Former NFL head coach Mike Martz caused some waves in the NFL world with his scathing criticisms of young quarterbacks Trey Lance and Justin Fields this week. The statements came in stark contrast to the positive outlook he had on Lance with 95.7 The Game’s “Damon & Ratto” on Aug. 26, so we invited Martz back on the air to explain his views.
Martz called in to 95.7 The Game’s “Willard & Dibs” Thursday, with hosts Mark Willard and Sean Salisbury, who was filling in for Dan Dibley. Martz expounded on his criticism of Lance, who went 13-of-28 for 164 yards, an interception, rushed 13 times for 54 yards and overthrew tight end Tyler Kroft on what could have been a 32-yard, first-half touchdown.
“They’ve had him for a year,” Martz said. “It was just so hard to understand for me how he could play like that. It was disappointing to say the least. … Hopefully he plays well and gets past that. If not, they have a dilemma on their hands.”
The biggest issue, Martz believes, is that Lance might be holding back the 49ers. Many have pegged the star-studded San Francisco roster as Super Bowl-worthy, but Martz thinks the 49ers might have to make a midseason switch to Jimmy Garoppolo if the struggles continue.
“I don’t know what he is,” Martz said. “Maybe he’s one of those guys who’s gonna take a few years. In the meantime, they’ve got a good football team, so what are you gonna do? Hopefully they can win while he develops. If not, I think you gotta make a change. …
“You got a good football team. You don’t wanna hold ‘em hostage while he develops. Perhaps he’s gonna be a great player, a future Hall of Famer, it certainly can happen. But it may be one of those situations where he may have to sit for a while and the learn the game a little bit better than what he does right now. I hope here in the next week, the light goes on for him and he plays really well.”
It’s also worth mentioning that Martz is a fan of Jimmy G.
"I love Jimmy," Martz said. "I’d love to have him, I’d love to coach him. I hear all he does is win. That’s what you do at quarterback, right?"
So, why did Martz say earlier this week that he “never liked” Lance?
“I watched him coming out (of college),” Martz said. “There’s nothing that I saw in him that relates to the NFL at that position. But, like I said, I’m limited in what I’ve seen. I get all that. They’ve seen him, they know. They’ve got all the information and I trust (coach) Kyle (Shanahan) and his ability and certainly (general manager) John Lynch, who’s beyond reproach, in my book. They know more than I do about it, but from my observations, I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.”