Mike Martz praises Jay Cutler
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said Tuesday that he was "giddy" about his quarterback, optimistic about Roy Williams and confident in his offensive line, but he also talked about the possibility of bringing in help up front.
While some critics questioned Jay Cutler's footwork last season, Martz described it as "amazing" on Tuesday.
"I was kind of stunned," Martz said. "He has done an awful lot of work on his own in the offseason.
"I was kind of giddy to be honest with you because watching him drop right now is textbook, and I didn't know how we were going to get him there, but he got there himself before he came to work and we couldn't be more happy with that."
Cutler's improved footwork may help prevent a repeat of a league-worst 52 sacks from last season. Martz also is looking for help from an offensive line that includes first-round pick Gabe Carimi at tackle and newly signed former Seattle Seahawks center Chris Spencer. Spencer isn't guaranteed to replace Olin Kreutz as a starter, as Roberto Garza is an option to switch spots from guard.
But as happy as Martz is with his linemen, he left the door open to bringing in help.
"I think we would all like to have a couple more veteran linemen," he said. "I don't think that's any different than any camp right now.
"I don't know if you can ever have enough quality veteran offensive linemen to challenge and push guys and make them better. But that's the case throughout the league. I think resolving (the) offensive line is an issue in terms of the tackles and getting that kind of stabilized."
Martz believes the Bears improved their receiving corps with Williams, who enjoyed success with Martz on the Detroit Lions in 2006-07 before three subpar seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Williams caught a combined 146 passes for 2,148 yards and 12 touchdowns with the Lions. The numbers dipped in Dallas, where he managed only 37 and 38 receptions during the past two seasons, respectively.
"If we didn't feel like he could be that guy then there wouldn't be really any reason (to sign him)," Martz said. "That's certainly what he would expect of himself.
"I just know how competitive and tough Roy is. Roy excels when you put it on his plate and say, 'OK, you got to win this game here on this play.' Most elite players, and I think he's an elite player, they're at their best in those circumstances. He's a physical guy, he makes plays after the catch, he's got incredible hands. He knows the system, which in this short preseason shall we say, is really important. You know, I could go on and on about Roy."
When Spencer saw the playbook, he couldn't believe how big it was.
"Yeah, it's a lot," he said, who spent his first six years in Seattle. "I went through it the first day and I'm starting to get it down, the terminology and stuff."
Besides learning a new system -- quickly -- he realizes there's a big void to fill after Kreutz's departure.
"I respect the hell out of Olin," Spencer said. "He was a great guy for me to watch, so I'll just come in here, play my game and do what I can do to help this team win."
ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright, Jeff Dickerson and Melissa Isaacson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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