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  • Martz rumors unnerved team

    Martz rumors unnerved team
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    12/23/2004

    St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz
    (Alan Diaz/AP)


    Story continues below adMike Martz was getting ready to board the team bus Saturday afternoon for the drive to Lambert Airport and the flight to Arizona when he got a call from ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

    "He wanted to know if there was any chance that I wouldn't be here next year," Martz said.

    As in fired or resigned. Martz said no, he didn't plan on resigning and didn't think he was about to be fired.

    "If it were true, then you deal with it, that's fine," Martz said. "But when it's not true, it's just maddening and aggravating."

    Martz said he didn't know until after the Rams' 31-7 loss to Arizona that Mortensen reported Sunday morning that Martz could be in trouble at the end of this season.

    But with the Rams playing a late game against the Cardinals, apparently several players watched or heard about the report on television in their hotel rooms.

    "So the players were very, very concerned and upset when they got on the bus to go to this game," Martz said. "Well, that was a nice, warm, fuzzy way to play a game. I didn't know about it till after the game, because nobody wanted to tell me."

    Martz said that after the game "a couple of the (assistant) coaches had relayed the concern from players. ... It was an emotional thing before the game for some guys. I'm very close to some of these guys.

    "It was very divisive, destructive and did hurt this football team. Not because they love me or anything else like that. It's just disruptive. Guys are always worried about their future. But (assistant) coaches are worried about it, too."

    Just to make sure, Martz said he spoke with team owner Georgia Frontiere and club president John Shaw about his status after the Sunday report.

    "Georgia was very encouraging," Martz said.

    Shaw told the Post-Dispatch on Monday that Martz had the "complete support" of the organization, and that the possibility of firing Martz "totally hasn't entered my mind."

    When Martz addressed the team at a meeting Monday, he told them he was not resigning and was in no danger of being fired.

    On Thursday, Martz said Shaw's words of support helped a great deal.

    "The one thing that's been constant for me in my tenure here, that's never wavered, has been John Shaw," Martz said. "Everything he says is absolutely the way it is. So I feel at peace with all that. He knows we're busting our butts trying to get this thing done. He knows the issues that we have, and what we're dealing with. He understands all those things. And he's trying to help.

    "I feel like we're going to come out of this storm. And that's the only way you work your way out of it, when everybody's on the same page and you're working in the same direction. That's why some organizations win, and some others don't. Because everybody's on the same page. You're trying to help each other instead of all of that other stuff."

    As if to emphasize the point, a copy of a letter signed by Frontiere was placed in the locker stall of each Rams player Thursday. In the letter, Frontiere dismissed the rumors about Martz's demise, reiterated the organization's support for him, and emphasized the importance of team.

    At least one player told the Post-Dispatch that Martz had instructed the team not to comment on the letter, that it was "family" business.

    Speaking generally about the votes of confidence from Shaw and Frontiere, quarterback Marc Bulger said: "I think most of the guys knew that to begin with. But maybe for some of the guys that weren't sure, if it helps them, great. And if it helps Coach Martz, great too. ... But as far as the team, the core group of guys knew that he was going to be here.

    "Rumors are going to fly. We hear them about ourselves all the time. And 90 percent of the time, they're not true. So when he tells us he's going to be here, we (believe) that."

    Reporter Jim Thomas
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Phone: 314-340-8197

  • #2
    Re: Martz rumors unnerved team

    Exactly... :helmet:

    A firm and decided Coach Martz supporter.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Martz rumors unnerved team

      Shaw told the Post-Dispatch on Monday that Martz had the "complete support" of the organization, and that the possibility of firing Martz "totally hasn't entered my mind."
      Like I said the only person more arrogant then Martz is Georgia. I knew Martz would be here awhile. Please for the love of god get rid of Marmie and get some Defensive stars in this secondary. I think Martz should at least be told things need to change we are not ready to have a losing team again.

      Comment

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      • RamWraith
        So long, at least for now
        by RamWraith
        By Jim Thomas
        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
        10/24/2005

        Mike Martz is gone for the season. But will he be gone for good?

        On a day Martz announced he has been advised by his doctor to sit out the rest of the season for health reasons, the infighting continued at Rams Park.

        Although Martz said it was his intention to coach the Rams next season, team president John Shaw stopped short of saying Martz would be back in 2006 under any and all circumstances.

        When asked Monday if Martz unequivocally would be back in 2006, Shaw said: "There's still some uncertainty about how long it will take him to recover and when he recovers. We will watch as Mike gets better over the next several months.

        "We will watch the performance of the team over the next several months, and we'll make decisions at that time as to what's best for Mike, and what's best for the football program. But as I speak to you today, I fully expect that Mike will be our coach next year."

        And Martz took umbrage at Shaw's statement Monday that Martz wanted a live phone line brought into the coach's box during Sunday's 28-17 victory over New Orleans so that he could communicate with offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild.

        "I did not want an open line to the press box," Martz told the Post-Dispatch. "That would be unfair to Steve. But if I wanted an open line, isn't that my prerogative as head coach? This is all so bizarre."

        Martz said that Fairchild called him at halftime to go over a few things. But halftime is only 12 minutes, and between the walk to the locker room, the walk back to the field, and Fairchild addressing the offense in the locker room, there wasn't much time to talk to Martz. So according to Martz, he and Fairchild agreed to talk in the second half.

        Martz wanted to remind Fairchild of some thoughts on the red zone offense, and the "four-minute" drill - coaching jargon for the team's offense to run out the clock with the lead late in the game. But when Martz sent Dan Linza, the Rams security director, to the coach's box at the Edward Jones Dome, Linza was prevented from entering by Jay Zymunt, the Rams' director of football operations.

        "Jay brought (Linza) to me," Shaw said. "To me, the issue was whether we wanted an outside live phone into the coaches box. I made a decision that it shouldn't be allowed.

        "I was under the impression, as was everybody in the organization, that whatever Mike's input would be, he would do that either prior to the game or during the week."

        Which was news to Martz. "If that was the desire of the organization - not to have a live phone line - why wouldn't they tell me?" Martz said. "Why would the organization make that decision and not tell me?"

        Earlier in his news conference...
        -10-25-2005, 05:02 AM
      • RamWraith
        Martz: 'I don't know' if can coexist with Rams' prez
        by RamWraith
        ST. LOUIS -- A day after announcing he'd miss the rest of the season with a heart infection, St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz harshly criticized team management and said he didn't know if he could coexist with the team's president of football operations.

        Jay Zygmunt, the team's second-highest ranking official, stopped a representative for Martz at the door of the coaches' booth during Sunday's game against the Saints. The representative, team director of security Dan Linza, had been trying to bring a cell phone to offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild so Martz could talk to him from his home.

        Zygmunt brought Linza to team president John Shaw, who decided against having an "open phone line" in the booth.

        The confrontation brought to a head once again the team's front office power struggle. Martz has long been at odds with Zygmunt and general manager Charlie Armey, and he told radio station KSLG that he didn't know whether he and Zygmunt could coexist if he returned to coach the team next year.

        "That's a personal question that I'm not really prepared to answer," Martz said. "There is a lot of history there. From a business standpoint, yes. From a personal standpoint, I don't know. There have been just too many things that have happened."

        Martz had been in telephone contact from his home with Fairchild before and during halftime of a 28-17 victory over the Saints.

        "I was very, very angry to say the least," Martz told the radio station. "I don't understand why that happened, what the whole thought process was. And if they had an issue with that why didn't they tell me ahead of time?"

        Martz said he wasn't trying to interfere, just to help a young coach.

        "There are some things as a playcaller that you need to look for," Martz said. "Those are the things I try to talk to those coaches about."

        Martz admitted the impasse might be partly his fault, too, the result of strong wills clashing.

        "My personality, I'm not the easiest person to get along with," he said. "My whole deal is to make this a better organization. As I tell our players and our coaches, everything we do we are trying to do the right thing.

        "It's hard thing to do, but it's easy to say."

        The Rams (3-4) will play their third game without the 54-year-old Martz on Sunday against the Jaguars. Joe Vitt, the linebackers coach and assistant head coach, has been named interim coach for the remainder of the season.

        Martz expects to coach the team next season and could return to duty as soon as January. But he said Monday that he won't interfere with the team any more this season.

        "I've got to divorce myself of this," he said Monday. "I'd become a distraction for them. They need to go and...
        -10-26-2005, 05:21 AM
      • RamWraith
        Martz is hot topic on NFL shows
        by RamWraith
        BY DAN CAESAR
        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
        10/30/2005

        Rams coach Mike Martz was a big topic of conversation on the NFL television pregame shows Sunday.

        There wasnt a lot of news that hasnt already been reported locally regarding the health problems that have led him to stepping down for the rest of the season, and the squabbling inside the organization that strongly indicates that Martz is done as the teams coach.

        CBS aired an interview that Lesley Visser conducted with Martz on Friday at his home. Among the highlights:

        Ive been coaching for 32 years now and Ive never missed a practice in the offseason or during the season due to illness, Martz said. . . . Im just a spectator, and that kills you.

        Visser asked him if he thought he was being set up by the front office.

        No, I dont believe that, I dont believe that at all, Martz said. I think (team president) John Shaw is truly concerned about my health, to be honest with you. I think hes very concerned about my health, hes told me that.

        He said he plans to be back with the team next year.

        Im assuming I (will be), he said. So if thats not going to be the case, Im not aware of it.

        This is the job Ive always wanted. This is home for us. This is something that weve always told our players and coaches, once you become a Ram youll always be part of this town for the rest of your life. So to even think about going someplace else, to ever entertain that thought, to me is heresy.

        The Rams soap opera provided plenty of fodder for the network analysts.

        No matter what Mike Martz says publicly, he knows he has coached his last game in St. Louis, ESPNs Chris Mortensen said. . . . Martz even told me that in contract discussions in June, team president John Shaw explained that the Rams only needed to be a .500 team, occasionally go to the playoffs and suggested that going to the Super Bowl would cost the team money because of expenses incurred by that event.

        Whatever the context, Martz has one year left on his Rams contract there will be a settlement, a buyout, whatever you want to call it. And Martz is hopeful that being 20 games above .500 as a coach will get him another gig. But he has to get healthy first. His agent, Bob LaMonte, told Martz this week that hes never seen a dead man call a good play.

        CBS Boomer Esiason said Martz will be the most sought-after head coach when he does comes back. Remember, hes the architect of one of the greatest offenses weve ever seen in the NFL.

        Foxs Terry Bradshaw said he thinks Houston is be a good spot for Martz.

        I would pick Houston simply because of his great offensive mind, and they do need some excitement down in Houston, Bradshaw said. I think hes got a good QB down there (David Carr) and Mike...
        -10-30-2005, 05:02 PM
      • RamWraith
        Contract or no contract, Martz plans a comeback
        by RamWraith
        Coach expects to overcome heart illness by January
        BY STEVE KORTE
        News-Democrat

        ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz said he plans to be back next season even if he doesn't get a contract extension.

        Martz's current contract with the Rams expires after the 2006 season.

        "I love this team, this is home for us," Martz told St. Louis radio station KSLG 1380-AM on Tuesday. "I just believe that that stuff will all work out. That's up to my agent; he'll deal with that. I'm not going to entertain or even think about leaving St. Louis. I don't want to be in that situation. To me, that's a worst-case scenario. This is our home, this is where I want to retire, and I pray and hope it works out way.

        "I talked to (Rams owner) Georgia (Frontiere) a week before the season started and she reassured me. The topic came up about an extension, and she said, 'You'll be the head coach as long as you want.'"

        Martz announced Monday that, on the advice of his doctor, he won't return to coaching again this season. He's suffering from endocarditis, a bacterial infection of a heart valve.

        Martz took an indefinite leave of absence from his coaching duties two weeks ago.

        Martz also told KSLG 1380-AM that he was "very, very angry" that he wasn't allowed to contact Rams offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild during the third quarter of the team's 28-17 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

        Martz said Fairchild called him during halftime, but the two men didn't have time to finish their conversation.

        Martz said he wanted to remind Fairchild of a few things he'd seen watching the Saints defense on television at his house, so he sent Dan Linza, the Rams' director of security, to the coach's box at the Edward Jones Dome.

        Linza was denied access to the coach's box by Jay Zygmunt, the Rams' president for football operations.

        "I was very, very angry to say to the least," Martz said. "I don't understand why that happened, what the whole thought process was. And if they have an issue with that, why they didn't tell me ahead of time?"

        Zygmunt took Linza to Rams President John Shaw, who refused to allow Linza to bring a live telephone into the coach's box.

        The fact that Martz and Zygmunt have been feuding for several months added fuel to the conflict.

        Rams management seems to be taking the stance that Martz won't be fired, while Martz seems adamant about not quitting.

        The question is whether Martz and Zygmunt can continue to coexist in the Rams power structure.

        "That's a tough question; that's a personnel question that I am not really prepared to answer," Martz said. "There is a lot of history there. From a business standpoint, yes. From a personal standpoint, I...
        -10-26-2005, 10:46 AM
      • RamWraith
        View from planet Martz
        by RamWraith
        By Jim Thomas
        Of the Post-Dispatch
        Monday, Dec. 20 2004

        Rumors to the contrary, Rams coach Mike Martz has no plans to step down, and
        Rams president John Shaw said the team has no plans to shove him out the door,
        either.


        "He's not in trouble," Shaw said in a telephone interview Monday night. "The
        team is struggling right now and having a hard time winning games. We have to
        work on getting it better."

        Shaw said firing Martz has not been contemplated by the organization.

        "It totally hasn't entered my mind," Shaw said. "His record speaks for itself.
        He has the complete support of (owner) Georgia (Frontiere) and myself at this
        point."


        Martz is 51-32 in nearly five seasons with the club, including three playoff
        berths, two division titles and one Super Bowl appearance.

        Earlier in the day, at his regular Monday afternoon news conference, Martz
        responded to media reports that he might resign if things didn't go well for
        him the rest of this season.

        "No, I would never resign from this job," Martz said. "I love this job. I would
        never leave these guys. I wouldn't do that to this staff or these players. Like
        I've told you many times, I'm too connected to this group - to this team.
        There's no team that I would rather coach than this team regardless of the
        record.

        "There's something special about these guys. We're building. We've got a real
        solid crew of young players, and it's going to eventually be a terrific
        football team. I'm not going to ever walk away from something like that."

        As he has mentioned in the past, Martz said he's coaching because he wants to
        coach, not because he needs the money.

        "I love being here," he said. "And that hasn't changed. We're going to forge
        on, and get this thing back up and running the way it should be. And that's how
        I look at it. I don't know any other way. That's just how I live my life. I'm
        one of those guys where the glass is always half full. Not empty. And
        sometimes, it's hard to look at it like that. But no. No. This guy's not going
        anywhere. No way, Jose."

        When asked if he thought the team's last two games might factor into his job
        security, Martz said: "I don't know how to answer that. I guess you should
        probably answer that. I can't tell you that.

        "I would assume that we're going to play as well as we possibly can these last
        two games. We know what our shortcomings are. We understand what needs to be
        done, and where we need to fix things and get better at."

        That being said, the team's performance over...
        -12-21-2004, 03:57 AM
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