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Coaches corner

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 3, 2002

Mike Martz

Mike Martz

Q : Is it a good thing that your team is a two-touchdown favorite?

A: That's never been our focus, whether we're an underdog or a favorite. We've never talked about that and I've not really addressed that with this team. Our focus has always been, and always will be on ourselves in preparing and how to prepare and getting as much out of ourselves. ... It doesn't make a difference what the point spread is, whether you're an underdog or a favorite. It's up to us to play it all out and that's what we try to do.

Q : So, you're saying you won't have to convince your team that this isn't a mismatch?

A: I don't have to convince our players that this is not a mismatch. They understand. You don't just get to the Super Bowl. I'm sorry, I just don't believe that. I think these are two evenly matched teams. (My team) lined up and went against these guys. They know how good they are. Trust me. If that disparity is projected by the media, it certainly is not felt by this football team.

Q : Would a Rams victory grant your team dynasty status?

A: No. I think dynasty is something that you reflect on in 10, 15 or 20 years when you look back on a team and see what was accomplished. Then, I think maybe you can say, "That was a dynasty."

Bill Belichick

Q : Is it wise to make radical changes to your defensive scheme to handle the Rams offense?

A: I think it would be hard to do anything radical at this point in the season. We've had a lot of games, a lot of practices, and a lot of background into the things we do. To try something that is so far away from that would be tough to get all 11 players on the field to do. ... We're pretty much going to have to do what we do.

Q : Do you feel fortunate you saw the Rams offense already this season?

A: I think it's good that we've seen it once. I don't know that that is an advantage because they've seen us, too. I'm sure there will be some things that they will take from the first game that they will want to use in their attack. At least we've been on the field with it and have some sense of the speed and precision that they operate in.

Q : Is the key staying close and giving your team some confidence in knowing that it is still in the game?

A: That's what we need to do. The first thing I told the team when we got here Tuesday night is that if the Rams throw for 400 yards and if we score 10 points, we're going to be in trouble. We have to play better than we did the last time we played.

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