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Mike Martz: NFL's Mr. October?

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  • Mike Martz: NFL's Mr. October?

    Associated Press
    10/19/2004
    Move over Reggie Jackson. Mike Martz is the NFL's version of Mr. October.

    The Rams have won three straight since a 1-2 start after a 28-21 victory over Tampa Bay Monday night. They are 3-0 in October this season, 3-0 last October and 18-4 in the month since 1999. Martz took over as offensive coordinator that Super Bowl-winning season and became head coach the following year.

    This season's October rejuvenation has moved the Rams (4-2) into first place in the NFC West heading into this weekend's game at winless Miami. After a sluggish September that ended with a 28-25 overtime loss at home to New Orleans -- when St. Louis surrendered a three-point lead in the final 23 seconds -- the Rams suddenly look like the team that has made the playoffs four of the last five seasons.

    "We're getting some momentum going, and we're getting better every week," Martz said. "This is all you can ask for."

    The Rams struggled early this year. Their offense sputtered along, averaging fewer than 20 points a game through September. On defense, the Rams gave up 34 points in a loss at Atlanta on Sept. 19, then forced just one punt in the loss to the Saints, and it was called back because of a roughing the kicker penalty.

    The streak started with a 24-14 win at San Francisco on Oct. 3. Then came the potential season-saving rally at Seattle a week later. The Seahawks, undefeated at the time, appeared on the verge of moving 2.5 games ahead of St. Louis, leading 27-10 midway through the fourth quarter.

    But Marc Bulger directed three scoring drives in the final six minutes and sent the game into overtime, where Bulger and Shaun McDonald connected on a 52-yard game-winning touchdown pass.

    In the win over Tampa, the defense that allowed only three second-half points against Seattle stepped up again with an interception and three fumbles, one that set up a score and another that Adam Archuleta returned 93 yards for a touchdown.

    The third fumble came in the game's waning seconds at the Rams 15 when Aeneas Williams stripped the ball from wide receiver Tim Brown as Tampa neared a potential game-tying score.

    It may be early, but Archuleta said it feels good to be in first place.

    "It's very big," he said. "We've been in a situation where we've played two good teams and we've won the tight games."

    Staying on top won't be easy. After Miami the Rams have a bye week, then host the Patriots and Seattle the first two Sundays in November.

  • #2
    Re: Mike Martz: NFL's Mr. October?

    This just helps me think even more that Mike Martz is the VERY BEST thing to EVER happen to the St. Louis Rams. EVER. No question.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Mike Martz: NFL's Mr. October?

      If this season continues the way it's going now, Mike Martz should be nominated for Coach of the Year. Doubt it will happen since everybody seems to hate him.
      Last edited by ZigZagRam; -10-20-2004, 11:02 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Mike Martz: NFL's Mr. October?

        I thought that he should have been the Coach of the Year last year but it's hard to argue with the success Fox had with Carolina. Now, if they give the award to Andy Reid I'll scream fix but if they go with Tice (and Minnesota keeps being successful) it will be extremely hard to argue with their choice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Mike Martz: NFL's Mr. October?

          Being labeled Mr. October is awfully nice, but we all know that your season is won or lost in November & December.
          I'm looking for a "Mr. January" !!! 3-0 in January...now your talking.

          Maineram :ramlogo:

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Mike Martz: NFL's Mr. October?

            I still think Mike Martz is an offensive coordinator! With that said I think that he is doing an outstandind job! I don't think he has what it takes to WIN another SuperBowl. As for M.r October goes it's a nice touch. Mr. Janurary is where we want to be, like Maineram said. :helmet:

            Comment

            Related Topics

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            • txramsfan
              Chris Mortensen gets it....from ESPN.com
              by txramsfan
              Tuesday, October 12, 2004
              Criticizing is easy; winning isn't

              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              By Chris Mortensen
              ESPN Insider

              Before I wax a lot about Mike Martz and a little about Marty Schottenheimer, let me concede something.

              One of the flaws in my game, so to speak, is that I give head coaches a lot of rope in analyzing their performance on the sidelines. There are reasons for that. My career goal was to be a coach my high school coaches were great influences on me. I ended up in journalism, and at one stretch I spent 10 years covering major league baseball only to switch to the NFL on a full-time basis 20 years ago. I immersed myself in the offices and film rooms of coaches who were willing to re-teach me the game of football. Even then, the constant evolution of the sport leaves me as a remedial observer.

              I have a great appreciation and respect for the amount of time coaches pour into their jobs. I understood perfectly what former Saints coach Jim Mora meant when he told the New Orleans media, "You think you know, but you don't know." It was blunt but true. The game is never as simple as we think. The quarterback isn't at fault for half his interceptions. The offensive line isn't guilty of about half the sacks you see. That cornerback you think blew coverage may have been doing exactly what he had been taught.

              So only reluctantly will you see me criticize coaches, and seldom will you see me attack a coach, although as Giants owner Wellington Mara reminds me, "The great thing about our profession is that every (coach) ultimately grades his own performance by his record." Yes, the bottom line is winning.

              That brings me to Martz and Schottenheimer, two coaches who have been slapped around in recent years. If I I trusted everything I heard on TV, heard on the radio and read in print, you would think Martz and Schottenheimer are two of the biggest buffoons in the history of football. This follows the same line more than a month ago when our media world was demonizing Giants coach Tom Coughlin.

              Martz and Schottenheimer are different in many respects. Schottenheimer is a great fundamentalist coach, and Martz is, well, he's just out there, on the edge so much so that former ***** coach Bill Walsh has said, "You can't emulate what Martz does."

              I know they should never be characterized as buffoons. These guys have won a lot of football games.


              * * *

              Has anyone noticed what Martz has done for the St. Louis Rams? True, his team is only 3-2, which makes him 46-22 during the regular season since he became the Rams' head coach in 2000. And, I'm sorry, but I have a difficult time not crediting him with 13 more wins and a Super Bowl championship in 1999, when the Rams won it all with Kurt...
              -10-12-2004, 01:33 PM
            • RamWraith
              Whiner press blasts Martz
              by RamWraith
              Wednesday, September 29, 2004


              Martz instrumental in demise of Rams


              Ira Miller

              In the Super Bowl following the 2001 season, the New England Patriots played a nickel defense virtually the entire game, daring St. Louis to run.

              The Rams didn't take the bait. Of course, you might remember, New England, a two-touchdown underdog, won the game -- the second-biggest upset in Super Bowl history.

              St. Louis coach Mike Martz did not get his reputation as an offensive wizard by ordering his quarterbacks to hand off. Three seasons later, Martz has not changed. The Rams still live -- and, frequently these days, die -- by the pass.

              St. Louis, which is averaging fewer running plays than any other team in the NFL, will bring a 1-2 record to San Francisco for a Sunday night game against the *****. The Rams have beaten only winless Arizona -- in a game the Cardinals led after three quarters -- and their roster includes better talent than their won-lost record shows.

              The quarterback, Marc Bulger, leads the NFL in completions and has a completion percentage of 69.3. One receiver, Isaac Bruce, leads the league in receptions and receiving yardage, and the other, Torry Holt, was the league leader in 2003. Left tackle Orlando Pace might be the best in the game. Running back Marshall Faulk has slipped with age, but remains effective. And nine of the 11 starters return on a defense that at least was decent in the recent past.

              So how come the Rams stink?

              Yeah, it's time to take another look at Mad Mike.

              As a head coach, Martz makes an easy target because he is outgoing, outspoken and different. But for all his offensive flair, Martz still doesn't get it. The Rams thought they were starting a dynasty when they won the Super Bowl under Dick Vermeil following the 1999 season, but they haven't come close to fulfilling their promise.

              A month ago, this game looked like a certain loss for San Francisco. Now, despite how wretchedly the ***** played at Seattle, it's up for grabs.

              The Rams have had the same problems for five seasons under Martz. They lack attention to detail, play sloppily, allow their quarterback to take too many hits (which is what happened to Kurt Warner) and use questionable strategy and play-calling that ignore the running game.

              Since Martz became their head coach, the Rams have been more than 37 percent above the league average in losing turnovers and 17 percent above the league average in giving up quarterback sacks. Except for last season, they also have been penalized at a rate well above the league average.

              Yet, rather than change, Martz apparently has become defiant about doing it his way.

              When he was questioned in St. Louis this week about the abject lack of balance on offense -- 29 runs, 91 passes called in...
              -09-30-2004, 05:40 AM
            • DJRamFan
              [*****] Martz instrumental in demise of Rams
              by DJRamFan
              Ira Miller
              Wednesday, September 29, 2004



              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




              chart attached


              In the Super Bowl following the 2001 season, the New England Patriots played a nickel defense virtually the entire game, daring St. Louis to run.

              The Rams didn't take the bait. Of course, you might remember, New England, a two-touchdown underdog, won the game -- the second-biggest upset in Super Bowl history.

              St. Louis coach Mike Martz did not get his reputation as an offensive wizard by ordering his quarterbacks to hand off. Three seasons later, Martz has not changed. The Rams still live -- and, frequently these days, die -- by the pass.

              St. Louis, which is averaging fewer running plays than any other team in the NFL, will bring a 1-2 record to San Francisco for a Sunday night game against the *****. The Rams have beaten only winless Arizona -- in a game the Cardinals led after three quarters -- and their roster includes better talent than their won-lost record shows.

              The quarterback, Marc Bulger, leads the NFL in completions and has a completion percentage of 69.3. One receiver, Isaac Bruce, leads the league in receptions and receiving yardage, and the other, Torry Holt, was the league leader in 2003. Left tackle Orlando Pace might be the best in the game. Running back Marshall Faulk has slipped with age, but remains effective. And nine of the 11 starters return on a defense that at least was decent in the recent past.

              So how come the Rams stink?

              Yeah, it's time to take another look at Mad Mike.

              As a head coach, Martz makes an easy target because he is outgoing, outspoken and different. But for all his offensive flair, Martz still doesn't get it. The Rams thought they were starting a dynasty when they won the Super Bowl under Dick Vermeil following the 1999 season, but they haven't come close to fulfilling their promise.

              A month ago, this game looked like a certain loss for San Francisco. Now, despite how wretchedly the ***** played at Seattle, it's up for grabs.

              The Rams have had the same problems for five seasons under Martz. They lack attention to detail, play sloppily, allow their quarterback to take too many hits (which is what happened to Kurt Warner) and use questionable strategy and play-calling that ignore the running game.

              Since Martz became their head coach, the Rams have been more than 37 percent above the league average in losing turnovers and 17 percent above the league average in giving up quarterback sacks. Except for last season, they also have been penalized at a rate well above the league average.

              Yet, rather than change, Martz apparently has become defiant about doing it his way.

              When he was questioned...
              -09-30-2004, 01:24 PM
            • ramsbruce
              Mike Martz' fall from grace
              by ramsbruce
              Mike Martz' fall from grace
              By Jim Thomas
              ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
              01/01/2006


              He steered the Rams to the Super Bowl. But politics and personality conflicts obscured his genius, and now head coach Mike Martz appears on the way out.

              With his silver hair, glasses and polite manners, the Rams' new offensive coordinator looked almost bookish - more scholar than football coach. When he accepted the job after two years as an assistant coach in Washington, Mike Martz didn't look or act much different than he did in 1995 and 1996, when he was a Rams assistant under Rich Brooks: quiet, low-key and unassuming.

              Back then, he was in charge of wide receivers. But in January 1999, Martz was put in charge of the entire Rams offense under head coach Dick Vermeil. By the time training camp started that summer, the offense looked a lot different than it did when Martz accepted the job.

              "It's like winning the lotto," Martz said at the time. "I came to the Rams, and we signed Trent Green, and we have a healthy Isaac Bruce, and then we draft Torry Holt. All of that, and then it's, 'Oh yeah, here's Marshall Faulk at running back.'

              "Dick has made a lot of outstanding personnel decisions, and he should get the credit for that. At this point, my job is, 'Don't screw them up.' "

              He didn't, of course. Even back in July 1999, Martz gave a hint of what would come.

              "We're going to be aggressive," Martz said. "You have to let these guys play and not be afraid to take chances. You can't go out there and be afraid to lose. You have to play to win. And our talent level on offense is good enough to win with."

              Those seemed like bold words at the time. The Rams, after all, were 22-42 during their first four seasons in St. Louis. Dating back to their days in Southern California, they had endured nine consecutive losing seasons.

              For all his talents, Faulk was part of an Indianapolis team that went 3-13 in 1998. Bruce had not won more than seven games in any season as a Ram. Holt was a rookie. Green had only 14 starts on his NFL resume.

              And when Green went down with a season-ending knee injury in late August, it looked hopeless. The obscure Kurt Warner took over at quarterback, and the early results were encouraging.

              After the Rams scored 35 points and gained 442 yards to defeat reigning NFC champion Atlanta, Martz was awarded a game ball.

              "I've never had as much fun in my whole life," Martz said afterward. "I probably will never have a group like this again. I'm under a star right now. ... Who knows how long this will go?"

              On one level, those were bold words, considering the Rams were a mere 2-0 at the time. But they proved to be prophetic. By the end of the 1999 regular season, the Rams were playoff-bound,...
              -12-31-2005, 07:32 PM
            • RamWraith
              Rams are fearless, and nearly peerless, in Seattle
              by RamWraith
              By Jim Thomas
              Of the Post-Dispatch
              10/11/2004

              Aeneas Williams' sarcastic gesture drives home the point to an already muted crowd after the Rams' improbable comeback win.
              (Gabriel B. Tait/P-D)

              The Rams' 33-27 overtime victory over Seattle was improbable, unexpected and - in the annals of NFL history - almost unprecedented.

              Only once in the 85 seasons of NFL football has a team rallied from a larger deficit with so little time remaining in a regular-season game.

              Interestingly, it happened just last season, when Indianapolis overcame a 21-point deficit in the final 6 minutes of regulation to defeat Tampa Bay 38-35 in overtime on Oct. 6, 2003.

              According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rams' rally from a 27-10 deficit in Seattle was the second-largest comeback within the final 6 minutes of play in league history.

              Small wonder then, that Mike Martz rated it as one of the most meaningful victories he has been involved with as a coach.

              "I think it's obviously at the top of the list," Martz said. "Right there next to the '99 Super Bowl, I would think."

              Martz was offensive coordinator on that squad, which defeated Tennessee 23-16. The stakes weren't nearly as high Sunday at Qwest Field, but there was still a lot on the line against the Seahawks.

              "God forbid if we would've lost the game, it would've been tough to close on them," offensive guard Adam Timmerman said. "They'd have been 4-0; we'd have been 2-3 - down three games on people in your division."

              But as a result of Shaun McDonald's game-winning touchdown reception from Marc Bulger, the Rams (3-2) are just a half-game behind the Seahawks (3-1). And there's a good chance the Rams could be back on top of the NFC West by this time next week.

              That's because the Seahawks travel to New England next Sunday to play the defending Super Bowl champions. The Patriots are in the midst of a league-record 19-game winning streak.

              Meanwhile, the Rams play host to Tampa Bay (1-4) on Oct. 18 in a Monday night game at the Edward Jones Dome. After that game, the Rams travel to Miami - currently winless (0-5) and offensively impaired - on Oct. 24, then take their bye week.

              If the Rams take care of business against the Buccaneers and Dolphins, they should be 5-2 entering critical home games against New England (Nov. 7) and Seattle (Nov. 14). The picture would have been bleaker - much bleaker - had things ended differently Sunday.

              "This was such a thrill," Martz said. "To watch these guys. Just to be on the sideline and watch them - their attitude. How they responded to everything. How positive they stayed throughout the game, even in the first half."

              But as happy as he was about the Seattle game, Martz isn't ready to make any...
              -10-12-2004, 02:45 PM
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