My 10 Most Important Bears series is just my subjective look at the players and/or coaches that I feel need to come through in order for the team to max out its success. Up at No. 9, making his second straight appearance on my list is offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Last year I had him at 7, and it was his ability to change his spots that allowed the Bears to go on their second half run towards the NFC North Championship. Will Mad Martz rear his head in 2011 or will the balanced play caller still be around?
The word from Halas Hall was that the Bears coaches had a bye week pow wow and it was just decided to run the ball more. No Mike Tice threatening Martz with bodily harm and no Lovie Smith threatening Martz with a pink slip. It was just a simple reassessment of the game plan. The Bears had the most balanced offense in the league in the second half, and that's credited to Mike Martz. To say it was a drastic variation of his playbook isn't accurate, as his playbook is full of those runs and play action passes. Martz had to change his mindset in the way he attacks. The usual Martz philosophy is to stretch the field, but his o-line wouldn't allow him to do that.
Yeah, it was a bit stubborn that he didn't abandon the deeper drops sooner, but he was hoping his line would rise to the occasion. He had to give what he knows a try.
Now he knows for sure he can win with a more balanced approach. But will he ease into some more traditional Martz stuff or start the season off having Jay Cutler sling it all around? If Martz can ease into his offense, give his line some time to gel, and find out exactly how his young tackles respond, that will lead to more success down the road. But if the Mad Martz begins to take over playcalling, it could be another painful start to the season for Jay.
If you haven't already, be sure to check out Dave's take on Mike Martz right here.
The list so far
#10 - Henry Melton