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Columnist
Yes, Martz to Bears worth considering
By Mike Imrem | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 12/8/2009 12:01 AM

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The policy should be if your head coach has to fire his offensive coordinator, the owner might as well fire both.

Yet Lovie Smith remains the favorite to stay as Bears head coach and Ron Turner the favorite to go as offensive coordinator.

To play along, here's my take on the latest potential offensive coordinators: Charlie Weis, no; Mike Martz, yes.

Weis is too insufferable, but that's only one reason to not want him around Lake Forest.

Another is that Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, like Weis, is a Bill Belichick protégé. McDaniels couldn't wait to dispatch Jay Cutler from Denver, so what would a Cutler-Weis fit be like here?

Another reason to reject Weis is that he wouldn't bring Belichick along to replace Smith.

Now for Martz, who in St. Louis won a Super Bowl as offensive coordinator and lost one as head coach. By the way, Smith was his defensive coordinator in the loss.

Sunday morning brought a St. Louis Post-Dispatch column flattering Martz's offensive expertise. Sunday afternoon the Bears beat the Rams with an offense as creative as a 4-year-old's artwork taped to the refrigerator door.

Don't blame Turner for the juvenile game plan. Being juvenile might be the only way the Bears could survive against the 1-11 Rams.

Then again, maybe the offensive predicament the Bears find themselves in requires a creative offensive coordinator.

Anyway, reading the column on Martz and watching the Bears against the Rams were like adding 2 and 2 and coming up with 4 for a change.

It was fun a few years ago to go to St. Louis to watch the Bears play the Rams because Martz's offense was unlike anything anybody from Chicago could imagine.

I looked down on the field and marveled at how Martz had players lining up in odd formations, moving around before the snap and eventually running free.

It was almost as if somebody had put some actual thought into moving the ball, which figured considering the offense was dubbed "The Greatest Show on Turf."

Of course, the question is whether Martz could work similar magic with Cutler instead of Kurt Warner, Matt Forte instead of Marshall Faulk, Devin Hester instead of Isaac Bruce and Earl Bennett instead of Torry Holt, outdoors instead of in a dome, on a surface slow instead of fast.

It would be worth a try even though other reservations exist, like Martz's presence being too imposing for Halas Hall. He did develop a reputation in St. Louis for not always playing well with others.

Then there would be the matter of Martz working for a man who once worked for him, and perhaps the perception being that he sabotaged Turner.

Finally is that after Martz left St. Louis, he became the offensive coordinator for losing teams in Detroit and San Francisco.

The Post-Dispatch column and a subsequent conversation with the author relieved all my concerns.

A couple of days later I still can't forget that what I saw back then in St. Louis and what I see now in Soldier Field is like jets vs. props.

So while Charlie Weis is a no to replace Ron Turner, Mike Martz is a yes.

mimrem@dailyherald.com