The spin machine is working overtime in Chicago where the Bears have hired former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz as their offensive coordinator.
The disaster that is the Chicago Bears organization tells it like this: Martz was the Bears first choice all along and the only one offered the job.
In reality, the Bears tried to interview then USC offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and then Baltimore quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson. Bates took the offensive coordinator job in Seattle and Jackson the same position in Oakland. Both choose not to interview with Chicago.
The Bears asked the Packers for permission to speak with quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, but they were denied.
The Bears actually interviewed Cincinnati quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese and San Diego assistant head coach and tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski. Zampese was given a one-week window by the Bengals, and the Bears didn’t offer him a contract during that window, so Zampese returned to Cincinnati by default. Chudzinski backed out of consideration.
Before interviewing and hiring Martz, the Bears also interviewed Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers, who, apparently by default, was a finalist along with Martz.
So, either the Bears got their seventh choice as offensive coordinator, or they’re just a bunch of idiots who decided to waste a lot of people’s time and make their organization look like it’s filled with bumbling fools who didn’t really know who they wanted for offensive coordinator to begin with.
Yeah, must be the latter.
Seriously though, why would anyone want to coach in Chicago, right now? Coach Lovie Smith looks like a lame duck and quarterback Jay Cutler isn’t exactly a great decision maker on the field. That’s not the greatest recipe for having a job in Chicago past 2010.
In Martz, the Bears get the man who led the Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis, whose offense featured the high-flying exploits of Kurt Warner, Mashall Faulk, Tory Holt and Isaac Bruce. He was 56-36 as the Rams head coach and actually hired Smith as defensive coordinator in 2001.
Despite his familiarity with Smith, Martz doesn’t exactly seem like a fit in Chicago. Martz throws early and often, while Smith has described himself as a coach who favors the run. Martz served as offensive coordinator in Detroit in 2006 and 2007, followed by a one-year stint as offensive coordinator in San Francisco. He lost both jobs because he wouldn’t utilize the run.
Under last season’s offensive coordinator Ron Turner, the Bears averaged 23.3 rushing attempts per game, good for 29th in the league. We all know how well that worked for the Bears. They finished 7-9 and Turner got fired.
The Bears’ solution? Run the old misdirection play by pretending they want something different and then hire someone who has a history of calling the game in exactly the same manner.
You also have to wonder how Martz will function on the same staff as Bears defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who fired him as offensive coordinator when he was head coach in Detroit.
And then there’s the question of Martz’s arrogance, which has been on full display throughout his career and showed up again today when he offered this assessment.
“Lovie was very clear at the beginning of the process that this was going to take time and he was going to go through it step by step,” said Martz, who expressed interest early on. “That’s always difficult, but he did it the right way — especially since I got the job.”
I can see how that attitude will work well with Smith’s reserved personality and Cutler’s volatile one.
Good job on getting your seventh choice, Chicago!