Martz out as offensive coordinator

The new Mike Singletary 49ers quickly are taking shape. Just two days after being hired as the team's permanent head coach, Singletary dumped the offensive coordinator who lifted that unit this year to its best showing of the past five seasons. Mike Martz is out after one year with the team because he doesn't fit the vision of what Singletary has for the 49ers moving forward.

When asked about Martz's future last week, when it became apparent that Singletary was in line for a contract to be the 49ers' head coach moving forward, Singletary declined to give Martz any kind of endorsement, saying only that all things regarding the team and its coaching staff would be evaluated after the season.

The evaluation was swift concerning Martz. Singletary and Martz met Tuesday, and when that conversation was over, Martz walked out the door no longer employed by the 49ers.

"After an evaluation period, I felt it was best to go in a different direction," Singletary said. "This was not an easy decision because I appreciate Mike Martz, and I enjoyed working with him. He is a true professional, and I wish him the best in the future. I do recognize the need for a long-term solution on the offensive side of the ball."

Martz proved to be a pretty good solution this year for the offensive woes that had seen the 49ers finish dead last in the NFL in total offense two of the past three years, including in 2007 when they ranked last in eight major statistical categories recorded by the league including points scored.

But this year was been different. The 49ers finished with a No. 23 ranking in NFL total offense, their highest finish since 2003. They averaged almost 74 more yards a game this year than they did in 2007. The Niners also scored 339 points after managing just a NFL-low 219 last year.

With Martz's system taking hold over the last half of the season, the 49ers found some stability and foundation that had been missing on offense as the team went through a coaching carousel of six different offensive coordinators over the past six years.

Now it will be seven in seven years. Though the 49ers produced some of their best and most inspired offense of the past six years since Singletary replaced Mike Nolan on Oct. 20, Martz's high-risk style just didn't mesh with Singletary's philosophy, though the two have worked well together since the October coaching change.

"I had an outstanding conversation with Mike Singletary this afternoon," Martz said. "I believe he will be an outstanding head coach in the National Football League. I wish him nothing but the best. I am not what he is looking for offensively. I understand that. This is just a part of professional sports."

Singletary envisions an offense that is built around a ball-control, power rushing attack, and Martz's offense is one that likes to wing it with spread formations that use multiple receivers and leaves the quarterback vulnerable to danger. The 49ers led the NFL with 35 turnovers this year and also tied a team record with 55 quarterback sacks allowed.

So now Singletary will look for an offensive coordinator that better fits his style and vision for the 49ers, though Martz leaves behind a unit that finally appears on the rise and set up for continued progress in the future.


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