Flash: Author Wrong on Smith Firing!

After 33 seasons of watching the Chicago Bears, I’ve gotten a little cynical, admittedly. In those 33 seasons the Bears have made the playoffs 13 times. Having been through watching the pre-Phil Emery Bears step all over themselves and screw up important decisions repeatedly, I find it hard to believe the organization will handle this properly. But I hope they will.

In fairness, it is not lost on me that Lovie Smith did field consistently competitive teams, and that’s something we have not always seen in Chicago-not by a long shot. But while being consistently competitive is a step up from being a Wannstedt or Jauron-led team, it’s far short of what the Green Bay Packers have done over the last 21 seasons (I believe only missing the playoffs three times).

So, although there is an even chance that the Bears will go downhill in the short term, and an even chance their next coaching hire will never be successful, in my opinion it was the proper decision.

I am hoping the Bears will choose an offensive-minded coach with a strong potential for (and record of) success in that area. But I will state right now that as long as their next coach commits to concentrating on improving the offense, it’s not necessarily the wrong hire to bring in a strong coach that wasn’t necessarily an offensive mind. As long as he finally commits to fixing the problems in that area for the Bears. (I can already hear fans screaming if a defense-centric coach is hired).

My only fear is if the Bears continue with their insistence on hiring an “even-tempered, soft-spoken players coach” as they have their last three times. It has seemed to me that after they rid themselves of Mike Ditka, they committed to never hiring a disciplinarian that speaks his mind ever again.

That, to me is the greatest risk to this critical hire, if they exclude candidates simply because they speak their mind and don’t go to church as much as the McCaskey family would like to see.

But let’s hope those days are finally over.

12 Responses to “Flash: Author Wrong on Smith Firing!”

  1. It seems as though Emery does have the total control that he was made out to have upon his arrival. It would also appear that between he and George McCaskey there are finally a few folks that are fed up with mediocrity and have a plan in place that will finally change the culture within the organization.
    I like the pace that the process is moving, I don’t think we will see gaffes that we did with the previous coach searches. I have an upbeat feeling about the future………. for now.

  2. If you look at other teams that have turned their fortunes from losers to winners (49ers in the 70′s, Patriots in the 90′s, Cowboys in the 90′s) a change of ownership is what is needed.

    Considering that Chicago is one of the biggest unshared football markets, there is no reason for the Bears to be an under-performing franchise.

  3. Geoff, looking at some of your recent posts and exchanges in the last week or so, you seem new to this blog. You also don’t seem to like suggestions of offensive minded HCs like Reid or Billick as fits – of course this only works if the Bears would pay a top tier candidate like this. I also have not been leading the Gruden bandwagon, but would certainly not be upset if we were lucky enough to get an offensive mind like him here.

    So Geoff, what/who are your suggestions? Brian Kelley? Chip Kelley? Some coordinator we’ve never even heard of? Toub? Interested to hear your expert views.

  4. Jon Gruden would be ideal, and his demeanor would be a refreshing change from the Wannstedt/Jauron/Smith days. New ideas for the offense and how they can be successful, and he would help Jay Cutler reach his potential.

  5. Now already there are strong indications the Cardinals – with a pathetic QB situation – are apparently close to getting Reid, according to Philly media.

    If Emery is going to play this game the right way and launch Lovie early vs. the way the Bears normally do it, he better have his A game on. Not even talking to Reid and having him go with the Cardinals already would definitely be a major bad indicator for me only one day into this search.

  6. One comment I really need to make, we seriously need to get over the Mike Ditka days. I realize they were fun and awesome, but the days of the “fire and passion” are long over. The only entertaining press conferences I’ve seen in the past few years are from Rex Ryan. Jim Schwartz also shows lots of stupid faces and some emotion as well. Do you know what else these guys are? Major assphats. Mike Singetary was a firey guy and hell, half of the fan base wanted him to coach the Bears. He is also the worst coach of this generation. Meanwhile, Bill Billicheck is the best coach of this generation, and he is also one of the most boring human beings in the world.

    Lovie Smith’s biggest strength is the way he handled the locker room. He handled all business behind closed doors which is why the locker room respected him so much. Despite their shortcomings, the Bears have never quit under his watch. There were simply out played or out executed quite a bit, but it was never a problem with effort. There was very little drama ever during his tenure. And, as a White Sox fan and dealing with their drama nonsense with Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen, it’s a refreshing change. In short, I want a coach with the same locker room skills as Lovie Smith, but also one that knows offense and a little better game management skills.

    My choice of all the top assistants is Mike McCoy of the Broncos. I would really be interested in him. The other guys mentioned so far just seem to be fillers at the moment.

  7. JDM – I agree I’m tired of hearing people say ‘we need another Ditka’, with fire and passion. That’s not the answer, though I’m also not saying that a guy like Bill Cowher who coaches with his heart on his sleeve isn’t a good coach.

    However, I have also heard more than enough about Lovie’s so called locker room skills and veteran respect, he has their backs, etc. That’s just not a huge part of what it takes to be successful, it just isn’t. This isn’t the 1995-98 Bulls with massive egos and talent that Phil Jackson managed, this was a roster full of mostly slightly above average NFL players. Lovie was an enabler, he showed respect for veterans, and that’s great and all , but it also instills complacency. If his players played so hard for him, then what happened after 7-1 and 7-3 starts the last two years and don’t tell me about he lack of talent, injuries, etc.

    Lovie was an average coach at bast and that’s it. Less than 30% of his time here we got to the playoffs, not good enough., period. I don’t care how nice a coach is in the locker room. Get someone here that won’t stop at anything else but winning at all costs, and won’t kiss players asses as a show of support.

    I’ll stand by what I have said many times in recent weeks – I’ll take Reid in a heartbeat, and Gruden would be a great hire as well.

  8. Playing hard and playing well/executing are two different things. Just because a team doesn’t perform, it doesn’t mean they aren’t playing hard. I can join a rec basketball league and play my ass off. Chances are, I’m still going to suck. Why? Because, I’m not good at playing basketball. I work my ass off all I want, but since I lack talent, I’m not going to perform well. There is a difference between the two. The bottom line, what they tried didn’t work, so it was time to move on.

    When the team didn’t win, they didn’t execute or got out played. It happens all the time, and it’s the reality of life. Lovie is no longer here because the offenses under his tenure simply are not good enough to win in today’s NFL. There were times where they lacked talent. Other times, like this year, what they did simply didn’t work. Case in point was the DET game. The team had almost 400 yards of total offense and the defense forced four turnovers. Yet, with all these opportunities, they only scored two TDs. The game should’ve been over by halftime, but it wasn’t. It had nothing to do with effort. They tried and tried, but in the end, they simply couldn’t get the ball in the end zone.

    I really don’t see how I want a coach that can manage a locker room as well as Lovie, BUT ALSO, a coach that has a better grasp on offense and has better game management skills. I don’t want to be entertained at the coaches press conferences. If I want to be entertained, I will watch the Naked Gun movies. Keep the drama in house. The Chicago media is a full of blowhards, and they are looking for any little drama to stir things. And oh yeah, out play your opponents…

  9. I hate to keep going back to this, but it’s as simple as this. Lovie had 9 years here and you can’t tell me he didn’t have direct input on draft picks, FAs, etc. on Angelo’s picks. He/they didn’t get it done. I’m tired of hearing excuses for why it didn’t get done and that’s why he’s gone. I’m sick of people making it sound like Lovie stood there on the sidelines for 9 years and was a bystander observing everything and is absolved of all blame – that line of thought is just stupid and ridiculous, and enough of the psychoanalysis already.

    Emery needs to bring in a high profile HC with experience – I do NOT want to see an offensive coord., even someone like McCoy coming in here. If you are going to kick Lovie to the curb and lose 6MM, then you had better be ready to bring someone high profile in and not go searching the gutters yet again.

  10. Gruden seems like a really good fit on the surface. Reid, I don’t know – he’s been through a lot lately and I wonder about the risk of burnout/meltdown if he jumps right into another HC gig. He also had a ton of talent in Philly recently and didn’t do all that much with it.

    I think Lovie’s fate might have been sealed after the 2nd Vikings game, where the Bears came out completely flat and lifeless on both sides of the ball for a huge division game (which ultimately determined a wild card spot). That was a sign that Lovie’s “everything is just fine” optimism & outlook might not be the best approach for winning big games. A wake up call was due.

  11. And when did I make up excuses for Lovie? Please tell me. Did I say he should keep his job? I did no such thing. I said if he didn’t win a playoff game this season, he should be gone. Well, he is. I fail to see how I am making up excuses for him.

    I’m a fair guy, and I anaylize ALL things, not notpick so I can look right. Lovie did some nice things here, but he did not do a good enough job to get into the playoffs on a consistent basis. That is why he is no longer here. His time was up, and that’s that. That’s the reality of live in professional sports. But, if you want to call me a Lovie apologist, whatever, that’s your opinion.

  12. Grabber– yes i am fairly new to the blog and for sure new to posting anything in comments. I don’t mean to bust in and disagree with everything (not that i do, but you know what i mean).

    My comment about being glad you don’t make the decisions was not so much who you thought would fit well, but these type of comments you made:
    “LOVIE NEEDS TO BE FIRED TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I don’t care that we won. we nearly lost after being up 20-3. Get him, Tice and Marinelli out now – Clean it out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    “Completely embarassing. I really don’t even know if I want to build around Cutler moving forward. We’re not in, and don’t deserve to be in, we are a joke

    Lovie, FUC&8 YOU and go back to Texas you idiot, you F-ING SUCK!!!!!!!!!!”

    “This is B – SH*&. he needs to go and others need to follow. This is a clown car operation and the fact the Vikings got in and we didn’t, especially looking at the end of November standings, is embarrassing”

    That was why i said i’m glad you are not the one making decisions. Just thought your comments were pretty…. hasty maybe??
    I just think there are plenty of NFL teams that are much more “embarrassing” than the Bears this season as you say.
    I’m not saying the Bears won’t be better off with a new coach. They MIGHT be. I don’t claim to know who they should hire to fill that spot. I never claimed to be an expert. Thanks for being interested in my views Grabber. I guess my worry with some of your suggestions like Reid is that i wonder what makes you so confident that things will be different with the Bears than what the Eagles have been this year? I think i’d rather a 10-6 record than a 4-12 record. Now i’m not saying the Bears will be a 4-12 team under Reid, but what makes you think all will be different for him with the Bears?

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