Lions ink Mike Martz as offensive coordinator

The Detroit Lions today announced that they have reached agreement with former St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz as the team's offensive coordinator. Terms were undisclosed but is believed to be a three-year deal worth just over $4 million.

ALLEN PARK - The Detroit Lions today announced that they have reached agreement with former St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz as the team's offensive coordinator. Terms were undisclosed but is believed to be a three-year deal worth just over $4 million.

The two sides had broken off talks a week ago amid rumors that the Lions had given Martz representatives a low ball offer. The two sides quietly resumed talks on Friday and have a signed deal in place today.

Detroit also has reached agreement with running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery, a Martz protege as their running backs coach according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Pat Carter, a former Rams coach under Martz, as their tight ends coach.

The only casualty of misunderstanding between the two sides last week is that former Rams quarterbacks coach John Ramsdell signed a contract to man the same position with the San Diego Chargers, Martz will also serve as quarterbacks coach.

Under Martz, who learned his offensive concepts at the feet of Sid Gilman and Don Coryell, the St. Louis Rams went literally from the bottom of the NFL offensively to the top.

St. Louis had ranked 27th overall in offense (29th in rushing and 22nd in passing) prior to Martz's arrival and went to the best offensive unit in 1999 (fifth in rushing and first in passing).

Martz squeezed one of the NFL's best statistical years from a quarterback in Kurt Warner who had been bagging groceries and trying to get a job in the Arena League. Warner compiled a 65.1 completion percentage, 4,353 yards, 41 touchdowns and a 109.2 passing rating, seventh best in NFL history.

Martz also was able to turn a relative unknown Marc Bulger, a 6th round pick from West Virginia, into a pro bowl quarterback in 2004. Even 7th-round pick Ryan Fitzpatrick of Harvard was able to throw for 310 yards and three touchdowns in Martz scheme.

Detroit is hopeful that under the tutelage of Martz, quarterback Joey Harrington, receivers Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams and running back Kevin Jones will flourish into star players with performances similar to those of Torrey Holt, Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk who became household names in the St. Louis scheme.


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