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  • Martz on the Mike

    Thursday, September 9, 2004

    (Opening statement)
    “We’ve had a couple of roster moves. We added a couple of offensive linemen in (G Darnell) Alford and (G Blaine) Saipaia, that we’ve added to the roster. And Dedrick Roper, a linebacker, we picked up off the practice squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So we have made a couple of moves. Nick Burley back to the practice squad. Some of these things we think they are really going to help us. Other than that, I think we are pretty healthy. Obviously, we are not going to have (CB Travis) Fisher in this game, or Tom Nütten, but other than that, by in large, we are pretty healthy. In terms of the Cardinals, it’s always difficult to play a team in the opener that has a new (coaching staff), and you’re really not sure what you are going to see on either side of the ball. Of course in preseason, so much of what you do, is not what you do in the regular season. They have made some roster moves lately, so it will be a little bit of a feeling out situation as we try to figure out the philosophy on both offense and defense. We think we have a good idea, but it’s always tough to do that.”

    (On S Jason Sehorn)
    “We brought Jason in to see where he was with his foot. After his second surgery, it hadn’t healed as well as we hoped, in which he might have considered coming back.”

    (On trading RB Lamar Gordon)
    “We did trade Lamar Gordon this morning to the Miami Dolphins. It’s all based on if he passed the physical down there, but I would assume he passed. I think Lamar is a terrific value. He’s a terrific back. This is a situation for him to go down there and become the starter. We do have three backs who have played well. Within the mix and getting all four players active, Arlen (Harris) has such a significant role on our special teams, Steven (Jackson) has done a terrific job, so this was an opportunity, value wise, that we couldn’t pass up. We talked to him this morning and he was excited about the opportunity. He feels great. The reason we gave him the ball 22 times (against Oakland), in the period of two quarters was that we needed to know if he was ready to go for us this year. Obviously, other people were watching too. I thought he was terrific in the game. We miss him. I think he is a terrific talent. It always makes you nervous when you have a talent like that move on, but none the less, I’m excited for him too. I think he will do very well.”

    (On if trading Gordon was a vote of confidence in Steven Jackson)
    “There is no question about that. I guess that would be the most obvious statement about the trade. We feel like Steven, at this point, is ready to play. We feel really good, also, about Arlen Harris. And the camp that Marshall (Faulk) has had, he has been outstanding in camp. We feel like all three guys are ready to go. It’s a little risky, but we feel like it was the right thing to do.”

    (On Marshall Faulk’s health)
    “If there was any doubt about Marshall’s health, or about how Steven (Jackson), or even that Arlen (Harris) could play, all three of those things are a statement about each one of those guys. Marshall is healthy and ready to go. Steven is fine, and Arlen can go in and play half-back or full back.”

    (On the amount of roster movements before the first game)
    “This is the most, but it’s for significant reasons. I think these offensive linemen that we picked up, I’m very excited about. I think they are both young players that potentially have a future here. I’m very excited about them getting in here. And the linebacker, Roper, we needed somebody that has terrific special teams value. He can play linebacker and be one of our top two or three special teams players.”

    (On if he thinks he has a handle on where the team is at this point)
    “I like the talent and the attitude of this team, but you really never know about a football team until the chemistry starts to develop and you get a certain resolve about this group. I have that feeling about this football team over the last two preseason games. There’s some outstanding things that were done over the last two preseason games. I think we made significant progress there, but we’ll see. We’re not there, we’re a long ways away, but we’re headed in the right direction, I’m excited.”

    (On how hard it is to join a team at the end of preseason)
    “It really depends upon the system that they’re from. Darnell Alford comes from Kansas City, which is exactly the same system. So it’s going to be a much easier transition for him. (Blaine) Saipaia the same thing, with Norv (Turner) out there in Oakland. These are things that are very significant in your decisions. You know they are talented guys, they meet a need for you, and they come from the same system. A guy like (Dedrick) Roper, a linebacker, now in a 30 defense, it’s quite a change for him.”

    (On what made him believe in RB Steven Jackson)
    “I think his work ethic, his commitment, his maturity has kind of surprised me. He conducts himself with a great deal of more maturity then you would expect a rookie, with all the pressure that is on him. He seems to thrive under pressure, he wants to be in the game all the time. Yet, he has a certain dignity of quiet confidence about him, and toughness, that the more your around him you appreciate it. He’s a terrifically powerful runner, with speed and acceleration, yet, he has the great feet to jump outside with the drop of a hat. The caution with me is he has so much to learn. This preseason stuff is like OTA’s, which he doesn’t know yet. When you go into the real situation, everything is a little faster, and you have to adjust, and that’s where his learning curve is going to be significant.”

    (On LB Brandon Chillar)
    “He continues to make plays, he’s an excellent tackler. The one thing he demonstrated in college, was his unique ability to get through traffic. I know that sounds silly for linebackers, but it isn’t. The way he times and gets through people, and gets to the ball, outstanding tackler, does not make mistakes, gets lined up right, takes on blockers, he’s just a refined player for a guy that young, which is unusual. He is significantly better than what we would have anticipated at this time.”

    (On being concerned about the depth at defensive tackle and defensive back)
    “We’re a little thin there at the defensive tackle spot. We think that Brian (Howard) is going to be a heck of a player, but he’s a rookie. To move Tyoka (Jackson) inside, when he’s had so much success outside is tough, but we’ll see. With (Travis) Fisher out, you’re a corner short. You look beyond your own roster so often to find these needs, but you brought these guys in here because you like them and you think they can play, so you better see if they can play. If they can’t play, then you’ve made a mistake, but you’ve got to show that kind of trust and belief in the guys here, and give them that opportunity first.”

    (On the talent of the wide receivers)
    “I think you saw all of them in the preseason. Mike Furrey was way up there in catches. I think we’ve seen what Kevin Curtis, and Shaun McDonald can do. The other three have played so much last year, and have played so well over the years. Dane Looker is a significant contributer in our nickel package. I’m very excited about that crew, it gives us a lot of flexibility.”

    (On all the player movement throughout preseason)
    “It can be a distraction, but that’s part of the job. It’s good to have so much of this thing finally completed. Some of these guys we would of liked to have a few weeks ago, but thank goodness they’re ours now, and we can go to work. We’re trying to create some depth particularly in the offensive line, and maybe there’s still a move or two left, who knows. We’re always trying to get better, this is something that Jay (Zygmunt) and John (Shaw) have always talked about. You’re a move away from trying to help yourself everyday, and that’s the philosophy.”

    (On S Aeneas Williams)
    “In the preseason the position feels a lot more comfortable to him, the angles, the reads, and all those things you have to go through back at free safety. He feels a lot more comfortable, and knowledgeable. There were mistakes that were made last year, being new to the position, that he was able to resolve.”

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  • 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
    The COACH on the Mike
    by RamWraith
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Friday, December 31, 2004

    (Opening statement)
    “Just a little bit about our injury situation, as you probably have discovered, we did put S Aeneas Williams on IR (injured reserve). Talking to Aeneas, I really do think that he wanted to come back this week, and potentially, if things went well, in the playoffs. It just puts him in Jeopardy or at risk (if he played). It just hasn’t progressed well enough to play him. It’s just not worth it. We did put him on IR, which has allowed us to pick up another player. Injury wise, TE Cam (Cleeland) should be fine from his concussion. We should have him this weekend. He will practice today. Other than that, RB Steven (Jackson) is fine, and G Tom Nütten’s foot is fine. I think we’re pretty healthy, other than those things. We are a little banged up. I think our Monday (night game) schedule is routine from what we’ve done in the past, in terms of making sure we give the players two days off. This Saturday’s practice will be more of an abbreviated Friday practice, always with the thought that recovery is the most important issue, and then you take a little bit off the end if you have to. Particularly this time of the season, when you want to cut back some of your reps anyway. In terms of the Jets, Defensively, they’re outstanding up front. I think the two tackles inside are just absolutely having a wonderful year. They’re very physical and have a great push. We’ve watched some outstanding guards really struggle with them physically. (LB Jonathan) Vilma, obviously is playing well with the speed and range that he has. Overall, defensively, I think they are very impressive, particularly the front. They’ve done a terrific job. They’re very efficient on offense. They’re a terrific running team, and they do a great job rushing the football. The quarterback manages the game terrific, he is a high-percentage passer, and he sees things well. I know he was banged up a little bit, but his team does what it takes to win. The mark of a good quarterback is moving the football, and he does this. It’s a big game for both of us. It keeps our hopes alive for the playoffs, and of course the Jets as well. It’s what the NFL should be all about this time of the year. Final game of the season, and having this kind of importance is a thrill to be a part of. As a coach and a player you work each year to be in this situation, so we’re fortunate to be here, and we look forward to it.”

    (On if he’s talked to S Aeneas Williams about his future)
    “No. That’s way too premature. I know deep down inside he really wants to play. I had a discussion with him last week, and I think down deep inside, he knows that it would be very difficult for him to play. At that time we talked about it to some extent. We’re just not going to put him in jeopardy like that. We’ll just see when the season is over how he is managing. He’ll decide what he wants...
    -01-01-2005, 06:00 AM
  • RamWraith
    Martz on the Mike
    by RamWraith
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Tuesday, August 31, 2004

    (On where he still sees the need for improvement)
    “We can get better everywhere. I think If you’re satisfied with where we are at in any position, then you’re in trouble.”

    (On if it’s a relief to only have one more preseason game before the regular season starts)
    “I guess you can say that, but I look at it more as an opportunity to get better. We’re not as good as we need to be in the opener. This week and this game gives us a chance to continue to get better and tune up, and that’s how we look at it. We’re not just trying to get through this thing, I think if you do that then you have problems. We’re going to take a good look at as many players as we can in this game, and put them in difficult situations, and see who can make a play for us, and they may not or they may. There’s some guys that we just don’t have enough information on to know whether or not they belong on this roster, so this game will be heavily scrutinized. We will make an effort on both sides of the ball, and special teams, to get guys in position where they have to be counted on to make a play, and we’ll see what happens.

    (On if you can get enough information about a player off of only a few plays)
    “Absolutely. You can have a rookie free agent in for five or six plays, whether it’s on special teams or either side of the ball, and you can get a pretty good idea, especially if he’s involved in the play. That’s what happened to Kevin Garrett last year, Kevin was really struggling, he got on special teams, and he turned into a different person. That got everybody’s attention, and then we got going with Kevin, he got going, and it makes a big difference. These preseason games are very important to evaluate these guys, and for particularly the first group, to come together.

    (On if T Orlando Pace would be able to play in the Oakland game if he showed up tomorrow)
    “I think that would be pretty hard to do. We would be irresponsible putting him in a football game. He has no practice time, and he’s certainly not in any kind of hitting shape.”

    (On the last roster cut)
    “Jeremy Phillips I think we we’re able to injury settle today. He had a neck problem, and that was just non-stop.”

    (On how RB Steven Jackson handled the amount of work he received)
    “No question about it. You look at Steven in that game when he got tired, mentally. We did that to him on purpose. And now you get a guy that is used to carrying the load when he is exhausted. You see he made one or two mental errors and got really tired. I talked to him today and it was a good learning experience for him. That’s when you have to reach down and find something that you didn’t know was there.”

    (On how much RB Lamar Gordon will play on Thursday)
    “I don’t know. There is a chance he can play. I want him to take as many...
    -09-01-2004, 05:42 AM
  • RamDez
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    by RamDez
    Head Coach Mike Martz

    Wednesday, July 28, 2004


    (Opening comments)
    “We’re making progress, we have a long way to go. Efforts terrific but as we all know efforts not enough. So we have to do things right, and that’s what we’re here for. We’re going in the right direction, I’m pleased with the effort, after the first day there’s not a whole lot to tell you.”

    (On where to begin in training camp)
    “We always repeat, when we were allowed to have two mini-camps, you just keep recycling things. We start off today just the same way we start off in mini-camp, same plays and same defense, all that stuff is the same. So they get reacquainted with the basics and the base of what we do, and then you begin to move on.”

    (On the new practice schedule)
    “To evaluate the effect of that will take some time. The way the practice is structured isn’t just for one day, it’s over a long haul. It allows these guys to recover in the afternoons. Because they’re not so tired in the afternoon they should be sharp. In the morning it’s a little bit cooler weather, and being in the morning they should be a little bit sharper. That’s kind of the logic behind it.”

    (On the different options at defensive end)
    “I know there’s a lot of concern, there’s a lot of emotional attachment to Grant (Wistrom) and he’s played so well for us for so many years we all thought that he was going to end his career here, as a Ram, he didn’t, it didn’t workout that way. On the other side of the coin, there’s six guys out there on the defensive end, on the left and right side, that you would be happy with lining up and playing with, I can safely say that. So whoever lines up at right defensive end, that’s who he is, and I’m sure whoever that is he will play very well.”
    (On moving Nick Burley to tight end)
    “One of the things, probably, he is a little slight in build, when you look at the numbers. He might make the roster, he might not. I think he has a terrific chance because just watching him catch the ball and run, his attitude is a little bit like we did with Robbie (Thomas). He (Robert Thomas) took to it. He learned it very well and it came easy to him. (Nick Burley) will have to adjust to some of the stuff in pads, being the hitter instead of the hitee, which always happens when you go from offense to defense and visa-versa. But for a guy who comes out with the right frame of mind and is an athlete like he is, he’s got a real chance to show himself. He’s a long ways away. It’s a bit of project here in the first few weeks until he gets things squared up, but he should be alright.”



    (On if Nick Burley played tight end at the off-season workouts)
    “He was there in OTA’s (organized team activities). We moved him early, when we thought he had a chance there. There are a lot of tight ends that you can go out and bring in the league, and we thought...
    -07-29-2004, 11:59 AM
  • RamDez
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    by RamDez
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Friday, October 22, 2004

    (Injury Update)
    “It looks like Travis Fisher will practice this week. We’ll get him into the mix. Jimmy Kennedy will practice to some extent. We’ll see how he is out there on the field. He has conditioned and ran real well over the past week or two. We’ll give him some individual drills to see where he is, and measure his progress by how sore he is tomorrow. Other than that, we are in pretty good shape. Jeff Wilkins is nursing a sore ankle from an ankle sprain. We won’t know for a few days what we will do. It’ll come down to the wire on Sunday to see how he is. Tyoka still remains questionable with that hamstring. He’s not quite there yet, so we have a couple of days to see (where he is). We are starting to get people back , which is always a good thing.”

    (On Miami)
    “This is a short week and we head to Miami. This defense, a week ago, was the number one rated defense in the National Football League, and now they are two or four. But whatever it is, they are very substantial on defense, like they always are. Offensively, they have struggled somewhat. They have a lot of injuries, but they have moved the ball well enough to score points and win.”

    (On the difficulties of finding a kicker at this point of the season)
    “I think it’s all relative to what he has been doing. When we worked (Jeff Chandler) out, he was fine. I’m just going to make the assumption that he is ready to go if we need him.”

    (On getting Jimmy Kennedy and Travis Fisher back)
    “We were starting to wear down on the defensive line, with Tyoka out, and particularly on the inside having Jimmy (Kennedy) back, I mean that is a big man. If he can pick up where he left off, so to speak, which will be hard to do. I don’t know when he will be back, completely, but I’m really excited about his attitude and his approach to getting back here as fast as he can. In terms of (Travis) Fisher, he was playing so well when he broke his arm, that we feel he is a top-flight corner. And it looks like he should be ready to go, which will help us tremendously in the secondary.”

    (On Travis Fisher’s play before he was injured)
    “When he broke his arm in that preseason game against Kansas City, he was playing as well as he’s ever played. To have three corners like we have healthy, that’s quite an advantage. Most teams have two really outstanding corners, and with him, we feel like we have three substantial starters and we’re excited about that.”

    (On the Dolphins)
    “A few years ago we were sitting in here at 0-5. The Oakland Raiders came in here, and they were the best team in the National Football League at the time. They led the league in both offense and defense, they led the league in both categories. We played them and we beat them handily. You just don’t know. There are no breathers in this league. It just doesn’t exist. This will be...
    -10-23-2004, 02:53 AM
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