Hanie could use some help from Mike Martz, too. The offensive coordinator must've ditched his Seven-Step Drop Anonymous meeting. What's more, Martz apparently was so scarred from criticism of that throwback screen that cost the Bears in Oakland that he never tried to slow the Chiefs with screens in a different kind of disaster.
This situation unfortunately combines the offensive line's inability to do its job with Martz's distaste for tight ends who catch the ball. Martz got the big bodies he wanted as extra blockers so he could call an offense that the Bears can't execute.
Instead, Davis has to stay in to block as part of the max protect scheme.
But that gives Hanie fewer options, so he holds the ball until, well, really until Knox comes open, and it's usually short of the first-down marker in the standard Martz high-low routes.
Martz likes to say that all of his play-calls have an answer. Problem is, Hanie acts like it's an essay test and he's taking hours to fill the blue book. The answer, then, demands the Bears call plays that train Hanie --- force him --- to make the right decision, like it or not.
Start with the running game. Simpy let the minivan formerly known as Marion Barber pound on the fast and aggressive Broncos. Pound, pound, pound. It pays off late. Mommy, make it stop.
Three-step drops. Heck, one-step drops and throw the slant. Keep nine men in to block. Put one receiver in the pattern. Give Hanie no choice. Throw or die.
The out pattern to the tight end. It's simple, harmless even for a wild-high thrower like Hanie, and would instill a bit of confidence in the quarterbacks.
Screen plays. Hel-LO.
The ideal game plan for the Broncos involves Martz realizing who his quarterback is and showing some discipline with the playbook, two elements to which he rarely responds consistently. The ideal game plan also involves Hanie-proofing the offense. The Bears don't really know if Hanie can win in this league. Or, if they do know, the answer is no, and they're lighting candles in Lake Forest.
Point is, the Martz bravado about using the same, cumbersome playbook for Hanie that he used with Cutler is ridiculous. It's unfair to Hanie and the Bears. Whose side is Martz on, anyway? Show off your geniusness in your next job.
I'm not talking about dumbing it down. I'm talking about judicious use of the shots down the field. I know the Bears have to throw deep sometimes. They have to keep the defense honest. But as much as Martz might hate the idea, the plan must start and continue with punishing the defense as best as the Bears can.
Look, for all the crimes against offensive football the Bears committed last Sunday, Barber and Kahlil Bell still ran for 78 yards on 18 carries, an average of 4.3 yards --- an average that all but a lunatic offensive coordinator would embrace.
So, run at Elvis Dumervil. Run at him again. And again. It beats letting Dumervil give J'Marcus Webb windburn. It beats letting every Broncos defender make contract bonuses by rushing past Lance Louis. Most of all, it beats giving Hanie the chance to do something stupid.