In this week's edition of RBZ, the gang discusses the imminent split between the Chicago Bears and offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
Come talk football with us, won't you?
Bobby Loesch (@bobbystompy):
Sure, Cutler is hurt. Sure, Forte is hurt. Sure, the Bears are the 5-seed and everyone is on suicide watch, but...am I the only one depressed about Mike Martz's likely departure? I don't think he's super amazing or anything, don't get me wrong, but it kills me that Jay can't ever get offensive continuity. Seems like he's changing coordinators every year or every other year.
Z.W. Martin (@ZWMartin):
Honestly, I don't feel strongly about Martz one way or another. I truly believe that the system doesn't matter if talent exists. Talent will always prevail. Just look at LSU or Alabama. Their offenses are downright lame. Run right. Run left. Screen. Run right. Blah. But it works because they have more talent than a team like Arkansas who can't matchup skill-wise defensively, therefore, can't keep pace even with an offense proven to be far superior.
For all of the offense's (relatively short-lived) success this year, so much of it felt in spite of Martz, not because of him. Don't discount that the offense didn't really get going until after the Week 5 Monday night loss to the Lions -- aka, the game Cutler told Martz to "fuck off". After that night, the Bears' scheme changed radically. Cutler lobbied for shorter drops and keeping in backs and tight ends to block more often. Both of those things happened, and the Bears rolled until the injury vs. the Chargers.
It's why I'm still curious about this breakup: is Martz essentially getting fired, or is it mutual? Martz really hasn't been running his standard offense ever since Cutler finally got his say after the Detroit loss. Maybe he feels like a muzzled dog. With a couple of cool looking Pac-12 head coaching jobs apparently targeting him, perhaps he saw this as a good bailout. Don't forget that Martz turned down a 1-year, $1 million extension before the season started. I don't think we can say how happy *he* is, forget the team or the fans.
So far as the next OC, I wouldn't be surprised if it was Mike Tice. I think I'd like that. It would be a stopgap more than anything, but it would also help keep some of the continuity the offense has going. Tice would also seemingly give Cutler more input. Forget the empty-backfield Martz bullshit: with Tice, I believe the Bears would continue to go with shorter drops and keeping more blockers in.