Rams head coach Mike Martz announced Monday that he will not be back this year because of medical issues. Martz is taking antibiotics to recover from a condition called endocarditis, which infected a heart valve. Originally he was going to be out for four-to-six weeks, but Martz said he was instructed by his doctor that it might not be a good idea to keep working this season.
The decision came a day after a disagreement between Martz and Rams President John Shaw. Martz told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild contacted him during halftime of Sunday’s 28-17 win over the Saints. Martz indicated that there wasn’t enough time during the 12 minute halftime to complete the discussion. He instructed Rams security director Dan Linza to the coaches’ box with a phone, he wasn’t allowed in by Shaw, who didn’t think a live outside phone should be allowed in the box. He also indicated that any input Martz had should have been made before the game.
Both Martz and Shaw indicated on Monday that they expect Martz to be the head coach again in 2006, the final year of his five-year $15-million contract.