Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Bears [Print without images]

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Martz's play-calling surprised Cutler a bit

By ESPNChicago.com

Caleb Hanie
Caleb Hanie saw some baptism by fire in his first NFL start Sunday in Oakland.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler admitted Wednesday that he was a little surprised by how much of the offense Mike Martz threw at Caleb Hanie in his first NFL start Sunday.

Hanie, who threw three interceptions and two touchdowns in a 25-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders, was starting in place of the injured Cutler and attempted 36 passes, compared to 27 rushing attempts.

"A little (surprised)," Cutler said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "But looking back at it now, that's how Mike operates. He felt probably deep in his heart that Caleb could handle it, that he's been in this system long enough (four years).

"But it's one of those things that until you really go out and experience a play, it's totally different than the classroom. You can sit in the classroom all day and there's a bunch of quarterbacks who can tell you the reads, ‘I'll go 1, 2, 3 here. Here's different coverages, here's what I do.' Until you're out there on the field and mess up and see it on film, and repeat the process, and get that ingrained into your brain, it's a totally different ballgame out there when bullets are flying."

Cutler, who directed an obscene remark toward Martz during a recent nationally televised game, was asked if he felt like grabbing a headset Sunday and telling the offensive coordinator to scale back.

"You guys have seen me say some things to Mike," Cutler said. "Mike's going to do what Mike does. He gets in a zone up there and he's going to call the plays he wants to call.

"We'll see how it goes this week. We'll get Matt (Forte) involved and Caleb will be better. He'll get more confident. Things are going to start to slow down for him."

Not surprisingly, Hanie said he had no issues with the play-calling.

"I feel confident with whatever Mike brings in," Hanie said. "He's been around here a long time. He's got great respect around the league as a play-caller, and he knows better than I what we should run.

"I just trust what he calls and roll with it. If the game is calling for more passing, then we'll see more passing. If the game is calling to get Matt and Marion (Barber) the rock and let them work, then let's do that. So, whatever he calls, I feel good with."

Hanie said he feels more confident heading into his second start on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, and Martz also is encouraged.

Caleb Hanie, Mike Martz
Mike Martz said he was actually more conservative than he needed to be with Caleb Hanie.


"The good news is he got better as the game went on," Martz said. "He had some miscues there early. Smart guy. Those things he's gonna have as he plays. But he has to memory bank that stuff and fix it. He'll do that. I was really pleased with him in the second half. He did a much better job."

Interestingly, Martz said Hanie was better with the more complicated calls.

"We were probably a little more conservative with him than we probably needed to be," Martz said. "We gave him some complicated stuff there and he just did marvelous with it. That touchdown he threw that first one was a sight adjustment involving multiple receivers. He saw it beautifully and just hit (Johnny Knox) in rhythm, and that was a full blitz. Everybody was coming.

"Right before that on third down we ran everybody out of there. It was only a five-man protection. He got to his third receiver on third down and made a big throw. So he sees things well. He gets through everything. He can do what we do. He just needs to play. I would expect him to start off where he left off [against Kansas City] in that game. I feel confident that he will."