11:54 AM CDT, August 1, 2011
I loved the way Olin Kreutz played.
I loved the way players spoke of his leadership.
I hated the way Kreutz left the Bears.
Bad guessing and hamhandedness seem to abound, but look, losing Kreutz doesn’t matter if Mike Martz was still going to have the freedom to call his quarterback-killing offense.
Kreutz was the center on a Bears line that gave up 10 sacks to the Giants and left Jay Cutler with a concussion early last season. Remember, on many of those plays the Giants rushed only four.
And the Bears sent only two players into the pattern.
And they still couldn’t block Martz’s playbook.
Kreutz also was the center on a Bears line that finished the season ranked 32nd in protecting the quarterback. Lucky for the Bears there are only 32 teams. It looks like they couldn’t be worse without Kreutz than they were with him, and that was true when Martz’s lunacy went unchecked.
After the bye, however, after aliens stole Martz’s crazy mind, the Bears suddenly came out with a balanced offense, which led to a lot more wins and a lot fewer sacks. Matt Forte ran behind a line that looked like it had played tackle football before. Cutler was extending drives instead of waiting for the coroner’s inquest.
Most telling was the last game of the regular season. The Bears didn’t need the game at Green Bay as much as the Packers did. Martz apparently viewed it as a freebie. He went back to his 4-1 pass ratio, and the offense stunk so badly that you’d think the backfield included Adam Dunn and Alex Rios.
That convinced me of several things. If he has his choice, Martz will always insist on running his pass-ridiculous offense with deep drops and deep routes that require blocks be held longer. If he has his choice, Martz also will ignore the Bears’ inability to block it. And now, with the trade of Greg Olsen and the signing of a blocking tight end and overrated big receiver who had success under Martz for a cruddy team, Martz appears to have his choice. The Bears’ moves appear to state that Martz will be allowed to show his insanity again this season.
If so, Kreutz doesn’t matter. Kreutz wouldn’t matter. He made the calls in the middle of the line learning Martz’s playbook last season, and it was still a disaster. The Bears saved themselves $4 million. More money for Cutler’s body cast.
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