Bears’ Mike Martz not in tight spot with trade of Greg Olsen
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org August 2, 2011 11:02PM
Tight end Kellen Davis has the size and skill set that offensive coordinator Mike Martz prefers. | Nam Y. Huh~AP
Updated: November 2, 2011 6:36PM
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — It wasn’t about Greg Olsen, Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said.
‘‘This is more about Kellen Davis and what we saw from him,’’ Martz said Tuesday.
Martz tacitly confirmed what was fairly obvious since he became coordinator before last season — that as productive as Olsen is in the passing game, Martz’s offense needs tight ends who block first. The addition of the 6-7, 260-pound Matt Spaeth from the Pittsburgh Steelers and the return of the 6-7, 267-pound Davis give Martz what he needs.
‘‘These are two giant tight ends who can run,’’ Martz said. ‘‘Kellen can flat run, and catch. So we’ve got two tight ends that we think can block a defensive end by themselves. That’s hard to do in the National Football League. But you get a tight end that’s 270 pounds, with that big ol’ wing span, you don’t have to double-team the edge to get outside.
‘‘It allows you a freedom in the running game that you would normally not have. Instead of running away from them [the tight ends], you can run at him and expect him to win without getting help from the tackle. So it really allows you to be a lot more multiple in your runs and more creative with the running back.”
Davis, who had one catch last season, a 19-yard touchdown in the Bears’ 27-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field, is ready for the challenge.
‘‘I think I’m ready,’’ he said. ‘‘I definitely feel a lot more comfortable with the offense [this season]. It’s a comfort level that allows me to play faster and be more confident in what I’m doing.’’
Conte, Thomas shine
It’s early, but Bears coach Lovie Smith said rookie safety Chris Conte and rookie linebacker J.T. Thomas have been impressive in the first three days.
Conte, a third-round draft pick from California, intercepted rookie quarterback Nathan Enderle in the seven-on-seven drill Tuesday. Thomas, a sixth-round pick from West Virginia, is playing alongside Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs with the first team because Nick Roach can’t participate in practice until Thursday.
‘‘As a rookie, you need to do something to show up,’’ Smith said. ‘‘Chris Conte, the earlier practices he looked good. Today, if you’re a defensive back, it’s about getting interceptions and I like some of the things he’s done.
‘‘Same thing with J.T. Thomas. He’s gotten a lot of reps and he’s shown up also.’’
Clark needed after all
Desmond Clark, who fell out of favor with the Bears in Martz’s offense — he was inactive for 11 games — signed a one-year contract.
Jay Cutler completed 12 of 20 passes in ‘‘team’’ drills Tuesday, including four to Devin Hester and three to Johnny Knox. Cutler was intercepted by Major Wright on a deep route.
Enderle, a fifth-round pick from Idaho, had a tough day, going 7-for-16 with two interceptions.