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Struggles prove value of Bulger, Martz says

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  • Struggles prove value of Bulger, Martz says

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Monday, Dec. 20 2004

    Two weeks ago the Rams were 6-6 and in control in the NFC West. Now they're 6-8
    and a game behind Seattle, with two weeks left in the regular season. What

    Most notably, the quarterback position, coach Mike Martz emphasized Monday, a
    day after the Rams were smothered 31-7 in Arizona. Had starter Marc Bulger
    remained healthy instead of missing the last two outings with a bruised
    throwing shoulder, the Rams' situation might be significantly different, Martz

    "Obviously, you can see the difference. How much of a difference would he have
    made at Carolina? It's all the difference in the world," Martz said. "I think
    he's one of the elite in the league. I've been saying that for a long time. Now
    that he was out of the picture, I think everybody can appreciate how good he
    really is. And how stymied we become in a lot of areas without him."

    Stymied, indeed. The once-powerful Rams offense produced one touchdown in a
    20-7 loss to Carolina, then was stopped cold by the Cardinals. A 61-yard fumble
    return by defensive end Leonard Little provided the Rams' only points.

    Some 111 games had passed since a 14-0 loss to Miami on Oct. 18, 1998, the last
    time the Rams offense failed to score.

    Bulger, who is expected to play Monday night against Philadelphia, was leading
    the NFL in passing yardage before he was hurt in the first quarter Dec. 5
    against San Francisco. Chris Chandler replaced him, and the Rams went on to a
    16-6 win.

    But Chandler, 39, tossed six interceptions in a woeful showing at Carolina,
    then was pulled after a grisly first quarter at Sun Devil Stadium. His future
    with the team is unclear; Martz said that Jamie Martin "more than likely" would
    back up Bulger vs. the Eagles. That presumably would leave rookie Jeff Smoker
    as the No. 3 quarterback, and Chandler, a 17-year veteran, perhaps unemployed.

    Martin, a 10-year journeyman who hadn't appeared in a regular-season game in
    two years, completed 16 of 31 passes for 188 yards, without an interception
    Sunday and earned effusive praise from Martz.

    The Rams had 185 yards on offense, their lowest total of the season. Bulger's
    presence, Martz insisted, might have changed that.

    "He gets the ball so quickly out of there under duress and pressure that you
    don't really realize it," Martz said. "There may have been a breakdown in
    protection, but he still completes the ball. Those kinds of things, you just
    don't really completely comprehend or appreciate until he's not in there."

    Davis provoked Polley, Martz says

    According to Martz, the set-to that led to linebacker Tommy Polley's ejection
    early in the fourth quarter began when Cardinals defensive tackle Russell
    Davis, standing along the sideline, spit at Polley. Polley was tossed after
    clubbing the helmet-less Davis on the head.

    "Tommy, as a natural reaction when somebody spits in your face, he went after
    him," Martz said. "I talked to him about it."

    Polley hasn't spoken with reporters this season.

    After the game, Davis shrugged off the episode. "It was just two guys jawing
    back and forth and getting a little frustrated," he said.

  • #2
    Re: Struggles prove value of Bulger, Martz says

    Ugh. If Martz thinks the qb position is what's at issue with the Rams' mediocrity then he really does need to be axed.

    We get it Mike. You're madly in love with Bulger.


    • #3
      Re: Struggles prove value of Bulger, Martz says

      so what your saying is its OK for Martz to talk, but when asked about Bulger he is expected to say nothing ............................ Ah, now I am getting a flavour of what some fans expect.

      For pity sake, let the man talk, for better or worse do you have to criticise every little thing he does? We all know ytou hate him and Bulger, no need to keep reinforcing it is there?

      Keeping the Rams Nation Talking


      • #4
        Re: Struggles prove value of Bulger, Martz says

        For pity sake, let the man talk, for better or worse do you have to criticise every little thing he does? We all know ytou hate him and Bulger, no need to keep reinforcing it is there?
        Perhaps you don't understand that many of us believe that Martz is driven by his ego, a particular kind of ego called Hubris. Maybe I haven't used that word enough lately.. so I figure I should point that out.

        Given that we believe that, we assign motives for things. In THIS case, we believe (correct me if I'm wrong, mok) that Martz is making Bulger out to be a superhuman in order to JUSTIFY his moves regarding "him who shall not be named" particularly. It seems to me, at least, that Martz does that quite a bit.

        Pretty much a SPIN DOCTOR, if you want to look at it in political terms.

        One does not have to HATE Bulger in order to get tired of Martz trying to rationalize and justify his actions. One DOES have to have a low opinion of Martz and believe he has an ego which is being fatal to the team.


        • #5
          Re: Struggles prove value of Bulger, Martz says

          I think he's one of the elite in the league. I've been saying that for a long time.
          I don't mind Martz talking if he's going to address how to fix the team(which I think is beyond Martz at this point) but where in the hell did that quote come from? If Bulger's not in, the Rams can't win (hey, that rhymes)? What happened to having Warner backing up Green and Green backing up Warner and Bulger backing up Warner and Warner backing up Bulger? No matter the combination we had a suitable qb to replace the starter.

          Now, it's all about Bulger. Period. No Faulk, no defense, no special teams, just Bulger. And that's okay if you're a fan, but from the head coach?!? Of all the things he could be talking about in regards to how or what the Rams could have done to win the last two games all he can come up with is "if Bulger would have been playing...". What about the guys who actually were playing? Would Jackson been in the game if Bulger had played. If so, why then and not when we needed him?

          Okay, I'll stop. There's just too much wrong with this article to break it all down. But to claim that I'm persecuting Martz for speaking is a little off base. It's what comes out of his mouth, not opening it, that I have a problem with.


          • #6
            Re: Struggles prove value of Bulger, Martz says

            Two weeks ago the Rams were 6-6 and in control in the NFC West
            is that the funniest thing you've ever heard? I almost couldn't read the rest of the article after reading that line. - LOL.

            I agree they could have beat Carolina if Chandalier didn't single handedly destroy that game, but this love fest with Bulger is a little too much drama given that in a normal season their 6-6 record would be attrocious.

            and at 6-8, Martz is like "gee, this Bulger kid is good compared to the old sock".

            Too bad he can't see that even if his superhero QB was in the game, AZ was scoring at will.


            • #7
              Re: Struggles prove value of Bulger, Martz says

              Originally posted by sbramfan
              Too bad he can't see that even if his superhero QB was in the game, AZ was scoring at will.
              Very true, although perhaps with Bulger in there, the Rams would have had a better chance of keeping up.

              Still, Bulger's not at the elite level. The only QB I really consider elite right now is Peyton Manning.


              Related Topics


              • AvengerRam_old
                Martz: "I'm not quitting."
                by AvengerRam_old
                Martz: I'm not quitting

                R.B. FALLSTROM

                Associated Press

                ST. LOUIS - As bleak as the situation looks, there's no giving up for St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz.

                Martz, whose fifth season with the team has been a semi-disaster, on Monday had a strong rebuttal to an ESPN report that he might consider quitting. The Rams were among the preseason Super Bowl favorites after going 12-4 last year but are 6-8 heading into the final two games.

                "I would never resign from this job," Martz said. "I love this job and I would never leave these guys. We've got a real solid crew of young players and it's going to eventually be a terrific team, and I'm not going to ever walk away from something like that."

                Martz has two years left on a contract that pays him $3.5 million annually, and he noted that he's financially secure.

                "I coach because I want to coach, and I love being here," Martz said. "That hasn't changed. We're going to forge on and get this thing back up and running the way it should be.

                "I'm one of those guys where that glass is always half-full and not empty. Sometimes it's hard to look at it like that but no, no, this guy's not going anywhere. No way, Jose."

                Martz is 51-32, counting the playoffs, since leading the Rams to their first Super Bowl championship as Dick Vermeil's offensive coordinator in 1999 and led the Rams to a 14-2 record and his own Super Bowl in 2002. This year has unraveled due to big problems early on with shaky defense and special teams, and lately with what used to be a high-powered offense.

                But this is where he wants to stay. Martz noted that earlier in the season he shot down speculation he'd be interested in the Dolphins vacancy.

                "This is where I want to retire," Martz said. "I have no interest in ever coaching for any other NFL team. We love living here, we love the organization."

                Martz hopes the return of quarterback Marc Bulger after missing two weeks with a bruised right shoulder can reinvigorate an offense that produced one touchdown while he was out. Bulger threw again on Monday with minimal problems.

                "He's ready to go," Martz said. "He's got very little effect on the followthrough, which is really the biggest concern."

                Backup Chris Chandler, 39, has been a major disappointment and might get released. He threw six interceptions last week in a loss at Carolina, then got yanked after going 1-for-6 for 1 yard and producing zero first downs in the first quarter of Sunday's 31-7 loss at Arizona.

                Jamie Martin, signed on Dec. 7 after being out of the NFL for more than a year, is the likely backup this week after playing the last three quarters on Sunday.

                "I believe in him," Martz said. "He's...
                -12-20-2004, 04:48 PM
              • RamWraith
                Rams’ Martz knew Bulger would be special
                by RamWraith
                From Charlotte Gazette

                June 06, 2004
                Mitch Vingle

                Rams’ Martz knew Bulger would be special

                ST. LOUIS RAMS head coach Mike Martz flew into Charleston Friday for a good cause.

                In order to help the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, he attended a black-tie gala at the Civic Center.

                But even before putting on his tux, Martz had a tie to West Virginia. A strong one, in fact, in Rams quarterback Marc Bulger, the former WVU standout. And it didn’t take but a few minutes after landing at Yeager Airport for the subject to be broached.

                Which brought a smile to Martz’s face.

                “We just love the guy,’’ said the coach. “He’s like the players’ little brother. He’s just so humble. You can’t help but like him.’’

                Martz and the Rams more than like Bulger, though. They signed him to a four-year, $19.1 million contract in April — and released two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner, who led the team to two Super Bowls.

                Of course, there’s little to dislike about Bulger. The guy is 18-4 as the Rams’ regular-season starter. But even Martz admits the rise of the QB is storybook. Bulger was cut by the New Orleans Saints before being plucked by the Rams from the Atlanta Falcons’ roster.

                “I remember the first time I saw ,’’ Martz said. “I was breaking down tape. I was watching him and he didn’t have a real good senior year , but the guy who was running our college scouting at the time — John Becker — said, ‘I really like this guy.’ He said, ‘Don’t look at his senior tape. Go back and look at his junior season.’ ’’

                So the coach did.

                “I went back and looked at his junior tape — and was just astounded,’’ Martz said. “I’d never seen anybody with that quick of a delivery before. I mean, he was like Marino. He had that Marino quickness of getting the ball out of there.

                “He was accurate and had plenty of arm strength, but he was injured and in a new system his senior year so things didn’t go well.

                “We were fine, obviously,’’ the coach continued. “We had Kurt and didn’t feel our quarterback situation was a real big need. So we did what we call a ‘red tag.’ We put a ‘tag’ on him. We decided to follow him through his career, and if he would come up again, then we’d decide if we wanted to bring him in.’’

                Now, he’s a Rams team captain along with stars Marshall Faulk and Aeneas Williams. Sure, Bulger threw 22 interceptions last season, but he finished second in the NFL in completions. He also earned a Pro Bowl berth and was named the game’s MVP.

                Martz claims it didn’t take long to realize Bulger was special.

                “First series in his very first start in 2002,’’ said the coach. “We were playing the Oakland Raiders. We were coming off the Super Bowl loss and were 0-5. Kurt was struggling, then he broke his...
                -06-07-2004, 07:55 AM
              • RamWraith
                Painful hit on Bulger angers Martz
                by RamWraith
                By Bill Coats
                Of the Post-Dispatch
                MACOMB, Ill. - The Rams' afternoon practice came to a sudden and eerily quiet halt Monday when quarterback Marc Bulger was bumped during two-minute-offense drills and wheeled away, grabbing his right arm.

                Defensive end Leonard Little charged in from the left side and shoved right tackle Greg Randall into Bulger, who doubled over and appeared to be in considerable pain as trainers hustled to his side. It turned out to be little more than a scare: A Rams official reported that Bulger suffered a mild bruise.

                "I'm fine," Bulger said later.

                Still, coach Mike Martz wasn't pleased by the close call. When asked by reporters about Bulger's status, Martz snapped: "I don't know. Hell, I'm not a doctor. It just happened 30 seconds ago. ...

                "Defensively, you've got to stop; this is our No. 1 quarterback. (Little) knocked (Randall) back into the quarterback. And the right tackle's got to do a better job of blocking. He just thinks it's a walk-through, I guess."

                Polley is told to prove himself

                Never mind that he's started 36 games in three seasons since the Rams drafted him in the second round in 2001: Linebacker Tommy Polley has been dropped to the No. 2 unit and, Martz said, will stay there until he proves that he deserves to move back up.

                "This isn't just something from a practice or a situation; this is over time," Martz said. "We've discussed this with Tommy.

                "He knows the situation, what he needs to do."

                The move was made after the Rams' 13-10 exhibition-opening loss to Chicago on Thursday. Polley, who declined an interview request Monday, was credited with two tackles. Tony Newson, who has replaced him with the first team, had three.

                Martz suggested that the switch not be over-emphasized.

                "This happens all the time in camp," he said. "We're trying combinations to see what the best combination is. We haven't settled on our final three yet, by any stretch of the imagination."

                Running back update

                Running back Marshall Faulk, recovering from offseason knee surgery, has participated in three consecutive practices for the first time since camp opened.

                Martz, who said before Thursday's game that Faulk was "not ready to play physically yet," is pleased with his progress.

                "He's taking every snap with the 1's (first unit), which is what we thought we'd do this week and see how he feels," Martz said. "Provided that there's no backward movement, he should be fine.

                "When I say that, I mean swelling or soreness, those kinds of things. We'll keep this really close to the vest and make sure that if there are any indications of that, we'll rest him."...
                -08-17-2004, 06:40 AM
              • Guest's Avatar
                Bolgers development-can we give martz some credit please
                by Guest
                As one of the pro martz people on the board (no, i dont agree with everything he does, but i think on the whole he is a very good coach), i thought i would give martz some credit for bulgers development. He started with raw material, hardly a sought after high draft pick, and for the second time (see kurt warner) has him well on his way to being a special player and a championship caliber qb.

                If nothing else, martz should get some credit on the bulger front.

                general counsel
                -11-15-2004, 11:30 AM
              • RamWraith
                In riveting battle with Rhodes, Martz is in his right mind
                by RamWraith
                By Bernie Miklasz
                Of the Post-Dispatch
                Sunday, Jan. 09 2005

                On Saturday in Seattle, Rams coach Mike Martz took us on another journey to the
                center of his football mind. And what a strange, thrilling but satisfying trip
                it was.

                Martz's offense came out a 27-20 winner over an old nemesis, Seahawks defensive
                coordinator Ray Rhodes. Martz prevailed with brilliant play-calling early in
                the game and by finding the golden touch again in the final minutes.

                Of course, things did get muddled in between. It's never entirely smooth, is
                it? And after all these years, do we expect anything else? Of course, the Rams
                wasted timeouts, and I don't intend that as criticism. Spending timeouts
                quickly is a way of life around Rams football, and the habit hasn't cost the
                Rams a victory.

                Complicating matters were transmitter problems. For a time, quarterback Marc
                Bulger couldn't hear the plays being sent in by Martz. That cost the Rams a
                couple of timeouts, at least. Martz was slow to send in some plays. And the
                confusion caused a little tension, with Martz going off and Bulger snapping
                back. Relax - there was no need for Martz to call NFL security.

                "Obviously (Martz) wants to know why the play didn't get in," Bulger said.
                "It's tough to explain it to him. ... Coach doesn't want to hear that. We talk
                to him and say, 'Can we get the play in a little quicker?' When he gets in the
                mode of calling plays and we're moving the ball, he's great. But if we get a
                penalty and it's second and 15 and you've got to think about a play, it's
                tougher for him. You ask him to go quicker, so you say it in a nice, slow way.
                You don't want to offend him."

                Then Bulger summed up the customary Martz-related drama with these succinct
                words: "The give and take of all we do is worth it."

                And the strategy used in the win over Seattle demonstrated the finer side of
                "Martz Madness." Martz's initial game plan was superb: He wanted to exploit
                Michael Boulware, Seattle's young and overly aggressive safety. Indeed,
                Boulware was suckered by the Rams' formations and Bulger's fakes, got caught
                out of position, and was nailed on deep passes to set up the Rams' first two

                Rhodes is wily, however. Naturally, he adjusted. Rhodes got the Rams
                off-balance with his line stunts, and the Seahawks sacked Bulger five times.
                The stunts also gummed up the Rams' running game. And Rhodes seemed to do a
                shrewd job of disguising his coverages; the Rams' passing attack struggled in
                the game's middle stages. Bulger completed only nine of 21 through one cold

                After taking a 14-3 lead 1...
                -01-10-2005, 06:32 AM