Chicago Sun-Times

Lovie Smith: "We're on the outside looking in"

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Ever optimistic Bears coach Lovie Smith accepted his team's reality today at his press conference.

"At 7-6, we're on the outside looking in," he said. "You lose three games in a row this time of the year, you're normally not in a great position. But we are in position still and that's what we have to keep in mind."

The Bears needed to be beat the Kansas City Chiefs or the Denver Broncos over the last two weeks. And after the number the Green Bay Packers did on the Oakland Raiders, it makes the Bears' 25-20 loss three weeks ago look even rose.

Now comes the Seattle Seahawks, a 5-7 team that's won three of the last five.

"We've got to get a win. This Seattle game was important game no matter what happened yesterday, but of course it's just that much more... a situation where we have to get a win," Smith said.

Here are other highlights from Smith's presser:

On game plan: "Yesterday we had our opportunities. I thought our game plan going in -- ball control, rushing over 30 times, keep the game close. Getting to the fourth quarter with the lead, that's the position you want to be in on the road. But you have to finish strong, always it comes down to how you finish the football game. Three quarters we executed the game plan well, but right at the end we just didn't get it done. And we all had something to do and could have had something to say about the outcome. And in situations like this you tend to look at a couple of plays here and there, but it was a lot bigger than that. All three phases had an opportunity to make a play there late in the game."

* On his defense: "I thought we played the option well; played the run well, kept their running backs down. But Tebow scrambling around hurt us early and really late. That fourth quarter, he really got it going and completed some passes to keep them going. But we had our chances. The breaks kind of went against us this week."

* On his message to his players: "I tell them it's OK to feel as bad as we felt. It was a terrible feeling in the locker room yesterday. We're supposed to feel that way, for a while. But then, we have to get over it. And move on. Because we've got a lot of football left to go. It's kind of as simple as that. That's how life goes sometimes, the breaks don't go your way. We had our opportunities."

* On who's responsibility it is to remind Marion Barber to not run out of bounds: "It's on all of us. Yes, it's a coaching team. It's on our team. On Marion. On us. All of us. It's a situation that shouldn't happen. But it did. And we're all suffering the consequences for it."

* On Barber's confidence: "He's a veteran. He's a football player. That's how it goes, when you play ball. There are going to be some days like that where you have a terrible feeling deep down inside. And it would really be bad if that was the last game that you get a chance to play. But that's not the case for us. We're going to evaluate this video like we do after every game. But then we're going to move on. That was a mistake. That shouldn't happen. But it did. You can't let it happen again."

* On getting Caleb Hanie and the receivers more involved: "I can't necessarily say that. You look at our game plan yesterday. We got ourselves in position with a 10-0 lead on the road. I think the people we needed to have involved we had involved. So I can't say a lot more. Do we need to get more, yeah? We could have run the ball a few more times. Could have thrown to receivers a few more times -- tight ends, running backs. You could say all that. But we got ourselves in position we wanted to be in late in the game."

* On Tim Tebow struggling then playing well in the fourth quarter: "Surprise? I don't know. I didn't think he would be able to do that. And I say he -- they would be able to do that. Offensive line gave him time. He scrambled around a lot. But no we weren't expecting any team to be able to do us late."

* On if this was one of the most frustrating losses of his career: "Yes. Definitely so. One of the toughest ones I've had to deal with. We've had to deal with. I think to a man most of the guys in the locker room would say that. We normally celebrate when we have a game in control like that late in the game. We haven't been in this position very often, if at all. We don't like it. But now it's how we respond and we will respond. As I said earlier, that wasn't the last game of the season. We have three more opportunities in the regular season, starting with this one. We're finishing up with three NFC opponents. We're going to watch the game tonight, see Seattle. It seems like we play Seattle every year now. And correct those things. We can't let those same mistakes continue to happen and then we'll get back on the winning track."

* On Robbie Gould's range Sunday: "Well going in, 60-plus, really. But we knew that going into the game that it would be around that. And it was -- for them, too. Going onto the game, I get with Dave [Toub] early on and he lets me know exactly what the range is. So going into that game, we knew that you had to really keep the opponent on their side of the ball or you were in trouble."

* On Hanie: "I think it was a step forward. You look at his numbers. They weren't terrible numbers. We protected the football. We missed a couple of throws. But most quarterbacks, you look at every game, they miss a couple of them. Caleb did some good things. He got us in position. And late in the game even on the last drive I think he was 3-of-4 in overtime where he moved us right down the field where we needed him to pass the football more he was able to do that. Caleb did some good things in the game."

* On the Broncos' touchdown pass: "Yes there was [miscommunication]. We all weren't on the same page on that play."

* On rotating Zack Bowman in the game: "Going in we knew, had an idea that the conditions would be that way. We wanted to get Zack some plays, just in general. We tried to play as many guys as we feel like we can and win with and Zack's been doing some good things -- his play in practice has warranted some playing time. So that was the game plan going in no matter what."

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Lovie Smith is so full of crap, I can't believe he actually believes what he is saying. It's good to be positive but the truth is this team probably won't win another game with Hanie at quarterback. He's not good!

A postmortem analysis of the game:

1. I've never seen Mike Martz that conservative in a game. In the past, when he has an opponent on the rope, he goes for the jugular. For example, when he was the head coach of the Rams, one time he called for an onside kick when his team was ahead 31-7 against the Jets. The Jets understandably was caught off-guard as the Rams recovered the ball, ending all hope for the Jets.

2. Unlike some on this blog, I am a fan of Mike Martz. Offensively, I think that he has one of the most innovative minds in football. Unfortunately, the Bears (with the exception of Cutler and Forte) do not have the personnel to do all the things that he envisions. Nonetheless, the Bears offense was heading in the right directions before Cutler's injury. Maybe all the criticism from the media has affected Martz, but I would encourage him to continue to think outside the box to get an edge on the opponent.

3. What do people expect from Hanie, who was only making his 3rd start in the NFL, playing behind an injury ravaged line and without his best weapon, Matt Forte?

4. Corey Graham should start over Tim Jennings.

5. My favorite quote from the TV commentator: "Kicking to Devin Hester is like playing Russian Roulette."

6. The Bears used a faulty defensive scheme in the last 4 minutes of the game and in overtime.

7. The cover 2 is not a good defense when protecting a small lead or when the score is tie. Case in point: Superbowl XXXVI (02/03/2002), Rams vs. Patriots in which Lovie Smith was the defensive coordinator, the Rams scored to tie the game at 17-17. With only 1:21 left in the game, no timeout, and starting from their own 17, the Patriots went right through the Lovie Smith's soft prevent cover 2, to set up Adam Vinatieri's game winning field goal of 48 yds. as time expired.

It is inexplicable that almost 12 years after that bitter defeat that Lovie Smith has not learned anything from that painful mistake. It is so true that those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it.

What do you want from Lovie? Do you want him to agree with you that "this team probably won't win another game with Hanie at quarterback?" - and make a real spectacle of himself, like Jim Mora. He's got his teams' back. I like him for that.

I think your analysis is brilliant, St. Louis.

Lovie......I wish you were "on the outside looking in!"
7-9 if Hanie steps one foot on the field!

Hahahahahaha. Coach were did you get that transcript wire taps are illegal.

Wait till Angelo's phone rings tommorrow. Better yet wait till Orton's phone rings.

Can you imagine Orton: "They want Cutler over me? But Why?"

To bad it won't happen we don't have the trade goods to pull off the deal. Oh wait maybe Kevin A can swing the deal he will confuse Bowlen. Maybe we can offer Wolfe, Beekman, Orton, Manning, Hanie, Shaffer, Garza, Bennett. Never mind we could offer are entire offense and they would say no.

In fact I am so sure that Angelo will not get him that if he does, I will be outside Soilder Field in a hot pink panties that say spank me, singing the Crackers Happy birthday to me while holding up a sign that reads Brando rules and I suck.

Put it this way id they want two first rounders and Detroit offers them 2 how can the Bears match there offer, they have the 1st overall pick and are going to be bad next year as well. The Jets who really want him also have a pick above us. It would take 3 1st rounders from the Bears and Angelo will not do that. But if he does bring your camera's for a once in a lifetime chance.

I was having a good sleep
in my car
In the, parking lot of the
Showboat Casino hotel

I say, "I remember you
you drive like a PTA mother"
You brought me draft beer
in a plastic cup

I'm feeling thankful
for the small things, today
I'm feeling thankful
for the small things, today

Happy, Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me
and to you

Happy, Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me
and to you-ah

Just a teaser.

I don't see anyway the BEARS will WIN another game this season, and I'm one of the optimistic fans. The defense has held teams to less than 14 points the last 2 games and those were losses. Offensively our 2 best players are out, and we have no one that is a playmaker left with the ball in their hands except Hester and it has to come in the return game.

Time to take a long hard look at the roster, if we bust out to end the year BEARS will be in midddle of pack on draft and should bring in three of the top 100 players available through the first three rounds. Receivers will be available, as well as corners to choose from, time to get a young playmaker to help Pep, 54 and Briggs hang on a few more years, obviously a reciever early and some o-line help would be appropriate. I also think we should look at the QB's available and try to get someone with a track record throwing the football in the 4th round......

Lovie Dovie, always seeing a glass half full and you can paint a pig to be attractive but guess what it is still a pig!

Lovie, your coaching was pathetic and St. Louis comments were right on, when you play not to lose you usually do with that pathetic give up 10-20 yards without contesting it defense, just so they don't give up the big one. What that defense does is demoralize a defensive team that kicked these guys from Denver around for 56 minutes then it was lets play the prevent, which changes the whole attitude of an aggressive defense.

I am sick and tired of watching the coaches screw up the games and am also sick and tired of watching Angelo under spend to acquire decent talent to compete. Angelo is a puppet, just like Phillips and Lovie. The city of Chicago deserves better than this effort and better of a family that owns this team. 1985 was more than a quarter of a century ago and what have the Bears accomplished during that time, not much and certainly no Super Bowl wins, not one since then.

The fish stinks from the head as the old phrase goes and boy does it stink!!!!

Despite it all, my hope is that this defense and its pride will carry the day and win two of the three left, finish 9-7 or if a miracle occurs they actually pull out 3 straight which would most likely help them make the playoffs, stranger things have happened. Maybe a blizzard will happen on Christmas day so that no passes can be completed and it is the pack defense against the Bears and only running games can be effective, maybe Halas upstairs can make sure it is a blizzard at 25 below zero and Rodgers gets frost bite in his fingers.

Maybe I can be as rich as Warren Buffet (yeah right)! Wait I have to run to the bathroom to throw up blood.

I might as well add my pittance here and offer an admittedly overly optimistic hope that all is not lost. I think the Bears could win all three of their last games. Green Bay is the only legitimate remaining major challenge. I can visualize a scenario in which Hanie is removed in the second half of the next game if he does not show great improvement. McCown could come in then and handle the Martz offense. Then perhaps Cutler will be able to play. I kinow all that is highly optimistic bordering on improbable,but stranger things have happened , and the Bears are due a few breaks.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on December 12, 2011 5:27 PM.

Barber miscues turn victory into defeat for Bears was the previous entry in this blog.

Caleb Hanie: "The wins are tough to come by" is the next entry in this blog.

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