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Rams' Martz calls Bears' hamstring epidemic just a 'bad run'

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  • Rams' Martz calls Bears' hamstring epidemic just a 'bad run'

    Rams' Martz calls Bears' hamstring epidemic just a 'bad run'





    August 7, 2004

    BY BRAD BIGGS STAFF REPORTER

    MACOMB, Ill. -- Mike Martz angrily has defended his friend Lovie Smith for the outbreak of hamstring fever that has surrounded the training camp of the first-year Bears coach.

    What has been missed is that no one has called Smith's practices too grueling. Instead, it has been questioned whether the major weight loss emphasis, combined with the increased running, has led to some of the problems.

    ''For crying out loud,'' Martz railed. ''That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I guess all these people who write that must be medical doctors. You think? You've got to be kidding me. I mean, this is just a bad run. Maybe they're not used to practicing that hard. Who knows? I know we've been through it. We've had six, seven, eight guys [sidelined with pulled hamstrings].''

    Running back Adrian Peterson sat out of both practices Friday as his hamstring tightened up. According to Smith, wide receiver Justin Gage and reserve safety Bobby Gray will be back from their hamstring injuries this week and should be ready for the exhibition opener Thursday in St. Louis.



    FILLING IN: With Peterson and Anthony Thomas (ribs) out and Dwone Hicks gone from the team, fullback Jason McKie has stepped in and worked as a halfback. What is most interesting is that he was chosen over Rabih Abdullah, who had a failed experiment as a third-down back last season.

    ''I'm just helping out right now,'' he said. ''But I'll do whatever they need me to be.''

    McKie never has been a true halfback, having been the fullback in a Wing-T offense at Gulf Breeze (Fla.) High. He did carry the ball in short-yardage situations at Temple. Even more telling, however, is that he has been used on special teams as the off-side returner. The 5-11, 240-pounder has good speed but isn't elusive by any means.

    ''The way our returns are designed, we're straight ahead,'' special-teams coach Dave Toub said. ''We want to catch the ball and get up the field right away. That kind of fits his running style.''

    Toub said rookie Bernard Berrian has a ''good shot'' at replacing Jerry Azumah as the main kick returner. Ahmad Merritt and Nate Vasher are also in the mix.



    BAD OMEN: If the afternoon practice Friday was a sign of things to come, the Bears' offense is going to have a real struggle with the Rams' defense in the scrimmage this morning. Neither the first nor second team could pick up a first down in the two-minute drill, with offensive coordinator Terry Shea calling a run on first down both times. The Rams seemed to make twice as many big plays as the Bears.



    NO WRONG: Smith did not think anything was wrong with allowing Azumah to practice in non-contact drills Tuesday before the definitive word from his second medical opinion came back and it was learned he would need surgery.

    ''I guess [the injury] has been there for a while,'' Smith said. ''Yes, we let him go out there. We thought maybe there was still a chance [he was injured], so we just let him do a little bit of non-contact work and he looked very good when he did it. We found out otherwise and went to the next stage.''

    EXTRA POINTS: The morning practice ended on a Thomas Jones touchdown run in a goal-line drill and was followed by a small flare-up between the teams. Bryan Johnson ended up ripping off the helmet of Rams linebacker Tommy Polley, but order was quickly restored. ... Other highlights included a crushing double-team block by center Olin Kreutz and right guard Terrence Metcalf on linebacker Trev Faulk. ... The Bears broke out a hook-and-lateral play, with wide receiver Bobby Wade pitching the ball to trailing running back Brock Forsey. One would think they would choose a faster man for the lateral. ... The ranks at cornerback continued to thin out as Brock Williams went down with a sprained left ankle.


    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Rams' Martz calls Bears' hamstring epidemic just a 'bad run'

    Frankly, this just further illustrates why I mock sMartz after he opens his smart mouth. It "bears" repeating ... first sMartz said it was "silly" to talk about hamstrings as it has been and I submitted:


    Originally posted by me
    Uh, "silly?" Clearly an injury isn't silly. And to prevent reoccurences, I would think that an investigation into whether there is a correlation between weight loss and hamstring injuries might me a worthwhile endeavor. But, I'm not in football ... so silly it must be.

    Now sMartz rails about the issue even more vehemently to the point of saying:


    Originally posted by sMartz
    ''For crying out loud,'' Martz railed. ''That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I guess all these people who write that must be medical doctors. You think? You've got to be kidding me. I mean, this is just a bad run. Maybe they're not used to practicing that hard. Who knows? I know we've been through it. We've had six, seven, eight guys [sidelined with pulled hamstrings].''

    The people writing didn't state there WAS a link but only raised the question which is the fair turf of a journalist. But to denigrate their questions sMartz suggests sarcastically that without a medical degree they have no business talking about the subject. The fact that sMartz isn't a medical doctor didn't stop sMartz from volunteering his opinion though. Typical hypocrite. Typically sMartzian contradiction.

    To compound his own dumbness in the matter he points out that in the past the Rams have had hamstring injuries. (see the other thread where sMartz was commenting about various things). Uh well sMartz, the reporter asked: why is there no correlation between hamstring injuries and weight loss since the common demoniator in some of those injuries occuring on the Rams and the Bears is the coach who emphasized weight loss ... wouldn't it be a fair question for a real medical researcher to inquire into???

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams' Martz calls Bears' hamstring epidemic just a 'bad run'

      Said so well Adarian

      Reborn

      Comment

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      • RamDez
        Bears, Rams scrimmage caps week
        by RamDez
        Bears, Rams scrimmage caps week





        August 7, 2004









        By KEVIN CAPIE

        of the Journal Star



        MACOMB - Three days of joint workouts between the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears come to a close this morning with a 10:30 a.m. scrimmage at Hanson Field.

        For both teams, the goal of today's scrimmage is to continue the progress that has been made from the first day of practice when camp opened.

        "We want to improve our team. We're not keeping score," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "We came up here to have some good practices against a good team, and we're getting that type of work done."

        The Rams will use today's scrimmage to work in some of the younger players.

        "We're going to take a look at our inexperienced players," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "We're going to make sure that the younger players get some repetitions."

        Getting closer: It is rare in today's NFL that a team would take a flier on signing an injured player as a free agent while that player is still rehabbing from the injury.

        That's exactly what the Rams did during the offseason in signing defensive tackle Bernard Holsey, who started all 16 games last season for Washington. He had surgery in February to repair his injured quadricep.

        Holsey began working out on Friday and hopes to be able to play by the end of the preseason.

        "It's a little frustrating right now," Holsey said. "The guys are out there sweating, but I can only do a limited number of things."

        What wasn't frustrating was when the Rams called expressing interest even though he was injured.

        "That was amazing," Holsey said. "I wasn't expecting to hear from any teams until August. I appreciate that they called. I'm sure I would have had some more interest, but they called first."

        Said Martz: "He's played at a really I level. I've seen him play and our scouts really liked him."

        Holsey's return comes at a time when the Rams need some more depth after defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy suffered a broken foot during Thursday's afternoon workout. He is expected to miss three to four months.

        "He just put his foot on the ground, there was no contact or anything," Martz said. "Hopefully we'll get him back halfway through the season."

        Points of emphasis: Officials have been working with the Bears and Rams this week.

        They're going over some of the rule changes, as well as the rules that haven't changed but will be emphasized this season.

        The biggest point this year that will be enforced is not allowing defenders to intentionally contact receivers 5 yards past the line of scrimmage.

        "The...
        -08-07-2004, 01:58 PM
      • Nick
        Rams Inside Slant
        by Nick
        Inside Slant

        He might have been briefly in coach Mike Martz's doghouse before training camp started, but running back Steven Jackson has done everything in his power to win back the coach's good graces in training camp.

        Martz had said Jackson was out of shape, didn't know the offense and wasn't in attendance at a precamp the team had before leaving for training camp. Jackson was unsigned at the time, but quickly signed a five-year contract and got to work.

        He would routinely stay after practice getting pointers from running back Marshall Faulk, and was showing all the attributes the Rams believed he had when they traded up to pick him in the first round of April's draft.

        In a scrimmage against the Bears Aug. 7, he showed good hands and pass-catching ability on a 22-yard play. Then, in the first exhibition game last Thursday, also against the Bears, Jackson rushed 15 times for 73 yards and added four receptions for 18 yards.

        One reason given for the Cowboys passing on Jackson is that he had arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason. Martz acknowledged his knee is still not 100 percent.

        "His leg, where he had his scope, is not quite as strong as it used to be," Martz said. "You can see that. He favors it a little bit."

        Still, most important, is that he did a solid job picking up blitzes. Martz wasn't upset that the Bears blitzed in such an early game because it gave the offense an opportunity to work against it.

        Said Martz of Jackson, "Offensively, Steven is learning the offense, he's getting better. He still doesn't have the leg strength back yet that he will have eventually. He's still learning our offense, but he did a terrific job in pass blocking, which for a rookie, is a big challenge. He did a great job in recognizing blitzes and getting over. Fortunately, they did blitz us, and that's good for us, because with him back there, he has to get tested before the season starts."

        Asked about Jackson's prior experience in that phase of the game, Martz said, "He was tuned in and that's what's impressive about him. I was very impressed with that. That's very important. I'm pleased with him in his progress. I really am. He still has a long way to go. He's very talented. He's a little bit of a misguided missile right now. The hardest thing about a running back is, he's still not familiar with the angles we are trying to block and the anticipation, and setting guys up. He doesn't know this running game like he will. There's a lot to be said for that. It's just like a quarterback coming in and not knowing where the receivers are. You can kind of guess, but it affects you a little bit."

        CAMP CALENDAR: Camp opened at Macomb, Ill., July 27, with the first practice the following day. The Chicago Bears traveled to Macomb for an afternoon practice Aug. 5, two practices...
        -08-16-2004, 10:47 PM
      • RamWraith
        Tuesday Notebook
        by RamWraith
        By NICK WAGONER
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        When the Chicago Bears came to Macomb for a series of practices capped off by a scrimmage this past week, everyone assumed it was simply a matter of Rams’ coach Mike Martz calling Bears’ coach Lovie Smith and asking.

        That assumption would be wrong. Sure, Martz did ask Smith to come to Western Illinois University, but there is another reason for the added workouts with the neighbors to the north and John Oswald is his name.

        Oswald is in his third decade with the team and the Vice President of Operations since 1992. Every time the Rams go on a road trip, Oswald makes it happen. When the team moves its entire organization to training camp, Oswald makes it work.

        It was no different this past week, when Oswald brought the Bears and Rams together in Thompson Hall for three days seamlessly. Martz was one of the first to credit Oswald for his efforts. “Let me just say this,” Martz said. “John Oswald really orchestrates this whole thing. He is the one that does all of this. By golly, he does a fantastic job.”

        Oswald helped put together the scrimmage with Tennessee in 2000, so he had some experience doing it, but there were a few new wrinkles this year. The setup was similar in that the Titans and Bears were put in Western Illinois’ locker room, training room and equipment room.

        The biggest difference, though, was a change made in Thompson Hall. In 2000, there was no cafeteria for the teams to share, so they ate on the 18th floor. Since then, Western Illinois has put in a new cafeteria that has more than enough room for two football teams and their staff.

        Oswald said he can’t take all of the credit for the planning. “We started from when they check in to when they check out, what exactly is their schedule going to be like,” Oswald said. “We go through it piece by piece and then we incorporate the university here which is very helpful. “There were a wide range of people that really assisted with the scrimmage itself.”

        The university provided the teams with security, transport vans and set up meeting rooms. Like with any meeting involving that many people, Oswald said there were a few hiccups along the way and there will be a meeting to evaluate those mistakes so the problems can be corrected in future scrimmages.

        Oswald said he is always on the lookout for another scrimmage opportunity, so he can do his part to help break up the monotony of camp. “Overall it went off without a hitch,” Oswald said. “I give all the credit to the university and the city of Macomb.”

        Those two entities deserve credit for helping, but, as Martz said, without Oswald in a leadership role, it would have been difficult.

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        -08-12-2004, 05:42 AM
      • Nick
        Martz rolls with punches of key injuries
        by Nick
        Martz rolls with punches of key injuries
        By Jim Thomas
        Of the Post-Dispatch
        08/15/2004

        MACOMB, Ill. - In terms of devastating news, it doesn't quite rank with quarterback Trent Green's season-ending knee injury in 1999. Nonetheless, the news that right tackle Kyle Turley and center Dave Wohlabaugh will be sidelined for lengthy periods wasn't exactly an August pick-me-up for coach Mike Martz.

        "But that happened last year to us - just at other positions," Martz said. "That's why those other guys are there. If you didn't feel good about those guys - a Scotty Tercero, for instance, or Grant Williams - then they shouldn't be there. And fortunately, both those guys have risen to the occasion."

        Turley (back) and Wohlabaugh (hip) have taken longer than expected to recover from offseason surgery. Both players left Macomb to get further medical evaluation on their injuries. The Rams got the results of those evaluations prior to the Chicago preseason game.

        Turley will be sidelined for at least four weeks, with emphasis on the "at least."

        "Kyle's going to take some time," Martz said. "The doctors said four weeks, and then they'll have an idea about how it feels, how he feels. And what direction he's going to go with that."

        As for Wohlabaugh. ...

        "That's a three-month deal," Martz said.

        Which is about three months longer than the Rams expected.

        "I felt like we'd have him for camp," Martz said. "That's how I understood it from his doctor up there in Ohio. And then I really felt like we would have him by now. So obviously we're disappointed. And I've got to tell you, Dave is very disappointed. He wants to play."


        No vanilla from Lovie

        Most teams don't get too fancy in the preseason, particularly the preseason opener. But there was nothing vanilla about head coach Lovie Smith's defense for Chicago. The Bears blitzed early and often.

        A few years ago, Martz was critical of blitzing by Tennessee's Jeff Fisher in a preseason game against the Rams. But he had no complaints about the Bears' blitzes, perhaps because of his close relationship with Smith - the Rams' former defensive coordinator.

        "I think that's what they are," Martz said. "I think that's what Ron (Rivera) wants to do. I kind of felt like they would."

        Rivera is the Bears defensive coordinator.

        "That's OK," Martz continued. "That doesn't bother me at all. It's good for us to see that stuff, because it helps our guys that haven't played see pressure situations in a game-type atmosphere. A guy like Andy King, a guy like Steven Jackson - they need to see that stuff."

        Injury report is light

        Martz said...
        -08-15-2004, 12:05 AM
      • RamDez
        Rams, Bears scrimmage before preseason opener
        by RamDez
        Rams, Bears scrimmage before preseason opener


        Associated Press



        MACOMB, Ill. - After three days of joint practices, the St. Louis Rams outplayed the Chicago Bears during a scrimmage at Western Illinois University's Hanson Field Saturday.

        The Rams unofficially won the scrimmage 12-6, though no score was actually kept during the 90-minute workout.

        Both teams held out several starters. Quarterback Marc Bulger and running back Marshall Faulk did not see action for the Rams while linebacker Brian Urlacher, who is nursing a hamstring injury, and wide receiver Marty Booker and others sat out for the Bears.

        The scrimmage also provided a chance for new Chicago coach Lovie Smith to put his team up against the Rams, where he worked as defensive coordinator before taking the job with the Bears.

        Smith said after the scrimmage, "We know we have a long ways to go. We get a chance to play them again next week with hopes that we'll have a better team on the field playing against them."

        The Bears will visit the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis Thursday to take on the Rams in the preseason opener.

        The Rams went on offense first in the controlled scrimmage as former Bears quarterback Chris Chandler marched the Rams 70 yards in a drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by running back Arlen Harris.

        Bears starting quarterback Rex Grossman directed the first three series before backup Jonathan Quinn engineered the last two drives.

        Rams rookie quarterback Jeff Smoker hit Kevin Curtis for a 35-yard touchdown later in the scrimmage.

        Then Quinn guided the Bears to their only score when he connected with Gabe Reid on a 5-yard scoring toss.

        One of the biggest ovations of the morning came when former Western Illinois star Russ Michna took the field for a few plays with the Rams offense.

        Rams coach Mike Martz said Michna had two good passes. "Unfortunately, one of them was dropped. He's a good little player. He's not a camp arm. I'm excited that we have him."

        Michna is in the Rams camp as the fourth quarterback after signing with St. Louis as an undrafted free agent in June. Michna said after playing that he appreciated the crowd's response. "It's great to know that they still appreciate what you did for them."

        Martz said a scrimmage like the one against the Bears can provide a player an opportunity to show he deserves a spot on the roster. "We're not going to eliminate somebody because of what they've done in this scrimmage. What we can do is look a little harder at a guy," he said.

        Notes: Martz said the Rams will not practice Sunday to give his players a break. They will hold a workout Monday afternoon and a meeting Monday night in Macomb. Martz said, "We've had a terrific camp up here and they've worked...
        -08-08-2004, 12:55 AM
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