The Lions expected there would be interest in offensive coordinator Mike Martz by other NFL teams at the end of the season and they apparently were right.
There was concern when the Lions hired Martz a year ago, shortly after he was fired as the head coach at St. Louis, that he might be only using the Lions as a stepping stone to get back to a head coaching job.
He has frequently denied that suggestion and, shortly before the end of the season, said he enjoyed working with the Lions offense and expected to be back for the 2007 season. He did not close to door to another head coaching job, however.
"He wants to get back, he loves it here," Marinelli said. "In this profession, opportunities get open (and) you never know, but I think he really, really likes it here."
Under Martz, the Lions finished 22nd overall in offensive yardage (last in the NFL in rushing but seventh in passing) and they were 21st in the league in total points scored, showing a slight improvement from 2005 when they were 27th in total offense and 28th in scoring.
Marinelli's New Groove
Lions coach Rod Marinelli has a new artificial left hip and is on the mend at home.
According to a team spokesman, the surgery was conducted, as scheduled, last Friday by surgeons at the Henry Ford Hospital system with good results.
Marinelli was reluctant to discuss the surgery and indicated he might even try to accompany his assistant coaches and the Lions' scouts to the Senior Bowl practices, which begin Jan. 22 in Mobile, Ala.
Marinelli has been afflicted with a degenerative hip condition. He previously had his right hip replaced and walked with a noticeable limp due to the deteriorating condition of the left hip during the past season.
Redding Named Defensive MVP
Defensive tackle Cory Redding, who moved inside from defensive end after the Lions lost their two starting tackles to injuries and then led the team with eight quarterback sacks, was named the team's defensive most valuable player for the 2006 season.
Redding and Furrey both remained unsigned as free-agency looms.