Martz, Cutler agree on quick fix
By Mark Potash firstname.lastname@example.org October 13, 2011 7:04PM
Updated: November 16, 2011 3:47PM
Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said he will comply with Jay Cutler’s request for more pass plays that allow him to beat the almost immediate-pressure he faced against the Detroit Lions on Monday night. But he added that the best solution is to stabilize the offensive line.
‘‘We’re working on it,’’ Martz said. ‘‘He’s absolutely right. We’ve talked about it as a staff, and we’ve addressed this issue.
‘‘The same thing happened to us last year, if you remember. Once we stabilized the line . . . things went well. But that’s not the case. So we’ve got to make sure we’re giving him a chance with some of those quicker throws. There’s no question about that.’’
Martz said the adjustments could be implemented in time for the Sunday night game against the Minnesota Vikings, who are tied for second in the NFL in sacks (16) and are led by sack leader Jared Allen (8½).
‘‘Oh, sure,’’ Martz said. ‘‘It’s all part of the system. We just change gears and go in that direction. It’s not hard. We’re dealing with that, and we’re certainly going to address that.’’
Cutler negotiated consistent pressure by the Lions to complete 28 of 38 passes for 249 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions in the Bears’ 24-13 loss. His effectiveness throwing on the run reignited the argument that, with the protection problems, Cutler would benefit by having plays called that allow him to move the pocket and throw on the run.
Martz was even open to that idea Thursday, even though Cutler has said it’s not really within the framework of the offense.
‘‘Sure, it is,’’ Martz said. ‘‘It can be. And we certainly have done that before. We can certainly do that.’’
Martz emphasized that Cutler is not the problem with the offense.
‘‘The problem is we don’t have a lot of offensive linemen, and the ones we have, have gotten injured,’’ Martz said. ‘‘We’ve got guys moving all over the place. It’s guys playing positions they haven’t played before. You have to understand how hard that is.
‘‘We’re doing the best we can. Mike Tice has done a remarkable job with all the changes. He’s a miracle worker right now.’’
Three Bears linemen have missed games because of injury — rookie right tackle Gabe Carimi (dislocated kneecap), right guard Lance Louis (ankle) and his replacement, Chris Spencer (broken hand). With Louis expected to replace Frank Omiyale at right tackle and Spencer likely to replace Louis at right guard, the Bears will have a different line combination for the fifth time in six games.
But until the Bears get some continuity on the line, it’s up to Martz to mold the offense around the quarterback rather than the other way around.
‘‘You know, there was nothing wrong with the opener [a 30-12 victory over the Atlanta Falcons], right?’’ Martz said. ‘‘Well, we had everybody. We were healthy. But we do have to make some adjustments. We know that. And we’ll do that. What those adjustments are, we’ll discuss and just leave it at that.’’