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Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session - PD

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  • Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session - PD

    Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Tuesday, Jun. 07 2005

    Rams coach Mike Martz might have surprised himself more than anyone when he
    canceled practice Saturday afternoon. That move eliminated about 20 percent of
    the team's time on Rams Park fields for the three-day minicamp, something any
    NFL coach would be reluctant to do.

    But Martz was so happy with the progress he'd seen in the first three workouts,
    he felt comfortable giving his troops the afternoon off after a tough 2
    1/2-hour morning session in 90-degree heat. "To take a practice and not use it
    indicates you're pretty pleased," he explained.

    Martz's degree of satisfaction remained high after a two-hour practice wrapped
    up minicamp Sunday afternoon. "We're way ahead of the curve from where we've
    been in the past," he said. "Ninety-five percent of the squad has been here
    most of the time (for offseason workouts), which is highly unusual for any
    organization. They're prepared.

    "I can honestly say that I am pleased with the progress everywhere, which is
    probably a first."

    These aspects stood out:

    * The level of competition was considerably higher than last summer.
    "Absolutely. You can see it out there," third-year linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa
    said. "Whether it's the first or the second team, guys are flying around, even
    the third-team guys when they get out there. They're ready to compete."

    * The quality of the depth at several positions runs deeper. "That's
    the one thing on every squad that you try to have," Martz said. "If you're
    strong at the bottom of your roster with young players, then it's going to put
    a lot of pressure on the stars that you have. That makes you better."

    * The defense, which a year ago was getting its first exposure to
    new coordinator Larry Marmie, was perhaps the most impressive unit during
    minicamp, even though at least five new faces were manning first-team spots.
    "Everybody looked real good; there's a lot of competition," defensive end
    Leonard Little said.

    Martz was particularly enthused about the play of the cornerbacks, even though
    first-teamer Travis Fisher missed the last two practices because of a hip
    injury. "It was outstanding," Martz said. "We had the corners make more plays
    in these practices than we've had since all the time I've been here in
    practice. So that showed up real big, in my opinion."

    * The special teams, under the direction of first-year coach Bob
    Ligashesky, will work often, and hard. "I think the difference is Bob's
    approach to it," Martz said. "Bob's time management is a lot better. He's a lot
    like (former Rams special-teams coach) Frank Gansz with a high-energy
    approach."

    The full squad was to be together for three more days of organized team
    activities, beginning Tuesday. Three additional sessions for the first-year
    players are scheduled for next week.

    Then the grass fields at Rams Park will get a makeover in preparation for
    training camp. The players are to report July 27, with the first session of
    two-a-day practices set for July 28.

    "The fields get peeled up and brand-new Bermuda (grass) is laid down, that
    hearty Bermuda that overnight, it heals itself. That stuff grows about a foot a
    minute," Martz explained. "So, that's good. We can have the wear and tear that
    we want. And if gets hot, we can get into the (indoor facility), where it's
    air-conditioned. But we want to (practice in) the heat a little bit. We're
    going to play in it."

    The Rams held training camp at Maryville University in west St. Louis County in
    1995, their first season after the move from Los Angeles. Western Illinois
    University in Macomb was the site for the next nine camps before team officials
    decided to train at Rams Park this year.

  • #2
    Re: Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session - PD

    Thanks For The Report And Sounds Like We Have Something To Get Excited About,even If It Is Only June.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session - PD

      This is making me cant wait til football season starts... Wish its a year round sport
      :clanram: DIE HARD RAMS' FAN! :helmet:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session - PD

        I can't wait to see this D on the field.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session - PD

          With Marc upright and some holes for Jackson, I can't wait to see this offense. The NfC title is there for the taking... who really wants it !!!

          Maineram - :ramlogo:

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session - PD

            Originally posted by Mike Martz
            Bob's time management is a lot better. He's a lot
            like (former Rams special-teams coach) Frank Gansz with a high-energy
            approach.
            I hope that's true, they need to bring back that Crash mentality. I wanna see either Goodspeed or Hedgec0ck (two great special teams names) busting up the wedges like Hodgie the Hammer used to do.
            Last edited by evil disco man; -06-08-2005, 10:34 PM. Reason: madison has a naughty last name

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session - PD

              Nobody caught this nugget?

              Martz was particularly enthused about the play of the cornerbacks, even though first-teamer Travis Fisher missed the last two practices because of a hip injury.
              This space for rent...

              Comment

              Related Topics

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              • Nick
                Rams go full contact during practice
                by Nick
                Martz, Rams tackle their problems
                By Jim Thomas
                Of the Post-Dispatch
                Wednesday, Nov. 10 2004

                If he was Mad Mike on Monday, he became Really Mad Mike on Wednesday.

                The 2004 season has reached the critical-mass stage, and Mike Martz is doing
                everything he can to salvage it. Never mind the standings, the division race,
                or Sunday's NFC West showdown with Seattle. At the moment, Martz just wants the
                Rams to start playing better. A lot better.

                "I think the way we played in the last two games is embarrassing," Martz said
                Wednesday. "Not so much whether you win or lose the game - just the way we
                played the game. Period. We're going to do everything we can to rectify that."

                Including full-contact scrimmage work in practice.

                During the nine-on-seven run period, the first-team offense worked against the
                scout team defense. Then, the first-team defense worked against the scout team
                offense.

                With live tackling in both sessions. Yes, the Rams engaged in some live contact
                in training camp this summer, but those drills were performed almost totally by
                backups. Wednesday's work involved starters - basically everyone but running
                back Marshall Faulk on offense, and safety Aeneas Williams on defense.

                Scrimmaging in the regular season is unheard of in today's NFL. And it was a
                first for the "St. Louis" Rams. Not even in the Dick Vermeil days of three-hour
                practices did the Rams go full-contact.

                Longtime team officials said the Rams hadn't engaged in live practice
                scrimmaging in practice since the 1980s, during John Robinson's tenure as head
                coach.

                So Wednesday's work might fall under the category of desperate measures in
                desperate times. Martz wants the Rams to be more physical, and play a more
                violent brand of football. He wants them to block better. Tackle better.
                Compete better. Live tackling work in practices was a cattle prod to get that
                point across.

                "We've got a core of guys that you can hang your hat on," Martz said. "You can
                get out in the middle of the night, go out and practice them, and you're going
                to get all they've got.

                "What we're trying to do is get the rest of the guys up to that level. We were
                there for a while, and we've fallen off a little bit in a couple of key areas."

                So Wednesday's scrimmaging, coupled with Martz's message to the team Monday
                about accountability, are aimed at an attitude adjustment.

                "This is a game of attitude, pure and simple," Martz said. "It's not about
                ability. Never has been, never will be. Everybody in this league's got ability
                to play....
                -11-10-2004, 11:28 PM
              • RamDez
                Thursday Notebook
                by RamDez
                Thursday Notebook
                Friday, July 30, 2004


                By NICK WAGONER
                Staff Writer


                Training camp always begins a few days before the real training begins. The Rams moved into Thompson Hall on Tuesday afternoon and had their first pair of practices Wednesday, but it wasn’t official until they strapped on the pads Thursday morning.

                When the hitting begins, the intensity picks up and the real grind of camp starts. St. Louis reverted to the shells (shoulder pads and helmets) in the afternoon, but will go full pads for the only practice Friday morning.

                Coach Mike Martz said the addition of pads helps, but it is too early to judge his players based on one practice in them.

                “The whole idea is watching it is we are still so far away from being in football shape,” Martz said. “It’s a collision game. We want to find out from some of these guys who is committed, who isn’t and who is willing, who isn’t.”

                There were no noticeable skirmishes in any of the first four practices, but the speed and hitting levels went up with the pads. St. Louis will practice once Friday in the morning, giving the players an opportunity to rest in the afternoon. Martz said the idea of taking every third afternoon off came from studying the training regimen of Olympic athletes.

                The Rams will do some weightlifting and special teams classroom work in the afternoon.

                “We usually do fieldwork with the special teams, but we can do most of that in the classroom,” Martz said. “It allows these guys, every third day in the afternoon to get off their feet and recover physically a little bit.”


                INJURY UPDATES:


                The first two days of camp have been relatively injury-free. All of the injuries suffered have been minor.

                Tackle Kyle Turley took it easy in both practices because of some muscle deterioration in his leg.

                Defensive tackle Bernard Holsey, coming off surgery on his quadriceps, has missed some time as well. Holsey is attempting to regain strength in his leg and most likely won’t play at full speed until that happens.

                Offensive guard Peter Heyer, who the Rams signed as part of the NFL International Development Squad program, missed practice Wednesday. Heyer went through some tests Wednesday night, but Martz said the trainers ruled out any major problems.

                Cornerback Robert Cromartie left Thursday’s afternoon practice with what Martz described as a minor hamstring pull.


                EARLY IMPRESSIONS:


                Rookie defensive end Anthony Hargrove has been one of the early standouts in camp. His burst off the ball and strength drew praise from line coach Bill Kollar numerous times in both practices.

                Martz even called Hargrove out to participate first in a drill in the morning session. After the late practice, Martz said Hargrove has talent, but downplayed his early showing....
                -07-30-2004, 11:30 AM
              • RamWraith
                Martz pleased with minicamp effort
                by RamWraith
                Coach calls team ahead of schedule

                BY STEVE KORTE

                News-Democrat


                ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Rams are so far ahead of schedule that coach Mike Martz canceled one of the five practices during the team's mandatory minicamp this weekend.

                Martz made the unprecedented move of calling off the Rams' Saturday afternoon practice. The team still held its final scheduled practice on Sunday morning.

                "To take a practice and not use it indicates that I'm pretty pleased," Martz said. "We're way ahead of the curve. Ninety-five percent of the squad has been here most of the time, which is highly unusual for any organization. They are prepared.

                "I can honestly say that I pleased with the progress everywhere, which is probably a first."

                Asked how the team reacted to the announcement of the canceled practice, Martz said, "They seemed mildly excited."

                Martz pointed to the defense, especially the defensive secondary as standing out during the minicamp.

                "I think the corner play was outstanding," Martz said.

                The Rams also concentrated on special teams play during the minicamp. New special teams coach Bob Ligashesky directed several brisk sessions.

                "I think the difference is Bob's approach to it," Martz said. "I think Bob's time management is a lot better. He's a lot like Frank Gansz with a high-energy approach."

                Second-year quarterback Jeff Smoker took a lot of snaps as he vies for the job of backup to starter Marc Bulger.

                "We are going to give him a lot of opportunities," Martz said. "This is the right time for him. This is his third year, and he should be ready to step up and be counted on."

                Martz said Smoker looked sharp throwing the ball on both Saturday and Sunday.

                "He made significant improvement in the last couple of practices," Martz said. "Something happened with him. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's because he changed his number. He's really matured and calmed down."

                Martz strongly urged Smoker to get rid of his No. 9 jersey because it reminded him of Joe Germaine, a fourth-round draft choice in 1999 who was supposed to the Rams' quarterback of the future. Germaine ended up being cut before the 2001 season.

                Martz also remembered a couple of college quarterbacks who wore that number being failures.

                Smoker wore No. 15 during the minicamp.

                "It was a conflict of interest with somebody, so we changed it," Smoker said. "Somebody would rather I have a different number, so I changed it."

                Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett, defensive end Anthony Hargrove and cornerback Travis Fisher all sat out practice Sunday because of injuries. Pickett has a pulled...
                -06-06-2005, 05:11 PM
              • RamWraith
                Martz, Rams tackle their problems
                by RamWraith
                By Jim Thomas
                Of the Post-Dispatch
                Wednesday, Nov. 10 2004

                If he was Mad Mike on Monday, he became Really Mad Mike on Wednesday.

                The 2004 season has reached the critical-mass stage, and Mike Martz is doing
                everything he can to salvage it. Never mind the standings, the division race,
                or Sunday's NFC West showdown with Seattle. At the moment, Martz just wants the
                Rams to start playing better. A lot better.

                "I think the way we played in the last two games is embarrassing," Martz said
                Wednesday. "Not so much whether you win or lose the game - just the way we
                played the game. Period. We're going to do everything we can to rectify that."

                Including full-contact scrimmage work in practice.

                During the nine-on-seven run period, the first-team offense worked against the
                scout team defense. Then, the first-team defense worked against the scout team
                offense.

                With live tackling in both sessions. Yes, the Rams engaged in some live contact
                in training camp this summer, but those drills were performed almost totally by
                backups. Wednesday's work involved starters - basically everyone but running
                back Marshall Faulk on offense, and safety Aeneas Williams on defense.

                Scrimmaging in the regular season is unheard of in today's NFL. And it was a
                first for the "St. Louis" Rams. Not even in the Dick Vermeil days of three-hour
                practices did the Rams go full-contact.

                Longtime team officials said the Rams hadn't engaged in live practice
                scrimmaging in practice since the 1980s, during John Robinson's tenure as head
                coach.

                So Wednesday's work might fall under the category of desperate measures in
                desperate times. Martz wants the Rams to be more physical, and play a more
                violent brand of football. He wants them to block better. Tackle better.
                Compete better. Live tackling work in practices was a cattle prod to get that
                point across.

                "We've got a core of guys that you can hang your hat on," Martz said. "You can
                get out in the middle of the night, go out and practice them, and you're going
                to get all they've got.

                "What we're trying to do is get the rest of the guys up to that level. We were
                there for a while, and we've fallen off a little bit in a couple of key areas."

                So Wednesday's scrimmaging, coupled with Martz's message to the team Monday
                about accountability, are aimed at an attitude adjustment.

                "This is a game of attitude, pure and simple," Martz said. "It's not about
                ability. Never has been, never will be. Everybody in this league's got ability
                to play. Everybody's talented. Everybody's fast. Everybody's...
                -11-11-2004, 05:46 AM
              • RamWraith
                Rams Wrap Up Practice Week
                by RamWraith
                Thursday, August 12, 2004

                By Nick Wagoner
                Staff Writer

                No, Rams’ coach Mike Martz didn’t have his days mixed up. With their first preseason game only a day away, the Rams wrapped up a relatively light week of practice the day following what was probably their toughest workout.

                Coach Mike Martz said Tuesday’s practice was the equivalent of a regular season Wednesday practice. The practice lasted nearly three hours, with St. Louis working hard every step of the way.

                “We’re trying to teach our guys about a regular, in-season Wednesday practice and these are always chaotic because guys don’t understand the scout teams, the changing of getting in and out of the huddle, the speed, the focus, all that kind of stuff,” Martz said. “We’re trying to get them ready for Thursday night. In these Wednesday practices before the first game, (we) attempt to teach all these new guys about game preparation and bring them along the best we can, so it was okay.”

                Wednesday’s actual practice was slightly more reserved, lasting a little more than two hours. Now, the Rams turn their attention to Thursday night’s preseason game against Chicago. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m. at the Edward Jones Dome.

                The Rams will not practice Friday and Saturday and returns to Macomb for practice to begin Sunday. There will be a week of practice next week before camp breaks after a morning workout Friday.

                Martz said his team is ready to get in some real game action after a tough pair of weeks of training camp.
                “I’d like to see one step further than we were a week ago in terms of the crispness of it,” Martz said. “I’d like to win every one of them. In the middle of the game, I’m not thinking that this is preseason.”

                PT FOR THE ‘ONES’: Martz won’t predict how long his starters or any of his team will play, but did say he expects starting quarterback Marc Bulger to play.

                The starters probably won’t play much more than a series or two for fear of injuries. Martz said he chooses not to discuss how much playing time anyone will receive. Martz said Wednesday that running back Marshall Faulk will not participate.

                TURLEY TALES: The Rams medical staff heard from offensive tackle Kyle Turley’s agent earlier this week, but there were no updates on Turley’s condition.

                Turley left camp in the early stages with problems with a bulging disc in his back. Turley had offseason surgery on his back and tweaked it in the opening days of practice. He has since returned to St. Louis to visit with back specialists, traveled to Los Angeles to see another specialist and Atlanta to see a third doctor.

                Martz said he doesn’t yet know the extent of the injury, but he does know that Turley is upset by the turn of events. Martz said he will have some discussions this weekend about results of Turley’s back reviews and hopes to have...
                -08-12-2004, 10:52 AM
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