Offensive coordinator Mike Martz reacts in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on Jan. 16, 2011 in Chicago.
Kurt Warner isn't surprised Mike Martz didn't succeed in Chicago.
The genius behind the "Greatest Show on Turf" couldn't join offense with the "get off the bus running" Chicago Bears.
For shame, because Warner knows how far an aerial offense can take you: to a pair of Super Bowls.
The former player won Super Bowl XXXIV with the Rams as the game's MVP, then went back to the big game two years later.
"We had a special team," Warner said while taking a break from his NFL network job in Indianapolis ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl. "It was a special place, a special time. You just don't assemble that every day."
Warner said Martz got labeled as the "greatest show on turf," and when those standards weren't met, people wondered what was wrong. It happened to Warner in New York with the Giants and in Arizona too. It happened to Martz in Chicago.
So what happened? Warner said not having special, tremendous talent at skill positions.
"I think they were very limited with the pieces they had in Chicago, especially on the outside at receiver," he explained. "You just don't find that often, and I definitely think from a pieces standpoint Chicago was a long ways from that."
Warner credits the "genius" of Martz for putting him in the record books: holder of the Top 3 passing records for a Super Bowl, three consecutive 500-point seasons and the only NFL quarterback ever to throw three touchdowns in his first three NFL starts.
But since talking to Martz, who parted ways with the Bears last month, Warner isn't so sure his mentor will ever coach again. "It would have to be the right fit."
So is the "greatest show on turf" outdated?
"No!" Warner said. "It can work."
In the meantime, Jay Cutler will have his hands full learning his fourth offense in four years as Mike Tice takes over calling plays in Chicago.
Warner predicts Cutler will struggle.
"I don't think we're ever going to see his full potential until he finds a coordinator that fits his skills and that he can stay with a couple of years and grow with. So definitely it's gonna be another challenge for him."
Enjoy Super Bowl XLVI, Bear fans, it might be awhile.