Mike Martz: Will He Stay or Will He Go?

The rumor mill is starting to churn regarding the status of Chicago Bears Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz. With his contract expiring at the end of this season and quite a bit of offensive inconsistencies, many fans are wondering will Mr. Martz bite Bears dust?

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Lovie Smith snapped when asked if he planned on bringing Martz back. “What kind of question is that anyway?” Smith said, angrily. “At this time, what kind of question is that? Why would you ask a question like that anyway?” reports Comcast SportsNet.

Yes, the question was a bit out of line, considering coaching evaluations are not done until after the season is complete, but his reaction doesn’t bode much confidence on the return of Martz next year. Normally, we would expect a traditional “Mike Martz is our Offensive Coordinator,” from the smooth sailing Smith.

 I think this story might have a different tune if the Bears could have avoided so many crucial injuries. If you take a look back on the season, here is a breakdown:

  1. We looked impressive in our season opener against Atlanta – offense, defense, and special teams all successful.
  2. The next 6 games were a bit rough, not looking dominate in much of anything offensively. We skated by ending up 4-3 going into our bye week. Much of the criticism was pointed at Martz, looking like a stubborn old man who wouldn’t run plays that were working throughout first halves and not playing to his players strengths.
  3. After the bye week, the Bears came back and won 5 straight games, we had fewer interceptions, more QB protection AND increased TDs. The only team, who scored more averaged points per game during that stretch were our rival Green Bay Packers. We all had hopes of another NFC championship throwndown with Aaron Rodgers and crew.
  4. And then Jay Cutler’s thumb was ruined by San Diego, and we were forced to endure the Kansas City loss (who took out Matt Forte), the Tim Tebow and Denver comeback, the Seattle loss (which nearly paralyzed Johnny Knox) as well as our Christmas day demise by Green Bay.
  5. And here we are, our final game against Minnesota starting Josh McCown and with a laundry list of players on injured reserve.

So what exactly would be best for the Bears offense and their overall success? Do we fire Martz and put Cutler on the coordinator merry-go-round just when he was looking confident executing Martz’s offense? Martz is Cutler’s third offensive coordinator since being drafted to the Bears. If you look at quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady they have a few things in common: consistency, routine, confidence in the execution of their offense, and Superbowl rings. They have been able to perfect the original offenses they were given. I believe Cutler has the potential to be great, but would it be fair to throw another coordinator at him yet again? And if Martz stays, is his offense outdated and too predictable? Is Cutler better off with a new offense – actually having control and being able to call an audible?

I have to admit, I am happy this decision doesn’t lie in my hands. YIKES.

Stick it to Him

As we all know the Packers are the talk of the NFL for some very valid reasons, but this gem I found makes me respect their fan base just a little bit more.  Right now Aaron Rodgers is having a remarkable year (it should just read “UNREAL” when discussing his passing yards or completions instead of a number), BUT they are the Bears ultimate rival.

Cheese-hat action

However this picture is awesome (I know the Packers embarrassed the Bears nationally on Christmas Day, but we’ve all put this year to rest and will keep our fingers and toes crossed for next season). I think any girl/woman who’s ever been cheated on can appreciate this amazing photo.

Touche Packer fan, you show him who won that battle. She looks so content with her current state. Cheaters get couches and nice girls get to go to football games. #getitgirl

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Best-fan-sign-of-the-year-Packers-fan-uses-game?urn=nfl-wp14705

Probowlin Bears

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Despite the disappointing outcome this season, five Chicago Bears will be making their way to the Pro Bowl in Honolulu. I guess it wasn’t all bad; we’ll go with “bittersweet.”

After many impressive seasons with the Bears, veteran cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman has been voted to his first Pro Bowl. Middle linebacker Brain Urlacher, outside linebacker Lance Briggs, running back Matt Forte, and special teams rock-star Corey Graham will also represent the Bears this year. This is the largest group of players the Bears have sent to a Pro Bowl since 2006 (when they made their run to the Superbowl).

This will be Urlacher’s eighth visit to the Pro Bowl, tying Dick Butkus, Doug Atkins and Bill George for the third most visits in franchise history behind only Mike Singletary and Walter Payton (all of which are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame). Soon enough we may see a bronze bust of Urlacher (and that large thick neck of his) forever enshrined in Canton. Briggs will be attending his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl, leading the team with 140 tackles. Along with Tillman, Forte and Graham are Pro Bowl newbies. Defensive end Julius Peppers and return specialist Devin Hester were selected as first alternates.

I’d like to state the obvious now. There’s a whole lot of defense listed above, some talented special teams, and although Matt Forte (pre-knee injury) was killing it racking up the rushing yards, it would be nice to see some more offensive players selected. Hey Mr. Angelo take a hint…Let’s get us a real wide receiver huh?!

Enough ranting. Congrats to all of the Pro Bowlers from the Bears. I would have rather seen another playoff run, a Packer defeat in the NFC Championship and a Super Bowl win. Wishful thinking – beggars can’t be choosers.

I want to send a shout-out to Vince Wilfork, one of the eight Patriots going to the Pro Bowl and my favorite teddy bear in the AFC. Hopefully we’ll get to see another interception like this 🙂

 

Bulls. Are. Back.

As if we didn’t love him enough, Derrick Rose gave us a bit of a “Christmas Miracle” as he proved once again why he is the reining MVP. Trailing the Lakers by 10 points late in the fourth quarter in the highly anticipated season opener, Rose hit a floater with 4.8 seconds left in regulation. The game came down to two of the league’s greatest stars getting the ball in crunch time. Kobe Bryant with a turnover. Rose made his shot. Bryant’s was covered by 3 bulls defenders, blocked from behind by Luol Deng and the Bulls took the win 88-87.

(Watch it love it)

The Bulls started the first two quarters strong, leading the Lakers at the half. The second half was stagnant for the team, shooting only 25 percent from the floor. Although Rose stole the show for the game winner and lead the team with 22 points, there were a few other noteworthy performances for the Bulls.

I was digging Deng’s new doo – kind of like a mini mow-hawk, but more importantly I enjoyed his 21 points. He had 5 consecutive points to pull the Bulls within a point with 20.4 seconds left in the game.

I really missed watching Joakim Noah’s messy bun bounce up and down the court, although it seemed a bit toned down from the animal he was rockin during the playoffs. I would like to see him get a few more offensive rebounds, box out the big men, but all in all you can’t argue with the man’s intensity.

Richard “Rip” Hamilton started for the Bulls. I think he had some crappy fouls called against him right away, which caused him to play cautiously throughout the remainder of the game. Hopefully he doesn’t always find himself in foul trouble. I’m excited to see what he will bring to the team this season.

It was an exciting game for Chicago fans, brought back the “come-back-hold your breath” win feeling we all experienced during the Bulls 2011 playoff run. However, the Lakers team has a new head coach and a new lineup. The Bulls will need to play a more consistent offensive game to beat more developed teams, especially in the east (ahem Heat ahem Celtics).

Daaa da daa Hey! Go Bulls!

Kaner Gets Filthy in Shootout

Patrick Kane has always been wicked with his puck handling skills, but Wednesday night against the Minnesota Wild #88 out did himself. Kane’s shootout goal is a MUST SEE, and honestly you’ll want to watch it more than once. Even Jonathan Toews said Kane’s shootout goal  was “awesome, it was sick.”

Kane skates down on Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, he slows almost to a stop, he dekes what seems like more than a dozen times (I lost track), completely fakes out Backstrom and BAM he fires into the empty net. Blackhawks win 4-3, clinching their fifth straight win on the road. The Wild lead the NHL with 44 points. The Blackhawks, who are 7-1-1 in their last nine games, have 42.

“I was ready to bring it to my forehand or backhand, and he bit on the backhand,” Kane said.

Though it’s still very early in the season, many say this could potentially be the best shootout goal of the year. You have to see it to believe it.Take a look at Patrick Kane’s shootout goal vs. Minnesota and share your thoughts!

“Rip City” to Our City

This just in (well about 4 hours ago) Mr. Richard “Rip” Hamilton has been traded to our very own Chicago Bulls. A former Detroit Pistons All-Star, Hamilton is a true two shooting guard and has a championship under his belt, just what John Paxson and the Bulls front office ordered. With Derrick, Joakim, and Luol by his side, this new lineup will hopefully “rip” through the eastern conference.

According to league sources, Rip is expected to practice with the Bulls Thursday and possibly even suit up for the exhibition game against the Pacers Friday. Tom Thibodeau was unable to confirm any information about Hamilton after Wednesday’s second practice says EPSN Chicago.

I think “Chi city” is going to welcome “Rip city” with open arms, and hopefully his shot will be better than last season. “You can sense everybody is excited for him to be here,” Luol Deng said. If his shooting percentage can be what it was in 2004, he may be able to fill a void the Bulls have been missing.

Derrick Rose has confidence in Hamilton’s shooting ability as well, saying “I know my assists will go up (with Rip on the team)”.

The terms of the negotiation have not been confirmed, although the Chicago Tribune reported Hamilton will sign a two-year deal for $10 million, and the third year is a team option.

Now that the official business has been discussed, let’s move onto what really matters…is he going to sport a black face guard and red sweat band now that he will be rocking a Bulls uniform? It’s all about that signature face guard.

We Miss the Way #CuttyDoesIt

This video says it best – Cutty come back. Jay Cutler’s thumb injury in the win against San Diego has proven more painful for the Bears and Chicago fans than expected. After watching Caleb Hanie struggle for two weeks and scoring a measly three points against the Cheifs, we just can’t take the humiliation anymore.

Last week against Kansas City another one bit the dust, when Matt Forte took a helmet to his right knee and injured his MCL. Such an injury usually sidelines a player anywhere from two to six weeks. The 7-5 Bears can’t afford anymore losses, so Marion Barber better put on his running game party pants because we’re expecting him to put up some numbers for us (I’m crossing my fingers).

With our star players both questionable for the remainder of the season, many fans have given up hope for a playoff spot this year. I may hold my breathe through this week’s Tim Tebow adventure. At least we can make fun videos about it while we wallow in our sorrows. Unfortunately, Forte doesn’t have a sweet song written for him yet, but I found this gem on youtube, do enjoy.

“Cutty Come back we’re working with a useless QB.” Thank you “Magic 1” for writing these hilarious lyrics.

Also, if you missed this earlier in the Bears season, “Teach Me How to Cutty” is another great listen.