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  • Mike and the Mike

    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Wednesday, January 12, 2005

    (Opening comments)
    “The only guy that is questionable would be DL Tyoka (Jackson) for this game. We’ve got some bumps, nicks, and bruises, but it’s two short weeks that we had, so to give them an extra day off I thought was important. So we are going to treat this week as a short week, so we will go Wednesday practice, Thursday (practice), and a shorter version of our Friday practice on Friday, and then travel down to play the game. RB Arlen Harris, we may or may not have him. We are not real sure with his hamstring (injury). At this point everybody else should be in pretty good shape for this game. We have the normal annoying injuries that most teams have at this time of year. This is a terrific opportunity for us. We are excited about the opportunity to go down there and play in the divisional playoffs. I think the challenge is obvious with QB Michael Vick and their offense. I said on the conference call a few minutes ago that, playing their offense is a little bit like trying to defend the option. You’ve got RB Warrick Dunn, you can hand that ball off, or you can bootleg, or throw the football. The threat to do all of those things in one play is unique to the National Football League. It really creates problems for us, and then everybody is scrambling to adjust to it. He’s such a terrific player, probably the best athlete in the league today. He is capable of single- handily beating you, as much as anyone I’ve seen in this league since I’ve been in it. He’s a lot of fun to watch. What a terrific player he is. We’ve got our work cut out for us. Defensively, I think their whole defensive line, their defensive front, is very active, and very physical. They are very, very well coached. They did a terrific job of adjusting. They are tenacious. They stay after you the entire time. They are a very well coached football team throughout, that’s one of the reasons why they are in it. They have good people. Their defensive line is one of more impressive groups, overall, that we’ve seen all year.”

    (On what has been clicking on offense)
    “I think a lot of things. I think that when things calm down on the offensive line, you start to settle in on some personnel. With G Blaine (Saipaia) gaining more experience, and his play goes up every week. Having Tommy Nütten who has played an awful lot of games for us, and Super Bowls, having that calm down has had an enormous effect on our offense, and what we can do. Everything that we do, is predicated on that group up front. As they go, we go. If we can protect the quarterback, obviously, we had problems with New England, for instance. They were getting at us with a four-man rush. That’s tough duty to either run or throw the ball. We’ve come a long way on our offensive line. It’s remarkable if you consider all of the changes that have gone on, and the guys have done a terrific job coaching these guys and getting them ready to play. I think that’s probably the single most point, I think, and also QB Marc (Bulger) being healthy and his level of play has really stepped up. I think he gains more and more confidence each week that he plays. He’s pretty remarkable. He’s just extremely competitive. He memory banks everything that happens to him. He’s a guy that, probably more than any player I’ve been around, does not make the same mistake twice. I think that he has really progressed nicely.”

    (On if Bulger is 100 percent healthy)
    “I think he is. At this point I would say yes, but you would have to ask Marc that question. Just talking to him, I think he feels as good as he has all year. Again, the initial shoulder problem happened in the opener, we just didn’t know about it. It was noticeable throughout the year. It looked like he just had a fatigued arm, and that’s what I wrote it off to. I didn’t realize that his shoulder was bothering him.”

    (On Atlanta’s pass rush)
    “They’ve got good people up front. They’re big physical guys who get off the ball quickly. They do a great job of penetrating, bull rushing, and changing things up.”

    (On the defenses that G Blaine Saipaia has faced)
    “He’s seen some good ones. Obviously, we feel very confident about Blaine’s ability to play out there. He has seen some real good defenses in the last three or four weeks. That experience will help him. If this was his first start, I’d be a little nervous about it. But obviously, we feel good about Blaine.”

    (On WR Kevin Curtis)
    “The more opportunities a guy like Kevin gets (the better he becomes). He’s very quiet. The more opportunities you give him in a game, and he excels at, then you just go out of your way to get him the ball sometimes. That’s kind of where he is. Both he and ‘Mac’ (WR Shaun McDonald). It’s a nice problem to have right now. They are both playing at a very high level. (They have made) significant progress throughout the year. The other thing about Kevin is that he feels good. Those shin splints for probably half of the season were a real concern. They did affect his speed, and being able to get in and out of cuts. At this point, I think he is completely 100 percent in terms of the legs.”

    (On how important confidence is to this offense)
    “It matters a lot. Confidence is everything, attitude is everything in this game. It’s a game of attitude. When you have that attitude, that confidence, no matter what happens out there, you are going to deal with it. You want to make plays. You can’t wait to get out of the huddle and to the line of scrimmage. When you get to that point, the game takes on an entirely different dimension for everybody. It’s easier to call plays. There is just a great feeling of energy and enthusiasm that starts to build. We haven’t had that for a while, and it’s coming back in a big surge and it’s exciting. Usually, it goes back to the offensive line. They allow us to do all of those things, and let guys have the opportunities to make plays outside. I feel good about where these guys are. (I’m) excited really. When you go into game plan now, you don’t have any trepidation about some of the things in the passing game, or running game. That’s gone. We haven’t had that feeling in quite some time, so it’s pretty exciting. We were rolling real good in 2001. We had it going last year, but we didn’t have (Shaun McDonald), or Kevin (Curtis), they bring such a different dimension. And, of course, we didn’t have Steven (Jackson), so this is an entirely different team, so that type of feeling is starting to resurface.”

    (On what he saw in Curtis)
    “You put the tape of Kevin on and the first thing you’d say is, ‘Wow.’ He was running by everybody, and then the run after the catch he was making guys miss. You had to go back and look at stuff again. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen anyone in college that fast. What we didn’t know, a guy that fast, usually can’t get in and out of cuts as well as some of the other guys, but he does. The shin splints have altered that, but he’s pretty exciting.”

    (On Atlanta’s secondary)
    “It doesn’t alter anything that we do. It goes back to what we said a few minutes ago, and I don’t mean this in an arrogant sense, but when you put those guys in position, when they get one-on-one, you would expect that they would win on the route.”

    (On if he can draw from the first time Atlanta beat the Rams)
    “We are a better football team all the way around. How much better? I guess we’ll find out. But we are a much better football team in a lot of ways. I think the experience with the young players, knowledge of what we’re doing on defense, there’s no question about that. Health issues, S Adam (Archuleta) was banged up, the four corners weren’t there, the defensive line, the linebacking crew was out, so there was a lot of things involved. Those are just excuses. They lined up and whipped us, and whipped us good. And not because we didn’t have somebody, they lined up and physically whipped us on both sides of the ball. I think you look at the structure they run on both sides of the ball.”

    (On his relationship with Bulger)
    “Marc is a pretty private guy. We have a professional relationship, and yet, we are very close in the respect that I look at him like he is one of my kids. I’m very protective of him, worry about him, and all of those things. But he is very independent and very quite. I’d never intrude in his life at all. This has always been kept on a professional level, and I have so much admiration and respect for him. He’s just fun to be around really.”

    (On Bulger handling the offense)
    “He does need reminders, but they all do. It doesn’t make a difference who it is. But I don’t get on Marc any more. He’s so conscientious and focused, that if there is something that appears in the game that is a mistake to you, when he comes off of the field you’ll know exactly why. And when you look at the tape, he has a very good reason for why that happened that way. Very seldom, is he ever wrong. Like I said, he learns from past mistakes and doesn’t repeat them. He’s a very intelligent guy, and he’s focused. We are past the part of getting on him, but we all need reminders.”

    (On Atlanta’s head coach Jim Mora)
    “I’ve had a great respect for Jim. I think he is outstanding. I always felt that he would be a fantastic head coach. I think I made that comment a year or two ago. This is his time, he deserves it, and I think he’s done a great job with it. I really don’t know him, other than just saying ‘hi’ to him. He’s not somebody in the league I know very well at all, but I’m excited for him and the success he has had. He certainly deserves it. There is no question that (the Falcons) are a reflection of his personality. They are playing with great energy, great enthusiasm, they are relentless on defense. That’s the way he coaches, and that’s why his teams have always played hard. That does not diminish (defensive coordinator) Ed (Donatell)’s formidable defense. I know Eddie’s a terrific defense, and they are really running that defense. The personality that he has brought to that entire football team is significant.”

    (On coaching against Vick)
    “It’s distressing. When you are standing on the sideline, and you are watching him, the first thing you say is, ‘Wow.’ He’s amazing. You can’t get the feel for it on television, or from the stands. He’s a pretty impressive drive. He’s great for this league. He brings a whole new dimension to the National Football League, and it’s fun to have him here.”

    (On TE Alge Crumpler)
    “Alge has had a great year, just a terrific year. The range that he brings, and when you run the ball as well as they do, and the tight end is such a factor in the running game, then all of a sudden he’s down field, with all of the linebackers and safeties in run support, you can’t account for that. They have done a good job of getting him the ball. And of course, RB Warrick (Dunn) with all of the success he’s had, has a great burst of speed. I’ve always had great respect for him when we’ve played him. He’s capable of going the distance at anytime, and we know that. There are very few backs in the league that can really do that. You had the ball off at the 20-yard line, then take it 80 (yards), and you’re not going to catch them. He’s one of those guys.”

    (On the importance of team chemistry)
    “That’s probably the most important aspect of what I do as a head coach. That’s the goal. That’s our goal. That, ‘hey, look at me,’ attitude in professional sports, that individualism. You’ve seen the sign up in our locker room, ‘Give yourself completely, ask nothing in return, excellence will be yours.’ It’s all about unselfishness. With young kids that come in here, they have to learn that unselfishness. Until they do that completely, that team, that connection that you have is going to diminish, or not be where it should be. I think that part has come together now. We have guys that are playing for each other, and that’s the goal for all of us, is to create that team environment. We work very hard at it, we have an unselfish attitude, and we play for each other. That’s what we talk about every day.”

    (On RB Marshall Faulk)
    “We are assuming his skills are gone, they’re not. When he’s banged up, he’s not the same Marshall. We’ve been able to keep him in good shape, because we haven’t had to rely on him, and over use him so-to-speak. The blitz pick up, and all of the unusual things that do happen, what he can see, I’m not sure other backs can see. What he’s willing to do to take a defensive tackle coming through, and those kinds of things, to see that and know that he has to pick them up. To only carry the ball ‘x’ amount of times, like the game last week, when we were in that key drive and he pops that run for 13 yards. He’s the guy you want in there when the game is on the line.”

    (On S Antuan Edwards)
    “He has done a terrific job. You look at the game last week, he’s come up and knocked the ball out, and made some big plays for us since he’s been in there. Antuan has had a terrific year. In term of leadership, whenever you have such a dominate personality like Aeneas (Williams) is, that’s hard. His presence is still there. He’s still at practice, he’s still on the sideline, he’s still in meetings. That part has not been diminished or gone. But in a way, it forces some of these young players to step up, so there is a positive side to it as well. I think that it has happened with LB Pisa (Tinoisamoa). I do think that the corners are a lot more vocal now. They are not looking at that one guy, that father figure so-to-speak. I think in some respects it’s been healthy.”

Related Topics


  • RamWraith
    Martz on the Mike
    by RamWraith
    Thursday, September 30, 2004

    (Injury update)
    “Chris Dishman is questionable. When they did the MRI here the other day, there was no damage to the capsule, fortunately, or to the muscle, or ligaments. It was just a strained capsule. We should be able to get him back in short order. Just how soon, I don’t know. How much he can do this week will probably be limited, we’ll just have to get a feel for that. Arlen Harris, who did play the rest of the game on a strained hamstring, is also listed as questionable, and we will just have to see where he is. I would expect we would have him in some capacity, but we’ll just have to see. Then Tony Newson, with the ankle sprain, what they call a ‘grade two’, is questionable, and probably, we won’t have him. We do get DeJuan Groce back. We do get Trev Faulk back. These two guys have looked real good here in the last few days, and Trev now is almost 100 percent with that hamstring (injury). And DeJuan, with that knee (injury), looks pretty good and should practice today. That helps us a great deal on defense with another linebacker and another corner.”

    (On preparing for San Francisco)
    “San Francisco week, as you all know, is a special week for us. It’s a divisional game that has been our long-standing rivalry. We are excited about it. Defensively, they have done a good job over the years. They have really proven their speed defensively, probably over the last four or five years. Bryant Young, right now, is playing the best football that I have ever seen him play. He is absolutely outstanding. Obviously, Julian Peterson, Derek Smith, and (Jeff) Ulbrich, the linebacking crew is as good as you will find in football. I think they are outstanding. They have real good speed on defense, and they do a good job of matching up. Offensively, I would expect (Tim) Rattay to start at quarterback. Everything we hear, anyway, sounds like he will start. Kevan Barlow, as we all know, can be a very explosive and physical runner. He is a threat to go the distance at anytime. We have seen him do it. It doesn’t get any better than this. An old time rival, early in the season, at San Francisco, and it’s a Sunday night game. We’re excited about it.”

    (On where S Aeneas Williams will be playing)
    “Aeneas will be going back to safety, with DeJuan Groce back at corner. Aeneas spent so much time getting himself ready to play safety, and has played so well in terms of his keys, breaks on the ball, lining guys up, making calls, and then to move out to corner is very disruptive. It’s a totally different world out there. That’s a hard thing to ask somebody to do, but we were at a bind at that point. Going back to safety, I’m sure he’s relieved. I haven’t talked to him about it, but I’m sure he’s excited. He had a lot of pass break-ups on plays where you didn’t expect a free safety to make a play, early in the year.”

    (On if San Francisco’s...
    -09-30-2004, 11:58 AM
  • RamWraith
    Lots of good team quotes for the week
    by RamWraith
    Head Coach Scott Linehan

    September 19, 2007

    (Opening Remarks)

    “Drew (Bennett), he got all of practice in so there shouldn’t be any issue with him playing this week. He was limited some, but just because we kept him out of things. Marc (Bulger) had full participation in practice. He was limited a little bit in his throwing, but he should be fine. Tye Hill did not practice. Richie Incognito did not practice. Claude Terrell had full practice and Pisa (Tinoisamoa) was limited. We’re headed in the right direction as far as getting guys back on the field. There shouldn’t be any surprises, hopefully we don’t have another Thursday like we had last week. Tomorrow we should be okay.”

    (On G Milford Brown)

    “He’s fine. There was no problem with him recovering from post game. He was a lot better yesterday and he went full today.”

    (On T Alex Barron’s attributes)

    “His athleticism. He’s ability to match up against speed. He has enough size to anchor. The ends aren’t getting any smaller these days. You go against some pretty incredible athletes over there. He’s been going against some pretty good ones on the other side. It’s kind of 50-50. He’s at the blind side of a right-handed quarterback. That’s very important for your quarterback knowing he’s going to see things to his right and to his left. He has to count on that guy and Alex’s No. 1 ability is to pass protect. He’s become a lot better run blocker as he’s progressed in his career. His overall talent. He’s really improved since he’s played for us in the last two years, and certainly since he came in the league.”

    (On how to reduce the number of hits on the quarterback)

    “You have to do it. The No. 1 best way to protect your quarterback is the run game. We have to get our run game going. It has not been satisfactory in the first two games. That has to be our strength – for our football team to run the ball offensively and to stop the run defensively. If you get your run game going there is a certain amount of respect that the defense gives the run game and it definitely helps your pass protection and puts you in better third-down position which is critical when you get in third-and-long or extra long. It gets the defensive ends; I know our defense is much, much better, when we get in those long-area situations because we’re equipped that way as far as our speed and all that. Until we do that it’s going to be a concern. There are other ways, protection schemes. It’s not always match protecting or keeping lots of people in. There is timing of routes. Everyone knows we have a deeper design to a number of our plays, but we have to pick and chose when we do those as well.”

    (On averaging 5-6 yards a carry for a short period of time in each of the first two games)

    “We’ve managed...
    -09-19-2007, 03:56 PM
  • RamDez
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    by RamDez
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Friday, October 22, 2004

    (Injury Update)
    “It looks like Travis Fisher will practice this week. We’ll get him into the mix. Jimmy Kennedy will practice to some extent. We’ll see how he is out there on the field. He has conditioned and ran real well over the past week or two. We’ll give him some individual drills to see where he is, and measure his progress by how sore he is tomorrow. Other than that, we are in pretty good shape. Jeff Wilkins is nursing a sore ankle from an ankle sprain. We won’t know for a few days what we will do. It’ll come down to the wire on Sunday to see how he is. Tyoka still remains questionable with that hamstring. He’s not quite there yet, so we have a couple of days to see (where he is). We are starting to get people back , which is always a good thing.”

    (On Miami)
    “This is a short week and we head to Miami. This defense, a week ago, was the number one rated defense in the National Football League, and now they are two or four. But whatever it is, they are very substantial on defense, like they always are. Offensively, they have struggled somewhat. They have a lot of injuries, but they have moved the ball well enough to score points and win.”

    (On the difficulties of finding a kicker at this point of the season)
    “I think it’s all relative to what he has been doing. When we worked (Jeff Chandler) out, he was fine. I’m just going to make the assumption that he is ready to go if we need him.”

    (On getting Jimmy Kennedy and Travis Fisher back)
    “We were starting to wear down on the defensive line, with Tyoka out, and particularly on the inside having Jimmy (Kennedy) back, I mean that is a big man. If he can pick up where he left off, so to speak, which will be hard to do. I don’t know when he will be back, completely, but I’m really excited about his attitude and his approach to getting back here as fast as he can. In terms of (Travis) Fisher, he was playing so well when he broke his arm, that we feel he is a top-flight corner. And it looks like he should be ready to go, which will help us tremendously in the secondary.”

    (On Travis Fisher’s play before he was injured)
    “When he broke his arm in that preseason game against Kansas City, he was playing as well as he’s ever played. To have three corners like we have healthy, that’s quite an advantage. Most teams have two really outstanding corners, and with him, we feel like we have three substantial starters and we’re excited about that.”

    (On the Dolphins)
    “A few years ago we were sitting in here at 0-5. The Oakland Raiders came in here, and they were the best team in the National Football League at the time. They led the league in both offense and defense, they led the league in both categories. We played them and we beat them handily. You just don’t know. There are no breathers in this league. It just doesn’t exist. This will be...
    -10-23-2004, 01:53 AM
  • RamWraith
    Martz on the Mike
    by RamWraith
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Wednesday, December 15, 2004

    (Opening Statement)
    “As you look at Arizona, particularly on defense, this is a team that from the beginning of the year, creates some challenges for you. I think they’re much improved, they’ve got a good pass rush from the outside, and the linebackers are very active. They’ve changed their defense in that they are much more pressure oriented. They are getting after you and creating all types of structure problems that you have to account for. They are very disruptive and they’ve done a great job. They are playing with a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement. A passionate defense would be a good word for them. They look like they are really well coached on defense, they’re impressive to look at. They are a different defense than we saw at the beginning of the year in that they were much more of a seven-man front than opposed to some of the things that they are doing now. Offensively, with the receivers healthy, they create a real issue for you. Obviously the quarterback can move around and he has the big arm to get the ball down the field. With the big receivers they do like to do the long passes and get the ball down the field and score quickly if they can, and make some big plays. I would say it’s a challenge. Obviously they are a team right now that are kind of finding their way and have been on again, off again, much like us. It’s a big challenge for us. It’s a divisional game, the final one of the season for us, and that’s an exciting aspect for us.”

    (On WR Anquan Boldin being healthy)
    “He makes a huge difference. Just in the short time that he’s played, I can’t remember what his numbers are, but they are pretty impressive. I can remember standing on the sideline last year watching him down there, we had three or four defensive backs around him, and he pulled the ball away and scored. He’s a very electric and exciting player in this league. He’s a guy you have to account for.”

    (On if RB Steven Jackson will play)
    “Yeah. He ran full speed on the treadmill on Monday, and there was no swelling the following day. They also took him outside and did some drills. I saw him this morning and he had no swelling from the work that he’s done over the last few days. I’m real encouraged that we will have him. I assume that we will have him for practice today. Marshall (Faulk) wants to go today at practice. I asked him to be very careful, and he said he would tell me within a day or two how he feels. He’s very encouraged, he feels like he will be fine. I think we might be at full strength at running back. Marc (Bulger) is going to throw today, which about knocked me off my feet when they told me that today. I don’t know what that means, but evidently he threw on Monday, and pitched it around pretty good. We’ll just see what he does, and if there’s any doubt, obviously we will keep him out.”
    -12-16-2004, 05:18 AM
  • RamWraith
    Martz on the Mike
    by RamWraith
    Head Coach Mike Martz
    Thursday, December 2, 2004

    (Opening Statement)
    “It’s 49er week. Big week. We took the extra day off like we always do after a Monday night game. We’re trying to get these guys back physically. Today will be a Wednesday practice, tomorrow will be a Thursday, and we’ll do some light work on Saturday morning. We’re excited about being back in the division with this game, and the *****, here at home. We’ve spent the last few days as a staff preparing for this game, and we’re ready to go.”

    (On playing the ***** on their down year)
    “I don’t think that ever has anything to do with anything when you line up. Whoever it is, whether it’s the ***** or anybody else, if you coach or play this league long enough, you understand when you line up it’s hard every week, no matter who you are. Nobody takes anybody lightly. The ***** certainly, defensively, are very stout. I think they are playing better than they were earlier, and I thought they were very good earlier. They play with a great deal of emotion, and they fly around. They present a lot of blitz issues for you. I think they are somewhere around 15th in the league on defense. They have good people, outstanding linebacker crew, and they make you spend a lot of hours preparing for them. They are a good football team on defense. They’ve struggled somewhat offensively at times. It seems to come together at times too for them. It will be a tough game.”

    (On if opponent’s records fools some players)
    “I think some players do. I think this league is full of players that do that, that’s why they don’t win. You can never do that. I think young players have a tendency to do that. They have not been through that, and experienced a season to know how hard it is week-to-week. In a veteran group, you won’t find that happening. Not on a team that wins.”

    (On if he is anxious to play this week)
    “Anytime you lose, you’re anxious to get that feeling out of your stomach. No matter what kind of game it was, and that one (Green Bay) was a hard pill to swallow. You’re always anxious to line up and play again.”

    (On if he thinks the Ram’s defense plays with the same intensity as the *****’ defense)
    “No we don’t. That’s what we have to resolve. It’s a major issue for us. We’re not like we’ve been at times. I think we have some guys that are afraid to make mistakes. They are very tentative. It’s not a ‘want to’ issue at all, or having heart, or being tough, it’s not any of those things. We’ve just got some guys that are very tentative for various reasons. We’re trying to get them away from that and get back to playing with a smile on your face and leaving the ball carrier in a bad mood.”

    (On the *****’ blitzing packages)
    “They are kind of selective in terms of who they play. I think, anywhere from 50-60% of the time, you’re getting some kind...
    -12-03-2004, 04:44 AM