Chicago Sun-Times

Martz can help Hester, Muhammad says

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Former Bears receiver Muhsin Muhammad said he believes new offensive coordinator Mike Martz can help Devin Hester's development as a receiver.

In an interview during the Waddle and Silvy Show on ESPN 1500, Muhammad likened Hester to Steve Smith, the Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl receiver, who started his career as a return specialist.

"One of the things that we did in Carolina (for Smith) is we kept it simple," said Muhammad, who played with both Smith and Hester. "You don't need a lot of plays or be complicated with what you're doing in order to make plays and be successful.

"I think Mike Martz is a guy that can come in and create opportunities for Devin Hester make it simple for him and just make him play fast and not have him think as much on the field. So if that occurs he can be that guy. I mean he has all the physical tools to be that guy."

Muhammad admitted he wasn't "that big of a fan of Ron Turner," and he called the hiring of Martz a "great move."

But Muhammad took a swipe at the Bears recent history with receivers, noting how he, Justin Gage and Bobby Engram had success after leaving Chicago.

"I would love to see Devin Hester be the number on guy. I would love to see Devin Hester have a successful career in Chicago," Muhammad said. "So prove me wrong is what I'm saying."

Muhammad spoke glowingly of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, recalling a game when he was with the Panthers and Cutler was still in Denver.

"Jay Cutler just came out and flat out threw the ball," Muhammad recalled. "He was dropping dimes in the holes. I mean he was threading the needle. He has all the intangibles."

Interestingly, though, Muhammad may have been referring to a Dec. 14, 2008, game against the Broncos in Charlotte. The Panthers won that game 30-10, and Cutler was just 21 of 33 for 172 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

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4 Comments

How great would it be if Hester really started to resemble Tory Holt in his prime, now that would be special. Lets only hope MM is right. One thing is certain it will be a very interesting year and I certainly hope for the best, like sweeping the Lions, Packers and ViQueens.

I agree with Muhammad in that Martz's scheme is receiver friendly, Hester should put up some pretty good numbers. I just don't know if Hester will ever be a #1. I think the other Devin, Aromashodu that is, has the makings of a #1. The guys got good size at 6-2, enough speed to stretch the field, and pretty good hands. The lights really came on for Aromashodu late last season, over the last 4 games he had 22 catches. The kid might be ready to be a pretty good NFL receiver in year 5.

I would have liked to see Chicago keep Hester strictly as a return specialist vs a full-time receiver. Hester could have been the best returnman in the history of the game had he been kept there fulltime. I would have made his job to return kicks-punts first, and maybe come in as a slot receiver for 10-14 snaps a game. Having Hester back returning kicks-punts would have helped the offense out big time, heck, even when they kick the ball away from Hester Chicago would be getting the ball at the 40 giving them great field position. Hopefully I get proved wrong and Hester comes on as a receiver, he's already a pretty solid wideout. But in the end, I see Johnny Knox and Aromashodu being the top wideouts for Chicago GO BEARS!!

So now Hester is Steve Smith cause they both made returns? Look Smith and Hester are not very similar in their approaches to the game, Smith may be samll but he goes out there and bangs, the guy likes contact and more times than not he is kicking some corners tail. Smith and Hester just don't play the same. Most recievers put up good numbers in the Martz offense, thats what happens when you throw the ball all the time. Mike Furrey had a 1000+ in this offense and that was his first year as a reciever. He was a safety the first three years of his nfl career. Sean McDonald had 900 yards his first year as a reciever as well with Martz, in detroit. It didn't actually make them good, he just threw the ball a lot. Look at them now. The offense was still bad as well and they had two other recievers on that team named Roy Williams and Calvin Johnosn who where drawing just a bit of the defenses attention. The offense in detroit did not score a lot of passing TD's and had more int's than TD's in his time there. They had a better O-Line than the Bears had too. Plus Martz does not actually help the running game, in fact it usually gets worse. Not the first time they tried an offense like this with Lovie either, 2004.

I did not know Moose wasn't a big fan of Turners, who would have thought that? So the number now stands at 8 million(population of chicago land area) and 1.

I guees we will see what we see, at least Martz has a personality.

Well Kevin many people see that as the right Wideout tandem for the Bears. Except the Bears, who have Hester and Knox as the starters so far. Which is fine in terms of what they did, but it will be hard for DA to beat out Hester who seems to be implanted at the position no matter what he does. Knox was better than Bennett, I think Bennett was better than Hester though. Better hands and routs thats for sure. Its to bad most of the Bears recievers are prototypical slot guys. If Martz has enough power it would be nice to see DA get a shot. But considering its a new offense and how hard it is to replace a starter on this team, I don't see it happening.

I don't know how TD friendly the Martz offense is without Faulk, Holt and Bruce. I mean those guys put up insane numbers, sick crazy numbers. I get the feeling we will be seeing a big rise in FG attempts for the Bears. Like a really big rise. One of the RB's is also going to need to be able to turn the corner in the red zone. I don't think they have the speed for that.

Offenses usually improve after Martz gets there. Can't stand his style or attitude, though. And I don't think that his style fits the Bear personnel or the weather in Chicago after October. Like Muhammad said, I'd be happy for him to prove me wrong.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on June 15, 2010 3:46 PM.

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