As a lifelong Detroit Lions fan, I live a tortured existence from August through January. For all the offensive talent that's been drafted in recent years, the results have been embarrassingly poor. But, like most Lions fans, I'm always looking for the silver lining, always searching for a reason why the next season will be better than the last.
This winter, the straw that I'm grasping at is the thought of Mike Martz signing on as Detroit's offensive coordinator.
I spent the 2004 season living in St. Louis, so I can appreciate the type of job Martz can do directing an offense. And even though I think the guy is half crazy and has no business directing an entire team, I still love the idea of him taking the coordinator job in Detroit, especially after too many seasons of a predictable and unsuccessful dink-and-dunk West Coast offense.
Contrary to reports that Martz will decide by today whether to take the Lions job, a source close to the situation said not only has Martz not been offered the job, but he has yet to have a formal interview with new Lions head coach Rod Marinelli.
Martz is one of several people on the Lions' list of candidates to be the next offensive coordinator and he's been contacted by the team but, according to the source, Marinelli is still reviewing the matter and no decision is imminent.
I hope that this doesn't come down to Marinelli, who's never even been a coordinator before, feel threatened by having a former NFL head coach on his staff, because if Martz came to Detroit, he would instantly give respectability to the entire offense, no matter who starts at quarterback. The fans in Detroit have long turned on Joey Harrington, but if Martz gave him the stamp of approval, he'd get another chance. After all, who heard of Kurt Warner or Marc Bulger before Martz came along?
Kevin Jones would have his status as a solid No. 2 fantasy back solidified, and he'd definitely have the potential to become a legit No. 1 by the time the 2006 season was complete. Roy Williams, in my eyes, would be a bona fide No. 1 fantasy receiver, and certainly no worse than a top-notch No. 2. I'd even look at Charles Rogers (if he's still on the team) and Mike Williams in a new light.
This has to happen, right? Where else could Martz find such a combination of talented players and low expectations? If it works, he's a genius and he's offered a head coaching job within a couple of years. If it doesn't, well, it's all Matt Millen's fault, anyway.