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Head Coach Mike Martz on the mic

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  • Head Coach Mike Martz on the mic

    Monday, August 16, 2004

    (On the tight ends)
    I think Mike Brake has done a much better job than we anticipated. Im reluctantly optimistic about him. He really hit a wall there for a while. Hes picked things up well and hes doing things how we ask him. Hes physical and all those types of things. Hes made some real good plays out here. Hes a much better receiver in the passing game than I gave him credit for. He has excellent hands. Im very pleased with him. Hes come along just fine. The physical part of it is way more than he is used to. Hes learning that part, but hell be fine.

    (On TE Brandon Manumaleuna)
    Brandon has come a long way. First of all he has lost a lot of weight. Hes done a terrific job, in terms of being a receiver and the significant blocker. The thing about him is that he has been consistently excellent, throughout our practices and our pre season games. He has not had any lapses. Hes done just a great job. He, finally, at this point looks ready to take off.

    (On RB Marshall Faulk)
    He looks good. I thought this morning was outstanding for Marshall. Hes taken every step with the ones, which is what we thought we would do this week, and see how he feels. And provided there is no backward movement with (his knees), when I say that I mean swelling, or soreness, and those type of things.

    (On RB Steven Jackson)
    Hes good. Steven, just from the knee, its just not all the way rehabbed. He has taken so many reps on (his knee) that things are going to happen, so well just step back for a while.

    (On RB Lamar Gordon)
    I dont know about Lamar because he has had that (bone chip in his ankle) for as long as we have had him. The thing thats remarkable about him, is that I didnt know how tough he was. Im embarrassed and ashamed of my attitude towards it. Because it was obvious that he was in a great deal of pain, and he had a significant bone chip in there and only a bone scan would show. We MRIed it. We did X-Rays. They did every diagnostic test they could and finally there was a little irregularly in there. You couldnt see it, but because of the consistent complaint, just to look at it. I owe him an apology because he is very tough.

    (On if the injury had been bothering Gordon since he came to the Rams)
    It was consistent. The trainers kept saying, There is something there. They were concerned enough to just take him down to see what was going on. The MRI didnt show anything, and usually thats the diagnostic test that really will clear things up. There was enough of an irregularity in there where they said they needed to go in there and look at it. Particularly last year (he had complained about his ankle). We just didnt know because there wasnt any swelling. When there is no swelling in the ankle and you have a lot of pain, we were wondering what was wrong. You know he has character and he is a tough kid. Hes so talented. Look at what he has done on that bad ankle. We all got excited about him with the bad ankle. He might be pretty good with a good ankle.

    (On G Scott Tercero)
    I was really shocked by how well he has moved inside and handled it. He deserves it. Guys like that, who can continue to focus and stay at the high level like he has done is pretty remarkable.

    (On potential for depth at linebacker)
    We have never had the quality, sure as I say that they all drop like flies, but thats the way it is. Im very pleased and excited about the quality at linebacker. The backup group, you really wouldnt consider necessarily the backup group. Which means, special teams wise, you have some terrific potential there with those three linebackers.

    (On when G Chris Dishman will be back at camp)
    Hell be back tomorrow night, thats all been set. I feel so bad for Chris because he just got on a plane and got in here. He was a little bit blue, because he was coaching high school football, all these kids were involved, and he didnt see his kids before he left. He needed to go back and actually get things in order before he came to camp, like all the rest of us did.

    (On having linebacker coach Joe Vitt on the staff)
    Well you look at Joes experience, the number of years hes been in the NFL, and that means so much just because hes seen so much, and knows how to adjust and do all these things. Then his enthusiasm, just the energy that he brings, the attention to detail, hes what teaching is all about. It would be hard for us to find a better coach than him anywhere. He provides great leadership for those linebackers, and his personality is such that he obviously, with the experience hes had, could easily be a head coach in the NFL.