Jay Cutler had just about enough of Mike Martz
The Chicago Bears ended their two-year run with Mike Martz at offensive coordinator by losing out after quarterback Jay Cutler was lost for the season with a thumb injury. Backup Caleb Hanie looked lost in Martz’s complicated offense, never finding any rhythm as he drove the Bears season straight into the ground. The possibility of adding a veteran to steady the ship, like a Donovan McNabb perhaps, were quickly dismissed since a player just coming into the system had no chance of learning the offense since some of the receivers who had been there for two years still didn’t totally get it. The offense was extensive, complicated and rigid, often failing to make any adjustments based on the flow of a game. After the collapse, Martz and the Bears decided to part ways, citing “philosophical differences,” and it turns out nobody is happier about that than Jay Cutler.
A source told the Chicago Tribune that Cutler visited Halas Hall on Tuesday and shared with coach Lovie Smith his desire for a change, a meeting that occurred before Smith huddled with his offensive coordinator.
Martz and the Bears parted ways Tuesday. Smith released a statement, saying “we both felt it was best to move in different directions.”
It’s understandable that Cutler was unhappy in Martz’s system, as the two had fundamental differences in the way they approached the game. While on the surface, both enjoy the high risk, high reward style of offense that doesn’t care about the number of interceptions thrown, Cutler has always been partial to an offense where he can roll out and throw on the run. Martz’s system moved the quarterback minimally (one reason Kurt Warner was a good fit) and relied on straight drop backs. Cutler also liked not getting pummeled by opposing defenses every week, while Martz had no qualms about sending everyone out into a pass pattern 20 yards downfield with no help to slow down defensive linemen trying to take Cutler’s head off. Little things, to be sure, but significantly damaging to the prospects working together long term.
Moving forward, Martz will land somewhere that thinks his convoluted and overly complicated passing offense will help them like it did Kurt Warner and the Rams. Unfortunately, it won’t be a team with the weapons that were on the “Greatest Show on Turf,” and the offense will fall flat and Martz will bounce around until he eventually becomes a college coach somewhere he can throw the ball 80 times a game. The Bears will hire a new OC who will more than likely try and cater towards Cutler’s strengths a bit more, and maybe run a few plays where he keeps some blockers in. Then Cutler will look sad and throw a backbreaking interception which will cost that guy his job. Circle of life, man. Circle of life.