Time to think about re-signing Lovie Smith

lovie smith.jpg

I know this statement will irk some Bears fans but resigning Lovie Smith is the right move to make. I don't think the McCaskey's should resign Smith now but they should in the offseason.

Signing Smith to an extension will mean that if he stays, Mike Martz stays. The Bears mortgaged their immediate future on trading for Jay Cutler and signing him to a long term deal.

If the Bears fire Smith, a new coaching staff will be in place and
Cutler will work under his fifth offensive coordinator in so many years.
Working under a new offensive coordinator could set Cutler back and
stunt his progression.

Look at all the elite quarterbacks -- Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Phillip
Rivers, Aaron Rodgers. Not only do they put up huge numbers, they've
been working in the same offensive system, the same head coach or
offensive coordinator, for years. There's no reason why Cutler, can't
be in this elite group.

cutler smith martz.jpg

Just think about the possibilities of Cutler working under with Martz
for years to come. Cutler is the most talented quarterback Martz has
ever worked with and Martz has orchestrated the most prolific offenses
in the history of the game.

The Bears offense hasn't exactly been lighting it up but they do have a young nucleus that is trying to work in a new system. The offensive line will continue to progress as will the receivers. The
running game, although not dominant, is still versatile enough to give
the Bears offensive flexibility.

I know Smith isn't the most popular guy in town. He doesn't have a
Chicago accent nor does he have a tough guy stache like Da Coach or
Coach Q. He's not charismatic like Ozzie and doesn't necessarily have a
philosophy that he lives by like Phil Jackson. What he does have is the
support of the management, his coaches and more importantly, his
players.

Lovie Smith (current) highlights:
* 59-47 overall record
- 1 Super Bowl Appearance
- 1 NFC Conference title
- 3 NFC North title
* Defense in top 5, 3 times
* Defense in top 10 in takeaways, 4 times

* Including this season

Comments

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  • Let me just say that I agree with a lot of what was said in the article above. However, before I sign off on any contract extensions, I'm going to haul out my moth-ridden Papa Bear ledger for a second and play the numbers game.

    I really agree that Jay Cutler needs some consistently at coordinator and, so far, The Cutler-Martz marriage seems like something that could really work well in the long term. That's definitely one of the most important factors to consider when heading into the future; however, based on historical trends, however, I'm really reticent to consider a contract extension for anyone at this point. Now, lest anyone disagree, I will point then toward the 2010 Vikings and Cowboys for reference. Wade Phillps was on the hot seat at this point last year when he steered the Cowboys and Tony Romo to their first collective playoff win and earned himself a cushy extension. 12 months later, the 'Boys were 1-7 and Phillips was without a job. Brad Childress had been taking flack ever since Coach Farve arrived on his charter plane. For 9 months, he looked like a genius who's gamble on Favre took the team to the NFC Championship game and he, too, was rewarded with an extension. 12 months later, he and Phillips are the NFL's version of the Odd Couple and the Vikings are exchanging the super bowl parade for a rebuilding party.

    I hate to say it, but the 2010 Bears now find themselves in much the same boat. Remember that just a few months ago, fans were calling for Lovie's head, along with the heads of the entire front office and even President Ted Phillips. Right now, the Bears have a winning record, but they're also coming off 3 consecutive seasons of mediocrity and highly questionable personnel moves. Yes, Smith hired Coach Marinelli as D-coordinator, but before that he 1.) Fired Ron Rivera, who had led the team to the SB 2.) Replaced him with Bob Babich and 3. ) Replaced Bob Babich with himself, only to be stripped of the job by management after a less-than-stellar '09 season. Yes, they drafted Matt Forte, but they also cut Thomas Jones in favour of Cedric Benson, both of whom are now leading other teams in rushing. Yes, they aquired Jay Cutler, but they also moved Devin Hester to wide receiver, where his explosiveness evaporated while trying to shoulder the bulk of the offence's play-making. And yes, they wisely traded for Chris Harris to shore up a woebegone secondary, but they also traded AWAY Chris Harris in favour of...god help us...Adam Archluleta.

    And, while 2010 has been largely successful, it's also had is share of bumps. They struck free agent gold with Jullius Peppers, but head-scratchingly added another tight end to an already crowded roster. With solid play from their existing ends, Manumaleuna has been largely a non-factor. The addition of Chester Taylor was nice, but he, too, has been largely ignored in favour of the more versatile Matt Forte. Most importantly, in signing these players, the front office didn't have the cash left to make a run on free agent safety O.J. Atwoge, who is having a Pro Bowl year for the Rams and would likely have been a much more valuable contributor, given the Bears recent inconsistency at safety. While another Peppers-like signing is highly unlikely, this off season will no doubt raise similar questions and how the management handles their upcoming roster challenges (i.e. Tommie Harris) will speak volumes about what they've learned from the past few years.

    Which brings us back to the issue of contract extensions. As we've seen from the recent cases of 'Boys and Vikes, it takes more than a few games to establish a new incarnation of any team as the real deal. With 10 games down, the Bears look to be headed in the right direction, but it's consistency more than effort that has been the team's downfall during the Smith Era. Coach Smith still has another year left on his contract after this season, meaning the Bears are in no danger of losing him. After several tumultuous years and Phillip's win-or-else mandate, it seems that simply having the coaching staff back next season would indicate a pretty large vote of confidence in the direction they've taken. If the winning ways continue early into next season, the team will have a much better gauge of whether or not this year's changes have translated into a consistent approach. At that point, the team would be in a much more secure position to offer the coaching staff new contracts. True, two wining seasons will put the staff in much better position to negotiate, and deservedly so. Personally, I have no qualms about paying for performance that's been earned. (When Michael Jordan asked for 25 million in 1996, who would have said no?) The flip side is offering a deal now and running the risk of having to fire your coach mid-contract, which just looks bad on all sides. Now, maybe my math skills are just from a different era, but the Papa Bear in me still says that a lame duck is always better than duck soup.

  • Holy crap...I had no idea I wrote that much. I'm going to have to blog myself, so it doesn't look like I'm usurping your page!

  • He has 2 years left (this one and next)....I am tired of anyone getting paid when their contract is not up, lets talk next year

    Angelo must go....I think Lovie is good enough, however he is handcuffed by the dumbest man in sports, followed by the dumbest family in sports....These are serious handcuffs

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