Chicago Sun-Times

Smith must deal with an obvious obstacle

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Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith downplayed any concern about drawing interest for his coaching vacancies.

"There is an opportunity for you come here to help us do some good things. We have a good nucleus of players here, that they all see," Smith said last Tuesday. "I think an offensive guy would want to come here and have a chance to work with a Jay Cutler, and have a chance to mold some of the young receivers and get the offense back on track.

"I think a defensive guy would want to come here and coordinate a defense with a guy like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, and guys like that, and fix some of the third downs. I think he is going to look at it and he's not going to see a lot of big holes; he's going to look at us tightening up a couple bolts to get back. Somebody will want to do that."

Yes, somebody will surely want those jobs.

But there's one challenge that Smith can't promise: his long-term future.

Smith will get paid $11 million whether he coaches the Bears through the 2011 season or not.

But the coveted candidates may not want to join the Bears staff, even if they sign a two-year contract. In essence, they may have only one year to prove results. And in the event Smith is let go after the 2010 season, it's quite a risk for a new assistant coach to hope that they can vie for the head coaching position or impress the new guy.

Given the choice, most assistants are going to pursue jobs with some security.

ESPN reported that was one of the reasons Jeremy Bates passed on a chance to re-unite with Cutler. According to ESPN, "long-term security with (Pete) Carroll was a major factor in his decision to join the (Seattle) Seahawks rather than the Bears.

But, people who know Smith may be more inclined to take that risk. Someone like former Bears defensive backs coach Perry Fewell, who is interview with Smith today, or former St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator and head coach Mike Martz.

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11 Comments

If you can get a solid offensive coordinator (read: NOT MIKE MARTZ!!), why not give them a 3 year deal, and really build your offense around the young nucleus you have. The Colts kept Tom Moore when Tony Dungy came in, and it was entirely contrary to the offensive style Tony had when he was in Tampa, but because it was successful, they didn't make the change. If they have to hire a new coach, and the offense is clicking, why would they want to change that up? If they don't look like they are clicking, then you change it up anyway, regardless of whether the coach has a long-term contract. Didn't Jerry say money was not a factor in these decisions? If you get the right guy as OC, he could even be a candidate to replace Lovie if the defense continues to falter.
That type of security will be enough to lure any prospective coaches to town to work with Cutler, Olsen, Forte, and the young WR corps.

Why not give him an opportunity to be the head coach after lovie is fired

People wake up. I hope Lovie hires all of his loser friends that dont have jobs. Gee maybe there is a reason all of Lovie's coaching buddies are out of work.

If any of you are smart you will root for Lovie to hire Martz and Fewell so we lose again next year. Then by the grace of GOD!!! someone at Halas Hall will hire Cowher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the kind of thing that continues to remind me that Lovie has zero credibility with me anymore. The whole "trust me" routine has worn me out. I listened to the press conference and one of the reporters raised the obvious issue, "Are people going to want to take these jobs since you may be gone after next season?" Lovie, arrogant as ever, says basically, "Oh yeah, people are going to be falling all over themselves for these jobs." Then, one of the first people offered the OC job says, "No thanks, I want some stability." Lovie Smith, go jump in Lake Michigan. Bears ownership should be fired for keeping this guy.

More laughable misfires from the Bears organization ! I hope NONE of the Bears "candidates" takes a job in Chicago, perhaps only then will the McCaskey family see that they have turned this team into a JOKE.Who would want to work for a lame duck coach and a dead from the neck up owner. Jim McMahon was absolutely correct, Michael McCaskey is an IDIOT. Personally, I will no longer support this team with my loyalty OR my money ! Being a Chicago transplant here in Arizona, I now will support a team that actually cares about winning, and did what Lovie PROMISED he would do. Beat the Packers ! GO CARDINALS

I agree with wahid. What if the offense somehow does respectably, but perhaps the defense sputters causing them to miss the playoffs and Smith gets fired? I would imagine that the OC would get some consideration for the head coach position if he develops a good working relationship with Cutler. Couldn't that be incentive to come?

Jeremy Bates threw away a good opportunity to work with a pro bowl caliber QB in Jay Cutler. And for an o-coordinator, having a legit NFL QB like Cutler is half the battle. Heck, I bet one good season with the Bears as their o-coordinator working with Cutler, and the head coaching job would have been all his, especially if Lovie's defense continues to falter. Now, he's stuck in Seattle with Pete Carroll, who is a much better college coach than pro. Carroll should have stayed at USC, he had a good thing going there. I don't see Carroll lasting more than 2 seasons in the NFL, and that will leave Bates SOL! Especially with the scraps he has to work with in Seattle, good luck there buddy.

I hate to say this, but I think Mike Martz is going to be the next o-coordinator in Chicago. If so, I'll support him, but I don't see it working out for Lovie like he thinks its going to. Martz will get 4000 yards out of Cutler, but Cutler is also going to get hit a lot in Martz's system, not good. Also, Lovie's defense will be on the field a lot. Martz is pass happy, this doesn't bold well with a speed based defense. Oh well, come what may, GO BEARS!!

This sums up very concisely the reason why Lovie Smith should have been fired. The only peple who will come here under the present circumstances are either -

1)Wild eyed opportunists

2)unproven guys with no better offers

3)Lovie guys

We've already done number 1 - Terry Shea, number 2 - John Shoop, and number 3 - Bob Babich

How'd that work out for you?

We sure know know how to do it around here. Lovie is a lame duck coach period. Then next year he will get canned. Then the McCashskies only have to eat 5.5 mill instead of 11. And the topper is listening to JA tell us that Lovie needed to hire from outside to fill the OC and DC spots. JA is the biggest culprit in the crime of impersonating an NFL GM. His horrific drafting and head scratching trades have taken a roster full of damn good players from '05 and '06, and turned the team into a bunch of 2nd and 3rd stringers. This team has hit an all time low. The team is losing because the over all talent level is in the toilet. You dump Thomas Jones and Chris Harris and replace them with... ummmm. This team is now the biggest joke in the NFL. If the seahawks can eat 12 mill to can Jim Mora.. what does that tell you. The seahawks want to win. The bears want to roll in their $$$$$$....

Kevin read between the lines. Its probably not just job security that worried Bates. Take a good look at Lovies style of coaching, he said he didn't have anything to do with the offense, but it was his idea to make a Cutler a pocket passer and not role him out. Hester was his and Angelos Brain child as a number 1, Pace was his call at LT. And he insists and running that 16 Power O even though they don't have the interior line to do it. He also just threw his offensive coordinator under the bus. Then you have to look at the organization, who would you rather work for Mike McCaskey or Paul Allen? I'll take Paul Allen. How many coaches want to come to a place where the head coach has fired or replaced 5 coordinators, and I think 14 coaches in 6 years. Then you have to look at the GM do you want Angelo picking guys for your team? The Bears are not a team on the rise, they are a team that is dropping. What do you think the reputation of the organization is around the league right now? Let me put it to you this way, when the three stooges all talked about how the Bears are a great organization and how everyone would want to work for them. They where defending the organization from a simple questions about coaches not wanting to come here. Here is a clue, good organizations don't have to defend themselves because their record speaks for itself.

Creighton,
You placed into words what alot of us were thinking. Successful teams have a system whereas the GM/coach work together to select players(Indy for example). They don't step on each other's toes and take alot of chances. Thompson of GB doesn't make alot of moves on draft day BUT along with MCCarthy they did move up to get their linebacker. The way the bears run their organization is the complete polar opposite. No one seems to know what they're doing and they seem to always be a step behind. The teams that went to the playoffs this year benefited from great drafts and FA signings. Jay Cutler is not enough to make someone come here-they want the type of stability that is present in winning organizations. This is a very tough situation for any coaching candidate to consider. At this moment it doesn't apppear to be worth their time.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on January 11, 2010 12:33 PM.

Smith must deal with an obvious obstacle was the previous entry in this blog.

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