Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mike Martz To The Dolphins?

I admit that the prospect of having Mike Martz as head coach of the Miami Dolphins has me intrigued. And judging by your comments, some of you are equally intrigued.

But have we as Dolphins fans gotten so jaded by the lack of offense down here that we’re actually enthusiastic about welcoming in Mike “Mad Scientist,” “Mad Man” Martz as our head coach?

We’ve been through such hell with our offenses since the Jimmy Johnson era right on through to the Saban error that we’re now willing to hand over the keys to our beloved franchise to Mike Freakin’ Martz?

Now, I like Martz as an offensive guru. The first time I started to have my doubts about Nick Saban last year was when he decided to hire Mike Mularkey as his new offensive coordinator instead of Martz, who was also available. I wanted Martz down here. If there is a perfect place for Martz, it’s in the booth calling plays. But unless Huizenga offers to make Martz the highest paid offensive coordinator in the NFL, that window is shut.

Now Martz does have some positives to take into account. He is considered an offensive genius and designs some of the most complex and intricate passing schemes in the NFL. He made Jon Kitna relevant this season, helping him to a 4,208 yard season. He helped Dick Vermiel’s Rams win the Super Bowl in 2000 when he was named their offensive coordinator. In 2001 when Vermeil “retired” Martz took over as head coach and led the Rams to a 14-2 record and the NFC Championship – where they eventually lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. His head coaching record is 56-36 – so far the best record of all the candidates the Fins have interviewed with previous head coaching experience.

But Mike Martz is also considered one of the worst game-clock managers in the NFL. He’s known for calling replay challenges at the worst possible times during a game, abusing the time outs available to him and wasting challenges on mundane plays.

Plus, Mike Martz does not like to run the ball. Despite having both Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson at his disposal when with the Rams, Martz was known for throwing first and throwing often, no matter what the game situation was. In one divisional game, Faulk and Jackson combined for 22 carries while the offense threw the ball 56 times – and this was NOT because the Rams were playing from behind. St. Louis lost that game.

The Rams, who were once known as the “Greatest Show on Turf” and featured a record breaking trio of stars, including Faulk, completely fell apart under Martz’s watch. It all came to a head in 2005 when Martz claimed that offensive lineman Kyle Turley threatened to kill him. Martz also had several conflicts with the Rams front office over the years that eventually led to his firing in 2005.

The verdict on Martz’s tenure with the Rams is clear: He was a record breaking play caller when he was their offensive coordinator. But as their head coach, the team crumbled around him. He lost the respect of his players, had conflicts with the front office and he, stubbornly, mismanaged games over and over again.

Simply put, if you have Martz on a leash, focusing solely on the X’s and O’s of the offense -- he shines. But when he’s put in charge and is made to be the boss, things fall apart.

All indications point to the Dolphins handing all the power to their new head coach. Martz can barely handle replay challenges and we expect him to make all the decisions on team personnel situations?

If Huizenga somehow changed his mind and decided to hire a strong personnel guy or, at the very least, give Randy Mueller the power, then my feelings towards Martz would go from cold to lukewarm. Only because as a head coach, I think Martz is a total flake. But I don’t think Huizenga is changing his philosophy.

I said yesterday in the comments section that my hunch, gut feeling is that Martz will be the guy they hire, unless Pete Carroll pulls a Saban and comes here even after saying he wouldn’t. Right now I’m listless about any of the supposed candidates – unless it’s Cam Cameron or Ken Whisenhunt.

Admittedly, I would be curious to see what Martz did with this Miami offense while having Dom Capers running the defense. But at this point, I’m just angry at the fact that this ownership is happily married to the idea of giving the new head coach all the power. That is going to be the single reason why the Dolphins will not return to being a Super Bowl contender for a long, long while.

So, Mike Martz? I say no. But if he did come here, I wouldn’t burn down the practice bubble or anything. I’d just be very indifferent and apathetic about our team’s future.

I guess we’ll see …

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Well put, Dude. Agreed 100%.

We know what we're getting with Martz. He's not our Mangini or Payton; he's a band aide. We'll have an exciting offense and probably get back in the playoffs eventually but not much else.

I'm to the point of just giving the job to one of these young assistants. Pick one of 'em and take a chance. What's the worst that can happen?
I'm starting to think Martz might be the guy, too...THOUGH I have read some articles alluding to the fact that Dolphins brass was NOT impressed with Martz's offensive philosophy and his opinion of C-Pep's defensive scheme reading ability (admittedly suspect and exacerbated by the 'puzzle' concerning his injury). Dude was talking up Frerotte (who WAS serviceable, at times).

I'm really, really, really, really, really hoping we get Cam Cameron and throw some extra money Capers' way to keep him and let him be 'Asst. Head Coach/Defense' or whatever. Fins had the #4 Defense last season and that was because of the scheme Capers/Saban developed.

Apparently, Buzzsaw just hired Sherman according to PFT.
Pudding: Exactly my sentiments.

Roro Kid: I read that about Martz too -- that he thinks the Fins made a mistake when they traded for Culpepper and let Frerotte walk.

Sherman and the Buzzsaw ... that's a hell of a combination.
That's funny, I actually agree with that crazy ass fool Martz. Daunte was a mistake, don't even get me started on the Drew Brees thing. I would be thrilled if Martz would join us as O Coordinator. Unless there are things in the works the Phins are really overlooking major problems with this team. Murlarkey is as big of a problem as Nick Saban was and needs to be replaced as well as the GM being replaced. The Phins are going at this all in the wrong order. Now for all I know when a new coach is being announced they will announce a new GM and O Coordinator. That is my hope.
Very true, JD. But at the time, we were all of the mindset that 'I'd rather have a QB who's arm works rather than have one who's legs work'. We all drank from that Kool Aid, bro.
When I saw Martz puss out in the playoffs vs. the Panthers, going for OT instead of a win, I knew he didn't have the chops to be an NFL coach. That superior team truly did crumble around him. He should not be considered.
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