Why Lovie Smith Needs To Be Fired.

 I've been a diehard Chicago Bears fan my entire life. I was born a year before the 1985 Bears Team that won a Super Bowl. The only Bears Super Bowl win in my life-time and I don't remember it since I wasn't even talking coherently. Since then, I've suffered through too many sub-.500 seasons and 24 quarterbacks since 1986. We had one chance at winning the Super Bowl in 2006 and we were instead completely outclassed in every way. Since then? The Bears have struggled in every aspect of the game and have yet to make it back to the playoffs. Judging by the start of this season, at 3-3 after getting blown out of the water by the Cinncinnatti Bengals, they won't be making it back this year either. My solution is simple. Fire Lovie Smith. Hit the jump for more.

Life with Lovie:

In his career with the Bears, Lovie Smith is 48-38 in the regular season, and 2-2 in the postseason. Those two losses in the postseason, one being the beatdown in 2005 by the Carolina Panthers in a game where the Bears were outplayed at every position and Lovie outright refused to cover Steve Smith (the only weapon the Panthers had since their running game stalled) and he finished the game with 12 receptions, 218 yards and 2 touchdowns. The other, of course, being the Super Bowl in 2006 where the Colts beat the Bears 29-17, a game where the Bears were outscored in the second half of the game 13-3. Since that game, here's the Bears records and their defense and offense rankings:
  • 2007: 7-9 Defense ranked: 28th Offense ranked: 27th  
  • 2008: 9-7 Defense ranked: 21st Offense ranked: 26th
  • 2009: 3-3 Defense ranked: 22nd Offense ranked: 20th
This is a team that is supposedly based on defense and running the ball, yet in the last three years, counting this year, they've failed to rank in the top 20 in the league defensively. Of course, Ron Rivera left as defensive co-ordinator recently and was replaced by Bob Babich, who has taken one of the best defenses in the league and turned it into something that makes Seneca Wallace look Peyton Manning. Good stuff.

Lovie Factor:

I have a theory about coaches. With a coach like Bill Belichick, you can pencil a bad Patriots team in for at least 2 victories based solely on the strength of the coaching. Whether it is play-calling, managing the clock, getting the most out of his players, or just knowing what schemes are going to work best for the players that he has, Belichick alone is enough to get a dog team 2 wins.

The flipside to that is of course coaches who cost their teams wins. With some coaches, based of course on play-calling, managing the clock, and knowing schemes but this time in reverse and being unable to do these thing. With a coach like this, you can easily pencil in even the best of teams for at least 2 losses. Shit, Art Shell is bad enough to pencil the team in for 8 losses.

Unfortunately, I am now convinced that Lovie Smith falls into the latter category. Look at the recent losses the Bears have suffered this season. Lovie had no answer whatsoever for the Bengals, a team that can pass and run the ball incredibly effectively, and they absolutely dominated our defense from the get-go. And then the Falcons game absolutely shouldn't have been a loss. Sending Matt Forte two times in a row after he fumbled the first time going in that direction never should have been called, not to mention the complete defensive breakdown where they could not get to Matt Ryan the entire game, and never came within spitting distance of him. Adewale Ogunleye is in a contract year, but has completely disappeared. Not to mention how much they made of hiring Rod Marinelli as defensive line coach and yet the line hasn't gotten a sack in over three weeks and couldn't stop Cedric Benson to save their lives.

Also, I think it's obvious to me, so it should be obvious to the Bears coaching staff that their weak cover two scheme doesn't stop anyone. All the teams we've faced have easily split the gaps between the corners and the safeties, especially since the safeties are playing almost 10 yards away from every play that happens. So other teams just send receivers out on slant patterns or quick hitches, and boom! that's at least 15 yards right there. The Bengals did that all day and averaged a first down on every play,  9.4 yards per play. This just does not work and any rational person can see this. Our head coach? Not that rational. Let's not forget how long Rex was our quarterback...

What Next?

Tony Dungy. Bill Cowher. Bill Parcells. Jon Gruden. Brian Billick. Lane Kiffin. Herm Edwards... Forget that last one. Not to mention all of the talented college head coaches who could make the jump up to the NFL. All coaches that are available or would be available for the 2010 season. All of those are by far better options than Lovie, who it seems like he's completely lost control of this team and the players have now completely tuned him out. Let's also not forget that the highest offensive rank the Bears have ever achieved under Lovie was 15th in the league, and that's only because we had one of the top rushing attacks in the league that year. With Jay Cutler, we need a more offensive minded coach or at least someone who is capable of maintaining a top-flight defense without ignoring the offense completely.

My choice? Bill Cowher. Because of him the Steelers were one of the most dominant teams, and he also balanced a great bruising running attack with a punishing defense. Sound familiar? It should because that's what the Bears are supposed to be best at. Yet, they can't do any of that anymore. Enter Cowher, someone who could totally turn this team around in no time flat. Not to mention the fact that Cowher built an impressive assistant coaching team which included current Steelers coach and reigning champ Mike Tomlin, arguably one of the best coaches in the league currently. The Bears assistants are Lovie's fishing buddy and Ron Turner, who somehow made the University of Illinois even worse at football, a difficult feat.

Let's not forget Tony Dungy, who also would be leaps and bounds better than his former assistant. Also, Dungy worked wonders with a high powered quarterback and a defense built around getting turnovers. Dungy would work wonders with the Bears, assuming we can revitalize our elderly offensive line and our absolutely awful secondary who couldn't cover a themselves with a blanket, let alone Chad Ochocinco.


We finally have a franchise quarterback worthy of a top team in the league, yet our team is always underprepared and plays worse in the second half than they do in the first, a clear indication of bad coaching. Not to mention how outclassed the Bears have looked in every game this season, even the ones that they won because of missed kicks. Let's not forget, if it weren't for Jeff Reed or Olindo Mare, the Bears would be 1-5 right now. Our defense is getting older every year, we have a talented quarterback and explosive young wide receivers who need a better scheme in order to succeed. The only real hope we have is that the team doesn't do well enough for Lovie to keep his job, so we're looking at a frustrating season even if they scrape into the playoffs. And if they accomplish that, we're stuck with Lovie who won't make any adjustments to take the Bears to the next level. We need Cowher or Dungy, and we need them sooner rather than later.

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