49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 14, 2008
Martz loves Kitna, but 49ers not interested in trade *update*

There continue to be persistent rumors out of Detroit linking quarterback Jon Kitna to the 49ers. Kitna is one of several players the Lions are trying to move before today's trade deadline.

As Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com points out, Kitna and Mike Martz, Detroit's former offensive coordinator, have a very good relationship. Each spoke highly of the other earlier this season.

Said Martz of Kitna back in August: "I just like his toughness and aggressive approach to the game. He's extremely competitive and the energy he brings to the game can uplift the team. . . . The energy he brought was pretty significant. I'd never been around that kind of energy before at that position. So he was pretty unique."

Said Kitna of Martz before the 49ers hosted the Lions this year: "I learned more football in those two years with Mike. He's just so brilliant in terms of how to understand the quarterback position and how to attack defenses."

The two are BFFs. Mwah!

The 49ers also have gone out of their way to make Martz happy, bringing in former players like quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan, Isaac Bruce and Jamie Martin. Kowalski also notes that O'Sullivan has struggled mightily in the last three games, throwing seven interceptions, including two in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to Philadelphia.

But while Martz may be pushing for his former pupil, I'm told there's no deal in place. The 49ers are leery of trading for a player who has struggled just as much as O'Sullivan. Through four games, Kitna threw five touchdowns against five interceptions and was sacked 15 times. O'Sullivan has been sacked a league-high 23 times. Kitna missed Sunday's game with a back injury, and if he isn't traded, likely will be placed on injured reserve.

***update**** In fact, don't look for the 49ers to make any moves before today's trade deadline ... The team, however, is expected to make a move today, placing FB Zak Keasey (biceps) on IR and signing another fullback who has been out of the game a couple of years. (?) No plans yet to put Shawntae Spencer (knee) on IR ....

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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