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  • The Bernie Speaks

    On Martz bashing:

    BernieM wrote:
    This has got to be the most shrill thread in the history of the Press Box.

    I got a good laugh at the post where the 12th Ram said, basically, that I should rely on facts rather than sensationalism and speculation.

    Which is beautifully ironic, since I constantly rely on facts in discussing Martz's credentials instead of falling back on the blind outrage that we see so often in here from Martz's critics.

    I always stick to the facts when assessing Martz.

    He has a winning percentage that's the 4th highest among NFL head coaches since the merger (50-game minimum). And his won-loss percentage compared to all previous STL head coaches, Cardinals and Rams. And the STL's NFL record before Martz arrived in a leadership position (1999) and after he arrived. And the five-year run of offense that's one of the most prolific in NFL history. And the fact that he's turned the team back around after the early-season collapse in 2002, when he had to transition to another QB. They've won 20 of 29 games since then, a winning percentage of .689. And someone -- I forget who -- actually referred in here to the Rams here as "mediocre."

    His team's playoff performances (super bowl 2001, and vs. Carolina last year) have been disappointing. I will not contest that.

    But I respect his entire body of work as a coach.

    I also respect passion, but somewhere along the line, some of you have lost perspective.

    Cheers,
    Bernie


    On a poster's statement that Martz has not brought in great players:

    BernieM wrote:
    This gets better all the time.

    I'll go down the list provided by one of the Martz haters in here:

    Faulk....Pre-Martz. CLARIFICATION: Vermeil wanted to trade Faulk during Marshall's holdout. Martz and others convinced him otherwise. Faulk was in DV's doghouse early in the season because he wanted to save his legs by not practicing all of the time. Martz intervened. I suppose a reasonable person would also acknowledge that Faulk seemed to do well in the Martz offense.

    Bruce....Pre-Martz. CLARIFICATION: DV and Bruce had a problem. They didn't like each other. Vermeil called Bruce out, referring to him as a "so-called team leader." Bruce was crushed. He also developed a serious hamstring problem because of DV's marathon practices. One of the reasons Shaw wanted to hire Martz was because Martz had a special relationship with Bruce and the Rams needed to get Bruce back on track.

    Holt....Pre-Martz. CLARIFICATION: False. Martz was already in place as the offensive coordinator and autonomous leader of the offense when the Rams made the decision to draft Holt. Martz worked Holtz out before the draft, and recommended drafting him. As did others in the organization.

    Pace....Pre-Martz. TRUE.

    Timmerman....Pre-Martz TRUE ... and Martz subsequently re-signed Timmerman.

    Little....Pre-Martz. CLARIFICATION: Little was in no-man's land before Martz took over. Big disagreement on the staff about where to play LL; some coaches thought he was a LB, others wanted him at DE. Kollar wanted him to play LB. Martz consulted with all of the defensive assistants and gave the order to play LL at defensive end.

    Just trying to help.

    Cheers,
    Bernie



    BernieM wrote:
    I've written about the talent drain twice in recent weeks.

    We've seen it, again, by their late-summer roster scrambling.

    They're rebuilding some key parts on the fly.

    It's a tough job.

    They addressed the WRs last year and it's paying off. (MacDonald, Furrey, Curtis, Looker, etc.)

    They've lined up help -- and the eventual replacement -- for Marshall Faulk.

    They've already done a terrific job in firming up the O-line. Dishman was a swell pickup. Their patience with Grant Williiams seems to be justified. Tercero will develop into a good O-lineman.

    Getting it done at CB will be more difficult. The young LBs really have to come on as well.

    Some of Martz's more irrational critics apparently think he has the same team as the Rams did in 1999 and 2001. The hatred blinds them.

    Cheers,
    Bernie



    BernieM wrote:
    I'm not sure what the point is.

    I've picked them to finish 9-7 because they're transitioning the defense and they have a tough schedule.

    Man, this Martz infatuation is worse than I thought.

    You'd think this guy was guilty of actual felony crimes against individual fans and their families instead of winning a higher percentage of football games than any coach in St. Louis NFL history.

    Cheers,
    Bernie



    BernieM wrote:
    It's interesting that we -- and I'm in this group -- always zero in on the handful of Martz play-calls that we find strange or downright stupid.

    But obviously he must call a pretty damned good game overall, or his team wouldn't be piling up so many yards and points over these last few years.

    Bill Walsh says Martz is the best he's ever seen at finding a defensive weakness and attacking it with play calls.

    Of course, he's only Bill Walsh.

    Cheers,
    Bernie



    BernieM wrote:
    The Rams have a lot of obstacles in front of them.

    That's why I picked them to go 9-7.

    However, I don't classify a 448-yard performance vs. Arizona as some sort of failure.

    I've seen some ludicrous comments on TV this week. Sean Salisbury (ESPN) went on a Rams rant, saying they were outplayed by Arizona.

    Huh? Outplayed? Based on what evidence? The yards were 448-260. The Rams didn't finish drives. That's their fault. Arizona had little to do with it. Jackson and Looker had to take better care of the ball.

    Cheers,
    Bernie



    BernieM wrote:
    Hmmm... given that they play only 16 regular-season games in the NFL, and that only 10 of 32 teams make the playoffs, I'd have to think that getting to the playoff requires the ability to win some big, important games.

    But then again, I'm not an irrational, hate-filled Martz basher.

    Cheers,
    Bernie



    BernieM wrote:
    Martz is definitely flaky.
    And that causes problems.

    Cheers,
    Bernie



    BernieM wrote:
    Curtis can't stay completely healthy.
    It's as simple as that.
    That's how others were able to make a move ahead of him.
    Obviously, the Rams still have a high hopes for Curtis.

    Cheers,
    Bernie



    BernieM wrote:
    Not everyone who disagrees with Martz is a Martz hater.

    Two answers:

    1. If you read some of these angry posts, this ongoing rage and absence of perspectiv, it should be obvious. Please don't tell me that these folks are free of hatred for Martz in their hearts. It's blatant.

    2. Then there's the slang word, 'hater.' It's a stronger way of saying that someone is a harsh critic.

    Cheers,
    Bernie

  • #2
    Re: The Bernie Speaks

    Tell em Bernie. I've been saying the same thing for two years.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Bernie Speaks

      Originally posted by Bernie
      I've seen some ludicrous comments on TV this week. Sean Salisbury (ESPN) went on a Rams rant, saying they were outplayed by Arizona.
      Glad to see Bernie sniffs out stupidity when he hears it. Good call, BM.
      You'd think this guy was guilty of actual felony crimes against individual fans and their families instead of winning a higher percentage of football games than any coach in St. Louis NFL history.
      I'm not defending the Martz bashers, nor am I being critical of them, but...maybe it's not a matter of win-loss %, but instead a matter of results not meeting expectations, starting with SB XXXVI. I believe those that are outspoken against Martz would put more stock in the 0-1 SB record than any other win-loss % to judge Martz. I'm not saying they're right or wrong, but I think Bernie (or anyone else) is wasting his breath when he defends Martz by his overall win-loss %...at least in the eyes of Martz critics.

      Again, I'm not defending any position, just bringing a little perspective.
      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Bernie Speaks

        i think we have been spoiled recently and want perfection, or we get upset. I will admit i have been guilty of my expectations being unrealistic at times.

        Rp
        The Breakfast Club. You want cheese with that?

        Comment

        Related Topics

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        • Nick
          Bernie on Martz
          by Nick
          BernieM wrote:

          I haven't come around to anyone's way of thinking.

          I've always taken Martz to task when warranted.

          But unlike some of you, I also try to be fair about the guy.

          Last year was a strong coaching performance by Martz, and anyone who didn't recognize this doesn't know football or else has a really bad jones for Martz.

          As I have said before, I don't play to mobs. I think for myself.

          This year, he's been erratic and uneven and distracted. I figured trouble
          was setting in when he started doing bizarre paranoid stuff with the media, in October. Martz became convinced that someone with the media was watching plays in practice and telling other teams, just because the reporter kept walking out of practice, talking into a cell phone. Nothing could be further from the truth; Martz was cracking. Martz also banned a Rams intern from practice because the Rams were getting ready for Tampa Bay and the young man had briefly interned for Tampa Bay. Nuts. Sad.

          And it doesn't impact me whatsoever, so please refrain from your theories about this is why I've been harder on Martz. It simply does not matter to me, because I have no interest in watching practice or wasting afternoons at Rams Park. But I know Martz enough to be able to have a good instinct for when he's going into the real Mad Mike mode -- mad as in a little crazy. And his media stuff is usually the first warning sign, and indicates a larger problem.

          When Martz is freaking out and heading into the meltdown mode, it always surfaces first with his media relations. He gets really strange; starts to do control-freak stuff that's transparent and comical. I last saw it in 2002 but he pulled his head together over the offseason and was ready to coach again in 2003.

          Anyway....

          Shaw is on the case.

          Martz is already talking about giving Fairchild more responsibility in 2005.

          Cheers,
          Bernie
          -12-22-2004, 08:28 AM
        • RamWraith
          Lots of The Bernie
          by RamWraith
          BernieM wrote:
          I'll try to break it down for you, saintloser....

          last week Rams played the 31st run defense in the NFL .... and didn't run....and didn't play Steven Jackson.

          This week they line up against the 11th run defense in the NFL ... and make a determined effort to run....and go 73 yards for a TD in 10 running plays ... with JACKSON AND FAULK SHARING THE LOAD.

          (In other words: (A) team is capable of running; (B) Jackson and Faulk can be used with great effectiveness; it doesn't have to be one or the other.

          So this would lead a reasonable mind to wonder ... why didn't the Rams -- with a bad QB at the helm no less -- try to run it at Arizona last week? It just reveals what a horrible, flawed gameplan they had in Arizona.

          Got it?

          Thanks.

          Cheers,
          B

          BernieM wrote:
          markd...

          the line is doing a terrific job, opening holes, and pushing the Eagles inside on those outside-design runs.

          You can see the difference....

          Faulk has the holes, and he's been productive, with 7 carries for 38 yards so far. But with the same set of circumstances, Jackson is going off, with 9 carries for 100 yards. He's able to bust it loose and take it down the field.

          Faulk does look better tonight than he has in a while.

          Cheers,
          B

          BernieM wrote:
          Marshall can be a useful spot player..... as long as he's willing to accept the role.

          Cheers,
          Bernie

          BernieM wrote:
          at the Edward Jones Dome....said it's disgraceful...and needs to be replaced, the sooner the better....he's been pushing for it...asked the media to make it an issue. (upset over injuries, concussion to Cleeland, and the late-game injury to the Philly player, Thomas Tapeh)...


          also.... Martz says Bulger has been hurt all season (shoulder) and that no one knew about it....says the shoulder has been sore since the first game of the season .... and that the two weeks off helped make it stronger.

          Cheers,
          B

          BernieM wrote:
          Sorry, but I don't rip coaches who go 12-4 and squeeze wins out of a team in transition, as Martz did last season.

          Say what you want, think what you want, insult me, whatever.

          Won't change my mind. Martz did a helluva job in 2003.

          This year his coaching has been pretty bad.

          As I've said before, I don't dumb myself down just to appease a mob. I write columns based on what's happening and what I know to be true.

          Coaches and managers have good seasons and bad seasons, just as players do. Witness La Russa and Baker in 2003 and 2004. They basically switched places in terms of their respective performances from 2003 to 2004.


          Cheers, ...
          -12-31-2004, 04:52 AM
        • RamWraith
          The Bernie bits
          by RamWraith
          BernieM wrote:
          I don't care if Marshall Faulk talks to the media.
          I don't care if any athlete talks to the media.
          It does not impact my job in any way ... if anything it makes it easier.

          In Marshall's case, he's sour because of the praise directed at Jackson and the comments being made that he's lost speed and is on the downside of his career. Which is true in both cases, though as I've said many times, he still can be effective in spots, and he was certainly that against Seattle. But here's the irony: he always tells the network people (the crew doing yesterday's game) that it's now his role to help Jackson and help the offense by doing what he can...and that he accepts a secondary role if that's the reality....but when a STL radio, TV or newspaper guy says the same thing -- Jackson was deserving of more playing time, and Marshall has lost some quicks, and that his knees haven't held up -- he gets offended. Pretty funny.

          Even funnier is reading on here the posts like "good for Marshall" and "screw the media." Again, my paycheck doesn't change by one cent if Marshall Faulk declines to speak to me or anyone else. But when he declines to speak to us, he's declining to speak to the fans. So he's basically screwing the fans, because he's refusing to talk to you through the hated, evil, despised, scumbag media.

          It's hysterical.

          Cheers,
          Bernie

          BernieM wrote:
          A couple of comments if I may:

          1. Yes, Martz has taken cheap shots at Warner.

          2. I was sitting there yesterday when Martz made the comment ... and I didn't interpret it as a shot at Warner...Martz was giddy, happy, no malice in his heart. We pressed him to describe the Cleeland TD catch and he gave us a brief history and he recounted how he used it once before but Kurt didn't connect on it. I took it as a matter-of-fact recital of what had happened before, not a swipe at Warner.

          I understand how some of you could view it as a poke at Warner -- given Martz's track record -- but to me it didn't come across that way when he mentioned Warner yesterday.

          Cheers,
          B

          BernieM wrote:
          Bbref....

          yes, I do think that some in the locker room are thriving on the circle the wagons mentality....which is good for them....anything that works is fine by me.

          Cheers,
          B

          BernieM wrote:
          I need to vent...sorry...early wake-up call in Seattle, long flight, short time to write a column.

          In advance let me say that NONE of this is directed at any posters here. And again....I'm just venting...need an outlet...thanks for putting up with it....and providing some therapy for me.

          Just checked my e-mail.... question: is it possible for everyone to enjoy a playoff victory?

          The e-mails were remarkably acidic for the day...
          -01-09-2005, 06:37 PM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Bernie: Bring Back....Mike Martz?
          by r8rh8rmike
          Bernie: Bring back . . . Mike Martz?

          9 hours ago By Bernie Miklasz

          You may have noticed that the Rams are struggling to find a qualified individual to fill their vacancy at offensive coordinator.

          So it's time to go for the Hail Mary pass ...

          Why, hello Mike Martz.

          OK, the very thought of Mad Mike returning to St. Louis as OC is so preposterous and incomprehensible on so many levels I know it's wrong to write about it. But I can't help it; I want to go trolling. Blame it on Rams nostalgia.

          I'm assuming most readers are familiar with the Martz history in St. Louis. He was truly one of the most creative, innovative, daring, forward-thinking offensive minds in the modern era.

          Martz choreographed the "Greatest Show on Turf," the only NFL offense to score 500+ points for three consecutive seasons, 1999 through 2001.

          It was the ideal convergence of talent and intellect. Martz had Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, Az-Hakim, Ricky Proehl and so many others ... and Mad Mike released a scoring frenzy on overwhelmed NFL defenses.

          The 1999-2001 Rams averaged 32.7 points per game, went 37-11, won two NFC Championships, and captured Super Bowl 34.

          In that three-year stretch of 48 regular-season games, the Rams offense scored 30 or more points 31 times (topping 40 on 12 occasions) and were held to fewer than 15 points only once.

          Think about that ... fewer than 15 points in only 1 of 48 games.

          That's just crazy.

          For context, consider: from 2007 season through 2014, the Rams scored fewer than 15 points in 63 of 128 games roughly 49 percent.

          With Jeff Fisher as head coach the last three seasons, the Rams have scored fewer than 15 points 17 times in 48 games, or 35 percent.

          Of course, it the Greatest Show broke up, sooner than expected. But over Martz's six full seasons as the offensive coordinator (1999) or head coach (2000-2004), the Rams led the NFL with an average of 27.6 points per game, and were tied with Philadelphia for the most wins (64.)

          Since Martz left the building in 2005 with a serious health issue, the Rams have averaged 17.8 points per game, which ranks 30th among 32 teams. And they rank 31st in the league with 49 wins.

          (Yeah, I know that Martz also played a major role in the Rams' demise, so you don't have to send huffy emails or make nasty comments. Of course he made mistakes big ones as did everyone in the Rams' front office.)

          Overall the Martz Years provided a lot of offense, points, entertainment and non-stop action. His teams could be frustrating, but the Rams were rarely if ever dull.

          So you'll have to excuse me for getting a little nostalgic here. I sort of miss seeing things like deep passes, touchdowns,...
          -01-30-2015, 08:18 AM
        • Nick
          Bernie: Hadley getting job with the Rams?
          by Nick
          Post subject: Hadley to Work for Rams
          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          I don't know that Hadley / Rams is official, but it was close. Talking to Hadley, from what I understand he's doing some statistical work for them, and he will also be a personal media-relations consultant for Martz.

          As many of you know, Hadley is my friend, so I wish him the best, but Rams Park is a strange place, with a lot of egos and turf wars and insecurity -- petty people guarding their turf like attack dogs. Hadley will have daggers flying at him. I think he knows that.

          And if he can be a positive influence on Martz -- if he can somehow calm Martz down and prevent him from doing Martz-like things -- then it will work out great.

          The Rams PR/media-relations department is the worst in the NFL, and has served Martz poorly by not giving him any type of guidance or strategy in dealing with issues regarding the team. And by letting Martz do foolish things instead of trying to intervene and calm him down.

          Cheers,
          B
          -06-07-2005, 12:58 AM
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