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Super Martz 02/02/2010

Posted by sportretort in cutler, NFL, Sports.
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The Chicago Bears finished the 2009 season with a 7-9 record, out of the playoffs for a third straight season.  A huge disappointment for a franchise that had some people

Martz and Warner in St Louis

 talking Super Bowl after they traded for Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler.  He was to be the franchise QB the Bears had been missing.  But a funny thing happened on the way to greatness.  Cutler threw 26 interceptions!  That’s right, 26.  Worse, several of those occurred when the Bears were in the red zone.  In trading for Cutler, the Bears gave up their starting QB (Kyle Orton) and 2 number one draft picks.  They signed Cutler to a multi-year contract extension, and he is going no where for the near future.  Most of the offensive coaching staff was dismissed at the end of the season.  The Bears have looked high and low for the right man to lead Cutler and his offense.  The new offensive coördinator in Chicago is Mike Martz.

Yep, Mike Martz, the creator of the greatest show on turf.  Martz was the OC in St Louis for their magical 1999 Super Bowl run.  After starting QB Trent Green was injured during the first pre season game that year, Martz helped lead the Rams all

Cutler reacts after one of his more than two dozen 2009 interceptions

the way to the championship  with an unhearelded QB named Kurt Warner.  Martz also led them back to the Super Bowl after the 2001 season as head coach.  There were a few things going for Martz back then.  His fast break offense was an innovation at the time.  Defenses took a few seasons to learn how to defend it.  The NFL is now a pass happy league, and Martz has no such advantage now.  Warner had cut his teeth on Arena football and had learned how to make quick reads and decisions.  Cutler, not so much.  In fact, during the 1999 season, Warner threw 15  interceptions to 41 TD’s despite having to learn a new offensive scheme.  In a new scheme last year, Cutler threw 26 int’s to 27 TD’s, and now will have to learn another new, more complicated scheme.  Also, the Rams had a very good offensive line, lead by pro bowler Orlando Pace.  Not so the Bears, who are led by a now 11 year older Pace   The Rams had Isaac Bruce, Tory Holt, Az Hakim and Rickey Proehl at wide out.  Even with all those receivers, they player with the most receptions was Marshall Faulk out of the backfield.  What do the Bears have to compare to those weapons?  Devon Hester?  Matt Forte?  Please.  Forte had less than 1000 rushing yards last season.  Faulk had 1300 plus yards on the ground AND over 1000 through the air.  The leading receiver on last years Bears team?  Tight end Gregg Olsen.  Where does he fit into the Martz system?  San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis caught only 31 passes in 2008, his last with Martz as his OC.  Last season, without Martz, he had 78 receptions and tied the NFL single season record of tight end TD receptions with 13.  Davis earned his first pro bowl apperance after the 2009 season.

Let us not forget that last season, while an analyst for the NFL network, Martz publicly criticised Cutler for his demeanor.  Martz had his first meeting with Cutler earlier this week and said that they took to each other right away.  Do not forget, however, that it was Cutler who turned on his new coach in Denver so fast that he would not even return phone calls to the team owner, the man who signed his pay checks.   We have not even mentioned the weather in Chicago as compared to a dome (as in St Louis).

Can Martz recapture the magic of  Warner and the Rams with Cutler and the Bears?  He had tough stays  in Detroit and San Francisco after he parted ways with St Louis.  Now, he is paired with turn over machine Jay Cutler.  It is going to be a long, long season in the Windy City.

Martz's biggest chalange may be between Cutler's ears

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