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  • Rams Q-and-A: Martz on Monday

    Compiled by Jeff Gordon Sports
    Monday, Nov. 15 2004

    Rams coach Mike Martz was in a predictably good mood the day after his team
    handled the Seattle Seahawks 23-12.

    “We’re very pleased with the effort of this football team, the intensity we
    were able to keep throughout the game,” Martz said. “It didn’t wane at any
    time. Even with some of the big plays they were able to hit on our defense, we
    were able to run to the ball.

    “We had some mistakes in the running game. We had some guys out of place and
    make a mental error, which resulted in some big plays. They made some plays,
    obviously, they are a good football team. They are going to do that.

    “A couple of real big indications would be the red zone stops, to get down in
    that situation and not let them in and hold them out from scoring touchdowns
    speaks volumes about the resolve and the tenacity.

    “We didn’t do everything right, there is no question about that. There is a lot
    to fix and continue to get better that. As long as you play with that type of
    attitude and enthusiasm, you can accomplish an awful lot.”

    Here were some other highlights of the news conference:

    On the play of the offensive line:

    “We had to shake things up there in the fourth quarter. For Grant (Williams) to
    go to left tackle, (Chris Dishman) has got a knee situation and Tommy (Nutten)
    goes in and plays very well. It has taken him some time to get his weight and
    his strength back up, but at this point he’s back up to where he was when he
    left, weight-wise and strength-wise. I’m very confident about his ability to
    start at left guard.

    “Blaine Saipaia came in and did a terrific job. There is a lot to like about
    (Saipaia). Coming out of college, we had such a high grade on him. We kind of
    tracked him a little bit. We were able to get ahold of him, bring him in here.
    As we went through practice, it became very evident he has excellent feet. He
    has got terrific punch. He’s a strong guy, learns quickly, is a quick study on
    a lot of the stuff. Very physical player. When we moved him to right tackle, he
    was a fish out of water. He didn’t take to the pass rush very well. But over
    time, he’s done a great job on that.

    "He has enough confidence to play and not be stressed out. He is very poised. I
    wasn’t sure he would play as well as he did. People say he’s too short at I
    guess 6-3 or whatever, I don’t understand that. I don’t know. If you block
    them, that’s good enough.

    “I felt like the New England game was an exception to what this group really
    is. I thought they responded very well. Anytime you rush for 200 yards against
    anybody, that is a terrific outing. It really limited them to no sacks.”

    On the special teams:

    “There are some things we have to spend time on. The kickoff coverage is
    subpar, to say the least.”

    On the play of the secondary:

    “The corners were just absolutely exceptional. Jerametrius Butler had seven
    tackles, an interception and four passes broken up. For a corner to break up
    four passes and have a pick is a remarkable day, by anybody’s standards.
    Jerametrius has quietly had this kind of year throughout the season. I’m very,
    very pleased with him.”

    On the play of running back Marshall Faulk:

    “He made big plays when we had to have a big play. That’s what you do when you’
    re a guy of Marshall’s stature. At the end of the game, we have to come down
    with a big run. We have a third-and-one and he’s stopped 2 ½ yards short of
    getting the first down. I don’t know how, looking at the tape, how we got it.
    Just by sheer desire and fortitude he got the first down for us at a very
    critical time of the game. He played as well as he’s played since he’s been

    On the play of quarterback Marc Bulger:

    “He managed the game. Terrific throws, very accurate throws. The things that
    stand out, in my mind, are the ones that he throws away instead of taking a
    sack or trying to make a throw he shouldn’t make. Tucking the ball and running
    with it, allowing us to punt or kick a field goal. Those are things that a
    mature quarterback (does), where he doesn’t put the win in jeopardy. He’s a
    very mature quarterback at this point, really a terrific leader for this
    football team.

    “Some of the things he’s done the past few weeks in terms of the check downs,
    just the awareness of managing the game and not trying to make a throw he
    shouldn’t make . . . I’m very pleased with where he is right now.”

    On going right after the Seahawks with 13 straight passes to open the game:

    “That’s Ram football. That’s what we’re used to doing. We got away from it a
    little bit. You just have to do whatever works. There is a cause and effect for
    everything you do in the game. If you’re successful doing it, obviously you
    force them into some sort of change and then you kind of move on. We can come
    out throwing 13 times and go three for 13, too.

    “They were very, very charged for this game. We’ve got real good skill people.
    We’re really beginning to grow on offense. The quarterback right now is playing
    as well as anybody I’ve ever been around. The wide receivers are still
    learning, those young receivers. The offensive line is getting its feet back on
    the ground. In the past, I’ve worried about some things. That’s aside, that’s
    gone now.

    “We can let it all hang out, so to speak. I’m excited and anxious about playing
    next week because of where we are right now offensively.”

    On whether he is worried that Orlando Pace could be suspended for bumping an

    “I couldn’t imagine that happening. It was clearly unintentional. Orlando didn’
    t do anything wrong. He got pushed around there and just kind of fell into the
    official. I don’t think he knew what he was grabbing, to be honest with you.
    When you see it on tape, it’s pretty innocent, actually.”

    On the play of linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa:

    “We’ve rewarded him, I have, he is our sixth captain for the rest of the year.
    We always have that sixth captain, change it every week -– no, he’s doing it
    for the rest of the year. He is a very young player that has quietly taken over
    a leadership role on this football team.”

    On the need to keep the intensity up:

    “What you see is what you’ve coached. If their attitude isn’t what it should
    be, maybe you’re not coaching it well enough. If they aren’t physical, maybe
    you’re not coaching physical well enough. That’s where you have to start. It
    starts with me. Looking back, our approach last week was not one of retribution
    or anger with the players. We’re all responsible for any shortcomings. The
    problem was, we needed to get back to playing basic football. The players
    understood that and responded to that very well.

    “We need to continue to do that. It’s not fixed. We’re just now headed in the
    right direction again. We have a lot of work to do and the players understand

  • #2
    Re: Rams Q-and-A: Martz on Monday

    On the play of linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa:

    “We’ve rewarded him, I have, he is our sixth captain for the rest of the year.
    We always have that sixth captain, change it every week -– no, he’s doing it
    for the rest of the year. He is a very young player that has quietly taken over
    a leadership role on this football team.”
    Love to hear that!


    • #3
      Re: Rams Q-and-A: Martz on Monday

      We didn’t do everything right, there is no question about that. There is a lot to fix and continue to get better at. --MM
      And still there are those that say that some of us get "all excited" for some of our wins.

      As if Coach Martz and we didn't know any better. ;)

      Sure, we've got some serious challenges ahead and that obviously takes a responsible approach of awareness and action.

      I'm excited! GO RAMS! May our team's efforts continue achieving victories. :helmet:
      Last edited by RealRam; -11-17-2004, 10:27 AM.


      • #4
        Re: Rams Q-and-A: Martz on Monday

        “We didn’t do everything right, there is no question about that. There is a lot
        to fix and continue to get better that. As long as you play with that type of
        attitude and enthusiasm, you can accomplish an awful lot.”

        “I felt like the New England game was an exception to what this group really
        “There are some things we have to spend time on. The kickoff coverage is
        subpar, to say the least.”
        On the need to keep the intensity up:

        “What you see is what you’ve coached. If their attitude isn’t what it should
        be, maybe you’re not coaching it well enough. If they aren’t physical, maybe
        you’re not coaching physical well enough. That’s where you have to start. It
        starts with me.
        On going right after the Seahawks with 13 straight passes to open the game:

        “That’s Ram football".
        The way I see it one Ram is not getting enough credit. I have seen improvement from this guy all year and he is doing better each week. He is even addressing the problems that I have been so vocal (or whiny) about since he became the #1 guy.

        The bi-product of Coach Martz’s inexperience have resulted in a lot of freebies for the Bill Belichick’s of the league vaulting them into the stratosphere of overrated. If Coach Martz continues his improvements look out NFL because no other coach can touch him when it comes to the offensive side of the football, nay scoring points.
        My Game ball goes to Coach Martz


        Related Topics


        • RamWraith
          Martz on Monday: Still simmering over Sunday
          by RamWraith
          Compiled By Jeff Gordon

          Are you still upset about how the Rams played Sunday?

          You’ve got company. Coach Mike Martz is still simmering, too. He didn’t rub the game video in the players’ faces Monday, but he hadn’t forgotten the poor performances and blown plays in the 44-24 loss at Giants Stadium.

          Corrective action will be taken.

          “I was disappointed with some things that happened to us on defense,” Martz said at his Monday news conference. “It’s not the defense as a whole, it’s not what we’re running on defense. We’ve got some guys that didn’t play as well as we have in the past. You can’t have one or two guys do that, you’re going to give up big plays. We had a couple of big plays in that game that have no business ever happening.

          “For whatever reason, they did occur. We didn’t play well. Anytime you score five straight possessions . . . there are a lot of things you have to look at. There are some very significant concern about where this football team is.”

          But he chose not to browbeat the team Monday.

          “I believe this is an anomaly, I really do,” he said. “I did not look at this tape with these players. We’re going to move on. We’ve got to get ready to play Seattle. I understand what we need to do from a coaching perspective to get this right. Some of the guys we have . . . that did not play well, that would be confronted and corrected and if we have to make a change, we make a change.”

          “We need to get back on track to where we were building and get there quickly. I think we can do that. We’re not going do that by going back and rehashing what happened here last week. I know what happened. You all know what happened, you saw it. An old-fashioned whupping is what we took.

          “I’m not very pleased with some of the guys and their effort. We’ll rectify that. That I know we can fix.”

          “We’ll move on. If it shows its ugly head again, than we will make a change. That’s the way it’s going to be.”

          Here was Martz’s take on a number of other issues:

          On costly mistakes made by the safeties:

          “There were a couple of big plays by safeties that hurt us bad in this game, early too, where the receiver gets behind everybody. When we’re in Cover-2, that should never happen. There is no excuse for it. It’s just he decided to do what he wants to do, whatever that was. He’s got no business being up there. Those are the kinds of things that will be dealt with. That kind of thing can never be accepted. It can’t happen or else you cannot play.”

          “It takes just a few players to hurt a defense badly.”

          On the cornerbacks getting burned by rangy Giants receiver Plaxico Burress:

          “Yeah, he had a big day. We’ll get them some help. We’ll change some things. There are some coaching issues...
          -10-03-2005, 04:39 PM
        • RamWraith
          Martz Speaks! Highlights from Monday's press conference
          by RamWraith
          Compiled By Jeff Gordon
          Monday, Sep. 26 2005

          Rams coach Mike Martz is understandably enthusiastic about rookie tackle Alex
          Barron, who shored up the offensive line during Sunday’s 31-27 victory over the

          He dressed for the first time as a NFL player and tagged in for beleaguered
          right tackle Blaine Saipaia.

          “When we put (Barron) in one-on-one (practice) situations . . . his protections
          in one-on-ones against Leonard Little and our better players, he’s had good
          success,” Martz said. “Then we started to rotate him in with our offense. He’s
          been very successful in practice. That’s why we had him up.

          “I thought, physically, he was ready to play. Physically, from a technique
          standpoint, he is very good at his point. He is outstanding. Making sure he
          doesn’t leave somebody unblocked, he is doing the right thing, is the thing I
          worry about. He’s further along than I thought he would been.”

          “We felt like he was ready in the event we needed a pass protector to deal with
          a defensive end by himself, because of his ability.

          “We had some real protection issues. Blaine was struggling, to be blunt about
          it. We’re trying to get things going and we couldn’t.

          “When we drafted Alex, you watch a guy on tape, you kind of get a feel for the
          tenacity and how much he likes playing, the passion, how he plays the game. He
          was awful rough around the edges. When he came through mini-camp, I was
          concerned about the toughness. I just didn’t see it.

          “Since the day he stepped onto this facility in camp, he’s remarkably different
          that what I remembered in mini-camp. Everything he’s done, he’s exhibited the
          toughness and that physical part of the game I didn’t know if he had or not.
          That has allowed him to go where he is right now. That’s all to his credit and
          credit to the line coaches for getting him ready.”

          Here were some other highlights of the Martz news conference:

          On the overall state of the team: “I’m really pleased with the way
          the team finished the game. We had some breaks go against us, particularly in
          the second half. We had some momentum going offensively. We felt like we were
          in position to really take control of the game. Defensively we got better as
          the game goes along. We made plays at the end of the game to keep them out of
          the end zone to win this game.

          “There is a toughness there that exists in this football team. We’re still not
          doing enough things right, technically. We still have some blown assignments. I
          think we did find a right tackle in this game, which is awfully big for us.

          “We’ve got a long way to go both sides of the ball. We’re...
          -09-27-2005, 04:58 AM
        • RamDez
          Head Coach Mike Martz
          by RamDez
          Head Coach Mike Martz
          Friday, September 3, 2004

          (Opening comments)
          “We came out of the game, physically, in good shape. We have a slight knee strain with Erik Jensen and a very minor ankle sprain with Cam Cleeland. So other than that we came out of the game clean. There were a lot of good things in this game. We were able to evaluate personnel for a long period of time, particularly on defense. On offense there was some pleasant surprises. I’m very pleased with being able to evaluate and where this team is. Some of these guys, hopefully, now can contribute during the season.”

          (On RB Lamar Gordon)
          “That is the first time he has been hit, or put pads on, in four weeks. To go in and take the ball like he did, and he took some horrendous hits out there on the edge, then jumped, turned, twisted, and stayed in the game. I was very impressed with his toughness. The burst that he had, the acceleration he showed right before the touchdown run, to get it down to the one-or-two yard line. I was very pleased with Lamar. I told him (we were going to play him a lot). I know the conditioning aspect, because he has not been hit in four weeks, and that’s a big deal now. But the more we played him, the better he played. He got dinged there a little bit and came out briefly, but went back in, which is important. I was very impressed with him.”

          (On if WR Torry Holt’s back spasms are of concern)
          “No I don’t think so. We didn’t plan on playing he or Isaac (Bruce) more than a few plays anyway. And the other guys need to play. (WR Shaun) McDonald has to play a whole game. Mike Furrey needs to play. The only issue at wide receiver is, that he still has shin splints, is (WR Kevin Curtis). We did try to play him as little as possible, but he did need to play a little bit and he was able to make a couple of big plays in that game. We will try to keep him quiet for a while on those legs, and see if we can’t get that thing to calm down a little bit. Anybody who has had shin splints knows how painful they are. The only way to get rid of them is to rest them. So we will try to manage them as best we can.”

          (On how he feels about the team at this point)
          “I feel good about where we are. The areas that we wanted to get better, running the football, we made a big emphasis of that in the last few games, as you could see. Regardless of who was in the game, we wanted to run the football. I think it sets a mentality for the offensive line and the backs. I was very pleased with the way we have run the ball the past few weeks. It didn’t make a difference who was in there. I’m very excited about the play of the quarterbacks. I’m very excited about the play of the linebackers and how the defensive line is starting to come together. We’ve got some issues in the secondary because of injuries. We need DeJuan Groce back, obviously. He’ll be back this week. Losing (CB Travis)...
          -09-05-2004, 05:00 AM
        • Nick
          Martz: 'We have to fix some things'
          by Nick
          Martz: 'We have to fix some things'
          BY JEFF GORDON

          Rams coach Mike Martz still expects big things from his football team.

          But after that 34-17 loss in Atlanta, Martz said there will be plenty of work to do at Rams Park.

          "We have some things to clean up," Martz said. "That stuff doesn't happen overnight. But we're going to end up being a real good team.

          "But we have to fix some things, no question about it."

          Here are some other highlights of his Q & A session with reporters:

          On what went wrong in Atlanta:

          "They got us on our heels on all three phases of the game, and on the road, this team needs to learn to fight back. I thought that we did that, getting the game back to a 17-17 position. Then we did not make a play on a reverse and a couple of other things happened offensively. We did not finish this thing the way you would like to see us do it. There are some lessons to be learned from this.

          "There were a lot of mistakes in this game, more mistakes than we would have thought. I think our players did prepare well. Again, in that environment, we just didn't see it on the field.

          "This is one of the few times in my career that we practiced very well and did not play well. A lot of it has to do with getting down early and not responding well as a football team."

          "Coming out of our own end zone, we have a penalty on a kickoff return that's unnecessary. We get into a little bit of a panic offensively, you know, and put ourselves in a hole.

          "A young team like this, particularly on defense, a lot of the young players have not had that kind of adversity. When you get down like that, you cannot panic . . . you just have to stay focused, know how to respond. You teach them to respond. That's where we are with this.

          "What's happened has happened. Now you have to go back and make the corrections. We understand what we need to do this week to get it done. Now the process begins."

          On why the game went south:

          "We were in position to make a play and didn't do it. We had some penalties . . . this was problematic throughout the game, whether it was a facemask penalty or false start or all those things. We just can't have those, particularly at critical times. We made mistakes at critical times that you just can't make.

          "When the game is that close and there is a play that's there to be made, you have to make that play. In those three phases of the game, when we had to make a play, we couldn't. They need to learn from that. There are a lot of things that need to be straightened out."

          On the struggles against the run:

          "A lot of those two-back runs were...
          -09-20-2004, 08:19 PM
        • RamWraith
          Martz raves about offense
          by RamWraith
          Compiled by Jeff Gordon
          Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist

          Mike Martz talks with Rams QB Marc Bulger on Sunday.

          Rams coach Mike Martz can't stop raving about his team's offensive line play in Sunday's 17-10 victory over Arizona.

          "The offensive line, as a group, was just outstanding," Martz told reporters Monday afternoon. "I have to single out Andy McCollum as having the best game he's had since he's been here. He was dominating.

          "I told our staff today that I felt like this was probably our best performance as an offensive line since I've been here. Any time you rush for those kind of yards (176 yards; 5.9 yards per carry) and don't give up any sacks, that's pretty exceptional. When you look at the tape, they are sustaining blocks. The things they were able to do were, I was very pleased. I was very pleased how physical they were.

          "They haven't missed a beat, like they did in camp. They are just a tough group. We've had all kinds of different combinations in there throughout the training camp, but (the coaches) kept everybody focused. (Chris) Dishman comes in, loses 20 pounds, right now he's played through the preseason, gotten himself into shape, played very well. Grant Williams on the right side was doing a terrific job."

          Technically, teams do not have to issue information about injuries until Wednesday. So when Martz was asked about the injuries to two of his five linebackers -- Pisa Tinoisamoa (dislocated shoulder) and Trev Faulk (hamstring) -- he said, "I kind of know what that injury situation is and we'll be fine."

          Other highlight's of Martz's press conference:

          On his team's offensive miscues:

          "In the first three possessions, offensively, we turn it over, which is always a concern. If we hadn't done that, we were in position to really take charge of that game early."

          On the red-zone inefficiency:

          "There were a couple of situations in the red zone where basically I screwed up the verbiage in it and we had to call a timeout. I would take that third-down-and-two (Cam Cleeland tight end around run) play back. I felt like the structure defense they do in the goal line it would be good. I guessed there a little bit and they came off the edge. We didn't get the ball in the end zone. That's a coaching error. I can do a better job of that."

          On Marc Bulger's interception:

          "After looking at the interception, I know what he did. He was fine where he was throwing it. We had a receiver turning up instead of turning out on that thing; he brought the defender, at the last second when (Bulger) was throwing the ball, right into the throwing lane. He tried to pull off the ball and the ball took off on him. . . .

          "I thought...
          -09-15-2004, 03:59 AM