Chicago Sun-Times

Lovie Smith "still feels good" about passing up field goal

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Coaches are often put in difficult positions, where a decision they make can be interpreted as bold or dumb, based on the outcome.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton made several such decisions in the Super Bowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Granted it's on a much smaller scale, Bears coach Lovie Smith passed up a field goal from the Detroit Lions' 1-yard line after three consecutive plays failed to cross the goal line. The chip shot from Robbie Gould would have given the Bears a 16-14 lead with just under nine minutes remaining. Besides, backup Lions quarterback Shaun Hill had accomplished next to nothing up to that point.

But Smith said he was confident in his defense, and he believed his offense could punch the ball in. On fourth down, running back Matt Forte was stonewalled again, and the Bears turned the ball over on downs.

So has his mindset changed, after a night of sleep?

"Same way. Like we talked about yesterday, in these few hours in between, nothing has changed. Still feel good about it," Smith said, citing the play of the defense.

"I went for it, because I thought we could get it. And we needed to get a touchdown."

Smith rationalized that a touchdown would have prevented the Lions from being able to kick a field goal to win the game at the end.

"Felt good about it going for it then and feel good about it now," he said. "Get in those situations, probably do the same thing again.

Bears center Olin Kreutz said that series was a humbling one for the offensive line, noting the Lions "kicked our (butt)."

"Down there, you just got to go one on one with your guy, and get under him. It's really a battle of wills on the goal line," he said. "Your coach can't really help you down there. There's no many things you can do. Just line up and get half a yard."

Kreutz added, "Can you win in the NFL if you're getting beat at the one yard line? No."

Other highlights from Smith's press conference today:

Smith on the game: "Big win for us yesterday. We're 1-0. I feel like the best team won the game yesterday. Detroit played hard throughout. In those kind of games you expect in the NFC North, games that go right down to the end."

Smith on if he likes the rule on Calvin Johnson play: "I like all the rules that we agreed on as the National Football League, we all agreed on those rules. We've been on the other side of that rule before. So to me, you can't really get too caught up into those kinds of things. They go both ways. You have rules, you go by them. The officials, you know, they make calls based on that; cut and dry."

* Smith said the Bears need to improve the red zone efficiency.

* Smith on the defense: "Getting the three takeaways, that's our goal each week. I think we had eight three-and-outs, so you had to be pleased with that. Late in the game, though, you need to make a play to keep us out of that situation. When you play dominating ball like that, you can't let it come down until the end."

* Smith on the Cowboys: "Overall, they moved the ball. Had a lot of yardage. Some critical mistakes really hurt them, right up until that last play of the game. Defensively, I thought they played well throughout."

* Smith on Major Wright: "He was in there on the last one and the third series, also. The plan was to get him in by about the third series. You know, some positions on our football team, we rotate players. Safety, we went into the game, thinking safety was one. We thought all three of those players could play winning football for us. Still feel the same way about them."

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11 Comments

"New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton made several such decisions in the Super Bowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts."

EXACTLY. Peyton made a call that I consider insane, but he was called "gutsy" and "lovie would never do that" blah, blah, and all this other nonsense just b/c it had worked. If it wouldn't have worked, then the Saints would have been down even more points and likely NO Superbowl.

It was a gutsy call from a coach who normally doesn't do gutsy. I liked the call.

Blame the oline who couldn't move their man half a yard.


BEARS

"New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton made several such decisions in the Super Bowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts."

EXACTLY. Peyton made a call that I consider insane, but he was called "gutsy" and "lovie would never do that" blah, blah, and all this other nonsense just b/c it had worked. If it wouldn't have worked, then the Saints would have been down even more points and likely NO Superbowl.

It was a gutsy call from a coach who normally doesn't do gutsy. I liked the call.

Blame the oline who couldn't move their man half a yard.


BEARS

Everyonce in a while I run into someone who I just can't decide if they are incredibly stupid or incredibly stubborn. And then I wonder, perhaps they are both? Lovie strikes me as this kind of person. One moment he reminds me of Forest Gump. The next moment he seems like a guy who just can not admit that he was wr-wr-wrong. Anyway, I don't think we're going to have to worry about him much longer. By the way his team played yesterday, he'll be back in Texas before the snow flies. Have a nice day everyone.

"Smith rationalized that a touchdown would have prevented the Lions from being able to kick a field goal to win the game at the end."

All else being equal, NOT getting in prevented the Lions from having to attempt a field goal.

"I like all the rules that we agreed on as the National Football League ..."

Of all the Lovieisms, this one takes the cake. I'm surprised a reporter didn't throw a shoe at him. It makes me wonder what a conversation at the Lovie household must be like. Do he and his wife trade vague generalities, or do they just remain silent and exchange stoic glances from across the dinner table.

"New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton made several such decisions in the Super Bowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts."

EXACTLY. Peyton made a call that I consider insane, but he was called "gutsy" and "lovie would never do that" blah, blah, and all this other nonsense just b/c it had worked. If it wouldn't have worked, then the Saints would have been down even more points and likely NO Superbowl.

It was a gutsy call from a coach who normally doesn't do gutsy. I liked the call.

Blame the oline who couldn't move their man half a yard.


BEARS

In order to win a game, one must be leading in that game. Lovie can say what he wants, but he was in the 4th quarter and not leading. He elected to not take the sure lead...that was dumb; plain and simple.

If it had been the 2nd quarter, I might feel differently. What I don't get is why they just didn't sneak it in...one, maybe two tries and its done. After all this time with the Bears, he still makes fundamental mistakes that a rookie coach makes.

Guy says blame the o-line for not moving their man a half yard. No kidding it's the lines fault but the BLAME goes to LOVIE for going for it when he knows the line couldn't win that battle. Even so you still take the points and the LEAD in the 4th qtr. Bad coaching very bad. Lovie doesn't know his team or how to coach it. Get Cowher now!

Yeah, but c'mon Saints have the #1 offense that allows both offensive and defensive units to take chances. So what if they don't get those 3 points of recover the onside kick, they're will be many other opportunities to score points trust. Look how fast Saints are capable of going down the field, just saying.

Lovie was a dumb-a$$ for not kicking the field goal! Trying to get touchdowns instead of field goals is fine early in the game or when you're playing a potent offense like Indy. But late in the game when you're down and your own offense is struggling as much as the opponent's - STUPIDITY!!! He's sooo lucky the Bears, er rule book, pulled this one out.

I "still feel good" about Lovie being fired as soon as possible !

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on September 13, 2010 1:22 PM.

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