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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Martz still hurt by Rams' snub

    Firing of Super Bowl coach is perplexing to Lions players

    September 30, 2006



    BY NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA





    Up next: St. Louis


    Matchup: Lions 0-3; Rams 2-1.

    When: 4:05 p.m. Sunday.

    Where: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis.

    TV: Fox (Channel 2 in Detroit).

    Line: Rams by 5 1/2 .

    How big is Mike Martz's return to St. Louis? The St. Louis Post-Dispatch sent a reporter to Lions headquarters in Allen Park.

    Last week.

    Martz allowed himself a little nostalgia, but only a little.

    "It's going to be emotional, you know, walking into the (Edward Jones Dome)," Martz told the reporter. "Just the smell it has. There's just a kind of ambience to that whole thing. ... You see the helmets, and, you know ..."

    Martz's voice trailed off, and he excused himself.

    That remains Martz's only public comment on Sunday's game. He broke from the routine this week and didn't address the media Thursday, presumably because he didn't want to rehash his Rams days, didn't want to feed the hype and wanted to focus a little extra on his job as the Lions' offensive coordinator.

    "It's going to be big," said Lions cornerback Dre' Bly, a Ram from 1999-2002. "Mike's been looking forward to this game ever since he left.

    "I still don't understand why he was fired. He took us to two Super Bowls. He had a winning record as a head coach. ... But I know he's very excited to go back, have an opportunity to go do what he does best in the city he did it best in."

    Martz spent 12 of the previous 14 seasons with the Rams. After five years as an assistant with Los Angeles/St. Louis, he spent two years as Washington's quarterbacks coach. He returned to St. Louis as offensive coordinator in 1999.

    The Rams went from 27th in total offense to first, from a 4-12 record to 13-3, from playoff outcasts to Super Bowl champions. They became known as "The Greatest Show on Turf."

    Martz replaced Dick Vermeil as head coach in 2000, and the Rams continued to score and succeed. They had three straight MVPs -- quarterback Kurt Warner in 1999, running back Marshall Faulk in 2000 and Warner again in 2001. They became the first team to score 500 points in three straight seasons in 1999-2001. They went back to the Super Bowl at the end of the 2001 season and lost to New England on a field goal as time expired.

    "He won a Super Bowl there," said Lions defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson, a Ram from 2001-05. "Any time you reach the highest level, you'll never forget that. I'm sure St. Louis will always be special to him."

    Martz helped turn unheralded quarterback Marc Bulger into a Pro Bowler, as he did with Warner, and made the playoffs again in 2003 and 2004.

    But Martz didn't always get along with everyone -- Bulger and running back Steven Jackson were measured in their comments about Martz to the Post-Dispatch this week -- and there was a messy divorce. Martz missed the Rams' last 11 games last season because of a heart ailment and feuded with the front office. The most bizarre incident came Oct. 23 during a game against New Orleans when the front office stopped him from talking to the coaching staff via cell phone.

    "When Mike got sick, after Mike left, then it became a fiasco," said Lions wide receiver Mike Furrey, a Ram from 2003-05. "But what can you do in a situation like that? It was a tough situation. ... We never could figure out what was going on, who's side was what, all the rumors and stuff, where they really fit in. Who knows what really happened?"

    The Rams fired Martz after the season. His record -- playoffs included -- was 56-36.

    "I'm sure, for him, it was very disappointing," Furrey said. "I mean, he won a Super Bowl, he took them back to the Super Bowl, he made the playoffs however many years. ... An exit like that, it was kind of weird."

    So Martz wants to make a grand entrance Sunday.

    "Oh, yeah," wide receiver Roy Williams said. "Who wouldn't? I mean, if I get traded and I come back here to Detroit, I want to put on a good show. That's just the nature of this game. Everybody's a competitor. You especially want to beat your old team.


  2. #2
    Chiledog Guest

    Re: Martz still hurt by Rams' snub

    What goes around, comes around, Mikey.

    .

  3. #3
    Brain Daddy Guest

    Re: Martz still hurt by Rams' snub

    I'll miss the days of Martz wasting time outs, challenging plays when it was painfully obvious they were correct, and ignoring the running game, special teams, and defense.

    I think Martz is like Norv Turner - a good OC, but simply not cut out for a head coaching job.

  4. #4
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Martz still hurt by Rams' snub

    Quote Originally Posted by Brain Daddy View Post
    I'll miss the days of Martz wasting time outs, challenging plays when it was painfully obvious they were correct, and ignoring the running game, special teams, and defense.

    I think Martz is like Norv Turner - a good OC, but simply not cut out for a head coaching job.
    I couldn't agree more with the OC comment. Head coach just isn't his bag.

  5. #5
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    Re: Martz still hurt by Rams' snub

    Who is this Mike Martz everyone is talking about. Never heard of him. LOL. Its funny after the Super Bowl in 2001 everything went downhill in my opinion. That playoff loss to Carolina was a gift to them. We should have one that game but no he didn't want Bulger to throw.

    Look how Bulger is responding to Linehan, Martz has a great scheme, but no follow thru. I'm glad he's off my team.

  6. #6
    chiguy's Avatar
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    Re: Martz still hurt by Rams' snub

    Martz =

  7. #7
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    Re: Martz still hurt by Rams' snub

    Quote Originally Posted by chiguy View Post
    Martz =
    Actually he's a:

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