Chicago Sun-Times

Keep your eye on the QB: Lovie addresses the position

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We stated Monday that we didn't want to lose focus of the quarterback this offseason, so we'll turn to Lovie Smith for comments on the position.

His teleconference this afternoon was the first time he has spoken publicly since general manager Jerry Angelo made his comments about the position two days after the regular-season ended. Smith was asked about Kyle Orton and the state-of-the-position:

Q: JERRY SAID ESTABLISHING COMPETITION FOR KYLE WAS A TOP PRIORITY. WHAT WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT AND WHERE KYLE STANDS?

LS: Well, first off, I don't think Jerry said that our No. 1 priority was that. Jerry talked about the quarterback position and he needed to see more from Kyle. You heard my statements, our statements, Ron [Turner], all of us around here, and Jerry's saying the same thing. We like what Kyle Orton was able to do this past year. Ten minutes after our last game, as I was asked about our quarterback position, I talked about Kyle Orton then. I'm saying the same thing now. I think our quarterback position is in the best shape it's been in going into the offseason.

I'm excited about Kyle Orton having a chance to go into the offseason as a No. 1 quarterback, getting a chance to work with the receivers, taking the majority of the reps and things like that. But at the same time, there's a good chance that Rex Grossman won't be with us next year. Rex has other options and things like that. I think as much as anything Jerry was probably talking about that, of bringing in another quarterback. Just in general, you need so many quarterbacks in here. Again, we don't want it to sound like we don't have faith in Kyle Orton. It's the complete opposite. I have a lot of faith in him and what he can do for our team."

Q: WILL YOU BRING IN A BACKUP OR SOMEONE YOU WILL LOOK TO BE IN COMPETITION WITH KYLE?

LS: Every job we have is a job where you come in and you have a chance to compete. We start off from scratch every year. That's what I say at the end. That's what I'm saying now. As we bring a guy in, you don't look for guys that have backup-type physical ability. You're looking for guys with starter-type ability with every man on your 53-man roster, and that's what we'll do at all positions. Quarterback is no different.


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25 Comments

I know I feel comfortable with the QB position for next year because of the track record the Bears have exhibited for developing all pro QB's in their past history! Yeah right, and a blind pig can find a truffle every now and then.

here's one!

Ok...Kyle was, average...He started out ok, then right before he got injured he look really good...Then after his injury, it was like he was back to square one...Haha, rihgt when he was looking good, BAM he gets hurt...The Bears derperatly need recievers!! How are you supposed to win when all your recievers drop the ball, more than they catch the ball?!?!?

Actaully Angelo did say the QB position was there number one priority. Those were his words, what don't you two clowns ever talk. He said Kyle has yet to put together a good full season and that the Bears had to get the QB position right. He said he liked Kyle and that he had faith in Kyle but that he was not 100% on Kyle. Lovie is now speaking for Jerry. He is actually changing his words and thoughts and saying what Jerry said was not what Jerry said. I said it after the Angelo interview and I am saying it again, there is going to be a little war up at Halas Hall.

As for Lovie saying he has guys compete for jobs. He must think everyone in Chicago is a idiot. Like Adams got to compete for a Job, or Benson, or Rex, or even Beekman, how about Graham who looked better than Vasher. We had a bunch of backups this year that were better than his hand picked starters and when those starters went down with injuries they showed it.

"What is really exciting is Kyle gets to work with the recievers." What he didn't work with them before?

Hey Brad how is Jerry Angelo saying the same thing? I saw his interview and he very clearly did not say the same thing as Lovie. Does Lovie always speak for Angelo? Whats interesting is both of them said different things and both said that is what the other meant. No wonder they suck Jerry and Lovie don't seem to speak the ssame language.

I think we're in for a great year coming up! Everyone at Halas Hall is in panic mode so look out. No players' job is safe. It sounds as if Lovie is fed up, you don't produce, you're gone!!! Let's hope it's like that, anyway!!

Melissa....you're right on!!!!! Are you married???

No one on the list of available free agent quarterbacks is a threat to Orton anyway. There's a few veterans who might be better at "managing a game" or whatever, but chances are he'll play badly when he gets here or he'll get hurt anyway. I hate how the Bears announce there's going to be some competition at a starting position. There should be perpetual, ongoing competitions for ALL of them. The starters - the guys actually on the field most of the time - don't have any reason to believe their job security is being threatened regardless of how they play. That doesn't mean they're lazy people or that they play poorly on purpose or anything, but maybe it means they don't always play 60 minutes or practice as hard as they could. It's not like the Bears completely lack depth, either. Throughout the past couple years, certain players performed poorly - I don't know if they had nagging injuries or what, but when their replacements finally came in (Roach, Graham, Payne, Harrison) what those guys might have lacked in talent when compared to someone like Vasher or Mike Brown, they made up for with intensity. It's time for Lovie to start getting the best players on the field on a week-to-week basis.

Creighton (and Brad) - Lovie DOES believe we're idiots. He especially plays the press for morons. Why isn't he called on these dumb statements? Someone with time on their hand should start a website of contradictoy or outright moronic things he said. Right here, there are two. Angelo DID say QB needed an upgrade (whether from Kyle himself or another QB brought in); and we TURNED DOWN QBs back when Rex was pampered and annointed the starter - and got rid of Thomas Jones when Benson was annoited the starter.

OK - so Babich is still the DC, but Marinelli is assistant head coach and Lovie calls the D signals. Soudns like he shoudl have just been fired.

By Moses on January 13, 2009 4:14 PM
"Melissa....you're right on!!!!! Are you married???"

Are you married??? Are you an idiot?

I am inclined to agree WinorGoHome, the pressure is on at Halas Hall, this year's near miss in getting to the playoffs is a wake up call, the team is NOT as good as they thought they were, but they can BE good with some changes and a sense of urgency given or should I say MANDATED to the coaches and players alike. In this league the hardest thing to do is to sustain success, the BEARS as an organization should be strving for that, this brings me to Angelo's point about the QB position, most of the teams with sustainable success in the league have one or the other at the top of the league, a QB or a Defense, we have neither at this point, the money has been spent on the defensive side of the ball but they did not produce, we all know we do not have a top tier QB. BEARS fans have complained mostly about the decline on the defensive side of the ball and want a sacrificial lamb "Babich" to be let go to bring this point home, Lovie on the other hand steps up to the plate and says it will be on ME, I applaud this act and hope he gets it done, there are several critics of him on this site talking about emotion and leadership from Lovie well we will get it now or he'll be gone...this defense will perform next season.We need some key pieces no doubt, but we have a foundation to build on and with the right moves we can get it done next season, I think we need three key players to make the playoffs next season, a quality wideout to help move the chains, and young dominant hitter on defense, and someone to put some rush in passrush on the line, these things with a sense of urgency, as players are getting older, Brian, Olin, Wale and others, and commitment to being real BEARS as a team can get the job done. Brad keep us abreast of what's going on, but Lovie putting the success of the defense on his shoulders is the best thing, I've heard so far, it's how he GOT the JOB, and it will be how he will KEEP his JOB......BEARS playoffs 09' or bust !

Creighton....who's talking to you??? Mind you own business!!!

You fans are all nuts.
You think that there is going to be an about face of some kind or another. Every year, we hear some bull or other.
When are you going to wake up?
I applaud nothing. Lovie is going to take over the defense. If we get the same results, he will find something else to blame. End of story.
There is nothing to look forward to. I would get excited if they drafted a QB in the first round, even if he isn't ready to play next year. On the other hand, Angelo has a poor track record of drafting early round players. The coaches have a bad record of developing players which falls on Lovie.
So what are you fans so excited about? Another year of failure?
How many times do they have to do this to get the point across?
Do you want to be on the same page as cubs fans?
Wake up!

This is great news....it's like the old saying goes..."If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself!!" Good for you, Lovie!!

Val, you are not bringing anything to the table with your post, Creighton at least brings in facts when he is down on the team. How long have you been a fan? Do you really know what terrible BEARS coaching is, this guy got the team in the Super Bowl two years ago, were you alive then, or were you just hatched the last two years, Calling fans idiots because they come with an idea is not what this blog is about, get some facts, bring something other than venom to your posts if you want to make a name for yourself out here....Okay Lovie's fired it's your job, how do you get the team to the playoffs? How long will it take? Who the hell would you draft at 18? or better yet would you trade the pick and for whom? ......Coaching is about accountability my friend and so is blogging, bring something to your posts, have a point, hell if you were GM you'd probably bring back Abe Gibron to coach the team.......

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..................................

Why is Babich still here? How can Coach Smith possibly think Babich can take on the linebacker duties and STILL be the defensive coorinator. What is Coach Smith thinking?! Is he so in love with Babich that he doesn't see the big picture? Remember Atlanta? Any one with half a brain knows that a pass is coming with only 6 seconds left on the clock, yet we play a cover 2. WHY? Great coaching! We let Coach Rivera go, but keep Babich and then give him extra responsibly. What the hell is going on? It looks more and more like the good O boys system in Chicago and friendship is superior to results.

This has nothing to do with the QB, but I just finished reading the article on chicagobears.com and wanted to vent. Sorry Bear fans, 2009 looks like another year without the playoffs. I guess the 30th ranked defense against the pass is ok with Coach Smith?

Yeah, I was wondering, maybe there's alot of paper needs pushin in that DC job, cuz with all the duties taken.....

babich isnt going to call the plays

and the game plan im assuming will be a collaborative effort with lovie, marinelli and minimum at best contributions from babich

im ok with that

Com'on you bloggers, let's all bend over at the same time so Lovie can blow smoke up our butts all at once !! NOTHING is going to change until he and Jerry are shown the door. Remember when Kurt Warner was available and only wanted the opportunity to compete w/Rex Grossman ? Rex is "OUR" QB- Lovie Smith. Well Lovie, look who's in the NFC championship game and who will be released at cut down time. Too bad you hired Hoke, Herm Edwards just became available, and I'm shocked Mike Martz has'nt been hired !! Plenty of room for all your buddies ! I've been a life long Bears fan, even since moving to AZ. in 04', but your making it REAL easy to be a CARDINALS fan.

Chi I have been a fan of the Bears for 35 years and more than that I have been a football fan for 30 years. Let me ask you something. Sense you made my own point for me. I have seen bad coaching for a long time in this town. I have seen worse then Lovie and I never said I have not. I also have never said it is all Lovie. I did not call anyone an idiot for comming in with an idea. I have no idea were got that. I called someone an idiot for asking an idiotic question. "Are you married?" That was stupid. Sorry but it was. Oh high complete stranger who I have never met or seen you commented on a football blog "are you married?" Cause I am that desperate.

As for your questions I know this about football organizations. In the Best one's everybody does there job and there job alone. Much the way players are specialized today so are personel. The first thing the Bears need to get right is there GM. A GM who is the actual GM, not a guy who has to take suggestions from the owners or the head coach on who to bring in, who too scout and who to hire. A guy like Kevin Colbert comes to mind. Then you let the GM install a system on offense and defense that fits what he knows and knows how to draft. Once you know what system you are installing you go get the personel to fill the positions starting with coordinators not a head coach. Look at the Ravens and Pitt. They are defensive based teams who understand that to have a great defense you need a great offensive line and a great running game to control the clock and keep your defense fresh. They have two young head coaches but who are there Coordinators did the coaches bring in either of these guys? Rex Ryan in Baltimore and that defense is his and has been sense 99, check out his coaching pedigree. How about Pitt John Mitchell Asst Head Coach D Line coach sense 94, Dick LeBeau Defensive Coordinator. Who's there secondary coach in Baltimore? Mark Carrier, I think you know him too.

Here is the thing Head coaches should be head coaches not head coaches GM and a coordinator. In a good organization the system is established and everyone does there spacific job. The scouts brought in are scouts not just of talent but talent for that system, coordinators are the same. That is not what the Bears do. Lovie has partial control of the draft as evident by Okowo and Buzein, he is now taking over defensive play calling. All those coaches that just got fired from the Bears were his picks not Angelo's. Look at Tricky Dick he was the same way he had control of the draft while he was here and control of just about everything on the team, he didn't come to Chicago and enter a system, like Lovie he brought his system with him, he brought his people with him.

What Lovie and Angelo are doing here is not the Bears football legacy or heratige. It's Tampa's and Angelo was not good enough in Tampa to not get fired.

I saw the Bears establish a legacy for this team to build on for decades to come back in the 80's. But they didn't do it. Does Mike Singltary belong in San Fran, Angelo didn't think enough of him to give him an interview. Rex Ryan the son of Buddy Ryan thats a legacy, how about Ron Rivera a Bear chased out of Chicago by a pair of Tampa boys. There are Bears all over this league doing good Jobs but we don't bring them here... Clerance Brooks D line Coach Baltimore is another name.

You ask me if I am a Bear fan Chitownbear? Yeah I am Bear fan and I don't root for for no damn Buc.

You want me to fix this team fine. Then I would do what the Bears do not what Tampa does.

First fire Angelo he can't draft and it starts there. Second Bring in a GM who knows the 3-4. Which is a fast Blitzing based defense more reminisent of the 46 than the Tampa 2 as established by Rex Ryan, Buddy Ryans son, Plus it is based off great Linbacker play something Bear fans might enjoy, yes a Linbacker rushing the passer what a novel idea. Not to mention the Tampa two is a defense designed for a dome team or a warm weather team. Next get Rid of the Bears west coast offense as run by Turner it's not a running offense it's passing offense and the Bears are currently a passing team despite what Lovie says. The Bears currently have a small offensive line that looks more like a line that should be doing zone blocking rather than playing smash mouth football. Even Singltary when asked this week what he wanted to do for the future of the 9er's stated I want the 49er's to resemble the 80's Bears on offense with a powerful puch you in your mouth line and a great running game. You know why he said that. Because he knows thats were it begins with defense, ball control. That is not Turner's style. I was Halas's style it was the 80's Bears style but it's not these Bears style.

You want to know who I would trade? Harris the headcase with his bad knee and bloated contract. Goon is gone too, and I would trade Briggs, not because he is a bad player but because I can't use him in a 3-4 and he would bring a decent amount of value unless he could move to the inside. But he is a very specialized player so I don't think he would stay. Next good by vasher, and I would ask Brown to return as a secondary coach, believe it or not you can have more than one and I think he would be great. If I am Lovie I do all except Briggs.

Next you have free agents. Bears have some cap room this year to play with so I target 2 main guys. Albert Haynesworth to play NT and Terrell Suggs. The Bears already have Izzy and he was born to play DE in a 3-4. As for a reciever I would look at Devery Henderson out of New Orleans, not a star reciever but solid and better than anyone on the Bears by a long shot. I would also look at Dawan Landry at saftie. If I was Lovie and Angelo I would make a major play for Peppers as Rod is not known for developing DE's however he is said to get the most out of an experienced line.

What else oh I almost forgot the Head coach, who would I give the job too? I would try for Cowher if I can't get him there is a guy I like on the Bears aleady who has a decent pedigree. Dave Toub. Groomed and hand picked by Harbaugh who is doing pretty good in Baltimore. However I think he needs more experience like Harbaugh I would move him to be a position coach and let him oversee special teams grooming him for the future.

As for the draft I will have a better idea of who too pick after tommorrow as I am still waiting for all the underclassmen to declare. However at 18 and depending on who is available these are the guys I would target. Number 1 Alex Mack, as rear a center as you are going to find, has a chance to go in the top 15 he is that good and for a center that says something. He is athletic enough to play guard at 6'5 320 or center and would really help out the run game, Duke Robinson is also an option but he may not be there as well, if there gone I look at Tyson Jackson to play DE in the 3-4. For this team under Lovie I would still look for Mack or Robinson and if not them Moore or Maclin in round 1. All could be gone though at 18. The DLine and Oline of the Bears both need a lot of help and both need to get more athletic but the oline needs to get younger as well. Not to mention Williams would need to be evaluated cause the Bears may very well need a LT still. If Oher fell to the bears somehow they should grab him period. Williams is a question mark thank you Angelo and St. Clair ranked 30th in sacks allowed this year with 9.5, thats 30th out of 32 starting LT's. Thats brutal. Tait looks to be finished and should be placed as a backup and Olin is at the end of his run. Bears should also look at Raji to play nose tackle.

My own belief in drafting is to target an area of need that needs to be fixed and fix it, instead of hoping to fix everything at once in one draft. Chances are you are not gonna get a franchise QB in this draft at 18 or a stud LT sense most think there will be a run on the Oline again. Either way the Bears should either attempt fix there Dline in free agency and there Oline in the draft or vise versa. Round two they can look at Fenuki Topou or Loadholt to play RT but I think Loadholt will wind up a RG. Either way you are putting a big powerful line on the field so you can run the ball. They say a great RB is a QB's best friend, well there crazy a great offensive line can make a QB and a Running back look great. Fix lines and you fix the team.

I don't believe it!! That last post really threw me for a loop. Creighton has actually offered suggestions on how to fix the team instead of tell all of us what is wrong with the team. I guess that would have to pass as a positive post, at least for Creighton. So, now the question is... Who is Creighton? He "seems" to know a lot about football. Although I don't know how he knows Okwo and Buzain are Lovie's picks and not Angelo's. Maybe he's a former scout or friend of a scout. He does throw around a lot of names of potential draftees. He is definitely loyal to the Bears of the 80s. Maybe he is a former player. He seems to know a lot about Rex Ryan and his defense. He isn't very happy that 2 former Bucs are running the show. He also comes off as a crusty old coot. Maybe he is Buddy Ryan himself. My favorite theory is that he is Michael McCaskey. Who else would be pissed off that a GM was brought in and took his draft privileges away. So, Creighton who are you. ...The world may never know.

Creighton wrote:
"...That is not what the Bears do. Lovie has partial control of the draft as evident by Okowo and Buzein, he is now taking over defensive play calling. All those coaches that just got fired from the Bears were his picks not Angelo's. Look at Tricky Dick he was the same way he had control of the draft while he was here and control of just about everything on the team, he didn't come to Chicago and enter a system, like Lovie he brought his system with him, he brought his people with him."

My response:
All Head Coaches have input on personnel. As then Head Coach Bill Parcells famously said "If you want me to cook the dinner, you have to let me buy the groceries." Bill Belichick is the same way. Jauron had input because -- there was no GM in Chicago. Mark Hatley was not the GM. He was the player personnel guy. Joe Gibbs did the same thing. He fought for more control on personnel. So to argue otherwise is ignoring what the rest of the faces -- there will always be an internal struggle between the GM and scouts who are to look long-term (2+ yrs) and the head coach whose idea of long-term is the next two weeks.

Creighton wrote:
"What Lovie and Angelo are doing here is not the Bears football legacy or heratige. (sic) It's Tampa's and Angelo was not good enough in Tampa to not get fired."

My response:
Creighton by using a double negative in the last sentence your meaning becomes: 'It's Tampa's and Angelo was good enough to get fired.' Suggestion: proof your thoughts. It will improve your arguments.

Creighton wrote:
"Not to mention the Tampa two is a defense designed for a dome team or a warm weather team."

My response:
Not true. If you read anything on Tony Dungy he claims the orgins of the Tampa Two is really the Chuck Noll defense of his playing career. Don't believe me? Then here is a link that should help. It comes from the Steelers web site. This is the same team that you want our team to resemble. Can't have it both ways.

http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:hcH7hquyR5QJ:news.steelers.com/article/73586/+tony+dungy+cover+2+pittsburgh&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us&client=firefox-a

If this link does not wrap around then just type in a search engine the words: Tony Dungy Pittsburgh Cover Two

To learn more also look here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampa_2

Suggestion: read more, post less equals more factually correct information.

Creighton, I do love your passion for the Bears. We agree on many points about the Bears but I disagree about the magnitude of the changes needed.

being a former bears player does not automatically qualify you to be able to coach...and that certainly doesnt mean they all have to end up in chicago...how absurd! you cant complain about lovie's "buddy system" of hiring (which is totally a BS concept anyway) and then have a "buddy system" for all former bears players...

look at this realistically...ron rivera has won how many super bowls as a coach? the exact same number as lovie smith has...NONE...how'd that san diego defense play with no penetration from the DL? sounds eerily familiar...hmmmm

jim harbaugh isnt exactly lighting the world on fire at stanford...

dent flamed out after 1 season of being an asst DL coach...

i mean seriously can we let that go...

i appreciate the draft suggestions...thats positive and needed...but the we need more bears here coaching ideology is just plain silly...

the 4-6 is not coming back and anyone who suggests it is looney in the head...and a move to a 3-4 d would see lovie fired before it would be implemented and the players were aquired that were needed to use it...its just not logical or feasible at this moment...when done properly the cover-2 IS pressure defense...thats the whole base of it...you get a big rush from your DL

in 05 and 06 the bears ranked in the top 10 in 3 and outs...thats not a passive defense...

i swear some bears fans just have a need to shake their fist at something...ANYTHING

Creighton, your post took a while to get through, but you just proved my point that I was making to Val (unless you are one of the same in my challenge to him). Don't just come in to the blog and whine bring someting to discuss and digest, it takes a while to read these posts, give us somethying to think and talk about. That's my point to make, now to your suggestions. Why gut a team that was a game away from the playoffs, that make no sense, this team is not that bad, it needs to be fixed but a complete make-over is a bit much. I think going to a 3-4 is a mistake first of all, the Giants have shown that having 4 guys to ruush the passer and play the run is solid not every team has to play a 3-4 defense to be solid. Other solid 4 man line teams, Vikes, Skins, Titans all prove this out, going to a 3-4 completely changes the team and puts us at least three years away from contending again. Next up trades, you mentioned trading Briggs to get value, could happen but takes away the only playmaker we have on that side of the ball, again this would set us back years, Harris is still getting healthy and as we saw this morning will get additional attention from Sapp ( another Tampa guy my friend...LOL), for me the people to trade would be
Vasher (agree with you here) and Wale who is getting long in the tooth. As for the FA's looking at Henderson is a reach, but I see the point, his hands are not too good and he does not like to go over the middle, but I agree we need major upgrade there as I make in most of my post to the blog..

Creighton, I know your'e a fan and never questioned it, re-read my post, I said you at least bring in FACTS, whether I agree or not you give me something to read and think about, that's what I'm talking about here.....Your post was too long to discuss each point, I printed it out and will be looking to see if some of these things happen in the future....I agree with one thing you said though that won't happen this season since Lovie said he's done adding coaches, BRING BACK some old BEARS who love to play the game and bring passion back on the Defensive side of the BAll...and yes Keep Mike BROWN....Keep doing what you do Creighton, but you also have a responsiblity to help keep the blog from a bi_ch session and more of a forum to trade and discuss ideas for the team we love......

Creighton wrote:
"Not to mention the Tampa two is a defense designed for a dome team or a warm weather team."

My response:
I have heard this statement from my fans such as you. It is not true. Here is what Tony Dungy said about the Tampa Two. It comes from the Steelers website, which is one of the teams you want us to mirror.

http://news.steelers.com/article/73586/

To learn more try going here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampa_2

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 13, 2009 2:37 PM.

To the defense: Lovie to take over play calling in revamped coaching structure was the previous entry in this blog.

New DB coach Hoke has been to Lovie's office before is the next entry in this blog.

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