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Martz denies rumors, says he want to coach Bears next year

LAKE FOREST – Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz denied rumors Wednesday that he was expected to seek work elsewhere after his contract expired at the end of the season.

“I’m bothered by that,” Martz said after practice at Halas Hall. “Obviously, I plan on being back here and want to be here. I’m just going to assume it’s going to work out.”

Several media outlets, including ESPN, reported last week that Martz would not return to the Bears in 2012. The reports cited Martz’s interest in several college head coaching vacancies.

“I’m very happy here,” Martz said. “This is a terrific place and a terrific opportunity for me and I’m enjoying it. I really am, so those things we’ll just kind of disregard, if you will.”

Martz said he approached Lovie Smith after the reports first emerged.

“Yes, I did when I found about it,” Martz said. “I’m embarrassed by it. … Let’s just move on. That’s now how I think and how I live my life. I’m just disappointed.”

My bad: Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie said his team’s offensive line did not deserve all of the blame for allowing seven sacks last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“A few of those are on me,” Hanie said.

The group’s task will only get tougher this weekend against the Denver Broncos, who are tied for fifth in the NFL with 33 sacks in 12 games.

“I’m completely confident in those guys,” Hanie said. “They’re playing their butts off in there. From left tackle to right tackle, from J’Marcus [Webb] to Lance [Louis], they’re going to fight. That’s what type of group they are, and I’m confident they’ll have a good game.”

Man to man: Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher could be busy this weekend defending Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who likes to scramble and is not afraid of contact.

More than a few collisions could be on the way. Urlacher stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 258 pounds, while Tebow is 6-foot-3 and weighs 236 pounds.

“A lot of times, Brian is a free guy that’s kind of roaming the middle of the field,” Smith said. “You could see that matchup a few times.

“Tebow is a big guy at quarterback, but he’s not Brian Urlacher. We want to give Brian one-on-one matchups with just about anybody as often as we possibly can.”

Bears bits: Bears safety Major Wright (shoulder) did not practice Wednesday. As expected, quarterback Jay Cutler (thumb) and running back Matt Forte (knee) also missed practice. … Three players took part in limited drills: Urlacher (quadriceps), cornerback Charles Tillman (quadriceps) and defensive tackle Anthony Adams (back).


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