Lovie Smith would like to wait until Monday to address questions about his coaching staff.
That became evident Wednesday afternoon when he snapped at a reporter who asked if offensive coordinator Mike Martz will return to the Chicago Bears next season.
“What kind of question is that at this time?” Smith said after practice. “What kind of question is that? Why would you ask a question like that anyway?”
Should we count the reasons? In his second season, the Bears have been up and down offensively, and Martz has been a distraction in the last month-plus, forced to deal with rumors that he was a candidate for Pac-12 jobs and then a report that he would not be returning next season.
Martz, who turned down a one-year extension during the offseason, is in the final year of his contract.
“I’ve addressed that already and obviously I would sure like to be back,” Martz said before Smith’s press conference that ended with the question about the coordinator’s future. “I think all of that stuff works out. This is going to be a great football team and I would like to be a part of it. We’ll just see how it works out. We’ll address that when the season is over.”
Speculation has surrounded Martz, 60, for more than a month after his name was linked to college openings and then it was reported he will not be back. He was asked if he has gotten any work from those above him if he will return.
“All of those kinds of things I would never discuss,” Martz said. “It is what it is. I’ve addressed it and I like it here. Hopefully, it works out.”
Martz is the third offensive coordinator Smith has employed in eight seasons. The Bears averaged 32.2 points per game during a five-game winning streak earlier this season before quarterback Jay Cutler was lost to a fractured right thumb.
Rest assured, the Martz questions are not going to go away for Smith.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune