SPORTS: Make Martz the head coach

Pub date September 22, 2008
WriterTim Redmond
SectionSF Blog

By A.J. Hayes

As temping as it was to run down the middle of Geneva Ave. shrieking “Forty Fuckin’ Niners” after San Francisco’s 31-13 blowout of Detroit on Sunday, let’s remember that the 2007 49ers also won two of their first three contests before disintegrating into putrid tire fire.

But while the record is exactly the same as it was heading into Week Four last season, the two clubs are worlds apart. While last season’s 2-1 Niners team was timid, plodding, conservative, scared and clueless, this Niners club is confident, experimental, focused and just a bit cocky. Over their first three games the 49ers have scored 76 points; it took seven games last season to get there.

For the first time since Steve Mariucci left the team five seasons ago, the 49ers are starting to resemble the 49ers and not a confused NFL Europe squad.

Thank you Mike Martz.

Without the addition of Martz as offensive coordinator this season, it’s very likely this fall’s Niners club would be a redo of last season’s abomination.

The Niners fortunes changed for the better when San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan was essentially forced to bring in the darning Martz to run the team’s offense.

But the former Super Bowl coach of the St. Louis Rams has done more than rework the passing attack. Martz has infused hope and excitement back into the once proud franchise where last year there was none.

Martz is a renegade in the Bill Walsh tradition, someone who’s always a step ahead of the competition and not afraid to play games with the oppositions head. Does anyone think that back-up, back-up tight end Delanie Walker, who caught a touchdown Sunday, would be even remotely involved in the game plan if Martz wasn’t on board?

Which leads to the next point: The Niners have to start thinking about retaining Martz beyond this year.