Back to real life these days. Funny how quickly we do get over the Bears going in the tank, right? Seriously, I have a lot of work/career/family stuff going on over the next six months, so this will again turn into a weekly blog, or a blog whenever there is Bears news to discuss. But don’t forget about us when the draft and training camp roll around again.
So as of this writing, the Chicago Bears have fired linebackers coach Lloyd Lee and defensive backs coach Steve Wilks, and defensive line coach Brick Haley left for a similar position at LSU. Presumably, uninformed fans without the ability to understand the situation think that places are being created on the Bears’ staff for Lovie Smith’s best friend Rod Marinelli and his son-in-law Joe Barry to become defensive line and linebackers coaches, respectively.
If this should happen, and it seems that it’s what is happening, will this make the Bears and their defensive coaching staff better? Probably. Hopefully. Marinelli was Smith’s first choice to become his defensive coordinator when he was hired in 2004, but Tampa Bay would not allow Marinelli to leave. Marinelli is said to be an elite defensive line coach, and these guys both have the experience and probably a better pedigree than the men they would be replacing.
But-what it potentially would also mean is more of the same that has resulted in the Bears’ defense greatly dropping in productivity since Ron Rivera’s departure (virtual firing).
It has been widely reported that despite the official proclimations of it being a “mutual decision”, Rivera wasn’t retained after coaching a solid unit in 2005 and 2006 because he had dissenting viewpoints from Smith on various areas of running the defense. It’s his way or the highway with Smith, and if Rivera wouldn’t fully conform to Smith’s views, he was done. Promoting Lovie’s friend Bob Babich to coordinator took away Rivera’s dissenting voice.
So bringing in Smith’s best friend in Marinelli and his son-in-law certainly won’t breed a single new out-of-the-box idea, it will only serve to further the monopoly of Smith’s ideas. Even less dissention than what has existed in the two years that have seen a plummeting defensive performance.
Hey-it’s Smith’s team, and if General Manager Jerry Angelo and the rest of the organization is willing to allow it to happen, there’s nothing anyone else can do about it.
But remember this. Any Chicago Bears History book worth its weight will mention that George Halas purposely hired coaches with conflicting viewpoints (now I sure hope my book mentions this). Halas didn’t want one leader and a bunch of yes-men (presumably except when he was head coach), he wanted conflict and argument to make sure all angles were being considered for the best interests of the football team. This Bears team is going farther away from that philosophy.
Only time will tell if this happens, what the results will be for the 2009 Chicago Bears. Should they regress again, we can only hope there will be hell to pay.