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25 Sep 2010
This week's MNF Insider feature looks at Mike Martz and his history improving offenses.
Posted by: Mike Kurtz on 25 Sep 2010
4 comments, Last at
28 Sep 2010, 12:22pm by
Isn't this proof that Martz is the Davey Johnson of the NFL? Johnson won everywhere he went, but his spectacularly poor social skills got him prematurely booted everywhere. Martz will turn around this Chicago offense, and then he'll be a hot head coaching commodity again. But his personality is ill-suited to be a HC. Kind of like (for different reasons) Wade Phillips.
His stint here in S.F. made me pull for the guy. Whatever poor social skills, super-sized ego, etc., he was supposed to have -- those weren't evident to a fan. He seemed like a smart, funny guy who worked hard to please his head coach and who had bad taste in starting quarterbacks. (O'Sullivan may have been the worst quarterback he ever had, though...and it's not like he had dazzling options, so maybe he gets a mulligan for that one.)
Another gripe about him is that he gets his quarterbacks killed, but I've never seen evidence that wasn't anecdotal for that (can't read this article; maybe there's something in there).
Yeah, the sack numbers of his QBs don't really support the QB killer reputation.
Insofar as the reputation comes from anything real, it's likely from a tendency of his schemes to get his quarterbacks hit by rushers who come in totally free. They're big hits, they make an impression on the observer, but most of them aren't even sacks.
My major criticisms of him come from his stubbornness. He won't make adjustments, and he can be pig-headed about his evaluation of players. The hidden factor in Super Bowl XXXVI was his insistence in sticking with Rod Jones at RT, who was being beaten like a drum. Jones was a personal pet project, and Martz refused to replace him with Ryan Tucker, who had been the starter and was in the doghouse. Tucker's insertion helped steady the line's performance late in the game. (As it turned out, too late in the game.
For all my criticism of him, I'm certainly pulling for the guy too.
So far this season, he seems to have learned his lesson with adjustments.
Want to see what good middle linebacker play looks like? Watch this Alabama prospect work.
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