Earlier this season we had quite a bit of fun with 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz, after he laughingly proclaimed that journeyman J.T. O'Sullivan could be the best quarterback he's ever coached. It was laughable because, well, Martz has coached Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger, two pretty good NFL quarterbacks.
While Martz knows infinitely more about football and quarterback play than I ever will, I'm quite certain O'Sullivan, owner of about 12 different sets of team authorized luggage, is not a better quarterback than Warner (two-time MVP, Super Bowl champion) or Bulger (steady NFL starter for about seven years) and, frankly, he never will be. Actually, if O'Sullivan duplicated Jon Kitna's career (another Martz favorite) I'd be kind of surprised. So, right off the top of my head I'm thinking O'Sullivan, at best, is the fourth best quarterback Martz has had under his wing. Actually, if you include current starting quarterback Shaun Hill, well, you get the idea.
All of that aside, Martz, the mad scientist that he is, was at it once again today, when he told the local scribes in the bay area that 49ers center Eric Heitmann is "by far" the best center he's ever coached. From Matt Maiocco of the Press Democrat:
Heitmann is having a fantastic season and would be worthy of Pro Bowl recognition if the 49ers had a better record. Martz said in 17 years of coaching in the NFL, Heitmann is the best center he's coached -- "by far." Martz also said Heitmann has been the most consistent 49ers offensive lineman. What makes Heitmann special, Martz said, is his powerful hips and his quick hands. After the snap of the ball, Heitmann is able to get his hands on the nose tackle with astonishing speed.
Again, Martz knows more football than me because, well, after all, he's a coach and I'm just some guy on a blog making bad jokes. But, I'm not sure if I should believe his statements on Heitmann after he told us that he felt O'Sullivan could be better than a guy that has a legitimate shot to win his third league MVP award (that would be Warner).
If he comes out tomorrow and says Frank Gore is the best running back he's ever coached, or that Bryant Johnson is the best receiver he's ever coached, then it will be confirmed that Martz is just trying to build up his current players. Or that he's absolutely insane. Either option is a good possibility.
Still, with all of these players that are among the best he's ever coached -- in his mind -- it certainly begs the question: if these guys are so good, why is your offense 21st in total points and 26th in total yards?
Mike Martz Loves His 49ers Players, Thinks They're the Greatest originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Thu, 04 Dec 2008 18:45:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.