RedEye

If Martz wants Hanie, he has to go through Cutler first

Caleb Hanie was understandably respectful Wednesday. Mike Martz knows better than he does, Hanie said of the plays he is asked to execute, three of which turned into interceptions.

Jay Cutler, meanwhile, was remarkably protective of the player replacing him while he rehabs a broken thumb. Martz has to be careful with Hanie, Cutler said of the plays the new, inexperienced starter is asked to execute.

Specifically, Cutler said, “We have to be really careful with what kind of situations we put him in. Mike has to be careful with that. We really don’t know what Caleb is comfortable with. Caleb doesn’t know what he’s comfortable with because he hasn’t run a lot of these plays … in a high-pressure situation.’’

On the one hand, Martz has to make some seemingly bad calls if he and Hanie are going to find out what plays he executes well. That’s part of the pain with this situation. The Bears have to call a variety of plays so they know what plays they just can’t call anymore.

For instance, we can check that throwback screen off the bucket list. The slant, though, that’s a keeper. The Raiders believed it enough that Hanie was able to sell the fake slant, then hand off on a draw that worked. Hanie also looked more comfortable reading the high-low crossing patterns that is standard Martz and resulted in Kellen Davis open in the end zone for a touchdown.

On the other hand, Cutler’s caveat is well taken. The guy has experience with Martz’s play-calling.

Specifically, the guy has experience with Martz’s belief that the players are expected to execute the ludicrous.

One example: Martz’s seven-game insistence on seven-step drops that were murdering Cutler last season.

Another example: That silly end-around call to the slowest end on the Bears less than 30 yards from the end zone in the dying seconds of the NFC Championship Game.

Martz blamed the players’ execution on the Earl Bennett end-around, just as he blamed Hanie’s execution on the silly throwback screen that changed Sunday’s game in Oakland. Martz said screens are good plays and that particular screen is one that has always worked.

Well, no. It hasn’t. Martz wears that one, whether he knows it or not. It’s not always the players’ fault, not when Cutler can’t run that play any better than Hanie.

Point is, Martz usually has the players at fault for his most ludicrous calls, an it sounds like at least one player --- the key player even when he’s not playing --- is tired of that crud.

Connecting the dots here: Martz was putting that play and probably others on Hanie before either of them met the media Wednesday, and Cutler knew it before he met the media Wednesday, which explains why the guy with the thumb in a cast wagged the big verbal finger. Be careful with the backup, Cutler fired off publicly to Martz, sounding like a big brother taking care of Junior. You want Hanie, you have to go through me.

Good for Cutler. His caveat born out of experience with some Martz lunacy also smacks of Cutler’s growing leadership. It sounds as if it doesn’t matter whether Cutler is playing, he’s still trying to take ownership of the game plan and protect the offense from the offensive coordinator.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    The four musicians in Marrow know quite a bit about bringing diverse influences to the table. After all, three of them, singer-guitarist Liam Kazar, singer-keyboardist Macie Stewart and bassist Lane Beckstrom were in Kids These Days, a now-defunct septet that combined jazz, funk, rap and rock in...

  • The Kids These Days family tree

    The Kids These Days family tree

    From its 2009 beginnings to its 2013 demise, Chicago's Kids These Days seemed like one of the most promising acts the city had seen in years. While the band split up at the height of its hype, its members have since gone on to do bigger and better things—seriously impressive considering the hip-hop/rock/jazz...

  • Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    After the dissolution of Kids These Days, the much-buzzed about Chicago fusion-jazz-rock-rap septet that split in spring 2013 just a few months after releasing its only album, “Traphouse Rock,” some of its members spent what seems like all of 20 minutes bandless. "We were driving back from the...

  • Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

  • GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    Technical difficulties at GrubHub and Seamless over the weekend drove hordes of hangry would-be customers to air their grievances on social media. The food ordering and delivery sites, which merged in 2013 and use GrubHub’s back-end technology, errantly accepted payments on Saturday evening without...

  • One dead in Heart of Chicago after being shot by police

    One dead in Heart of Chicago after being shot by police

    A 29-year-old man died after being shot by police on the Lower West Side early Saturday, police said.

Comments
Loading
76°