Tony Dungy: Jay Cutler will need help

Updated: August 5, 2010, 12:56 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Tony Dungy believes Jay Cutler has the potential to become a great quarterback in new offensive coordinator Mike Martz's system, but the quarterback's supporting cast will be just as important.

The Chicago Bears brought in Martz, the architect of "The Greatest Show on Turf" offense run by the St. Louis Rams, to take over a Bears' offense that struggled to score under Ron Turner in 2009. Cutler's NFL-leading 26 interceptions didn't help either.

Dungy said Martz's offense in St. Louis succeeded because it had the right fit at every position.

"People don't realize [the Rams] had Kurt Warner, but they also had Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt and guys who understood the system as well," Dungy, the former Colts coach, said Thursday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "The receivers have to know what's going on. That was my point last year. You can't just think Jay Cutler is going to win the Super Bowl for us. You have to have everything around him to allow those talents to come out. I think that's the direction the Bears are going."

Dungy said Cutler has a thorough teacher in Martz.

"Mike Martz, he's a perfectionist," Dungy said. "He knows everything there is to know about moving the football. They are going to have a different type of system, but it's going to be exciting for Bears fans. Jay Cutler is going to have a chance to grow into a great system. I think it will be fun and I'm pulling for those guys."

Martz is part of a coaching staff overhaul after another disappointing Bears season in 2009. The changes stopped short of head coach Lovie Smith, who enters his seventh season at the helm of the Bears but has gone three straight seasons without getting to the playoffs since making the Super Bowl after the 2006 season.

Dungy, who hired Smith for his first NFL job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said the Bears coach is not feeling the heat for his job.

"No, as a coach you understand you're on the hot seat all the time," Dungy said. "We went to the playoffs three or four years in a row in Tampa and I ended up getting fired, so don't think just because you won and people aren't talking about it you aren't on the hot seat. We know that as coaches.

"Lovie is going to tell his team, 'Here's what we've got to do to win: We can't worry about outside forces, we can't worry about everybody else's expectations. We want to go to the Super Bowl every year, and if we don't, we're disappointed.' "

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ALSO SEE

MORE NFL HEADLINES