Greatest Show? Martz, Lions Talking

According to an ESPN report, the Detroit Lions are currently in talks with former Rams' coach Mike Martz regarding the open offensive coordinator position.

According to an ESPN report, the Detroit Lions are currently in talks with former Rams' coach Mike Martz regarding the open offensive coordinator position.

Since the hire of head coach Rod Marinelli, the Lions have already brought in a defensive coordinator -- former Jets' DC Donnie Henderson -- but speculation has run rampant as to who will take on Detroit's struggling offense.

During Senior Bowl week, there was talk that the team had an interest in Bengals' wide receivers coach Hue Jackson. Jackson has a coaching link with Marinelli, and was thought to be a strong candidate because the bulk of Detroit's offensive talent resides primarily within its youthful receiving core. Jackson, nor the Lions, would comment on the situation.

Martz, however, would be the hottest assistant candidate in the league. He previously interviewed for the open head coaching vacancies in New Orleans and Oakland, but the Saints filled the position with the hire of Sean Payton and Oakland will likely wait to bring aboard Steelers' offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

Martz took a leave of absence after just five weeks this past season due to health concerns. St. Louis ultimately let Martz out of his contract when the season concluded, and hired Dolphins' offensive coordinator Scott Linehan as his replacement. But Martz has always been recognized as an offensive guru.

In six seasons as the Rams' head coach, Martz led the team to four playoff berths and an NFC Championship. In 2002, led by league MVP Kurt Warner, St. Louis lost in the waning moments of Super Bowl XXXVI to New England.

After averaging 418 total yards of offense per game during the 2001 regular season, Martz's team earned the nickname, "The Greatest Show on Turf."

Martz was given credit for developing a vertical offense that was successful, seemingly regardless of who was at quarterback.

After Warner struggled after an injury suffered during the 2002 season, little known reserve Marc Bulger took the reigns of Martz's offense in 2003 and responded with consecutive 3,800+ yard passing seasons.


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