As the Bears move closer to possibly hiring Mike Martz to take over the offense in Chicago, we’re picking up more details regarding the behind-the-scenes maneuverings between coach Lovie Smith and G.M. Jerry Angelo.
As we hear it, Smith has wanted to hire Martz from “day one.” And that makes sense, given that Martz once hired Smith to run the defense in St. Louis.
But Angelo was opposed to the move, and Angelo relented only after multiple candidates (including some whose names never surfaced publicly) rebuffed the team’s advances.
Even now, Angelo apparently is trying to create obstacles. We’re told it was Angelo who insisted that Martz meet face-to-face with quarterback Jay Cutler, and we’re also told that Smith paid for Martz’s air fare to Tennessee in order to make the meeting happen.
Momentum is now building for Martz in large part because, as we’re told, Angelo wanted to hire Chargers tight ends coach/assistant head coach Rob Chudzinski for the job. Angelo was so confident that Chudzinski would take the job that Angelo had no viable backup plan when Chudzinski said thanks but no thanks.
If/when Martz is hired, look for Angelo to distance himself from the move. The thinking is that Angelo will try to pin any failures in 2010 on Smith, in the hopes that Angelo won’t get fired — and that he’ll have a chance to hire another head coach if Smith gets the boot.