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  • Head Coach Mike Martz

    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Friday, September 3, 2004

    (Opening comments)
    “We came out of the game, physically, in good shape. We have a slight knee strain with Erik Jensen and a very minor ankle sprain with Cam Cleeland. So other than that we came out of the game clean. There were a lot of good things in this game. We were able to evaluate personnel for a long period of time, particularly on defense. On offense there was some pleasant surprises. I’m very pleased with being able to evaluate and where this team is. Some of these guys, hopefully, now can contribute during the season.”

    (On RB Lamar Gordon)
    “That is the first time he has been hit, or put pads on, in four weeks. To go in and take the ball like he did, and he took some horrendous hits out there on the edge, then jumped, turned, twisted, and stayed in the game. I was very impressed with his toughness. The burst that he had, the acceleration he showed right before the touchdown run, to get it down to the one-or-two yard line. I was very pleased with Lamar. I told him (we were going to play him a lot). I know the conditioning aspect, because he has not been hit in four weeks, and that’s a big deal now. But the more we played him, the better he played. He got dinged there a little bit and came out briefly, but went back in, which is important. I was very impressed with him.”

    (On if WR Torry Holt’s back spasms are of concern)
    “No I don’t think so. We didn’t plan on playing he or Isaac (Bruce) more than a few plays anyway. And the other guys need to play. (WR Shaun) McDonald has to play a whole game. Mike Furrey needs to play. The only issue at wide receiver is, that he still has shin splints, is (WR Kevin Curtis). We did try to play him as little as possible, but he did need to play a little bit and he was able to make a couple of big plays in that game. We will try to keep him quiet for a while on those legs, and see if we can’t get that thing to calm down a little bit. Anybody who has had shin splints knows how painful they are. The only way to get rid of them is to rest them. So we will try to manage them as best we can.”

    (On how he feels about the team at this point)
    “I feel good about where we are. The areas that we wanted to get better, running the football, we made a big emphasis of that in the last few games, as you could see. Regardless of who was in the game, we wanted to run the football. I think it sets a mentality for the offensive line and the backs. I was very pleased with the way we have run the ball the past few weeks. It didn’t make a difference who was in there. I’m very excited about the play of the quarterbacks. I’m very excited about the play of the linebackers and how the defensive line is starting to come together. We’ve got some issues in the secondary because of injuries. We need DeJuan Groce back, obviously. He’ll be back this week. Losing (CB Travis) Fisher has hurt us to some extent, but we should be fine back there.”

    (On the offense)
    “The most important thing is that I feel confident that our guys on the perimeter will throw and catch well. With all these players on the offensive line that we knew nothing about, putting them in for a length of time and letting them screw it up and let them make their mistakes so they could put it together and play well, that was impressive. Then the week before, to have Chris Dishman come on like he has, those are all very important factors to running the football well. Which was a big deal in the off-season. We need to run the football well. (Last season) we were not a productive team running the football. We get a lot of attention in our passing game, but we have always been able to run the ball very well, very effectively. Last year, we weren’t able to do that. So we had to get back to doing some of the things that are basic to this offense. Some of that is coaching. There is no question about it. We ran the ball last night 45 times, so we made sure (our running game was improved) obviously.”

    (On not knowing the score at the end of the game)
    “I’m embarrassed to tell you that. That was ‘the old coach screwed it up.’ When they scored their touchdown, first of all, I was upset they scored. I was walking down the sideline and I saw the holder drop the ball and bobble it. I saw the kick, and it looked to me that the kick went to the left. I turned and thought, ‘good, they missed it. We’ll go down there and tie it up.’ And just like a knucklehead, I didn’t look at the score board and made the assumption (that they missed the extra point). It’s hard for me to stand in front of you today and admit that. I could’ve kept that quiet, but I’m just being very honest with you. In a regular season game, I’m a little more tuned in. It happens. Sometimes the truth hurts. It didn’t last very long, trust me. Jeff Smoker came over to me and looked at me like, ‘what are you nuts?’ Then I realized I was screwed up, and we threw it to the end zone, like we should have done. Up until that point, we were doing what we wanted to do. We had to get the ball into an area where the throw would drop down to the end zone.”

    (On QB Marc Bulger)
    “I’m very happy with Marc Bulger. I thought that drive he engineered was, even though there were only three passes, (was impressive). You get a sense for people during the game on the sideline. When you are talking to them, the look on their face, their confidence, I feel very good about Marc and Chris (Chandler).”

    (On the first-team defense giving up early scoring drives)
    “That’s something that we have put a big emphasis on. We need to get them out in that first series. I will also tell you this, we have been in our base defense the entire preseason. We just want to see our guys make plays, tackle, and play basic football. And when you don’t tackle well, or blow an assignment someplace, it shows up. That’s what we are trying to stress, fundamental football, tackling well and getting off blocks. If you can do that well, you can move into the next step. In the first drive, we got tripped up a little bit, but recovered.”

    (On RB Marshall Faulk)
    “I feel very good (about Marshall). I was really impressed with Marshall last night. He has his juice. When he was in there, they were coming at us with safeties and linebackers. They didn’t want him to get going. But he ran up in there very physical. He made some big plays in that game. Both those passes, the check down on third down and, of course, the touchdown, he looks terrific to me.”

    (On TE Cameron Cleeland’s play)
    “Isn’t that great? And he blocked so well. He was a lead blocker, he was on the line of scrimmage, he’s is really playing well. You can’t praise him enough. He has been terrific through camp, when he’s not injured with the hamstring. He came back and didn’t skip a beat, which is hard to do. It’s one thing to carry the ball, but to get on the line of scrimmage, do the footwork, run the routes, and understand the protections, I can’t praise him enough.”

    (On G Chris Dishman)
    “He should be in at left guard this week. We kept him out of this game just so that ankle would be ready to go this week, as with Tommy Nütten, with the turf toe that he has.”

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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  • 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
  • RamWraith
    Vitt's Press Conference
    by RamWraith
    Interim Head Coach Joe Vitt

    (Opening statement)

    “Really, my eyes didn’t lie to me yesterday during the game. I have the same feeling right now that I had in the postgame press conference. You can’t do what we did in the redzone and only come away with 13 points on five possessions. You can’t have eight penalties, three of which where in critical, critical situations. You cannot turn the ball over, and you can not give up big plays or the big play like we did defensively and beat a good football team on the road.”

    (On what could be done better in the redzone)

    “I think it is a variety of things. We had some offsides in the redzone. We had some dropped balls in the redzone. We had a fumble in the redzone. We had a sack in the redzone. So you can take your pick. We have to get it completely cleaned up.”

    (On whether some of the issues may have been caused by players being fresh off injuries)

    “There is no question. [WR] Torry [Holt] is dragging that leg with a brace. I thought he got better as the game went on. He made the big fourth-down catch in the redzone on the fade. I think Ike [WR Isaac Bruce] as the game went on he caught a digger across the middle and got back in the rhythm. I thought he ran better on that one than on the missed corner route earlier in the game. I thought [QB] Marc [Bulger] was really sharp throughout. I thought he had good pocket presence, and good zip on the ball, and fairly accurate. I think those things do take time to get back in sync. It’s something we’ll continue to work on.”

    (On whether some of the players that were back from injuries should have waited longer)

    “No. I think they are both professionals and they felt they could go. They worked hard in practice and showed in practice that they could go, and they went. And they will be better for it.”

    (On whether WR Isaac Bruce was healthy enough to be playing)

    “Yeah. I’m never going to question Ike. He’s a consummate professional. He works extremely hard. When he says he’s ready to go, I’m not going to question that.”

    (On the rotation that was used at the guard positions)

    “I thought [G] Claude [Terrell] did pretty well. We got into some passing situations down the stretch where we were down 15 points and needed two scores. As we have stated before, he kind of tires at the end a little bit, and we were going to put him in passing situations where he would really have to be really sure of his pass protection stuff. So we put [G] Rex [Tucker] in there for a few, and I thought Rex did a good job when he was in there. And Claude is going to continue to get better, but at the same time, he’s at a developmental period right now where he has to work on his conditioning so that he can finish strong. And he will.”

    (On the play of right guard Adam Timmerman)...
    -11-15-2005, 05:26 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
    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
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    (Opening statement)
    “Obviously this is a terrific win for this football team and organization. It means a lot in many respects. We are getting better, they did not get disillusioned. There were a lot of young players that learned how to compete, and stay in it. We had some players show up in this game that made plays to help us win this game. Guys like (Shaun) McDonald, Kevin Curtis, of course Brandon (Manumaleuna) with his touchdown catch, and Steven Jackson. DeJuan Groce came in and just did an outstanding job. We’re making progress, and we’re getting better. I know the first half didn’t turn come out the way any of us wanted, but they didn’t give up. When we went in at halftime, it was what we needed to do, it’s a step-by-step process, and here’s how we need to go about it, and they weren’t discouraged, and of course they were able to get the job done. I was very happy and pleased with the effort and how hard they played in the second half. When we had to make a play, somebody made a play. I was very pleased with the effort of the offensive line, particularly Grant Williams in the second half. He gave up a sack in the first half, and a rush on that side, but he came back in the second half and was outstanding on the right side. He was a major reason that Marc (Bulger) was able to move around and make some of the throws that he did. It was a great effort overall as a football team. I though special teams was very solid, the punt return was huge, and I though we covered their kickoffs very well. It was just a solid effort on the kickoff returns. It was Sean Landeta’s best effort so far, in my opinion, in terms of punting the ball. He had great hang time and distance, and there was only one return. Second half, we just need to continue from there, and continue to build. Offensive player of the game, although he had three interceptions, is Marc Bulger. To have three interceptions and to come back and compete and to play at the level that he did, and make those kinds of plays under pressure, is clearly a statement about not just what type of person he is, but the incredible player that he is. Special teams wise, Eric Flowers, four tackles on special teams, just an incredible job. Just a special mention for Trev Faulk again, he had three (tackles). Our defensive player of the game, Tommy Polley, with 10 tackles and a pass broken up. Just a great comeback by Tommy, he was out with a fractured rib, and did a great job coming back and making his presence felt on this football team. All in all obviously it was a terrific win for us, but as all games at this point, we have to have a short memory and get ready for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers here on Monday night.”

    (On Seattle’s defense on third down)
    “They changed quite a bit on third downs. They changed every third down. One was pressure, one was two, one was four, one was man, they changed everything. It all...
    -10-13-2004, 06:26 AM