The 49’ers want and need their offense to take another step in 2008, and with that Tuesday the team brought in former Rams coach and Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz to run the show. Martz comes to San Fran to fix a downright awful offense that was worst in total yards (3,797), yards passing (2,320), offensive TD’s (23) and first downs (218). Martz gets a two-year deal with the Niners. He is the 6th offensive coordinator in the past six seasons for the team.
San Fran does have some decent skill position players, including running back Frank Gore, who this past season ran for 1102 yards and five scores. The team, with Martz running the show, has to find ways to get him the ball more. The interesting thing to watch now will be if the pass-happy Martz will be able to juggle more carries to Gore. The other thing too will be if the Niners look to upgrade the wide out spot if they indeed are going to throw more.
Arnaz Battle was the teams leading wide out with 600 yards on 50 catches and five TD’s. Then you had TE Vernon Davis with 52 catches for 509 yards and four TD’s. Darrell Jackson, who the team was looking for big numbers from, had just 46 catches for 497 yards and three TD’s. Guys like Ashley Lelie, Delanie Walker and Michael Robinson also caught balls this past year, but if Martz is going to use them, he will need to find a way to get them the ball more.
The team is going to keep Mike Nolan on the sidelines (as least to start the season if the team tanks it), and another interesting aspect of the coaching staff would be how much he and Martz will be able to work together. “Our players are accustomed to and deserve strong leadership and competency,” Nolan said in a statement. “The addition of Mike Martz as offensive coordinator gives our offensive players both.”
The two, Nolan and Martz, coached together with the Skins back in 1997-98. Martz coached the QB’s, while Nolan was the D-coordinator. If the Niners were smart, they would let Martz run the offensive show, and Nolan would do what he does best, and that is coach the defense. Plus this team needs to get it right in terms of who to start at QB, Alex Smith, or flat out someone else. In the end, that may be the biggest decision the team makes this offseason.