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Mike Martz Press Conference

Rams Head Coach Mike Martz talks to the press about the upcoming game against the Pats in Foxboro on Sunday.To read a full transcript, click below.



Q: We have got some dumb questions of our own today.

MM: Well you will probably get some dumb answers then.

Q: One of the things heard or written in some quarters of the league is that the Rams are arrogant, the Rams are a finesse team, do you think that is just jealousy on some of the opposition?

MM: I don't know. It is kind of hard to comment on that because we are not really aware of the attitudes…we hear the term finesse an awful lot and I can understand that because we move guys around and do some of that stuff and I think that in appearance it becomes kind of a finesse deal, but anytime you rush for 340 yards against anybody in this league it is pretty hard to describe them as a finesse team I would think. But that is our perspective and really guys that is more what I am concerned about is how our guys view themselves. How other people view you, it is always interesting to me that somebody will write something about somebody else without even knowing those people in terms of their attitude or whatever. So it is pretty hard to comment about something that is written indirectly that you don't understand.

Q: There is no question that your offensive team is very unique for this league and as [Bill] Belichick has said early in the league there is nothing like it and he tried to compare the Chargers of 1980 are you aware that this is a special, the greatest show on earth kind of offense?

MM: The thing that I am acutely aware of is the talent that we have here and because of the talent that we have there is a real responsibility to spread the ball around and get those guys the ball and keep them in the game and give them the opportunity to make plays and that is probably why we come across a bit as a finesse team. When you have Az-Zahir Hakim, you want him in the game. You want now, Ernie Conwell, you want to be able to get him…so in that respect I am well aware of the talent that we have and how different it is from most teams in the league I guess.

Q: How did you come to the point that every play that you have in your playbook you view as a potential touchdown, how did it come to pass that you have that mindset?

MM: When I started looking at the plays that are doing it.

Q: Really?

MM: Yeah. We are going to throw the ball just like we were in a third and one, we are just trying to get the first down and Marshall [Faulk] goes 71 yards with it. I wish I could tell you when I called that that I knew it was going to be a touchdown, but these guys with the talent that they have, with the ability that they have that potential is certainly there. That is why you try to spread it around and get everybody a chance to make a play. Sometimes you are successful and then sometimes you are not.

Q: Are you sometimes awestruck by what your team is able to accomplish offensively?

MM: There is not question. Just when I think I have seen Marshall do just about everything he does something and I say, 'Wow' and Isaac [Bruce] is the same way. He runs, that touchdown that he caught in that game last week the way he ran that route I have never seen him run the route like that. I wish I could tell you that I coached him to do it like that and some of those things, but these are very talented people, they have special gifts.

Q: It sounds like anybody could coach your team?

MM: I think just anybody could coach this team and have great success. I really do. I think that just about any head coach in this league could take this talent and be very successful with it.

Q: The fact is that you have been particularly successful with it and two years ago, three years ago the Super Bowl team the team was new and Warner was a fresh kind of story, there are no surprises any more. Every time you line up everybody knows what potentially you can do to them.

MM: I tell you it is harder and harder within the division because no matter what you do you are going to end up doing it again and you kind of get a bit of book. So I am very pleased that these guys can have the success that they are having against the divisional opponents as well and that is usually a pretty good test if you can be consistent with that success against people that know you real well.

Q: Another thing that is a hot topic around here is Tom Brady, kind of Kurt Warner story in itself, what is your view of him and what he has been able to accomplish to this juncture?

MM: I like him he is very decisive when he throws the football. I like his accuracy. I like his game management. He is very well aware of situations. He does not do anything to put that football team in jeopardy and that is the mark of a good quarterback. I will tell you the best thing that can be said of any quarterback is that he moves the football team, which is certainly what he does.

Q: A couple weeks ago you played a very entertaining game against New Orleans that was the story of two different half's? What happened there?

MM: I think that we came out; we played at such a high level in that first half, when we came out in the second half I really believe we let up. And we tried to guard against that, but nonetheless it happened. They returned a kickoff to the fifty and within two plays they've got a touchdown. We take the ball and we fumble the kickoff. Then the ball gets deflected and they intercept it and they are on the twenty. So we had three or four just catastrophic things happen to us immediately that would put a team away and are hard to come back from. At that point, we scrambled and got into the fourth quarter and had a nice drive and actually took the ball away and were in position to win it at the end and then obviously we fumbled it and didn't get it done. The point to me is that we weathered all those tragedies in the third quarter and we came back and got in a position to still win it. Even with all those turnovers, the defense still gave up only 14 points in all those turnovers.

Q: Sitting here and trying to figure out how the Patriots might have a prayer I came up with four different areas they might have a shot at. Tell me which one you are most concerned with: Bill Belichick's ability as a defensive mind, the weather, the fact that you could have a let down before Tampa Bay, or Kurt Warner's thumb?

MM: Bill Belichick. The weather I've got no control over. I think Kurt's thumb is fine. It was sore after the game and that's the first time it's been any kind of an issue for us. What were the others?

Q: Let down prior to a Monday night game with Tampa Bay?

MM: Here's how we coach this team and this is our perspective on this kind of thing. We try to avoid peaks and valleys during the season, no matter who you are playing based on your performance and we spend so much time talking about a level of output that we are trying to achieve each week. And this is a team now, just recently, 5-2. The perspective of these players is we are in for the battle of our lives.

Q: Belichick drew comparisons between your team and the 1980 Chargers. From a historical perspective if you continue this pace, are you in a separate category? A tribute to your players certainly?

MM: I do, I think that's exactly what it is. I think we have those types of players and the fear I have is letting these players down and not preparing them properly and giving them the right things for a game. That's what concerns me more than the players themselves. You know that we are in a special place in time in that none of us will probably be here again because of the talent that's here and we just need to try and take full advantage of it.

Q: UCLA basketball coach John Wooden used to say that they didn't worry about what the other team was going to do, if they did what they did best they would win. Do you sort of feel that same way about your team?

MM: That's our whole focus and that's what we've centered on. With the talent that's here, if we play mistake free football, you know with great speed and attitude, that things will kind of take care of themselves and those other things you don't get to control anyway. So that's our whole focus, is on our performance and that's absolutely at the heart of what we are, just what you said.

Q: To a certain extent do you have to accept turnovers as a part of the way you do business and being so aggressive on offense?

MM: To some extent you do. It's just like some of these calls I've made taking a shot at the end zone and they do a good job with the play and they get a pick, those things are going to happen. A ball gets deflected like New Orleans and gets picked off, you know some of those things will happen. A guy falls right in to a screen pass, which you can't account for, but ones that you can do something about are those when you are not protecting the ball as a runner as well as you should. Now those things you can certainly do something about. Those are always the ones that would concern you or an ill-advised throw where you just try jamming it in just because. And those are things that you can do something about. Those throws by Kurt are very, very, very few and far between. We've got some young players that lay the ball on the ground a little bit that we can help.

Q: You as an "Offensive Mind" enjoy going up against a "Defensive Mind" in Belichick? Do you look forward to that challenge?

MM: It is a challenge. I don't look forward to it because I know he's the best there is. So we've got to be at our best and make sure that we get our guys in the best position to have success and that's a challenge. And then the adjustments, I think he does an excellent job of adjusting during the game and those are the things that you've got to deal with.

Q: This isn't pertinent to this game, but you had a New England player on your team in Kole Ayi who is not there now? What did you see in him and how did he play for you while he was there?

MM: He played very well for us and I'd love to have him back. We had a defensive lineman that we were trying to keep and we thought that we might be able to keep Kole on the practice squad, but you know New York came and took him from us. There's a lot of things, as a special teams player I think he's got a chance to be pretty good and I really felt like he fit our defense at outside linebacker with his, he's a little bit undersized but he has that speed and awareness that fits our system so well. I was really disappointed that we couldn't keep him.

Q: Is there a chance you could bring him back? You have four on the practice squad now?

MM: There's a chance. We are going to try and address that here within the next 24 hours if we can.

Q: Do you really think that Bill Belichick is the best?

MM: I think he is. I think his success speaks for itself. When I watch them on defense they are so sound in what they do. They chase the ball. Everything is done at a high level, the intensity…I think he's outstanding

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