Chicago Sun-Times

Players enthusiastic about offensive schemes

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Here's the early version of a story that appeared in Thursday's editions:

The more Bears players learn about Mike Martz's offense the more enthusiastic they seem to be about what it and they can accomplish.
"It spins every day," receiver Devin Hester said when asked if he has gotten his head around the new offensive coordinator's schemes. "There's a pop quiz every day. We go home and study and have a test coming up the next day."

The Bears are going back to school this summer. The Xs and Os they have been digesting appear to be paying off, as the offense appeared much more polished during Wednesday's organized team activity that it had during a veteran minicamp held in mid-May, although it remains very much a work in progress.

The Bears have another week of organized team activities before coaches and players take time off before reporting to training cap in Bourbonnais on July 29.

"He has got 50 to about 100 different formations and you can run five or six plays out of each formation," Hester said. "It's a lot of plays."

Earlier Wednesday, quarterback Jay Cutler continued to rave about his receivers during an interview on the "Waddle and Silvy Show" on WMVP (AM-1000). It has been a common theme since Cutler arrived before last season. This time, the quarterback said the team wasn't in need of a veteran such as Terrell Owens.

"[Devin Aromashodu] is having another great camp," Cutler said during the interview. "Juaquin [Iglesias] has definitely stepped up his game from last year. He's shown some great improvement. We've got four or five guys that are really battling it out and doing well in this system."

One receiver who has received much attention is Rashied Davis, who shined during Wednesday's workout, catching two touchdown passes during drills. He would've had three if he hadn't juggled a ball in the back of the end zone.

Davis has primarily been a backup and special teams player during his six-year career.

"I don't know," Davis said when asked how much of Martz's offense the team has learned thus far. "I'm not in that man's head. You have to ask Mr. Martz. I don't know how many plays there are. We have a lot. I don't know if that's half of the playbook or what."

In other news, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told senior writer Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com that he won't pursue free-agent safety O.J. Atogwe.

"He's a good football player," Angelo said during his bi-monthly interview on the team's website. "We've evaluated him and we like him. But at this point, we're set. We drafted Major Wright and traded for Chris Harris. We also have Danieal Manning, Craig Steltz and Josh Bullocks, all of whom have started in this league. We have five pretty good safeties, four of whom have a goodly amount of experience within our scheme. We feel good about that position."

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15 Comments

Yeah right, they need to be more concerned about the pass rush!

This offense may be just the ticket for the Bears Offensive Line. We all know that the Bears do not come off of the bus running any longer and that the Bears O line is not designed to road grade down the field.

This O line is better designed to protect the passer than to run block. Chris Williams albeit still very young seems to have a keen knack for blocking against the pass rush. Omaliyale also appears to be a better pass blocker than run blocker, but we still have a lot to learn about him and whether he will have a freeway running through him to the QB this year.

The interior of the line LG, C, RG, really who knows but we all know that run blocking has been suspect for awhile and their pass blocking also is suspect.

The tightend position should really help in the blocking schemes with the addition of Manumaleuna and Desmond Clarke. Will Olsen step up with his blocking, maybe not but he should be open for a lot of yardage in the passing game.

Overall, the Bears o line is better suited to this new Martz offense than to an offense where they have to dominate the D line in the run game, to win the game.

I hope the defense can hold up because usually Martz's offense's do not control the Time of Possession, so the offense better score often and not lead the league in turnovers as the defense will wear out pretty quickly after halftime.

All this enthusiasm and optimisim seems almost forced to me. This is OTA's guys are in shorts doing drills with not tackling and no blocking. The Bears hype campaign is really off the charts this year, and that worries me more than everything. Much of the media is buying into it to. But you can't tell anything from OTA's, the fact that the Bears hype machine is over drive may suggest the Bears are worried about this team. They are really building themselves up of late, well the bigger they are the harder the fall.

Everyone is suddenly great according to the Bears, Bad players are suddenly amazing players, because they did a drill during OTA's??? What coach or team would base what they see in OTA's as what they believe their season will be. I don't see any team in the nfl throwing this much hype out there and I don't see anyone eating it up as much as the local media.

Outside of what the local media has said, their ar esome reports out there that are saying the exact opposite about OTA's as the media. Dan Pompei actually wrote an article for the trib saying that it would be good for the Bears offense to throw more interceptions because it will help the defense get more shots at turnovers by facing the opposing offense more often. He also stated the Martz offense will help Cutler become one of the leaders in TD's this year as opposed to his poor TD totals from last year. Cutler finished 6th in the nfl in TD's, he was tied with Brady. Thats really really good.

What next Cutler being sacked more often will be good for him because when he is not sacked he will appreciate it more?

Why is Al Afalava name never mentioned he was only a rookie last year. He should be much better this year with experience.

If you are provided with the knowledge that there will be a "pop quiz" given the following day, take this material and study; then, said quiz would no longer be a "pop" quiz. I hate to be picky, but maybe someone should have been given more English "pop quizes" in school...

Again, the statement made by Jerry Angelo is a bit concerning as it is part of the continual rhetoric that the man states each and every year. I can understand that he doesn't want to publicly show concern and wants to keep things positive; however, the safety position has been a true sore spot for several years; one of which they have not solved! Why would we believe that, all of the sudden, Jerry and Lovie have a solution and are comfortable with the situation? The Cover 2, that there defensive scheme is built upon, relies upon pressure up front and I believe there will be a significant upgrade in that regard. But, the defensive backfield is still very concerning and, mark my words, be the downfall of the defense this season.

Good morning sports fans.
I'm glad there is a pop quiz everyday. Mike's offense is the most complex offense in NFL history and Da Bears don't need any idiots on the field who don't understand the very very very complex scheme. Unless you believe Moose. For all of those who are very concerned with the Bear defense, it looks as if the NFL is going the way of offense. Prolithic offenses are what teams need to make the playoffs. Colts, Cardinals, Packers, Saints. You don't have to like it but it is time the Bears are ahead of the pack in trends instead of the last one to the party.
I remember watchin Jimmy Johnson's Cowboys defeating the 92 Bears easily because as the Monday Night Crew said, The Bears are old and slow. The Bears were totally outschemed. I don't know about you fans but I'm frustrated to watch Ron Turnerer outschemed every game. Finally an OC who is smarter with the other team's defensive coordinator. The guy won with Jon Kitna! That is the only thing he should have on his resume. Instant hire.
Don't underestimate smarts, Patriots, play smart, Colts smart, Saints, smart, Bears? would you say the Bears have ever been a smart offense? or just muscle? Muscle have got us 1 SuperBowl victory in 30 years.

It starts up front, thats why the Julius Peppers signing was key. Had Angelo went out and payed O.J. Atogwe vs Peppers, we'd be in a little trouble right now. Atogwe will be 29 by the time camp starts and had durability problems last season, he only played in 12 games in 2009. Atogwe is a ballhawk, but what good would he have done without a guy like Peppers up front. Maybe Chicago could get Atogwe for cheaper right now because there doesn't seem to be any takers for Atogwe services. But again, he's not getting any younger and isn't the best vs the run either. I like the idea of going with a younger guy like rookie Major Wright. He's younger, is good in run support, and has enough athleticism to be effective covering the deep half vs the pass. Once Wright is ready to start, him and Chris Harris should give Chicago a pretty good combo at safety GO BEARS!!

Is Creigton a Bears fan at all? It seems he looks for every reason to hate the Bears? Or is he Mike Schlereth? If you don't like the Bears C leave and don't give me that whole I'm being realistic nonesense. No one knows how good or bad the Bears will be so why not be optomistic? There are good signs Da Bears will be better. If you want someone to pick on look at yourself and be better.

1985-2010. Lets count the years. Hmmmmm 25 years Peter.

Well Peter its ok to be positive, but their is a difference from being positive, and not being honest. The Bears are not saying we have hopes, they are saying everyone is the best ever and everything is fixed.

Now if you don't like what I write don't read it, last I checked it was a free country and I will write and say whatever I like. By the way the guy actually didn't win with Kitna and Kitna's best year was with Bengals not Martz. Unless yo uconsider throwing more int's than TD's good.

Now if you want to know the way of the nfl, I will tell you. While offense is big, the trend is also aggressive zone blitzing defenses. They don't have to be great but they do have to be aggressive and disrupt the QB. The bend don't break is dead. If you haven't figured this out yet Peter, you assume that all the Bears are Smart, I am gonna say your a little off on that.

If Martz is so great, why was he fired 3 times in 4 years, out of work and the only team to offer him a job in two years was the Bears? He is so smart that in his last 7 seasons as a coach his teams had 1 winning record. Oh yeah he is the man. 1 Winning record in 7 seasons.

I do love the way you tried to justify yourself as a fan by mentioning the 92 cowboys game. Boy are you smart, way to justify yourself as a guy who knows football.

"If you want someone to pick on look at yourself and be better." What does this mean by the way? I mean you tell me not to say anything bad about the Bears, and make personal attacks. Maybe you should try being a little better, you did attack me after all. Not the other way around, and you are trying to control what I say beciase you don't like it. So you don't believe in freedom of speech either. I notice you didn't go after Jim or Ed. Why just me? Hmmmm, sounds familer. Tell me Peter when was the first time you posted on this blog? How many of my post have you read? Do you read anyone elses posts?

By the way let me know when I am wrong about the Bears. I would love to be wrong about the Bears. In fact everytime I am wrong about the Bears something really good happens. So please let me know when that happens. I actually wish I wasn't write as much as I am. By the way I wasn't really talking so much about the Bears as I was about certain media members. Unless you agree with Pompei that more int's for Cutler is good for the team? As usual another person who does not know how to read a post. Perhaps you can go complain to the Admins that I should be banned or I am putting words in your mouth, on a blog, where everything is typed and thus documented.

Did someone change their name again because I hurt their feelings? By the way great insight into the Bears, talking abbout a 92 game that serves no basis for today's Bears or NFL. Oh and thanks for the insight on the league is leaning towards offense, you really wowed the posters with that one. Oh and thanks for telling me not to be real, perhaps I should be a phony instead. Is that what you are?

By the way according to your logic, I should be happy wit hBP because I am optmistic they will stop the leak. I would actaully prefer they got it right the first time and skipped the disaster.

I will be optimistic when the Bears give me something tangible to be optimistic about. Certain writers claiming nothing but greatness from every position and coach on the team does not make me optimistic, it makes me question that writer. Which is exactly point of what I wrote.

25 years or not, 1 year without a superbowl is too long. Creighton as far as free speech goes you are correct. I have been a Bears fan since Jim H. first game. I don't like what you have to say because it is not rooted in fact. With all the problems the Chicago Bears had last year they finished 7-9. The talent on the field and coaching is better than it was last year so reason says the Bear will have a better record this year.
As far as Martz goes, Dick V. said Martz never wanted the head coaching job in St. Louis. and Tony D. was fired from the Bucs. Tom C. was fired from the Jaguars, and wasn't Bill B. fired from the Browns? Shall I go on? Marty S. was fired by the Chiefs, and Mike S was fired by the Bronocs. With what you and other people on other boards are saying is none of these people can coach because they were fired. Management is such a great evaulator of talent everytime.
Martz was coaching the Lions as an offensive coordinator with a head coach who lost everygame he coached, in two years. He decisions as a head coach are in question because of this. Martz did his part, with Matt Millan as General Manager the Lion imporved with Martz. Millan drafted how many probowlers on offense?
In San Francisco Martz coached #1 pick who never make the field under Martz and a qb from the NFL Europe who is playing where now?
A horrible offensive line, no proven WR under 30 and......a head case of a tight end who got sent to the showers during a game. Once again with all of this the offense improved.
Mike had a great resume, however you can't make a great offense without talent, something someone should tell the Denver Broncos head coach. In Chicago there is talent more than in Martz's previous 2 stops. If the trend continues the offense will be better, who knows maybe much better. But it isn't hard to get better than Ron T's offense.
I'll see how the Bears' offense does in it's first year against other teams' offense in their first year.

By Creighton on June 18, 2010 2:55 PM

"By the way the guy actually didn't win with Kitna and Kitna's best year was with Bengals not Martz."


If I remember correctly, didn't the Lions win the first 6 of 8 in 2006 or 2007? I have to agree with Peter on the point that this is Martz's best team since the Rams. I understand Creighton's cynicism, I really do (even if it rubs people the wrong way, even me sometimes). Pragmatic analysis says the Bears' additions while upgrades, still rely heavily on consistent gameday execution and effective coaching. I'm talking about player development and draft/trade strategies too. Chicago hasn't done so well in these departments since right before Super Bowl 41. Though I give them their due for making some long-awaited changes in their mindset and personnel. I still feel we really could've used Gaines Adams, who had a lot of talent (like Anderson), but with a lot more chance of producing soon (unlike Mark). But, while I miss the guy's ethic and promise, we probably wouldn't have seen Peppers in a Bears uniform if he still were with us (rest in peace bro). In my opinion, Ogunleye or Brown would've started alongside a Adams/Anderson combo.

finally peter words of wisdom by a true bears fan and asmart analyst...creighton? i have no words for. peter is right without talent your offense goes nowhere. the bears have 3 of the most dangerous wide recievers in the league given their age agility and speed. hester, knox, and aromashodu will have break out years, what safty or linbacker would be able to stick with any of them in the slot. Should Hester be #1? yes he earned that but there is no such thing as a predetermined number 1 reciever it all depends on the qb. Besides with all the motioning martz offense has hester would run plenty of routs from the slot. devin aromashodu would run seem rutes up the sideline and knox will also dothe same. martz offense is unpredictable with talent which makes it so deadly.. creighton you are right about one thing, its crazy how "bad" players are appearing to be good. NO... good players + bad OC are appearing to do well in a scheme with a great OC..
DEFENSE.... first off, in the cover 2 your entire defense is based on pressure. if you have a great D line, amazing linbacker core, the most average secondary can look great.. what you dont understand is that any team that plays the bears has to make adecision on whom they are goingto double team... peppers or harris. either of them in a 1on1 situation is deadly. also the bears are blitz'ers so now you have to worry about increase pressure from either briggs urlacher or pito/ maybe hillenmeyer.. also if we are in the nickel daniel manning or anyother db for that matter whom the DC wants to blitz. see im not going to bring up old games or whatnot im thinking ahead.
i base what i say off of the talent i see in a player, and right not the bears havethat talent to massacre anyteam they want... even if the offense doesnt score much our defense would win games. i guarantee, and this a blind guarantee, that the bears would churn out many turnovers this years especially pick 6's against this pass happy league we call the nfl. why? because they will not be able to stop our d line. and a strong d line forces bad throws and with db's like zack bowman, charles tillman,d manning, chris harris lb urlacher andbriggs, and even rookie major wright back in coverage. there will be plays made

Combining pickmeister Jay the ponk with Aunt Blabby Mike Martz's offensive "scheme"
(and I DO mean "offensive")

will only render a serious challenge to Lil' Abner Favre's alltime interception record.

Secondaries are already salivating at the chance to read film, send pressure, and jump routes.

Our 'savior' Jay will only enlarge his stoop-shouldered, pouty / whiny morphodite sumbitch posture when he,
thanks to Mike Martz's old St. Louis offense,
takes ownership of the NFL's alltime pick-six single-season record.

Oh the humanities!

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on June 17, 2010 9:17 AM.

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