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Martz: Linehan a very good choice
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Nobody at Rams Park asked him, but ...
Former Rams coach Mike Martz thinks the organization made a good hire in Scott Linehan. Even so, Martz wishes interim head coach Joe Vitt had gotten a chance to be his successor.
"I regret that they didn't give Joe an opportunity to interview for the job," Martz said Thursday. "I think the job that Joe did was pretty miraculous. Obviously, I'd have preferred that Joe get the job.
"But that's a moot point now. I know of Scott Linehan and the job that he's done at Minnesota. I really have just terrific respect for him."
Martz has never met Linehan or spoken to him. But he coached against him in 2003, when the Rams defeated the Minnesota Vikings 48-17 in a game Nov. 30 at the Edward Jones Dome. (Linehan was Minnesota's offensive coordinator at the time.)
Martz has seen lots of tape of Linehan's work over the past few years, during the course of preparing game plans as Rams head coach.
"I've studied his tape," Martz said. "We happened to play a lot of the teams that they had played in preparing for games, so we got a chance to see a lot of the stuff they do. He's very imaginative on offense. Has a real good base to what he does in the running game and passing game. He's very good."
Sounds like a young Mike Martz, right?
"I wouldn't put that on him. He'll be out of work in a few years," Martz joked.
Martz added: "I love their running game. They're a down-the-field passing team. He'll do well with the players that we have. I think they'll take to him immediately. I think it's a very good choice."
With almost all of the NFL head-coaching vacancies filled - or close to be being filled - it's looking more and more as if Martz won't be a head coach in the NFL in 2006.
A couple weeks ago, Martz took a head-coach-or-bust approach, saying he was unwilling to accept an offensive coordinator job next season.
But Martz has changed his stance, saying he would now consider a coordinator's position if the right one came along.
"Sure. I love coaching," Martz said. "And really coaching the offensive side of the ball is my passion. That's what I love doing. My agent (Bob LaMonte) was very careful about what jobs we looked at. We only got involved in one job, and that was the New Orleans job. Bob felt like some of this other stuff wasn't the right thing."
In terms of being a coordinator, Martz also realizes that his strong personality might not mesh with a younger, less experienced head coach.
"If somebody were to hire me as an offensive coordinator, unless that head coach is real strong and settled, there's the threat of looking over his shoulder," Martz said. "It could be an unsettling deal. ... It can unnerve a young head coach, I would think. And then another thing is if they hire you, they'd think you're going to jump out of there as soon as you can to be a head coach.
"So if you're going to be a coordinator, you'd like to be in a good situation where you can win and have some success and stay there for a while. But those are few and far between."
And what if the phone doesn't ring? What if Martz is out of coaching this year?
"I just want to take some time, let the dust settle a little bit, and then turn my energies in the direction I think I should go," Martz said. "Do you know what I mean?"
Martz says some business opportunities have come up recently. And he might even write a book in the offseason.
"The hardest thing for Julie (his wife) and I would be to leave St. Louis," Martz said. "You know anybody that wants to buy a house?"
Re: Martz: Linehan a very good choice
thats class mike
Re: Martz: Linehan a very good choice
Classy comments by Martz, and it's good to see his approval of Scott Linehan. It's too bad it didn't work out for him in St. Louis, but I'm glad he didn't get stuck with the New Orleans job. He would be a killer offensive coordinator, and if he waits for the right team, he could probably get the "assistant head coach" title tagged on with it.