And now we come to Lovie Smith’s newest sideline brain cramp:
The Bears coach was too lame to remove either Jay Cutler or Mike Martz from Sunday’s pantsing in New Orleans.
I thought Smith had learned.
I thought wrong.
On Monday, Smith said he never thought about pulling Cutler in the final minutes of the “Slaughter in the Superdome.’’
Nobody on the Bears’ line could block. Nobody on the Bears’ line looked as if they even understood the concept. Nobody ordered running plays. All of this came on Smith’s watch, so I’d say he could be charged with being an accessory.
Smith said by way of excuse Monday that you learn things when you’re in tough situations and you need to go through them together and blah, blah, blah. While some of that sentiment is true, it’s also a year late.
Smith obviously didn’t learn from last season’s “Massacre in the Meadowlands.’’
You remember that: The Giants sacked Cutler a record nine times in the first half and finished him off with a concussion because Smith’s offensive coordinator was flying over the cuckoo’s nest.
Some of it was on the players. When you have eight guys and they can’t block four rushers, that’s on the dorks in uniform. But most of the time, Martz was putting his players in a position to fail, the worst charge against a coach.
And now we come to the second half in New Orleans. It wasn’t as back as the Meadowland, but with the six sacks and a game total of 16 quarterback hits, it looked like the Saints found out Cutler had just signed his organ donor card.
You’d hope the head coach could protect his quarterback better than his blockers and offensive coordinator did. Guess not.
We’re talking about a quarterback with concussion issues, remember. So, it takes less of a hit to turn Cutler’s brain into minestrone. And here was Smith, continuing to send Cutler into the huddle under these curcimstances, a loss of a game a given, a loss of all mental faculties apparently the goal.
If a coach is going to play the stupid card, then at least stop the guy from dropping back. No more passes. Handoffs only, got it? I realize it looks like a team is giving up, same as pulling the starting quarterback. But, tough. I’d rather give up a game where the players and offensive coaches appear to have no clue than give up the life of the starter at the most important position on the team. Hel-LO!
Smith, however, did not tell Cutler to sit and did not tell Martz to stop his nonsense.
But hey, at least Smith needed less than a day to realize a 52-11 pass-run distribution was lunacy. He didn’t use the word lunacy, but he indicated Monday he had spoken to Martz about achieving a pass-run balance that is somewhat less ridiculous.
Of course, a balanced offense still won’t work if you can’t block it.
We already know the Bears can’t block the craziness that Martz called Sunday. We do know they faked a balanced offense after the bye last season, winning five in a row and six or seven.
They lost two games to the Packers, both of which had Martz’s OD’ing on his vision of an offense with a 4-1 pass-run ratio that the Bears couldn’t execute, still can’t execute, and won’t be able to execute as long as management refuses to improve the line and receivers.
Still, say this for Smith: He didn’t wait almost a month like last year to call Martz into the principal’s office. A smart coach might actually do something during the game while watching it from the sidelines, but I suppose any form of action by the coach before Halloween would represent progress. Perhaps he learned a little something.
And I believe we know why Martz hasn’t received a contract extension.