Mike Martz made it clear on NFL.com last week that he wants to trade his spot in front of the camera with the NFL Network for a place on the sideline again.
“I do want to coach again,’’ Martz said.
Well, you don’t have to try too hard to connect the dots with one possible scenario in Chicago. Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner is on the hot seat with the team foundering at 4-6 and out of sync despite the addition of quarterback Jay Cutler. The club is headed toward its third straight year out of the playoffs, and pressure is also building for coach Lovie Smith, who is signed through 2011.
“Martz would love to work with Jay Cutler,’’ said a source with close ties to the former architect of the Greatest Show on Turf.
Of course, Martz hired Smith as his defensive coordinator with the Rams in 2001, and the two have a close bond. When Smith went to construct his first staff with the Bears in 2004, he turned to Martz for assistance. He didn’t have an offensive coordinator on his staff for Smith, but he called Dick Vermeil in Kansas City and that is how the Bears landed Terry Shea for one year.
Martz was infamously slated to be the Bears offensive coordinator in 1999 when he was going to come work under Dave McGinnis. But owner Mike McCaskey fouled up the hiring of McGinnis and the team quickly scrambled to bring in Dick Jauron.
Could it be that Martz’s date in Chicago comes a little more than a decade later? It’s hard to say. If Smith really wanted Martz to run his offense, he could have already made that move. Martz struggled for two seasons in Detroit as the play caller under Rod Marinelli (now a part of Smith’s staff) and last year in San Francisco. But he didn’t have the quarterback. Cutler would solve that.
“Coach Martz is a big play guy,’’ said Bears left tackle Orlando Pace, who played for Martz in St. Louis. “He wants the big plays all the time. You have to have a defense that is sound. He’s going to put up 30 points a game if he can, but you have to have a defense. We had some instances like that (where the defense was put in tough spots). But like I said, he’s a gambler. He gambles and it paid off for us a bunch of times.’’
If Smith plots a new course on offense, would be want to gamble on someone other than Martz?
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