Chicago Bears: Why The Bears Need To Fire Mike Martz

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Chicago Bears:  Why The Bears Need To Fire Mike Martz
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If you saw the disappointing, and at times, embarrassing performance by the Chicago Bears today against the Green Bay Packers, you saw an offense that was completely out of sync.

Whether it was Jay Cutler continuing to run for his life, receivers dropping passes, running backs unable to run and Cutler himself making bad decisions, the game was an absolute mess.  The fact is, the Bears were lucky to only lose 27-17.

After the game, Jay Cutler took some not so subtle shots that he's fed up with Mike Martz and his offensive play calling.  A week ago, Martz called 47 passes and just 11 runs against a New Orleans Saints defense that did not hide the fact they were going to consistently blitz Cutler.  Down just three points in the third quarter, it appeared Martz refused to run the ball for the rest of the game. 

With fans, the media and most importantly Lovie Smith demanding a more balanced approach, Martz promised everyone he'd call a better game.  Well I guess technically he did.  In their game against the Saints, 18 percent of Martz's play calls were runs.  Against the Packers, that number reached to a awe inspiring total of 19 percent.

That's right folks, Martz called a paltry nine runs in the game against Green Bay compared to 37 passes thrown by Cutler.  Like last week, you couldn't use the scoreboard as an excuse. From the onset, the offense was geared towards Cutler.

Some will argue that the lack of success (Forte had just four yards on nine carries), gave Martz no choice but to abandon the run.  But like last week, when you bring forth a one dimensional offense against a blitz-happy team like the Packers, it almost certainly leads to the offenses' downfall.

Should Mike Martz Be Fired?

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The outright refusal by Martz to restructure his offense should be the nail in the coffin, but we all know the Bears management wouldn't have the guts to fire Martz.  The Bears front office and coach Lovie Smith will surely be unwilling to rock the boat like that.

Make no mistake about it though, Mike Martz should be fired.  It becomes more apparent with each passing week that Martz still believes he's coaching the "greatest show on turf" St. Louis Rams of a decade ago.

Consider the fact that Martz refuses to allow his offense to call audibles.  While he might have gotten away with that 10 years ago, the NFL today is far too complex to not allow your quarterback to change the play at the line of scrimmage.

What is even worse is instead of adapting to the Bears roster, he is forcing players to try and become the St. Louis Rams version 2.0.   Despite having one of the better pass catching tight ends in the NFL in Greg Olsen, Martz helped run him out of town because he didn't like how he blocked.

How is that one working out?  The Bears tight ends still can't block and Olsen had a game-winning touchdown at his new home in Carolina.

In free agency, the Bears targeted Roy Williams, a controversial receiver who would have ranked sixth on the Bears stats list for receiving yards last year.  But the Bears believed he could become an All-Pro receiver; because he enjoyed one good year with Martz in Detroit

Instead of a Pro Bowl receiver, Williams has been a waste of space, catching four passes for 55 yards in two games (he was out injured in Week 2). He's being outperformed by guys such as Dane Sanzenbacher, an undrafted free agent.  Having developed a chemistry with Cutler, Sanzenbacher has eight receptions, 60 yards and two touchdowns in the past two weeks. 

 

Lastly, do we even need to talk about the offensive line?  Instead of adapting his play calling to accommodate a horrible offensive line, Martz is allowing defenses to tee off on the quarterback.  Cutler has been sacked 14 times in three games and is on pace to be sacked 74 times this season.  This doesn't include the dozens of times he's been knocked down and pressured as well. 

With each passing game, the Bears offense continues to look like a stale version of the 1999 Rams offense.  With every poorly strategized game and Martz's stubborn refusal to adapt to the 21st century NFL, the more you realize that Martz needs to be fired.  Mike Tice, the offensive line coach, can assume the duties while the team looks for a new option in 2012.  

It's normally not a good thing to force a team to learn a new offense.  You run the risk of setting the team back next year learning a new system and it would be Cutler's third offense in just four seasons in Chicago.

However, as it stands today, Cutler may not be upright when the 2012 season comes around.  His continued beat downs are going to take their toll on a quarterback that was sacked nearly 60 times in 2010. 

Just ask former Houston Texans quarterback David Carr how his career went when he was consistently sacked over 50 times per season.  To look at another comparison, Cutler has been sacked more times in three games this year than the entire 2008 season when he was in Denver.

Realize that no matter what happens to Martz, he's only part of the problem.  General Manager Jerry Angelo made some of the worst off-season moves many analysts have seen in a long time and has hung his franchise quarterback out to dry by not only letting long time center Olin Kreutz go, but signing no starting veteran offensive linemen to the roster. 

But a good offensive coordinator makes the necessary adjustments with the chess pieces he has to play with.  Instead, Martz is asking his pawns to magically turn into queens.  You could simply ask him to adapt to this Bears offense, but with his past background where he refuses to change his style, then there is no other choice than asking him to leave the Chicago Bears. 

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