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Martz still wants to be a head coach
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
INDIANAPOLIS — Make no mistake, Mike Martz wants another chance to be an NFL head coach. But the onetime conductor of the Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis seems at peace with the prospect of working as Detroit's offensive coordinator for at least another year.
"I'd love to be a head coach again," Martz said Thursday. "I feel like I've got a little unfinished business, so to speak. But by the same token, I love what I'm doing."
What Martz likes best about football is putting in a game plan, dissecting a defense and calling plays on game day.
"I've been a head coach," Martz said. "I understand all the things involved with being a head coach. I guess what I'm saying to you is I don't need to be a head coach again to be fulfilled. Yes, I do want to be a head coach again. But if it doesn't happen, then it just doesn't happen."
Martz still is something of a media magnet. He drew a crowd of reporters Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine in a hallway adjoining the RCA Dome. Unfortunately for Martz, he didn't draw a crowd of interest this offseason from teams looking for a new head coach.
Martz interviewed for the Miami job, which went to San Diego offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Thirteen months ago, Cameron was a finalist to replace Martz in St. Louis, with Scott Linehan getting the job. Despite the recent hiring of recycled head coaches Norv Turner (in San Diego) and Wade Phillips (Dallas), the trend seems to be to hire fresh faces.
"It seems like it is," Martz said.
Even with a team that finished 3-13 last season, Martz has a good working situation in Detroit. Lions head coach Rod Marinelli lets him do his thing on offense.
"He's been perfect in that respect," Martz said. "He does a great job of being a head coach. He really does. He pays attention to the things that are important, and then he lets you do your job."
Martz doesn't feel the Lions are that far away. Nine of their 13 losses were by eight points or fewer last season. They had more than their share of injuries, with 16 players on injured reserve by year's end. That total included the team's top three running backs — Kevin Jones, Shawn Bryson and Brian Calhoun.
"There were so many unknowns going into the season," Martz said. "Of course, we had a lot of things happen to us. I think now that the dust has settled, you know what you are personnel-wise. You know what the needs are. The system's in. The coaching staff has settled in. Now we can really go to work."
At a minimum, the Lions need another wide receiver and help on the offensive line. Martz seems happy with Jon Kitna as his starting quarterback. With Kitna under center, the Lions finished seventh in the NFL in passing offense in 2006. Former Ram Mike Furrey had an amazing year at wide receiver with 98 catches for 1,086 yards.
"When you get a guy that's playing that good, you just try to feed him the ball whenever you can," Martz said. "Mike became a real reliable source for us on third down. He has such good knowledge (of the offense) and body control. He's a little like Dane (Looker) in that respect."
The Lions are expected to make a run at another Rams wide receiver, Kevin Curtis, once the free-agency period starts March 2.
Martz was in St. Louis on Tuesday to speak at a luncheon honoring Marshall Faulk. He misses the city.
"I think when people are from St. Louis, they don't realize what they have until they move away," Martz said. "And then they always come back. It really is a special town. It's a beautiful town. It's a very clean town. The people are terrific."
At the same time, Martz seems to be moving on from the circumstances surrounding his tumultuous departure as Rams head coach.
"I spoke with (team president) John Shaw last week," Martz said. "John's always been a good friend. He's always treated me extremely well. I feel bad the way things ended up. I certainly take responsibility for a great deal of that stuff. I guess more than anything, it was just time to move on."
Re: Martz still wants to be a head coach
i want to be a head coach but like with mike it aint gonna happen anytime soon!