Mike Martz changes his stripes

The Bears coaching staff entered their bye week at 4-3, faced with one inescapable fact: The team simply couldn’t pass protect.

So they did what good coaches should do and they fit their scheme to their talent, rather than the other way around.  Chicago’s offense since the bye has gone from wildly pass-heavy to run-heavy.  Their passing game has focused more on quick throws than offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s preferred bombs down the field.

John Mullin of Comcast Sportsnet Chicago breaks down the numbers.  In November,  the Bears called 136 rushes and 121 pass plays.  Only the Chargers ran on a higher percentage of run in November.

It’s easy to say the Bears won all four games, which leads to more rushing attempts.   That helps, but Chicago has been very balanced in the first half of games, and they stuck with the run against the Vikings and Bills even when it wasn’t paying great dividends early.

Mullin also points out that the Bears were third in the league in third down conversions in November, after a truly abysmal start of the year.  They have used a lot more quick passes instead of seven step drops, which protects the team’s offensive line.

Add it all up, and this just doesn’t look like a normal Mike Martz offense.  Martz and Lovie Smith deserve credit for adjusting, because we think Chicago has played its best three games of the year in succession.

13 responses to “Mike Martz changes his stripes

  1. it’s sort of like when Mike Nolan was fired by the 49ers during the 08 season. Martz was committed to his down field passing attack with JT O’Turnover. The Niner’s line couldn’t protect him and he was sacked an ungodly number of times. When Singletary took over, he benched JTO and put in Shaun Hill. Hill is a more conservative game manager that will take calculated shots down field. This was not Martz’s type of QB. But the result was a more balanced offense that utilized Frank Gore more effectively, check down passes to mitigate the pass protection issues and higher percentage down field passing attempts by Hill. I don’t think Martz liked working for Singletary and Singletary wanted more pure power running from his offense. So Singletary fired Martz at the end of the year. It’s too bad, I felt Singletary’s conservative philosophy meshed well with Martz’s downfield attacking philosophy. Instead the Niners ended up with Jimmy Raye (and now Mike Johnson) and Singletary’s implementation of a 1930’s offense.

  2. “they did what good coaches should do and they fit their scheme to their talent, rather than the other way around.”

    Good insight, 3-G.

    As any Bears fan can tell you–this, in a nutshell, is all we’ve really been hoping/asking for from our coaches (that and appropriate IN-GAME adjustments).

  3. “So they did what good coaches should do and they fit their scheme to their talent, rather than the other way around.”

    Still bashing Childress I see.
    Good, keep it up, he deserves it.

  4. It sounds like only the HC and GM could see how foolish the playcalling was and indirectly have taken it over dictating 50% runs and short passes.

    Clearly they don’t have the personnel for Martz’s system and are playing better wout it. The next question is why do you then need Mike Martz?

  5. Lovie still better watch out……… Martz is all about getting that next head coaching gig. EgoMANIAC beeeeaches!!!!

  6. I’m still not going to get too excited about this year’s team. Yep, they are playing much better offensively but they keep seeming to catch teams at the right time.

    When they beat the Cowboys they (Jerry’s Ga’mokes) were dysfunctional as can be; Vikings were down four receivers by the 4th Q; two key DB’s were out for the Eagles; a 3rd string QB started for the ‘Fins; now Stanton is starting for the Lions (and yes, Johnson caught that ball in Game 1); and so on and so on.

    I’m not saying the Bears aren’t improving. Two more wins (an easy one this week, second may be tough) and they are a playoff lock. I just don’t buy that the front office should not flush the system after the Bears get drop kicked in the playoffs.

  7. heybolt fan they need martz because he was smart enough to make the adj. needed, unlike the worst coach ever in ron turner who refused to make any adj. to the offense untill the final 2 games last season. at least now when they need to pass they can do more under martz than a screen pass to hester on 3rd. down.people need to stop whining and making excuse as to why the bears are winning and just accept the fact they are.

  8. Nolan can’t stop Martz no matter what he does, which we’ve seen time and time again…

    Most recently Nolan kept Martz to a stingy 55% 3rd down completion percentage. :rolleyes:

  9. wow, it wasnt too long ago in the season when 98% of the posters here wanted to send Cutler out to pasture while the other 2% of us said they need to adjust the offense around the players (ie cutler) rather than adjust the players to the offense, moderation is key, slowly get these guys adjusted and the offense will work

  10. charly0418 says:
    Dec 1, 2010 6:25 PM
    “Good insight, 3-G”

    Ughhhh, shut the hell up

    That you, Mikey?
    Must be like a dagger to the toupee when your other “writers” get a hat tip in their direction, huh?

    Unless you’re just some random insecure slob whose ego and self-esteeem are so weak that to see anyone else get even a splinter of praise immediately elicits deeply jealous, angry, illiterate monkey-grunting.

    Either way, nice to some positive coverage of the Bears, 3-G…keep up the good work.

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