There’s been plenty of discussion suggesting that Southern California assistant Jeremy Bates is the leading candidate to be Chicago’s offensive coordinator. What about Mike Martz, the unemployed offensive guru who once employed Bears coach Lovie Smith in St. Louis?
In an interview with ESPN 101 in St. Louis, Martz said he has spoken with Smith on general terms this week but not specifically about the coordinator job. Martz has left no doubt he’s interested and indicated the two men will speak again soon.
Sportsradiointerviews.com spotted and transcribed the interview here. Martz called his conversation with Smith “very casual," and I thought he offered an interesting response to a question about Smith’s well-known affinity for the running game. After all, Martz is known primarily for his creativity in the passing game.
“You do what you have to do to win the game, so to speak.” Martz said. “There is certain amount of flexibility that you have to have, but that common philosophy that I think everybody wants to run the ball and run it very well. I think that is a common goal for everybody. To say that is not part of who I am, it would just be wrong. But if you go in there and you don’t have a runner for instance and you are not built like that, you don’t have enough lineman, you just got to do whatever you can do to get first downs, move the ball and score. More of a pragmatic approach…”
You can listen to the entire interview here.
Typically in these situations, the people speaking publicly about jobs are usually not the leading candidates. Martz has an outgoing personality and has been media-friendly during this process. As a media member, I'm all for that. But at the very least, it suggests Martz is pursuing the job more heavily than the Bears are pursuing him.