Mike Martz has resigned as the Bears’ offensive coordinator, according to a Chicago Tribune report. Quarterbacks coach Shane Day also is out.
Martz submitted his resignation to Coach Lovie Smith this morning, reportedly because of philosophical differences. The Bears’ offense and Martz, architect of the greatest show on turf in St. Louis, were something of an odd combo. Martz seemed to embrace giving the ball to Matt Forte, but he missed the last four games with a knee injury. Nor was Martz’ position helped when quarterback Jay Cutler hurt his thumb just before Thanksgiving. That left the team with Caleb Hanie, who couldn’t deliver on Martz’s vision.
That disconnect, and lack of depth at quarterback, helped lead to the dismissal of Jerry Angelo this morning. Smith will return, however.
The writing was on the wall as far as Martz was concerned, given that he’d turned down the offer of a one-year contract extension in July. Rick Telander of the Sun-Times wrote as much:
Is it Martz’s fault that Angelo handed him a backup quarterback who couldn’t start on any team in the NFL? Is it Martz’s fault that Angelo gave him a backup-backup quarterback — the curiously adept, goal-post-dunking Josh McCown — who was coaching high school when the Bears called him just over a month ago?
No, it isn’t.
Martz’s offensive system is apparently incomprehensible to mere humans. And Martz had said, before he took the job, that he didn’t much care for a blank-faced, whiny guy like Cutler.
But it all changed. Cutler was instructed by somebody to show a touch of emotion and team spirit in his demeanor. Martz learned that running the ball with Matt Forte isn’t a bad thing. And there seemed to be an offensive future there.
But coach Lovie Smith seems ready to send Martz, his old head coach once upon a time, into retirement, again.
So the prickly, intelligent and hard-to-reach Cutler starts anew with a strange new boss? That’s not a good idea.
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