|Will Lovie Smith bring Mike Martz back for another year in Chicago? (US PRESSWIRE)|
By Ryan Wilson
A week ago, Bears head coach Lovie Smith refused to answer questions about his offensive coordinator Mike Martz. During his end-of-season press conference Monday, Smith was again asked about Martz, who's two-year contract expired Sunday.
“I haven’t talked to the coaches, so I’m not going to talk to you about any of them right now, and I think you can understand that,” he said according to ESPNChicago.com. “Mike did a super job for us. He had a lot of injuries this year. I think you guys know how I feel about him. But this is a new year coming up, and we’ll see how that goes.”
Via the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs, Smith added that the Bears "did a lot of good things offensively. But right now we're evaluating everything. Mike's a part of that. Mike is a guy that's been around a few years. Got to have a chance to sit down with Mike to see exactly which way he wants to go and which way we want to go."
Biggs points out that the previous offensive coordinator under Smith, Ron Turner, was canned the day after the 2009 season.
Martz has indicated previously that he'd like to return, even though he and Jay Cutler haven't always seen eye to eye about the offensive philosophy -- one that, early in the season, saw many plays end with the team's franchise quarterback picking himself up off the ground after a sack.
The Jets' Brian Schottenheimer was one of the few offensive coordinators under more scrutiny this season than Martz. But his head coach and general manager couldn't come to his defense quickly enough during their Monday presser.
Smith was much less effusive. Maybe that means everything or perhaps it means nothing. After all, Smith stuck by Martz last season despite similar concerns about his play-calling.
Biggs writes that some Bears officials are concerned "Cutler, his receivers and the line would work in a system that emphasizes getting the ball out quickly, not relying on so many seven- and five-step drops," before noting that Chicago QBs have been sacked 105 times since Martz arrived in 2010.
The 49ers went to a quick-passing offense that relied on a solid running game and look how that turned our for them. Why can't the Bears be successful doing that? Cutler's much better than Alex Smith and a healthy Matt Forte is better than Frank Gore. Plus, as Smith said Monday, ‘We have to catch up to Green Bay."
In all likelihood, that ain't happening with Martz calling the plays.
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