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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Burwell - Martz's moves show he's growing as a head coach

    Martz's moves show he's growing as a head coach
    By Bryan Burwell
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Monday, Apr. 25 2005

    Without the aid of hindsight or a really snazzy time machine, trying to apply
    an accurate grade to the Rams' performance in last weekend's NFL draft is a lot
    like trying to place a value on a luxury car while it's still on the assembly
    line.

    We are still three days away from seeing all these rookie draftees and
    undrafted free agents in shorts and cleats in this weekend's rookie minicamp.
    We are still months away from seeing all of Mike Martz's new toys lined up in
    shoulder pads and helmets along with the new and old veterans in training camp
    at Rams Park. So until Martz's newest edition of the Rams is fully loaded and
    totally constructed to his satisfaction, we are only armed with uneducated
    assumptions.

    In the meantime, while waiting to see whether this draft class turns out to be
    a classic or a lemon, there are some definite conclusions that can be drawn
    from the busy offseason at Rams Park.

    First and foremost, now that much of the dust has cleared from a somewhat
    turbulent winter, Martz seems to have a much firmer grasp on the control and
    direction of this franchise than at any other time in the past six years. To
    the legions of Martz bashers out there, this might sound just a bit
    preposterous, despite a head-coaching resume that includes a five-year winning
    percentage at 62.1 percent, four playoff berths and the fifth most victories by
    any team (54) in the NFL since 2000.

    But if you think that's preposterous, then you're going to just love this.

    I think it's a smart move.

    I think considering all the heat, abuse and criticism Martz has taken since he
    became head coach - and the enormous bull's-eye that is on his chest as he
    enters the 2005 season - the reins of control over the short-term future of the
    Rams ought to be in his hands. If it's his head and head-coaching career that
    are on the line, then he ought to at least have a fighting chance to make it
    work on his terms.

    And so far, I have to say, I'm liking what I've seen.

    What a lot of folks tend to forget is that this guy has been learning on the
    job. Before Dick Vermeil left and the head-coaching job was handed to his
    bright and promising offensive coordinator, Martz had never been a head coach
    at any level. The inexperience showed with an almost single-minded obsession
    with all things on offense, while he pretty much left the rest of the team in
    other folks' hands.

    That attitude ultimately hurt the defense and killed the special teams. He gave
    short shrift to both areas, and eventually it caught up with him.

    But last season, particularly by the final two months of the year, we saw a
    different Martz at work. He finally noticed the glaring deficiencies in other
    areas. And now, in the offseason, he's taken an even stronger role. He had
    ultimate authority over this draft and the free-agent shopping, and at least on
    paper, a lot of the weaknesses of last season's 8-8 ballclub have been
    addressed.

    The undisputed improvements are easy to notice. The linebacking corps has
    already been upgraded with the addition of free agents Chris Claiborne and
    Dexter Coakley. The thing that was most impressive about what the Rams did in
    the offseason so far was how aggressively they played the free-agent market.
    The signing last week of offensive guard Rex Tucker is a big deal.

    The other obvious, undisputed truth is that he was smart and aggressive in the
    draft. Alex Barron improves this offensive line drastically, and if Richie
    Incognito's knee holds up, he'll be a nasty fixture on the interior line in the
    near future. But the most telling sign of the "new" Martz was the obvious
    emphasis on special teams. Most smart teams use the draft as a way of
    fortifying special teams. But until this draft, Martz never concerned himself
    with that, quite frankly.

    I don't know if any of this will work, but it makes sense to me that since
    Martz has been getting all the blame, why shouldn't he be put in a position to
    get much of the credit if this all comes together by the end of the season?

    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  2. #2
    psycho9985's Avatar
    psycho9985 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Burwell - Martz's moves show he's growing as a head coach

    Now that was a good article on Martz.:ramlogo: :ramlogo: :ramlogo:
    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up Re: Burwell - Martz's moves show he's growing as a head coach

    Seriously, this does show some maturation on Martz's part as a head coach. He did focus on needs on the o-line as well as outside of the offense for a change and hopefully it will pay dividends in the near and distant future. Regardless of the quality of the picks, I for one was happy to see the areas that he did focus on; o-line, d-backs, and special teams. It was refreshing. In all honesty, how many of us were afraid that he would use a high to mid-level pick for some new project or offensive toy?? This time he did not, thankfully, and that to me shows that he is rounding into more of a head coach than just an offensive coordinator. The next challenge is molding this roster into a team with attitude and grit...

    :ramlogo:
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  4. #4
    general counsel Guest

    Re: Burwell - Martz's moves show he's growing as a head coach

    It also shows a long term commitment to building the team, instead of just trying to add primarily guys that will help this year.

    general counsel

  5. #5
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is online now Moderator Emeritus
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    Re: Burwell - Martz's moves show he's growing as a head coach

    In two to three years, Barron, Incognito and Terrell could all be starters on the Rams' line. That would make this one of the most productive drafts in memory for the Rams. Add the fact that Pace was signed long term, and you could say this would be one of the more productive offseasons.

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