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  • Martz won't let guard down

    By Michael Felger/ Patriots Notebook
    Thursday, November 4, 2004

    FOXBORO - St. Louis coach Mike Martz is aware of the Patriots [stats, news]' injury situation - and he isn't about to be fooled by it.

    ``The best thing you should do is always assume they are going to play at the same level. If you make any other assumption, you are going to get your butts beat,'' said Martz. ``We went to San Francisco a year ago, and they lost their quarterback and they were starting a guy (Tim Rattay) who hadn't played before and this guy is out and that guy - and we got embarrassed (30-10 final).''

    Of course, Martz has a history with Bill Belichick [news], losing to the Pats in the Super Bowl and then being one of the driving forces behind the NFL's crackdown on illegal contact two years later. But yesterday Martz and Belichick did nothing but express mutual respect for one another. Belichick said he holds Martz' passing game in such high esteem that he takes time every offseason to study it and incorporate elements into the Pats' offense.

    As for revenge from Super Bowl XXXVI, Martz said that's taken a major back seat to keeping the Rams (4-3) in the playoff race.

    ``Payback really isn't an issue with me. We are just trying to keep our head above water,'' he said. ``If we were better, then maybe I would consider (it). I think if we were ever fortunate enough to see each other again in the Super Bowl, then maybe that would be something to think about.''

    Givens makes the list

    The injury report brought more bad news as receiver David Givens [news] was added as questionable with a knee injury. Givens scored the Pats' only two touchdowns in Pittsburgh, but he apparently hurt himself on the second one - a diving 23-yard catch in the end zone.

    Deion Branch [news] (knee) remained doubtful while Tom Ashworth (back), Troy Brown [news] (shoulder), Corey Dillon (thigh), Larry Izzo (knee) and Patrick Pass (thigh) were questionable. The team reported that all of the above players missed portions of team practice. . . .

    The key this week is taking care of the ball after four turnovers in Pittsburgh.

    ``(The Rams) feed off that,'' said quarterback Tom Brady [news]. ``You give those guys a short field, you can bet that they are going to be putting it in. That's a big point of emphasis this week as it is every week. That level of concentration needs to go up.''

    Poole won't rush it

    Tyrone Poole, who originally hurt his right knee in Buffalo in Week 4, admitted he may have rushed back too quickly against the Seahawks Oct. 17. Poole said his knee tightened up at halftime of that game, and afterward it was determined he should have a procedure (likely an arthroscopy) to ``clean up'' the knee. According to Poole, who won't play Sunday, doctors told him that by this point he should be feeling like a three on a scale of 1-10.

    ``And I'd say right now I'm about a seven,'' said Poole.

    ``I'm not trying to rush back. I'm just trying to get myself healthy so when the time comes for me to return, I'll be at the playing level I want to help the team.'' . . .

    The Pats practiced in full pads, signifying a contact practice that featured work on run defense.

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  • RamDez
    Martz' method works for Rams (pats press)
    by RamDez
    Martz' method works for Rams


    By CHRIS KENNEDY
    [email protected]

    St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz has always taken an unusual approach to bye weeks.



    Judging from how well it has worked, maybe it should not be such an unusual approach.



    For the fifth straight season, Martz gave his team the entire bye week off. The Rams, who were off last week, play the visiting New England Patriots Sunday.



    The Rams are 4-0 following bye weeks under Martz, and they have averaged 39 points per game with an average margin of victory of nearly 25 points.



    The controversial coach said it was a difficult move to make at first. He added he has continued the practice in part because his team's bye week has always fallen pretty much in the middle of the season.



    "After you have gone through the preseason and the entire start of the regular season, these guys physically and emotionally need a break, and the coaches could use one," Martz said.



    "They have to come in and lift and run three days out of that week," he added. "They get away with their families, their bodies are healed, and it's just like starting the whole year over. It's kind of refreshing."



    Most teams will hold two or three regular practices during a bye week before giving players the weekend off.



    INJURY UPDATE: The Patriots made no changes to their rather lengthy injury report.



    Running backs Corey Dillon (thigh) and Patrick Pass (thigh), receivers Deion Branch (knee), Troy Brown (shoulder) and David Givens (knee), tackle Tom Ashworth (back) and special teams linebacker Larry Izzo (knee) all missed at least a portion of team practice for the second straight day, according to the team.



    All are questionable for Sunday's game except Branch, who is doubtful. "I'll be back soon," Branch said. "It (being injured) is part of life."



    Cornerbacks Ty Law (foot) and Tyrone Poole (knee) will not play Sunday.



    Poole said players such as second-year pro Asante Samuel and rookie free agent Randall Gay will have a chance to gain experience, and the Patriots will benefit from that later in the season.



    "If something happens in a crucial game, the coaches don't have to say, 'Wow, I wonder how this guy is going to react in a crucial situation,' Poole said.



    "We have injuries, and that's not a positive, but it's a positive in the fact that it gives the guys who would not normally have opportunities to play the chance to do that."



    New England coach Bill Belichick was asked yesterday morning what his players would wear at practice...
    -11-07-2004, 03:59 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams preparing for Patriots visit
    by RamWraith
    By R.B. Fallstrom
    AP Sports Writer
    Monday, Nov. 01 2004

    The St. Louis Rams would have liked being the team to end the New England
    Patriots NFL record 21-game winning streak, considering their last trip to the
    Super Bowl was a loss to New England after the 2001 season.

    Instead, the Steelers beat them to the punch. The Patriots (6-1) play at St.
    Louis (4-3) on Sunday.

    "Of course you would have liked to have gotten a crack at it," tight end Cam
    Cleeland said Monday. "But they're still Super Bowl champions, so they're going
    to be just as good as they were before that loss.

    "I guarantee you they're going to be hyped and want to come in and prove
    they are the best."

    Watching the Patriots lose 34-20 to Pittsburgh was among the bye week
    activities for most Rams players, including coach Mike Martz. He watched the
    game again on tape before the team returned to practice in full pads on Monday.

    "They lost that game the way they'd been winning games," Martz said. "They
    gave the ball up early."

    But to Martz, it doesn't make any difference that the Patriots are no longer
    unbeaten. To him, it's always been about the Rams' performance.

    "We're struggling to stay on top of the division any way we can," Martz said
    "Obviously the history we have with them is kind of special, but we're just so
    concerned right now about getting better."

    The Rams have plenty to prove. In the last game before their midseason
    break, they became the first team to lose to the lowly Dolphins.

    "We don't like the way we left that thing before the bye," defensive tackle
    Tyoka Jackson said. "We've got an extra day of practice just to focus on who we
    are and what we did, and try to eliminate the mistakes and play like the Rams."

    Under Martz, they're more likely to be themselves after some time off. He's
    4-0 after the bye, perhaps because he's willing to treat the week as a break.

    Players showed up three times for lifting and running but otherwise had time
    to heal from aches and pains. Cornerback Travis Fisher, shaky in his first game
    back from a broken forearm sustained in the preseason, will have more time to
    reacclimate himself with the defense.

    Offensive guard Chris Dishman is closer to health from a knee injury; tackle
    Grant Williams has gotten over a stringer; defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy could
    play for the first time since breaking a foot early in training camp, and
    Jackson expects to be back at close to full strength after missing two games
    with a pulled left hamstring.

    "We're by and large healthy,"...
    -11-02-2004, 06:18 AM
  • RamDez
    Patriots Notebook: Injuries raising doubts by Frank Tadych (pats press)
    by RamDez
    Patriots Notebook: Injuries raising doubtsby Frank Tadych



    Wide receiver David Givens, one of 11 players on the Patriots injury report, was listed as questionable again on Friday.




    Foxborough, Mass. - The Patriots didn't report any changes to their injury report Friday, which isn't good news. The Patriots again listed 11 players on the report, including wide receiver David Givens, who sustained a knee injury in last week's game against Pittsburgh and listed as questionable for the third straight day.

    Givens was one of nine players who missed a portion of team practice Friday. Givens has been quarterback Tom Brady's primary target this season, leading the Patriots in both receptions (32) and receiving yards (544) while joining David Patten as the only receivers to play in all seven games.

    "I think Givens will be all right," head coach Bill Belichick said, electing not to elaborate any farther.

    Givens joined fellow receivers Troy Brown (shoulder) and Deion Branch (knee) on the injury report this week. Brown, who also missed the season opener due to a knee injury, saw his first action in four weeks against Pittsburgh, finishing with five receptions for 59 yards. Branch, who hasn't played since a knee injury Week 2 against Arizona, made an infrequent visit to the locker room during the media's open session Thursday. Brown, listed as questionable, and Branch, who is doubtful, both missed portions of team practice for the third consecutive day on Friday.

    "I'm straight," Branch told reporters. "You'll see me soon."

    Despite the overall rash of injuries, especially at receiver, Belichick wasn't looking to make excuses heading into Sunday's game in St. Louis. The only other receivers on the Patriots roster are Bethel Johnson and Kevin Kasper, both of whom play mainly on special teams.

    "I think everybody has a job to do and regardless of who the people are, who the 45 active players are, it is their responsibility to be ready to go and do that," Belichick said. "From a player's standpoint, their job is the same every week-get ready to play and play well in the situations that they are called on. When we go to the game we expect everybody to be ready to go and perform at their highest level."

    As for the rest of the injury report, cornerbacks Ty Law (foot) and Tyrone Poole (knee) are out and will not play Sunday. Offensive tackle Tom Ashworth (back), running backs Corey Dillon (thigh) and Patrick Pass (thigh), and linebacker Larry Izzo (knee) are all listed as questionable after missing portions of team practice again Friday. Ashworth, Dillon and Pass did not play last week.

    Quarterbacks Brady (shoulder) and Jim Miller (shoulder) are again listed as probable.

    A player who is listed as doubtful is described as having at least a 75 percent...
    -11-07-2004, 04:04 AM
  • RamWraith
    Martz doesn't believe spying charges
    by RamWraith
    By Mike Klis
    The Denver Post
    Article Last Updated: 02/21/2008

    INDIANAPOLIS If it matters, Mike Martz doesn't believe the New England Patriots spied on his walkthrough practice prior on the eve of Super Bowl XXXVI.

    Interested in the investigation. But not yet convinced he was one of the NFL's most notorious victims.

    Martz was head coach of the St. Louis Rams, the juggernaut of the 2001 season that was shocked by the heavily underdog Patriots, 20-17.

    "Maybe it helped them, maybe it didn't," Martz said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine he is attending as the San Francisco *****' new offensive coordinator. "But you'll never be able to measure that if they did do that. You're assuming they did that and I choose to believe they didn't do that."

    The Pats won two more Super Bowls, but have since been caught illegally videotaping opposing coaches' signals by the league. While that transgression cost the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick a combined $1.25 million in fines and a first-round draft pick, a more damaging accusation could be a Boston Herald report that the Pats illegally taped the Rams' final walkthrough before their Super Bowl meeting.

    The league is negotiating with Matt Walsh, who formerly worked in the Pats' video department until he was fired in 2003. The league wants to know if the Rams' walkthrough was taped, if it was Walsh who taped it, and if he still has that tape.

    "Of course, I'm interested," Martz said. "I was involved in that. It was my responsibility. I was responsible for a lot of people in that game. I am interested. But I'm going to assume it's totally false. Until they prove otherwise, there's not much to talk about."
    -02-21-2008, 03:26 PM
  • Undertaker #59
    Being a Show-stopper is one tough task for Pats
    by Undertaker #59
    The St. Louis Rams, though downgraded to a "Really Good Show on Turf," still are expected to be a tall order for the battered and bruised Patriots on Sunday.


    01:00 AM EST on Thursday, November 4, 2004


    BY TOM E. CURRAN
    Journal Sports Writer



    FOXBORO -- It's said that the Rams' offensive plays are like snowflakes -- no two are ever the same. And when they string enough of those adorable little snowflakes together, a defense can find itself first snowblind and then buried.

    Is it still "The Greatest Show on Turf" (one of the all-time great team nicknames, by the way)? St. Louis quarterback Marc Bulger said the 2004 offensive edition of the Rams probably isn't. But he does believe they're at least "A Really Good Show on Turf."

    The Patriots, battered, bruised and bandaged (but also 6-1), have the chore of trying to stop "The Show" on Sunday. Stop it after St. Louis has had a week off to rest its bones and regroup after a stunning 31-14 loss to hopeless Miami. Stop it without the best cornerback in football the last seven seasons -- Ty Law -- and his secondary colleague Tyrone Poole. Stop it as the Rams look to rev it up and close the first half of their season on an uptick.

    Even with the Patriots' injuries (in addition to being without Law and Poole, Corey Dillon and David Givens are 50-50 to play), this is a Class A matchup. It's the first meeting between the teams since Super Bowl 36, which was a pretty exciting game. And Bill Belichick and Mike Martz are simply the best in the business on their respective sides of the ball.

    "Mike has as sophisticated and tough an offensive system to defend as anybody we ever played," Belichick said yesterday. "When I go into the (team) meeting today, (I) can't stand there and say, 'Here's two things we got to take care of.' There's going to be 82. And they mightdo 10 things that you didn't even talk about that you have to deal with."

    So good are the Rams, Belichick divulged that he lets Martz's system take him to school in the offseason.

    "Every year in the offseason, I watch them, study them, try to learn more about the passing game from them so I can implement certain aspects of it into our team. Our assistant coaches -- Josh (McDaniels, quarterbacks coach), Brian (Daboll, receivers coach) and Charlie (Weis, offensive coordinator) -- we spend time in the offseason watching them throw because, in all honesty, nobody throws it better."

    Some of the usual culprits are still with the Rams -- wide receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, running back Marshall Faulk and tackle Orlando Pace. But Bulger is new to the Patriots, and St. Louis also has added burly and versatile running back Stephen Jackson.

    The Patriots played the Rams twice in 2001. The first...
    -11-04-2004, 06:46 AM
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