Lovie Smith, New Defensive Coordinator?

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.

6 Responses to “Lovie Smith, New Defensive Coordinator?”

  1. Ditka did the same thing in the early 90s by taking over the offensive play calling, didn’t he? I see Bellicheck coaching the defense all the time on the sidelines during the game. It seems to work for him. Is Lovie making it harder on himself? Sure. However, he wet the bed. Let him work harder and fixing it.

  2. Just to note, I heard Mulligan this morning on the Score. He said he was in favor of the changes and bringing in acutal experienced pro coaches. Another one to consider. If Herm Edwards gets the ax in KC, which will probably happen due to a new GM, will he be joining the staff? He and Lovie are close. Two former head coaches on the Bears coaching staff? What’s the world coming to??

  3. Sure it could work, Lovie calling the defensive plays, but why wait until now to do it? Why not during the season when the defense was struggling? At least test it out if that is a route willing to take instead of now going into a season with him trying this out. What if he can’t handle it, does play calling go back to babich? Do players lose respect for Babich now that he kind of has been demoted and if play calling goes back to him would they respond with new life? I doubt it. Hopefully it works but I would have liked to have seen it tried out during the season then to switch it up now and hope for the best. New Bears motto: HOPE THIS WORKS!!

  4. I think Babich retaining the title and salary of DC is the only solution for players to still respect him after his semi-demotion. We will have to accept Babich will probably be one of the highest paid linebackers coach in the league. However, given that i’m trying to accept the notion that Lovie cant’t live without Babich, i guess i should find this situation satisfying.
    With virtually not one nor two headcoaches on defense but three (although on eof them is in possesion of a 0-16 record), the defense better be decent! One question remains: how many headcoaches (and note just offensive coordinators) on offense do we need?

  5. Lovie is a strange bird and won’t be here after next year’s fiasco so many fans will get their wish. Rivera’s D-squad crashed and burned in the playoffs so keeping him wasn’t the answer; remember his D had a meltdown against the Colts. Gerry Glanville said the NFL stood for Not for Long so the 23 years of futility since the Super Bowl Shuffle will continue and while coaching is important, the game is played between the lines.

  6. It’s kinda funny that we cut Rivera loose thinking he was destined to leave us and become a head coach within a year at most…. Ooops!And the D didn’t crash and burn because of Rivera. It failed because 1) half the squad was hurt, and 2) Dungy just might be a little familiar with the Tampa 2. He knew exactly what he needed to do, and has an offense good enough to do it.

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