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Thread: Jay Cutler, Mike Martz, and Lovie Smith: Must see TV

  1. Jay Cutler, Mike Martz, and Lovie Smith: Must see TV

    I have no idea how the Jay Cutler-Mike Martz partnership will work-out, but I do know that it will be entertaining. There is a chance that Cutler could have 20+ interceptions, but still put up big numbers with the Bears. Remember, Mike Martz at his best, had Kurt Warner at QB. Warner was known for his big plays, but what created those big play opportunities was his ability to lure a defense up with quick, ball control throws. Teams were afraid to blitz the Rams because Warner's quick reads would make them pay. Can Cutler learn how to do that?

    Matt Forte has many of the multi-dimensional skills that Marshall Faulk had, but make no mistake, he is not Marshall Faulk. The Bears have big play threats at WR with Devin Hester and Johnny Knox, but they are nowhere close to Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt. Greg Olsen is a receiving threat, but Martz has been known more for throws to his backs and WRs than his TEs.

    Another issue is going to be the personal relationship between Martz and Cutler. Both guys have strong personalities. As a television commentator, Martz was critical of Cutler last season. Both men have said that all of that is behind them. The relationship will start fine, but this is an extremely important season for Cutler, Martz, and head coach Lovie Smith. There is so much on the line for all of them. Would a slow start or a few early interceptions lead to problems? The Bears have no choice but to stick with Cutler, the same is not true for Martz and Smith.

    The other issue is the relationship between Martz and Smith. Lovie Smith is a defensive minded coach, and Chicago is a tough town for throwing the ball. Wind is the biggest enemy for the passing game. Is he going to allow Martz to call plays the same way he did in the dome in St. Louis? It is easy to spot potential issues in Chicago, but it is also no stretch to imaging the Bears having a break-out season on offense. Cutler threw 26 interceptions last year and the Bears still won 7 games The defense adds Julius Peppers and gets their unquestioned leader and signal caller back in Brian Urlacher.

    With all the uncertainty, the Bears have to be picked as the 3rd place finisher in the NFC North behind the Vikings and Packers. But one thing I have learned over the years is to be careful picking against players, coaches, and teams with something to prove. Can you think of three guys with more to prove that Lovie Smith, Mike Martz, and Jay Cutler for the 2010 season?

  2. #2
    Martz and Smith took the Rams to the Super Bowl in '01 (lost to the Pats), but Martz was the head coach and Smith was the coordinator. It will be interesting to see how well Martz adjusts to Smith being the boss.

  3. #3
       
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    I think Martz has a lot to prove. If the Bears offense blows up like the 99 Rams then he will once again be a head coaching candidate. But if the Bears struggle on offense and Martzs ego leads to problems with his players then he can look forward to being a position coach for the rest of his career.

    I'm optimistic though. Just look at what Martz did with the Lions offense a few years ago. The Bears offense has much more talent on offense than that Lions team did.

  4. #4
    I wouldn't be surprised if this is his last chance as a coordinator. He didn't exactly light it up in Detroit or San Fran, and, right or wrong, he has a reputation as hard to work with. If things end badly in Chicago, he's going to have a hard time finding another job, even as a position coach.

  5. My biggest concern is the weather. Even when it is warm, it is windy. Can you consistently win in Chicago, Green Bay, New England or Buffalo throwing the ball. The answer is yes if you have Jim Kelly, Brett Favre or Tom Brady. Jay Cutler has the physical skills, but you have to be a Hall of Famer to make it work in those conditions.

  6. #6
    It's becoming more and more apparent how perfectly aligned certain personalities and strategies are going to have to be for a consistently well played season in Chicago. The more nuanced this gets, the more nervous I get for Chicago.

  7. #7
    Offensively, the talent at receiver really doesn't give Cutler much help. I love the quickness of the receivers, but size and hands are important factors that don't seem to be in their favor. They matter too, right Cris? And with a Martz offense that will leave Olsen with a smaller role, I find it hard to believe in the receiving corps entitled: Bennet, Knox and Hester. If it were a law firm, it would probably prove quite profitable. On the gridiron, I don't see it fielding anything more than a disgruntled QB with a pudgy scowl.

  8. #8
    Da Bears just have so many holes on their team. Mainly they are at LG, RT, and the Secondary. Also the o-line will not be able to protect Jay long enough for all of the 7 step drops in the Martz offense. But don't forget about Devin Aromashadu who really showed something in the second Vikings game.

  9. Here is the most interesting question for me with the Bears. Were they better leaving Hester as a kick returner? I have seen him play some good games at receiver, so this is not a knock on his abilities there, but they used to win games with special team. As a former return man in college, I know it is tough to get jacked up about returning kicks when you are playing 70 offensive plays. You have to be wild-eyed returning kicks, and I think he has lost a little of that.

  10. #10
    I certainly remember the excitement of a kick seconds before it Hester's hands, a huge return always seemed possible. Now, it seems he lost some "gusto" and special team contributions have slid.

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