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Mike Martz to call games for NFL on FOX this season

Mike Martz won't be in Jay Cutler's ear this autumn, but he'll be in yours.

After parting ways with the Chicago Bears, Martz will serve as a game analyst for the NFL on FOX, the network announced Tuesday. Teaming with play-by-play man Ron Pitts, Martz will butter his bread calling NFC-heavy fare. It's a good fit. Martz built his career in this conference as head coach of the St. Louis Rams and as an offensive aide for the Bears, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers.

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Martz -- who did work for NFL Network in 2009 -- is regarded as one of the game's more intelligent (and sometimes beguiling) play-callers, but that doesn't guarantee he'll entertain us. He made news during his NFL Network stint in 2009 when he labeled Jay Cutler as "unprofessional." Hopefully FOX will find a way to attach him to Bears games early and often, but that might not happen.

The Martz-Pitts pairing is FOX's No. 7 crew, per ESPN.com, meaning Martz is more likely to log time covering a flock of bottom-feeders, including his old team, the Rams.

Another change for FOX: NFL Network's Heath Evans will replace Chad Pennington as the color man teaming with Sam Rosen.

Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver still are entrenched in the top spot for FOX. That's no surprise. Buck can be grating on the ear, but Aikman is one of the more underrated analysts out there. Maybe that has something do with the fact that he's been in our living room -- first as a quarterback, now as a talking head -- for more than 20 years. He isn't afraid to speak his mind.

The rest of the pairings are familiar: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa; Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick and Laura Okmin; Dick Stockton, John Lynch and Jennifer Hale; and Chris Myers, Tim Ryan and Jaime Maggio.

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