Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

    Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due
    By Bernie Miklasz
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/14/2004

    Earlier this summer, the New York Daily News conducted a poll of 12 NFL general managers and team executives and asked this question: Who is the best head coach in the NFL?

    Each panelist was requested to list 10 coaches, ranking them from 1 to 10. In all, 19 coaches were named on ballots. The top three vote-getters were, in order, Bill Belichick (New England), Bill Parcells (Dallas) and Dick Vermeil (Kansas City).

    Rams coach Mike Martz didn't receive a single vote.

    Martz was shut out for the first time in his coaching career.

    Even Miami's Dave Wannstedt got a check mark on one ballot.

    Dave Wannstedt!

    Martz? All zeroes. And this isn't just a national hit on Martz; locally, he's often sacked by critics and talk-show callers.

    Where is the love? I'm not trying to suggest that Martz is Vince Lombardi, but when did he become, say, Bob Hollway? (That Hollway reference was for old-school St. Louis football Cardinals fans.)

    Fact is, the Martz resume as the Rams head coach is impressive. His regular-season winning percentage of .672 is the best by a head coach in St. Louis NFL history. Since the AFL-NFL merger, he has the fourth-highest winning percentage for any NFL head coach with at least 50 games. In his four seasons, he has taken the Rams to the playoffs three times, including a trip to the Super Bowl.

    Reasonable minds recognize Martz's important contribution to the 1999 Super Bowl champion. After going 9-23 in his first two seasons, Dick Vermeil hired Martz to run the Rams offense. Martz installed an offense for the ages, and the Rams sprinted to a championship.

    In Martz's five seasons in charge of the Rams offense, the attack has averaged 29.5 points per game. That's a remarkable scoring rate over a five-year period.

    Before Martz showed up in 1999, St. Louis NFL football teams won 43.6 percent of their games and made the playoffs three times in 32 seasons. After Martz came onto the scene in a position of authority - offensive coordinator, then head coach - the Rams have won 70 percent of their games, made the playoffs four times and captured a Super Bowl title.

    Martz bashers like to say that he's lucky to have inherited Vermeil's team. Not really, because the Rams were a disaster under Vermeil in 1997 and '98, and Martz played a substantial role in shaping the 1999 squad. Besides, only seven players remain from the 1999 team. Only 15 players remain from the 2001 Super Bowl Rams.

    Martz has continued winning even as he has rebuilt the defense and retooled much of the offense. In the salary-cap area, a coach must adjust quickly to inevitable personnel changes, and Martz has adapted on the fly.

    So why the lack of respect for Martz? Rams fans still haven't forgiven Martz for the Super Bowl loss to New England. And fans still hold Martz responsible for last season's home playoff loss to Carolina. Martz went conservative at the end of the fourth quarter, choosing to kick a tying field goal instead of going for the winning touchdown. (Oakland coach John Madden used the exact strategy in a 1977 AFC playoff game at Baltimore; the difference is, the Raiders won in overtime.)

    It's safe to assume that the NFL execs who responded to the Daily News poll had to be thinking of those postseason losses in excluding Martz. He also is viewed as flaky for making head-scratching decisions during games. Eccentricity isn't considered a virtue in the hard-nosed NFL culture.

    As much as he has won with the Rams, the belief is that Martz should have won more. That opinion has merit. But it also fails to give proper weight to his impressive record of achievement.

    In this debate, I am certain of two things: (1) St. Louis was an NFL wasteland before Martz; (2) when Martz is gone and the Rams are sputtering along with a dull offense, fans will miss Mad Mike.

  • #2
    Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

    I think this part should tell all the Martz bashers something


    Martz bashers like to say that he's lucky to have inherited Vermeil's team. Not really, because the Rams were a disaster under Vermeil in 1997 and '98, and Martz played a substantial role in shaping the 1999 squad. Besides, only seven players remain from the 1999 team. Only 15 players remain from the 2001 Super Bowl Rams.

    Martz has continued winning even as he has rebuilt the defense and retooled much of the offense. In the salary-cap area, a coach must adjust quickly to inevitable personnel changes, and Martz has adapted on the fly.

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

      Is it me, or is there something kind of inconsistent about writing an article that is supposed to be praising Coach Martz, but at the same time calls him "Mad Mike"?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

        Originally posted by AvengerRam
        Is it me, or is there something kind of inconsistent about writing an article that is supposed to be praising Coach Martz, but at the same time calls him "Mad Mike"?
        I think the "Mad Mike" moniker is more of a compliment than anything else...implying he's kind of a "mad scientist" type, laboring in a dark, dank basement laboratory, devising new offensive wrinkles.
        Last edited by Yodude; -08-15-2004, 01:29 PM.
        Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

          Maybe, but its the same nickname Bernie pulls out when he criticizes Martz.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

            Maybe, but its the same nickname Bernie pulls out when he criticizes Martz.
            I know what you're saying Avenger...but you have to remember who we are talking about here...it's Bernie after all. I think others use it as a kind of back-handed compliment. As far as Bernie goes...I think only Bernie himself knows what's going on in that thick skull of his....if indeed there is anything going on in there.
            Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

              My opinion of Bernie Miklasz (hereafter referred to as BM).


              Sometimes, he writes articles containing hard facts. A hard BM is definitely preferrable. Other times, he really seems to be pretty loose with the type of information he provides. I'm not particularly fond of a loose BM. Other times, he tries to provide breaking news in an urgent manner. An urgent BM, however, can be problematic. Perhaps the biggest problem with him, though, is that he seems to cover the Rams on an intermittent or irregular basis. Nobody likes an irregular BM.

              In all, I have to say that though BM may be necessary, generally, BM stinks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

                Little known fact.

                Miklasz's middle name is Ustinove

                so Avenger, you need to change BM to B.U.M

                Say, it kind of fits him, dont it ;)

                __________________________________________________________
                Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

                  Nobody likes an irregular BM.
                  Perhaps some fiber ........ah, never mind!
                  Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

                    I'll always be a fan of Martz. He'll make mistakes and sometimes leave you screaming at the television, but I admire his unconventional, open-minded, and creative approach to the game.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

                      I'll always be a fan of Martz. He'll make mistakes and sometimes leave you screaming at the television, but I admire his unconventional, open-minded, and creative approach to the game.
                      I agree...I don't always agree with his decisions...but overall, I wouldn't want anyone else.
                      Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

                        I guess if I stop and think about it........I wouldn't want anybody else either. Martz has pissed me off alot and I have Bashed him, I've been bashed too so it's all good! Give me Martz all day. F the patriots

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

                          Its that time of year again when Bernie shakes out his yellow blind fold and ties it around his thick skull then reaches into his pocket where he keeps his tube of chap stick. He then applies a thick enough coat to last for 6 months and plants his lips squarely on Martz's behind. Then at the end of that six-month period and after Martz has found another way to contribute to the Rams losing their biggest game of the season, (Which also happens to be their last game of the season.) you will hear the suction that has accumulated when the final peck on Martz’s cheek is delivered.

                          Bernie wants to set the parameters of achievement to fit his agenda. If you do not know what his agenda consists of then I suggest you re-read the first paragraph. If you consider how the media (that’s you Bernie) did their share of vaulting Martz into the stratosphere of over-rated back in the years when the Rams were clearly the most talented team in the league then I think one could say that Coach Martz not getting a single vote for best coach(s) is not even on the scale compared to the accolades of Genius that were so lavishly bestowed upon him. (That’d be you again Bernie!). Comparing one against the other clearly shows that Martz is still ahead of the media’s worship game by plenty.

                          Bernie seems to forget what is important in football. Its not how many games you do not screw up over a period of time. It’s which games you choose to screw up that matter. Bernie glosses over the blunder at Carolina as if it were just another game. It was not just another game.

                          It was bad enough to watch as the officials intentionally and egregiously watched the final seconds tick off the clock in superbowl XXXVI but when your own coach watches his teams chance to win the game tick off the clock then just maybe he does not deserve a vote for best coach. Bernie chooses to ignore the talent that Martz was blessed with in his inaugural head-coaching career. Instead he try’s to bury it by turning your attention to Martz being instrumental in acquiring this talent. Even if we play along it still has nothing to do with what has been squandered. In fact it only adds to the ever-growing inkblot on his achievements as a head coach. (Nice try Bernie). Not mentioned is the truth-hiding schedule that we played last year, which also vaulted his win loss record into the overrated stratosphere.

                          What is most important to point out here goes beyond any one game. You see us old guys that have been following the Rams and watching them come so close so many times only to lose because we were not quite good enough have a real problem with what has become of the dynasty that was so apparent and so achievable given the lop-sided talent the Rams had over the rest of the league. For some sick and selfish reason we feel like the best chance of our lifetime was wasted because a guy needed the time to learn how to be a head coach.

                          If things go as common sense suggests and as realists have pointed to since the 2000 season then even Bernie will have no choice except to shed the yellow hanky for a crying towel. It’s probably the same type of people; “realists” (That’s not you Bernie.) who have called this sham as early as the 2000 season that decided not to cast a vote his way. I could go on but the point should be exceedingly clear.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

                            Originally posted by Yodude
                            I agree...I don't always agree with his decisions...but overall, I wouldn't want anyone else.
                            Originally posted by theodus69
                            I wouldn't want anybody else either.
                            You both will.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Bernie: Mad Mike doesn't get all the credit that he is due

                              Mike Martz is the best thing to ever happen to St. Louis football. Be it either the Cardinals or the Rams. Period.

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

                              Collapse

                              • RamWraith
                                Think what you will about Martz; he made football fun in this town
                                by RamWraith
                                By Bernie Miklasz
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                01/04/2006

                                Mike Martz will resurface. He will return to dial up 50 passes a game in another town, for another team, driving his new team's fans crazy. They may be laughing or frowning, cheering or booing, but Martz will move them. This is a coach who gets a reaction. He is many things, but the word "dull" never will be applied in any description of Martz.

                                "The Greatest Show" goes away, but never completely leaves the imagination. After all, the circus always comes back, and so it will be for Martz, the ringleader of one of the most dazzling offensive productions in NFL history.

                                Mad Mike still has a few scores to settle, a few more defensive coordinators to torment, and may the football gods have mercy on defenses when this coach clears his head and reloads his offense during a second-chance head-coaching opportunity.

                                Martz may have to sit out for a while. He may have to go into exile for the 2006 season, to rehabilitate his image and find inner peace, but that may be the best thing for him.

                                Martz needs time to truly disengage from the grueling experience in St. Louis. Martz's bacterial infection of the heart valve has cleared, and medically he's 100 percent ready to work, but he's still battered emotionally after predictably losing a power struggle with Rams executives John Shaw and Jay Zygmunt.

                                If Martz doesn't hook up immediately as a head coach, he should view the sabbatical as a precious opportunity to exhale and enjoy life. Martz could take his wonderful wife Julie on a trip around the world, or go on the kind of relaxing, leisurely adventures that are impossible to arrange for a full-time, football-consumed coach.

                                And a year from now, a completely rested, recharged and refocused Martz would be a hot candidate. His agent, Bob Lamonte, would have no problem marketing the Martz II Project to NFL owners. If you're an NFL owner with a dormant offense that needs to be zapped back to life, how could you resist the reformed Mike Martz? How could you turn away from 30 points a game? Americans love a second act.

                                Martz is feeling low these days, but he's been through rougher days than this. His alcoholic father bailed on his mom and four brothers when Mike was a kid. Mike survived, maturing sooner than any child should just to help keep the family strong.

                                After Martz got fired from a coaching gig at Arizona State, he couldn't find another job, so he became an unpaid volunteer assistant to Los Angeles Rams coach Chuck Knox. By then, Mike and Julie had four children, and it wasn't easy. But again, he overcame the hard times.

                                And Martz will rally again.

                                During his time as the Rams head coach, I frequently sparred with the media-sensitive Martz. This is a guy who did not hesitate to pick up the phone, dial my number,...
                                -01-05-2006, 05:52 AM
                              • Nick
                                Critics be damned, Martz goes to playoffs - PD
                                by Nick
                                Critics be damned, Martz goes to playoffs
                                By Bernie Miklasz
                                Of the Post-Dispatch
                                Sunday, Jan. 02 2005

                                Well, now. Mike Martz got it done. He defiantly thumbed his nose at the outside
                                world and arrogantly continued to do things his way. Martz held the Rams
                                together long enough to take advantage of the chronic, comedic mediocrity in
                                the NFC. And the NFC West was so bad, the prison team from the film "The
                                Longest Yard" would have won the division.

                                But the NFL is a bottom-line league, and Martz has crashed his way into the NFL
                                playoffs. As the NFL's most controversial and unpopular head coach, Martz
                                enters as an uninvited guest, an unwelcome guest. But he's in the door, and no
                                one can push this half-mad, maverick, eccentric coach back onto the street.
                                He's cleared the velvet rope. He's in the exclusive NFL playoff club.

                                "I guess our head coach won't be fired now," running back Marshall Faulk said
                                in a fine display of sarcasm.

                                But Martz will be fired upon. On the day the Rams survived the New York Jets to
                                win 32-29 in overtime, Martz got pounded again by ESPN football analyst Tom
                                Jackson. Asked to name the worst coaching decision of the 2004 season, Jackson
                                barked "Anytime Mike Martz did anything on the field."

                                And Friday, in an interview on the NFL channel on Sirius satellite radio,
                                washed-up Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp said Martz was "a little
                                on the girlie side." Asked about the Martz vs. Kyle Turley confrontation, Sapp
                                apparently fantasized about being in Turley's place and said, "I'll just stomp
                                him (Martz) right across his damn head because he really thinks his (stuff)
                                don't stink and you really don't like those kind of guys in this league."

                                Martz wouldn't win elections, but he does win games.

                                As if to annoy those who embrace conventional wisdom, Martz went retro on
                                Sunday, taking the Rams back to 1999, having quarterback Marc Bulger sling for
                                450 yards against the Jets. Oh, so we want Martz to run the freaking football?
                                Well, take a number and get in line. Martz doesn't care what you think, what I
                                think, or what the crew at ESPN thinks. He doesn't even care what his assistant
                                coaches, bosses or players think. It's always Martz against himself, Martz
                                against the world.

                                So on Sunday at The Ed, the Rams ran the rock 19 times and put it in the air 42
                                times, squandering all of those passing yards with three turnovers and other
                                drive-snuffing mistakes. Instead of trying to protect a 21-10 lead by working
                                the clock, Mad Mike staged an air show for his critics, and probably hoped to
                                crash-land his plane into the press box to make...
                                -01-02-2005, 11:19 PM
                              • RamDez
                                Martz has made repairs, so go easy on the criticism
                                by RamDez
                                Martz has made repairs, so go easy on the criticism
                                By Bernie Miklasz
                                Of the Post-Dispatch
                                Sunday, Aug. 28 2005

                                Ayear ago in this space, when assigned to assess the Rams' prospects for 2004,
                                I fretted over the Rams' erosion of talent. I expressed anxiety over the state
                                of the team's dazed and confused defense, which was symbolized by lightweight
                                linebackers.

                                It was concluded that a 9-7 record was about the best the 2004 Rams could
                                accomplish. And we weren't far off, as the Rams finished with an 8-8 record
                                that was their ticket to the postseason in a down year for the NFC.

                                I am no Nostradamus, or even Chris Mortensen.

                                But my optimism over the 2005 Rams exceeds the confidence I had in the 2004
                                Rams late last summer.

                                Why? There's a historical parallel.

                                In 2000, the Rams were doomed by a pathetic, porous defense that was gashed for
                                more points than 30 NFL teams and more yards than 23 teams.

                                Coach Mike Martz responded aggressively and made the reconstruction of that
                                defense his top offseason priority. An influx of talent produced a No. 7
                                defensive ranking for points allowed and a No. 3 ranking for yards against, and
                                the Rams' offense had the support it needed to go 14-2 and return to the Super
                                Bowl.

                                After last season's lurching performance, Martz arrived at a similar
                                intersection before 2005. The Rams' defense was terrible last season, ranking
                                25th in points allowed and 17th in yards against. The futile attempt to cover
                                up this defense was ripped open and exposed by Michael Vick, Warrick Dunn and
                                the Atlanta Falcons in the humiliating defeat that ran the Rams out of the
                                Georgia Dome and the 2004 postseason.

                                On a lesser scale, when compared to the makeover in 2001, Martz tried to fix
                                his defense and special teams by hiring free-agent linebackers Chris Claiborne
                                and Dexter Coakley and adding fresh legs to the secondary. He also addressed
                                the philosophical and personnel problems on special teams. Martz was determined
                                to fill in the holes.

                                Because of salary-cap issues, Martz and the Rams weren't able to overhaul the
                                defense as dramatically as they did before 2001, but the new pieces should fit
                                nicely to solidify weak spots. The Rams should go 11-5 and prevail in the
                                mediocre NFC West, and if the offense takes off and soars the way Martz expects
                                it to, this group has a shot to play for the NFC championship.

                                OK . . .

                                Is this the point in the column where I'm supposed to psychoanalyze Martz?

                                Well, I'm handing in my pop psychology license.

                                Martz will be evaluated here based on how he coaches and how his team performs
                                under his leadership. It's what I've tried to do, pro and...
                                -08-28-2005, 08:14 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Bernie: Bring Back....Mike Martz?
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Bernie: Bring back . . . Mike Martz?

                                9 hours ago • By Bernie Miklasz

                                You may have noticed that the Rams are struggling to find a qualified individual to fill their vacancy at offensive coordinator.

                                So it's time to go for the Hail Mary pass ...

                                Why, hello Mike Martz.

                                OK, the very thought of Mad Mike returning to St. Louis as OC is so preposterous and incomprehensible on so many levels I know it's wrong to write about it. But I can't help it; I want to go trolling. Blame it on Rams nostalgia.

                                I'm assuming most readers are familiar with the Martz history in St. Louis. He was truly one of the most creative, innovative, daring, forward-thinking offensive minds in the modern era.

                                Martz choreographed the "Greatest Show on Turf," the only NFL offense to score 500+ points for three consecutive seasons, 1999 through 2001.

                                It was the ideal convergence of talent and intellect. Martz had Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, Az-Hakim, Ricky Proehl and so many others ... and Mad Mike released a scoring frenzy on overwhelmed NFL defenses.

                                The 1999-2001 Rams averaged 32.7 points per game, went 37-11, won two NFC Championships, and captured Super Bowl 34.

                                In that three-year stretch of 48 regular-season games, the Rams offense scored 30 or more points 31 times (topping 40 on 12 occasions) and were held to fewer than 15 points only once.

                                Think about that ... fewer than 15 points in only 1 of 48 games.

                                That's just crazy.

                                For context, consider: from 2007 season through 2014, the Rams scored fewer than 15 points in 63 of 128 games — roughly 49 percent.

                                With Jeff Fisher as head coach the last three seasons, the Rams have scored fewer than 15 points 17 times in 48 games, or 35 percent.

                                Of course, it the Greatest Show broke up, sooner than expected. But over Martz's six full seasons as the offensive coordinator (1999) or head coach (2000-2004), the Rams led the NFL with an average of 27.6 points per game, and were tied with Philadelphia for the most wins (64.)

                                Since Martz left the building in 2005 with a serious health issue, the Rams have averaged 17.8 points per game, which ranks 30th among 32 teams. And they rank 31st in the league with 49 wins.

                                (Yeah, I know that Martz also played a major role in the Rams' demise, so you don't have to send huffy emails or make nasty comments. Of course he made mistakes — big ones — as did everyone in the Rams' front office.)

                                Overall the Martz Years provided a lot of offense, points, entertainment and non-stop action. His teams could be frustrating, but the Rams were rarely if ever dull.

                                So you'll have to excuse me for getting a little nostalgic here. I sort of miss seeing things like deep passes, touchdowns,...
                                -01-30-2015, 09:18 AM
                              • the brent
                                Martz has to go..
                                by the brent
                                ..Just an attention grabber there really - 2 pre-season games a season does not make. However Martz continues to make some incredibly questionable decisions, including player and personnel aquisitions, alienated a number of players and cost The Rams at least one - more likely two - superbowls on his watch. When you look at the Rams since '99 they have put up some remarkable stats but it could be said that that is the team Dick built. This season has to be make or break for him, nothing less than making it to the NFC championship. There is definately an argument stating that Martz was a brilliant offensive coordinator but simply has no business being a head coach, at least maybe at this level.
                                -08-24-2005, 02:15 PM
                              Working...
                              X