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    Mock Martz? Stats prove he's an exceptional coach

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/spo...5?OpenDocument

    Mock Martz? Stats prove he's an exceptional coach


    BY JEFF GORDON
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    08/08/2005

    By all accounts, this is an ENORMOUS year for Rams coach Mike Martz.

    He did not get a contract extension during the offseason, so his bosses still harbor concerns about the state of the football operation. His key veterans (and allies) in the locker room are reaching the twilight of their careers.

    He works in an environment, Rams Park, that seems to breed mistrust and disloyalty in the organizational ranks. (Somebody on the inside ought to pitch a reality show to the networks. Or write a ‘tell-all’ book.)

    National media types mock Martz habitually, portraying him as a madman or dunderhead -– or both.

    But we came across a bit of research that points out that Martz actually is an exceptional coach, when compared to his NFL peers.

    Writing for the impressive Pro Football Prospectus (Workman Publishing, New York), statistician James McKinley praised Martz for several accomplishments, including:


    Avoiding the post-Super Bowl fallback: The New England Patriots have defied the odds. Rebuilding year after year under coach Bill Belichick, they manage to stay on top in a salary-cap system designed to force parity.

    Most Super Bowl teams fall back into the pack. The Rams haven’t defied that trend as dramatically as the Patriots, of course, but they have sustained much better-than-average success after winning a championship.

    In five post-Super Bowl seasons, the Rams reached the playoffs four times and got at least as far as the divisional round three times. On average, Super Bowl teams return to the playoffs 2 ˝ times during the following five years.


    Winning close games: The Prospectus had a statistic called Pythagorean projection. By running points scored and allowed through a formula, this numbers- crunching determines how many games a team should win or lose during a season.

    Coaches who consistently win more games than they are supposed to –- according to this formula -– must be very good at winning close games.

    Writes McKinley: “The Rams are the only team to outperform their projected win total in each of the last five seasons. If fact, over the course of his career Martz has the highest average number of wins over the expected wins per season of any coach in the league.”


    Holding late leads: Sure, Mad Mike has directed the Rams to a couple of highly memorable late-game collapses. But when his team has surged ahead at any point in the fourth quarter, it usually wins.

    Writes McKinley: “Martz has the highest winning percentage of any coach in the last 35 years in which he had a lead sometime in the fourth quarter.”

    That percentage? A cool .914.

    “Obviously the Rams have squandered some big leads under Martz, but they’ve been far better at protecting leads than most teams. Chuck Noll and Don Shula are generally considered to be good company when it comes to historical lead coaches.”


    For the record, the Prospectus isn’t excited about the Rams this season. The publication notes the advancing age of cornerstone Rams players, plus the team’s history of poor special teams play, plus the poor NFL track record of defensive coordinator Larry Marmie.

    So Martz will get still another chance to exceed expectations.

    Concludes McKinley: “Mike Martz is not the worst head coach in football. Given the weight of evidence, Martz should be considered among the best coaches in the NFL, maybe one of the top five.

    "Martz is not an innocent bystander when the Rams win and is not the sole cause of any loss. As offensive coordinator, he helped turn a perennial also-ran into a perennial contender, and as a head coach he has kept the team in the playoff hunt almost every single year. He is great at closing out games. If postseason records are included, he has the 12th highest winning percentage of any coach in history with at least five seasons.

    "Before you decide that Martz is the coach he is reported to be, make sure you look at the head coach that he actually has been.”

    So there!


  2. #2
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    Re: Mock Martz? Stats prove he's an exceptional coach

    I love the closing Quote "so there". Stick that Alphabet soup,and your cold pizza.
    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

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    Take away the poor use of time-outs, the poor use of the reply calls and the chicken-s*** call in the Carolina play-off game I think Martz's is an under appreciated coach. I would rather watch a Mike Martz team than a Chuck Knox team any day.
    Roman18

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    Re: Mock Martz? Stats prove he's an exceptional coach

    Roman,

    I'll give you the call in the Carolina game as a bad decision, but help me out with these two:

    1. When has the lack of timeouts left at the end of a half or a game cost the Rams due to bad red flag tossing?

    2. Since replays rarely go in favor of the team tossing the red flag, how has Martz costs the Rams by losing a replay challenge?

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    Re: Mock Martz? Stats prove he's an exceptional coach

    The bottom line is this - Mike Martz is criticized the way he is for one reason and one reason only...

    In 2001, he took one of the most dominant teams to the Super Bowl and lost to a seemingly inferior squad. Unable to comprehend the myriad of possible explanations for this (poor player execution, a fluke day, horrible officiating, etc., etc., etc.), the media presumed that it must be Mike Martz's fault. Since then, everything he has done has been put under a microscope.

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    Re: Mock Martz? Stats prove he's an exceptional coach

    You don't need any contrived projection theories or formula's to show Martz has been a successful head coach. His W/L record speaks for itself. I think the problem most have with Martz is the fact that he can't become the complete package. He's great at setting things up but not good at finishing. Since day one he has shown enormous potential that has never been realized. Potential to be successful in the vein of a Belichick rather than a Cower. The fact that he makes questionable on-field decisions, goes against the grain and provides the media with never ending fodder doesn't help his case for respectability. Good coach yes, exceptional coach, not yet.

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    Re: Mock Martz? Stats prove he's an exceptional coach

    Most people hate Martz becuase he has "that" attitude .................. MAN I just love "that" attitude

    WOOHOO


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    Re: Mock Martz? Stats prove he's an exceptional coach

    Writes McKinley: “Martz has the highest winning percentage of any coach in the last 35 years in which he had a lead sometime in the fourth quarter.”

    That percentage? A cool .914.

    What most people see it the time outs he burns. What I have read is, Martz would rather burn a timeout anytime in a game, to make sure the right play is called and personel is in. Most team save time outs for the last 2:00of the game or half, looking at his forth quater numbers his way must working.

    In 2001, he took one of the most dominant teams to the Super Bowl and lost to a seemingly inferior squad. Unable to comprehend the myriad of possible explanations for this (poor player execution, a fluke day, horrible officiating, etc., etc., etc.), the media presumed that it must be Mike Martz's fault. Since then, everything he has done has been put under a microscope.
    I think the key word here is "seemingly" as time tells all that was a great football team we lost to. We could have, should of ,would have won, but we lost.

    The Titans have 5 guys from that SB team we beat and they have fell a long ways from where we are.

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    Re: Mock Martz? Stats prove he's an exceptional coach

    I know I've seen far too many time-outs called within the first 3 minutes of the start of the second half. That stuff drives me crazy. How can a team be so disorganized right after half time???? The red flag calls.....when you throw a flag concerning a 2 yard gain on a second down play....again, that drives me crazy! Matrz teams do these things at least a half a dozen times a season. I guess I'm old school but it"s nice to have 2 or three time-outs with a couple of minutes to go in the game. That's my biggest beef with Martz. Do I want the Rams to go coach hunting???....ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!
    Roman18

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    Re: Mock Martz? Stats prove he's an exceptional coach

    I would say Roman is a little excitable....

    I could be wrong -

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