"Tell Mike to f*** him!"
That is what field microphones and cameras picked up Sunday night coming from quarterback Jay Cutler after he broke the huddle in the Chicago Bears 39-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. It was assumed by most that it was geared toward Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz, a claim that was not denied by Cutler when questioned on Wednesday.
Martz sits up in the booth on game day and radios the plays to QB coach, Shaun Day, who then relays the plays into Cutler's helmet communications. On numerous occasions during the year, the Bears have had to stop their momentum by calling a timeout because they weren't able to get the play to Cutler in time.
If Martz is unable to get a play into Cutler, how can we expect him to be successful as the Bears offensive coordinator? Martz was extremely successful as OC in St. Louis. Under head coach Dick Vermeil they led the Rams and "The Greatest Show on Turf" to a Super Bowl victory over Tennessee. The Rams were loaded with talent. They had Hall of Fame running back, Marshall Faulk, wide receivers, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, and quarterback Kurt Warner. Not to mention, the offensive line was beefed up with All-Pro talent. The Rams had everything the 2011 Bears lack.
Martz's continued attempt of living his glory days in St. Louis is wearing thin on Cutler and the fans. Cutler continues to get pounded by opposing defenses on a weekly basis and his receivers continue to let him down. The receivers can't get separation, they drop passes when they do get open, the offensive line performs poorly in pass protection but that is only when they aren't getting false start penalties. Yet, Martz still refuses to adjust the game plan.
The offensive sets called by Martz spread the receivers across the field, which in turn minimize blocking options for the offensive line. With the lack of talent the Bears have on the line, this is a recipe for disaster and the line knows it. They are getting beat on both the inside and outside and are trying to get a jump to protect Cutler but this is only causing false starts.
Martz did call more formations requiring max protect in Sunday's win, but on the opening drive of the second half, he spread the offense again and Minnesota's Jared Allen got the sack, forced fumble, and fumble recovery trifecta on Cutler. The Bears were already leading 26-3 when that play occurred, so spreading the offense wasn't necessary because the max protect was working.
Martz' stubbornness in adjusting when things are working and not adjusting when the plays calls are not working is a frustrating thing to see. For two years, the fans have had to watch this offense struggle and not play to their strengths. Martz refuses to see what his offense can or can't do nor does he create a game plan for the obvious.
Jay, the fans are with you...and we agree with you.