Chicago Sun-Times

Martz in wide-ranging interview

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Mike Martz was interviewed extensively on the "Mully and Hanley Show this morning. Here are the highlights:

On Jay Cutler's reputation for being "difficult":

"I just didn't see Jay being difficult to deal with at all. Really elite players all have that in them, a sense of wanting to be perfect, wanting things to be absolutely right and when they're not right they get frustrated like we all do. But that's common, with Kurt [Warner], with all of them. I don't see that in Jay. What I saw when I met him was a remarkably bright young man who was well schooled in the game beyond his years, actually, beyond his experience, and a really eager guy to get involved with what we want to do on offense. For me, there was a quick connection between the two of us."

On Cutler's ability:

"He can take us into some areas at the position we've never been before just because of his athleticism and ability to throw the ball on the move. ... You can't put a fence around Jay and say this is what he can do because he's too good of a player. There's nothing this guy can't accomplish at a high level in the passing game."

On comparisons with Warner:

"I don't know if I've ever been around anybody with [Jay's} skill or innate ability to throw the football. He's got Kurt's accuracy with a stronger arm. His mobility is unusual. What Kurt has that I see in Jay that is real unusual is the ability to make terrific throws under duress ... More importantly, he has a unique ability to see things down the field and react to them very quickly. What he sees is above average. It's way up above what normally real good quarterbacks see, and how well he digests that information is really remarkable.

"Kurt may be the best I've ever seen at it. There may not ever be anybody like Kurt but Jay has that ability to see things and have a perception of when to get rid of the ball. We just have to get those guys on the same page and this could get real good."

On what it will take for players to learn his system:

"If they're willing to learn they'll learn it. If we can teach it they'll learn it. If they're open to it and don't fight it they'll learn it and learn it in short order. But what we will do is intellectually, we'll put more on them then they have ever had before, but that's part of what we believe in, too, to challenge players mentally as much as physically. It's the only way to get them to play at the highest level."

On the running game:

"Running the football isn't about how many times you run the ball but how effectively you run the football, how physical you are as an offense. That's what [Lovie} wants. That's what we all want.

"To be able to put your hand on the ground and come off the line of scrimmage and get positive yards up there close to five yards per carry, now that's when you're playing good football, winning football ... You have to run the football well enough so when you play a defense and that's first snap comes down the pipe their biggest concern first and foremost is stopping the run because that's what defenses want to do anyway. They want to line up and stop the run and make you one dimensional in the passing game. When you can knock off a 12- or 15-yard run they get more concerned with plugging that up and now you get holes in the secondary.

"It's all about personnel matchups, too. There will be weeks when you can run the heck out of the football by design and it works out well. In both our Super Bowls, they blitzed the heck out of us and we were obliged to throw the football so it will vary from week to week. But as long as we're effective and yards per rush is up there defenses will have to account for us."


On working with offensive line coach Mike Tice:

"Mike is as good as it gets in the league in terms of an offensive line coach and I think he was a terrific head coach. ... I know him a little bit and am very familiar with him as a teacher and know how his offensive lines have played in the past and think it's a terrific, terrific hire. You couldn't get a better guy for this particular job and this group of young players learning how to play the game."

On Devin Hester:

"We're going to use him like we used Az Hakim [in St. Louis]. Devin Hester in that role could be stupid good if that makes sense to you. What we could do with him inside, the matchups you can get with him on third cornerbacks, safeties and linebackers in some of their defensive schemes would be remarkable. What might be hard for us --- and we haven't talked about it so I might be out of line on this --- but it would be very difficult for him to take every snap at wide receiver and play at a high level on special teams. We need to look at that I think. There are things we need to talk about. The role I have in mind would allow him to do both and do both on a high level."

On Greg Olsen and the tight end position:

"He's a different tight end than I've had in the past but all tight ends now, their first responsibility is they have to be able to put their hand on the line of scrimmage and be a successful blocker. They have to be able to do that job and do it well and then move into [being a] receiver. To just skip by that and say, 'OK, he's a terrific receiver,' well, you may as well put another receiver in there."

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12 Comments

I don't know that Cutler has arrived yet. Yes, he is the most gifted QB the Bears have ever had but his choices this last year caused many turnovers that killed the Bears drives and some of those choices lost games.

QB is certainly about talent, but sometimes having the patience to get the first down instead of throwing into coverage can make a huge difference in a games outcome, field position and the time the defense is on the field, that can win or lose games.

Cutler is good but not great yet, he does not have the game management of a Drew Brees or Peyton Manning. If Martz can help develop that ability in him then, Cutler and the Bears could be special once again.

Despite Lovie's lack of coaching acumen and poor decision making.

I wonder if Martz and I were watching the same quarterback this year. I am a solid Cutler fan, but the glowing comments Martz made were not particularly evident this year except on a few pretty rare occasions. Didn't Martz see some of the overthrows? Didn't he observe passes thrown with no Bear receiver within ten yards? Does Martz have access to films of Cutler performance, and if so, has he watched any of them? Perhaps Cutler will indeed develop into the paragon of quarterback excellence and ability that Martz credits him with already being,but a lot of that has yet to be proven.I hope he starts that proving this yeare.

Paul Manter & dahlillama,

Mike Martz is right on about Cutler. I would bet this is your first year really watching him as a quarterback. If you had watched him in Denver you would have seen all the things Martz is talking about and why he made it to the Pro Bowl. Your assessment is after one season and a season in which he was under constant Duress because of a lack of any offensive line. You don't even take into consideration that he was able to complete difficult throws under duress just as martz states.

It really is tiring listening to you "experts" analyze Cutler and to actually suggest Martz hasn't watched him on film this season is a joke. Save your words because you will be eating them in no time.

Cutler did make some bonehead throws both in Denver and in Chicago. In Denver it was usually when the team was down by so much due to the horrible defense that teams were teeing off and sitting on routes. In Chicago it had more to do with running for his life early and often coupled with everyone going ballistic about him running after the helicopter touchdown. In the first four games he became handcuffed on running and down field throws. If you all remember the Shoop years of nothing more than 5 yards past the line of scrimmage, you'll realize that it is pretty hard to beat 11 men within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage without any plays designed to go more than 8.
Likewise, several of Cutler's interceptions, more than a third, were due to receivers quitting on routes or running wrong routes on timing plays. You can't really fault the QB on those.

What? Darn you Martz Hester is not a Slot reciever, how dare you compare the best reciever in the nfl to Az Hakim, the Rams number three reciever. Johnson, Fitzgerald, Hester, do hear me? Number 1 one, do hear, number 1. Greatest of all time.

Oh and Greg Olsen block? Are you kidding he is a TE? Gosh imagine that Martz wants his TE's to block. Hahahahaha.

I don't even have to say it, Martz says he wants Hester as a number 3 slot reciever and a special teams guy. How many people have been talking about that for the last two years. Now were are the guys who were telling me he was going to use Olsen as a reciever and not to worry about his blocking? Sounds like Martz wants him to block.

I do have one question. Why does Martz refer to the O-Line as being young?

I do love the fact that Martz is just basically comming out and saying, yeah I am going to pass a lot, running? Whats running the ball?

Martz's comment about Olsen is interesting. Since Olsen can't block, does that mean Martz will try to make him a receiver? Or will Martz try to make him learn to block, which is more mental than physical with a player of Olsen's physical talent? Will Martz try to get rid of him and replace him with a real tight end?

I don't like Martz and unless he's changed radically there's nothing he could do that would change my mind, but getting a tight end who can actually block would be a big improvement and might be one positive thing about hiring Martz.

Creighton wrote:
What? Darn you Martz Hester is not a Slot reciever, how dare you compare the best reciever in the nfl to Az Hakim, the Rams number three reciever. Johnson, Fitzgerald, Hester, do hear me? Number 1 one, do hear, number 1. Greatest of all time.

"the best receiver in the NFL" = Hester

Please...J. Knox will be running circles around Hester in NO TIME. Hester hasn't played badly, but he doesn't look like S.Smith either. Receiver is more than speed, its a lot of attitude to fight for the ball and end zone "a la" Brandon Marshall. #1 returner - I think his suggestion is interesting.

I like what Martz had to say. Olsen he said is a good receiver, and needs to learn to block, exactly. I think I am hearing that he says we dont have a running game, but he will work on that. exactly.
And Hester, thats exactly how we should use Hester, slot, but who is No. 1 and so on...we sure have some young WR still. Good but still young. And I agree that Cutler sure had a hard time of it with no running game, no Oline, no good blocking from the TE/RB. Plus the D wasnt up to snuff, so to say that Cutler was throwing away balls? whats he supposed to do? eat it every play? Geez we need an Oline. He was wrong on our young Oline but right on the fact they are still learning..lolol
Actually Williams/Beekman/Omiyale/Shaffer arent too old. If they can get on the field in the correct positions.
awright he made a couple bad choices, but I really feel that you have to consider the situation he was in. He was seriously the only one that contributed on offense, where was the running game?

oh yeah... SAINTS WON!!!!! I live in Indy and THE SAINTS WON!!!!

zibgnew, I said I was a big Curtler fan, which you obviously did not read, and I also specified Cutler "this year." The number of interceptions he threw were not all someone else's fault, and his red zone performance ( partially due to stupid play-calling on Turner's part ) was pathetic. I have commented in previous blogs about the importance of the offensive line and how any quarterback who does not get protection is not going to be able to do much. Martz was right on in his comments in that regard. I agree that Cutler is potentially worthy of the pro bowl, as he was in Denver, but he did not make it this year and definitely did not deserve to make it.

I don't know why you fans even listen to the likes of Martz or Marinelli or Lovie.
The point is...the bears are a 500 team (maybe not even that).
The have 8 games in the 2010 season with this years playoff contenders ( you know...teams that play above 500) and another 3 games against 2008 division champs (that is division champs...not wild cards). There is no pass rush and lovie is going to continue with his strategy of cover-2 (cover-none)and allow good teams (11 to be exact) to pass all day against this defense. There is no free agency (that is...203 players won't be hitting the market) and they don't have a 1st and 2nd round draft pick (not that angelo would know what to do with them). The offensive line stinks. Cutler will continue to run for his life and the running game will continue to run into a brick wall.
That is the only thing you fans have to look forward to. Don't allow these bozos to pull the wool over your eyes.

Val cmon Rod was our first last year and Martz is our 1st this year waddya mean we have no 1sts??? :P

For anyone to suggest that Cutler has indeed arrived, indeed that is a joke. Cutler has the physical tools but has not exhibited consistent elite play to be considered a top 5 NFL QB, not yet. Right now and until Cutler shows that consistency, proves that he is a winner (how many playoff games has he won?) ZERO.

Cutler, such a great QB in 2008 needed to win one game, I think with 6 games to play to have the Donkeys make the playoffs, how many did this elite QB win? ZERO!

How many redzone turnovers did Mr. Elite Cutler have this year and throughout his brief career, lets count, the most in the NFL!

Lets face it, in the real world and in the NFL ultimately production wins out over physical tools. When Mr. Cutler starts to mature and starts to learn consistency, throw to the second or third read to get a first down instead of throwing into coverage, wins games from behind late in the 4th quarter. Then and only then will Mr. Jay Cutler be considered an elite, pro bowl, all pro type QB.

Don't Crown him yet, I guarantee that if Cutler decided to try to walk across lake Michigan he would sink. Cutler does not walk on water. And for those Bears fans that think Cutler has arrived to an elite status, please answer me one question.

What planet have you been living on and can I drink some of your koolaid.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 9, 2010 9:08 AM.

Bennett meets new boss Martz was the previous entry in this blog.

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