Clayton: Deals in the making for Martz, Whisenhunt

Updated: February 1, 2006, 9:25 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Mike Martz is wrapping up a multi-year contract with the Lions to be their offensive coordinator.

The job was offered on Wednesday and Martz told his agent to work out a deal. The former Rams coach hit it off immediately during his Tuesday interview with head coach Rod Marinelli. Martz may be asked to break down quarterback Joey Harrington and try to build him back up as a starting quarterback. That may be hard to do because Harrington probably has lost his team for leadership. If management feels as though Harrington can no longer be the leader, the organization will have to go out and get another quarterback.

Marinelli is giving Martz a lot of authority with the offense. With him, Martz is bringing three coaches from the Rams -- John Ramsdell for quarterbacks, Wilbert Montgomery for running backs and Pat Carter for tight ends. It's a smart move because Marinelli can concentrate on the defense while Martz works on the offense. That should make a good team.

One of the things Marinelli liked about Mike Martz' offense is how he constructs his running attack. Martz is known to run more of a pass-oriented offense, but Marinelli studied and liked many of his running concepts. Marinelli wants power running. He likes the way Martz' "two-back lead" plays. Martz is big into motion and he can motion into power running formations.

Chiefs get ready to bid on T.O.: The Kansas City Chiefs are the second team to be on deck in the Terrell Owens' sweepstakes. The Broncos officially jumped on board earlier this week. Having the Chiefs battle the Broncos for Owens should increase his incentive-laden package for a contract. Bidding can get intense if AFC West teams are involved, and that's good news for Owens. Expect one or two teams to surface over the next couple of weeks. Nothing will probably get done until the end of February, but the market is just getting started for Owens.

Whisenhunt sizing up Raiders: Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt won't say anything this week about his bid to be new coach of the Raiders, but it's almost certain he will go to Oakland for the interview after the Super Bowl. There are some people in the Steelers organization that wonder whether Whisenhunt will interview. He will interview. It also looks as though he could have a lot more say on the coaching staff if Al Davis likes him. The two could get together as early as Tuesday next week.

'Gentle Ben' hangs loose: Ben Roethlisberger is very, very loose after Day Two with the media during Super Bowl XL. He stayed for almost a half hour in the interview area after completing his big session with the press and took pictures of teammates with a small digital camera. "I love dealing with your guys," Roethlisberger said jokingly about the press. So far, he's been a good guy and a relaxed player.

Leinart: 'I'm no Eli': USC quarterback Matt Leinart was in Detroit for a sponsorship deal in which a sweepstakes is being held to have a fan go with him to the NFL draft. Most people expect Leinart to be the No. 2 pick to the New Orleans Saints. The good news for the Saints is that Leinart isn't going to pull an Eli Manning.

"I feel like it's an honor being drafted," Leinart said. He said he has no plans to manipulate the draft. He'd been content to be No. 1 with Houston, No. 2 with the Saints or No. 3 with the Titans. Getting a chance to be with former USC coach Norm Chow would also interest him. "If I was reunited with coach Chow, it will be cool," he said.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer