Why are the Chicago Bears a different team, at least so far? It is Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz. He not only has a colorful playbook, something the Bears haven’t had in a long time, but he is a master of adjustment; he knows the game.
Larry Mayer has posted an article at the Chicago Bears’ website titled “Offensive adjustments helped lift Bears to key victory;” how true that is.
Mayer hits the nail on the head in his assessment of why the Bears beat the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday. Even though Dallas is having its problems right now, they are still a formidable opponent.
Any longtime Bears fan would remember historic Bears’ offensive failures. Simply go back to the mid-1970s during the early Walter Payton years. The playbook read “run Payton right,” “run Payton left,” “run Payton off-tackle and then punt.” The scoring in the rare Bears’ victories in those days typically came from the defense. Even when they got into the playoffs, always as a wildcard, they would have a 9-7 record at best, and it was because of no offense.
This has gone on every year with rare exception. However, even when the Bears had a good offense, they would lose if things didn’t go as planned; effective adjustments were rare.
Mike Martz has made the difference.
On Sunday against the Cowboys, the Bears were under attack from Dallas’ formidable defensive line rush. The Bears expected that, because the Cowboys had lost their season opener.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler got sacked a number of times.
Historically what would have happened would have been that the Bears would have lost the game because they wouldn’t have been able to pass. Martz had Cutler mover from a seven-step drop back to a three-step with a quick release.
He immediately hit Greg Olsen on a touchdown pass over the middle that changed the momentum of the game for good.
Mike Martz also kept the tight ends in to block, as well as running back Matt Forte and also occasionally had Cutler work out of the shotgun.
I can still remember past quarterback Rex Grossman, who had no moves and tiny hands, continuing to take the snap under center and often losing it when they faced a team who was getting to the quarterback. Adjustments were never made in those days.
The difference in the Bears this year is Mike Martz. If they continue to do well, no doubt it will be because of him.
Chicago Bears’ Website, Larry Mayer, “Offensive adjustments helped lift Bears to key victory.”