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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Martz writes for USA Today??! ( on Rams time?)

    Rolling into playoffs beats stumbling in


    By Mike Martz, Special for USA TODAY

    Mike Martz coached the St. Louis Rams from 2000-05, taking them to one Super Bowl while winning two division titles and earning four playoff berths. He was the team's offensive coordinator in 1999 when it won Super Bowl XXXIV, defeating the Tennessee Titans 23-16. He discussed the NFL postseason with USA TODAY pro football writer Larry Weisman.
    Mike Martz's Rams were perennial playoff teams Mike Martz's Rams were perennial playoff teams
    By Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY

    Twelve teams go into the playoffs, but they don't all go in the same way.

    Some clinched their berths several weeks ago and have been resting players. Others had to fight to the final weekend to qualify.

    Some have not played their best football in the last few games. Others have really begun to find themselves and define their personality.

    Momentum. Attitude. That's what I look for in a playoff team. Teams get beat up and exhausted over the long haul of a season, and they try to keep it together. But the teams that seem to be fresh and invigorated stand out.

    As a coach, I did not like the bye week. I understand about getting the nicked guys healthy, but I always felt that if you were playing well, you wanted to keep playing. You gain some momentum with big wins down the stretch. That's what I have been paying the most attention to.

    For a team to dominate in a big game at the end of the year can be huge. I think that the Carolina Panthers had a big win in Atlanta (44-11), and that gave them momentum. They played with a great deal of confidence and dominated the Falcons. With Carolina, there's a toughness and resolve in those players, and they have adopted (coach) John Fox's personality. They play like John. They're tenacious; they're upbeat; they just keep coming at you.

    I feel very much the same way about the Washington Redskins. The Redskins are coming around the outside and making the run, like the horse you didn't notice when the race began. That team is on fire now. On offense they are not even remotely the team they were, because of (coach) Joe Gibbs and how well he has adapted after being away from the game for so long. They're stellar on defense and are a team that's very dangerous, just coming on really strong.

    Again, it's about momentum.

    They won five games down the stretch that they had to win, and that speaks to a toughness and enthusiasm. You can just feel it when you watch them. They're a much better team than they were six weeks ago. I watch body language all the time, and this team is starting to believe it is pretty good. Clinton Portis can get an offense going by himself, not only with what he does on the field but with his personality.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers are another team that's gaining strength, and they'll be playing a Cincinnati Bengals team that is not going in off its best performances. When you have a team that's not been to the playoffs for a long time, it's important to have some momentum, at least for confidence. The intensity over the last three or four weeks with teams in the playoff hunt is extreme, and it startles some teams. The best thing Cincinnati has going for it is being at home. The Bengals are a good team, but their last few weeks are troublesome. They have to pull things together.

    When you see a team gaining strength the way Pittsburgh has, you know there's an experience factor with the coach and the staff. They've been there, and they know what to do.

    Teams get momentum in different ways.

    The Chicago Bears have it, even if they lost their last game, because the quarterback, Rex Grossman, is a real shot in the arm, and anybody will have trouble scoring against that defense.

    I think that the Denver Broncos are gaining momentum from being good in all phases of the game.

    To me, Denver and the Seattle Seahawks are underrated.

    The Indianapolis Colts may be the best team, but again, the momentum thing bothers me. They were an overturned call away from losing their last three games.

    That is what it's all about over the next month. Say what you want about the home field or the noisy crowd or injuries, but remember this: It's a game of momentum. It just is.


  2. #2
    ramsbruce's Avatar
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    Re: Martz writes for USA Today??! ( on Rams time?)

    Nice find Wraith.
    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce
    Tre was running great against an awful NYG run defense. 5.8 YPC yet he only gets 13 carries. I can't wait until the Rams abandon you, Schotty.

  3. #3
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: Martz writes for USA Today??! ( on Rams time?)

    It is Mr. Positive. All the teams have a chance and he even thinks the Seahawks are underrated.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    adarian_too's Avatar
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    Re: Martz writes for USA Today??! ( on Rams time?)

    Oh, now he knows the word momentum. I wonder if he learned that after starting the season with 5 straight losses after being thumped in the SB? Or did that come when he lost a chance at a bye week in the playoffs by not getting the team prepared? Or maybe, when he lost to SF before halftime had even arrived? Or maybe when he didn't go for a TD against Carolina?

    Whatever, at least he proves he's qualified to join the ranks of sports journalism ...

  5. #5
    sbramfan Guest

    Re: Martz writes for USA Today??! ( on Rams time?)

    I notice he didn't mention having a good special teams as an important factor in making it to the superbowl.

    he he....

  6. #6
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
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    Re: Martz writes for USA Today??! ( on Rams time?)

    I think the Hawks are overrated. You take away Alexander and what do they have? Not much. I can see the Skins, if they continue to roll TB, going into SEA and giving the paper champs another first round loss.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  7. #7
    OldRamsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Martz writes for USA Today??! ( on Rams time?)

    Way to go R.W. you always find the good stuff , I like Martz he has a great mind for the big O , But he's never been a great H.C. ... D.V. is good H.C. with the right staff good H.C. can and does become a great H.C.

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