Pass happy Mike Martz will have to run the ball more
Ultimately, it’s Lovie Smith’s offense. So when the head coach of the Chicago Bears says his team needs to be more balanced in its approach, it’s fair to assume he’s passed the message along to offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
The Bears were the antithesis of balanced in their 23-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at Soldier Field as Martz dialed up 47 pass plays and 12 runs in a game that was never out of hand.
Is that a play calling strategy that Smith, who for many of his seven seasons has talked about identifying his team as a running ball club, signed off on?
““That’s what we did,” Smith said. “Sometimes the plan changes during the course of a game. We’re not happy with what happened, but not going to sit here now … it’s pretty easy in hindsight to say we wish we would have done this a little bit better.
“As I started off early on, I said we need to have balance, more balance, and that’s what we’ll do.”
Last season, Smith served as his own defensive coordinator. With Rod Marinelli handling those chores this season, it presumably frees up Smith to spend more time with the offense not only during the week but also on the sideline during the games.
“As head football coach I’d like to think I have input on everything that’s going on, and I do,” he said. “We all went in with that game plan feeling good about it, Mike and everybody else. We didn’t execute the game plan the way we wanted to. But I’m behind everything that we’ve done offensively and am excited about the direction we’re going to continue to go from there.”
Smith said his goal is to have a 50-50 ratio, something that doesn’t seem realistic. The Bears have passed the ball 59 percent of the time this season, a figure only so low because they went with a run-heavy approach at Carolina in Week 5 when quarterback Jay Cutler was sidelined by a concussion. The offensive line has been an issue as well. We’ll see if Martz can stick with the new plan.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
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