A common complaint in Chicago the last two weeks after the Bears’ offense has sputtered has been that Mike Martz doesn’t allow quarterback Jay Cutler the flexibility to audible at the line of scrimmage.
The Bears were overrun by some blitzes in Week 2 at New Orleans when a play change at the line of scrimmage might have helped. They ignored their running game the past two weeks and after losses to the Saints and Green Bay Packers, people are searching for answers to why Mike Martz’s offense is sputtering in Year 2.
Cutler said he doesn’t audible so the lack of running calls isn’t on him. Fox analyst Troy Aikman has worked the last two Bears games, and he says the lack of audibles has nothing to do with the struggles of the system. He’s qualified to speak on the offense because he played in the same scheme under Norv Turner for the Dallas Cowboys.
“I'm pretty intimate with the offense because it's the same offense we ran when we won three Super Bowls,” Aikman said Monday on “The Mully & Hanley Show” on WSCR-AM 670. “Seven of my 12 seasons were in that offensive system … I believe in it. It's a system that dates back to Sid Gillman. In modern years it was under Don Coryell, Dan Fouts, Jim Everett with the Rams and then through Dallas. A lot of great offensive teams have used that system.
“I never audibled either when we used that offense. There's a lot of things that are built in. I've talked to Norv Turner about this over the years, things I saw that I wanted to get to, but the belief was, 'Yeah, we may miss out on a big play, but over time we would make fewer mistakes sticking with the system.’
“If I were Jay Cutler I'd say, 'Hey, I'd like to do more of this than I did in Denver,' or what he did at Vanderbilt. That is certainly a discussion worth having. But to imply that not being able to audible is the reason why things are not working on offense would be a gross miscalculation.”
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune