Chicago Sun-Times

Smith does not rule out coaching changes

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Asked if there would be change coming on his coaching staff, Lovie Smith basically said there's some of that every year, starting a countdown to what could be a shakeup at Halas Hall. Whether major moves are in store or not, it's too early to tell.

"We'll evaluate everything, as I said, players, coaches and all,'' he said. ``Every year there is change. I don't know if we'll have change right now. I can't comment on any of that right now. We've just started our evaluation process and we'll kind of go from there.''

The Bears' defense allowed 455 yards in Sunday's 31-24 loss at Houston, the most it surrendered all season, and slumped to 21st in league rankings. That's an improvement over its standing as 28th last year when the club placed blame on a rash of injuries. The offense plummeted in the second half of the season to finish 26th, averaging just 295.9 yards per game, an improvement by one spot over last year.

Smith said the evaluation process has just begun but he waited until two days after the end of the season to ax offensive coordinator Terry Shea after the 2004 debacle. Ron Turner replaced him the next year, and defensive coordinator Bob Babich has been in place for two seasons since replacing Ron Rivera shortly after the club's loss in Super Bowl XLI.

It's expected Smith will take a hard look at the defensive line where Brick Haley came on board also after the Super Bowl loss when Smith fired line coach Don Johnson, who got so much production out of Mark Anderson as a rookie. The Bears had to blitz more than any team in the league and when you're doing that, you're doing so to mask a problem. There wasn't a Band Aid big enough. The Bears had just 28 sacks and only eight teams produced less. Of those eight, just the San Diego Chargers are headed to the playoffs.

So, stay tuned on this one. Smith will get together with general manager Jerry Angelo but he made it clear it's his call when it comes to the coaches.

"The coaching staff is my call, like some other things,'' Smith said. ``But Jerry and I talk about all major decisions, whether it's personnel, coaching, guys on our coaching staff and anything else related to the football team. We're in a partnership. We talk about everything that goes on and we'll do the same thing. That's normally how we evaluate things at the end of the year and we'll do it again.''

The big one sitting out there is Rod Marinelli, who took the fall in Detroit this morning. Marinelli and Smith are close friends and Marinelli was his first choice to be the defensive coordinator when Smith was hired in '04. Smith didn't bite when asked about Marinelli.

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I'm not surprised here, Lovie does see what has happened, he just does not throw guys under the bus, but some moves will be made on the staff for sure, he made his name as a defensive coach and when in a BIG game your defense does not get the JOB done, heads almost certainly will roll, good pick-up here Brad. Marinelli may need some time to himself and not be ready to step right into a new position after the beatings he's taken that last few years, I think we need to look at The Giants staff or even the Texans for a coach with experience handling 4-down linemen and getting push like we need, still one NEW playmaker would make a tremendous difference on this team, a hitter, someone who can get to the ball, Brian has slowed down and may need to be moved out the middle now to extend his career, he would be an upgrade over Hunter for sure, Harrison should be better next season and stronger after Rusty Jones gets to him, I still see some solid players to build around, but an insirational leader is a maust on that side of the ball, if they do not bring Mike Brown back!.....By the way Brad are soem of the 85 BEARS itching to get back into the game now that Singletary has a job, and if so who's been hanging aroung Halas hall lately we might look at, I think Dent could help the ends for sure with his grit and guile, and Danimal has to be throwing stuff at the TV after yesterday's defensive performance 455 yds in a Big game.........sheehtdid....

Marinelli. Yeah there's a winner. But I wouldn't put it past Lovie to hire a person who can't coach and created the worst team in the NFLs history. If Smith hires him as the D-Corrdinator, Smith should be laughed and egged out of Chicago. I hope I am wrong and he chooses a smart and talented DC but at this point I refuse to hold my breathe. Go Bears.

Could somebody please put something on the teleprompter before Lovie's next insightful press conference...

"And for all of us at Halas Hall, go F--- yourself Chicago..."

Maybe then Lovie and Jerry could fire each other.

"Lovie...I gotta fire you."

"Well Jherre...I gotta fire you, bong, bong..."

I could go on but you probably get the picture.

How much more obvious could it be? Dump Lovie (and the rest of the current losers) and hire Singletary before S.F. locks him up.

The first thing which neds to be done is demote Bob Babich to LB coach only or fire him. Then, bring in fired Lions head coach Rod Marinelli as defensive coordinator and have him work with the defensive line in practice and have Brick Haley assist him. It's apparent these college coaches that were brought in to teach and coach up the players hasn't worked out. The Bears need veteran coaches with pro coaching and playing experience.

Secondly, the Bears need to junk the 'prowl' defense which has Urlacher and Briggs out of position most of the time and doesn't allow them into their pass drops and puts them to close to the line to key on the ball carrier on runs.

And, alomg with junking the 'prowl' philosophy, I would move Urlacher to strong side LB and draft a MLB (Ohio State's James Laurinaitis, Pittsburgh's Scott McKillop, Florida State's Derek Nicholson, or Florida's Brandon Spikes) in the 2009 NFL Draft. Then, sign veteran Zack Thomas to shore up the MLB spot and tutor the drafted MLB.

Third, Bears WR coach Darryl Drake needs to be shown the door as he has yet to teach any of the receivers of how to get some cushion on their routes, catch the ball, block, and come back to the ball. Also, a WR or two that could stretch the field would help.

Next, I would allow Ron Turner to leave and bring in a younger OC that would open up the offense and not forget about the 'hurry-up' offense in the regular flow of the game.

Finally, I would cut/trade/ not resign the following players: Grossman, Hillenmeyer, Vasher, Tait, Garza, Metcalf, Booker, Davis, Jamar Williams, McGlover(?), Mike Brown, McGowan, Mark Anderson, and Peterson.

lolol - Ish!! lolol hmm just what the Bears need another loser! Hey he probably doesn't command much money so he's perfect for the McCaskey's,
If we blitzed that much why was our sack total so low? Isn't that the reason to blitz? to sack?
You know I liked JA/Lovie but the more I think about it the more I realize that the people to blame are the ones who hired these clowns! JA and Lovie!

Muster, Ish,

Come on. Lovie and Angelo have done a pretty good job. I have issues with the defensive schematic and playcalling, but, the Bears were "in-position" to win 5 of the 7 games they lost in the fourth.

And Marinelli had a lot less to do with the problem in Detroit than you think. He's a below-average, inexperienced head coach that took a job with the worst managed franchise in the history of football. Except for the Raiders maybe.

Marinelli is a good coordinator and playcaller.

Here's to Marinelli and Mike Martz in Chicago in 09!

And Lovie could do worse...he could bring Bob Babich back, fire Turner, and resurrect John Shoop! LOL

Mike does seem to have turned around a bad team, wer'e a bad team, maybe.....

Orton , come on guys the season was done in when Rex was put on the Bench? Open your eyes no deep balls all Year . It makes me sick.

I like Kyle Orton. I cheered for him all season and he played better than I thought he would. He is a capable NFL quarterback.

That said...

I sometimes wonder why the Bears kept Devin Hester out of the kick return game when they knew Kyle couldn't throw an accurate deep ball. I'm VERY disappointed that Kyle never really improved his 15+ passing game and only used Hester's speed as an advantage to draw pass interference penalties.

I would like the Bears to look at an offensive coordinator with a proven track-record at working with young quarterbacks - OR - bring in a provent quarterback that can take advantage of Chicago's speed.

People say Chicago has a poor recieving corps. That's a little extreme. I think they're below average and it should be noted the limitations of the quarterbacks (Rex and Kyle) and the inability of the coaching staff to "coach" them, has also fueled poor production fires in the passing game.

Is there any chance the Bears will chase:

Matt Cassel
Donovan McNabb
Derek Anderson

Any chance the Bears could get their hands on Tim Tebow?

Any thoughts?

Changes need to made. Not as many as many have listed here but changes nonetheless. The problem is not that they can't draft players. It is that the players they draft don't improve when they come here. It is a disconnect between the scouts and the coaches. So either they aren't drafting players to fit their scheme or the coaches can't make the adjustments to the players they have been given.

As for Marinelli, he might be a good fit here, 0-16 aside. Seems to me that Belichick was run out of Cleveland because he couldn't win and Pete Carroll out NE for the same reason. Among football professionals there are many supporters of Marinelli. Still I think we need changes and the place to look first is in the coaches.

The Lions requested and received permission Monday to interview New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who is regarded as one of the pre-eminent coaching candidates this offseason. Spagnuolo must interview with the Lions this week, during the Giants’ bye, before New York ramps up its preparations for a divisional playoff game next Sunday. By Adam Schefter of the NFL Network. If the Lions get Spagnuolo, my God are we screwed. Oh, man, I can just see the Lions fans licking their chops on getting this guy, yet we could get Rod from the Lions. Yea Team. God help us.

I'm shocked that Lovie Smith is still around.

It sickens me to think we could have had Mike Singletary and what he would bring the Bears.

You can be assured that San Francisco, after locking up Singletary, will improve under the brother-in-law of the former owener - DeBartolo. They will rise again while the Bears wallow in mediocrity under the weight of Lovie's delusions.

This team has become a joke. Since the super bowl, they have made one terrible decision after another. Trading Thomas Jones and Chris Harris????? What the ***(&%&$ was that all about?? Then dumping Rivera?? This is 1997 Wannstedt days all over again. Trading away quality players and locker room leaders for no reason. Wanny tore the roster apart to fill it up with his hand picked clowns. Remember the Eric Kumerow trade that sent Trace Armstrong to Miami?!? Lovie is too stupid/thick headed/whatever to see what is going on. Its his little empire now. This team will never improve with him running the show. JA is no better. When a GM has shown that he cannot pick offensive players, he needs to get help. I am as die hard as it gets, but with Lovie making comments that this "team was close"!?!?!?!?!? We are in trouble with Lovie at the wheel. Hopefully players like Alex Brown will speak up. I get the feeling that the team no longer believes in what the GM and coaches are doing.....

The 2 guys that brought in the same coordinator that you are blaming did a pretty good job?? How do you figure bringing in a bad D coordinator is `doing a pretty good job' and saying we shoulda/coulda/mighta `in position' if we just did this or that is pretty lame as well. We lost, no amount of wishing will change that - Good Coaches/Managers bring in Good Coordinators period, they did not, in fact they got rid of capable coordinators just to bring in these incompetent boobs. So explain to me again how they did a pretty good job, while your `waiting for next year' again!
By the way, while the guys that did a `pretty good job' are `evaluating' the Coaching staff other teams are interviewing the good candidates.
Hester made a !@# good catch on that deep ball though, our Offense would improve dramatically if we had an oline, but the 2 guys that did a `pretty good job' decided we didn't need any help in that area the last few years huh?
I guess Creighton was right on about Houston though, - But, we were `in position' in that game too, lol, I will take a W over a `in position' any day, The good teams/coaches win those in position games and the bad teams lose them. How long does it take to evaluate Babich? That incompetent !@# needs no evaluating! The games his D lost already are evaluated! And we are waiting to see who the guy that brought him in tells us whether he stays/goes or what clown he replaces him with. (don't forget the ENTIRE DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF)
I will say this about Ron Turner, JA/Lovie did not give him much to work with.



Oh this it, this is the big one, this is the biggest one I ever had. You hear that Elizabeth? I'm coming to join you honey. I coming home to Georgia.

What the Bears need is some advice from a real Bear. Lets Ask Mike Singletary what he thinks of this Bears team.

So Mike how do you feel about the Bears?

Mike: Mike Singletary: No, no, you don't want me to go much further.

Cmon Mike we really want to know what you think.

Mike: You know what? This is how I believe, OK? I'm from the old school.

Please go on Mike

Mike: I believe this; Cannot play with them. Cannot win with them. Cannot coach with them. Can't do it. I want winners. I want people that want to win.

Mike what do you feel about the Bears missing the Playoffs for the second year in a row.

Mike: Well I believe the Bears are the first Super Bowl contender to ever do that.

Wow that sounds pretty bad?

Mike: Oh it is bad. You see there on the decline. There O-line is old and not getting it done. Not to mention it's really the wrong type of line for Forte. He's a one cut type of back and would excell in a zone system like Mike Shanahan uses. The interior line is pretty bad a trapping and running counters and the Tackles can't pull. Plus there getting long in the tooth and don't have any guys comming up except the Broke Back Mountain Chris Williams.

Hmmm, so what your saying is line play is important.

Mike: Well it's what wins ball games.

What about the D-Line

Mike: Oh well you got problems there. Harris is not getting better and his knee isn't helping, he is not gonna be what he used to be. Goon is just cashing a check and Brown is a nice player but he is not a pass rusher that you need. As for the NT, well Adams is a nice backup but stay away from Dusty the Busty. Bears really need help on both lines.

How about the QB?

Mike: Who Kyle Dilfer or Trent Orton? Don't really matter does it? He is an Angelo guy, nothing special, is not gonna help you a lot but is not gonna kill you either. Plus he isn't expensive.

Well How about Hester?

Mike: Well he gave better prodution last year as a return man, probably should have left him there. But he will be a decent number 2 or 3 reciever.

Do think there is any chance the Bears go after a guy like Peppers?

Mike: Hahahahahahhaha. Cmon man.

How do you see the draft unfolding for the Bears

Mike: well pretty much the way most of there drafts unfold, you know Lovie has more control over it than Angelo now days. But Isee it unfolding pretty much the way it usually does for them. First round bust, a couple of solid mid round picks but not much else to speak of.

One last thing I was wondering if Lovie and Angelo would do me a favor and take out the trash sense it's house cleaning time.

Lovia and Angelo: Sure Fred we would love to. Were is it?

It's in your shoes, now take it out.

How about Lovie, Professor Jerry, Gilligan and the rest of the coaching staff go on a three hour tour to Oblivion?

I've been slow to get on the fire Lovie bandwagon. He did take them to the Superbowl, and last year was hard to evaluate because of all the injuries. But, after watching this season it's obvious he's in over his head. How do you make your best defensive lineman inactive for most of the season when your starters are getting pushed around like ragdolls? How can you be a defensive coach when your defense cannot figure out a way to stop a team on 3rd and long, not just during one game, but throughout the entire season? That one really drives me nuts. I've never seen a team make opponents look so good at converting third downs than this Bears team. And is Lovie trying to kill Matt Forte? He shows a lot of promise but at this rate Forte will be out of the league in three years. Was Kevin Jones really that bad that he needed to be inactive most of the season? I don't think so. I think those are all signs of a coach who is lost in a fog. I won't even go into turning the greatest return man ever into a joke, or of keeping your high draft pick receiver on the bench all year when you have no receivers.

Meanwhile Cowher says he's interested in the Jets. We're screwed.

Mike: I believe this; Cannot play with them. Cannot win with them. Cannot coach with them. Can't do it. I want winners. I want people that want to win.

roflmao, roflmao


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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 29, 2008 1:07 PM.

Quick reaction: Houston, we have a problem, a few in fact was the previous entry in this blog.

UPDATED: Bears sign practice squad players to futures deals; Hass to depart is the next entry in this blog.

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