Bears

View from the Moon: What is Martz's Bears resume?

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View from the Moon: What is Martz's Bears resume?

Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010
Posted 9:07 AM Updated 10:54 AM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Mike Martz declaring himself open to consideration for head-coaching jobs in the future has some intriguing side stories to it. For one thing, it could ensure that he doesnt get one.

Expressions of interest in jobs are often best voiced over the phone, not over a podium. One lingering suspicion is that Ron Rivera hastened his ouster from the Bears with his active quest for a top job somewhere in the NFL. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that; but insiders have said that Lovie Smith tired of Chicos search pattern, thinking being that if youre not all in, then youre out.

And what kind of reference would Smith give Martz? Smith has repaid Martz for hiring him in St. Louis once upon a time. Martz gave Smith a coordinator job; Smith now has given Martz one, when offers werent exactly pouring in. All square.

Had several college coordinators not been moving too slowly through recruiting for the Bears needs, Martz is quite possibly not in his current billet.

If Smith has any slight whiff that Martz is using this job to get the next one, when indications were even as recent as training camp that Martz didnt aspire to head coaching again, the surprise will be if Smith takes that very well.

Bigger question: What is Martzs Bears resume? Organizations look not only for performance, but also for fit. Martzs Chicago offense was foundering before the off week, when sources tell CSNChicago.com that orders came from above Lovie Smith that there were going to be changes in Martzs design for the offense. Period. Martzs mesh with line coach Mike Tice has been very scratchy at times. The tilt of the offense toward more running and more balance tells you which of the Mikes prevailed in planning game planning.

Ironically, Jay Cutler has never been a better quarterback than he is right now. If Martz warrants blame for mistakes contributing to the three losses in four game a while back, then he also deserves enormous credit for keeping Cutlers head right in this growth spurt hes had from passer to quarterback. Tice didnt do that; Martz has.

All of which means that Martz is indeed every bit the enigma that he was a year and longer ago. The offense changed but how much of was his idea is something a prospective employer would like to know.

I think we all mature, he said, with an air of bemused self-assessment. I probably have matured later in life than a lot of guys. Maybe. Im not there yet.

But I think we all change and grow with different situations, probably. I think that as you get older, there are things that dont upset you or you react to as quickly as maybe you did early in your career.

No interest

By the way, if youre looking for a link to any video of feet, you wont find it here. Sorry; just not interested.

Flex-time?

If the Bears win Sunday, they will be a victory away from clinching the bye as the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, meaning a week off without a game against some pesky wild-card team. If the Green Bay Packers down the New York Giants, they get a step closer to the playoffs themselves.

That then makes the Sunday Jan. 2 Bears game in Green Bay suddenly very, very attractive and a prime candidate for flexing into the Sunday night slot. The NFL left that matchup TBD and Bears-Packers would be a gem, a game between classic rivals both with something huge at stake.

Flex-city.

Speaking up

Holiday time and a special thanks for Jason Goff (sitting in for Danny) and Matt Spiegel this morning for not talking about foot fetishes on our weekly visit on The Danny Mac Show on WSCR-AM 670 at 10 a.m.

What was wonderfully in the exact opposite direction was the interest in what kind of person Devin Hester really is, because Devins emotional moment at the podium last Monday night in Minnesota after the record-setting TD return was a side of a special athlete that we rarely see. A side of any athlete we rarely see, for that matter.

It was a good chance to talk about someone (Hester) who is generally one of the most enjoyable, pleasant people to talk with in a locker room, almost accommodating to a fault at times. And because hes not always the most eloquent speaker (right, like I am?) the unfair characterization develops where judgments are formed about how intelligent someone is.

In Hesters case that is even less important because of what people dont see, which is a guy thoroughly loved by teammates and has been since he got here as a second-round pick in 2006. Ive always felt that Hesters signature move as he finished scoring jaunts, the imitation of Deion Sanders one-hand-behind-the-head, long-striding finish, was never a showboat play by Hester as it was a thank-you to someone who was a mentor, friend, borderline father-figure to him. Showboats concoct their own look-at-mes. Hester never did that and I always thought that was very classy in its own subtle way.

Had to laugh when Spiegs and Jason mentioned talking that I should be chirping about my preseason assessment that the Bears would be 10-6 or better this season. Naaah. Like I told the guys, Im a Barry Sanders boy; when you score, flip the ball to the official and act like youve been there before and youll be back again.

Now, truth be told, I probably would lean toward a gesture or speech pattern or somesuch that would credit the individual who keyed me into some insights that prompted me to change the prediction from 8-8 to far better before the season started. But if I did that, youd know my source (I had inside information) and I never give up a source.

Well, ok, just this once...

The one who told me some things about this team and this season was...

Oh, wait, sorry, the editors are telling me to keep it short. Sorry. Gotta hop.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Former Bear Greg Olsen randomly walks into marriage proposal, catches whole thing on video

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USA TODAY

Former Bear Greg Olsen randomly walks into marriage proposal, catches whole thing on video

Scenario: you're walking down the street and randomly walk into a marriage proposal. What do you do?

For former Bear and current Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, the answer was to capture the magical moment on video. 

Olsen was in Nashville this week to give a keynote speech at a healthcare conference. While walking back to his hotel on Thursday, he randomly stumbled into a marriage proposal. His first response: hit record on his phone and capture the whole thing on video.

"Did she say yes? I got it on video, dude," Olsen said emphatically. "I'm going to send it to you!

"She said yes and I got it all on video, and you don't even know me, but I'm going to send it to you."

The couple, according to the Panthers, is Max Harvat and Brooke Hartranft. The two were visiting Nashville for the week, but Harvat didn't necessarily plan the proposal. It was as much of a sporadic moment for him as it was random for Olsen.

"Oh my god, you're my hero," Harvat said to Olsen after the proposal.

As it turns out, Harvat grew up a Panthers fan. However, he had no idea that Olsen was the person recording the proposal in the moment, only happy that someone caught it on video. When he stood up, he realized who the mystery man was.

“When I stood up, I looked over and I started having a mini heart attack," Harvat said to panthers.com. "I was like, ‘I’m 90 percent sure that’s Greg Olsen from the Panthers!’

“I'm a huge Carolina fan. I was like, ‘Oh my God, you're telling me that Greg Olsen just recorded the whole thing?’ I was so excited. It was amazing."

The moment wasn't just special for Havrat and Hartranft, though.

"It's the best thing I've ever witnessed," Olsen said in the video.

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Bilal Nichols eyes an even bigger impact for Bears in 2019

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USA Today

Bilal Nichols eyes an even bigger impact for Bears in 2019

Even if Bilal Nichols repeated his 2018 performance in 2019, the Bears would be lauded for unearthing a solid rotational player with a fifth-round draft pick. But Nichols isn’t resting on his rookie accomplishments, and is aiming to be an even more impactful player on the Bears’ defensive line as he enters Year 2 in the NFL. 

“More consistent, more dominant,” Nichols said. “That’s the biggest thing for me right now.”

Nichols was a top-50 run defender in the NFL last year, as rated by Pro Football Focus — he made a “stop” on 8.7 percent of his run defense plays, ranking 44th in the league (PFF defines a “stop” as a play that constitutes a failure for the offense). For reference, Akiem Hicks ranked eighth at 13.3 percent, Eddie Goldman was 17th at 11.6 percent and Jonathan Bullard came in 40th at 9.1 percent. 

Nichols’ biggest “stop” came in the Bears’ narrow Week 3 win over the Arizona Cardinals, in which he dropped running back Chase Edmonds for a three-yard loss on a third-and-two play inside Bears territory just after the two-minute warning. While Nichols debuted a week earlier against the Seattle Seahawks and recorded a pressure of Russell Wilson, that play against the Cardinals was critical in an important victory for the Bears. It also proved to Nichols that what he was doing was beginning to work. 

“That was really a situation where I had cut it loose and went,” Nichols said. “I knew what i was doing on that play, I knew the possible things I could get from the offense and that was just a situation where I cut it loose and just played football. And I happened to make a big play. 

“I can’t wait to do that this year.” 

Nichols, as he was figuring out how to form a routine and study opponents in the NFL after making the jump from FCS-level Delaware, played a shade under a third of the Bears’ snaps last year as part of a rotation that proved critical to the team’s defensive success. Hicks played the most snaps (780), followed by Goldman (552) and Roy Robertson-Harris (353). Nichols (328) pushed Bullard (298) to the bottom of the rotation, which helped keep members of Jay Rodgers’ unit fresh and at their most effective when they were on the field. 

The Bears’ defensive line is arguably their best and deepest unit, one which can collapse pockets and stymie opposing run games (the latter of which is especially important, given the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions’ renewed commitments to running the ball this year). Nichols was already a big part of it in 2018, and may be an even bigger part of it in 2019. 

“Last year, I was still trying to figure things out, still trying to figure the league out, figure myself out as a player,” Nichols said. “And now that I got everything figured out, I’m just able to go. I could just play and play fast and cut it loose.”