Rams Fire Mike Martz

As widely expected, the St. Louis Rams have fired head coach Mike Martz.

Mike Martz was fired as coach of the St. Louis Rams on Monday after a 6-10 season in which he missed the final 11 games because of a heart ailment. The Rams started the season 2-3 before Martz was sidelined with an infection of the heart lining. Assistant Joe Vitt replaced him for the rest of the season, which ended Sunday with a 20-10 win over Dallas that left the team at 6-10.

Martz coached the Rams for more than five seasons, leading them to playoffs four times and to the Super Bowl after the 2001 season. The Rams lost the title game to New England.

Given that Martz missed almost all of the season with health issues, this is a rather cold and bizarre move. There was certainly justification for firing Martz after previous seasons, when his refusal to utilize the running talents of Marshall Faulk to their fullest cost them one Super Bowl and perhaps a trip to at least one more. But Martz had little chance to coach the team this year.

Related: Rams Coach Mike Martz Has Heart Infection

Update: Martz joins Vikings’ Mike Tice, Packers’ Mike Sherman, Texans’ Dom Capers, and Lions’ Steve Mariucci to have been fired so far. The Chiefs’ Dick Vermeil announced his retirement as well.

Update 2: Add the Saints’ Jim Haslet. Like Martz, it’s hard to argue he deserved to keep his job but, like Martz, the particular trials and tribulations of this season makes the timing inauspicious.

Update 3: The Ravens are keeping Brian Billick–but he’s got to change.

The Jets’ Herm Edwards is being courted by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Martz says he’s not interested in being someone’s offensive coordinator.

Update 4: The Raiders have fired Norv Turner after two seasons. Meanwhile, the Redskins have locked up defensive coordinator Greg Williams, widely considered a top prospect for one of the vacancies, for at least another year.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Rodney Dill says:

    Mike Sherman from the Packers is gone as well

  2. g-man says:

    if you followed the rams regularly as i do in the st. louis market, you’d know why martz is gone. it may seem harsh to the outsider that he’s being sacked without reason, but this has been a long time coming. his getting sick had nothing to do with his getting fired. there has been much in-house fighting ever since dick vermeil retired after the super bowl win and martz took over: first there was the ongoing kurt warner/marc bulger saga, then the kyle turley vs mike martz media battle, and most recently, the public fued between martz, president john shaw and the rest of the front office. the fans are fed up with martz and his style of coaching (which is pour everything into the offense and pay no attention to the defense or special teams). mike will have a job as an offensive coordinator within 2 weeks, i bet. and he’ll be great as a coordinator. he’s just a terrible head coach.

  3. Derek W. says:

    I think most people were probably expecting Martz to get the axe at the end of the season. It seemed like the handwriting was on the wall, especially after St. Louis hinted that they didn’t think Martz should come back from his health problem at the end of the season.

    Same goes for Mike Tice and Capers. I think Sherman’s firing was the most surprising, but even that was nothing shocking.

  4. bryan says:

    Wow, this is a heckuva turnover rate this season.

  5. As another St. Louisan, I am not surprised at Mike Martz’s firing. Mike Martz virtually begged to be fired earlier this year and made it absolutely impossible for the team to take him back. The team merely waited untilt he season was over to avoid further disruptions.

    His firing had nothing to do with his heart condition.

  6. Steph says:

    The Rams next coach is Bears Defensive Coordiator Ron Rivera. Lovie Smith is going to work hard for Ron with his connections from his Rams days to get him the job.

    While I wish the Bears weren’t going to lose Rivera I’m glad then we wouldn’t lose him to the Vikings, Packers or Lions.

    They supposedly will talk with Rivera this week and probably announce the signing after the super bowl or when the Bears are eliminated.