- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears' tardiness in relaying offensive play calls to quarterback Jay Cutler is the result of faulty stadium equipment or improper frequency settings, according to offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
On numerous occasions the past two years, Cutler has been forced to burn timeouts because he was unable to get the play from quarterbacks coach Shane Day.
Martz, who is stationed upstairs in the coaching box, sends the call down to Day on the sidelines, who then signals the play to Cutler through the special earpiece device located inside the quarterback's helmet.
"I think we have a little communication problem with some of our stuff from the sideline," Martz said following Thursday's practice. "We've always had that problem here for some reason. I don't know why or what it is with some of our ... I have the defense on my headset during the game and they were ... calling plays. We're not getting the plays in late. I can promise you that. But there is something going on. We're working on it. That's been an issue for two weeks here, so we'll get it fixed."
The lack of communication has plagued the Bears both at Soldier Field and on the road, but Martz does not feel moving down to the sidelines would solve the problem.
"It really doesn't change the hook-up on it," Martz said. "I still give the play to Shane and he gets it in. I think we're good there. I think it's more an issue with the headsets and things more than anything else.
"It's frustrating for Jay, I know that. A lot of times things will shut out completely and he can't hear. But we'll deal with all that stuff. They've been pretty good this year for the most part. But up there [in Detroit] we struggled with them a little bit."
Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
1dEric D. Williams