Chicago Sun-Times

Will he or won't he? Lovie has big decision on Martz

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Bears coach Lovie Smith said he wanted a little time to evaluate things before figuring out the Mike Martz situation. But there are more indications that he wants to make a change than maintain the status quo.

The decision on Martz is the most immediate quandary facing Smith and the Bears after an 8-8 season that hinged on Martz' offense: Jay Cutler was never better as a Bear during the five-game winning streak that put the Bears at 7-3 and a serious contender to the Packers in the NFC. But Martz quickly became the culprit when Caleb Hanie crapped out after Cutler suffered a broken thumb.

"We did a lot of good things offensively and we're evaluating everything and Mike's a part of that. So I can't tell you,'' when asked if Martz would return in 2012. ''Mike is a guy who's been around a few years. I haven't had a chance to sit down with Mike to see exactly which way he wants to go, and which way we want to go."

Smith was told that Martz, who finished a two-year contract this season, said last week he wants to return.

"I have to sit down with Mike and I haven't done that,'' Smith said. ''There's a process I go through each year and I haven't done that."


Smith said he would try to figure out the Martz situation and also that of special teams coordinator Dave Toub -- also out of contract -- ''as soon as possible. But that could take some time, too.''

It's all conjecture at this point. But one indication that Smith either is going to make a change, is leaning toward making a change or will end up making a change was when he downplayed one of the biggest reasons for keeping Martz -- that forcing an offense that already is offensively challenged to learn a new system would put the Bears back to Square One.

"In an ideal world you would have the same coaches the entire time that players are here. It just doesn't work that way in the NFL,'' he said. ''I think you look at each situation in the NFL a little differently. If that's the case and you can do that, then fine. But that hasn't been the case for us. We've had coaches change. Most places you have coaches that leave, and players that leave, where you can't do that. But I think players adjust fairly well.''

Some key players are on record as being in favor of Martz returning, which normally doesn't mean a whole lot, but might in this situation because Martz isn't exactly a beloved or player-friendly coordinator.

''We were 7-3 at one point because he was our offensive coordinator,'' said center Roberto Garza, the team's offensive captain. ''He's a great coach. And knows exactly how to motivate us and get us going. You'd like to have continuity. So we'd like to have him back. But it's out of our hands.

Martz's offense ''is my comfort zone. I think it's everybody's comfort zone,'' wide receiver Roy Williams said. ''I think Jay has progressed under Mike Martz -- had a tough first year, but this year he got it. It takes a while for people to learn this offense and he got it. I don't think that, me personally, I don't think we should change, because we'd be starting over again.''

But not everybody thinks it would be that big of a deal to change coordinators again.

''That would be tough to do, but it happens all the time,'' running back Matt Forte said. ''You've got to learn the playbook. When Coach Martz first came in, we learned his plays and did pretty well. It's just when there's no consistency and having to change the playbook and all that, that makes it a little more tough."

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9 Comments

''We were 7-3 at one point because he was our offensive coordinator,'' Well if that's the argument then you went on a 5 game losing streak because of Martz as well and in your last win of the season you managed to crank out 7 points on offense. Yeah 7-3 because of Martz. You were 7-3 because of the defense, special teams, Cutler and Forte. Every year Martz has been here he has had to be taken to the wood shed by his own damn team.

Are you kidding me? It's the wrong damn system for Cutler. Is the is the system you want for the Bears? Look at the Packers how long have the been running that WCO? Almost 2 decades, they draft for it, they excell in finding players for it and they know it inside and out. It fits everything they like to do and want to do. The Bears have been looking for an offensive system for how long? Is this the system? How many teams run this system? You see a lot of Martz disciples running around the nfl? Oh boy look how think my play book is and look how complex it is. Lets be the only team in the nfl that doesn't audible. You know how many offensive plays the Giant's have? 30. They ranked 5th in passing yards, 8th in yards per game, and 9th in scoring. 30 plays.

You know when the Bears offense got better? When they started running less and less of the Martz offense. Lovie does not care about the team, he cares about his friends, he cares about looking like he is right about something, he cares about the defense, but he does not care about the offense, Cutler, Forte or the fans. It's all about his defense, he hates having to deal with the offense, he hates having to use draft picks for the offense or sign FA for the offense. It's all about trying to make his defense look good and hooking up his friends like Babich, and Martz.

Lovie fire Martz? Yeah right, the only way he isn't back is if someone above Lovie pushes him out. Martz never should have been here to begin with, but Lovie didn't care about what kind of personel he had, all he cared about was hooking up his buddy. Well guess what Lovie will be in another make or break year next year, the second time in 3 years he finds himself in that situation. If he is such a good coach why is he finding himself in these situations? Why have the Bears only been to the playoffs 3 times in his 8 years?

Oh and just a thought, but Matt Flynn just threw 5 td's for the Packers. That's as many TD's as Hanie and McCown have thrown in 6 games combined. So I guess good talent and the right system can actually effect how a QB performs. Maybe the Bears will learn this one day.

But I am glad the Bears had such a great win yesterday, sure the Vikings had a few mistakes that cost them the game. And yes the Bears almost lost to a 3rd string QB and only managed to score 7 points using the vaunted greatest show on turf offense, while playing on turf. But hey what do you expect no backup is ever going to come into the nfl and have a big game. Right?

Let me tell you something else about Lovie Smith he is a petty, pathetic self indulgent coach. It was Lovie who was scared of Rivera's popularity, the last time the Bears had a consistant pass rush was with Rivera. Sense Rivera has been gone the defense has not been as good and that is with Lovie bringing in Julius Peppers, and he did that because his scheme couldn't generate a consistant pass rush and it still can't. What's the first thing he did after the Panthers game? He took a shot at Rivera. Classy move coach Smith. You took a shot at a first year coach who was missing two starting LB's and both starting DT's and still managed to out play your defense at home, and Rivera wasn't handed Brian Urlacher and nobody went out and brought in a major player in hired gun Julius Peppers. Mr. Great defense still can't generate a consistant pass rush and now you can tell he wants more for his defense cause his scheme can't get it done and he and his friend Rod Marinelli do not know enough about blitzing to get it done. Now he needs yet another pass rusher and the cost is going to be ignoring the offensive needs.

jeremy bates.. cutlers QB coach while in denver... easy transition and he likes to run the ball comimg from shanahans stable

worth considering bears!!!!

What Flynn did was impressive. And I know some people question backups who play well (ie Kolb). But I saw some major-league throws from Flynn on Sunday against Lions. He looked legit. The Packers, though, have some serious, serious weapons, too. And Nelson is all grown up now!

'Happy-Happy' To You All....

Just the Fact That 'Lovie' Is Still Employed Two Days Later, Is Stomach Turning Enough.. But Then We Ask Roy Williams What His Opnion Is On An Offensive Co-Ordinator???..

Williams Is 'Stealing' Alot'o Money, Beacuse Martz 'Blessed' Him.. And Martz Was Doing The Exact Same Thing, Because Of Lovie's Seal Of Approval..CLEAN HOUSE, VIRGINIA!!!!

Burn It Down And Start Over , While Time Is On 'Our' Side..

With Bill Polian In The Front Office, And A Head Coach And 2 Co-Ordinators With Winning Attitudes...

*And Maybe Some Actual Human Emotion, For A Change?

Bear Down!

just wondering if there would be any thought of hiring norv turner as OC if he gets wacked in SD

I will play the beleaguered minority here and think Martz should be back. Injuries without legitimate back-ups have hurt the Bears during his tenure here. I agree that he did not adapt quickly enough and bring forth game plans focussed on the players available, but the defense also fell apart at crucial times and contributed their share in critical losses. I would like to see a well-oiled and consistent Martz offense in action and suspect that might happen next season. I have never understood why you think Cutler is not suited to the Martz offense, Creighton. You might be right, but I do not see why a great and accurate arm is a disadvantage in the Marz system. Warner did not have the cannon Cutler has but was superb. If Cutler correctly reads the defenses, I do not see why the system will not work. Timing is nrcessary in any offensive approach.

Nelson put on his big boy pants this year, that's Ed McCaffery 2.0 running around out there. I can't believe he got a smaller contract than Bennett, he makes more per year but only got a 3 year deal.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on January 2, 2012 2:01 PM.

Matt Forte will take physical from Bears in a few weeks was the previous entry in this blog.

Jerry Angelo fired as Bears general manager, Martz resigns is the next entry in this blog.

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