Chicago Sun-Times

Martz showers praise on Cutler after Piccolo Awards

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Mike Martz said Tuesday that quarterback Jay Cutler is so smart it can be "intimidating."

The Bears' offensive coordinator spoke to reporters after the ceremony honoring center Olin Kreutz and rookie receiver Johnny Knox as recipients of the Brian Piccolo Award, which is given each year to the veteran and rookie who best exemplify courage, loyalty, dedication and sense of humor.

"Better than I thought," Martz said when asked how his relationship with the franchise quarterback was progressing. "I've got to smile because he has just been remarkable, he really has. He's so intelligent he can intimidate you. He really can. He is extremely bright, one of the smartest people I've been around. He's very humble, though. He loves this game. He has great passion for what he does."

Martz said he has yet to begin installing his system in earnest and is instead working with players on their fundamentals.

"We started with him with how he holds his hands under center to his stance underneath the center just like he was a high school quarterback," Martz said of Cutler. "We go back and re-train all the basic fundamentals the way we see it and he's bought into everything we do. He's been a dream for me. I couldn't ask for a better situation."

Coach Lovie Smith said the offense will score "a lot of points" next season. Martz sees now reason why it can't after examining the roster and seeing players during offseason workouts.

"The system allows you so much flexibility that you can take it in any direction you want to go," Martz said. "You can bend it toward the personnel you have but certainly when you look at the personnel in this group I don't see any limitations. This is going to be fun. This is as excited as I've been in a long time going into a season."

Martz went onto dismiss persistent speculation that Greg Olsen will not have a primary role in an offensive system that in the past has not emphasized the tight end.

"If there's a player who doesn't fit a system and he's a good player there's something wrong with the system, don't you think?," Martz said. "We will give everybody an opportunity."

Kreutz won the Piccolo Award, which is voted on by Bears' players, for a record fourth time and dedicated the honor to his fellow offensive linemen.

"You don't know until the pads go on and the season starts," the veteran said when asked how the line will perform in Martz's offense. 'I was just speaking to last year and how proud I was of the guys. A lot of times, when one group is receiving that much criticism, inside the room guys will turn on each other and not want to play together anymore and that did not happen in our room. Guys kept working hard together, playing together and working to get better. I think it showed at the end of the year. We didn't make the playoffs but the O-line continued to get better."

Kreutz said he was almost "100 percent" after undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur from near his Achilles tendon. He also said he is excited to work with Martz and new offensive line coach Mike Tice.

"Mike Martz and Mike Tice have been everything as advertised," he said. "They are two of the top offensive minds in the business and it has been obvious since we started."

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7 Comments

I'm sure all the haters will explode, but "...doesn't fit the system.....a good player, there's something wrong with the system." That's exactly what you want to hear from a coach. That's a coach that's saying he will "take his'n and beat your'n, then take your'n and beat his'n." (Who said that by the way?).

After their Detroit stints, I think there is a good chance both Marinelli and Martz really are looking forward to this year. Compared to Detroit, the Bears do have something for them to work with. There are a lot of good coaches who can tear down a team and rebuild with players that fit their system. It takes a great coach to take what he has and adjust the scheme to their talents. It won't happen over night, but I think that is what will happen to the Bear's offense as this year goes along.

"Martz went onto dismiss persistent speculation that Greg Olsen will not have a primary role in an offensive system that in the past has not emphasized the tight end."

"If there's a player who doesn't fit a system and he's a good player there's something wrong with the system, don't you think?," Martz said. "We will give everybody an opportunity."

Actually I think he did the opposite. Is Olsen a good player? He is an ok reciever but a very bad blocker. If he wanted to dismiss the Olsen speculation he could just say he thinks he is a great TE and is not worried about his blocking. But he didn't do that. He said Olsen needed to improve his blocking. His blocking which is what all the speculation is about. He didn't say Olsen was a great player, he said his blocking wasn't good enough. He also didn't say he would start at TE.

By the way I would take at least 10-15 centers over Olin at this point in his career and I am pretty sure Mangold is the standard.

"take his'n and beat your'n, then take your'n and beat his'n." (Who said that by the way?).

Bum Phillips - I am pretty sure.

Former Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips said this about Don Shula: "He could take his'n and beat your'n, or he could take your'n and beat his'n" - One of the best quotes in sports history!

Of course it was Bum! Thanks guys.

Creighton, Mike Ditka was once asked about Walter Payton being a great player. He said that yes, Payton was good, but needed to improve his upper body strength.

Follow the game for a little while. You will notice football coaches are not in the business of telling players that they are already good enough and don't need to improve.

MS actually I remember Mike Ditka saying that, he also claimed while Walter was playing that Walter was the best ever. By the way that quote you are refering to was Ditka being openly sarcastic. This is what Ditka said about Payton "the best football player I've ever seen." So thats the end of that story.

This is the quote by Martz that I found intresting. "'If there is a player who can't fit a system, then there is a problem -- if he is a good player -- with the system'"

Note he justifies the statement with "if he is a good player--with the system." Its not to say Martz is saying Olsen is bad but when Lovie followed it up later with not all are TE's are TE's then that tells me things have changed. Its not even to say Olsen is bad either. Is he a bad blocker? Yes. But is he a bad pass recieving TE? No. But is he bad in this system? It would seem so. A few weeks ago both Martz and Lovie suggested and mentioned the H-Back role when refering to Olsen. So I am actually tying all those articles together with my line of thinking.

I don't know a lot of teams that spend first round picks on limited roll H-Backs who currently hold 4th to 5th round value while being in their prime.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on April 20, 2010 10:45 AM.

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