Chicago Sun-Times

LB coach Nickerson resigns

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There will be some turnover on coach Lovie Smith’s staff afterall.

The Sun-Times learned Tuesday linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson will not return to the Bears for the 2008 season, leaving after one season of working under Smith, who was his position coach for a stretch during the prime of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A player said Nickerson resigned.

Smith said last week he would like his entire staff to return unless members had the opportunity for a promotion elsewhere.

``As a whole, linebacker-wise, I thought we played OK sometimes better than others,’’ Smith said in his postseason address Dec. 31. ``Brian [Urlacher] really finished up strong the last three weeks of the season. He played the type of ball that we’re accustomed to him playing. I felt that Lance [Briggs] was fairly steady throughout the year as was Hunter [Hillenmeyer].’’

Nickerson’s departure means Smith will have to hire the team’s fifth linebackers coach in eight seasons. Urlacher, who missed out on the Pro Bowl for the first time in a season in which he did not miss any games, has worked previously with Dale Lindsey (2000-01), Gary Moeller (2003-03), Bob Babich (2004-06) and Nickerson (07).

Here is a complete story.

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6 Comments

It's long been suggested, and now affirmed that Lovie doesn't get along well with former NFL players, and perhaps even feels threatened by their on the field experience. (see: Ron "Chico" Rivera)

Smith never had a professional NFL career, and wasn't much of a player at any level. If a man in his position feels somewhat insecure due to his lack of playing experience, he might find it uncomfortably hard to argue with someone who had actually "been there, and done that" for 10 or 15 years.


I thought better of Lovie when he was the lowest paid NFL coach in the league last year!

For whatever reason Nickerson left, might be personal reasons or others, I don´t think he had too much input in the LB crew this season. For the next season we need an assistant who can do two things: Help to make established players like Urlacher and Hillenmeyer better and bring up promising youngsters as Jamar Williams, Rod Wilson and Nick Roach, so one of them can replace Briggs.

Mark, you have to do more reading up next time. Lovie was a two-time All-American at Tulsa during college. Hard to say he wasn't much of a player at any level. And according to the article, it says Nickerson left for personal reasons. And where is it suggested Lovie doesn't like former players? Just because Rivera and him didn't work out doesn't mean anything. WW went to Dallas for more money and to be closer to family.

Well we finally see the out come of our D-fence.Jerry Angelo, you should have fired lovie smith and replaced him with Ron Rivera in the first place.He would have hired a good Off coord and we would have been set!Besides the only reason DABEARS won last season was theDDDDDD!

Smith was not a player and may not welcome former players as coaches, however the average football coach was an overachiever (non-athlete) as a player. Comments about Smith not being a great player would offend over %50 of coach at all collegiate levels as well as the NFL level. Players that have had high levels of success in Football as a player rarely make good coaches or desire to be coaches.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 8, 2008 2:34 PM.

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