that I have."

"I'm thankful for so much, I don't know where to begin," said Martz, the Rams'
fifth-year head coach. "I'm thankful for this job, this opportunity, these
players, these coaches, the families, my health. I think I've got the best job
in the NFL. ... I'm very happy."

He's not pleased, though, with his team's play. So, Thanksgiving or not, Monday
night game or not, the Rams will hold a 90-minute practice today.

"We just need the work too much," said Martz, whose outfit has dropped three of
its last four games and tumbled to 5-5. The Rams meet the Green Bay Packers
(6-4) at Lambeau Field on Monday.

Practice is scheduled to conclude at 12:25 p.m. today, and then the players'
holiday will begin in earnest. Those without families in town were busy making
plans Wednesday.

"All the guys that don't have anywhere to go, I'm going to invite to my house"
in St. Peters, rookie defensive end Anthony Hargrove said. "I'm going to cook.
I really want to make a turkey, but I saw our schedule and we don't have enough
time. So I'm going to do a ham. I'm going to do mashed potatoes, I'm going to
do green peas, I'm going to do cornbread.

"And I really want to try to make sweet potato pie if I get a chance to."

Guard Chris Dishman's family is in Nebraska, so he'll spend the day alone.

"I'll probably rent a couple of movies," he said. "And have a salad. That's
what I eat all the time. I've got to keep my weight down now that I'm not
playing."

Dishman, who is listed at 375 pounds, is out with a knee injury.

Linebacker Robert Thomas is just hoping that he won't experience a repeat of
last year's Thanksgiving debacle.

"I tried cooking and almost blew up my kitchen," he said, explaining that he
and a friend were playing a video game and lost track of the time.

"We had to throw away the turkey and eat at a neighbor's," he explained. "So
that ended the cooking career."


Familiar faces

The newest Ram, guard Tim Stuber, is with his seventh NFL team, although he has
yet to play in a regular-season game. Stuber signed Monday and was assigned to
the practice squad.

"I've been everywhere," said Stuber, 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds. So it wasn't
surprising that Stuber, who also has had two stints in NFL Europe, spied some
familiar faces at Rams Park.

"Coach (John) Benton was my offensive line coach in college (at Colorado
State), and Coach (Steve) Fairchild was my offensive coordinator," said Stuber,
26. "Blaine (Saipaia) and I went to school together; we were in the same
recruiting class. And Darnell (Alford) and I were in Kansas City together."


Injury report

Wide receiver Torry Holt, nursing a sore knee after getting hit by Buffalo
cornerback Nate Clements on Sunday, sat out Wednesday's indoor practice. Holt
was listed as questionable on the injury report, but Martz said he will play
Monday. ... Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett missed practice because of a family
illness. ... Although cornerback DeJuan Groce (knee), also injured Sunday, was
listed as doubtful for Monday's game, he's likely to miss a couple of weeks.

Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this
report.