Chicago Sun-Times

Martz addresses key issues from Lions game

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Mike Martz and Lovie Smith don't know what all the fuss is about when it comes to Calvin Johnson's touchdown catch that wasn't a touchdown catch.

The Bears coach and offensive coordinator appeared on WBBM's (AM 780) "Bears Insider" Show on Monday night and said there was never any doubt in their minds that Johnson's leaping catch with 25 seconds left in Sunday's 19-14 win over the Lions was not a catch.

"That rule has been in effect for quite some time," Martz told host Jeff Joniak. "It's the only way for an official to evaluate a catch or not. Otherwise, it's just shades of gray -- did he catch or did he not catch It? It's impossible to officiate a game without a clear-cut rule like that. And that rule is not going to change."

"Cut and dried," Smith interjected. "The officials were in agreement right away. Everybody who really counts and knows what's going on were in agreement."

The Bears failure to score on four straight plays from the Lions' 1-yard line midway through the fourth quarter drew loud boos from the Soldier Field crowd. It wasn't the first time it happened in the game, either. The Bears had a third-and-goal from the 1 on their first drive and Forte ended up losing a yard. Robbie Gould kicked a 20-yard field goal.

"It was just execution and preparation," Martz said of the failure. "They were a little bit different on the goal line in what they did by structure and we should've from a coaching standpoint spent more time going over if-they-did-this-we-do-that kind of thing. They did a nice job down there. We just didn't execute some things that we could've and should've. We have to clean that up and we will.

"That leaves a bad taste in your mouth no matter what happens. When you get down to the 1-yard line you want to be able to punch that thing in."

Martz said the idea is to do for Matt Forte what he did for Marshall Faulk when he was coaching the Rams, and that means using him as a receiver as much as a running back, which is what Forte did on Sunday when he had seven catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns, including a twisting, 28-yard game-winner with 1:32 left.

"I don't think there's any question about it. Matt as a receiver is very unique, his ability to change direction and adjust to defenders. We can all see his speed. He's a very difficult guy for guys to match up [with]. I don't care if its a safety or linebacker. We can put him out there against a corner and he'll do well.

Martz was also asked whether calling Cutler out as often as he did was planned or whether the result of an in-game adjustment. Martz said it "just kind of came out that way." The one thing he wanted to do against the Lions was run lots of screen passes, which he did with great success. Forte's 89-yard catch and run came on a screen.

"You're obviously very excited with a win and happy with it and then reality sets in and you look at the details and there's always things to fix and complain about," Martz said. "All in all the effort was outstanding. We were a little nervous in the very beginning. We weren't real sure of ourselves and then we settled in."

Martz said he thought the offensive line, which allowed four sacks and seven quarterback hits, improved as the game went on.

"There are some things we have to clean up, obviously," he said. "We have to protect the football. You're not going to win games like that turning the ball over the way we did."

Smith was as optimistic as ever, saying the positives outweighed the negatives after an uneven performance.

"Look at all the weapons we have," he said. "Just think about when we tighten up a few things how good we could be."

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6 Comments

I agree with Lovie that when they tighten things up they would be extremely good...problem is, I've been waiting since 2006 for them to tighten them up...perhaps Lovie could be more specific about which season he intends to tighten things up?

"Martz said the idea is to do for Matt Forte what he did for Marshall Faulk when he was coaching the Rams"

This is a joke right? He didn't make Marshall Faulk anything. He didn't make Faulk, Faulk made his offense, they where nothing without him.

Faulks second best year came before he ever met Martz he was already a three time Pro Bowler he had 908 recieving yards in 98 a year before he was with the Rams.

As for the Goal line, well that's been a problem for years. Here is hint, first get a better line, second when on the goal line don't pull your guard.

"Look at all the weapons we have," he said. "Just think about when we tighten up a few things how good we could be."

Does Martz know they play good teams this year? You put up 19 points against the worst secondary in football. Hmmmm, I am pretty sure the next three games will not see Martz bragging.

I thought the man called a good game, but cream rises to the top and his 2 starting recievers and starting TE did little. Not to mention his guy BM was lousy, give Clark the job he can block as well or better than BM from what I have seen and he can also catch. The man put two TE next to Williams to help him block at times, if it takes you 7 or 8 guys to block your not going to be high flying. Not many teams will give you broken coverage every other down to throw at.

Hey I have a novel idea! Since it's the first freakin game, a game they actually won, why don't we give them a chance? Is that so hard?

It didn't happen in every game, but every other game I got to watch this weekend somebody sucked on either offense or defense. Somebody who is supposed to be good. Catch the Jets and the Bolts last nite? See them Colts on D? How bout them Cowboys! The 49ers are back and so is Brett Farve! These are all teams who really sucked this weekend in at least one major phase of the game and lost. They are all teams that the "experts" really love.

There was a lot of really sloppy football this weekend and only a small amount was in Chicago. Some of these teams are probably going to be good, but they were not quite ready and need to clean some stuff up. It's the first game of a long season and I saw enough good things out of the Bears to make me think we could have some fun this year. They made some dramatic improvements from the preseason.

The level of play is going to get better across the league. Why do you assume that everyone but the Bears will improve? Why is it impossible that Martz is right? They go back to work and improve their "execution and preparation" on the goal line. They gained over 400 yards for the game, it's remotely possible they can learn to gain 1 when it counts.

To quote Herm Edwards: "you play to win the game". The Bears won the game. Reading most of this drivel, y'all must be related to Chicken Little. The Bears are 1-0 with the arrow pointing up and the sky is bright blue outside my window.

Of course you are right about only scoring 19 points against a weak detroit defense, Creighton, but miscues were as much a factor there as anything else. Without the fumbles and the debacle at first and goal,the offense would have been impressive. Cutler's yardage passingis uneqivocal.I do hope the Bears can get everything together, and they had better do it quickly beccause they do not play Detroit every week.I pick them over the Cowboys with a good deal of insecurity.

Say it MS. Da Bears flashed brilliance and dominance against the Lions. If they settle, remain healthy, and gain confidence, its gonna be a fun year for Bears fans. Did you see how hopeless some teams looked? Cinci? Niners? Carolina gave up Pep and watching Eli was like watching pitch and catch practice-- zero pressure. Some Bear sacked the QB, got the ball lose, and put the QB in a sling. Oh Pep is a Bear! I'm happy Urlacher was all fired up and went down and got flagged. He and Briggs and Pisa and Pep are feelin' a little kick butt momentum comming to Da Bears. Imagine being a Dallas fan now. Dallas is afraid of the Bears D & O! Imagine that their Jerry has more to be concerned about his team than our Jerry has to about his team! Afraid of Da Bears O? Can you imagine last year thinking Da Bears could conceivably be dominant or brilliant? Not happening. We got real hope... Good pickup Jerry on Chester Taylor as well-- dude just plays solid ball. All the pickle juice juggernauts need to go back into the cave Da Bears are coming out of! Peter Pickle and his pied pipers lead your naysayin' crowd of critical expertise on a tour of your dingy cavern-- have a Halloween party with the bats. Wear pumpkins on your heads.

Da Bears beat Dallas 31-17. Think about it. We need to be more afraid of JayC gettin' the big head by being successful than by him being tweetleD moping through monday media offerings-- we got good problems. Almost all of Cutlers picks go reckless down the middle. If Cutler just focuses his bold aggression on long outside patterns and can be more safe in the middle he will be all-pro and have more yards than that cheesehead QB, what's-his-name.

Go Bears.

Yes the Bears had mistakes Paul, but guess what so did the Lions. You had blow coverage on the Forte recieving TD, and pretty much blown coverage, bad angles and poor tackling for the secondary all day. Not every team is going to do that. 19 points against the worst back 7 in football. Turned away 5 times on the goaline, not 4 5 times. Red Zone offense was horrible. Do you think every team in the league will let Forte run 89 yards on a quick screen. If he had put up 19 points against the Jets or Ravens that is one thing, but 19 points against the worst secondary in all of football at home, on a day when no team in the league has any real game film on your offense. Sorry is that suppose to impress me, how many teams do you think are going to give the Bears 150 gift yards a game? How was the rushing attack? Forte is still a running back right?

Paul you defended Lovie when he said it is time to Shut up and play football. And I said that is not what the Bears do, the Bears talk. Well here is Martz and he is not shutting up and playing football he is talking. I am pretty sure that nothing that happened with Faulk or the 99 rams has anything t odo with the Lions game and this team.

Last year the Bears opend the season against GB in GB. It was a sloppy mistake driven game from start to finish. But the Bears defense looked electric, and the Bears offense looked like they had a bad O-Line, no Rushing attack, and a pass oriented offense that made mistakes.

Bears lost that game but it's not really any different than the one I just watched. The team did not change that much. They still have to face a good offense, good offensive lines and teams with good defenses. They have not done any of that yet, they faced a good front 4 and that front 4 kicked the snot out of he Bears line and the Bears where protecting with 6, 7 and 8 all day. Yes the Bears will improve after today, but guess what so does everyone else. Put the same logic you put on the Bears on every team league. You can't just sit their and think well the Bears will make gigantic improvments and every team i nthe league is going to get worse.

I agree with Mouser, it's the same stuff every year, a mistake driven team.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on September 13, 2010 8:42 PM.

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