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Early success key, says Martz
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff

Linebacker Brian Urlacher runs down Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett after a short reception in last week's victory.


Associated Press

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Published: 9/27/2010 12:03 AM

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Coordinator Mike Martz already had a reputation as an offensive mastermind when he came to the Bears, but Jay Cutler's 649 passing yards in two games have given the Bears the NFL's No. 1 passing offense, which helps solidify his credibility.

"The biggest issue is to have some success with what we're doing," Martz said. "This is something that I was kind of holding my breath about. When you start off, it can go either way.

"It was such a young group of receivers, and we're together for the first time, so to have a little success like this helps them (this) week.

"Are we where we need to be? No, but we've made progress. Can we be much better? We can be, and we have to get better to win this week."

Although Martz had to abandon seven-step drops against Dallas because of the pass-rush pressure, Cutler said the Bears will come back to the deeper drops and longer routes.

"The guys we're putting in there, they get paid, too," he said. "So they've got to go out there and play."

Better than Brett: Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher played 15 games against future Hall of Famer Brett Favre, when Favre was the Packers' quarterback, helping to lead Green Bay to an 8-7 record in those games.

But Urlacher thinks current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is better than Favre in some ways.

"I think he takes care of the football better," Urlacher said. "He doesn't throw a lot of picks. He gets it in (narrow) windows, but he doesn't try to force it in windows.

"He doesn't try to make that throw. He'll take the check-down or he'll throw it away. He doesn't really try to force the ball.

"Not that Brett forces it, but Brett will take some chances on some throws. And a lot of defensive guys don't catch the ball when Brett throws it because he throws it so hard, so he gets away with it."

The Bears intercepted Favre 13 times in their last six games against him as the Packers quarterback.

Mirror, mirror: The combination of last week's 2 interceptions and his confident, outgoing personality have made D.J. Moore a media favorite.

He had the same engaging personality last year, but since he played sparingly in just three games he was hardly in demand.

"I might've done one (interview)," he said, "and that was in the mirror. No, I'm only joking. But that's how it works. If you're not on the field you won't get interviewed.

"So if you're getting interviewed, that's normally a good thing - or a bad thing."

Helping hands: Offensive tackles Frank Omiyale and Kevin Shaffer both will get help keeping Packers outside linebacker and NFL sack leader Clay Matthews off Jay Cutler in passing situations. But late in the week they weren't sure exactly how they'd do that.

"We're still figuring that out," coach Lovie Smith said. "The two teams before (the Eagles and the Bills), I guess you could say they never really did.

"We'll know where he is. Our guys realize who he is. We'll have a plan to hopefully keep him away from Jay most of the time."

No respect: Brian Urlacher doesn't mind that the Bears haven't gotten much credit for their 2-0 start.

"Don't care," he said. "I'm not worried about it. We seem to play better as the underdog anyway.

"Even if we win (against the Packers), we won't get the respect, so that would be real good. People will just keep picking against us, (but) we seem to play better in that role anyway."