Martz taking this one personally?

Mike Martz declined requests this week to talk about the Detroit Lions, the team that unceremoniously dumped him after last season, which made it seem that Martz was part of the problem rather than the solution for that dysfunctional franchise. Martz is keeping to himself, but there appears little doubt he's smoldering inside and would like nothing better Sunday than to pour it on his former team.

The 49ers didn't spend much time focusing this week on the revenge and redemption factors for Martz, but the Lions appeared to have a pretty good idea what to expect Sunday at Monster Park.

Lions offensive coordinator Jim Colletto, the man who replaced Martz in Detroit this season, expects Martz to be plenty motivated.

"I think he'll be real fired up," Colletto said. "There's no question about that."

Most people in the Lions organization have played down the Martz angle. But Colletto shed a little light on what it was like around Lions headquarters late last season.

Colletto goes way back with Martz. When Colletto was the offensive coordinator at Arizona State in the late 1980s, Martz was his quarterbacks and receivers coach. While Martz was the Lions' offensive coordinator last year, Colletto was his offensive line coach. After the season, Colletto replaced Martz, and Martz went to San Francisco.

What was their relationship like?

"It was fine," Colletto said. "I don't know if it was real good at the end here. But I wish him well. He's got a lot more years in coaching. I don't. So I'll be watching him coach."

What wasn't real good at the end?

"It was not a real positive environment for Mike," Colletto said. "A lot of us, we didn't have a lot to do with ... We were just trying to get through the end of the season. It wasn't everybody buddy, buddy."

Before the season finale at Green Bay, ESPN reported Martz would be fired.

"There was a lot of turmoil in regards to the end of the season," Colletto said. "We go up to Green Bay and all the speculation, it was hard on him. I wouldn't have wanted to be in that environment. I've been there before with some of my head coaching duties."

Colletto laughed.

"That's not the most pleasant place," Colletto continued. "A lot of times in this business, people don't know what to say at that time. It wasn't real comfortable."

Colletto said he had no extra motivation.

"I've done this a long time," Colletto said. "I don't get wrapped up in that stuff. That's irrelevant to me. We've been together a long time ago and won a Rose Bowl game together. I'm not even thinking about that."

The Lions aren't sure what to expect from Martz. He could hand off the ball to Frank Gore 50 times to prove he can run it. He could be balanced to show he can be balanced. Or he could have J.T. O'Sullivan, the Lions' backup quarterback last year, throw it all over the place to prove he can do it his way.

The Lions will have to be ready for everything, because Martz has all his San Francisco weapons healthy and at his disposal after the 49ers put it together and clicked on offense during last week's overtime victory at Seattle like they seldom have in years.

Martz had said several times that the talent is better in San Francisco than what he had to work with in Detroit, so he'll want to prove that is ture and that he knows what to do. Expect to see a lot of Martz's tricks than he normally would unveil in Week 3 of the season.

Martz's big thing is big plays, and the Lions' big weakness in their first two games has been big plays. Martz will know if he can put the Lions on their heels again - they have fallen behind 21-0 in each of their first two games - he can get them out of the game plan they got rid of him to run.

But the Lions say they can't worry about that and can't try to use their knowledge of Martz too much.

"To a point, you can't get out of whack with the fact that we're going against a guy that was here for two years," defensive coordinator Joe Barry said. "'Oh, well, remember that one day in practice when he did this.' 'Remember that one day in practice when he did that.' You can't get out of whack. You've just got to go and play your game. They're going to play their game.

"Instead of worrying about them, we've got to worry about us. We've got to do our job. We've got to go out and execute the call, read our keys and then finish every play. We can't get concerned with who the guy calling plays is."

But the Lions will be concerned. And they should be. Because Martz has been concerning himself with them all week, and has decided to let his offense do the talking for him on Sunday.


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