NFC West: Rich Brooks
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
INDIANAPOLIS -- Fired 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz isn't the only one who thinks Mike Martz should be coaching in the NFL.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, speaking at the combine, also stood up for Martz in lamenting the employment status of several high-profile former coaches. Belichick said it "doesn't seem right" and it "just seems odd" for Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Brian Billick and Steve Mariucci to be on the outside.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch then followed up with a question about Martz and former Rams head coach Jim Haslett also being out of work.
Belichick: "I feel the same way about that as I do about the head coaches. Mike Martz, there's another Super Bowl winner and Jim Haslett, I have tremendous respect for Jim Haslett and what he has done. I can't really speak for what other teams are doing or not doing. Believe me, I have my hands full trying to just coach the team that I'm on. But it's ... You know, as a coach it's just sort of a little bit of an empty feeling to see people like that not in the game.
Coaches rely upon ties to other coaches in landing jobs. Martz has worked for five head coaches in the NFL. Three are out of the NFL (Chuck Knox, Rich Brooks and Dick Vermeil). The other two -- Rod Marinelli and Mike Nolan -- are no longer head coaches. And one of them -- Marinelli -- fired Martz after two seasons.
Haslett has worked for four head coaches (plus former Saints interim coach Rick Venturi). Three of them -- Art Shell, the elder Jim Mora and Bill Cowher -- are out of the game. The fourth, Scott Linehan, lost his job after four games last season.