To the extent that soon-to-be Jaguars owner Shahid Khan would consider hiring Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz to serve as the head coach of the Jaguars simply because Martz once served as head coach of the Rams when Khan was a Rams season-ticket holder, Khan may want to keep an eye on the situation in Chicago.
On Wednesday, Martz shifted blame from himself to his players for an ill-advised throwback screen pass that wiped out a possible first-half field goal for the Bears and resulted in a field goal for the Raiders, a six-point swing in a five-point game.
“I’ve done that for 20 years, and it’s never anything but a good play really,” Martz said Wednesday, via John Mullin of CSNChicago.com. “We didn’t execute it very well. The ball got tipped. So when you throw a screen and the ball gets tipped. . . . Screens aren’t hard. It’s just something that happened. No, I’m not aware of [any criticism for the play call]. I didn’t think twice about that call. I thought it was OK.”
At least one player seemed to disagree with the concept of putting the blame on the players.
“We’ve just got to be really careful what kind of situations we put [quarterback Caleb Hanie] in,” injured quarterback Jay Cutler said. “Mike’s got be careful with that. We don’t really know what Caleb’s comfortable with; Caleb doesn’t know what he’s comfortable with. He hasn’t run a lot of these plays, hasn’t run a lot of this stuff in the offense in game situations, in high-pressure situations. We’ve just got to take care of him.”
As Mullin points out, it’s the second time this year that Martz has blamed the players after a questionable play call in a key situation. With the Bears driving for a possible game-tying touchdown against the Packers in the NFC title game, Martz called for an end around on third and three.
“It’s just an execution thing,” Martz said at the time. “If that works, it works. It was a great call; it didn’t work.”’
The message for the proposed buyer of the Jaguars? If you’re considering Martz, buyer beware.