First, he benched Devin Aromashodu. Then Tommie Harris. Then Lovie Smith pulled starting cornerback Zack Bowman from Monday night's game and replaced him with Tim Jennings.
Some are convinced the patience Smith is known for has begun to wane. Smith spent last week denying that anything has changed only for general manager Jerry Angelo to acknowledge on Sunday night's Bears pregame show on WBBM (780-AM) that the philosophy has been tweaked somewhat.
"It's always been our mantra," Angelo said. "But maybe more so this year than maybe in years past because coming off that 2006 year -- having all the success -- we kept the football team together so maybe there were some assumptions being made in our evaluations that weren't necessarily accurate and maybe some players got into a little bit of a comfort level.
"Things just didn't go the way we thought they would go, so this year we put more teeth into that, got back to the basics. Players had to earn their jobs all over again and we've kept that same mantra through the season as what we've done during the offseason.
"It really isn't any different. We're always going to be performance-based. That's the way we evaluate and create accountability. It's based on what you do. It's not that players have to be perfect every game, every play, that's not going to happen. But we have to see progress. We've really put teeth into it this year."
As for Harris, who was active for Sunday night's game but not in the starting lineup, Angelo said he will continue to be evaluated on a week-to-week basis like everybody else.
"That's what we're going to do with all players and it's no different for Tommie," Angelo said. "Tommie has the recognition, but players have to perform to expectations. That's the only way you are going to create accountability. If you don't do that objectively, then you have no accountability."