Mike Martz 'bothered' by rumors

Updated: December 7, 2011, 5:58 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said on Wednesday that rumors of his demise are premature.

Over the weekend, multiple media outlets, including ESPN, reported that Martz, in the final year of a two-year contract, is not expected to return to the Bears next season.

"I'm bothered by that," Martz said. "Obviously, I plan on being back here and want to be here, and I'm just going to assume it's all going to work out. That's unfortunate. That's the only thing I can tell you. Just like college jobs and those things. ... We're focused on this job and what I'm doing. I'm very happy here. This is a terrific place and terrific opportunity for me and I'm enjoying it. I really am. These things ... we'll just kind of disregard, if you will.

"It's just unfortunate. I'm really bothered by it."

Martz has been a polarizing figure since he arrived in Chicago prior to the 2010 season. At times, the play calling under Martz has come under heavy scrutiny, this despite the Bears' 11-5 mark and berth in the NFC Championship Game last year.

The Bears rank No. 19 in total offense through 12 games in 2011.

Martz claimed to have discussed the matter of job security with Bears coach Lovie Smith, who just this past Monday denied the allegations that the veteran coordinator is on his way out of town.

"I did [speak to Smith] when I found out about it [the reports]," Martz said. "I was embarrassed by it. Let's just move on ... it's not good. It's not how I think and how I live my life. I'm just disappointed."

Martz and the Bears were unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension prior to the start of the regular season. The 18-year NFL coaching veteran had been rumored to be under consideration for several college head coach openings, and perhaps even the current NFL vacancy in Jacksonville.

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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