ALLEN PARK - While the city of Detroit basks in the glow of accolades from around the nation for their outstanding job of hosting Super Bowl XL, the Detroit Lions are still trying to cobble together a coaching staff.
Moments after St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Jim Thomas broke the story that Mike Martz's agent Bob LaMonte had broken off talks with Detroit, sources close to the team informed Scout.com's Mike Fowler that the breaking off was really only a "cooling off" period.
We wrote on Friday that talks could resume after such a period. Adding fuel to the fire was Lions president Matt Millen, who seemed incredulous at reports that talks had broken down. "Who said that [talks] broke down?" Millen asked in response to a Detroit Free Press inquiry.
Sure enough, word broke on Saturday that the talks had restarted and Detroit and Martz were in conversations again.
Adding fuel to the fire, Detroit reportedly has hired Martz's right-hand man, Wilbert Montgomery as their running backs coach. Martz, if hired, had planned to bring both Montgomery and quarterbacks coach John Ramsdell to complete the offensive staff, but when reports surfaced that Martz and the Lions talks had broken off, Ramsdell signed with the San Diego Chargers.
Montgomery, a Greenville, Mississippi native joined the Rams staff under then head coach Dick Vermeil as running backs coach. Vermeil surrounded himself with experienced NFL veteran coaches he called at the time the "Magnificent Seven" and Montgomery soaked up the knowledge.
He is high on Lions running back Kevin Jones, calling him 'more explosive' than Rams running back Steven Jackson. Could Montgomery himself ascend to the position of offensive coordinator? Not likely, but he knows the offense and stranger things have happened.
There is little question, however, that Detroit is less than thrilled with the leaks of their negotiations originating with Martz. LaMonte would do well to counsel him to stop the leaks and let him take care of the negotiations in earnest.
Detroit is expected to interview other candidates for the offensive coordinator position this as Marinelli said he would in his press briefing during Super Bowl week.
One of those persons could be Steelers wide receivers coach Bruce Ariens, Ariens is likely to also be in line for the same position with the Steelers as their current coordinator Ken Wisenhunt, is said to eventually become the next coach of the Oakland Raiders.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers coach Hue Jackson is also a candidate and Jim Zorn of the Seattle Seahawks has also surfaced. The rub is both men are proponents of the West Coast offense.