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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Martz's time in Detroit likely has run out

    Martz unlikely to return next season
    by Tom Kowalski
    Tuesday December 25, 2007, 12:15 AM

    ALLEN PARK -- No one is sure how it's actually going to happen, but it appears Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz will not return next season.

    While it isn't a done deal yet and there's always the chance for 11th-hour developments, the most likely scenario is that Martz will resign or retire once the season is over.

    Martz had high expectations when he took the job two years ago, but things didn't pan out like he had envisioned. Martz believed he could install another version of the "Greatest Show on Turf'' in Detroit, but it didn't happen for a variety of reasons and Martz now realizes it was the wrong time and wrong place to try it.

    Offensively, Martz believed the Lions had the talent at the skilled positions to pull it off and a quarterback who had the three qualities -- accuracy, decision-making and toughness -- to make it work.

    There are a bunch of reasons why Martz probably won't be back but here are the three biggest:

    The offensive line
    While Jon Kitna always was firmly in Martz's corner, the offensive linemen were not. One, the linemen believed Martz wasn't just a pass-happy coordinator, but a pass-always type of guy and they don't agree with that philosophy.

    The other issue is that in Martz's system, the linemen are almost always in one-on-one pass-rush matchups, especially at the tackles, and that puts undue pressure on the line. The Lions led the league in sacks allowed last year and are leading again this season. That's an embarrassment to the linemen.

    The desire to run the ball more led to a rather significant blowup by offensive line coach Jim Colletto earlier this season. It was so intense that Martz agreed to let Colletto handle the design of the running game (but Martz would continue to call all the plays). That fixed things for awhile and the Lions were actually running the ball effectively until the Arizona game -- the one where the Lions finished with minus-18 yards rushing. The linemen -- along with several members of the coaching staff -- were livid with Martz's playcalling in that game and it really marked the beginning of the end.

    Defensive problems
    When Martz and the offense were clicking -- or even playing just decent -- there weren't any issues. But when the offense struggled to get first downs, especially early in games, it exposed the weaknesses on the defense and led to several blowouts on the road.

    Detroit's defense is so vulnerable, especially against the better teams in the league (as we saw in the last seven weeks), that the high-risk, high-reward approach of the offense was leaving them in dangerous positions.

    Martz himself
    The relationship between Martz and Marinelli always was one of mutual respect but also of high intensity. Both men are absolutely rigid in their beliefs and won't back down from anyone or anything. The hitch is that Marinelli's the boss.

    As the other problems began to mount, Marinelli wanted Martz to throttle down the offense a little bit so the other issues could be addressed. When that didn't happen to Marinelli's liking, their relationship suffered. If Martz decides to resign, Marinelli won't be asking him to change his mind.

    Know this: If Martz leaves, he'll do so still fully believing that the Lions had the ability to become one of the league's most explosive offensive units.

    My opinion is that Martz believes the single biggest setback to what he wanted to accomplish is the losing culture that still resonates in the Lions' locker room. Marinelli has done a good job in trying to get rid of it and, for the most part, he has but it hasn't been completely eradicated. (Which is why you'll continue to see some "attitude adjustment'' roster moves in the offseason.)

    Martz never wavered from his guns-blazing, pedal-to-the-metal, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may attitude, but -- again, my opinion -- he doesn't think the players were fully behind him in that approach. Now, whether it was because the players didn't believe in Martz or the players don't believe in themselves is up for debate.

    But, to Martz, it really doesn't matter. The bottom line is that he isn't going to be able to run his offense the way he wants and so he'll step away from the game for a year or two and recharge his batteries.

    If Martz eventually resurfaces in the NFL, it won't be contingent on his ability to coach at a high level, it'll be based on whether he finds the right team with the right attitude. The Lions didn't share his love and passion for working the high wire without a safety net so both parties will likely move on.

    The Lions will find a quality offensive coordinator -- perhaps they'll hire Chan Gailey or promote Kippy Brown -- but there's going to be that one lingering thought for awhile: What if?


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Martz's time in Detroit likely has run out

    I think Martz would be an ideal college HC. I hope he pursues that route.

  3. #3
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    Re: Martz's time in Detroit likely has run out

    It's easier to say, but if Martz could find a left and right tackle that could handle what he coaches, then his offense would be fine. In St. Louis he never had to worry about Pace but RT was a revolving door of guys who were always a liability.

  4. #4
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    Re: Martz's time in Detroit likely has run out

    thats to bad Detriot didn't buy into the Martz program, they could have had something really awesome, my only question of Martz there is why does he think so highly of Kitna,was it to build up his confidence or did he really think he was that good,because I don't think he is,ok maybe,2nd tier QB maybe,but not great.

  5. #5
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Martz's time in Detroit likely has run out

    We could use a mad scientist type OC on our team.

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    Re: Martz's time in Detroit likely has run out

    Bring him back to St. Louis!
    RamsFan16

  7. #7
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    Re: Martz's time in Detroit likely has run out

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16 View Post
    Bring him back to St. Louis!
    Satan is more likely to get an invitation from Shawgmunt than Martz.

    And speaking of Satan.......what's with the Marilyn Manson signature. That crap will rot your brain, man.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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