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Martz remembers Mora's mouth ---- FIGHT FIGHT

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  • Martz remembers Mora's mouth ---- FIGHT FIGHT

    Martz remembers Mora's mouth

    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    Thursday, Sep. 16 2004

    Last season, San Francisco ***** defensive coordinator Jim Mora got fired up
    about the progress of his fledgling defensive unit in the Bay Area.

    The Niners blitzed the Rams silly while rolling to a 30-10 victory last Nov. 2.

    "We're faster than the Rams," Mora said. "Our defense didn't used to be faster,
    and now it is. That might sound ****y, but it's true. I mean no disrespect to
    them. I love playing against those guys, but as a team, we have more team speed

    That game -- and that comment -- got Mike Martz's competitive juices flowing.
    The Rams and ***** have enjoyed a tremendous rivalry over the years -- and
    Martz got to match wits against Mora during recent seasons.

    Now Mora is head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, so some of that personal rivalry
    shifts over to Sunday's game. Post-Dispatch scribe Jim Thomas asked Mora about
    that "faster" comment during a conference call Wednesday.

    "Don't bring that one up," Mora said with a laugh. "I saw that in the paper
    this morning and I said. 'Ah, I know they are going to ask me about that one.'
    I don't think they need that quote out of me to get motivated."

    Probably not, but Martz vs. Mora adds some juice to this match-up. Mad Mike is
    one of the NFL's most innovative minds and Mora is one of the league's
    brightest young coaches.

    Just as Martz maintains a special interest in the Rams' offense, Mora has put
    his own stamp on the Falcons defense. Mad Mike will throw lots of formations,
    personnel packages and motion at Atlanta and the Falcons will reciprocate with
    insidious zone blitzes on passing downs.

    The result will be fun viewing for football fans who enjoy breaking down the
    strategic Xs and Os. You can count on both men cooking up something special for
    this game.

    "He does a good job with the pressure, always has," Martz said of Mora. "He
    understands what we do, what we are attempting to do."

    Mora's take on the Rams?

    "Any time you pressure the Rams, you're gambling -- because they make you pay
    for it," Mora said. "If you're going to pressure them, it's going to have to
    be well-designed so that you don't expose coverage flaws."

    For the record, Martz tried to play down the chess match against his
    counterpart on the Falcons sideline.

    "There is probably too much attention to that part of it," Martz said. "I think
    there is a lot less of that than you realize. It's more guys just playing, the
    type of people that changes each year that you have on the roster, both sides
    of the ball. That changes what you are able to do, whether to run it or throw
    it, whatever it is, blitz or play man, those types of things. Each year on your
    roster, you make that sort of adjustment.

    "It's more about you than it is about them."

    Uh, nice try Mike. But make no mistake -- this match-up will have plenty to do
    with coaching. Both men strive to stay on the tactical forefront and both men
    crave a challenge.

    "It's fun to play against those guys because they are so good and I just
    respect their style," Mora said, warming to the topic at hand. "The thing I
    like Mike Martz the best is he is always going for it. The mentality of the
    team is to go for it, let's just go, no matter what, just go. That's why they
    are able to go in a game like Sunday and survive three turnovers. Most teams
    couldn't do that."

    It's a shame the Rams and Falcons are no longer in the same division. This
    match-up had a chance to be something special like, like the Martz-Jim Haslett
    battles with then Rams and Saints smacked heads.

    Great coaching match-ups, in my mind, are just as exciting as great personnel
    match-ups. And Martz vs. Mora should offer fireworks aplenty.

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Martz remembers Mora's mouth ---- FIGHT FIGHT

    I promised myself to stay away this morning. But then I read where sMartz' comment to the prospect of a chess match arising between he and Mora went something like this:

    Originally posted by sMartz
    There is probably too much attention to that part of it. I think
    there is a lot less of that than you realize.
    No Mike. That is precisely what we're afraid of. We realize that you probably pay less attention to real-time game-planning adjustments than you should. And that's a short-coming. Because no matter what, as Thomas pointed out:

    Originally posted by JimThomas
    Uh, nice try Mike. But make no mistake -- this match-up will have plenty to do with coaching.


    • #3
      Re: Martz remembers Mora's mouth ---- FIGHT FIGHT

      So much for the "game within the game"!
      Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster


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      • RamWraith
        More and Mora: Martz and Mora have healthy egos
        by RamWraith
        By Bernie Miklasz
        Of the Post-Dispatch
        Wednesday, Jan. 12 2005

        It's one of the NFL's most underrated coaching rivalries, Mike Martz vs Jim
        Mora Their egos will meet again in the NFC playoffs on Saturday night in
        Atlanta, and let's hope the Georgia Dome has the space to accommodate all of
        this, uh, confidence.

        Our mention of the Martz-Mora egos should not be misinterpreted as a slur. If
        Martz and Mora weren't saturated with self-esteem and competitive vanity,
        they'd be just two X's and O's guys with no soul. Their teams would be dull,
        and out of the playoffs.

        Mora seems to know this. He might not be president of the Martz Fan Club, but
        apparently sits on the board of directors.

        "I love that he's always in the attack mode," Mora said. "He's always thinking,
        'Go for it.' And I respect that. He's not conservative in his approach, and he
        loves to go for it. His team embodies that feel of, 'Here we go. Let's not
        worry about the other team. Let's take care of us, let's go, let's attack.'
        I've always been impressed with that mentality. You might call it arrogance. I
        call it confidence."

        The Rams were the worst possible combination - awful and bland - before Martz
        arrived in 1999, to crank up the offense and reboot the franchise. After
        spending the last five seasons as San Francisco's defensive coordinator, Mora
        came to Atlanta as the new head coach and gave the Falcons an immediate
        personality makeover.

        Mora isn't bashful. His biography in the Atlanta media guide stops just short
        of declaring that he'll do for the Falcons what Ted Turner did for cable TV. In
        citing influences, Mora checks so many big names - including Bill Walsh, Don
        Coryell, Bobby Beathard, Steve Mariucci, Ernie Zampese, Dan Fouts, Steve Young,
        Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner, Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice and Rod
        Woodson - you wonder how the Falcons lost five games this season.

        Mora even insists on lavishing his musical taste on the players and citizens of
        Atlanta by selecting the pregame music at the Georgia Dome. "Tell the Rams
        players I'll have a good mix for their pregame," he said.

        In his first NFL game as head coach, Mora faced the ***** and told some of his
        former Niners players to conduct themselves as pros, and quit yapping. The next
        day, during a live show on the NFL Network, in-studio analyst Jim Mora Sr.
        instructed Jim Jr. to coach his own team from now on.

        With no disrespect to the senior Mora, junior Mora is more like Son of Martz in
        that both are ****y coaches. After the ***** slowed the Rams in a 2002 win,
        Mora chirped about how his defense was faster than Martz's...
        -01-13-2005, 05:38 AM
      • RamDez
        By late Sunday, which mastermind will be at wit's end?
        by RamDez
        By Bryan Burwell

        Of the Post-Dispatch

        "It's probably arrogant, but (the *****' defense is) faster than the Rams'. .. It didn't used to be that way, and now it is. That might sound ****y, but it's a fact."

        - Falcons coach Jim Mora, then ***** defensive coordinator, after a 30-10 San Francisco victory November 2, 2003

        * * * * * *

        ATLANTA - Sometimes it really is about You vs. Him.

        Under normal circumstances, most Sunday afternoon NFL conflicts are all about the players. The sight of the quicksilver Michael Vick, the artistic Marshall Faulk or the fluid Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt are more than enough to tickle our fancy.

        But every once in a while, there are the rare occasions when the game's normal intrigue can be enriched far beyond the anticipation of the physical confrontations on the field. Sunday inside the Georgia Dome, with the Rams squaring off with the Atlanta Falcons, we are about to get one of those moments.

        There is a rich subplot brewing here, thanks to all the possibilities created by the X's and O's duel between those two football mad scientists Mike Martz and Jim Mora Jr. This is one of those games in which the players are mere game pieces in a high-tech chess game between Martz, the Rams' offensive genius, and Mora, the young defensive mastermind in his first year as an NFL head coach.

        Wouldn't it be perfect if we could somehow have Martz and Mora standing there in the middle of the Georgia Dome, with nothing separating them but a giant blackboard?

        How fascinating would it be to be able to look over their shoulders and eavesdrop on their headsets as they flip through their game notes and charts? How much fun would it be to see them taking turns diagramming all their schemes, each guy taking turns countering the other's last move with their elaborate football hieroglyphics?

        The 42-year-old Mora, the third-youngest head coach in the league, might be too young to know any better so he seems to embrace the idea of the game within a game.

        "It is the ultimate challenge and it's one of the reasons I like playing them so much," said Mora, who spent the last seven years with the San Francisco *****, the last five as their defensive coordinator. "This will be the 15th time I have played them in the last seven years and every one has been a great challenge. They have, No. 1, great talent at all positions. No. 2, a great scheme. I've always had so much respect for Mike Martz and the way he calls a game, in terms of staying aggressive. .. (He's) always going for it. The mentality of the team is to go for it, 'Let's just go, no matter what, just go.' That's why they are able to go in a game like (last week's 17-10 victory over Arizona) and survive three turnovers. Most teams couldn't do that. ... It really presents
        -09-19-2004, 04:47 AM
      • Nick
        Martz: "There's a long ways to go"
        by Nick
        Martz: "There's a long ways to go"
        R.B. FALLSTROM
        Associated Press

        ST. LOUIS - In the end, the St. Louis Rams looked more like a .500 team than a dangerous playoff spoiler.

        The across-the-board spanking they absorbed in Saturday's 47-17 playoff loss to the Falcons exposed so many problems that coach Mike Martz might not know where to start. It's unfamiliar territory for a franchise accustomed to being near the top but one that endured a most dysfunctional season.

        The Rams trailed the NFL with a minus-24 in takeaway ratio. They were at or near the bottom in all special teams categories. They were outscored by 73 points in the regular season. The offense, aside from occasional quick strikes, was far removed from the years when it was dubbed the Greatest Show on Turf.

        And it all caught up to them.

        "We've come a long ways and yet there's a long ways to go," Martz said. "When we started the season we thought we could develop into a pretty good team.

        "With all of the things that happened to us, obviously we fell short."

        Coming off a 12-4 season and NFC West championship, the Rams were among the preseason Super Bowl favorites. Instead, they were saddled all year by porous run defense and the NFL's worst special teams.

        In the blowout loss to the Falcons, they were undone by a defense that recently had showed major signs of progress. The week before they were gouged for 327 yards rushing by the Falcons, they had held the Seahawks' Shaun Alexander to 40 yards on 15 carries.

        And, as several Rams pointed out, despite Michael Vick's special talents the Falcons haven't been that dominating.

        "We made them look like they were Indianapolis," defensive end Bryce Fisher said.

        Now, the Rams end the season with more questions about the scheme of new defensive coordinator Larry Marmie. Martz and Marmie are longtime friends and Martz has been steadfast in his support, so what, then, to make of the meltdown?

        "I didn't expect that," Martz said. "I don't know what happened."

        The Rams have addressed defense in recent drafts, with little results. There are three first-rounders on the line that got manhandled by the Falcons, and two high picks at linebacker, Robert Thomas and Tommy Polley, have been disappointments.

        Special teams have been a Rams weakness since Martz took over for Dick Vermeil in 2000, and thus far changing coaches hasn't helped. Still, after Allen Rossum burned them for an NFL playoff record 152 punt return yards, including a 68-yard touchdown return, first-year assistant coach Mike Stock might be in danger.

        Beyond coaching, the team faces several personnel questions. Many are on the offensive line, which was in a scrambling state most of the year.
        -01-16-2005, 01:13 PM
      • RamWraith
        'New Look' Falcons Brace for Rams
        by RamWraith
        Saturday, September 18, 2004

        By Nick Wagoner
        Staff Writer

        For the second consecutive week, the Rams will face a team in transition. While Arizona spent its offseason getting used to new coach Dennis Green, Atlanta was warming up to new coach Jim Mora Jr.

        After beating Green’s Cardinals 17-10 in the opener, St. Louis travels to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in the Georgia Dome on Sunday at noon. Atlanta is also 1-0, beating San Francisco 21-19 in its first game.

        Mora replaced Dan Reeves and then Wade Phillips, who coached the final three games, after a 7-9 campaign in 2003. The Falcons named Mora head coach and Executive Vice President on Jan. 9. Although Atlanta’s players aren’t too familiar with Mora, St. Louis certainly is. Mora comes to the Falcons from San Francisco, where he was the defensive coordinator for the past five seasons.

        That time with the ***** gives the Rams a working knowledge of many of the things Atlanta will attempt to do. For example, during last season’s San Francisco-St. Louis game in San Francisco, the ***** threw zone blitz after zone blitz at the Rams on their way to a 30-10 win.

        St. Louis began to adjust at halftime and quarterback Marc Bulger threw for 378 yards, but he was sacked five times and the Rams rushed for only 9 yards. At the time, Mora said San Francisco’s defense was finally faster than St. Louis’ offense.

        Mora laughed about it in good nature when asked about the comment.

        "Don't bring that one up," Mora said, jokingly. "I saw that in the paper this morning and I said. 'Ah, I know they are going to ask me about that one.' I don't think they need that quote out of me to get motivated."

        Mora is probably right. The Rams have plenty of motivation for the meeting with Atlanta, without thinking about something that happened when Mora coached elsewhere. Going to 2-0, winning its first road game, continuing to run the ball effectively and playing solid defense again is just some of the motivation St. Louis has.

        Rams’ coach Mike Martz said he didn’t take offense to Mora’s comments.

        “I think they were a lot faster than what they have been,” Martz said. “When he made that comment, they had improved their defense significantly.”

        Besides, Mora is playing with a different hand. He takes over an Atlanta defense that finished last in the NFL in total defense in 2003. There is some talent on the Falcons’ defense, but they are switching to a more common 4-3 defense from a 3-4.

        Mora’s defense will get a big test this weekend on the fast track at the Georgia Dome. The Rams rolled up 448 yards against Arizona with a dominating performance from the offensive line and a punishing running game.

        The Falcons had plenty of problems with St. Louis’ offense last year when the Rams rolled to a 36-0...
        -09-19-2004, 09:42 AM
      • eldfan
        Let's hope Martz proves us wrong with his madness
        by eldfan
        Let's hope Martz proves us wrong with his madness
        By Bryan Burwell
        Of the Post-Dispatch

        Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell

        If most of the football world already thought Mike Martz was a maddeningly stubborn football eccentric more than willing to bite off his nose to spite his face, wait until they get a load of him now.

        At his Monday afternoon news conference at Rams Park, the Rams head coach fiercely defended his swashbuckling way of football life as if ... well, as if his life depended on it, which in a way it probably does. He is coaching an obviously flawed football team with a 1-2 record and a defense that is springing more leaks than the Titanic. But as Martz relies on his signature aggressive offensive methods for rescuing this young but very shaky season, he knows he's being confronted with outside resistance.

        He is surrounded by a world full of conventional football thinkers who want to fit this aggressive, damn-the-torpedoes square peg into a very conservative round hole. We want him to play it by the old-school book. If the defense can't stop anyone - and after three weeks of play, there is faint evidence that this bloodied and battered group can - then why not go with a clock-gobbling, smash-mouth style of offense that relies on Marshall Faulk's fleet feet and Steven Jackson's brutish blasts?

        In essence, what we want is for Martz to stay inside the lines, which of course is just about the most repugnant thing you can say to a guy with his aggressive offensive temperament. Why not just ask dogs to start living with cats?

        "Look ... look ... don't ... uhhh," he said, practically spitting out the words like they were a bad piece of meat. "You need to find another coach, then. We're going to play fast and furious, that's what we do. We're going to run it when we ... want to run it, not because somebody (uh, that would be you and me) feels like you have to be balanced."

        He smiled almost defiantly when he said that. And just in case you didn't understand it the first time, Martz put this exclamation point on his soliloquy:

        "That's the way it is. Get used to it. That's the way it is."

        Now here's what I learned from this rather revealing State of the Rams address: Mike Martz doesn't particularly care what the outside world thinks he should do. He has a plan, and he's going to stick with it. It may not be the plan you want, but it's the plan you're going to get. And here's something else gleaned from Martz's feisty words: He will get every opportunity over the next 13 weeks to either sink or swim with his convictions.

        I don't presume to know more about football than Martz. His credentials as an offensive innovator and a football motivator are certified by his impressive NFL head-coaching won-loss record, a trip to the Super Bowl, and...
        -09-28-2004, 06:41 AM