One of the biggest challenges and yet one of the reasons for optimism on this Bears team is the arrival of Mike Martz as offensive coordinator. But there have been several signs already that the organization may be tying his hands somewhat.
We all know that Mike Martz loves to pass and only runs as an after-thought. Yet Lovie Smith continues to say the running game will be a big part of the offense.
Likewise, tight ends catching the ball and a Martz-led offense don't usually mix together well. Yet Jerry Angelo insists it is because Martz has never seen such an athletic group of tight ends before.
Martz has always said the TE's No. 1 priority is to block. If he can't put his hand on the ground, and Greg Olsen is not very good at this, then he has no place in his offense.
He has even said no TE, not even Tony Gonzalez, would have a place in his offense unless he can block. Period. I doubt that Martz has changed his philosophy.
If they are going to feature Olsen as TE, how will the blocking of Brandon Manumaleuna be utilized? This should be interesting to watch.
Furthermore, when signed, Martz said he envisioned using Devin Hester in the slot primarily. But Smith quickly rebuffed him and said that Hester would continue to be a featured receiver going deep.
Martz also heavily criticized Jay Cutler while serving as an analyst for the NFL Network. Now he has to work with the kid. Is there any rancor between the two for the unflattering comments? Well, not outwardly in camp, so far. But who knows what will surface when mistakes happen?
Another concern is that the Martz offense requires precise passing and crisp receiver routes. That precise passing thing didn't work out too well for Cutler last year, and Hester is not what anyone would call a precise route runner.
Likewise, Martz prefers the five and seven step drop, and the rolling pocket is not in his bag of tricks. This requires solid blocking and the Bears offensive line did not perform well last year, until they started moving the pocket with Cutler.
It is too early to tell if the move of Chris Williams to protect Cutler's blind side will be a success.
Oops, Frank Omiyale just jumped offsides again.
Finally, the Martz playbook is said to be complicated. Can a guy like Hester catch on quickly? It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.