Chicago Sun-Times

Martz expects improvement in Year 2

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My wide-ranging interview with Mike Martz at the NFL combine resulted in two different pieces. In Monday's editions, he talked about the controversy surrounding Jay Cutler's knee injury and his decision to use Todd Collins --- and not Caleb Hanie --- as Cutler's primary backup in the NFC Championship Game.

In Wednesday's paper, his thoughts on the offensive line, the receiving corps --- Devin Hester in particular --- and tight end Greg Olsen were published.

Finally, here's what he had to say about the improvement he expects next season.

"You had a whole new staff on offense and an offense that is not easy to learn," he said. "Once you learn it it's easy but the initial shock of it can overwhelm guys --- coaches too. Once they get it it's like algebra, you can figure anything out based on what you know. It's really neat that way. It's not rote memorization. When you call a play you don't just call a play you tell everybody what to do. That's unusual. We fought it a little bit early. It seemed like they were overwhelmed. Then it was like, 'OK, that's what it is.' Then things started to go much faster for them."

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There certainly had better be improvement of the offense next year.How long does it take for a team to learn a new offense? These guys have been playing this game all their lives and should not be slow learners. Clearly, at this stage, a dearth of talent on the offensive line is more a factor than anything else.

Hey Neil I red your article and I thought it was intresting. However could you do me a favor and explain one thing to Martz.

Mike Martz on Roberto Garza " [Roberto] Garza played really well at right guard, where he has never played before. "

Someone needs to tell Martz that Garza has spent the last 5 years playing Right Guard. I am so glad he knows his personel so well.

Anyway after reading your article I read an article at the trib that had Tim Ruskell saying basically the same thing.

Not to long ago I heard Angelo say the same thing.

So basically the mouth pieces are out in force and are already making excuses for what they will do in the draft.

The Bears had one of the worst offenses in football last year, but all these guys love everything they did and all the players are the best. The recievers are the best, the O-Line was great at the end of the year. Same O-Line I saw the packers rip apart twice at the end of the season.

Anyway the thing I noticed with Angelo and Ruskell is they seem way more intrested in the defensive line. With the Harris release and Adams a FA, I get that it does need help. I also get the fact that the Bears feel that if the offensive line only gives up 45 sacks and 95 pressures they have had a great year and that's a great line. I have also heard Tice talking about how he want's to start buy building the line from the inside out.

At this point I gotta say I don't see the Bears doing a whole lot for the offensive line. I mean they probably consider brining Olin back a big move and a positive move. When it is actually a lateral move.

29 is a tough spot to find really good first round talent, and I think they are going to have happen what they want to happen. I think the top 4-5 OT's will be off the board so they don't have to worry about fan backlash by skipping one of them, Pouncey will probably be gone and he is the only first round talent at guard(I am not that huge of a fan) but again they don;t have to worry about drafting him or fan backlash for skipping him. It's not a great reciever class out of the first two guys so they don't have to worry about that.

Basically they are in the spot they want to be when they reach for a DT or DE or trade down. And they can do it without much flak.

I was thinking the same thing on his Garza comments...It's a little scary when the coach doesn't know his guys....

The only thing that will mess with your projection is if Carimi slips down to 29. Jerry will love him, and that will be his first round OT to hang his legacy on. Carimi should be able to play 10-12 years at a solid level, and at 29, you aren't risking a ton of money.

But I am starting to think that while Ruskell is discussing the possibility of trading up, it is about as likely as the Cubs winning the World Series this year. I think we will see a trade down, because I believe they will want Marvin Austin and Dowling in the second round. Recurring hamstring injuries will make Dowling too attractive for Jerry the medic to resist. I bet they try and rehab Romeus for the DE spot (round 4), and will take a couple of guards or a guard and a center in the mid rounds.

You are probably right, but I hope you're wrong, Creighton. I really would like to see a solid o-line draft for the Bears, maybe trading up if feasible.

Tra Tra Tra Tra trade.... ubbb, opppp, apppp, TRADE UP???? RUSKELL!!!!

Maybe if it was a DT I reallt liked. I shoed Tice Tice the Martz quote about Garza, he was just shaking his head.

Now what Martz meant to sya was Roberto tried playing left guard a poistion he has never played before, well he played there the first few years he was in the league and a few times for us, so what he really really meant to say was Center. Even thought he didn't play Center for us last year?????

Why can't he just be not say anything to anyone ever. I would have a talk with him right now but he and Lovie are playing Lovie chess. I want to tell them it is really connect 4 but I am affraid they would both get upset, like the time they said they were playing Texas Hold'em but it was really candy land.

I love me some starvin Marvin Austin, did you know a ton of teams have taken him off their boards because of all his character concers. It's down to me and Al Davis to get him as fast as possible even though he will probably drop like a rock. I gotta have me a good character guy like him.

Trade up??? Hahahaha, Trade down, that's what I am talking about, get me a nice 7th round pick and a couple of others, gonna draft me some home cookin. After all if you put all your muffins in one pantry, then your chances of finding a bell cow goes up and you can then have some fresh milk with your muffins. Or you can put the milk in your coffee and have muffins and coffee with milk in it. See what I am sayin?

I definately expect improvement on the offense next year. Even though they were below average in the league for the year, there were times last year when they were almost unstoppable. There were also times when they would have been better off punting on first down.

In other words, they were really inconsistent. Another year in the system will almost certainly improve consistency.

It sounds strange, but the Bears have too many "good" football players. But they don't have enough elite players. Except to eliminate a few positions like quarterback, kicker, and middle linebacker, I hope they don't even look at what position a prospect plays when they draft. They need to take the highest rated player on the board whenever they do pick.

I believe the Bears don't have a postion that you could point to the starter and say: "they can't win a Super Bowl unless they get rid of that guy." What they do have is a need to raise the talent level of the whole team and get a few more blue chip players in the mix. You do that by drafting for talent, not position of need.

The offensive line is a micro look at the whole team in this respect. For example Omiyale has the talent level to be a solid swing tackle, but is probably in the bottom third of the league as a starting left tackle. However I believe the Bears could win with Omiyale if the other 4 linemen were solid. You could say that about any of the O-line starters.

Picking at 29, I am more interested in free agents on the O-line for next year's team. Pro linemen take awhile to develop. The chance of improving the O-line through the draft is good, but the chances of improving next year's line through the draft is pretty low. If they draft even one starter for next year, it would be unusually lucky.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on March 2, 2011 8:10 AM.

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