by Matt Bowen
February 01, 02010
I am a big fan of the move Bears head coach Lovie Smith and GM Jerry Angelo just made in Chicago today with the hiring of Mike Martz as their new offensive coordinator.
After the long search that has been criticized by many — including myself — the Bears got the best candidate out of every interview they had.
Yes, I played for Coach Martz as a rookie in St. Louis, and before you call me biased, realize that this is the same coach who cut me, and I have no reason to hype him up other than he is brilliant when it comes to offense at the NFL level.
But, there will be plenty of criticism and plenty of opinions over the next couple of days when it comes to Martz and his system. But my point is simple: what do you have to lose by brining Martz into Chicago?
We all know that Lovie is not standing on firm ground. The team has a franchise quarterback who just threw 26 interceptions. The offense was terrible in the red zone. What else do we need to say? Should the Bears have been conservative? No, you get a coach in Martz who is willing to work with Cutler and who is willing to take risks on the field — something the Bears did not do in their play calling under the dismissed Ron Turner.
Look, I know the opinions of Martz’s offense and the talk that the quarterback is a sitting duck in the pocket without a solid offensive line in front of him. But, don’t think that Martz doesn’t know this either. The best play callers adapt. They mold their offense and their scheme around the personnel they have — something we didn’t see from Turner when he was handed Cutler this offseason.
I have seen this offense up close and went against it in training camp for two years. It isn’t easy to install and there are challenges, and just like any scheme in the NFL, it will take an entire offseason to master. But, it does work, and it does include the running back position — unlike what I’ve heard from critics when Martz’s name comes up. Matt Forte will be good in this offense and we will see the type of production he had in his rookie season. There will be plenty of touches and plenty of ways to get him involved in the game plan.
Yes, the receiving corps will need an impressive offseason to excel under Martz, but the scheme is there, and Devin Hester will be running the deep 15-yard Dig Route in his sleep come August.
I’m with everyone on the questions, but the bottom line is that the Bears and Lovie aren’t playing for the future. This organization needs to win now. Martz was the best option, and now we will wait until August to see what he can come up with.
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