Chicago Sun-Times

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Lovie Smith reiterated that he has an offensive coordinator in Ron Turner when he was asked about the possibility of ousted Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis filling that role.

Neil Hayes reported today that Weis would have interest in the Bears' play-calling gig if it were to become available. As Mike Mulligan wrote last month when we shared the news that Mike Martz has told a league source he would like to work with Jay Cutler, that's what happens at this time of year. Coaches looking for work smell blood in the water and the rumor mill cranks up.

There's a good fit for Weis. His son Charlie Jr. could finish up high school in South Bend, Ind., next year. One of the first things a coordinator is going to look for is a quarterback, and the Bears have a former Pro Bowl performer in Jay Cutler. Weis certainly had success in New England with Tom Brady.

"You would like for me to comment on Charlie Weis, something that Charlie said?'' Smith said. "I can't comment on that. I don't know anything about that. We have an offensive coordinator in place right now. I can comment on that.''

Then, Smith was asked how Weis would do in a second tour in the league.

"No idea how he would do,'' he said. "He was a good coordinator back when he was in the NFL, that's about all can say.''

Smith declined to comment on the Martz report last month prior to the story coming out.

Bears coach Lovie Smith declined to comment when asked to comment specifically about reports of coaching changes at Halas Hall, including a Sun-Times story that Mike Martz would love to reunite with his former defensive coordinator to work with quarterback Jay Cutler.

Smith said that his full attention is on the Minnesota Vikings, and that when you're 4-6 in a season that began with such great expectations, these are the things that are going to happen.

"Martz would love to work with Jay Cutler,'' a source close to the former architect of the Greatest Show on Turf told the Sun-Times.

Martz reacted angrily to the report when reached this afternoon by the Sporting News.

"I've never had any discussion with anybody about it. Ever. And it's extremely unprofessional, so inappropriate. This is just coming out of nowhere. I don't know who makes this crap up, but somebody is making it up.

"It's just so wrong when people make stuff up like that. There are the kinds of things you despise as a coach."

Mike Martz is sorry for making a fuss about Jay Cutler for his friend Lovie Smith, but he meant what he said when he tore into the quarterback after the Bears' season-opening loss at Lambeau Field for his demeanor in a postgame press conference. On the field, he considers Cutler one of the rare talents in the league who is just beginning to put it together at 26.

"He is just scratching the surface,'' Martz said today when he visited with Marc Silverman and Tom Waddle on ESPN-1000. "He's a remarkable talent, he's one of the elite talents that I've ever seen. I just think he's just getting going with what they do with Ron Turner and the discipline and add more receivers over the years, over the next 10 years or so, Chicago has got to be excited about the future of that position. He's gonna ice that thing down for a long time to come.''

The former St. Louis Rams head coach was, in a way, trying to defend Smith when he spoke about Cutler on the debut episode of "The Coaches Show'' on NFL Network after Cutler's poor debut.

"He just doesn't get it," Martz said at the time. "He doesn't understand that he represents a great head coach and the rest of those players on that team ... somebody needs to talk to him."

Martz was more diplomatic in his radio appearance.

Lovie Smith said he has not spoken to his former boss Mike Martz, who lobbied hard for Smith to get a head-coaching job at the end of the 2003 season, about the remarks Martz made Monday night on NFL Network about Jay Cutler.

Martz and Jim Mora Sr., on the debut episode of "The Coaches Show'' stirred the pot when they were critical of Cutler in his postgame press conference Sunday night at Lambeau Field. Cutler didn't do anything out of the ordinary, he's typically short with media, especially in postgame settings.

"I'm trying to get ready for Pittsburgh,'' Smith said when asked if he had spoken with Martz. "I'm talking to my wife, a little bit, right now. Everyone else is a little bit lower on my list."

Smith was familiar with the comments made by Smith and Mora, who said that someone in the organization needed to talk to Cutler, that Cutler was not being accountable and that Cutler needed to understand he represented the entire organization.

"First off, you have to look at the setting a little bit,'' Smith said. "We had just come off of a tough loss to one of our rivals. I looked at Jay's comments that he made, and it's a little disappointing especially coming from a couple of former coaches to make those type of comments about Jay. Everyone that has been around him, his teammates, former coaches, they know what type of player he is, what type of person he is.

At this point, it's fair to wonder if Lovie Smith shares the same viewpoints as his mentors.

Tony Dungy stepped out this spring and was critical of Jay Cutler's leadership ability, and now Mike Martz, another close friend to Smith who lobbied hard for him to get a head coaching job, has piled on.

Martz and Jim Mora Sr. made pointed remarks about Cutler's postgame press conference Sunday night at Lambeau Field after he threw a career-high four interceptions in a 21-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The Bears were 0-for-3 in the red zone and spoiled an all-around defensive effort. Cutler strung together a series of cliches and said miscommunications were partly to blame for the turnovers.

"When I saw that postgame press conference last night, I thought he looked completely immature,'' Mora said on the premier of The Head Coaches on NFL Network Monday night. "He acted like he didn't even care."

What's much more disturbing from the Bears' standpoint, however, is the criticism that came from Martz, who suggests the team is not handling him properly.

"He just doesn't get it,'' Martz said. "He doesn't understand that he represents a great head coach and the rest of those players on that team ... somebody needs to talk to him."

Smith remains close to Dungy and Martz both. It's difficult to imagine they would be critical of the marquee addition to the organization--the replacement for Sid Luckman six decades later--without knowing Smith would be understanding and accepting of their evaluations. Dungy called Cutler's makeup into question before.

"We'll see about his maturity level,'' Dungy said in a teleconference announcing his addition to NBC's coverage in early June. "That's what I would question. And some of the things that happened leading to him leaving Denver ... that would concern me as a head coach. He can make all of the throws, but quarterbacking is much more than just making throws."

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