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Columnist
Martz only choice to help this situation
By Mike Imrem | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 1/20/2010 12:02 AM

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The Bears can delay hiring an offensive coordinator for a few more weeks as long as they finally settle on Mike Martz.

If head coach Lovie Smith is going to be fired after next season anyway, the Bears might as well have some fun going down in flames instead of running into walls.

Of course, the Bears rarely do what they should so they'll likely wind up with somebody as inspiring as an inside handoff on third-and-30.

All the negatives surrounding Martz, the former Rams head coach and offensive innovator, are positives for the Bears.

Like, the theory is that Martz's "Greatest Show on Turf" passing game won't fly in bad weather, won't work on natural grass and will get Bears quarterback Jay Cutler killed.

All true, perhaps.

Martz does prefer passing to running, and the sentiment is that just isn't as conducive to Chicago in the cold as to St. Louis in room temperature.

Bears coaches always have been partial to "getting off the bus running" because of the elements. But Brett Favre, whom Cutler is compared to, somehow won a lot of games throwing a lot of passes in frigid Green Bay.

Don't we always say that a receiver has the advantage on a slippery field? You mean that doesn't include Soldier Field?

OK, so maybe it applies here and maybe it doesn't. It sure would be exciting to experiment and find out with Cutler distributing the ball next season.

Anyway, that isn't even why the Bears would be better off hiring Martz than any other candidate mentioned.

It's his reputation for being hard to get along with. Perfect for the Bears, isn't it?

This team doesn't need somebody who can get along with Smith and Cutler. Those two guys have demonstrated they don't know as much about offense as a coach and a quarterback should.

What Smith and Cutler need is somebody who will tell them, "No-no-no, you're wrong, you're nuts, this is why you didn't make the playoffs."

Smith must be scared of that. Otherwise he already would have hired Martz, whom he respects and worked well with in St. Louis.

The conclusion must be that Smith knows he can't control Martz the way he controlled previous offensive coordinator Ron Turner.

Smith might talk all week about running the ball and Martz might come out throwing. Doing the opposite of what this head coach wants is a good thing.

Now for Cutler.

For all his athletic gifts, this season he indicated that his mechanics and awareness require more coaching than the Bears gave him.

The buddy system isn't going to provide the help Cutler needs. Only somebody bigger than he is will help, as Mike Shanahan demonstrated in Denver.

Cutler needs a Martz, who can frighten him with a glare, will tell him to stuff his attitude and might even yank him from a game after a couple of those careless interceptions for which he has become notorious.

For all of Mike Martz's faults, and possibly for all the wrong reasons, this stubborn, arrogant, difficult reputed offensive genius is the right guy at this time for Cutler and Smith.

So, fellas, keep interviewing whomever you want and then hire Mike Martz.

mimrem@dailyherald.com