I didn’t write soon enough. Ever since Lovie Smith’s firing, I’ve been thinking the same thing that Dan Pompei wrote in today’s Chicago Tribune.
I realize that some Bears fans will think that any remaining vestige of the Lovie Smith era needs to be eradicated from Halas Hall. This would mean immediately firing the entire offensive and defensive staffs. While the departure of all of the offensive coaching staff (with the possible exception of Jeremy Bates) should be a given, this may not be the right move with the defensive and special teams coaches. I have thought this from the beginning.
As most of us probably know, after Smith’s firing the Bears assistants were told that they remain Bears employees, as all of them were given one-year contract extensions including 2013. I read somewhere that this is standard practice-in fact this provided the assistant coaches with a measure of security if Lovie Smith were not retained for the final year of his contract.
So hoping and assuming the Bears hire a bright offensive mind to be their next head coach, why not (for one more year anyway) try to keep intact the same defensive system that was successful in 2012? Possibly bring Brian Urlacher back for one more year, hoping that if the offense can be improved from its miserable state in 2012, the Bears may actually be able to make one more run? Then if the defense does tank in 2013, the defensive rebuilding can commence in 2014.
I’m sure that Rod Marinelli and staff would prefer to move along with their best buddy Lovie. But the fact of the matter is they are under contract and must coach for the Bears if they want to coach at all. This is not without precedent, I am pretty sure that when Tony Dungy was fired following the 2001 season (under very, very similar circumstances) John Gruden retained Monte Kiffen and staff throughout his tenure.
I agree with Pompei and think this would be the best solution. Unless the new head coach clearly has a better plan.
One more thing from this article. We have all been enjoying the thought that any McCaskey family hands are out of the direct decisions being made as a part of this process. We just started believing that Phil Emery controls the future. If this is the case, then why does Pompei report that Mike Singletary will be interviewed as suggested by the McCaskeys? I am shuddering. Loved seeing Samuari play, but I don’t want him as the Bears’ next head coach.