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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    "Today, Mike Martz Lost My Support..." - REVISITED

    Last year, after the debacle against Arizona, I posted the following under the heading "Today, Mike Martz lost my support... its time for a change."

    I've always been a Mike Martz supporter. Truth is, its hard to argue with a Head Coach with as high a winning percentage as Martz has had.

    But something about Martz has always troubled me. Its not the quirks. I don't mind the trick plays. I can tolerate the squandering of timeouts and replay challenges. The odd Martz quotes I've always pushed aside as unimportant.

    Yet, as I said, something has always troubled me about Mike Martz.

    Today, as the Rams were dismantled by the lowly Arizona Cardinals, it came to me, and my support for Martz ended.

    Its all about margin of error and flexibility.

    All teams strive to have a style or a personality. They try to play to their strengths and force the opposition to game plan to stop those strengths. Some teams play smash mouth and force the opposition to stop them. Some blitz and force the opponent into mistakes.

    Under Martz, the Rams' identity has always been the "Greatest Show on Turf"/"Max Q"/"Fast and Furious" approach. There's a lot to be said for that approach. Its fun to watch and, when its working, nearly impossible to stop. Scoring 1,500+ points in three years tells the story.

    But the downside of this approach is that it affords no margin of error. If all the components are not working bad things happen. If the offensive line (as has too often been the case in recent years) is not solid at every position, the strategy fails. If the QB who has command of the offense (whether it be Warner or Bulger) is out, the strategy fails. If the running back (whether it be Faulk or Jackson) is not in the game and operating near 100%, the strategy fails.

    Now, how does this different from any other strategy? Well, today I concluded its different in two ways.

    First, other approaches can work with interchangeable parts. For example, a team that is built around the run, and has a good blocking O line, can succeed even when the primary back is out. Look at Denver, Carolina and Pittsburgh. The Martz offense, on the other hand, is so complex, it is difficult, if not impossible, to plug in new players without a substantial dropoff.

    The second difference is that Martz who defined the GSOT strategy, is entirely inflexible in its use. When have you ever seen Martz even for a game take the position that he just doesn't have the horses, and needs to revert to a simpler offense? No, he (some would say arrogantly) always seems to think he can just continue business as usual.

    I haven't even gotten to the defense, which Martz delegates first to the able Lovie Smith, and now to the maligned Larry Marmie.

    The bottom line is that, in today's NFL, teams need to have more flexibility. They need to be able to adjust to the inevitable injuries and misfortunes that a team faces each year.

    When things are perfect, and all is working, there's no better offense than a Mike Martz offense.

    But, for the long term success of the franchise, the team needs to go in another direction. They need a leader who can build a team that can withstand the uncertainty of an NFL season and still come out on top.

    I no longer believe Mike Martz is that leader.

    The Rams need to find a new Head Coach.

    Now, after several months have passed, and the Rams head into a new season with Mike Martz at the helm, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit these thoughts.

    The question here is... has Mike Martz learned from the mistakes that made me (and other Ram fans) express sentiments like the ones in my thread?

    I'm hopeful that he has, and there are some indicators that would suggest that Martz is moving in the right direction.

    For example - look at the draft. The Rams selected three OL in the first four rounds. This shows me that Martz has recognized that he can't rely on off-the-street FAs to ensure that the line is solid. He has now acquired a substantial pool of talent (which also includes FA Rex Tucker) for the O line.

    He also moved quickly to name Steven Jackson the starter at RB, while transitioning Marshall Faulk to what could be an extremely valuable situational role.

    Finally, he has targeted players, both in FA and the draft, to bolster a weak special teams unit.

    These actions are indicative of a greater flexibility, and that makes me optimistic.

    Whether this evolution of Mike Martz to a flexible Head Coach will translate to game day remains to be seen. But, for now, I am 100% behind Coach Martz.

  2. #2
    maineram Guest

    Re: "Today, Mike Martz Lost My Support..." - REVISITED

    Go Mike, you da man !!!! :mask:

    Maineram -

  3. #3
    Scidog68 Guest

    Talking Re: "Today, Mike Martz Lost My Support..." - REVISITED

    Mike reminds me of my Old Man. He has definite ideas about how things should be and how things will be in his small piece of life, and woe to any who say otherwise. However, both of them seem to be adapting to a world that is most definitely NOT under their control and seemingly bizarre and random. Mike has drafted wisely and my dad can program the clock on the VCR.

    Hey, man........Baby steps. I'll take what I can get.


  4. #4
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: "Today, Mike Martz Lost My Support..." - REVISITED

    Like Av, I pretty much gave up on Martz after the Arizona game, but as in year's past, I realized he was going to be our coach for better or worse, so I have to throw him my support. Last year I was encouraged with Martz' decision making, but felt he melted down as the season progressed (for obvious reasons we don't need to rehash).

    This off-season, I feel more encouraged about Martz than I ever have. For the reasons Av stated, but also because he has paid more attention to the defensive needs of the team, addressed issues with assistant coaches and by pretty much keeping his mouth shut when confronted with questions about Warner and most importantly the whole Turley thing. That tells me he's wised up about fueling controversal distractions, which serve no purpose in even commenting on.

    Love him or hate him, if you care about the team, you have to support Martz 100%. I'm optimistic, but I don't know if I could get past another year like '04.

  5. #5
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: "Today, Mike Martz Lost My Support..." - REVISITED

    he did all he could with the Rams position with the draft and salary cap. He's exploded phases of the game before and came out pretty good.

    Let's wait and see shall we?

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    Re: "Today, Mike Martz Lost My Support..." - REVISITED

    YOu know, everyone loved it when he was the "Mad Mike" but mad can work both ways,.

    I liked his Mad Mike name and I prefer to remember him like that.

    The fact is, he HAS grown as a coach and he WILL continue to get better.

    He WILL always be under a spotlight until the powers that be in the press destroy him ........... thats their aim.

    I will continue to support him as long as he is the Head Coach of my Rams.

  7. #7
    HoustonRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: "Today, Mike Martz Lost My Support..." - REVISITED

    MM has kept the Ram's winners even with all the loss of many top player's to free agency over the years. I believe with the draft picks and FAs the team has aquired this year the team will inprove dramaticly.

  8. #8
    OldRams fan Guest

    Re: "Today, Mike Martz Lost My Support..." - REVISITED

    I have to agree about Martz ! I think Martz is a great O-coach but I dont think he can run the entire team ! He has a great mind to make plays work ...One of the bigest problems I have with him is that he does not seem to be able to fire up the team ...I have been a DIE HARD RAMS FAN foe 46 years , The thing that stole my heart in the late 50's
    was those white horns and the heart of our RAMS even thru the hard times , It seem that our team needs a person that can set them on fire , not some one who relies on the past or who relies the players to motivate.. Dont get me wrong I like Martz to a point and his record showes it ....
    Last edited by OldRams fan; -06-25-2005 at 05:08 PM.

  9. #9
    CRAZYHORNS's Avatar
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    Re: "Today, Mike Martz Lost My Support..." - REVISITED

    I do not agree with Martz all of the time. He can be very unpredictable and at times can be very conservative when you least expect it????

    One thing I do know I've never enjoyed watching the Rams offense as much as I have with Martz as the head coach......

    I disagree with your strategy fails assessment. I think several RB's have replace Faulk and put up very good numbers ex.... Harris, Candidate, Gordon,

    Also, Bulger had to fill in for a injured Warner.

    In sum, Martz system works when he has depth at that position.

  10. #10
    moklerman Guest

    Re: "Today, Mike Martz Lost My Support..." - REVISITED

    Some questions may never be answered. I happen to question why there was such a drastic shift in strategy from such a historically stubborn coach. It's nice to imagine that Martz has magically turned over a new leaf but I'm skeptical at this point.

    Mike Martz is the ultimate conundrum for me. I mean, I wanted to keep him over DV! And, while at some level I'm thankful that Martz will never allow the Rams to be the boring, methodical team that they were under John Robinson, they are nearly as predictable at this point. Add to that a grudge that may never go away and I don't know what to think sometimes. I mean, if I go with my natural intincts and root for and support the Rams, I endorse Martz by association. When I think of it in those terms I simply feel dirty.

    So, I can't root against Martz because I'd be rooting against the Rams but I can't root for the Rams because I'd be supporting Martz. I guess that's why I'm so offended by him, he's forced me to become less passionate about the Rams. I have to just accept what happens rather than encourage or discourage events regarding the team.

    I've tried to think of a good analogy and the best I can come up with is being lost at sea in a life raft. Dying of hunger and thirst you're compelled to drink the water from the ocean. The more you drink, the more dehydrated you get. The more dehydrated you get the more you drink.

    Damn, I hate the offseason.


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