Chicago Sun-Times

Lovie Smith: "I am having a blast being involved a little bit more"

| 38 Comments | No TrackBacks

lovie619.jpg

If anyone is ready for a break from the grind of a long offseason you would figure it might be coach Lovie Smith.

The Bears went headlong into revamping their defense in early January. Smith officially announced he was taking over the unit and put the assistants through boot camp on the dry erase board in the basement at Halas Hall. It was just the beginning of an exciting but long 5 1/2 months.

Yet there Smith stood Wednesday afternoon following the final OTA practice as energetic as ever. He didn't look ready for training camp. He looked ready for the start of the regular season. So, coach, looking forward to some time away now?

"You never get that far away from it,'' Smith said. "I am having a blast being involved a little bit more like that. I have time throughout, there are certain periods when I am looking at the offense, seeing it, getting a chance to go and watch all of the individual things. That part of it, I am excited.

"But that's not going to be why we're gonna come back. We're going to come back because of what our assistant coaches, defensively, what they've done. Jon Hoke, Rod [Marinelli], Bob [Babich], Gill Byrd, what they have been doing with their individual groups."

*** We wouldn't read too much into Corey Graham playing nickel the past two weeks, not with a tight hamstring sidelining Danieal Manning. But Graham did play nickel for two games last season and it is another option for him to get on the field. If Craig Steltz continues to run with the first team at free safety and Nathan Vasher reclaims his job at right cornerback, that will eliminate two options for Graham.

"Right now we're just doing a little bit of everything,'' Graham said. "I've worked at corner a little bit, I've worked at safety, I've worked at nickel. I guess they are trying to get a feel for where I am going to be or whatever. I'm just learning more of the defense and the more I can do the better it is."

In the event Steltz and Vasher win starting jobs, yes, then we could see Graham giving Manning a real push for the nickel job. The circumstances thus far, though, have not given Graham much of a shot at claiming the free safety job.

*** The big winner among the draft picks this spring has to be fifth-round pick Johnny Knox. The wide receiver was one of the most consistent rookies on the field during OTA's and drew regular praise from the coaching staff. Knox has blazing speed but in shorts he was able to play fast and that's something not everyone can do. The next step is proving he can play fast with pads on in training camp. There have been a lot of stars in shorts who disappear when the gear goes on. Knox, though, could be one of the real surprises of the draft if he can continue his upward climb. He could carve out a spot as a slot receiver, especially if the team lets him just focus on one position.

*** He's probably not the first Bear you would figure to be a cover boy at this time of year but Orlando Pace graces the cover of the Sporting News that hit newsstands this week. He headlines a group of NFL players over 30 who have changed teams this offseason for the magazine.

"There's a real buzz in the air in Chicago about the Bears,'' Pace said. "It's something you can really sense. They held this Bears Expo at Soldier Field and there were a lot of fans who showed up. I probably hadn't seen such excitement in the offseason since we went to the Super Bowl in St. Louis.''

*** Here's an undrafted free agent to look for in training camp and preseason--Dahna Deleston. The safety from Connecticut didn't appear a lot on defense but he was the first one downfield in a lot of special teams situations. He's going to need to improve his standing on defense in camp.

***
Hit the golf course with kicker Robbie Gould, the mini golf course, on July 9. Gould is hosting a "Play Nine with No. 9" event to benefit his charity The Goulden Touch Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting research and providing support for families affected by Essential Tremor. The event will be held at The Green at Grant Park from 6-10 p.m. Tickets are $75 for adults and $40 for children and include a buffet dinner and four-hour open bar. For information call (630) 315-2964 or email events@thegouldentouch.org.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/23749

38 Comments

Many fans still see Lovie Smith as the choice the Bears did not want to make as their head coach. When the solid defense led them to the 06' - '07 Super Bowl it was as if Lovie had been validated as a great coach.

The fact is he has been "learning on the job." The past two seasons have been horrendous and poor coaching has cost several games. The "BUCK" stops with the head coach. Lovie Smith is CEO on the field and I just do not see it in this guy.

Now, the pressure will be on to produce. No excuses. The Bears have the talent along with one of the better QB's in the game.

Many fans of long standing would also question the anomoly of not having a solid QB for decades. Is it the QB or is it the management and coaching.

Bears tell us they're good to go at the WR position.

We wish Lovie much success but remain skeptical.

Numbers are numbers. The guy only has one NFC team that has won more ball games than Smith in the past four years (I don't count 2004 because it was his first year and a total rebuilding of the franchise from top to bottom). He should be able to put together 10-11 wins this season. If he does, regardless of playoff performance, he still is on track to be one of the better coaches the Bears have had in the modern era. Thems are the facts.

I think coaching did cost us a few games last year. I feel like this year is going to be completely different. I'm glad that Lovie is taking the reigns on defense and therefore putting all culpability on himself. If the defense plays up to par this year (it will), Lovie will deserve the credit, and if the defense plays like it did last year he will deserve all the blame. Personally, I feel like the front four didn't get a consistent pass rush all season and the secondary suffered for it. We can talk about injuries, but those happen anyway. If Rod gets the big guys back to form, our defense will do what it's built to do: crush the run and force quarterbacks to make bad decisions. This year I have expectations that our offense will operate exactly how we've always imagined it operating. I see Forte continuing to cut up opposing defenses, and our play action passes burning defenses deep. I see less check downs to Forte and more passing yards and passing touchdowns (there will also be more interceptions). Olsen is going to start catching them for thirty instead of five, and he will likely make the pro bowl. I think it's understandable that Lovie is excited about this year. We all have a great season to look forward to.

Couldn't agree more with mike and tony.Yeah a couple of games were lost from bad coaching, but mostly from bad playing.This might shock most people, but im not concerned with the WR position, im concerned about the front four.Rod is a good coach, but is he good enough to use the same vet starters as last year and make them play better this year (Awale and Alex have in there 30's),Im not sure but thats what i'll be watching during preseason.


I guess some of you guys are spoiled by Lovie's success, because since he been here making itover .500 hasn't been a concern.That sure wasnt the case with the last few coaches we had.

Hester 1137 8td
Olsen 857 7td
Clark 545 4td
Knox 750 3td

I think Lovie's a good coach and he's well respected by his players too, which is a good thing (you hate to see players blowing up in the headcoach's face during games, but none of that in Chicago). I'm excited about his taking more control of the D.

I'm more worried about his judgement on personnel. Bob Babich, who took over for a very good DC as it turns out in Ron Rivera, has been a bust as the DC, and I didn't think it necessary for Lovie to keep him there through last season. Lovie should've just taken over, or at least decide that he was going to be more involved, midway through the season. I think his tendency is to be too patient with his old friends.

But hey, he's a winning coach, and that's a good thing, above all else perhaps.

Lovie said that he was going to take more of an active hand in the defense. So many fans assumed that this meant he was going to run the defense (which is not true). As of right now, Bob Babich is still the Bears' DC and still listed on the Bears' website as DC.

I wish Lovie would be more aggressive with righting his coaching staff problems. Marinelli and Hoke are great examples of him doing the right thing. Putting Babich officially back at LB coach (where he was pretty good) would be another good step in the right direction.

If they don't step up I hope Turner (or at least WR coach Drake) are scrutinized next offseason. I am giving them a shot (in my mind) this season. I'd like them to finally "get it". But if they don't, Lovie really needs to step up and fix this.

BabichIsStillDC - Babich is our linebackers coach now. He didn't get an official demotion on payroll, websites, or league records but he is now (un)officially the linebackers coach again.

I like this for a couple reasons.

1) This puts Bob back where he belongs, as one of the better linebacker coaches in the league (much like Rod Marinelli for that matter, not a good head coach but a great position coach). I think Babich knows how to drive his players to play harder and faster and I can't wait to see his fiery attitude back on the sideline, focusing on one group of players.

2) It show what a quality guy Lovie is. Instead of throwing Bob under the bus and subjecting him to national embarrassment he let him keep his public status while in all actuality he did get a demotion/re-assignment. Fans are going to be reminded this season why Lovie got the head coaching position in the first place, because he is one of the best defensive minds and thus play callers in the league. He will show fans this year that he's 10 times the play caller that Babich was.

In my opinion, this has been the best off-season for Da Bears, since I began following them in '85 as a 7 year old. Tremendous coaches are in place at areas of strength. Trades have brought better players and new energy to the locker room. Former rookies are becoming pro-bowl potential veterans (Olsen, Hester, Marcus Harrison). Injured players are healthy again (and from what I've heard in the best shape of their life, i.e. Urlacher and Vasher). It wouldn't surprise me in the least if we're in the NFC Championship game this year, and the Super Bowl next year.

I'm so excited for this season that I got two jobs this summer just to help the time go by faster (and so I can buy NFL Sunday Ticket and catch every Cutler bomb to Hester and every bone crushing tackle by my New Mexico college buddy Urlacher).

Bears Fans - I think we're back!

I have always supported Lovie since he got here. And since he's been here, only the Giants have more wins in the NFC. We had one of the best defenses in football and went to a SuperBowl under Lovie. And I don't think he made a bad call last year in the Atlanta game. I agreed with the call. What I DON'T like about Lovie is his unbelievable stubborness. The whole "wrecks is our quarterback" thing still irks me. He seems to be unwilling to ever say "I was wrong" or "this is not working let's change direction". Also his interviews tell you aboslutely NOTHING about his approach. "we like what we have" and "we get off the bus running" slogans get really old after awhile.

Lovie takes a passive approach to coaching, which is absolutely fine. I just would like Lovie to be more open and also not be afraid to tell Ron Turner or Babich or Marinelli that what they are doing is not working, just b/c they are his friends


BEARS

Obviously if you are reading the Sporting News you maybe prepared to accept that Lovie Smith is ranked 20th in the league as a coach. I agree with some of what Ralph and Tony said that the responsibility is his to bear alone to coin a phrase. However if you look at stats Lovie has amassed a 45-35 record over the last five years. I suppose doing that with Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton and number of other quarterbacks under his leadership is as good of a testament of good coach as there could be. Out side of Shananhan who would you have replace him? I know a lot of people get on him because he’s not shouting in guy’s faces, throwing clip boards and cursing up a storm but he is showing how to personify character on a team and in this game. His team had been decimated by injuries, bad draft picks, poor individual and team performances as well as no consistent quarterback for the last five years. I don’t think there are a lot of coaches that would have survived those challenges yet alone thrived under them. Lovie Smith is good for this game and fair enough he is entitled to his critics. I’m still wondering why the squib kick in the final seconds of last years game here in Atlanta but taking chances are a part of this game and Lovie is proving that he is more advantageous than many of his peers in coaching and developing talented players selected in later rounds and from smaller schools that can compete in the NFL. With the added responsibility of calling the defensive sets this year and now stability at quarterback lets just wait and see what he can do.

Coaches coach, managers manage, but players have to play. There were too many players who forgot their roles in the equation the last couple of years. I'm all in favor of changing coaches if they are not motivating the players, but clearly coaches are too often simply easy targets and scapegoats for too many player prima donnas.How to motivate players is not an easy concept to master because different players respond to different motivations. What the Bears need are more self-starters who do not need their hands held or artificial stimulants of one kind or another.

Lovie has completely changed this team since his arrival, I am really happy they got him as a coach. Since his arrival we have owned Favre and the packers, won 2 division titles, and won the NFC Championship which we haven't even been too since the 80's. Since his arrival the defense has lead the entire NFL in turnovers, and special teams have been dominant every year, thats not coincidence. He's done a great job making the Bears back into contenders.

The Bears like to win with Special teams and Defense, no team in the NFL relies more on Special teams than the Bears. Dave Toub is one of the top two Special team Coordinator's in the league, if not the best. You can count at least 10 wins that special teams gave the Bears over the last 4 years, and special teams have been responsible for keeping them in most of their games. Who gives them field position? Special teams. How many times have they blocked game winning kicks? How many times has special teams scored to give the Bears a lead, a tie, a win or bring them back into a game.

You can like Lovie all you want but good head coaches don't put their friends above the welfare of the team like he did with Babich. He also makes a ton of mistakes, he does not know when to throw the challenge flag, he wastes timeouts, and he is horrible at managing the clock. Take Toub off this team and the Bears are a below average team. Their best unit sense 2004 has been special teams. The offense has been below average over that period of time and defense had only two good years out of 5.

I would really like to see how well Lovie would do without Toub bailing him out all the time. How about that GB game last year, who blocked the game winning kick? Special teams. The season was on the line, the defense looked horrible, and the offense was doing nothing. The biggest play of the game comes from Special teams.

You watch eventually Toub is going to ask to be a position coach, he will do that for a year and then some team will make him a head coach just like they did with his mentor John Harbaugh.

Lovie Smith has good and bad traits as a head coach, and his record with the Bears is mixed as well.

On the good side, he took a bottom dwelling team and won two division titles and an NFC title with it. In 2006 his Bears won the NFC without much talent on offense except for the linemen (Ron Turner gets a lot of credit for this, too). He also has a calming, leveling effect because of those aspects of his personality, which prevents overreactions by players and other coaches.

On the bad side, his defense grossly underperformed last season considering the amount of talent they had. Even in '05 and '06, the defenses started to falter after Mike Brown got hurt. His defenses depend far too heavily on a few individual stars such as Harris, Brown and Urlacher, making them vulnerable when those stars are injured or don't perform well. His defensive philosophy depends on smaller, faster players, making the defense vulnerable to power running games. His defensive style is passive and therefore his defenses will never intimidate opponents. His style sucks; Mike Ditka he is not.

Overall, this is a mixed bag. Bill Cowher would be an improvement if he could be talked out of retirement. We won't know for a few years, but I think Mike Singletary will turn out to be a better head coach, and his style is infinitely better than Smith's, as is Cowher's. And of course, who wouldn't want Mike Shanahan? But aside from those three, I don't see anyone available or potentially available who would be an improvement.

This season will be the acid test for Smith. With Jay Cutler at quarterback, Orlando Pace at left tackle, the other players they've acquired, and Smith running the defense, there will be no excuses this season. If the Bears don't at least win the division and play well in the playoffs, this season will have been a failure and there will be no one to blame but Lovie Smith.

Guy, I have to agree with you 90%. The Rex is our QB mantra was a stroke of genius. Why is it that a QB who most of you say shouldn't be the NFL have confidence enough in the early part of 2006 to amass games like he did? If he had been given a slight hint that his coaches had no faith in him he would've looked worse then he did. Or much faster than he did. If you have your coach behind you 100% and still look bad then imagine how much worse he would've looked. No one knew that Rex would just implode like that. Many teams wondered if he would revert back to early 2006 when they played so they knew he had some talent. He didn't out and out stink until Jones was gone and he had a RB in the back field who was one-dimensional. Plus his O-line was too old in too many spots. If talent was so scarse on this team how did we manage to have such a great record in regard to what everyone else was doing. We were busy comparing Rex to Eli during that time because Eli took a while to turn it around too. Rex just had too many limitations to be great. You can't demote a defensive coordinator in the middle of the season when you are firing a bunch of assistant after the season ends. Coach Smith felt that those other guys were the main problem. There wasn't another defensive coordinator or LB coach out there better than him or Babich after the season ended so we have to live with those results. If you think that our coaching on defense isn't better then I don't know what to say. People are too upset that Rivera wasn't retained more than anything. He's just a defensive coordinator who tried to be a head coach usually around the time we needed him to concentrate on our team during the playoffs. That wasn't a team player by any stretch but since he has 85 pedigree everyone is up in arms.

Why is the grass always greener? Lovie is the best of the head coaches since Ditka. Given the same amount of time he may have a better record. I agree this could be a watershed year because of the performance of the defense the last two seasons. But the coaching changes made this off-season should be telling. I know that everyone is excited to have Cutler, but remember Marino never won a Super Bowl, and only went to one as a rookie. The Bears won a Super Bowl with Jim McMahon, a merely average QB.

We gave up a QB with a winning record and average skills for a QB with a losing record and exciting skills. Hopefully the offense will continue to improve as it has over the last few years.

The defense must return to the level it performed at during the '05 and '06 seasons for da Bears to show significant improvement.

Using a won-loss record to analyze how good or bad a quarterback is is like using one to analyze how good a pitcher is instead of using his ERA: both are usually deceiving. But analyzing whether a QB is good is much more complicated. You can use the numerical rating to determine whether a QB is a good passer, but there is no set of stats to determine how good of a leader he is or how he performs at the end of close games, for example.

Rex Grossman is a perfect example of improper use of a won-loss record to say that he's a good QB. With the exception of the first part of the 2006 season, the Bears won in spite of Grossman, not because of him. The Arizona "Bears are who we thought they were" game was the beginning of the end of Grossman, and the New England game later that season sealed it for me. To say that he wasn't bad until 2007 is simply wrong, and pro coaches should easily have seen this.

Remember, football is one of the ultimate team sports. Just because the QB is the most important single position doesn't mean that a team can win just because it has a good one or will lose just because it has a bad one. There are many other players beside the QB who determine whether a team is successful.

BEARS ALL THE WAY, I FEEL VERY CONFIDENT WITH THE BEARS WR'S I JUST HAVE ONE THING TO SAY TO THE CO@#$CHES PLEASE STOP THINKING YOU ARE A RUNNING TEAM LET ME JUST ASK YOU ONE QUESTION IF ITS NOT WORKING WHY DO YOU KEEP TRYING IT, LOOK AT THE LEAGUE ITS NOT THAT OLD SCHOOL OFF TACKLE UP THE MIDDLE PASS IF ALL FAILS TYPE OF GAME BE CREATIVE NOT JUST WHEN THE BOOOOOOOOS COME! THNX BEAR FAN TIL I DIE

I hate to break up this Lovie dovie love fest, but I will try.

Creighton and Wrigley Field Bear seem to have hit the nail on the head about Lovie's coaching talent.

It is ok but not the top of the pack at least to this point. Toub absolutely has saved the Bears with his special teams play a number of times pretty much at least 2-3 games a year. Toub is the best at what he does. JA has given Lovie some decent defensive talent to work with since Lovie joined the Bears.

Lovie has not been able to make good half time adjustments, most notably the Steve Smith playoff games where Smith one handed beat the Bears with no defensive adjustment, the NY Giants game when the Bears had the lead after halftime and blew it and the Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Carolina games last year. The Bears teams since the Superbowl have been complacent, not motivated, not disciplined as evidence increased penalties in both years and poor defensive effort, Lovie's specialty.
The penalty against Peanut in the Tampa Game last year was plain and simple a lack of discipline and would not have happened on a Belichek coached team. That penalty cost the Bears the game and the playoffs along with a feww other games last year.

Lovie should have pulled the plug on Babich no later than mid year when it was plain and clear that the D was in big trouble and a shadow of its former self, it could have made a difference. Lovie in the past surrounded himself with coaches that clearly were not the best coaches available and are friends, not the trait of a great leader.

Cowher absolutely would be better, Gruden maybe, Singletary absolutely as would a few others.

Do not get me wrong, i would love to see Lovie do it. I am just a little skeptical is all. This is Lovie's year, he has the talent to get it done, a championship game at a minimum must be achieved, if he doesn't then well I would wonder whether it may be time to make a change. The Bears should have been playoff bound the last two years and did not make it, the coaching is a big part of the reason for this failure.

Lets see? Go Bears!!

Dahli, what are you doing!? Don't you know it's treason to disagree with the edicts of his highness, Sir William R. Donald III?

Lol, he probably won't like that. But he doesn't like me anyway so who cares.

Anyway, everyone points at the Bears' win record these past four years and how we have the 2nd most wins behind the Giants. Hey, does anyone realize how we've done these last two seasons aka since Rivera's departure? We've been a .500 team. Now I'm not saying Rivera is HOF coaching material, but the guy seems to have a better knack for defensive strategy than Lovie and his Cover-Who? defense. Smith is notorious for being stubborn and forcing players into his scheme rather than adapting the scheme to fit the talent. That's why so many former Bears become starters elsewhere.

Also, you can see the difference on the sidelines between Smith and Rivera. Rivera is watchful, in tune with the game, (just like Singletary) while Lovie is busy shooing pigeons off his head while an EMT searches desperately for his pulse.

I want our team and Coach to succeed, but Chicago could definitely do better. My question, who would you rather go to battle with on Sundays? Smith or Rivera?

Mike I disagree, the Super Bowl is the biggest point he was not that good and made few adjustments. Half time adjustments have been weak since Buddy Ryan and his successor [whose name escapes me right now] whose stats were better following Buddy so you can't put all that on Rivera/Babich it has been a organizational problem. You must remember both Urlacher and Brown were on top of their game at that time as well as Harris losing the core could make coaching a little more difficult.

Come on Guys, I've been reading over and over about how great a coach Rivera would be, but he still has not gotten a head coaching gig yet! Is this Lovie's fault? I don't think so! The guy was allowed to go and pursue his dream and no other teams have taken a bite yet, what is that saying about him in the circle of NFL GM's and the like?....Lovie is the Bears best coach since My dik hurts was on the sidelines and has had us in contention with teams being led by REX and Orton, remember how everyone was talking about how bad a coach Tom Coughlin was before he won a Super Bowl with Eli, Gruden huh, here is a guy whose team collapsed last season after having a 9-4 record no playoffs, either. Singletary has only coached 7 games, he's an old Bear but to say he is a great coach, well that's a strech....Lovie and Angelo have laid it on the line to get back and win a Super Bowl in the next two years with the Cutler accquisition, let's see what happens now that we have a real playmaker handling the football for us now.....All coaches make bad calls during a season, what I want in a coach is one who gives me a chance to win every week, puts a disciplined and competitive team on the field and ultimately gets to the playoffs with a chance to win the big one...Lovie did it once I'd like to see him do it again.......GO BEARS....

You forgot to add Mike that it's not just me who doesn't like you. You are too busy trolling for arguments. You think you are a comedian and you are busy trying out material more than anything else. It's sad that someone is so desperate to use a blog to get any attention. You don't talk about anything. You don't debate. You just jump in and try to humiliate someone else's post because you are that guy who isn't getting attention in the real world. If you want to talk about comparing guys on the sideline then do that. Gruden made the best faces in the world and now he isn't on anyone's sideline. Who cares what Rivera did when he was here. We got our butts handed to us when he was the coordinator in playoff games. So in my estimation, he is no better than Babich when in comes to getting a team together during the most crucial times. The regular season doesn't mean anything as far as guys on this blog is concerned. That's why they don't care if Coach Smith was at the helm and the team has the 2nd best record over the last four years. Everyone is along for the ride as far as everyone is concerned. the same guys who says that Angelo sucks at picking first round picks. They are playing without all that talent and as far as guys are concerned we have the best talent in the NFC. I just say that if you compared our roster with teams who made the playoffs we were missing too many prime ingredients to get anywhere. We had on average 10 or 15 3 and outs a game on O. How is that helping the D? Dali's point is that the mistakes have lost games. That players blow up because of coaching. During that Tampa game Wale got stomped in his N*ts but didn't lose his composure. Tillman did because there may have been things going on that we didn't see. Fans sit around and act like players are supposed to play through the ball and go back to the huddle after the whistle. that doesn't always happen. Plank used to hit after the whistle and everyone loves him beside the point. Maybe we were losing too much at that time to make that distinction of his plays costing us any games. I didn't jump on Dali's comments because I respect him enough not to. You sir, are the one who is totally disrespectful all the time. I'm not the only one who see that.

Very good comments all, a pleasure to read the different views on Lovie, even though some are for and some against (to a degree) most are fairly accurate. He has his good traits and bad traits.
He should have pulled the plug on Babich sooner but yet, he did not throw him under the bus, excellent examples, I feel we lost quite a few games last year due to Coaching but the players played atrocious as well. (which may be bad Coaching/motivation too) I have to agree with Dahli for the most part though.

We have a good Coach in Lovie, not a Tom Landry/John Madden etc...but a good Coach nonetheless, but this is the year we better go into the playoffs - I'm thinking 2 games deep at the least unless we get a WR then ---who knows how far we can go. See this story for a new look at the Marshall thang.

http://www.dailypress.com/sports/dp-spt_jaycutler_0623jun23,0,7158492.story

I know its still early, and nothing is set in stone just yet, but one Mr.Craig Steltz might end up being the Bears starting free safety after all. And of course my boy Kevin Payne will probably line up as the Bears starting strong safety, I think Payne has pro bowl potential at strong safety, barring injury of course.

If Steltz does claim the free safety job, I'd like to see the Bears move Corey Graham back to corner, his more natural position. Graham was really starting to come on at corner last season, I think another year at the position and he could have really became something special at corner. Nickle might not be a bad spot for Graham either, but if Nathan Vasher still isn't playing at the level like he was early in his career, I'd move Graham back to right corner, we'll see how it all folds out in another month here I guess.

It's funny about Steltz, I got a blogger buddy on this board who wishes to remain anonymous, but he gave me a hard time about Steltz during his rookie season. Even one time saying to me [thinking he was cutting me down] "hey Armstead, why don't you get your fanboy Craig Steltz poster out and hang it up." You know what, I just might do that GO BEARS!!

Craig was highly regarded coming out, and did quite a few things in college, I wouldn't write him off so soon as some do, I feel he will be fine but I was wrong about Dusty. (right Creighton?)so far anyway.
I would think it would be tuff going from S to CB and back, alot different mentality in how to play the WR/run etc....

I did not realize Marshall was that highly regarded as Cutler paints him, I don't feel we have the bait to go there though, or Boldin either so our WR pickup is limited but I like the 2 or 3 being mentioned.
Neil said it good in his article on Plax - Lovie/Jerry need a Plax to make Cutler trade look good, Cutler is a ProBowler but if he falters - its their jobs gone asap. But I feel we need an experienced WR to go all the way anyway so it works for me. :)

Chi Town:

You are right about Singletary not being a great coach yet. I however really think he is going to be special as a coach. I happen to currently live in the bay area and watch Singletary closely. He seems to have the fire, the brains, the integrity, the discipline and the ability to motivate that could make him special. Of course team talent is the one thing that will make or break even great coaches and the Niners have been depleted for many years in the talent department.

During OTA's, Singletary was an hour into the practice and got pissed because the O line was not doing it exactly right, so he started the entire practice over and stated he did not care how long they would practice, that the team would be there until they get it right. He also stated that he expects every player to practice and train at 100% and build their habits accordingly with the same discipline that they should exhibit in a game.

Lets face it some of the best coaches ever had disciplined teams. Lombardi, Cowher, Gibbs, Belichek, Parcells, etc. Singletary is not even close yet to being in those circles as a coach but my opinion is that he is going to get there, he has that special thing they call it. He seems to have "it".

Lovie, I think he is good but I certainly do not think he is great and his teams have not shown greatness and have not been the most disciplined teams. Believe me I would love to have Lovie prove me wrong because nothing would be sweeter than a Super Bowl ring for the Bears and the city of Chicago. P.S. At least Gruden has a ring and for that matter so does Ditka, although Ditka did have a little psycho in him. But how can you not love Ditka?

yeah, how can u not love Ditka? He is a lil psycho, and he has an opinion thats for sure, but I really like what he has said about Jimmy Mac and Buddy here lately, he understands that he and Buddy would have probably won another SB together - which he didnt give Buddy that much credit before I felt.
We will see this year on Lovie, I am a hopin anda dreamin!
I like what Mike is doing in SF as well, the book is out on him and well shoot guys great Coaches take decades to decide. Look at the years Landry etc.. put in

Chi Town,
I never said Singletary was a great coach. I said I THINK he's going to be an excellent coach, but only time will tell. I also live in San Francisco, have been watching Singletary, and was at the last Whiner game last season. Based on what I've seen already, I'd take Singletary in a heartbeat over Smith, even though Singletary still has to prove himself by winning.

And no Ditka hating here! Ditka was one of the great Bear players and coaches of all time (OK, not much competition in the coaching dept since Halas did most of that for the first 40 or so years). As a coach he won the division almost every year, got to three NFC championship games, and won a Super Bowl. And if Jim McMahon could have stayed healthy or the Bears had a decent backup, they'd have won three or four Super Bowls with him.

I think Gruden had one of the easiest trips to a Championships that anyone could have. Not to take everything away from him but he did it with practically another man's team against practically his old team one year removed. Not saying that he didn't win it but that goes down with the debates on whether we could've won another with Buddy or if Phil Jackson is a great coach because he always go to teams with the best players at the time. Numerous people can go back and forth about it and no one will be really change their mind about the situation. You feel how you feel about it and I will feel how I want. I would welcome the debate but I will really see things the way I want unless you knock my sox off with a revelation and vice versa.

William

Winning the Super Bowl in Tampa is not all Jon Gruden did. Before that, he took a bottom dwelling Raider team to the AFC Championship and three playoffs altogether. If Al Davis had not run him out of Oakland, the Raiders would have won the Super Bowl instead of the Bucs, and it would have mainly been Gruden's doing.

I saw a documentary on Gruden, boy I wouldn't want to play QB for him!! He is one tuff QB Coach! He is like Coach Knight (who I love) but he is intelligent and a very good Coach. But William is correct - we all feel what we do about Coaches but for the most part the Great Coaches - there is not much debate on - The Landry's/Parcell's/Lombardi's/Ryan's :)........
lol (actually he did the Purple People Eaters before he even got to Da Bears 46 didn't he?) Of course some will say (WRONG) that Carson was a better D Coach than Ryan.

Good debate.

Wrigley Field Bear, agree with you on Gruden. Al Davis is a breed all his own.

William, no revelation here to change your mind but I truly like the characteristics of Singletary. I do like the fire, the passion and commitment to the basics and holding everyone accountable. After Singletary kicked Vernon Davis off of the field during a game last year ( he even made Vernon go back and get his helmet before he left the field) then Vernon all of a sudden turned into a decent tight end for the remainder of the year. Prior to that Vernon thought he made his own rules, similar to how Tommie Harris sometimes acts. I would love to see the Bears get Singletary back as the coach one day.

Wrigley Field Bear, I am moving to Palm Desert soon but am in the bay area once a month, if you want to I will buy you a beer or three maybe watch a Bears game and we could then share some Bears memories over the years. Just a thought because I can't stand being around Niner Whiners and Raider fans all the time.

The Plank thing....lolol boy I will NEVER forget Plank running into the TV screen at the last second (last?) and plowing into anyone that still moved! lololol yeah, we didn't have alot to cheer about back then (Ricky Watts dropping the ball on the 1 yard line :) but Plank sure made it interesting.

The problem with Sunday Ticket is - I live in Indianapolis and when the Colts play they black out Da Bears...I don't even watch the colts. I like Manning alot and he deserved his ring but not the way we handed it to him. Hopefully we have our Manning (or close, he is that good) now and Da will have that spotlight. Oh boy, do the Colts fans have the biggest heads now???? You would think they would remember the pre Manning days but nooooo, they ALWAYS won. When we KILLED them last year it was the Game of a lifetime for me.

The thing about Singletary is that he is still an unknown entity. He walked away from the NFL for a lotta years. Who is to say that he is going to deal with the prima donnas of the NFL when he didn't have as many to deal with when he was a player? I remember that when Ditka was fired it was a collective group thing where everyone tuned him out. The seemed to lose on purpose so he could be fired. Gruden would still be in Tampa if his players didn't revolt. He didn't get fired until after his boss got the info from the players that made them do it. I still remember when Singletary came back to the NFL and he wanted to skip being an assistant and a coordinator. He settled for LB coach and I don't think he was ever comfortable being anything less than a head coach. That seems to be a little privilidged. And he also hired HIS buddy Al Harris to coach the D line. Is that the same thing some of you guys frown on? Harris skipped the college ranks and just because he played doesn't make him suited to be a coach. If his line fails to get a respectable amount of sacks will you guys push to have him fired? He and Harris are the best of friends. When Harris' child was born premature at this hospital I worked, during the 90s, Singletary was one of the few Bears who came during the many months his child was there. That's when I had the pleasure to meet them both. I just don't have the lovefest for everything 85. I try not to because I don't like to live in the past. I think he needs a volume of years as a head coach to be rated in the top 15. A lot of guys come out gangbusters and then falter over the finish line. I like Mike as a head coach. Maybe down the line he can return here as a successful head coach with a great resume. Would he still be considered great if he had a 10-24 record? Or will we have broad excuses for him?

Dahillama,

We watch Bear games at Ricky's in San Leandro.
http://www.rickys.com/index.cfm Big screen AND sound for each game, but beware, it's a Raider bar. Double beware, I'm also a Raider fan, though the Bears usually come first.

Even though it will be on national TV and we could watch at home, a bunch of us are going to Ricky's for the opening Sunday night game v. the Packers. Wear your colors; there will be many Packer fans there, also.

Since there hasn't been anything from Brad in a few days, I'll hijack this thread to post an amusing note:

In the NFL Players 2009 fantasy draft, Robbie Gould picked Devin Hester with his very last pick. That’s the kicker putting a lot of confidence on the #1 Wide Receiver.

http://tinyurl.com/mcexdp

I agree with anyone who says Lovie is the best coach since Ditka. And he is a top 3 coach in the NFC. With the talent he has had (not to mention no QB), he has won the 2nd most games since 2005 in the conference to Tom Coughlin's Giants. I only rate Coughlin and Mike Smith (Atl) ahead of him. Andy Reid is a close 4th, but has done about the same as Lovie with way more talent.

Right now the Bears are more talented than they were in 2006. Better QB than 06, better O-line than 06, and better RB than 06 (yes...Forte is better than Thomas Jones). If the defense is merely 10th in the league and allows less than 20 per game, the Bears will win 12 games.

The break even for success versus failure this year is division champion and a playoff win. Anything less would be subpar with this team.

This offense will average 28 points per game. The defense will still get 35 takeaways as they have for years, and the Bear offense will make teams pay for it. The last 2 seasons, teams stayed aggressive because the offense would not capitalize on turnovers, but this year, teams will have to play more careful.

The early leads will lead to 45 sacks for the defense, and a powerful run oriented 2nd half offense for the Bears. This team could truly be something special.

Predictions this year: Steelers, Pats, Chargers, Titans, Bears, Eagles, Cards, and Falcons as division winners. Ravens, Jags, Giants, and 49ers get teh Wild cards. Bears, Eagles, Steelers, and Pats get the byes.

Wild Card: ravens over Chargers, Titans over jags, Falcons over 49ers, Giants over Cards.

Divisional Round: Bears over Falcons, Eagles over Giants, Steelers over Ravens, Pats over Titans

Championship: Pats over Steelers, Bears over Steelers

Superbowl: Bears over Pats (oh yea, it will happen.)

Go Bears!!!!!

I like a repeat of 85 Bears over pats, but it will probably be a closer game in the next superbowl?

Leave a comment

Twitter updates

Categories

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on June 18, 2009 4:52 PM.

Dollars and sense: Squeeze on rookie pool leads to different deals for Gilbert, Iglesias was the previous entry in this blog.

Report: Mike Brown agrees to terms on deal with Chiefs is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.