Is Martz the man for the Bears?
We can all agree that Bears QB Jay Cutler has had an awful year in terms of the price Chicago management paid with the trade last spring and the contract extension they handed out. But is it all Jay’s fault?
We should point some fingers his way — as is standard practice with every NFL quarterback — but from my perspective, the Bears struggles as a team go a lot deeper than just Cutler.
And we can start with offensive coordinator Ron Turner, who I believe is definitely on the hot seat in this city.
This morning, the NFP’s Brad Biggs reported that former Lions offensive coordinator and Rams head coach Mike Martz is interested in working with Cutler, according to a source close to the former coach, who has lit up scoreboards in the past.
And I love the idea.
Martz was my head coach when I was a rookie in St. Louis. He has an arrogance about him that only comes with production, and it’s something that his players like and feed off. If you want a guy who will take chances with your offense and give it an opportunity to make a big play, well, Mike is your guy. He already has a relationship with Bears coach Lovie Smith from their time together in St. Louis, and despite the nonsense that Lovie is on the hot seat, he isn’t going anywhere. Lovie Smith is the coach in Chicago, and he’ll be the coach here next season as well — and hiring Martz could be the first move in turning this franchise into a consistent winner.
But is Martz the guy who could come in and turn the offense around and get the most out of Cutler?
Despite his poor season, Jay is still a top 10 quarterback in this league. He has the tools, and he has the ability to light up a box score if given the right offense and the right weapons to work with.
Think about it. Cutler wants to throw the football outside the numbers. For example, the 9- route, the deep comeback, the deep out -- those are his throws. Not the bubble screen we see used over and over again by Turner. Not the checkdown that Kyle Orton was famous for in Chicago. And he doesn’t want to hand off the ball, watch the Bears run another Power-O that’s stopped for little or no gain, then look up and see this team again in a third-and-long situation. No, Cutler — like Martz — is a gambler. He wants to take those shots down the field and he wants to score touchdowns.
And I don’t see that ever happening under Ron Tuner’s offensive scheme. It’s too predictable, and it’s too ordinary when you have a franchise quarterback at your disposal. Get the ball down the field. No wide receivers in Chicago? Devin Hester and Johnny Knox are the exact wide receivers you need when you’re throwing the ball outside the numbers, and getting just one more to add to the mix would enable Cutler to use Hester as an inside receiver on third downs — a place where he could make a killing going against a nickel corner.
Yes, there are other areas — such as the offensive line — that need to be implemented in order for Martz's offense to work in Chicago, and brining in a left tackle should be a top priority.
But those moves will and should be taken care of if the Bears decided to go this route and bring in an offensive coordinator who makes the Bears a weapon on offense under Cutler.
Instead of an afterthought with a big-time quarterback.
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Check out the Chicago Bears team page at the NFP.
Check out this article from Bleacher Report to find out how much the Bears could be affected in free agency if a labor agreement is not put in place.