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  • Jackson's absence irritates Martz

    By Bill Coats - Post Dispatch

    For those who think that first-round draft pick Steven Jackson is going to waltz into a position as the Rams' No. 1A running back, nipping at Marshall Faulk's heels, coach Mike Martz has a message for you:

    Think again.

    "To think that any back is going to come in and alternate with a guy who's been an MVP and is headed for the Hall of Fame, . . . without ever doing anything, is just insane," Martz said Wednesday, six days before players report to Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill., for training camp. "He missed all of spring, and then he was supposed to be here this (past) weekend and didn't show up. So, we're just going to move on."

    Jackson, a 6-foot-3, 233-pound Oregon State product, is unsigned and clearly not on Martz's good side at the moment. Jackson attended the team's rookie camp, but under NFL rules had to skip the three-day full-squad session in May because Oregon State's senior class had yet to graduate. Martz didn't elaborate on why Jackson was expected at Rams Park last weekend. Attempts on Wednesday to reach Jackson's agent, St. Louis-based Rocky Arceneaux, were unsuccessful.

    Jackson's status is significant because Faulk, 31, has endured a succession of knee problems. Faulk, the league's MVP and offensive player of the year in 2000, hasn't made it through a full season unscathed since 1999, the year the Rams won the Super Bowl. During that span, he has been sidelined for 11 regular-season contests, although a broken hand, not a knee problem, cost him five games last season. In 2003, Faulk appeared in 11 games and rushed for 818 yards, the second-lowest total of his 10-year career.

    There even has been speculation that if his knee doesn't respond fully after another offseason operation, a frustrated Faulk might consider retirement. While Martz acknowledged that he was "a little bit" concerned about Faulk's health, he was quick to put his apprehension in perspective.

    "I'm less concerned probably this year than I was the last two years," said Martz, who will be entering his fifth season as head coach. "I know that he's come in the last two years probably about 70 percent. Last year, his knee was awful, and we tried to kind of get by. ...

    "He's much further along physically than he has been the last few seasons, and yet he's not 100 percent by any stretch. He's probably 85 to 90 percent. Over the next month or so, we're going to try to get him as close to (100 percent) as possible."

    Asked whether Faulk might never again be at full capacity, Martz said: "I suppose that's possible. But Marshall at 95 percent is probably better than anybody else in the league."

    Jackson, who turns 21 today, was widely deemed better than anybody else among the running backs available in the draft. He led the Pacific 10 Conference in rushing yards (1,545), all-purpose yards (2,015) and points (132) last year as a junior. In three seasons, he piled up 3,625 rushing yards and 680 receiving yards on 66 catches.

    On draft day, Jackson described his game as "gumbo."

    "It means that I can catch, block and run, the three things you need to be able to do in the National Football League," he said. "I bring a lot of stuff to the table."

    The Rams traded up two spots to snatch him with the 24th overall selection. "We all have goose bumps, to add this type of talent to our offense," Martz said then.

    How long it takes Jackson to absorb the Rams' multifaceted offense is the question now, and Martz isn't optimistic that it will be any time soon.

    Jackson is listed behind Faulk, Lamar Gordon and even Arlen Harris, who is being moved to fullback, on the depth chart. "He's going to come in as the fourth back," Martz said. "And if he's better than our third back, then he'll move up. If he's better than No. 2, he'll move up there. ...

    "He's so far behind right now, whatever he can do is a bonus," Martz said. "If he can catch up, God bless him. ... All that glitz and glamour of being the No. 1 guy, he's going to have to shake that off and go to work. Whatever he does on this football team, he's doing to earn every inch of it. Nothing's going to be given to him."

  • #2
    Re: Jackson's absence irritates Martz

    Was it not Martz himself that hinted at the idea of creating two-back sets to specifically feature both Jackson and Faulk in the backfield? I understand and even share frustration if Jackson was supposed to be in Rams Park and never showed, but it strikes me as odd that Martz would discredit the idea of Jackson seeing significant time or having a strong role this season when some of his own comments -- if my memory serves me well -- seemed to implicate just that.

    Oh well, hopefully it all gets straightened out very soon.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Jackson's absence irritates Martz

      I dont have a problem with this article.
      Martz is just saying what everyone else with a football mind is thinking. How the hell does a guy expect to come in and start forthe Rams.

      What a lot of people forget is how many NFL players have struggled with the Ram playbook. Its not a colouring in book you know, its a times crossword and to play for the Rams, we expect you to finish it pronto.

      __________________________________________________________
      Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Jackson's absence irritates Martz

        Nothing more than a negotiations ploy. If he's not signed, then how is he suppose to attend anything ?? From earlier reports he's been working out out at Rams park since the end of June, with Torry too no less. Martz needs to give him a ton of work to, " work up from the number four back", and wants him in camp from day one. Camp is six days away and maybe Jay is and his agent are a bit off in their proposals ?? Using the media to send a message to Mr. Jackson, can put a sense of urgency for him to push his agent to get a deal done. Just my two cents, ok two & 1/2. Martz needs him in camp, and Jackson needs all the work he can get.


        Maineram :ramlogo:

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Jackson's absence irritates Martz

          I hope we get this sorted quickly, We need his help to lift the running game.
          The Breakfast Club. You want cheese with that?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Jackson's absence irritates Martz

            Just a little public negotiation management. Today or tomorrow, we'll hear about how excited Jackson is to get to camp, and how he wants a deal done. Then he'll sign, go to camp & get to work. I'm not going to worry about it.
            The more things change, the more they stay the same.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Jackson's absence irritates Martz

              Mike Martz, please, just shut the ______ up!!!


              :ramlogo:

              Comment


              • #8
                According to Bernie...

                "There is no beef.
                No controversy, either.

                This is typical NFL stuff between a coach and rookie.

                Jackson has been in STL quite a bit, and it got back to Martz (through some of the veteran players) that Jackson was acting a bit ****y. Martz is just trying to make sure the rookie is hungry when he gets to training camp. Just an ego check. Ain't a thing wrong with that.

                Cheers,
                Bernie"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Jackson's absence irritates Martz

                  Originally posted by Ferter
                  Mike Martz, please, just shut the ______ up!!!


                  :ramlogo:
                  Ram Fans
                  whiners
                  idiots

                  ????


                  I give up, what is supposed to be in that blank then Ferter :tongue:

                  __________________________________________________________
                  Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Jackson's absence irritates Martz

                    Jackson is listed behind Faulk, Lamar Gordon and even Arlen Harris, who is being moved to fullback, on the depth chart. "He's going to come in as the fourth back," Martz said. "And if he's better than our third back, then he'll move up. If he's better than No. 2, he'll move up there. ...

                    Hmmm, sounds to me like he's keeping an open mind with Jackson. He hasn't thrown him in the doghouse or anything.

                    "To think that any back is going to come in and alternate with a guy who's been an MVP and is headed for the Hall of Fame, . . . without ever doing anything, is just insane," Martz said Wednesday, six days before players report to Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill., for training camp. "He missed all of spring, and then he was supposed to be here this (past) weekend and didn't show up. So, we're just going to move on."

                    Again, it's just me, but it sounded like he was more defending Faulk than slamming Jackson. This is where the fans that hate Martz don't get it. He always protects his players that have earned that right. The Rams players love playing for this guy.

                    Comment

                    Related Topics

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                    • majorram
                      Mike Martz
                      by majorram
                      Yep i I know I might get thrown out the building for asking this question..... BUT how about it guys.....I just loved the guy and was sad how it ended... with Ziggy OUT and Billy pulling the cords and suppling the players, would YOU like him back...I have to say i miss him...

                      steve
                      -12-23-2008, 02:56 AM
                    • Nick
                      Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score
                      by Nick
                      Martz bashers now have proof: He doesn't know the score
                      BY JEFF GORDON
                      Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
                      09/03/2004

                      I believe we all like a little self-deprecating humor in our coaches. In a field of know-it-alls and Inventors of the Sport, the ability to mock oneself is an endearing quality.

                      We can only take so much of the Bill Walshs and Marty Schottenheimers of the world.

                      However, I'd like to use this corner of cyberspace to give Rams coach Mike Martz a little advice.

                      Never, never, NEVER come clean during a post-game news conference. Never admit to a lapse in your cognitive powers.

                      Never admit you didn't know what the score was in the last minute of a game.


                      You know how some citizens of Rams Nation are. They doubt Martz as a head coach and disparage his game management skills. They bristle every time he burns his timeouts, as he did in the second half of the Raiders game.

                      They hang on his every word, waiting for him to make an incriminating statement or use an improper tone of voice. There are folks who walk around town muttering one of Martz's favorite lines, "Shoot, we'll fix that," under their breaths.

                      As veteran talk show host Howard Balzer noted on 1380 ESPN Friday morning, Martz should NOT have made a confession after Thursday night's 28-24 loss at Oakland.

                      He admitted ordering Jeff Smoker to throw a sideline pass with nine seconds left, even though the Rams needed to get in the end zone.

                      "I can't believe I was yelling for a field goal," Martz told reporters. "That was the dumbest thing I've ever done as a football coach."

                      Oh, boy. You don't want to get Rams fans going down that road.

                      That was tantamount to throwing out a three-hour radio call-in topic. That was like throwing fresh hamburger into the shark tank. Fans will be eager to respond to that assertion.

                      "Smoker was yelling at me, 'Hey coach, we're down by four!'" Martz continued. "Can you imagine Jeff Smoker telling me what the score was?"

                      Everybody at once: YES!


                      Now I'm a pretty big Mike Martz fan. He inherited outstanding talent from Dick Vermeil, but he also had to rebuild an atrocious defense.

                      He has accomplished plenty on his own, including winning an NFC Championship and reaching postseason play three times.

                      The NFL is a tough place to coach, as Steve Spurrier would tell you. Rams fans tend not to give Mad Mike all the credit he deserves.

                      But Martz DOES do some goofy things. He seems to become immersed in his scripted play chart, to the point of becoming impervious to all the drama swirling around him.

                      When asked to comment on such-and-such an incident on the sidelines, Martz often has no idea what reporters...
                      -09-03-2004, 05:19 PM
                    • Nick
                      Martz on the Mike: Weds, 11/17
                      by Nick
                      Head Coach Mike Martz
                      Wednesday, November 17, 2004

                      (Opening statement)
                      “The Bills, obviously at home, have played very well. Defensively, they are one of the top teams in the league. The defensive line, particularly the two tackles, are very physical guys that are very disruptive. Of course we know what London (Fletcher) is. With his range he is very active and very involved in both the passing game and run game. Offensively, both backs I think are outstanding. (Willis) McGahee has really taken off and done a great job. Any game on the road like this is very difficult in the NFL as you know. As our players learned down in Miami, you have to bring your best every week. I think this is a better football team then Miami obviously, and we know that we are in for a dog fight when we get up there. We will prepare as such.”

                      (On the players reacting to the tougher practices)
                      “I don’t know if it was any tougher, we tackled. We went back to basics. I think we’re all upset with ourselves as well as the players in terms of the attitude. Sometimes you let things slip and as I said last week, sometimes what you see is what you coach. So we had to go back to basics, and we will again do that today. We’ve got to block and tackle better we just do, that’s the basis of this game. If you don’t enjoy those things you’re not going to play well. They enjoy it, they had a good time out there on Wednesday. Practice was a lot of fun, they got into it pretty good, and I’m sure they will do it again today. We got better. We’re not where we need to be but we’re making progress and that’s all you can ask. We have a lot of young players on defense who have to learn how to stay at a high level and get off of that roller coaster, and this is probably the best way that you can avoid that.”

                      (On keeping up his attitude with his team)
                      “I’ve been with some of these guys for a long time, and I think they understand my frustrations too. Not just with them, but with myself and not realizing what was going on sometimes. I think it really comes down to, more than anything else, is everybody being on the same page to make it right. They know that we are always going to try and do the right thing by them. None of this was ever intended to or meant as any type of punishment. If you get mad at football teams and start taking it out on them, then you’re going to lose your team. You need to get out of coaching and get an attitude readjustment. It was never about that, It’s about going back to basics, getting your feet on the ground, getting physical again, and enjoying that part of the game.”

                      (On missing LB London Fletcher)
                      ‘There’s no question that we miss London. He was such a good leader on this team and so productive. You go back and look at the years that he was here, he is hard to replace. Guys that didn’t practice at a certain level, he was right there in their face. He demanded it out...
                      -11-18-2004, 01:28 PM
                    • RamWraith
                      Martz help move talks along??
                      by RamWraith
                      Do you think Martz calling out Jackson was a wake-up call for Jackson?? Or was this something that might come back and bite the coach in the arse.

                      We need to get the other 2 signed now by Tuesday. Hargrove is a big one to get there on time. Any words of advise on this one Mike :tongue:
                      -07-25-2004, 01:26 PM
                    • HornsCellPhone
                      What is the overall consensus on Mike Martz?
                      by HornsCellPhone
                      Do you Rams fans still think of him as a good HC or has he lost it?

                      I ask because I've got a funny feeling Martz will be the Saints next HC and I'd like to know what you guys think of him.

                      Was Martz fired because it was just a needed change for both parties?
                      -01-15-2006, 12:33 PM
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