Well, the Bears actually took a great few steps over the weekend. All general speculation continues to point to this guy as the likely dude, pending what Jay Culter thinks of him.
As we mentioned on Friday, Mike Martz interviewed for the Bears offensive coaching job on Friday afternoon. That was something we'd all expected, but we weren't quite sure how it would turn out. That meeting must've gone pretty well, because the weekend became a travel weekend for Mike Martz.
Martz and Cutler met Saturday afternoon in Nashville, in what I can only imagine was a mildly awkward conversation. A source tells ESPN an interesting tidbit:
Another source told the paper that the process was "complicated," fueling speculation that there may be some disagreement between Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo about Martz.
Everyone's not on the same page? Who would've thought...
John Mullin over at CSNchicago.com also writes about this very topic. He's got some interesting points, including this quote from former Bears QB Jim Miller:
"Mike is demanding but has never committed to the run," former Bears quarterback and Comcast Sports Net analyst Jim Miller told CSNChicago.com. "I think Jay will post huge numbers but I question if [Matt] Forte is his kind of back."
As you can imagine, there are those who aren't so thrilled by the fact that Martz flew to Cutler, instead of the other way around. Many don't believe that Martz should've gone, period. David Haugh seems firmly entrenched in that camp. Writing about whether a Cutler/Martz "marriage" would work, Haugh says:
Highly respected Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers would work well too. But if the Bears go that direction now, Rogers always will look like their second choice who got the job because Cutler didn't like Martz's table manners. That's not fair to either guy.
That's why, the minute Martz boarded the plane to Tennessee with the Bears' blessing Saturday, he essentially was starting his new job.
And what of Rogers? We haven't really heard anything about their interview, but luckily Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is kind enough to let us know that he's simply waiting on the Bears at this point.
As many in the press, around the league, and around general football fandom continue to assume this is what will happen, I'm warming more and more to the idea of Martz being here. Some caveats, though--I'd like to see him work some of those deep drops into rollout plays, or shorten the drop and give a shorter route to someone. I'd also like to see him rework some packages to include the big playmaking tight end, which I think he would come to love if he ever got around to, y'know, using it.
Today could be a big day, folks. If Cutler and Martz think they can play nice with each other, and Jay won't skip any offseason work, we could know some pretty important stuff today. We'll keep you updated on that as it goes on.
Oh, and by the way, the Bears don't seem to have any other defensive coordinators in mind. So let's all continue assuming Marinelli will do it until we hear otherwise. Thanks.