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Players offer a surprise salute for Martz's 50th victory

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  • Players offer a surprise salute for Martz's 50th victory

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    St Louis Rams coach Mike Martz gives fans a thumbs up as he leaves the field following the Rams' 23-12 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
    (James A. Finley/AP)

    Coach Mike Martz had dismissed the Rams after practice Friday afternoon when running back Marshall Faulk called the coach back to the team huddle. There, Martz was presented with a special memento.

    It was a No. 50 Rams home jersey, with a white "Wins" stenciled on the blue back that contained the signatures of each player.

    It signified Martz's 50 victories as the team's coach; his five-year record improved to 50-28 last Sunday when the Rams beat Seattle 23-12 at Edward Jones Dome. Only two of the franchise's 20 previous head coaches posted more wins: John Robinson, with 79 from 1983 through 1991; and Chuck Knox, with 72 in two stints, 1973-77 and 1992-94.

    Martz was surprised and clearly touched by the gesture from his players. "It's pretty awesome. I'm choked up," he said. "The fact that they felt that way . . . I don't know what to tell you."

    Told that he seemed to be at a loss for words, Martz said, "I am. They got me."

    In Martz's first four seasons, the Rams won two division titles, made the playoffs three times, and appeared in one Super Bowl. The Rams (5-4) are atop the division standings heading into Sunday's game at Buffalo (3-6).

    Holt's fog lifts

    The head-on tackle by Seahawks strong safety Terreal Bierria that leveled Rams wideout Torry Holt, ending his day in the first quarter, was judged to be the hard hit of the week on ESPN's "Jacked Up" segment.

    Holt suffered a concussion when Bierria drove him to the turf just after a Marc Bulger pass had arrived. But Holt bounced back quickly, passing a neurological test administered by the team's medical staff, and participating without limitations at all practices during the week.

    "I'm 100 percent, ready to go," said Holt, who has 45 receptions for 634 yards after leading the NFL in both categories last season. "I had a great week of practice. I worked out and ran routes, I lifted weights .... no dizziness, no nausea. So, I feel good."

    Holt said it wasn't the initial contact that knocked him woozy.

    "It was when I fell back and hit the turf; that's when the impact was made," he said.

    Quick hits

    Cornerback Jerametrius Butler was added to the team's injury report after missing part of Friday's practice with a sore knee. He's listed as probable. ... Rookie defensive end Anthony Hargrove (stinger) sat out a second successive practice and might not be ready for Sunday's game. ... The NFL said Friday that left tackle Orlando Pace won't be fined as a result of his ejection Sunday vs. Seattle. Pace was thrown out late in the third quarter for knocking aside an official during a scuffle involving several players. Pace said the contact was unintentional.

  • #2
    Re: Players offer a surprise salute for Martz's 50th victory

    On the player's gesture towards Coach MM: very interesting, encouraging, and appreciated. :helmet:

    GO TEAM!


    • #3
      Re: Players offer a surprise salute for Martz's 50th victory

      Hmmm. I guess we can put to rest all the questions from the media and some of our Seattle guests about how the players would take last weeks challenge from Martz. Not only did they respond in a big way on the field, they made an emphatic statement of admiration and more importantly of RESPECT for their coach with the salute.


      Related Topics


      • RamWraith
        Holt laments probable departure of Martz
        by RamWraith
        By Bill Coats
        Monday, Jan. 02 2006

        IRVING, TEXAS — He still uses the word "if" when discussing Mike
        Martz's future with the Rams. But Torry Holt realizes that barring an
        exceedingly unlikely turn of events, he'll be playing for a different head
        coach next season.

        "If they decide to go in another direction it'll be disappointing for me
        because of the amount of respect I have for Coach Martz and what he's taught
        me," Holt said. "A lot of my game and what I've learned comes from him:
        learning how to get open, learning details, learning how to take my profession
        serious. I owe a lot of that to Coach Martz."

        Holt, a rangy wide receiver out of North Carolina State, was the team's
        first-round draft choice in 1999, the year that Martz returned to the Rams as
        offensive coordinator. "The Greatest Show on Turf" was an immediate hit, and
        the high-powered Rams rolled to an improbable Super Bowl championship a year
        after finishing 4-12.

        Martz was promoted two days later, after Dick Vermeil retired. That's also when
        Holt's career shifted into high gear. He caught 82 passes for 1,635 yards and
        earned the first of his five Pro Bowl berths.

        Holt, 29, hasn't failed to top 1,300 yards in a season since then: He needed
        just 9 yards in Sunday night's regular-season finale against Dallas to reach
        that total again, and he got them on a 14-yard catch early in the second
        quarter. He had four catches for 40 yards in the Rams' 20-10 victory over the

        Quarterback Marc Bulger, who missed the final six games of the season with a
        shoulder injury, said Martz's exit - which is expected to be announced today -
        will be a relief of sorts.

        "I think it's gotten to a point now where we've known for two months, and when
        it comes to reality, it might be best for both sides," Bulger said. "He'll have
        another opportunity somewhere, and we'll have a definitive head coach now. With
        everything that's gone on, I think a whole lot of questions will be answered."

        Veteran tackle Orlando Pace said Martz's impact on the explosive Rams attacks
        in recent years won't soon be forgotten. "It'll be different," Pace said.
        "We'll just have to adapt to another offense."

        But, Pace noted, business is business. "I've been around this league for a long
        time and I understand that certain things happen," he said. "Guys can't be in
        one place forever. So we just have to move on and try to win a championship."

        Said defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson: "It's a tough deal. This thing has been
        ... kind of crescending...
        -01-02-2006, 02:10 PM
      • RamWraith
        Rams Rallying Around Martz
        by RamWraith
        Wednesday, October 5, 2005

        By Nick Wagoner
        Senior Writer

        With their head coach spending his mornings and not much else at the team’s training facility; the Rams are doing their best to go about business as usual.

        The players are watching tape and practicing, the coaches are game planning and everything is as it seems except for the one big missing piece at the top. That isn’t to say the team doesn’t miss Mike Martz, though.

        If anything, the Rams are going above and beyond to make sure they do right by their coach while he is missing in action. There has been extra attention to detail and the practices have been sharper according to assistant head coach Joe Vitt.

        “We have such great respect for Mike and Mike has been so good for us and good to us that everybody is going to step it up a little bit and make sure we have his back and do the best we can,” Vitt said.

        Martz’s status is unknown as of Thursday afternoon after he released a statement Wednesday saying that he would miss Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice because of illness.

        Martz said at the time that the doctors suspected he has endocarditis, a disease that is an infection of the inner lining of the heart or its valves. Martz spent Thursday afternoon having more tests done.

        The results of those tests won’t be known right away, but the illness has not kept Martz from actively participating in the day to day operations of the team. In fact, Martz was at Rams Park on Thursday morning,

        Martz went through his normal morning routine, reviewing tape of Wednesday’s practice, Scripting Thursday’s workout, meeting with the offense and going over any corrections from Wednesday’s practice.

        “Mike wants to be with the team,” Vitt said. “This is where Mike belongs. It’s killing him. When Mike showed his face this morning our players were elated to see him. There was a sense of calm when they saw his face. We are working through this thing right now. Our players are working their butts off, our coaches are pulling together. These are trying times, but we’ll pass the test.”

        Every Ram that spoke about Martz’s condition on Thursday did it with the hope that the coach would be OK. There is no doubt that there was some sense of worry about Martz, but many were happy to see him in the morning, even if it was just briefly.

        “It has been a little bit more kind of down around here,” running back Steven Jackson said. “But it’s not down because of work, it’s down because we know our head guy is sick and everybody cares about him. We want to make sure he gets right and as long as he is doing that, we are going to take care of business on the field.”

        Because of Martz’s absence there is some obvious concern that the team would tend to lose focus while wondering about his status.

        Receiver Torry Holt said...
        -10-07-2005, 01:18 PM
      • fearlessone
        Martz gets tough with Rams-John Clayton
        by fearlessone
        Sunday, November 14, 2004

        By John Clayton

        ST. LOUIS -- Mike Martz has been praised and criticized for being the Mad Scientist of offense. Since last week's loss to the New England, Martz was just mad.

        Mad coaches live on the edge. Players usually respond big or fall flat. The Rams responded big Sunday. Martz cracked the whip earlier in the week and the Rams responded like a champion horse down the final furlong. Five days after Martz turned his Wednesday practice into a live scrimmage, the Rams hit the turf looking to hit somebody.

        Mike Martz and the Rams got the best of Mike Holmgren's Seahawks for the second time this season.
        Marc Bulger fired 13 straight passes coming off the opening kickoff, completing eight for 119 yards. Defenders chased down Seahawks offensive players relentlessly. Before the game was 18 minutes old, the Rams had a 17-0 lead on the way to what turned out to be a convincing 23-12 victory. The win gives the Rams all the tiebreaker edges in the now-even NFC West.

        "We had to go back to basics and identify things that we are not doing well, tidy them up and get them cleaned up on Wednesday," Martz said. "The players appreciated it. They responded very well."

        Appreciate might not be the right word here. For the usually jovial Martz, the days leading up to the victory over the Seahawks was much like an episode of Fear Factor. For seven days, there was no more Mr. Nice Guy.

        It appeared the players' coach had turned anti-player after back-to-back losses. His quotes to the St. Louis press were classics. One quote: "We don't hold hands and get in a séance and sing Kumbaya." Then there was this one straight from Jim Fassel's quotebook: "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."

        This was coaching. The masterful strategist calls it an "attitude adjustment." He called out the team publicly. Privately, he called out a handful of players for not doing their jobs. He threatened putting players on the bench. He put tape together to show sloppy or non-existent effort. The embarrassing loss to Miami in particular caught everyone's attention.

        "He showed us videotape of the Miami game where guys quit running," safety Adam Archuleta said. "Those are things we had gotten away from. You can't give up on a play. You need 11 hats getting to the football. Playing hard and playing aggressive is the key to a lot of things. If you have that down, schemes take care of themselves. It's more attitude than anything."

        Wednesday's practice was wild. It started after Martz cut a 15-minute press conference 10 minutes short with quick, terse answers. He stormed to the practice...
        -11-15-2004, 06:39 AM
      • RamWraith
        Surprise! Martz has a visit at Rams Park
        by RamWraith
        By Bill Coats
        Friday, Nov. 18 2005

        Perhaps a bit skittish to discuss anything that occurs at practice after the
        mini-altercation earlier this week between two assistant coaches, Rams tackle
        Orlando Pace feigned ignorance when asked about Mike Martz's surprise
        appearance Friday.

        "He was out there?" said Pace, laughing heartily.

        Indeed, he was. Martz spent about 30 minutes at the indoor practice facility,
        chatting with interim head coach Joe Vitt, several other assistants and a
        handful of players.

        Martz has been at Rams Park several times since announcing in late October that
        he would sit out the rest of the season while undergoing treatment for a
        heart-valve infection. Most recently, he addressed the team Monday morning
        after the Rams' loss at Seattle, but he had not appeared at practice before.

        "I was surprised to see him out there," Pace said. "I'm sure it's tough to stay
        home during the course of the season. It was good just to see him getting

        Wide receiver Dane Looker said: "He's been a vital part of this organization
        for a long time, and he's put this team together. He probably just wanted to
        check on things, see how everything is going."

        Quarterback Marc Bulger said Martz kept the conversation light. "It was pretty
        much just to say 'hi' to everyone," Bulger said. Considering the strange
        goings-on this season at Rams Park, Martz's appearance hardly ranked as a
        bombshell, Bulger noted.

        "You really don't get surprised around here too much anymore," he said.
        -11-19-2005, 05:17 AM
      • RamWraith
        Inside Slant
        by RamWraith
        It's clear the Rams face a crossroad in their season Sunday against Seattle. The team enters the game one game behind the Seahawks in the NFC West. The implications are clear.

        A victory would create a tie in the division at 5-4, but the Rams would win any tiebreaker because of sweeping the season series. A loss would put the Rams two games behind Seattle as they would begin a stretch of playing four of five games on the road.

        Asked whether the Rams can turn things in the opposite direction after two straight losses in which they've allowed 71 points, safety Adam Archuleta said, "You have to. As long as you are a professional and you care about your sport and you care about what you are doing, absolutely. This season isn't over, we just have to get better and win games. We have to get on a run. We have a big game coming up. It's a must-win game. We just look forward to winning that game.

        "I don't think there is pressure because we lost two in a row. There is just pressure to play well and play like we know that we can and stop making the mental mistakes. I think that the effort is good regardless of what happened (against New England) and what happened in Miami. We just have to go out and beat Seattle."

        While the defense continues to struggle, the special teams often put them in difficult positions. While quarterback Marc Bulger is on pace to pass for more than 4,500 yards, critical mistakes on offense have killed drives and also led to bad field position.

        But against Seattle, the Rams know they have to come together to stop running back Shaun Alexander.

        Commenting on the run defense, coach Mike Martz said, "That is one of the issues that we needed to address. I think I have a pretty good understanding, looking at the tape, what we need to do. I talked to (defensive coordinator) Larry (Marmie) for quite some time this morning (Monday). I talked to our players. I have a pretty good feel for it."

        Earlier in the season, the biggest problem in run defense was over-pursuing and players losing their gap discipline. Martz said that wasn't the focal point against New England.

        "That's not the issue right now," Martz said. "The results are the same, just a different scenario."

        Overall, the linebacker performance has been poor. Middle linebacker Robert Thomas hasn't been able to stay healthy, so Brandon Chillar and Trev Faulk have had starts there. Chillar has also suffered some injuries, while Tommy Polley has been inconsistent. Only Pisa Tinoisamoa has been solid, but he also has been guilty of mistakes.

        Martz hinted at changes, but with the present players on the roster, it's difficult to see from where help could come. The best hope is that the offense scores enough to alleviate the pressure on the defense.

        SERIES HISTORY: 13th meeting....
        -11-12-2004, 05:30 AM