Chicago Sun-Times

Mike Martz: "Sure, I would like to be back"

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While Mike Martz said he wanted to return, Bears coach Lovie Smith was outraged when asked if he planned to bring back his offensive coordinator.

"What kind of question is that, anyway?" Smith said. "At this time, what kind of question is that? Why would you ask a question like that anyway?"

The future of Martz has been a talking point for months now, with an assortment of issues cropping up since he turned down an extension that didn't include a raise. Then, last month, Martz was connected with a couple of college openings, although nothing ever materialized.

The Bears offense was playing well, during a 7-3 start. But it's struggled since, and the unit is now ranked 20th in the league.

Asked about his future, Martz said, "Obviously I sure would like to be back.

"I think all that stuff works out. This is going to be a great football team, and I'd like to be a part of it. We'll see how it works out. But we'll address that when the season is over."

Asked if he's received any indication, Martz said, "All those kinds of things, I would never discuss.

"I've addressed it. Hopefully, it works out. Then we'll go from there."

He was also asked if injuries factor into the decision on him.

"You know, I'm not going to get into all that stuff," he said. "I'm not going to discuss anything like that."

As his second season as the Bears offensive coordinator comes to a close, Martz was asked if the unit is where he'd like it to be.

"You know, the offense changes every year, because the personnel changes every year," he said. "So you take it in a different direction just a little bit, whether it's linemen or receivers or the quarterback; whoever it might be.

"This offense will never be established. We always try to be flexible enough to move it towards what we need to do to win. So, I'm not trying to dodge your question. But we're different from a year ago, just based on who we have and some of the things we're doing."

Asked if there's unfinished business, Martz said, "Well, yeah.

"I think when you lose those guys like we did. We were just getting kind of rolling."

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Martz isn't appreciated enough. It's been years and years, maybe forever, since we ran plays outside the guards, speaking of whom we actually ask to pull and run, like we once did with Mark Bortz. We run screens better than we have for years. We throw at every depth: slants, outs, ins, goes. He has how many wide receivers to throw to I ask?
He had to reduce his playbook because our offensive line couldn't keep anyone out, particularly our tackles. And Cutler is no easy case. Martz has never had to rely on such inaccuracy. The problem is Angelo, not Martz.

Martz has not deserved all that much appreciation since he came to the Bears. I was all in favor of him when the Bears got him and am certainly in favor of his coming back next season, but more because I want to see how Cutler and the receiving corps do after finally learning his system than any other reason. I have hopes that a healthy offensive line with Camimi and Williams both in there will give Cutler and the receivers time to finalize and polish the Martz approach.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on December 28, 2011 4:05 PM.

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