The entire Mike Martz Experience in Chicago can be debated on multiple levels, but one enigma left over from his two seasons as the Bears offensive coordinator is Devin Hester.
Martz raised eyebrows and expectations with glowing predictions for Hesters role and matchup possibilities. Virtually none of that, along with things like lavish receiving totals for Roy Williams, came close to accomplishment.
But Hester, after seasons of 51 and 57 catches under Ron Turner, dropped to 40 in 2010 and 26 last year, the latter attributable in some measure to nagging injuries and increased use in the return game.
It is the truly wasted negative experience, however, that does not contain something positive, if you look at it from the right angle.
So while Hester was understandably disappointed by the false promises of Martz, he nevertheless does not view his Martz years as wasted by any means.
I think I became a lot better with Martz, Hester said Wednesday. Coach Martz helped me out; not only him, but the players that he previously coached as far as Isaac (Bruce), those guys.
I really trained with those guys and kind of understand what it takes to be a receiver in the NFL. That really helped out a lot. I would say coach Martz helped me out a lot.
Hester moved from cornerback to wide receiver under Turner starting in 2007. That was a vastly different scheme than what came in with Martz.
Now he is a third system and one that initially has showed him some of the plan details, not just talked about them. The net is that Hester begins this training camp a veteran of different offenses and different quarterbacks (Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, Brian Griese, Jay Cutler, Caleb Hanie,Todd Collins and Josh McCown).
Its like coach Tice says, its adding another club in your bag. Going through a lot of offenses, you pick and choose things you feel can help you out and make you a better receiver. Ive been in about three or four offenses now.
So I can understand what type of offense is run and what type of offense can work against different defenses.