Mike Martz spent two seasons as offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, from 2010 to 2011.
Martz, 71, has been coaching in some capacity since 1973, and he coached in the NFL from 1992 until 2011, winning Super Bowl 34 after serving as offensive coordinator for the then-St. Louis Rams.
Martz hasn’t coached in the league since his final season in Chicago, and he is currently an NFL insider for The 33rd Team. In his August 24 column, the former Bears OC named the team’s second-year quarterback Justin Fields the worst QB in the NFC North behind Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings and Jared Goff of the Detroit Lions.
While placing Rodgers, the reigning MVP, and the more experienced Cousins ahead of Fields makes sense, placing Goff and the oft-beleaguered Lions in front of Fields and the Bears — coupled with a few of Martz’s other comments — set Bears Twitter off.
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Martz: Fields ‘Makes a lot of Mistakes’
In his NFC North preview titled “Justin Fields in ‘No-Win Situation’ for Talent-Poor Bears,” Martz didn’t have many positive things to say about his former team or its second-year signal-caller.
“Fields is a guy that makes a lot of mistakes and is not particularly accurate at times,” Martz wrote. “He’s not a quick read-and-react guy, and he’s on a horrendous team. But I don’t know if I’ve seen an offense that bad in talent since the 0-16 Detroit Lions (in 2008). They just don’t have anybody there. … It’s a bad football team right now.”
Martz added he thinks Fields will not succeed as long as he stays in the Windy City.
“I’ve seen a lot of really good players go to bad teams, and then their career just never takes off, and I think that’s what will happen with Fields. It’s going to take a long time for them to get talent there. He needs to be on a good football team behind really good players for a couple of years to learn how to play the position.”
“When Steve Young got to Tampa, that happened to him,” Martz added. “He goes to San Francisco, and he’s now in the Hall of Fame. I’m not comparing Fields to Steve, but that’s just the situation, the scenario that he’s in. I also have questions about whether he can really react fast. I think he’s a talented guy as a passer, but you don’t know how to evaluate him because he just doesn’t have anything around him.”
Naturally, Bears Twitter had a ton to say in response to Martz.
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Twitter Goes Off on Mike Martz
While few expect the Bears to be a team that finishes above .500 this year, some people, including former NFL player Clay Harbor, pointed out that Fields has at least some talent around him:
Windy City Gridiron’s resident historian, Jack Silverstein, reminded folks about the Greg Olsen incident, in which Martz infamously had the future Hall of Fame tight end traded because he didn’t value the position enough:
Dragging Martz for his decision to get rid of Olsen was hugely popular:
But there were plenty of shots from Bears Nation to go around, like this one:
And this one:
There were also those who reminded Martz his QB during his time in Chicago, Jay Cutler, wasn’t always happy with him:
In his two seasons with the Bears, Martz’s offenses ranked 30th overall in total yards in 2010 and 24th in 2011.
Martz is entitled to his opinion, of course, but those questioning how informed it is may have a point.