Chicago Sun-Times

Mike McCarthy: Lovie Smith is a class act

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Packers coach Mike McCarthy is almost as big of a Lovie Smith fan as Brian Urlacher.

McCarthy is 5-5 against Smith since becoming the Packers' head coach in 2006. He also was 1-1 against Smith when McCarthy was the Saints' offensive coordinator and Smith was the Rams' defensive coordinator.

In 2001, the Saints beat the Rams 34-21 in St. Louis and lost to the Rams 34-21 in New Orleans. Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks had passer ratings of 122.2 and 82.2 (six touchdowns passes, two interceptions) in those two games.

''I have a lot of respect for Lovie Smith because I think Lovie is a tremendous football coach. I think he's clearly one of the class acts of our profession,'' McCarthy said.''Having an opportunity to compete against Lovie as a coordinator, they had some great teams, great defenses there in St. Louis when I was in New Orleans, and the mark of a good coach is when you see what he believes in shows up on film, and secondly when you watch a football team improve from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. And I think it's definitely true with his football teams, and particularly this year's team.

''So I think he's done an outstanding job. I really enjoy competing against him. His brand of football, I feel like he plays the right way. I can't say enough. We're really excited about getting down there Sunday at 2:00 and getting this thing going with the Bears.''

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on January 22, 2011 5:09 PM.

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