For those that missed it, as I seemed to, on Tuesday Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith announced that he would take over the defensive play calling duties in 2009. Former/current defensive coordinator Bob Babich retains the title and pay of defensive coordinator and resumes coaching linebackers. Former Texans coach Jon Hoke has been hired as defensive backs coach.
OK. Huh? We now have a defensive coordinator that won’t coordinate but coaches linebackers, a defensive line coach that’s assistant head coach, and a head coach that will also be the defensive coordinator.
Hey, change was necessary, and I’m glad that Smith has in a backwards way admitted the defense was broken and something needed to be done. But jeez, how could this situation be obfuscated any more? I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking this, as Mike Mulligan writes about it today, calling Smith’s “self demotion a sign of desperation.”
Again, I’m glad something was done. But in typical Bears fashion of never taking the traveled road, and of considering sticking to their way of doing things (keeping Smith friend Babich at all costs) rather than just doing what it takes to win, they had to do it in a highly unconventional way.
So Smith will be calling the defensive plays, great. Most of us probably know that there’s much more to being a defensive coordinator than calling plays on Sunday. Hours and hours have to be spent during the week breaking down film of the opponent, charting tendencies and making sure the necessary calls to counter the opposing offense are actually in Sunday’s game plan. Who will do this? The new non-defensive coordinating defensive coordinator Babich, or the head coach Smith? If it’s Smith, then who’s watching over the rest of the team?
Wouldn’t it have been easier to retain Ron Rivera?
Always interesting in Chicago.