New starting QB Martin has Rams' confidence

It was three years ago that quarterback Trent Green was lost for the year with a knee injury suffered in the preseason. Rams personnel thought the franchise was cursed. It was then that coach Dick Vermeil uttered the famous words, "We will play good football with Kurt Warner."

What an understatement. Now, with Warner out 8-10 weeks (even though he claims he'll be back sooner), the Rams' chance to dig themselves out of an 0-4 hole rests on the shoulders of Jamie Martin, who was with the Rams previously and was released the year before Warner arrived.

Coach Mike Martz said Martin is ready for the second start of his career.

"He is very confident, and he is really good in stressful situations," Martz said. "When you stand in the huddle as a quarterback and things aren't going particularly well or it's hectic, and you're the quarterback and nothing seems to faze you, and you keeps on motoring and making good throws and decisions and you can pull that team together. That's probably one of the strongest attributes that he has, other than the skill level, he does a good job with that."

Martz said Martin won the confidence of his teammates very quickly in relief of Warner last week against Dallas.

"(The players) mentioned to me, three or four of them have said how remarkable he was in the huddle," Martz said. "Nobody can really fully appreciate what he had to do in that game, all those plays that he hadn't practiced, and he just went out there and functioned and did a real good job. That's really impressive to those guys in the huddle. They respect that."

Martin's previous start was with Jacksonville in 1998. He had replaced an injured Mark Brunell the week before, but suffered a knee injury in that start. Now, he gets another chance.

"As a backup you're always waiting for a chance like this, and you want to take advantage of it," Martin said. "I'm not going to compare it to another situation. I just know I have a chance to go out and play and I've got to play well."

He will do it with the confidence of his coach, too.

"He was with me early in my career as a rookie, coming up," Martin said of Martz. "And he saw something in me that he liked. He saw that I had something more than just being accurate with the ball, being smart. I think he thinks there is something more in me that is kind of mentally tough and a competitor and he believes I have what it takes."

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