RE: Opening Statement:"We hired Mike Martz today as our offensive coordinator. Mike obviously has a great reputation throughout the league. We're very excited to have him on board. We went through a process with a lot of people, narrowed it down to about six or so people, interviewed a couple, and Mike Martz was the one who was hired. I'm excited about Mike being on board. We still have positions maybe to fill, as we go forward, but right now, I'm unsure where those will be. Right now, we're very excited about Mike being on the staff."
RE: Why did you hire Mike Martz without interviewing the rest of the candidates?"I brought in Chan Gailey, and I interviewed Chan. I knew most all of the people on my list. I spoke by phone with everyone I considered, which, like I said, was seven candidates in all, six other than Mike. I spoke extensively with them. Having been in this business long enough, several of them I know personally, whether I worked with them or coached against them. Mike Martz is one of the ones I have coached with, as was Chan Gailey, as was a few of the other guys I spoke with. They're all people that, like I said, I know them very well. For one reason or another, whether the interest was strong or not, or whatever the reason was, I just felt it was necessary to bring in the two. If I wasn't satisfied after the two, I would have continued on my search. But, like I said, I investigated them all pretty thoroughly, on top of my own personal experiences, and that's why I felt it wasn't necessary to continue to just parade people in. Like I said, I'm very familiar with most of the coaches in the NFL. I felt it was unnecessary to just get them face to face."
RE: Who were the other candidates you considered?"I'd rather not say, because some of them, I had to get permission to talk with. I'd rather not say who they were."
RE: Did you discuss personnel with Mike Martz?"We did talk about personnel, and one of the things that I really appreciate about Mike Martz, having gone against him for many years, is Mike does utilize his personnel extremely well, whatever the personnel is. He obviously has had two players of the year on offense, in Marshall Faulk at the running back position and Kurt Warner at the quarterback position. He's brought some guys out of just complete obscurity to be big name guys, whether it was Kurt Warner, or Trent Green, Marc Bulger—those are three guys, to name a few, that, under Mike's tutelage, did an outstanding job. We did talk about our personnel as well. He got excited about a lot of the guys. Obviously, the first guy that we talked about was Frank (Gore), and how to utilize Frank. He's quick to recognize that Frank's not only an outstanding running back, but an outstanding receiver as well. He's very impressed with that. There were comparisons with Marshall Faulk, but not fully. He's excited about that. He's also very excited about the line. He thought Joe Staley was an outstanding player. He continued to comment on what a good player he was as a rookie. And obviously, at the tight end position, and both our quarterbacks. He got a chance to look at all the guys. We watched several games together. Mike's been an outstanding quarterbacks coach, so if anyone would know, it would be him. But, he was very excited about our guys, and the prospects of them being very good quarterbacks. Mike was about as excited as I've seen, and certainly very excited about our players. There are a couple of things that really stand out about Mike too, here. They are very important for us going forward. Mike's not only an accomplished coach, not only the players he's had as player of the year under his system, but also he's coached in the Super Bowl, won the Super Bowl, and just had a lot of good games. He's been successful against teams in this division. Mike's got great command of the room. He inspires players. If you want to be a good player, Mike's the guy for you. He's going to coach you hard, he's going to coach you to be the best you can be. I appreciate that, because that's what players want to do. They just want to know that the coach is going to make them the best they can be, and Mike does that."
RE: Does Mike Martz have a two-year contract?"He does have a two-year contract."
RE: How much money is it worth?"I'd rather not divulge that."
RE: How much autonomy will Mike Martz have over the offense?"It'll be his offense. He's the offensive coordinator, and that's the way it's been here. It was the same with Mike McCarthy when it started. It was the same with Norv Turner, and obviously, it was that way with Jim (Hostler) last year. Mike will put the offense in. Mike has got a very thorough offensive attack. It utilizes the personnel extremely well. I think it's unfair what some say about the run, because obviously, when you have the player of the year as a running back in Marshall Faulk, Mike utilizes running the ball pretty well. He'll play to the strengths that your offense allows him, and I'm confident that he'll do the same with us. It'll be Mike's call on the offense."
RE: Will he have a say in acquiring new offensive talent?"The people on this team are decided on by Scot McCloughan and myself, and obviously, Scot now has the trigger on that. Those are the cards you're dealt, and when you're dealt those cards, you play those cards accordingly. Mike and his staff will have the opportunity to utilize those cards to the best they can, those players, I should say, but that's where it goes. Obviously, we can't pick from the league, we pick from what's on your football team. Mike will do that. But, we've got some very good players, and that starts with Frank. Obviously, Vernon is very good, Delanie Walker has done a nice job, Michael Robinson, Mo (Hicks), on the outside, Arnaz Battle is a very productive Z receiver, and at the X receiver, we've got some guys that have done a very good job. So, really, it's within the offense, for Mike to utilize those players."
RE: How do you intent to upgrade the wide receiver position?"As I've always believed, the players that you have, you've got to put in the best positions possible, whoever those might be. Currently, we have some players on our roster that Mike would use if we were going to battle today. But, we do have an off-season to see what we can do, as far as adding players, whether that be in the wide receiver position or at any position. We've got free agency, we've got the draft. One of the things about Mike, he's used people so well. One of the guys that comes to mind was (Mike) Furrey, the wide receiver who had 90-something catches last year, and he was a defensive back just two or three years ago. That's a pretty good proof of his ability to take players and utilize them the best he can. Like I said, the guy was a defensive back, and all of a sudden, he catches 90 balls at wide receiver. That's a pretty good job, because I'm sure they were saying the same about Furrey. That's a pretty good example of utilizing a player that pretty much came out of nowhere."
RE: How much say will Mike Martz have in putting together his staff?"Mike will have some say. We talked a little about it, but it will be my decision ultimately who they are. But, I do want to compliment Mike, just like Mike, I believe, will compliment our offensive players. Now, this year, obviously, we're getting started in this process very early. I'm extremely confident. Now, with the addition of Mike, there's no question we've made progress. We're a better football team today than we were yesterday because of this addition. We're going to do the same with the other staff. Mike and I will communicate about that, but ultimately, I will make the decision, as far as who's on my staff. But, I will trust Mike's opinion. Mike and I have a relationship. I wouldn't say we've been friends, we've been more of acquaintances, but we've had our mutual respect for one another and what we do. I do know who he is, so I do trust his opinion on players and coaches alike. At the same time, somebody has to make the final call on that. But, he's got great experience. He was a head coach in this league and has had great success. So, you don't want to just stick that in the drawer and not pay attention to it."
RE: Have you already informed some of the assistants that they will not be back next season?"Yes I have had a couple. I think we've given those to you guys as far as that goes."
RE: On 4th and 1 calls and input from coaches"I always listen to the coaching staff. Last year Jim (Hostler) and I did not communicate much on that because of his lack of experience. But as I've done before, I do utilize the staff. We typically discuss those things much more often on Saturday than on Sunday. We've talked a lot about what the situation will be in the game (on Saturday). But I do utilize the expertise of my staff. I used Mike McCarthy a good bit, I used Norv (Turner) and will use Mike Martz as well. Again, that's ulitmatley my decision in those situations."
RE: Are you confident that Mike Martz will run the ball as much as you're used to and as much as this team has been built to do?"I'm confident that Mike Martz is going to utilize our personnel to the very best and give us the best chance to win. I don't have any doubts about that. There's no one more creative as far as using personnel in a way that allows us to be productive on offense. He is probably, if not the best, one of the best minds in football from an offensive standpoint as far as using personnel. Before this phone call Sean Payton called to congratulate me on hiring Mike. He said that over the past years he said that one film that he always gets out over the course of the season, when he goes up against an opponent, is if they've played any Martz teams. Mike Martz' teams, whether it be the redzone or even on third down, he says (Payton) he always found that to be the most helpful as far as his game planning goes. I would have to say Sean Payton is one of the other good minds in this game as far as offensive football goes. Whatever our football team is built to do, we'll utilize our people the best. We have just got to get back to playing, obviously we've got about six months until we can do that again."
RE: Who will decide who that starting quarterback will be?"Mike (Martz) is the expert on quarterback play, let's not kid ourselves."
RE: What would the ramifications for this team be with Alex Smith at No.2? Is that even conceivable to you?"Whoever's going to compete on the field; the winners going to take the job. Whoever the back up (may) be, I would hope that backup would be that much better than they were this season. As we all know, back-ups have to play. Whoever that backup is, if he has to play I'd expect him to play well. Like I said, Mike's not going to coach just the starter, Mike's going to coach all the quarterbacks. Whether you get to the second or third quarterback, I would expect that quarterback to perform."
RE: On speaking with players about hiring Mike Martz"I spoke with Frank (Gore) just a little while ago. As you all know this just came out and it's been very busy since, so I have not had an opportunity to speak with our players. I did not consult them on this decision. This decision was much more clear than a year ago, as it was when I hired Mike McCarthy and when I had hired Norv Turner. When I hired Norv I didn't consult anyone either. I was pretty sure that Norv was our guy. In this case I'm very certain that Mike (Mart) is as well. But last year, obviously with being in it so late, trying to decide what the best decision was in going forward, I was searching pretty hard. It was a very difficult decision a year ago because of the limited people. When Mike and I were together under Norv as assistants at Washington, and one of the things that was helpful too when deciding on Mike was not only his familiarity with the division but also his language is very familiar to our guys, it's what we've used the last two years. I've learned very well that language, although important, it's down the food chain so to speak; it's fourth or fifth, outside of knowing what you're doing, having a great command and having the ability to inspire your players and coaches. And all those things are very much in Mike's corner as far as strengths go."
RE: Did you talk to Scot McCloughan about hiring Mike Martz?"I do speak to Scot as I spoke to Jed and John (York) a little bit. But early in the week, when we spoke, I thought he (Mike Martz) was going to fall out of the picture, I thought someone else was going to get him and I was wrong. I will say today before making the decision I did consult Scot. I said 'here's the direction I'm thinking of going.' We went through all the candidates and why I thought he was the best choice, which is what we do with personnel. I think it's important to continue to communicate on whatever areas we have control over to make sure we put this football team back on track."