I didn’t see this coming myself – as the Detroit Lions have one of the better offenses in the National Football League, despite their recent freefall – but according to ESPN, the team will fire offensive coordinator Mike Martz after Sunday’s finale against Green Bay and will replace him with Kippy Brown, the team’s receivers coach.
But don’t cry for Martz; expect him to land on his feet somewhere next season. One team already in pursuit of Martz as an offensive coordinator is the San Francisco 49ers who will no doubt replace current team OC Jim Hostler after the regular season is over. One thing is for certain about Martz – his record speaks for itself. He led St. Louis to the playoffs in 4 of his 5 seasons while head coach of the Rams – including a Super Bowl appearance, and he played a big part as the team’s OC in the Rams winning the Super Bowl in 2000.
The Rams’ offense, under Martz’ watch, ranked among the league’s Top-10 in 6 of the past 7 years – ranked first from 1999-2001; in addition, the Rams’ passing offense with Martz there hadn’t ranked no lower than 5th and was ranked first from 1999-2001. The only downside – and I don’t think it really takes away from Martz’ overall body of work – is the fact that the Lions, going into Week 17, rank near the bottom in several league categories – including rushing and passing interceptions. Lions quarterback Jon Kitna has thrown 18 TD passes and 20 interceptions; while not great numbers, I am not convinced that it isn’t entirely Martz’ fault.
Another thing – Martz hasn’t really been in Detroit long enough to really put a fingerprint on the Lions’ offense, as he has only been there since 2006, when current head coach Rod Marinelli brought him aboard. The Lions can only hope that whatever team hires him doesn’t face the Lions very often during the regular season.