The advantage of blogging is there are no space restrictions. Here are Mike Martz's answers to some of the more pertinent questions asked Monday.
I'll add entries from coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo later in the day.
Martz on his offensive philosophy:
"I am very pragmatic in the approach. I think you have to analyze your
personnel, the circumstances and the situation like Soldier Field and
look at what you have and the conditions and then go from there.
Detroit was different just because we were in situations often times
where we were obliged to throw it and that's not fun. It's just the way
it was. You tried to take advantage of the talent that you had in St.
Louis. Marshall [Faulk] led the league in yards per rush. I think in
'01 we had more rushing touchdowns than anybody in the league. So we
were always a top 10 rushing team, those first three years
particularly, and ran it very effectively. But really it's just about
winning games and doing whatever it takes to take advantage of your
On the Bears' receiving corps:
"Boy they've got some speed. And that really is kind of a diamond to me.
When you look at that group, they can be a real strength of this
football team. With Aromashodu and Knox is really a diamond to me, and
Hester, what he can do whether he's outside or in the slot, the
matchups on these guys are extreme. When I went to St. Louis from
Washington, Isaac Bruce was too skinny. They weren't real happy with
him. He was always hurt. They drafted this little guy, Oz Hakeem, and
they didn't know what they were going to do with him. And Ricky Proehl
was a slow white guy. That's three-quarters of the Greatest Show on
Turf. And really what we'll do with these guys. I think there's plenty
of talent there. I'm real excited about their speed and the potential,
and what we'll do is give them every opportunity to explore that and
not make a definition on what any one of those guys can do but let them
prove to us and put no limits on them."
Martz was asked if he had the players he needed up front:
"Yes, especially with Chris Williams going over to left tackle, I think
the biggest issue here is Mike Tice and what I know of him as a coach
and being able to visit with him, I think this is just a terrific hire
and a major reason that I was very interested in this job. This guy
will get this group squared away and going good. It's a tough physical
group and they'll attentive to all the little details. This will be a
really well-coached group and he'll get everything that they've got to
give and I think there's plenty of talent to get it done."
Forte reminds Martz of Marshall Faulk:
"There are so many things you can do. He has the same kinds of abilities
as Marshall. He has the soft hands, the change of direction in pass
routes, good route runner, he's a very unselfish pass blocker, so he's
willing to stick his nose in there. We know what he has done as a
rusher. He's the complete package. We'll formation him and get him
matched up inside on backers and occasional safeties will be part of
what we do."
So, what did Martz learn while meeting with Cutler?
"This guy's all about winning now. He's frustrated that he's
not at an elite level and he can't contribute to helping that football
team win. So there's so many things that came out of that about Jay
that were exciting for me just on how he is and to kind of discuss what
he's about was very encouraging."
Here's Martz with a somewhat long-winded reply to question about how tight ends fit into his scheme:
"I think really just like all the positions, you take a look at what you
have at tight end and who that guy is and what they can do and then you
go from there. In the past, we've always had these big physical tight
ends, who really we tried to utilize in the running game and as pass
blockers and then as wide receivers.
"Greg is different; this is more of back in the Ernie Zampese era with Kellen Winslows and those guys that
the Chargers moved around and used him as a blocker. But when you can
get a defense that with normal personnel with Greg in the game and then
move like you would a receiver in the slot and get him matched up on
linebackers and safeties, it's going to be a mismatch.
"Then there is his ability to still stand in there and slug it out. He's a complete player
from every respect at that position, which is multi-dimensional, which
is a little bit like Ernie Conwell, but he's a little bit more fluid than Ernie Conwell was. Ernie was very physical player and had speed,
those kinds of things. Greg has such great body control and is a fluid
route-runner, there are so many things that he can do, which is
something I've not experienced yet."
Will the Bears still come off the bus running the ball or will Cutler be firing passes out the windows?
"It depends on who you're playing," Martz said. "The physical part of it I think is
really what Lovie is addressing. I think that's first and foremost.
Everything starts in the offensive line, everything. They allow you to
keep your defense off the field, allow you to protect the quarterback,
allows you to do what you want to do on offense. I think when that's
established, which will get done, then I think more than anything else,
you get off the bus and really you are getting in a position to hit
them right in the mouth.
"That's one of the things with Mike Tice, that
toughness and tenacity and run the ball and pound it in there and still
have a chance to fake that, show that ball, pull it up and then Knox or
somebody throw streaking to the end zone. The mix and match between
that, you do whatever it takes to win. Some weeks you're going to run
it pretty good. The next week you're going to throw pretty good. But
it's about winning, whatever you can do the best, that's what you do."
Here's Martz on his criticism of Cutler while serving as an analyst for the NFL Network.
"The thing I told Jay and I said this a few days after that show, the thing I felt bad when I
watched that was I felt like I knew what Jay was. I met him when he was
coming out in the draft for quite some time up in Detroit. I felt like
I had a pretty good understanding of who he was and the integrity and
the dignity that he has and how classy a guy he is, and how he kind of
misrepresented himself with that and really that was totally out of
frustration for that game.
"He's going to be one of the elite players in this league for a long time and those are things that he's just going
to have to deal with. That was a very difficult situation for him, very
difficult, but a great experience for him to go through it and know now
you've just got to kind of take that deep breath before you go in
there. As a former head coach, you go through those things and collect
yourself a little bit and then go in there."
Finally, on his relationship with Bears' defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. There have been reports of friction between the two when Marinelli was the Lions head coach and Martz was his offensive coordinator.
"I went to Detroit after I met Rod Marinelli, that's the only reason I went to Detroit. When I left Detroit, it had
nothing to do with Rod, there were other factors involved there, but
nothing associated with Rod or disharmony. I had a real good visit with
him when I was back there; I spent the morning with him, had breakfast
and laughed about some things. He and Lovie have been good friends and
there's just no issue there, it just doesn't exist."