Chicago Bears: If They Bow Out In Playoffs, Mike Martz Is to Blame, Is It Fair?

Ryan NeimanContributor IIIJanuary 22, 2011

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 14: Offensive coordinator Mike Martz of the Chicago Bears looks over his play chart during a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 14, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 27-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears are one win away from reaching the Super Bowl for the second time under Lovie Smith.  The only obstacle that stands between the Bears and their plane tickets to Dallas is their rival from the North, the Green Bay Packers.  A Bears win against the Packers can finally silence all the critics who were doubting the team all year long.

With kickoff less than 24 hours away, the media and the fanbase of the Chicago Bears continue to grumble about one person in particular who can ultimately determine the outcome of this game.

Is it Lovie Smith?  Nope.

Is it Jay Cutler?  Nope.

Is it Matt Forte?  Nope.

Is it Robbie Gould?  Nope.

Is it Mike Martz?  Ding, ding, ding, ding.  You are correct.

The Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz is under heavy scrutiny from the media and the fans who will be watching this Sunday's game.  It is amazing that the whole city of Chicago is worried about the game-calling from their offensive coordinator instead of worrying about how Cutler will fare against a scary pass defense.  Everyone is worried about what type of game Martz will call and if he can continue a split attack similar to the one he showed against the Seahawks in the NFC divisional game. 

It is understandable why the media and the fans are concerned with what Martz will showcase against the Packers.  He is the coach who was known for orchestrating "The Greatest Show on the Turf," while he was in St. Louis.  People are afraid he still does not know that he does not have the offensive weapons he once had when he coached the Rams and he will try to do too much with the less-talented Bears offense.  Of course, the Bears have gunslinger Jay Cutler and an explosive Matt Forte, but if the Bears want to win this game, Martz will have to stick with a basic running game, instead of airing it out over 40 times.  

However, if the Bears do lose against the Packers, it would not be justified to solely blame Martz for the Bears not making it to the Super Bowl.  Undoubtedly, the city of Chicago will lay their wrath on Martz if the Bears were to lose.  I always hated the fact that coaches are usually the ones left out to dry when there are numerous factors that contributed to the team not succeeding.  

We all know Martz is responsible for making the right offensive calls and he has to adjust to constant defensive changes against his offense.  He may be the one who calls the plays, but he is not the one who has to execute them.  Who is to blame when his offensive line does not make the right blocks or his wide receivers do not create enough space from the defenders?  For these answers, his last name does not end in Martz.  

Can Martz control where Cutler throws the ball?  I bet half the time Cutler does not even know who he is throwing to.  There is too much emphasis on coaches' play-calling rather than the execution of the plays.  The players are fully responsible for making sure every play is done according to what designed play the coach calls.  Players practice for a reason and execution is one of the main reasons.  

In sports, coaches get too much credit for a team's successes and failures.  Sometimes, a coach just does not have enough to work with as the players they are given are consistently having problems with execution.  Coaches and players have to execute together in order to achieve certain goals.  Both should be accountable for a loss, and both should take equal blame.  

Unfortunately, many fans and media outlets believe otherwise.  They feel the coach is the person who is making the calls, therefore, the coach should be the one to execute the calls, too.  As Lou Holtz once said, "Coaching is nothing more than eliminating mistakes before you get fired."  The city of Chicago hopes Mike Martz has eliminated his mistakes before Sunday afternoon.