How the Hiring of Mike Martz Affects Greg Olsen and Matt Forte
One criticism levied against the Chicago Bears hiring Mike Martz to be their new offensive coordinator is that his style doesn't seem suited to the personnel.
For one, he relies on the seven-step drop a lot, and it's difficult to imagine the Bears shaky O-line holding off blockers that long.
For another, he is pass happy.
And while this has become more of a passing league, the turf is awful at Soldier Field, so this is certainly never going to be the "Greatest Show on Turf" redux, nor is the weather conducive to a passing offense at times.
Nevertheless, perhaps the most interesting thing to watch now that Martz is here is what will happen to the tight ends and running backs on this team.
Tight end Greg Olsen was a favorite target of quarterback Jay Cutler last season and while Olsen is pretty good at times, a Martz offense doesn't usually feature much use of the tight end position.
So, does that mean a possible trade is in the future?
After all, the Bears could use a second round draft pick, given that their first pick in this upcoming draft is not until the third round.
Perhaps they could use that pick to draft or trade for a wide receiver?
All this is speculation, of course, and there have been no indications from Jerry Angelo that Olsen is on the block.
But it makes some sense.
Meanwhile, what about Matt Forte?
He is coming off knee surgery, so that may explain why he didn't run with the same explosiveness that he displayed his rookie season.
Sure, the O-line was a mess, but still, Forte just didn't look the same. To compound matters, Martz only runs the ball as an afterthought.
We know that Forte is solid at catching the ball out of the backfield, but will Martz utilize that skill?
But the impact also may be felt on the defensive side of the ball. The defense is sure to be tested in a Mike Martz offense because they will be on the field more often. Running the ball takes time off the clock while there may be many 'three-and-outs in this offense.
But since the Bears defense is shaky anyway, perhaps the Bears have decided that if they are going to be successful this season, they will need to simply get in a shootout with the other team. Point scoring may be more of a premium than point prevention for the first time in Head Coach Lovie Smith's reign.
No matter what, it's good to see some experience on this coaching staff for a change. For a team that doesn't hire head coaches with previous NFL head coaching experience on their resume, this seems to be a different approach.
Now the Bears have three former head coaches on their staff. If the egos can be held in check, that may bode well for a team lacking direction at times last year.
Overall, the hiring of Martz is a high risk, high reward move that will require improved play by the offense, but will be limited in that the personnel currently on the roster is certainly not overwhelming, to be kind.
The dynamics between Martz and Cutler bear watching, as well, given Martz's sharp criticisms of Cutler when he was an analyst for the NFL Network. Although, in his defense, Martz did indicate that Cutler's receivers were lacking.
I would be surprised if the Bears didn't go hard after another wideout this offseason. While the uncapped season limits the free agent field, and the Bears do not have a high draft pick to use in a trade, you can expect them to try something to bring in a veteran receiver.
Whether that includes the trading of Olsen remains to be seen.
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