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  • Still No Credit




    Still No Credit
    By Howard Balzer Publisher
    Date: Oct 13, 2004

    I'm not holding my breath, but I'm still waiting for the network talking heads to come down off their throne and actually give Mike Martz some credit.

    I'm not holding my breath, but I'm still waiting for the network talking heads to come down off their throne and actually give Mike Martz some credit.

    Sure, Martz confounds us at times with his allegedly cavalier use of timeouts. But a coach's job is to have his team ready to play and keep them in the game when all appears lost. Yet, little was said Sunday, especially by the Fox crew that lambasted Martz at halftime, then lost their tongues in the postgame show after the miracle comeback.

    Many fall into the trap of harping on the play-calling after a loss, but saying little after a victory. And there's no question, Martz's surprising strategy at the start of the second d half contributed to the comeback.

    The Rams trailed 24-7, and the whole world figured Martz would come out firing in the third quarter. But he didn't. The Seahawks entered the game on an emotional high, coming off their bye, being undefeated and facing the Rams.

    "They were fresh," guard Adam Timmerman said. "You could tell at the beginning of the game. The tempo was up."

    But when the Rams came out pounding the run in the second half, they set the tempo, keeping . The Rams failed to score, but from then on, they owned the game.

    "Mike said it was the way he had to do it," tackle Orlando Pace said. "So he came out, he ran the ball. We were surprised, but I think that loosened (Seattle) up. That opened up the pass down the stretch."

    Added Timmerman, "It was just unbelievable discipline on his part. Because it would have been so easy to just start passing."

    Concluded defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson, "It said to us that there was no panic. It said to us that coach Martz knew we could still win this game. And it said that it was time for us to start making plays."

    Maybe the Martz critics will figure it out someday.

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Still No Credit

    Mike Martz is the best thing ever to happen to the St. Louis Rams. Ever. No question about it.

    To heck with Fox.....

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Still No Credit

      I agree with that completely (and mentioned it in my post-game thoughts - are you stealing my stuff again Howard?). That drive was one of the keys to the game. Had Martz started the second half passing, the Seahawks would have blitzed Bulger into oblivion - they had nothing to lose at that point. By slowing the game down (and thereby debunking the bunk of a certain writer), Martz wore down the Seattle defense, ultimately leading to its collapse in the 4th Quarter.

      Howard is also right that the level of criticism of Martz is absurd. Some "experts" (i.e. Tom Jackson) have actually cited Martz as the reason not to ever pick the Rams to win a game - despite his winning % as a coach.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Still No Credit

        While at this point I can't agree that Martz is the best thing that ever happened to the Rams, if his trend of good decision making and solid head coaching performances continue, I may be inclined to change my mind. I've finally started to see the Mike Martz I always hoped existed, and I'm lovin' it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Still No Credit

          Originally posted by r8rh8rmike
          I may be inclined to change my mind.
          I'm sorry. I can't. At least not yet. Not until he shows me that he has fixed that dance step. You can't swagger with that kind of GreatestShuffleOnTurf.

          Comment

          Related Topics

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          • AvengerRam_old
            Think the Jets are still mad about this?
            by AvengerRam_old
            Rams' Martz decides not to play nice
            By Len Pasquarelli

            ESPN.com

            EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Noted more for his acumen in drawing up mind-numbing offensive game plans than for drawing circles around inflammatory quotes from opposing players, St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz dabbled in both last week, preparing his team on and off the field to launch retaliatory salvos at its critics.

            And in disposing of the New York Jets here by a 34-14 count, Martz proved himself not only a master manipulator of grease board X's and O's, but also a wily motivator who knows precisely what behavioral buttons to push.

            Mike Martz raised some eyebrows on the Jets sideline with some of the moves he made Sunday.

            In readying his charges for the Sunday opponent Martz leaned heavily on two points -- the suggestion that the New York Giants last week demonstrated to the rest of the league how to defend St. Louis and the hints by members of the Jets secondary that the Rams offense is based strictly on finesse -- and hammered them home with the subtlety of a cattle prod.

            "There were a lot of things said about this football team coming into this game," allowed Martz after the Rams had dismantled the Jets to remain undefeated. "All of that garbage, you know how it is."

            And so Martz, a brilliant strategist who spent a lot of time Sunday evening playing dumb and rather poorly rationalizing several in-your-face-Jets game decisions, dumped garbage on garbage by trashing his opponent.

            There are few things worse to Martz than terming his high-flying offensive circus show a "finesse" attack. One of those few things might have been the contention that, by limiting St. Louis to just 15 points last week, the Giants proved that the Rams could be physically manhandled and would back off when challenged.

            So as unpatriotic as it might be, particularly given the tragedy that transpired last month just across the river from here, Martz decided Sunday to take out his anger on New York. It was a message, Rams players acknowledged, that was clearly woven into the fabric of the team's practices last week.

            It was a message, it seemed from the lopsided victory, well heeded.

            The Giants, who play here on Monday night, staged a 7 a.m. walk-through practice, and Jets rookie coach Herman Edwards might have done better had he bolted the locker room door and kept guys like Michael Strahan around. But had it been the Giants on the other sideline, the results might not have been different, so stoked were Rams players.

            "You keep hearing all of that 'finesse' (stuff) and it gets to you," said Rams right guard Adam Timmerman, who will never be mistaken for a shrinking violet. "We play the game as physical as anyone does. No one can ever say we're not aggressive."

            That's true both literally and figuratively...
            -12-27-2004, 09:21 PM
          • psycho9985
            Player interviews. Martz on himself
            by psycho9985
            Video 10/7 4.5mb Eveyone is talking confidence,Got something to prove.Little says just talking about it doesnt work and we have to show it on the field.I didnt see much confidence in Littles eyes.
            -10-08-2005, 07:09 PM
          • psycho9985
            Video:Mike Martz
            by psycho9985
            Martz blames players for not executing.

            Give SP Teams coach kudos.

            http://axlvids.ramsrule.com/09-12-2005.wmv
            -09-13-2005, 07:20 AM
          • RamDez
            Bulger, Rams respond in second half
            by RamDez
            Bulger, Rams respond in second half


            By John Clayton
            ESPN.com

            SEATTLE -- The NFC West baton appeared to be passed Sunday. The Seahawks held a 17-point lead, and their defense appeared to have its spikes on the throats of a proud Rams franchise that has won or shared the NFC West title for four of the past five years.



            Seahawks linebacker Anthony Simmons celebrated after some of his second-half stops on Marshall Faulk runs. A re-energized record Qwest Field crowd, experiencing its biggest game in more than a decade, cheered so loud that Marc Bulger burned two timeouts in three plays during the third quarter. The Rams appeared to be sheered.



            But a funny thing happened while the Seahawks were trying to bury a team that appeared to be on its last breath. The Rams caught their breath, rallied from a 17-point deficit in the final 8:38 and scored 24 points in a little less than 12 minutes to beat the Seahawks 33-27. The Seahawks held the baton but couldn't cross the finish line.



            "Did my coach manage a good game?" Faulk said as he ran off the field. "Tell everyone about the way he managed this game!"



            Okay, I will. The advantage of being a dominant team in a division is depth of experience, both good and bad. Big game experience is a continuous learning experience. The Seahawks were victimized by it Sunday. They learned how to come back in Green Bay last year to almost win an overtime game, but Al Harris returned an interception for a touchdown and the Packers won. From that game, the Seahawks focused, started 3-0 this year and held a 27-10 lead over the Rams.



            The Rams have taken their licks. Mike Martz was criticized for going for the field goal in the home playoff loss to the Panthers that ended last season. At the time, people wondered whether everyone had enough confidence in Bulger. Though the Rams cut Kurt Warner and rewarded Bulger with a big contract extension, the seed planted from that playoff loss sprouted Sunday.



            Martz and the Rams have confidence in Bulger, who is now 21-6 as a starter and 3-2 this year. The confidence showed in Martz's play-calling. There was no panic. For weeks Martz endured the barbs of throwing 75 percent of the time in two losses and not being balanced enough.



            The Seahawks led 24-7 at halftime. They had 44 plays to the Rams' 24. They outgained the Rams in the first half, 306 to 122. So, naturally, you would think the Rams would spread the field with receivers and pass the ball to open the second half. But after the intermission, the Rams came out running. Of the first 10 plays of the second half, Martz called nine running plays. The next drive netted only a field goal after 13 reasonably conservative plays.



            "We tried to mix in more of the running
            ...
            -10-10-2004, 10:19 PM
          • Tampa_Ram
            Lions stealing Rams thunder
            by Tampa_Ram
            Lions stealing Rams' thunder

            By Seth Wickersham
            ESPN.com
            (Archive)





            Updated: October 4, 2007






            Poor Scott Linehan. Look, we all knew it would happen. The Rams' offensive glory days were going to end sometime, and Linehan happens to be wearing the headset for the curtain calls. As if we needed further proof that the Greatest Show on Turf is officially over, look at what happened last week when receiver Isaac Bruce guaranteed a win against the Cowboys. Used to be a statement like that would elicit a "Well, duh," response because the Rams were, well, the Rams, who had scored 133 touchdowns in '99-'00. But what happened after Bruce's prediction?
            St. Louis' offense didn't even score.
            Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images
            Fans in St. Louis are probably feeling nostalgic.



            What's stupider, Bruce has guaranteed another victory this weekend against the Cardinals, which is prompting people to look at him like he has three eyes. Yeah, it's that bad. An offense that began the season with a QB/RB/WR combo (Marc Bulger/Steven Jackson/Torry Holt) as good as anyone's is strikingly inept.
            St. Louis is 0-4 and has been outscored by 48 points the past two weeks. The offense has produced one touchdown in its past 32 drives, and a muffed punt set that up. Bulger, playing with two cracked ribs, hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in his past 50 attempts. According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz, the Rams have thrown behind the line of scrimmage or no further than 10 yards downfield 66 percent of the time.
            Meanwhile, the Lions -- yeah, the Lions -- are 3-1 behind the playcalling of Mike Martz, who was fired from the Rams after going 54-33, including the playoffs, in the five full seasons he was head coach. Jon Kitna -- yeah, Jon Kitna -- looks like he'll be starting in the Pro Bowl this year, and is completing 71 percent of his passes.
            The Lions lead the league in passing and are a blast to watch, two former signatures of St. Louis. Two Rams castoffs-turned-Lions, receivers Shaun McDonald and Mike Furrey, have combined for 514 yards and three touchdowns. While the Lions seem playoff bound, there was a recent column in St. Louis detailing why the Rams could finish 0-16.
            Martz's offenses always have a great sense of timing, don't they?
            Linehan is learning that sweeping up after the Greatest Show isn't a lot of fun. He was hired as the Rams' head coach last year in part because management thought he could sustain the Rams' offensive brilliance but make it a little safer, a little less turnover-prone and reckless. But three offensive linemen have gone down, as has Jackson. It hurts to breathe when you have cracked ribs, much less throw, as Bulger has discovered. And even though coaches usually get a pass when injuries decimate a team, many fans are wondering...
            -10-04-2007, 05:14 PM
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