Our on-going gleeful coverage of Lions angst leads us to relay this delightful item about running back Tatum Bell’s unabashed hatred for former Detroit offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Apparently, Tatum didn’t care for the way he was used last year by the pass-happy genius Martz – and really didn’t care for Martz’s unwillingness to communicate openly with him about the situation. Bell sounds off:
"I am glad Martz is gone and you can tell him I said it, too. I think he played me. He was not honest with me as a man or as a coach and my position coach [Wilbert Montgomery] didn’t have anything to say either. Nobody was telling me stuff."
Bell continues his rant by referring specifically to a game against the Vikings where he felt he was under-utilized (though he sort of exaggerates the situation):
"I was so happy to get out of here after the last game. Playing for Martz last year I hated it. You don’t understand how hurt I was sitting on the sidelines and not getting that many carries. I mean, I started the season with like 15 carries and then I got like five carries [actually nine] against Minnesota. I know they are a good run-stop team, but that shows you we’re scared of them. That ticked me off. How many starting running backs do you know get five [actually nine] carries in a game?"
Martz is gone now – much to Tatum’s relief – but we’ll see if the game-plan really changes for the Lions. My guess is they’ll still pass it too much, opening Jon Kitna up to a righteous pummeling. Of course the pass-happy approach won’t be entirely voluntary – it’s just the sort of thing you have to do when your defense is so bad that you’re always down big early.
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