From Laurence Holmes
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(WSCR) Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz doesn’t view tight ends like most NFL coaches.
In a way, Martz looks at tight ends as an additional lineman – a third offensive tackle. So when the Bears only allowed one sack against the Vikings pass rush that features the NFL sack leader, Jared Allen, the tight ends deserve some credit.
“That’s one of the things that our offense kind of hinges on is us tight ends being able to do pretty much everything from catching passes, to run blocking, to playing as an extra (offensive) tackle,” Bears tight end Kellen Davis told The Laurence Holmes Show on Tuesday Night.
“I think we were just respecting their pass rush. Jared Allen has like nine sacks, and we’re six games into the season. Obviously their defensive ends have to be accounted for. I think us being careful obviously worked. Jay was able to get some time in the pocket and he had a great game.”
In Sunday’s win, the Bears were in more max-protect sets, giving Cutler the time he needed to complete 21-of-31 passes and two touchdowns – one of which was a 48-yard bomb to Devin Hester.
“It’s just about keeping Jay upright and letting him do what he does,” Davis said. “I’m sure it feels good for him to not feel crowded in the pocket and not have guys in his face when he’s throwing the ball. … You just gotta give him some time, and we did. Then you see what happens.”
Davis, who is in his fourth year with the Bears, played his college ball at Michigan State. As a tight end in the Spartan’s system, pass protecting wasn’t one of his main duties, and that’s something that has been a major adjustment since he took over as lead tight end in Martz’s offense.
“For me, mostly it was pass protecting,” Davis said. “That’s kind of new to me this year. Most of the time in college, I never really had to stay in protection. It’s something I’ve been learning since I’ve been in the NFL, especially since we switched into coach Martz’s system. Tight ends are expected to be (matched up) on the best pass rushers on a team’s defense, one-on-one.”