I know, I know, it's still sinking in for some of you.
Martz has been quite the hot topic for you guys today, and with good reason. Lots of potential, lots of room for error. It should, if nothing else, make for a very interesting season. Some of you are thinking that this means we're doomed, some of you are excited to see what throwing the ball can do. I think we can all agree--we're relieved they're doing something, even if it's not what all of us wanted.
The news is the talk of the town right now, even though the Bulls have pulled a road winning streak out of their rear, and the Blackhawks continue to dominate the NHL. Just goes to show you--these Bears live in all our hearts, good or bad.
Martz fielded some questions today from the press. Chicagobreakingsports.com brings you the full scoop. I'll bring you some highlights:
On the perception that he's not a great fit for the Bears because he likes to throw the ball:
"You know, (I'm) very pragmatic in the approach. And I think that you have to analyze your personnel, the circumstances and situation like Soldier Field, and look at what you have with the condition and then proceed from there.
On his meeting with Jay Cutler on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.:
"It was even better than I anticipated. There was an instant connection. You know, that happened to me and Jon Kitna the first time I met him.
"This was really interesting because we just were on the same page in so many things. In fact, I really got excited. We were in a little classroom down there at Vanderbilt, and we were just kind of talking football. And he asked about special plays. I put a play up that was designed specifically for the Tampa Cover 2. I told him this is how we put it in, ran it through, hit a touchdown on it. He asked a question about that play, a wide-receiver split, that kind of just stopped me dead in my tracks. It just showed that he's so far ahead and on top of this type of thing, that veteran quarterbacks generally don't even asked that.
Neil Hayes over at the Sun-Times has some great quotes from the conference call as well. Some quotes below:
Martz also said he was excited about what he has seen from the Bears' receiving corps.
"There's plenty of talent there," he said. "I'm real excited about the speed."
Martz also said that although he hasn't used tight ends much in the past he sees Greg Olsen as a different breed of tight end who can create mismatches against linebackers and safeties in his scheme.
"Like all positions, you take a look at what you have and who they are and what they can do and go from there," he said.
"We'll be hitting on all cylinders on opening day," he said. "I promise you that. There is a lot of character in this group. ... They want to learn and that's the biggest part of it."
They went on to talk to Lovie Smith, who emphasized that both he and Jerry have been on the same page since Day 1. The need to emphasize this tells me that they weren't.
Jerry Angelo then goes on to emphasize the same, because apparently we didn't believe it when Lovie said it? (I didn't.) Then he makes the most obvious statement of the whole thing:
"We wanted to make a change and Mike Martz brings change to our coaching style."
No kidding, Mr. Angelo. We wait to see if that's good or bad.
And finally, Vermeil told ESPN today that hiring Martz was the best thing that the Bears could do:
"He's a brilliant football coach and a tough football coach, and it takes a tough-minded quarterback to handle the type of coaching he's going to get," Vermeil said, "but I'm sure you've got one there, and I think it's a positive.
"I think Mike will do a great job of working with Lovie Smith. They've done it before together, taking a team to the Super Bowl. Lovie Smith has made some good decision here in the past, this is probably his best one."
Keep your comments coming--we love 'em.