Martz has interview with Raiders


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Jan 22, 2006
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Martz has interview with Raiders
Former Rams coach missed much of the 2005 season with health problems
By Steve Corkran

Former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz interviewed with Raiders managing general partner Al Davis on Thursday about the Raiders' coaching vacancy, according to two people in the team's front office who requested anonymity.

Martz, 54, was fired by the Rams at the end of this season. He coached them to a Super Bowl appearance in the 2001 season and was the team's offensive coordinator during its Super Bowl-winning season in 1999.

He coached the Rams the past six seasons. A bacterial infection of the heart forced him to miss the team's final 11 games in 2005. He was cleared to coach by the end of the season.

Davis dismissed Martz as a viable candidate to replace the fired Norv Turner in a conference call Jan. 3.

"I am a little concerned about Mike from another standpoint, physically, right now," Davis said of Martz. "But Mike has always been of interest because he is dynamic. He is not afraid. But, there is a fear right there right now (about his health). I don't know if we are ready to accept that."

When pressed on the issue, Davis said he thought he was responding to a question about Martz as an offensive coordinator candidate. When told that the question posed was in relation to Martz as a coach, Davis said, "I would have to really think about it."

Davis' trepidation apparently disappeared some time within the past three weeks. Martz arrived at the team's facility Thursday morning and spent a fair amount of time with Davis.

Martz is the fifth candidate known to have interviewed with the Raiders in person. He followed former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, San Diego Chargers wide receivers coach James Lofton and Raiders quarterbacks coach John Shoop.

Martz fits the bill for what Davis said he is looking for, someone capable of directing a high-powered offense that scores far more than the Raiders did in two seasons under Turner.

He had one year left on the three-year contract extension he signed before the 2004 season. Martz reportedly was at odds with Rams general manager Charley Armey and director of football of operations Jay Zygmunt.

The Rams are responsible for the $3.25 million Martz is slated to earn next season -- more than the Raiders have paid any coach -- unless he gets hired elsewhere.

The Rams were 53-32 in regular-season games during Martz's tenure and qualified for the playoffs four times. The Raiders went 13-35 the past three seasons and have not made the playoffs since their Super Bowl appearance in the 2002 season.

In other news, Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach Rick Neuheisel, during a break between practices for the Senior Bowl, said he is not a candidate for the Raiders coaching vacancy.

"I'm happy where I am," Neuheisel, 44, said.

Also, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Fassel has spoken by phone with Raiders officials in recent days about their coaching vacancy, the two front office people said. He was an assistant coach for the Raiders in 1995.

Fassel was the New York Giants head coach from 1997-2003, where he worked with current Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins for five seasons.
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Yipes...I almost agree with Al's original concerns -- I don't know that Martz's heart would survive even a few months on the Raiders sidelines... :S
I think he'd have a heart attack if he has to roll with Collins as his QB. I would.
Rofl JC....what about Daunte Culpepper? ;)
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