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    Shaw's State of the Rams Address

    Team President John Shaw

    News Conference

    Monday, January 02, 2006

    (Opening statement)

    “Earlier today I spoke with Coach Martz, and informed him that he was being terminated as the head coach of the Rams. We have decided that a change in our head coaching position is in the best interest of the football team. We deferred taking any action until we were sure that Coach Martz had regained his health. His doctor advised us that Mike was fully recovered on January 1, 2006, which as you know was yesterday.”

    “I want to express my appreciation to Coach Vitt and the coaching staff for their hard work in trying to maintain stability under very challenging and disruptive circumstances. I thank them for their efforts.”

    “I will begin a search for a new head coach immediately. Our mission has always been, and continues to be, to be one of the premier franchises in the NFL. I want to assure our fans and our players that we are committed to putting a championship caliber team on the field. That will be foremost in our thinking as we conduct our search for a new head coach.”

    (On what type of coach is being sought)

    “A coach that we think will improve our product and put a more competitive team on the field right now.”

    (On why Coach Martz was terminated)

    “There were several reasons, including the general direction of the team. I can’t really pinpoint at what exact time we made a decision to change our coach. But like I said, we were going to defer any action until he had regained his health. “

    (On when the decision was made to make the change)

    “Again, it’s difficult for me to pinpoint the exact moment, and it was all somewhat academic because we weren’t going to do anything until we were assured through Mike’s doctor that he was healthy.”

    (On what was Coach Martz’s reaction)

    “I spoke to Mike earlier this morning. I guess there was a sense of expectation that it was going to happen. He was very cordial.”

    (On whether he has timetable for hiring a new head coach)

    “We don’t have a timetable. We will begin the search immediately, and hopefully get it done as quickly as we can.”

    (On whether the number of opening in the league forces the search to go more quickly)

    “No, we have identified a list of candidates. It’s quite a wide list. We will do this immediately, but diligently. I know there will be a number of coaching vacancies, but we will do it in a way that suits us.”

    (On whether the hiring of a new head coach will necessitate a restructuring of the front office)

    “It will start with a head coach. I’m not prepared to discuss any other future changes of the organization, but I guess that is possible. But our immediate goal will be to find a head coach.”

    (On whether this termination will affect any of the assistant coaches)

    “No one is going to be fired at this time. We will honor all the contracts, and I am hopeful that they will all be given a chance to interview with whoever the new head coach is.”

    (On whether he anticipates considering Interim Head Coach Joe Vitt for the head coach position)

    “I do not.”

    (On what happened since October when he said he expected Coach Martz to continue coaching)

    “Like I said, there are several reasons, but the most compelling reason was just the general direction of the team, which is a direction that we think needs to change and needs to change right now.”

    (On whether recent trends in special teams and defense contributed to the decision)

    “I guess that would be fair to say that they were part of it.”

    (On whether he can explain why Interim Head Coach Joe Vitt is not being considered)

    “No, I think Joe , under the circumstances, did a great job for us. It’s just that we really don’t consider him a candidate right now.”

    (On whether he holds Coach Martz responsible for the part of the season he was unable to coach)

    “Absolutely not.”

    (On whether it is important that the new coach have previous head coaching experience)

    “ a factor, but not dispositive.”

    (On whether if Martz had a better relationship with the front office that he would still be the coach)

    “It is hard for me to speculate on that. I feel that as an entire organization, that we didn’t do well this year. We didn’t win, we didn’t achieve our goals, we didn’t succeed, and we feel a change should take place now.”

    (On when the issue of front office restructuring will be addressed)

    “We will begin to address that once a new head coach is hired.”

    (On whether he thinks a new head coach would want to know that structure before being hired)

    “I think it would be far to say that, that he would want to know.”

    (On how it will work to restructure after hiring if a coach will want to know before being hired)

    “Again, I think its all part and parcel to the process. Once we have the coach, the discussions about the front office will entail as we are interviewing candidates. And when I said address it, I guess that we will be knowing what we are doing at the time when the coach is hired.”

    (On whether he envisions a new head coach with total power over the operation)

    “I don’t necessary envision that. It depends on who the new head coach is. If it’s someone with lots of experience and a former head coach, then that might be part of that, but if it is not that, then I don’t really believe that he will be somebody that has full power and authority over the whole organization.”

    (On when he thinks the relationship with the front office and coaching went wrong)

    “I know you guys have asked me that in the past. I really can’t pinpoint it. I don’t know what happened. I know there there was times where there was quite a bit of disruption. And like I said in the past, it was a situation that had worked well for us in the past also. So I really can’t pinpoint. I don’t know if it’s really constructive right now to go back and try to recreate that.”

    (On whether it will be important for him to spend more time in St. Louis and be more hands-on)

    “I think whether I am in St. Louis or I’m not in St. Louis, I’m hands-on. This is what I do full-time. And I put 100 percent of my time into the Rams. So I think I’m hands on whether I’m here or whether I’m not here.”

    (On whether is it likely that any candidates will be interviewing if their team is on a bye week)

    “I think the coaches that have bye weeks, the coaches that are on playoff teams that don’t have bye weeks, if we were to interview any of those, we will be going to those cities. I think that is what the league rule is.”

    (On whether he has a general profile in mind of what he is looking for)

    “No. I have a fairly open view about this. Like I said, there is a wide range of candidates.”

    (On whether Coach Martz is free to coach elsewhere next season)

    “Sure. Absolutely.”

    (On whether a settlement has been reached with Coach Martz)

    “We have not reached a settlement. He was terminated. I anticipate to meet or discuss his situation with his agent in the next two or three days.”

    (On whether he anticipates that discussion will be amicable)

    “I am hopeful that it will be amicable.”

    (On whether he has spoken to Bob LaMonte, Mike Martz's agent)

    “I spoke to Bob . I spoke to him this morning for about 15 minutes. He was at the Fiesta Bowl. He said that we’ll speak either late tomorrow or Wednesday.”

    (On whether he will decide on the new coach solely or if he will have input from the assistant coaches)

    “I don’t know the answer to that. I may have input. I’m just not sure right now.”

    (On whether Chairman/Owner Georgia Frontiere was consulted on the termination of Coach Martz)

    “Absolutely. Both Georgia and Stan . Georgia is the, as you know, the controlling general partner here. Absolutely, I wouldn’t make this type of decision without her consent.”

    (On whether Chairman/Owner Georgia Frontiere signed off on Martz’s termination)


    (On whether the new head coach could have control over personnel)

    “I think any coach that we interview, and ultimately hire, will want to address the personnel position, and so I think that is something that will be addressed during the process. And at the time that we hire a coach, I think there will be some type of resolution.”

    (On whether he has a specific vision of what he wants the Rams to look like)

    “I think it is in flux. I think that at the time that we hired Dick , we had a clear opinion about a change with a personnel person. And we have hired coaches in the past that didn’t have such a clear image or impression of that. So I would say it is in flux.”

    (On if his vision of the Rams’ future is unclear and if that is a problem)

    “If I thought it was a question of only ability or expertise, then I think it would be a problem. If it was a question more of the personalities and the ability of people to get along, which seems like is what developed here, then it’s not as big of a problem.”

    (On if there was a scenario that he discussed with Martz where he remained the head coach)

    “I guess the best answer for that is no. We didn’t get to that point where we worked through a scenario of having it work here. I just think as the season unraveled and as it moved along, I kind of came to the view, as did our owners, that we should make a change.”

    (On if he feels that the Rams could be legitimate contenders next season)

    “There are some really good elements to the team. I was hopeful that the team would contend this year, as I think a lot of you guys thought we might. So, if the team was viewed as one that might contend this year, I don’t think there is anything that has changed personnel-wise that makes me think it might not contend next year. I’m disappointed about the year we had.”

    (On if any of the assistant coaches will have input in the 2006 NFL Draft)

    “I think yes. Several of those coaches, their contracts expire in the next month, and I think half of the staff, but I don’t know the exact numbers. They will be involved with the evaluations of the present team and provide season-end evaluations. I anticipate we will send most of the coaches to the Senior Bowl, so I think the answer is yes, though I’m not 100 percent sure.”

    (On if he prefers a candidate with a defensive background)

    “Not necessarily preferred, but I think we need to improve our defense, and we need to improve our special teams.”

    (On if there is truth to the report that he is looking at Bears’ Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera)

    “Where did you get that report? Yes, there is truth to that report.”

    (On if the front office has worked better at certain times than others)

    “I think it worked really well for most of the last six or seven years. Obviously, this past year we had our issues. It worked really well in the ‘80s in Los Angeles. It didn’t work so well in the ‘90s. So, I don’t know what we can conclude from that.”

    (On if he will address the lack of a Pro Personnel department)

    “I think that will be addressed. That wasn’t really so much an issue for this past year, and I’m not really sure what happened this past year where we didn’t really have a pro personnel department. It wasn’t an issue for the years before this past year, but to answer your question, yes, I assume that we will get that straightened out.”

    (On General Manager Charlie Armey’s status)

    “I can’t address it. Like I said, I’m really not prepared to lay out any other organizational changes at this time. Today was about changing the head coach.”

    (On if they has spoken with any other teams’ assistant coaches)
    “Yes, we have.”

    (On if he will give any names of coaches he has spoken to)

    “I’d prefer not to at this time. We haven’t been granted permission, so I prefer not to.”

    (On if the head coach candidate list is short or long)

    “It depends on what you call short or long, that’s a subjective term. I’m not really sure.”

    (On if the Rams have been denied permission to talk with coaches)

    “No, we just haven’t been granted permission. We just sent out request forms this morning.”

    (On if they are looking at any college coaches)

    “Not at this time.”

    (On how the team found out about the Martz firing)

    “I think they probably found out the same way you guys did. I think Jay talked to Joe Vitt this morning or last night, and then basically by press statement is how the team found out.”

    (On how disappointing it is how the team and season fell apart)

    “I’d say very disappointing. As you guys know, wasn’t well this year. I’m not sure we ever got off on the right foot this year. We lost the opening game in San Francisco. I don’t think Mike was feeling well at that time. We never got in stride at any point, so it’s obviously disappointing.”

    (On if the team will follow the Rooney Rule in interviewing coaches)

    “We will abide by it. Several of our candidates would be viewed as minority candidates.”

    (On some teams bringing in false candidates to comply with the minority rule)

    “I don’t know really of any instance where an organization has fraudulently hired, I’m not sure on the circumstances behind that. We would have no intention of interviewing a candidate that would be brought in for any other intention but to be our head coach. So, whichever candidate that you find out that we have interviewed, that person would be a strong candidate for this position.”

    (On if Rivera would be a minority candidate)

    “I don’t know the answer to that. I think I was told he might be, but I’m not 100 percent sure. If he isn’t then there are other minority candidates that we plan to interview.”

    (On if it will be difficult to hire a head coach because there will be a lot of competition)

    “Everything in our business is competitive. I assume that the hiring of a head coach will be very competitive. There will probably be six, seven or eight jobs. So, I’m sure some of our candidates are on half of those teams’ lists. We will compete and hopefully we will succeed in getting a coach that we like.”

    (On if the Rams’ head coaching job is better than the job was in 1996-1997 when Dick Vermeil was hired)

    “I think the team is in a better position than it was at the time we hired Dick. Yes, I think it’s a better job. I hope this is accurate. I’m trying to go back 10 years. I think our quarterback position is more defined now than it was then, and the team is coming off recent years of success. I’m of the view that there is more personnel in place then at the time that we hired Dick. I think this is an attractive place to be a head coach.”

    (On if he will consult with any of the veteran players while searching for a new head coach)

    “I talk to some of our veteran players from time to time. The answer I guess is no. Myself and whoever is going to help me, I think, have a fair assessment of where the team is and will make a decision based on what we think is in the best interest.”

    (On when he would hope to have a new head coach)

    “Again, we don’t have a timetable. I would hope that the process can be resolved in the next three to four weeks. Several of the candidates are on playoff teams. You guys just said it a couple minutes ago; that might mean waiting for somebody.”

    (On how he would describe Martz’s coaching era in St. Louis)

    “I would say much more successful than unsuccessful. We had a very exciting offensive team. We had really a good run. We were in the playoffs most of the years that Mike was the head coach. I would say it was very exciting and very successful.”

    (On if it is possible to lock in one of the coaches in the playoffs before his team’s season is complete)

    “I think that’s difficult. I’m not really sure whether you can or can’t do that. As I understand the rules, you can interview this week, with club’s permissions, teams that have a bye week. Then after the first round of the playoff games, you can interview only one time. I think next week, clubs that have advanced and that have played this Sunday . After that, I don’t believe you can interview again until that team has been eliminated from the playoffs. So, we plan to have initial interviews with a number of these coaches, and then wait and see how their teams advance after that and hopefully have a second interview and have a head coach.”

    (On if some of the more public front office issues this year may make candidates shy away)

    “No, not really. We have tenured executives on our staff. Between Jay and myself, we’ve been in the league 25 years or more. I think a lot of the coaches that we’ll talk to will probably know us or know of us. I think that might be asked in an interview, but I really have no concern that we couldn’t get past those issues.”

    (On how much influence Martz having one year left on his contract had on their decision)

    “None. No influence.”

    (On if he has seen teams fire coaches as successful as Martz)

    “Well I think one happened today in Green Bay actually. So, yes, I think the answer is I have seen successful winning coaches be fired.”

    (On if it will be up to the new head coach to decide if any of the assistant coaches will stay)

    “Yes, I think it will be up to the new head coach, absolutely. We have about 18 assistant coaches. I would expect some would be retained by the new head coach. It would be difficult to go out and find 18 new position coaches, but that’s entirely up to the new head coach.”

    (On if he will make any recommendations for assistant coaches to stay)
    “I will make no recommendations. I will leave it entirely up to the head coach.”

    (On if he would consider looking at college coaches after the college bowl season ends)

    “It’s possible. That is possible.”

  2. #2
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Shaw's State of the Rams Address

    I hadn't seen this until just now...................very interesting, very interesting.

  3. #3
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    Re: Shaw's State of the Rams Address

    you can listen to the full press conferencce here.

    a sad sad day .

  4. #4
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Shaw's State of the Rams Address

    (On whether it will be important for him to spend more time in St. Louis and be more hands-on)

    “I think whether I am in St. Louis or I’m not in St. Louis, I’m hands-on. This is what I do full-time. And I put 100 percent of my time into the Rams. So I think I’m hands on whether I’m here or whether I’m not here.”
    For the sake of this team, I have to believe John Shaw is smarter than this. He can't honestly believe that he can run the operation from 2000 miles away!
    (On if some of the more public front office issues this year may make candidates shy away)

    “No, not really. We have tenured executives on our staff. Between Jay and myself, we’ve been in the league 25 years or more. I think a lot of the coaches that we’ll talk to will probably know us or know of us. I think that might be asked in an interview, but I really have no concern that we couldn’t get past those issues.”
    John, what color is the sky in your world? Why would a coach care how long you or your sidekick, Zygmunt, have been in the league? It's not about your past successes, it's what have you done lately..........isn't that why you fired Martz?

  5. #5
    SFCRamFan Guest

    Re: Shaw's State of the Rams Address

    For the sake of this team, I have to believe John Shaw is smarter than this. He can't honestly believe that he can run the operation from 2000 miles away!
    Isn't that part of the problem to begin with?? Absentee ownership and front office...It's like a general running a war from the Pentagon. He needs to be in theater to gage his needs, assess the situation and devise a plan of action, as well as make adjusts when needed.

    I think that Zygshaw & Co. need to be there on a daily basis and support our next coach or be gone...

    Stan Kroenke...please sell your Colorado teams ASAP and buy out the Showgirl...Today...and clean house...


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