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  • Head Coach Mike Martz on th mike

    Tuesday, August 24, 2004

    (Opening comments on injuries)
    “CB Travis Fisher, obviously, (will get) surgery, with a plate in the bone. No one completely knows when we will be getting him back. We could be very optimistic and say eight to 10 weeks, or you can be pessimistic and say three to four months. Nobody really knows, so there is no sense in putting a time on it. When he’s back, he’s back. It’s very unfortunate. He was having a heck of a game. We were very excited about his play. He had about 15 plays. It was just a freak accident. QB Marc Bulger injured his knee in the first series. He’s getting an MRI as we speak. LB Tommy Polley has a shoulder injury, a rotator cuff. And then DT Tyoka Jackson had an injury to his shoulder. Everyone else came out clean, so the significant one is losing Travis. He’s a terrific corner and it will be hard to replace him. It just gives someone else an opportunity, like CB DeJuan Groce or CB Kevin Garrett, to step in there and take charge. That’s what they are here for. They get paid for this opportunity. They need to make the most of it, and I’m sure they will.”

    (On positives seen during the game)
    “A couple of good things, DT Brian Howard and Tyoka (Jackson) were terrific in that game. All three linebackers, (Brandon) Chillar, Pisa (Tinoisamoa), and Robert Thomas, I thought played very well. I think that RB Marshall (Faulk) and Steven Jackson play exceptionally well. I was very excited watching the tape. Marshall’s burst and his speed. Obviously we have some things going for us on the offensive line. We had T Grant (Williams) trying to play for us on a bad wheel, and some other things that you guys well know. So we didn’t want to leave (Faulk) in there too long. But he did get 13 snaps in there. He had a chance to carry the ball, catch a pass, then get him out of the game. Steven, I thought, really picked it up. I was very pleased with his effort. He ran hard and he was very impressive with his change of direction. Some of the jump cuts that only smaller backs seem capable of doing, he demonstrated a couple of those during the game. He lowered his shoulder and ran through a couple of tacklers. I was very excited and pleased with how he ran the ball and just his skills. He did make some mental errors that did cost us on key third downs, and of course that needs to get cleaned up. The offensive line, (G Adam) Timmerman has a shoulder (injury), and probably won’t practice this week and we’ll see how he is for the game. We have some problems with the offensive line that will not get resolved in the next day or two. It’s going to take some time. Tommy (Nütten) needs to come back. We need to get G Chris Dishman in shape. He did play much better than I thought he would at this point, but we still have a ways to go on the offensive line. On a more positive note, G Scott Tercero continued to play terrific. He was outstanding again. So that’s a very bright spot for us. We are really pleased with him. TE Brandon (Manumaleuna) played more than I planned to play him, but it was out of need more than anything else. I thought QB Jeff Smoker, all the way to the very end, did a terrific job. I think that he has matured a great deal through the camp. QB Marc Bulger (played well) for the most part. We had some protection snafus and he got a little quick in the beginning. On the interception for a touchdown, he was blitzed from the back side. He has a choice of which side to throw it to, and if he puts a little more air on that thing, then (WR Shaun) McDonald catches it and scores. It’s a learning process for Marc. He will be fine. I think QB Chris Chandler is getting back in sync. We kept Chris out of practice for about six days because of general soreness to his arm, that we wanted him to recoup. It will be Chris Chandler and Marc for the rest of the preseason.”

    (On if the third game of the preseason is most similar to a regular season game)
    “Somebody forgot to tell the rest of the league that. I don’t think that’s true anymore. I think it’s a myth. I just don’t think that’s the case. I think it used to be the case, but not anymore.”

    (On how QB Marc Bulger hurt his knee)
    “It was on one of the throws, and he got hit and spun around. I think he got hit on the knee cap. I didn’t know about it until this morning.”

    (On the seriousness of the injuries to LB Tommy Polley and QB Marc Bulger)
    “I don’t know yet. I think Tommy’s (Polley) is potentially the most serious. He did what LB Brandon Chillar did. He got caught with his arm extended. It could be a week or two (until he recovers). Marc was just sore in a particular area. He had kind of a hot spot, and you always want to be very conservative and make sure (the doctors) look at it.”

    (On how CB DeJuan Groce is coming along)
    “I think he is (making progress). I’m not sure we will have him this week, but we should have him next week. We could possibly have him this week, but I don’t know. He’ll start his running tomorrow. I think the swelling is out of the knee at this point. It’s not as sore, so we’ll see where he is. It’s a day to day thing. If he is not ready, he is not ready. Then we go with CB (Dwight) Anderson and whoever is ready to play. Everything is about getting ready for our opener. That’s what we have in mind.”

    (On how CB DeJuan Groce and CB Kevin Garrett were looking at camp)
    “They both had very good camps. In fact, Kevin had a better camp than I would have thought. He had the furthest to go, just in his skills and his background. He didn’t have the discipline. DeJuan was a little more refined, and I thought Kevin caught up. It was hard for us to determine who had the edge. That’s good news. We’ll just have to see. Not having DeJuan here this week, I’m not really sure (who has the advantage). We’ve been in this situation before with J.B. (CB Jerametrius Butler), and even (CB Travis Fisher).”


    (On CB Dwight Anderson)
    “He did better (than the first game). He still is very indiscipline, but he certainly has some ability. He made some plays. He had a nice pass break up, and we are very pleased with that. The discipline it takes to play this game at a high level, and not put your team in jeopardy with penalties, and things of that nature, we just need to press on him more. But he does have some ability.”

    (On if S Aeneas Williams will move to CB)
    “I don’t know. I would hate to move Aeneas. You would have to consider that if DeJuan wasn’t ready to go, and Fish (Travis Fisher) is out, and some other things go on. (Aeneas) is just settling in to the free safety position and really playing well. He played very well last night. I talked to him about it last night, the potential, in a desperate situation. We certainly don’t want to do that. It’s not fair to him. He spent so much time back there getting ready to play. He’s just at the point now where he has a really good feel for it. But we need to put our best players on the field, so that could happen in extreme situations. But at this point, it’s not a consideration.”

    (On if the doctors will have a better time frame for Travis Fisher after surgery)
    “It’s just like WR Kevin Curtis. Everybody heals so differently. TE Cam Cleeland had a very, very severe hamstring tear, and he’s ready to come back. And we have had guys with mild pulls not ready in this amount of time. Everybody heals differently. It’s not a question of toughness, it’s just how fast you heal, particularly a bone. That’s why it could be anywhere between eight weeks or four months, who knows.”

    (On if Travis Fisher will be put on injured reserve)
    “We are not going to IR him at this point. We are expecting him back at some point during the season.”

    (On FB Joey Goodspeed)
    “I think he probably could’ve gone last night, but we kept him out. When a guy is tight, generally that’s a precursor to a major pull. That has been my experience. He was ready to go. I told him to just stay out and make sure he’s ready to go this week, and get ready for Arizona.”

    (On if RB Marshall Faulk was satisfied with the amount of work he had)
    “I think he was. I talked to him a little bit on the sideline, and I think at that point he felt good about it. We will to continue, in these last two games, to make sure that he gets work, too.”

    (On RB Marshall Faulk playing on Friday)
    “He’s going to play a little bit, how much I don’t know. We’ll just kind of see what the status of everybody else is, I would like to have Joey (Goodspeed) in there in front of him.”

    (On WR Shaun McDonald punt returning)
    “When you see him run, he’s fearless, and knock on wood, he’s protected the ball. He’s a threat to take it the distance at any time. I think as the season goes on, we’re looking at guys on special teams as punt return team. When we settle in on that unit, then he’s going to have a much better opportunity to return a punt. We’re not into schemes, we’re looking at guys just getting downfield, blocking guys and picking up, just seeing how they play. We’re really like that on offense and defense too. As we get toward the season and into the season, there will be some very specific returns and some good things for him to get wrapped up in. I really think he has a real good chance to return one or two.”

    (On it being hard to value what the preseason games mean)
    “Yeah, there’s a mixture of emotions in that thing. I do know that after they played the Giants, and rushed for all those yards, I just felt like we would get blitzed pretty good. I just didn’t want to get into a lot of the schemes in some of the things that we do. I just thought that we would perform better under fire with these things, and we made an awful lot of mistakes, and yet we were very simple, and they we’re very simple in offense too, we were very much alike in what we did. The execution part of it, and watching guys play is what I’m most concerned about, and getting them better. Of course you would like to do that, and win a game too. I just didn’t feel like we competed very well. We made an inordinate amount of mental mistakes, which is something that we’ve really stressed here throughout camp, and have done a good job of eliminating, and we practiced very well up until that game. There’s some reasons why, and I think I do understand the situation, but it is frustrating. At the same token, when we open up with Arizona here, we have to be at our best, and sometimes you have to take a punch or two unfortunately, and keep Joey Goodspeed out, and do some of those things, that’s just the way it is.”

    (On how long it will take T Orlando Pace to be ready to play after he returns)
    “When he gets here, he gets here, and we’ll talk to him about all that stuff. I don’t have any idea how much work he needs, because I don’t know what kind of shape he’s in, I don’t know what he’s been doing, I don’t know anything about him. I have not talked to Orlando since the end of the season, he has not returned any of the calls from any of the coaches, any of the players, or anybody else, so I don’t know. He did the same thing last year, but I think some of the players had a pretty good idea of when he was coming in, he certainly has a bunch of friends on this team. I think that’s the business aspect of it through his agent, I think that’s what his agent wants him to do. I don’t blame Orlando for that certainly, I think this is what he’s been asked to do through his agent. That’s the hard part of it though, even though I understand the business, it’s hard. You’ve got some guys out, you’re thin, you would like to have him in here, but by the same token, it’s what it is.”

    (On the Chiefs performance)
    “I just think that they’re further along than we are. Their offensive line has been together. They are really rolling. I think they are a good team that’s ready to play. I think going in with the offensive line out of sorts, we knew we would have some problems, but we need to work that out. They looked very good to me.”

    (On if the offensive line will be ready for opening weekend, or if it will be a work in progress)
    “Provided that we can keep what we have healthy, with the addition of Orlando (Pace), even if Orlando isn’t here, we will put out a first unit that will compete and play well. You have to figure that G Chris Dishman has made tremendous progress at this point. You figure in another two weeks he will continue to improve. Here is a guy that has played the game quite a bit. And if we can get T Tommy (Nütten) back here in two weeks, he should be somewhat near being ready to help. In three of four weeks he certainly should be able to help us. My biggest concern is Grant Williams. He probably shouldn’t have played last night, but played anyway with that ankle (injury). The good news is that G Scott Tercero can play. He plays the tackle or the guard position, and can play at a high level. He probably played the best of all offensive linemen last night.”

    (On T Grant Williams)
    “He’s got a great deal of soreness in (his ankle). It’s one that you would want to keep someone out a week or two, but we are just so thin at this point. I told him to do what he could do. If he couldn’t do it, it would’ve been his decision. Grant doesn’t have to play. He’s been in the league long enough and he’s secure enough where he plays because he wants to play. There is great character in that man. He wanted to do this, and I appreciate that. I’m very grateful for that.”

    (On RB Chris Massey)
    “The players call him ‘textbook,’ because he does everything by the book. He’s a terrific lead blocker. He is an unusual deep snapper, and probably as good as there is in the league. And we can’t afford him to sustain an injury at fullback, but we are at the point that if we are going to have Marshall (Faulk) in, we want someone in there that knows what’s going on. RB Erik Jensen has been (at fullback) for about three days, so he’s not ready yet.”

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  • RamWraith
    Martz on the Mike
    by RamWraith
    Thursday, September 30, 2004

    (Injury update)
    “Chris Dishman is questionable. When they did the MRI here the other day, there was no damage to the capsule, fortunately, or to the muscle, or ligaments. It was just a strained capsule. We should be able to get him back in short order. Just how soon, I don’t know. How much he can do this week will probably be limited, we’ll just have to get a feel for that. Arlen Harris, who did play the rest of the game on a strained hamstring, is also listed as questionable, and we will just have to see where he is. I would expect we would have him in some capacity, but we’ll just have to see. Then Tony Newson, with the ankle sprain, what they call a ‘grade two’, is questionable, and probably, we won’t have him. We do get DeJuan Groce back. We do get Trev Faulk back. These two guys have looked real good here in the last few days, and Trev now is almost 100 percent with that hamstring (injury). And DeJuan, with that knee (injury), looks pretty good and should practice today. That helps us a great deal on defense with another linebacker and another corner.”

    (On preparing for San Francisco)
    “San Francisco week, as you all know, is a special week for us. It’s a divisional game that has been our long-standing rivalry. We are excited about it. Defensively, they have done a good job over the years. They have really proven their speed defensively, probably over the last four or five years. Bryant Young, right now, is playing the best football that I have ever seen him play. He is absolutely outstanding. Obviously, Julian Peterson, Derek Smith, and (Jeff) Ulbrich, the linebacking crew is as good as you will find in football. I think they are outstanding. They have real good speed on defense, and they do a good job of matching up. Offensively, I would expect (Tim) Rattay to start at quarterback. Everything we hear, anyway, sounds like he will start. Kevan Barlow, as we all know, can be a very explosive and physical runner. He is a threat to go the distance at anytime. We have seen him do it. It doesn’t get any better than this. An old time rival, early in the season, at San Francisco, and it’s a Sunday night game. We’re excited about it.”

    (On where S Aeneas Williams will be playing)
    “Aeneas will be going back to safety, with DeJuan Groce back at corner. Aeneas spent so much time getting himself ready to play safety, and has played so well in terms of his keys, breaks on the ball, lining guys up, making calls, and then to move out to corner is very disruptive. It’s a totally different world out there. That’s a hard thing to ask somebody to do, but we were at a bind at that point. Going back to safety, I’m sure he’s relieved. I haven’t talked to him about it, but I’m sure he’s excited. He had a lot of pass break-ups on plays where you didn’t expect a free safety to make a play, early in the year.”

    (On if San Francisco’s...
    -09-30-2004, 12:58 PM
  • RamWraith
    Martz on the Mike
    by RamWraith
    http://stlouisrams.com/article/44967/
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Friday, August 27, 2004

    (On having practice outdoors)
    “It was a change of pace. It was good to get them outdoors and move around a little bit. That’s what these fields are for. We haven’t been on them for about four months, or whatever it has been.”

    (On how the offensive line is progressing)
    “Good. I’m very pleased with the progress of G (Scott) Tercero and G Chris Dishman. We know our center and right guard are stellar performers. T Grant Williams is now on the mend, and he was really having a terrific camp. Those guys are solid and I’m very pleased with that. We are a little thin right now, particularly in experience. We’ll be fine.”

    (On T Grant Williams’ injury)
    “He has so much scar tissue from the surgery that every now and again he tweeks it. When that happens, from the way they explained it to me, sometimes it scares you. His biggest (problem) is not so much the pain, but keeping (his ankle) strong. I think he feels much better now than he did a week ago.”

    (On how G Tom Nütten has been playing)
    “Tommy had a nice practice yesterday and I think he’s coming back into it really well. I think a little faster than he anticipated. His stuff is coming back to him pretty good, He needs to play here. We’ll get him in there and let him play.”

    (On G Adam Timmerman)
    “He has had such a great camp, we are going to try to back off of him as much as we can, within reason. He still needs to get some reps in. I think (he will be ready to play) on Friday night.”

    (On DT Damione Lewis and DT Ryan Pickett)
    “They have had a real solid camp, particularly D-Lew (Damione Lewis) at times up there in Macomb, has really flashed on us. Hopefully that will emerge in the season.”

    (On the battle for the starting right defensive end)
    “It is very competitive. I think Bryce Fisher, right now, would be considered the starter. But when you look at the other two guys, and I would include (Anthony) Hargrove in there too, as he grows and matures with this defense and at his position I think he will be someone to contend. And of course Erik (Flowers) can go from side to side, and Tyoka (Jackson) can move back inside. The way we play our defensive ends, and the inside guys, we roll those guys. (Defensive line coach) Bill (Kollar) keeps those guys as fresh as he can. So they all play. It’s not like one guy is going to play 80 percent of the snaps. We don’t do that.”

    (On what he wants to see out of the team on a short week)
    “The biggest thing is, I want the ones to be sharp. Obviously, that is not what we did on Monday night. We did do that in the opener. I felt real good about our first group in there. And continue to take a look at some of these guys in the second half because we are going to have to make some hard decisions. When the first...
    -08-27-2004, 10:34 AM
  • RamDez
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    by RamDez


    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Saturday, August 14, 2004


    (Opening statement)


    “All in all I was very pleased, with particularly the first half with both groups. We were a little taped together there in the offensive line. I thought Adam Timmerman was outstanding. Scott Tercero has really come to the forefront, he has really done well in the past few weeks. I hate to admit this, but I didn’t know he played this well, but he did, he played exceptionally well. You would have to give him terrific marks on anybody’s evaluation. I’m very pleased with him particularly. Offensively, Steven (Jackson) 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. We made some mental mistakes in there on a couple of sacks, and two of the sacks were due to mental errors. We’ll clear those things up, that’s easy to fix. I thought (Shaun) McDonald was terrific, in every phase, from a blocker to a receiver, and punt returner on special teams, he was quite remarkable. Defensively, I was pleased with the effort. We overran some things, which resulted into some big plays, which is good because you can fix that. I thought that DeJuan Groce was outstanding, he had a terrific game. Robert Thomas, I thought, was just absolutely exceptional, just outstanding in the time that he was in there. I thought that Bryce (Fisher) was exceptional, for a guy that had that ankle he came back, if you watch his effort for the time that he was in there, he was really outstanding. Of course Tyoka (Jackson) and Leonard Little did a good job. A rookie that stood out, that makes you take notice, is Brian Howard, he was good. Those were the guys that I thought were up and above everyone else. Not that anyone else played poorly, but those guys certainly deserve special mention. Brandon (Manumaleuna) was really significantly good, I think on that fourth and one we probably should of challenged it.”

    (On G Adam Timmerman’s shoulder injury)
    “Well he had some treatment on it, and the way they treated it made it a little bit sore, which is the normal treatment. Once he had that soreness out, he was ready to go. Adam, you can put in any competitive situation and he’s just got two speeds- stop and go. He’s what your looking for as a leader, and an example in every form.”

    (On G Scott Tercero being so successful in camp)
    “I think that there’s a toughness in Scott that I didn’t realize was there, because he’s such a quiet young man. There’s a resolve, if you will, you don’t know about these guys until you put them in pressure...
    -08-15-2004, 02:15 AM
  • RamWraith
    Mike on the Mike
    by RamWraith
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Tuesday, December 28, 2004

    (Opening comments)
    “That was our best effort, last night, by far, of the season, as a football team. With our coverage team and our kickoff (team), obviously, we created ourselves some issues that we need to clear up. It’s just one guy being a little over-anxious to collapse in towards the ball. It really isn’t anything more difficult than that. (Kevin) Stemke has done a great job for us, so far, punting. (He has) eliminated any kind of return with his hang time. So far, he’s been everything that we’ve wanted at that position, and he’s done very, very well for us. Our defensive player of the week is Bryce Fisher. He played only 17 plays, but he’s also the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week for his performance. Out of 17 plays he had two tackles, five assists, so that’s a total of seven, a sack, a caused fumble, two hits on the quarterback, and two quarterback pressures. That’s pretty remarkable. Offensively, Steven Jackson, the rookie back, (had) 24 carries, 148 yards. Just a terrific performance by Steven, even though he had to leave with a knee injury there early. And our special teams player of the week, with four tackles on special teams, was Trev Faulk. I’m very pleased with the effort. I’m very pleased with how sharp we were. Marc (Bulger) came back, offensively, and I though he was terrific. (He had) lots of zip on the ball, probably, as much zip as he has had all year. I was very pleased with the offense, in particular, Orlando Pace, who I thought played his best game of the season. (He was) very physical, he finished things, drove back the ball. By far his best game, maybe in two years here. He just did a terrific job. Again, our tight end Brandon (Manumaleuna), these balls in our running game that go outside, he’s basically blocking the defensive end by himself. We couldn’t have those types of runs without his effort and the job he did. He was outstanding, too, as a blocker. Defensively, Pisa (Tinoisamoa) had three tackles, a tackle for a loss, two assists, and a fumble recovery. Jerametrius Butler, again, two tackles, an assist, and three passes broken up. So, making progress. I felt like defensively, we played with the type of emotion and passion that we are used to seeing around here on defense. A lot of that has to knowledge. Knowledge of what you’re doing defensively, feeling confident with what your assignment is, and being able to adjust. Offensively, I really felt like the offensive line, that is probably the best we’ve played this year. We’ve got some young guys. Tommy (Nütten) came back and did a terrific job, too. He just really played well. Blaine (Saipaia) continues to get better. He’s really going to be a fine player. I’m very pleased with the effort of this football team, and the outcome of that game.”

    (On G Tom Nütten)
    “Having Tommy back, and having Tommy healthy, and he hasn’t been healthy...
    -12-29-2004, 06:32 AM
  • RamWraith
    Martz on the Mike
    by RamWraith
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Tuesday, December 14, 2004

    (Opening statement)
    “Obviously we’re all disappointed in the way that we played that football game, particularly on offense. I think up front we had some issues, we did not play very well. We did not protect the quarterback, and he got a little rattled. We just could not get things going offensively. To have that many turnovers, and to hold them to 20 points, is kind of a miraculous job by the defense. We struggled early on defense. We gave up three real big plays in a row on that first series, but after the first quarter, I thought defensively we played really well. I was very pleased with CB Jerametrius Butler. I think (Antuan) Edwards is coming along just fine. He’s doing a good job. I think DE Bryce (Fisher) probably played his best football game since he’s been here. I really felt like RB Arlen Harris played exceptionally well. I think RT Blaine (Saipaia) probably played as well, if not the best, of all the offensive linemen. He basically blocked (Julius) Peppers. On the touchdown throw he had him by himself. We were doubling the tackle with our right guard and our center, and he had him by himself. It was a long count pass, and he blocked him. He’s good enough, and he’s going to be fine, he just needs to play. I love his toughness and his competitiveness. Offensively, there are some things that we need to clean up. QB Chris (Chandler) just got off the mark here a little bit. He got pressured early, and couldn’t settle down. I didn’t do a much better job of helping him in what we called. It’s kind of a flow of things that you get into, but you have to be able to run the ball and mix it in there. Kind of the nature of the way that game went early, we felt like we had to play a fast-paced game. As it turned out, that was not the case. If I had to choose to do it again, I wouldn’t have done that. I would have mixed it up a little bit better. I was just afraid of it getting away from us.”

    (On simplifying the offense for QB Chris Chandler)
    No, not really. In our passing game, you can have seven or eight passes that are really the same read for him. Just the mechanics of what you do here as a quarterback, in terms of what you’re looking at, how you make decisions, and how quick those decisions are, those kinds of things. He’s had a lot of systems now, and a lot of different coaching, and when you get under pressure like that, sometimes you revert back to another system, and how you would deal with things in the past. I kind of think that’s where he is. I really do think he will be fine. He’s just devastated.”

    (On how QB Marc Bulger is feeling)
    “He threw today. It was a little sore. Who knows, we may have him, but I’m not going to count on it. They gave him some treatment this afternoon, and we’ll see. He has to feel good about the shoulder holding together and playing. The structure has never been an issue. It’s just the pain that...
    -12-14-2004, 02:22 PM
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