Martz dismisses Turley incident

But the St. Louis coach filed complaint with NFL security.
Thursday, December 30, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 11:33 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 3, 2008

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Kyle Turley, upset about a remark that the team hadn’t seen him since he re-injured his back in training camp, engaged in a recent shouting match with coach Mike Martz.

Turley has had little contact with the team since going on injured reserve in early August. Martz has said he had no success contacting Turley after the player left the team early in training camp to visit specialists about his back.

On Wednesday, Martz called the Dec. 13 flare-up with Turley in his office “a nothing deal.” He wouldn’t comment on a report that he had filed a complaint with NFL security that Turley threatened him.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said league rules bar him from discussing the matter, saying “conversations between the clubs and NFL security are confidential.”

Turley’s agent, Tom Condon, did not return a telephone message.

Turley could be subject to a fine concerning the matter.

“He came in and basically was concerned with a remark I made when I was asked on TV, ‘Where’s Kyle?’ and I said ‘I haven’t seen him, I don’t know,’” Martz said. “He came in out of the blue, and it was pretty animated.

“He’s a very emotional guy and we had a discussion about it.”

Martz said that by the end of the discussion, which included details of Turley’s offseason conditioning plans, the offensive tackle had calmed down. But he didn’t say the two left on good terms.

“We came to an agreement,” Martz said.

Turley’s playing weight is listed as 309 pounds, about average for an NFL offensive lineman, but he has shrunk to about 240 pounds since the injury. He said in August that he lost about 30

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pounds due to forced inactivity following the surgery.

“I’d like to have him back, if he can play,” Martz said.

The source of the flare-up was that Turley believed he was rushed back to the field after undergoing offseason back surgery. In turn, the Rams were frustrated that the injury, which was described as minor at the time by a team physician, was a contributing factor to a disappointing 7-8 record heading into Sunday’s season finale against the New York Jets.

Untested Blaine Saipaia has made four starts at Turley’s right tackle spot after Grant Williams, who has battled injuries and ineffectiveness all year, started 10 of the first 11 games there.

Last year was Turley’s first with the Rams, and he started all 16 games. The Rams acquired him from the Saints for a second-round pick in the 2004 draft.

Turley was a controversial player in New Orleans, known most for a helmet-tossing episode in 2001. Turley attacked Jets safety Damien Robinson when Robinson grabbed the face mask of Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks, ripping off Robinson’s helmet and throwing it downfield.

He then made an obscene gesture that got him ejected. He also drew a 15-yard penalty that ended the Saints’ final chance to tie or win the game. The Saints lost 16-9.

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