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  • Attitude Adjustment

    Rams Set Sights on Attitude Adjustment
    Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    With perhaps the most important game of the season at hand, the Rams are making changes in many areas. There might be some changes to the personnel, maybe a few tweaks to the gameplan, but the one area where a change is almost certain is clear: attitude.

    St. Louis has lost its past two games, losing a shot to open a comfortable lead in the NFC West Division. Rams coach Mike Martz said he has not been pleased with the team’s performance recently and things need to change, not just in scheme and personnel, but on the mental side also.

    “This is a game of attitude, pure and simple,” Martz said. “This is not about ability, it never has been, never will be. Everybody in this league has got ability to play. Everybody’s talented. Everybody’s fast, everybody’s big, everybody’s strong. If you think that’s the difference, you’re sorely mistaken. This is purely a game of attitude.”

    Essentially, the Rams need to toughen up to get a win Sunday. That is easier said than done against a Seattle team that doesn’t need a long memory to get fired up for this game. Rewind to the Oct. 10 meeting between the teams and you will find one of the best comebacks in NFL history, as St. Louis bounced back from a 17-point deficit to claim a stunning 33-27 overtime win. Actually, don’t rewind anything; Martz said he doesn’t need to watch any film to get excited for a game.

    “I don’t need to look at a tape to get energized,” Martz said. “Not me, I don’t have to look at a tape to go to a happy place to get energized. That’s not who I am, sorry.”

    With so much at stake this week, the thoughts of that game should be the furthest thing from the Rams’ collective mind. This game could be the defining game of the division this season. The Seahawks are 5-3, but have two losses in the division. The Rams are 4-4, but undefeated in the division.

    A win puts St. Louis firmly in control of the division and gives it an inside track to the playoffs. A loss could severely damage a team that is reeling and needs a win, not just to keep pace in the playoff hunt, but also to build some much-needed confidence.

    Nobody is giving up hope on the season, yet. There is plenty of season left, but the sense of urgency is certainly at its peak. Martz said the time has come for some of the younger players to make an impact.

    “I would expect us to come out and compete better,” Martz said. “I think that’s what I would expect, as a football team. We have core guys we can hang our hat on. You can get them up in the middle of the night, go out and practice and you’ll get all they got. What we are trying to do is get the rest of the guys up to that level. We were there for awhile and we fell off a little bit in a couple of key areas.”

    There could be some alterations in those key areas, but it appears no decision has been made. At practice on Wednesday, a number of offensive line options were used. For the most part the normal offensive line played on the top line, but Blaine Saipaia saw some action at right tackle and Tom Nutten and Larry Turner took some repetitions at left guard. None of that means much now, though. Any and all personnel decisions probably won’t take shape until closer to gametime.

    There has been plenty of time for voicing opinions and making their presence felt, but that time has passed. With so much on the line, there is only time for focus on one thing: changing attitudes and playing better. Martz said Monday that he wanted some of his players to take some accountability and start making plays.

    Martz said he doesn’t care much about verbal encouragement; he just wants the product on the field to improve.

    “Nobody is going to voice anything to me,” Martz said. “We don’t hold hands and get in a séance and sing Kum Ba Ya My Lord. I’m not into that. We have the direction we’re going, you’re on the train or you’re not. Get out, period. I know where I’m going, you’re either with me or you’re not.

    “I am not happy with how we are playing period, regardless of a division race or anything else. I think the way we have played in the last two games is embarrassing. Not so much, whether you win or lose the game, just the way we play the game, period. We are going to do everything we can to rectify that.”
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

  • #2
    Re: Attitude Adjustment

    Originally posted by Yodude
    Blaine Saipaia saw some action at right tackle
    ......who?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Attitude Adjustment

      Originally posted by NickSeiler
      ......who?
      Some guy on the Practice Squad, I think....
      temp_4394_1467243487543_20
      RAMS!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Attitude Adjustment

        Ah, I figured. They should start handing out numbers to people who come attend practices. "When we call your number, grab some pads..."

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Attitude Adjustment

          Just let me in there.....I may be a 5'2" female, but I could do the job, from what I hear....
          temp_4394_1467243487543_20
          RAMS!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Attitude Adjustment

            I like this new attitude Mike is displaying. **** or get off the pot. He knows if he can't get his players to do it, he'll be asked to.
            He must have seen something on the practice field Wed. that really boiled his loins.

            Maineram :ramlogo:

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Attitude Adjustment

              The attitudes of some players in the NFL really are ridiculous, though. I was listening to Sirius talk radio and some caller was talking about how after a dismal performance against the Chargers, Aaron Brooks was smiling while he was walking off the field.

              You have to wonder what the league would look like if all contracts were performance based and guys didn't just get their money for showing up.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Attitude Adjustment

                Blaine Saipaia is not on the practice squad, he's on the active roster. I expect it's just an experimental thing since I'm pretty sure he's mainly a guard.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Attitude Adjustment

                  Attitude is what Robert Thomas are missing (going back to the 'nice guy' award he recently won) and Polley, not talent

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Attitude Adjustment

                    You have to wonder what the league would look like if all contracts were performance based and guys didn't just get their money for showing up.[/QUOTE]
                    That is a great idea! Get paid by performance . Then we will see the desire to win really come out. Not only that, ticket prices would come down considerably and so would BEER PRICES!!!!! We all win! :redface:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Attitude Adjustment

                      Originally posted by theodus69
                      That is a great idea! Get paid by performance . Then we will see the desire to win really come out. Not only that, ticket prices would come down considerably and so would BEER PRICES!!!!! We all win! :redface:
                      Seriously though. I'm sure the union would never agree to a league-wide agreement for performance-based contracts only, but I think it would really cause players to go out and give their best every week if they knew their paycheck was depending on it.

                      Comment

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                      • RamWraith
                        Martz, Rams tackle their problems
                        by RamWraith
                        By Jim Thomas
                        Of the Post-Dispatch
                        Wednesday, Nov. 10 2004

                        If he was Mad Mike on Monday, he became Really Mad Mike on Wednesday.

                        The 2004 season has reached the critical-mass stage, and Mike Martz is doing
                        everything he can to salvage it. Never mind the standings, the division race,
                        or Sunday's NFC West showdown with Seattle. At the moment, Martz just wants the
                        Rams to start playing better. A lot better.

                        "I think the way we played in the last two games is embarrassing," Martz said
                        Wednesday. "Not so much whether you win or lose the game - just the way we
                        played the game. Period. We're going to do everything we can to rectify that."

                        Including full-contact scrimmage work in practice.

                        During the nine-on-seven run period, the first-team offense worked against the
                        scout team defense. Then, the first-team defense worked against the scout team
                        offense.

                        With live tackling in both sessions. Yes, the Rams engaged in some live contact
                        in training camp this summer, but those drills were performed almost totally by
                        backups. Wednesday's work involved starters - basically everyone but running
                        back Marshall Faulk on offense, and safety Aeneas Williams on defense.

                        Scrimmaging in the regular season is unheard of in today's NFL. And it was a
                        first for the "St. Louis" Rams. Not even in the Dick Vermeil days of three-hour
                        practices did the Rams go full-contact.

                        Longtime team officials said the Rams hadn't engaged in live practice
                        scrimmaging in practice since the 1980s, during John Robinson's tenure as head
                        coach.

                        So Wednesday's work might fall under the category of desperate measures in
                        desperate times. Martz wants the Rams to be more physical, and play a more
                        violent brand of football. He wants them to block better. Tackle better.
                        Compete better. Live tackling work in practices was a cattle prod to get that
                        point across.

                        "We've got a core of guys that you can hang your hat on," Martz said. "You can
                        get out in the middle of the night, go out and practice them, and you're going
                        to get all they've got.

                        "What we're trying to do is get the rest of the guys up to that level. We were
                        there for a while, and we've fallen off a little bit in a couple of key areas."

                        So Wednesday's scrimmaging, coupled with Martz's message to the team Monday
                        about accountability, are aimed at an attitude adjustment.

                        "This is a game of attitude, pure and simple," Martz said. "It's not about
                        ability. Never has been, never will be. Everybody in this league's got ability
                        to play. Everybody's talented. Everybody's fast. Everybody's...
                        -11-11-2004, 05:46 AM
                      • RamWraith
                        Martz shifts from mad to furious
                        by RamWraith
                        BY JEFF GORDON
                        Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
                        11/10/2004
                        Mike Martz was ticked off Sunday evening after his team lost to the New England Patriots.

                        He was still upset Monday afternoon when he broke down the game for reporters.

                        And he was absolutely furious this afternoon before taking his team back onto the practice field.

                        We’ve never seen Mike carry on like this at a news conference before. He became more and more agitated during his brief exchange with reporters.

                        “I’m not happy with how we’re playing, period, regardless of a division race or anything else,” he said. “I think the way we played the last two games was embarrassing. Not so much whether we win or lose the game, just the way we played the game, period. We’re going to do everything we can to rectify that.”

                        Can he go back to tape of the earlier Seattle victory and become energized by that?

                        “I don’t need to look at tape to get energized. Not me. I don’t have to look at a tape to go to a happy place, to get energized. That’s just not who I am, sorry.”

                        How did he assess the offensive line play after breaking down the tape?

                        “We made our corrections,” he said. “That was unusual. That is the exception to the rule with that group. I’ve been very pleased with that group overall most of the year. That was not one of our better performances, but I wouldn’t single them out.

                        “As a football team, we haven’t played well, period. We haven’t coached well, obviously, otherwise we’d play better. We can do something about all those things.”


                        Geez, Mike, you haven’t been like this since becoming head coach. How did it come to this?

                        “What difference does it make?

                        “I know what the problem is. I do know how to resolve it. I’m going to see if we can get it done.”

                        Will change come by doing things differently in practice; by saying different things to the team?

                        “I would expect us to come out and compete better. That’s what I would expect, as a football team. We have a core of guys that you can hang your hat on. You can get up in the middle of the night and go out and practice them and they will give you all they got.

                        “Now what we’re trying to do is get the rest of the guys up to that level. We were there for a while and we’ve fallen off a bit in a couple of key areas. This is about attitude, pure and simple.

                        “It’s not about ability. It never has been, never will be. Everybody in this league has the ability to play. Everybody is talented, everybody is fast, everybody is big, everybody is strong. If you think that’s the difference, you’re sorely mistaken. This is purely a game of attitude.”

                        Have any of the veteran players spoken up to the younger players?

                        “We don’t hold hands, get in a stance and sing Kumbaya My...
                        -11-11-2004, 05:47 AM
                      • RamWraith
                        Questions Abound as Rams Hit Halfway Point
                        by RamWraith
                        Monday, November 8, 2004

                        By Nick Wagoner
                        Staff Writer

                        With eight games behind them, the Rams are exactly halfway through the season. Usually by this point of the year, pretty much every team in the league has a good idea where it stands. Usually.

                        That is not the case this year, though, far from it. St. Louis stands 4-4 with a variety of surprising losses and shocking wins mixed in. Don’t feel too bad for the Rams, though. They are joined by just about every other team in the league. Heading into Week 10 (Monday night’s game not included), there are 21 teams in the league with records between 3-5 and 5-3 (Minnesota is 5-2 going into Monday night).

                        That kind of parity has left many doors open for St. Louis. Sunday’s 40-22 loss to New England, though, was the latest setback for a team that has lost its past two games to arguably the league’s worst team (Miami) and best team (the Patriots).

                        So, which team, exactly, is St. Louis? Are the Rams the team that came up with a dominating defensive performance and explosive offensive effort in a stunning fourth quarter comeback on the road against Seattle? Or is St. Louis the team that made mistake after mistake and got manhandled by a beaten-up New England team at home?

                        The answers to those questions probably won’t be delivered for a few weeks, or maybe not until the end of the season, but for now, the Rams can reflect on why they struggled in a winnable game against the Patriots and where they can go from here.

                        Rams coach Mike Martz said the first step to getting where the team wants to go is correcting the deluge of mistakes that plagued St. Louis on Sunday.

                        “We have to eliminate errors,” Martz said. “We had a lot of mistakes and we have to do better in a lot of areas. There is just no excuse. There are a lot of things to say that are going to sound like an excuse and that is not where we are. We are still in position to contend for this division and that is all I care about. This was a really good football team that we just played, but you cannot make the mistakes we made and expect to win against a team like this. We are not that far along yet, but we have to get there fast.”

                        The Patriots are, of course, an excellent football team. There is no shame in losing to a team that is the defending world champions and has won 22 of its past 23 games. There will be few people complaining this week about losing to a team as good as New England, but it was the way the Rams lost, that might linger.

                        Three turnovers, 10 penalties and countless mental errors that don’t show up in a boxscore resulted in a tough to handle loss to the injury-depleted Patriots. Martz made it a point at his weekly Monday press conference to say that the necessary changes will be made.

                        “We met today and obviously made some changes,” Martz said. “We understand what our...
                        -11-09-2004, 01:18 PM
                      • RamWraith
                        Martz has fans waiting to see if Rams respond
                        by RamWraith
                        By Bryan Burwell
                        Of the Post-Dispatch
                        Sunday, Nov. 14 2004

                        It sure has been some wild and wacky week right here in the River City, hasn't
                        it? First our favorite gray-haired football eccentric goes all Norman Vincent
                        Peale on us - not once, but TWICE this week - in a very public
                        effort to make friends and influence football players.

                        "We don't hold hands and get in a seance and sing Kumbaya. I'm not into
                        that. ... You're on the train or you're not. Get out, period. I know where I'm
                        going, you're either with me or you're not."

                        -Mike Martz


                        So now that Mike Martz has thrown down another verbal gauntlet to a world full
                        of doubters - and in the process minimizing the importance of really good, old
                        fashioned campfire songs - here we are again in a very familiar place. The Rams
                        are in another do-or-die situation as the Seattle Seahawks come to the Edward
                        Jones Dome with supremacy of the NFC West at stake. And once again Martz has us
                        all on the edge of our seats, intrigued with how his football team will respond
                        to his urgent words.

                        Will they take to heart his warnings that this 4-4 season is at a crossroads
                        and treat this game as though it is a desperate playoff game? Will they be
                        inspired by his angry words and use them as emotional fuel to turn what has
                        been a half-season of mediocrity into a strong second-half run to the
                        postseason?

                        "This is a game of attitude, pure and simple. This is not about ability,
                        it never has been, never will be. Everybody in this league has got ability to
                        play. Everybody's talented. Everybody's fast, everybody's big, everybody's
                        strong. If you think that's the difference, you're sorely mistaken. This is
                        purely a game of attitude."

                        Martz was a man on fire this week, from his Monday afternoon rant when he said
                        he was tired of "taking bullets" for underachieving players, to his
                        inspirational, but exceedingly short Wednesday press briefing when he continued
                        to challenge the players, then made them go through a full-contact scrimmage.
                        He was so fired up as he stormed out of the news conference that by the time he
                        marched onto the practice field, he was stalking around the field from one
                        group of players to another. Martz looked like an emotional volcano. He looked
                        like a man itching for a fight. He looked like a guy who was almost begging to
                        find just one half-stepping player.

                        "I am not happy with how we are playing period, regardless of a division
                        race or anything else. I think the way we have played in the last two games is
                        embarrassing. Not so much, whether you win or lose the game, just the way we
                        play the game,...
                        -11-13-2004, 07:04 PM
                      • RamWraith
                        Martz puts Rams on notice
                        by RamWraith
                        By Jim Thomas
                        Of the Post-Dispatch
                        11/08/2004
                        Mike Martz fielded all the questions Monday about what went wrong against New England. And there was a lot of ground to cover, because obviously, a lot went wrong in the Rams' 40- 22 loss to the Patriots.

                        But then totally unsolicited, he offered some thoughts about accountability. More specifically, the accountability of Rams players.

                        "This is my fifth year here," Martz told reporters, referring to his 4 1/2-season tenure as Rams head coach. "You guys have been with me long enough to know, I've never tried to mislead you. Sugarcoat it. If I've screwed something up, I'll tell you.

                        "You try and take a bullet (for a player) whenever you can. But there comes a time when some of these guys have just got to play. Step up and make a play. Players make plays. That's just the way it is.

                        "And that's not a cop-out, or brushing it off on these guys. But I'm upset. We've got some guys that we're counting on, that have got to step up. That's the way it is."

                        Martz wouldn't name names. But it's clear he has put his team on notice. He is growing increasingly frustrated over execution - or lack thereof - on the playing field. The team continues to make too many mistakes, and too few plays, on game day.

                        Martz made many of these points to his players and coaches Monday during a team meeting. Right now, Martz is searching for something to jolt his team out of its current skid - a skid that includes two straight losses, but also recurring problems on special teams, on defense, and in pass-blocking.

                        The sense of urgency has never been greater because if the Rams don't display a dramatic reversal of fortunes this Sunday against Seattle, the season could be all but lost.

                        The Seahawks are 5-3; the Rams 4-4. If the Rams win, they pull even with Seattle record-wise at 5-4, but actually take the NFC West lead because they hold the tiebreaker edge by virtue of a 2-0 sweep in head-to-head competition.

                        But if the Rams lose to Seattle, they're two games back, and face the daunting task of playing four of their next five contests on the road.

                        "We just didn't play well (against New England)," Martz said. "That's not a secret. We all saw that. We've played much better in the past and I'm confident that we'll do that again."

                        But how? What's the way out?

                        "We understand what our problems are, and what we need to address," Martz said. "And there may be some personnel changes."

                        But eight games into the season, it's not like Martz and the Rams can reinvent the wheel. The 53-man roster is what it is, and there's not much left on the streets.

                        So it looks like Chris Dishman will continue to start at left guard and Grant Williams will continue...
                        -11-09-2004, 05:25 AM
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