A lot has been made of the quarterback stats that have been put up while Mike Martz has been calling plays. There's no questioning he's improved all his QB's the first year in his system, but what kind of numbers have his receivers been putting up?
I thought it'd be interesting to look at the leading receivers he'd had. I took the top 6 for each of his teams just to see the amount of receptions that each had. I started this exercise due to curiosity and boredom... so don't try and read too much into it. But I figured if I was gonna look up the stats to feed my curiosity, I may as well pass along the stats to the knowledgeable readers of WCG; maybe you all will find something interesting as well...
position - player - receptions
WR - Isaac Bruce - 87
WR - Torry Holt - 82
RB - Marshall Faulk - 81
WR - Az-Zahir Hakim - 53
WR - Ricky Proehl - 31
TE - Roland Williams - 11
RB - Marshall Faulk - 83
WR - Torry Holt - 81
WR - Isaac Bruce - 64
WR - Ricky Proehl - 40
WR - Az-Zahir Hakim - 39
TE - Ernie Conwell - 38
WR - Torry Holt - 91
RB - Marshall Faulk - 80
WR - Isaac Bruce - 79
WR - Ricky Proehl - 43
TE - Ernie Conwell - 34
RB - Lamar Gordon - 30
2005 Rams (Martz fired after 2-3 start)
WR - Torry Holt - 102
WR - Kevin Curtis - 60
WR - Shaun McDonald - 46
RB - Marshall Faulk - 44
RB - Stephen Jackson - 43
WR - Isaac Bruce - 36 (in 11 games)
First impressions... Torry Holt put up some huge numbers. Secondly, he turned Mike Furrey into a solid WR for a few years there. A well past his prime Isaac Bruce, with his familiarity for the offense, managed to grab a lot of passes in 2008. And not a lot of what you would call receiving threats at the tight end position those ten seasons.
So what did I take from these numbers as it pertains to what the future may hold for the Bears? Pretty much what I already suspected, but it's good to see it right there in black and white.
- If converted defensive back Mike Furrey can make nearly a hundred catches with Jon Kitna throwing to him, what does that do for your confidence in the unheralded group of Bear receivers?
- Seven seasons he had wide outs as his #1 and #2 receivers. I don't think there is a 100 catch guy on the Bears roster as it stands now, but I think the potential for a few 80 catch wide outs is definitely there.
- Martz loves getting his running back involved in the passing game. In 7 of his 10 seasons calling plays, he's had a running back in his teams top 3 for receptions. This is good news for for Matt Forte, and to a lesser extent... maybe even Garrett Wolfe?
- Aside from Vernon Davis in 2008, he's never had what you would call a pass catching tight end. And even Davis was labeled as an underachiever then, some even calling him a bust. Greg Olsen, who obviously still needs to work on his blocking, should have the skills necessary for Martz to find use for him.
For some perspective on the above stats, I'll throw up the 2009 Bears, under the offensive leadership of Ron Turner.
I think in 2010 we may see those 6 inverted. My initial guess is D.A. and Knox will end up being the starters, with Bennett spelling them from time to time and getting a lot snaps as the third WR, leaving Hester to play exclusively out of the slot and any other creative packages Martz can come up with. That is unless Jerry Angelo makes a move to pick up an established receiver. Which we all know he's just itching to do...