Fire Lovie Smith

Bears Win Over Vikings Has Lovie Smith Smiling

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

Breaking News - Lovie Smith can smile.  Next thing you know, Pam Oliver will be telling him he's got nice teeth!  A win over the crumbling Brett Favre-led Vikings can make anyone crack a smile.  Check out Lovie's pearly whites:

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Lovie Smith congratulates his players in Sunday's 27-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Tribune)


Check out our fearless leader's presser after today's victory:
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Dave Toub is a Candidate to Replace Lovie Smith

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub leads the list of possible Lovie Smith successors.

We have our first candidate!  I read Mike Mulligan's piece in the Sun Times today and jumped for joy.  The focus of his article?  That special teams coordinator Dave Toub is a likely candidate to replace Lovie Smith.   Let's have a look at what Mully gives us:

The Bears' head coach-in-waiting is none other than special-teams coordinator Dave Toub, who once again is having a stellar season. One source close to ownership said Toub even would be on the short list for head coach if the Bears were to make a move.

''The McCaskeys are Bears fans and have a great sense of team history,'' the source said.

While I'm excited that Toub would be a candidate - I've long said that he has the right stuff to run a team - I am more excited for another reason. 

The fact that Mully's source has a name means that there has been a discussion at Halas Hall.  You don't come up with a "short list" if you haven't given firing Lovie some serious thought.

So you're sayin' there's a chance???

Lovie Smith Create a Caption

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

Hey gang - it' loooong overdue on this site.  I provide the picture, you provide the funnies.  Here's a shot of our fearless leader providing tutelage to nickel back DJ Moore.



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Insert your captions in the Comments below. The funnier, more outrageous, the better. (Photo via Bleacher Report).

What could he possibly be saying?

Wade Phillips Fired - Is Lovie Smith Next?

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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Memo to the McCaskey Family - this is how the big boy teams do it.  After a disappointing 1-7 start, the Dallas Cowboys fired head coach Wade Phillips on Monday. 

In an alternate universe, there is a Mike Burzawa doppelganger in Dallas who is celebrating today.  Here in Chicago, we will have to bide our time.

This could have been the Bears.  They are only a few plays away from a 1-7 record of their own.  Four of their five wins have come against teams that have combined for 4 victories.  Four. Wins. Total between all of them.  That's an average of 1 win apiece for those mathematically challenged.

Think about it with this handy gallery.

Gallery sneak peek (5 images):

View the gallery...

Happy Halloween from the Chicago Bears

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

I received my official Chicago Bears Halloween card in the mail the other day. 

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Enjoy the bye week.  Hey, at least they won't lose this week.  Check out my Halloween video from the Chicago Bears offensive players.

Happy Halloween and BEAR DOWN!!!


Halloween Costumes Sure to Scare the Bears

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

BOO!!!  Happy Halloween, Bears fans!  You want to be sure to scare the heck out of Lovie Smith and his Bears?  Here are some costumes sure to scare the bejesus out of the 2010 Bears!

Gallery sneak peek (8 images):

View the gallery...

Lovie Admits He Blew the Challenge

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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It sure looks like the ball crossed the plane, doesn't it? (Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

In a rare moment of humility and honesty during Monday's press conference, Bears head coach Lovie Smith admitted that he blew it by not challenging the Jay Cutler fumble at the goal line that should have been a touchdown.  Let's hear the mea culpa straight from the horse's mouth:

"You guys want to know about that on whether I should have thrown the red flag on the 1-yard fumble down by the end zone. Yes, I should have, looking at it of course in hindsight," Smith said. "Normally if there is a critical situation, I throw it whether I have a good look or not on it. Didn't have a great look on it. I understand the reason why, but that was a critical play in the game.

"I need to be able to make that call."

And a bit more as to why he didn't throw the little red flag:

"I had just used one up before that, and at the time I thought we were in control of the game," Smith said. "We've given the opponent the ball on the 1-yard line before and forced them to punt it, and I felt like we would get the ball back right away, which we did, and we would be able to get it back down."

Smith said he has staffers upstairs, with access to replays. Smith added that he didn't think of calling a timeout to buy himself more time to see Cutler's play again.

"Exactly what happened is what I thought about doing," Smith said. "I felt like we would get the ball back at the very worst and have another opportunity to get it in."

That's about a forthcoming as you'll ever hear from Lovie.  Here's what I want to know - who is responsible for making that call in the booth?  I want Lovie to name names.  I want that guy fired.  I want blood!


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McCaskey Thinks Lovie is a, uh, Terrific Coach

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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Lovie Smith and Michael McCaskey chat before the Bears season opener against the Lions. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Tribune)

Not even Michael McCaskey believes in Lovie Smith.  No, he didn't say it straight out, but I'm an expert at reading between the lines.  Actually, it hardly takes an expert.  Check out this quote from Phil Hersch's interview with the Bears' retiring chairman:

Tribune: Short of reaching the Super Bowl, can you envision a scenario in which the Bears could extend Smith's contract before the end of the 2011 season? Will he have to complete his current contract before receiving a new one? And then the overriding question ...

McCaskey: It's way too early to worry about those kinds of things. Lovie is doing a, uh, is a terrific coach and I have all the confidence in him in the world. We have got to win more games and finish stronger at the end of the season, but in my mind there is no requirement he win the Super Bowl in order to continue on as the Bears' head coach.
What's with the hemming and hawing?  "Lovie is doing, a, uh..." Anyone will tell you that those kind of pauses and uh, lapses indicate a deception.   And why would Hersch put that in?  A lot of times a reporter will edit the quotes to make them more readable.  He put it in there because he wants you to know that a, uh, what McCaskey thinks without actually saying it.  He wants you to know that if it wasn't about the money, Lovie would be a, uh, gone.

Bears Must FIRE LOVIE SMITH and Jerry Angelo Immediately

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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The Bears must FIRE LOVIE SMITH today!

There is still time to save the season.  There is still time to make something of an NFC where there are no dominant teams.  Just to give a sense of that, reigning world champion New Orleans just lost at home to the Cleveland Browns.  Yes, the Cleveland Browns. 

With the Bears losing two straight winnable conference home games in disappointing fashion, the time is NOW to FIRE LOVIE SMITH AND JERRY ANGELO.  This team looks flat, uninspired, unmotivated, un-everything.  It's time to shake things up.  With a bye week this week and the last seemingly easy, winnable game against Buffalo the week after that, now is the time to start anew.

The watchword at Halas Hall has been accountability.  Where is that for this coaching staff?  Who is being held accountable for these two losses.  Remember those surprising wins at Dallas and against Green Bay?   Those wins have been canceled out with these two latest losses.   

Jerry Angelo must be fired for falling asleep at the wheel since Super Bowl XLI.  He has put this team into an untenable situation with swiss cheese for an offensive line and a sieve for a defensive front.  What's worse, his offensive tackles or his defensive tackles?  Name a high round pick of Jerry Angelo's that is even marginal? 

Greg Olsen?  Except for the rarest of occasions, unless the ball is placed between the 8 and 2 on the front of his jersey, he's not catching it. 

Chris Williams?  He still has Albert Haynesworth's cleat marks on the front of his jersey, getting completely bowled over from his new left guard spot?  Is there another position we can try him out at?  How about left out?

 

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Plenty of Blame to Go Around as Bears Fall to Seahawks 23-20

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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The Seahawks stunned the Bears 23-20 (Photo courtesy of Chicago Tribune)

The Bears fell into a false sense of security.  I don't know if it was the win over the Panthers or the idea that Jay Cutler was coming back, but the Bears came into Soldier Field with a sense of entitlement, a sense that all they needed to do was show up and the Seahawks would just lay down for three hours a head back to Washington state with their tails between their legs.

There is plenty of blame to go around in this loss.  The offense is still completely clueless.  They failed to convert a third down, going 0-12 for the day and 3-40 in their last three games.  That isn't exactly a winning formula.


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2010 Bears Follow Same Pattern as 2001 Bears

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

A management regime in turmoil.  The public trying to push a coach out the door after a disappointing season.  Sound familiar?  If you think I'm talking about our 2010 Bears, you would be correct.  But I'm also talking about the 2001 Bears.

American philosopher George Santayana famously said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  As a grizzled, sage old Bears fan, I am here to keep us from repeating the past or it least manage expectations.  Check out this segment from the awesome website ChicagoBearsHistory.com:

[Ted] Phillips finally named [Jerry] Angelo the teams' new GM in mid-June. At the press conference announcing the Angelo hire, he stated that anything for 2001 would only be "fine tuning".

If Angelo's moves from June to the opening of the season were "fine tuning", we would hate to see his wholesale housecleaning! The new GM promptly traded troubled QB Cade McNown to the Miami Dolphins for a song, and cut higher-priced and popular veterans Mike Wells, Bobby Engram and Barry Minter. Even CB Thomas Smith, signed in 2000 for $22 million, was shown the door in a smart move after Smith's inconsistent (at best) play the season before. While these moves proved to be necessary to shed salary from underproductive players as well as develop young talent, many saw them as Angelo's way to ensure a poor season from Coach Dick Jauron. Most believed Angelo wanted to see Jauron fail so he could hire his own coach in 2002.

A fan-favorite defensive lineman released in the offseason.?  Alex Brown, meet Mike Wells.  Unproductive players being let go?  Mark Anderson much?  Jerry Angelo wanting to see Lovie Smith fail?  Meet Jerry Angelo circa 2001.  Want to see more comparisons?  Check them out after the jump.

 
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Not Signing Bulger Will Cost the Bears

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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Todd Collins will get the nod at QB for the Bears against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Chicago Tribune)

In case you haven't heard, Jay Cutler will sit out Sunday's contest against the Carolina Panthers and Todd Collins will get the start fr the Bears.  First of all, Thank goodness that the independent physician didn't clear Cutler.  He may have saved the Bears' season.

I HATE HATE HATE that Todd Collins is starting over Caleb Hanie.  Collins looked horrible on Sunday night when called to duty in the second half of the Giants debacle, eventually taking a shot that would knock him out of the game.  Hanie came into the game and actually gave the impression that he was capable of fending for himself.

Here's what really irks me.  If the Bears didn't think that Hanie was a capable #2 QB, why didn't they sign a proven veteran like Marc Bulger to back up Cutler early in the offseason?  From the day Martz was hired, people were clamoring for Bulger. 

Martz himself even tried to lure Trent Green, one of his oldest pupils, out of retirement, but he wasn't foolish enough to leave his comfy TV gig.

Instead, all along Bears management told us how much they liked Caleb and how well he was doing.  He was Cutty's primary backup until a shoulder injury in the preseason (thanks to another pitiful offensive line performance) sent the Bears scrambling for backups. 

By that time, just weeks before the season started, the music had stopped and Todd Collins was about the only guy left who hadn't found a chair in the game of backup quarterback musical chairs.

In fact, after Hanie got hurt the Bears tried again in vain to lure Green out of retirement and even reached out to Collins, but because they were unwilling to give him a guaranteed deal, his arrival in camp was postponed a week while Matt Gutierrez stopped by for a cup of coffee.

All the while, the Bears could have had Bulger, who ended up in Baltimore to back up Joe Flacco.  Why couldn't the Bears and former Bulger boss Martz lure him to Chicago for the same backup job in Chicago?  Knowing the McCaskeys, it probably had something to do with money.

The Bears made a HUGE mistake not signing a legit backup early in the offseason.  If they lose on Sunday, and especially if Cutler misses any substantial time recovering from his concussion, that mistake will be a costly one! 

Mark Anderson: Another Black Eye for Lovie and Jerry

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

The Other Guy

Mark Anderson never came close to the productivity of his rookie year.

The Bears cut underachieving defensive end Mark Anderson on Tuesday.  To take his roster spot, they signed former Saints defensive end Charles Grant, a guy who had recently been released by the UFL's Omaha Nighthawks.

There's a new sheriff in town and he's not messing around this season.  It's amazing how fearing for their jobs has instilled a sense of accountability on this team and with this regime. 

Anderson has never reached the lofty heights of his 12-sack rookie year performance yet Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo have tried to pawn him off as an elite player while pushing solid performers like Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye out of the way.

What's most frustrating about the Anderson situation is how he has been handed the starting defensive end job and never lived up to the responsibility that goes along with being a starter.  It's this sense of entitlement that has plagued so many of the Bears' draft picks.  Mark Anderson is symbolic of all that is wrong with this regime. 

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Jay Cutler, Bears Sacked by Giants

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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Jay Cutler and the Bears were sacked by the Giants. (Photo courtesy of AP)

I've been saying since the very first preseason game against the Chargers that Jay Cutler wasn't going to make it through the season.  I'm not happy to report that came to fruition on Sunday night as the Giants sacked Cutler 9 times - yes NINE times and had to leave with a concussion.  The Giants went on to win 17-3 in a game where the score was not indicative of the beating the Bears took.  They were physically abused at the hands of the Giants.

The offensive line was completely and totally manhandled on Sunday night.  Either Mike Martz didn't have any adjustments or the Bears offense couldn't execute.  They couldn't run, they couldn't pass, they couldn't execute a simple screen pass, they couldn't find the hot receiver.  Simply put, it was the worst offensive performance in recent memory.

Give Julius Peppers and the defense some measure of credit for keeping the Bears in the game.  Even though the Bears had been sacked 9 times in the first half, they only trailed 3-0 at the half.   They seemed to wear down as the game went on and as many predicted, the Giants were more persistent in trying to run the ball and topped 200 yards on the Bears' #1 rush defense.  

 

The Bears Have a New Coach (Sort of)

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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Is this the same guy who has been coaching the Bears the last six years? (Photo courtesy of Sun Times)

The name on the door hasn't changed, but make no mistake about it, there is a new coach leading the 3-0 Chicago Bears.   There is something going on at Halas Hall that we haven't seen in years.  It's called ACCOUNTABILITY.  

Even though he will never admit it, Lovie Smith has thrown away his old coaching playbook and is playing by a new set of rules.  Stubbornness?  Arrogance (or Bearogance as some people call it)?  Gone.  Outta here. Replaced by Adjustments. Adaptability.  

How else can you explain the benching of Tommie Harris?  And how about Zack Bowman riding the pine after some missed tackles early in the Green Bay game? 

Here is what the Daily Herald's Barry Rozner said about the new-and-improved Lovie:

That is actual NFL coaching. It's to be applauded, and it can go a long way toward getting Bears fans back on Smith's side, especially if the result is that Harris shows up the next time he plays.

Either way, it was the right move and part of a stunning reversal from the mind-numbing stubbornness of the last six years.

Suddenly, we have Smith and his assistants making adjustments not just from week to week or half to half, but from series to series. 

Here's Steve Rosenbloom's take:

But that three stooges press conference with Ted Phillips and Jerry Angelo in January changed things more than I expected. The apparent threat to future employment here seemingly prompted Smith to buy out the inventory at the Former Head Coaches R Us store. Oh, there have been some old Smith habits, such as firing coaches who weren't his actual BFFs, but most notably, he brought in former Vikings head coach Mike Tice to take over the offensive line and former Rams head coach Mike Martz to coordinate the offense. Their real-life pro experience must've played some role in the way they've immediately adjusted to injuries or plans that weren't working. Compare and contrast that flexibility with Smith's refusal to double-cover Carolina receiver Steve Smith in that playoff game.

There is a sense of urgency on the Bears' sidelines that has propelled the Bears to a surprising 3-0 start.   Lovie is coaching like, well, like his job is on the line and the team is responding.  

Want to know what pisses me off to no end?  WHERE WAS THIS SINCE 2006???  The Bears wasted 3 years of Brian Urlacher's prime, Lance Briggs' prime, and 3 years of my prime while Lovie was chasing coordinators out of town and protecting over-paid high draft picks.  In the NFL, three years is a lifetime.

Why I HATE the Packers

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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Charles Martin's "Hit List" when he body slammed Jim McMahon.

If you've noticed yourself with a shorter fuse than usual or a little more fired up this week, it could very well be that you're just a diehard Bears fan and it's Packers week.  I don't even think the most die-hard among us do it consciously; it's more like a reflex.  It's inborn. 

In today's NFL, many of the players are friends.  They great each other before the game; they seek each other out and hug it out afterwards, win or lose.  Some might go to dinner together.  This is far from your father's or grandfather's NFL. 

Back in the good old days (and I realize I'm dating myself), players would never socialize with the opponents.  They HATED each other. 

In case you haven't heard (or been living in a cave), the Bears-Packers rivalry is the oldest in football.  It used to be the most heated, most intense.  There was real emotion there, not just coaches grandstanding to fans making a goal to "beat the Packers" and rhetoric like that.

Part of what makes a rivalry intense is a sense of competition.  At the end of the Ditka era and throughout the 90's and early 2000's, the rivalry fizzled.  Part of that is the changing NFL.  Free agency made players more mobile and not a rooted to a certain team.  Part of the fizzle was the fact the Packer consistently beat us.  It's not a rivalry when it's not competitive.  

The Bears are bringing back the Monster of the Midway moniker from the 19040's.  It's also time to bring back the rivalry.    

Why do I hate the Packers? Why should you hate them too?  Just watch this!



 

BEAR DOWN!!!!
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Adjustments Help Bears Beat 'Boys

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On


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Head Coach Lovie Smith beams after the Bears' 27-20 win over the Dallas Cowboys


I am always quick to throw daggers at Lovie Smith when the Bears lose, so I need to be man enough to step up and throw a few bouquets his way when the Bears win. 

The Bears beat the Dallas Cowboys 27-20 in Dallas surprising many observers, this one included.  I have to give the coaching staff credit, particularly Mike Martz and the offensive staff.

The game started out very rough for the offense, with Jay Cutler under siege.  Chris Williams went out early with a hamstring injury and it was looking pretty bleak for the Bears.  Give credit to OC Mike Martz, calling for some shorter routes and quick hitting plays to settle down the offense.

After Kevin Shaffer struggled early when he stepped in for Williams, give Mike Tice credit for re-shuffling the line and moving Frank Omiyale to LT and Shaffer to his more comfortable right side.  When I first saw that, I went from concerned to pure panic, but somehow, some way, it worked.

This is something that separates this team and this coaching staff from years past - the ability to make adjustments on the fly.

While I'm passing out compliments, I might as well throw one the way of Lovie Smith's Rod Marinelli's defense.  While they gave up a ton of passing yards, the run defense was stout, holding the Cowboys to a measly 36 rushing yards. 

I hope everyone is dialed in and ready to go - the Packers come to town for a Monday Night Football matchup with first place - yes I said first place - at stake in the NFC North.     

Bears vs Cowboys - Keys to the Game

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

The Bears head down to Dallas to match up with the 0-1 Cowboys.  Dallas looked awful in a Week 1 road loss to the Redskins, with costly penalties and turnovers stalling their usually strong offense.

Meanwhile, the Bears played a strange game in their Week 1 win over Detroit. They dominated the offensive and defensive stat sheets, but had four costly turnovers.  A non-TD catch late in the game by Calvin Johnson got the Bears off the hook as the Lions seemed to have an upset win in the bag. 

What do the Bears need to do to steal a win in Dallas?  Check out the gallery for my Keys to the Game:

Gallery sneak peek (7 images):

View the gallery...

Becoming Part of the Fire Lovie Smith Movement

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On



The Bears head into their Week 2 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys at 1-0 after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat from the Detroit Lions, thanks to a lucky fluke in the rule book and despite a couple of boneheaded calls by Lovie Smith.

Across town, Sun Times' Bears beat writer Sean Jensen wrote about the FIRE LOVIE SMITH movement on Friday.  I didn't know it had officially become a "movement." Maybe a small militia, but a movement?  WOW! 

I think I should be offended that he failed to mention this blog when talking about the 3000-member strong Facebook group and various websites that let fans rank coaches.  I know we're "the competition" but come on Sean!  I've been around for almost a year now.  WTF?

Sean talks about the usual beefs that people have against Lovie and the momentum that "the movement" has started gaining since last week's crazy decisions late in the game.

But the other thing that Jensen points out is that Lovie seems to be gaining power in the face of the adversity.  It's as if the negativity is feeding the beast and making it stronger. 

Lovie and his coaching staff have closed ranks and hunkered down in their bunker as we all lob grenades in there.  If the Bears play the Cowboys like they played the Lions  - and more importantly if Lovie coaches like he did last week - it may be time to get some bigger and better ammo.

Lovie Smith is Coaching Scared

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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The Calvin Johnson non-TD dominated most of the talk after the Bears 19-14 win over the Detroit Lions but it overshadowed one of the most bone-headed coaching decisions in recent memory.  It is beyond me how a head coach could pass up the opportunity to kick the go-ahead field goal with his team trailing by a point. 

A lot of people look at that and applaud Lovie Smith and say how he's got "big balls" for making the hard decision and taking a big risk to try to convert a 4th and 1 from the goal line instead of kicking the chip shot field goal to take the lead. 

At first glance, that's what it might seem like, but if you dig a little deeper, I'll show you a coach that's scared.

On "victory Monday" Lovie was given the chance to recant his previous statements about going for it in that situation "every time."  Lovie was only more resolute in his stance:

"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."

But after further probing, Lovie gave some real insight into his coaching philosophy.  I watched the entire clip on the Bears' official site and this quote wasn't in there:

"[I] thought [the corners] did a pretty good job on [Johnson]. There at the end they started going to him a little bit more," Smith said. "We play double coverage quite a bit. It seems like every time we play double coverage [you guys ask], 'Why do you play two deep?' So on that play, we had a blitz on. [You ask] 'Why don't you blitz more?' We had a blitz on that play. And when you blitz, you can't double cover everybody each play -- Football 101 -- can't do it. On that play, we didn't. The next two, we did."

That second quote is where the money is.  Lovie is coaching scared because he's worried about what "you guys" are thinking.   That's a recipe for disaster, when the head coach is worried about what other people are thinking.  

By the way, thanks for the Football 101 lesson Lovie.  At what point in Football 101 did they teach you to turn down taking a lead in the 4th quarter so you could show off your coaching cajones? 

They say that desperate times call for desperate measures.  Are you that desperate already?  


Bears Beat Lions Despite Major Coaching Mistake

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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Lovie leaves the field after escaping with a 19-14 win over the Detroit Lions

The Bears' 19-14 win over the Detroit Lions was a really strange game.  The Bears dominated the stat sheet but the Lions led throughout much of the game.  Then the Lions seemingly make the game-defining play only to have the referees pull the rug out from under them.  A win is a win, so the Lovie Hot Seat cools slightly, but from Section 443 where I was sitting, the FIRE LOVIE chants rained down early and often.  (No, I wasn't leading them either!)

The entire game could have swung on one critical decision midway through the fourth quarter.  After an amazing play by Lance Briggs, where he perfectly timed the snap count with the Lions in the shadow of their own goal post, the Bears took over inside the 1-yard line down 14-13.

The Bears tried to run off right guard for no gain.  Then Jay Cutler tried a short pass to Greg Olsen that fell incomplete.  On third and goal, they tried to run Forte off left guard for no gain  Fourth down.  Time to kick the field goal, take the lead and play some defense for the last nine minutes and go home a winner.

But wait - the Bears decide to go for it on 4th and goal after they've just tried unsuccessfully to gain any ground on the previous play.  Needless to say, the Bears didn't convert the fourth down and the Lions took over on downs. 

I know what Lovie apologists will say.  "You would be the same guy yelling 'Go for it!' if they didn't go for it." I'm sorry, but not in that situation.  In the first quarter, when the Bears had the same opportunity, yes, that's the time to go for it.  But in the fourth quarter and trailing by a point, you take the lead there. 

Let's hear what Lovie had to say after the jump:
 
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Bears vs Lions - It's GAME TIME!!!!

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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Is Sunday the day the Bears get a wake up call?

After months and months of waiting, football season is here!  The Bears open up the Lovie Smith Death March at home against the Detroit Lions.  The Bears are great when opening at home and even better against the Lions, so Sunday would seem to be a no-brainer.  It had better be because the level of difficulty just keeps going up with a trip to Big D next week.

We've been busy as all get-out over at Bear Goggles On getting ready for the season, with my team of the bloggers predicting the outcomes all 16 Bears games and our NFL post-season picks.  We even have a Madden 11 expert to simulate all of the games and a handicapping expert for those of you who like to go to the window to make it more interesting.  And for you fantasy players, my guy the DeCon is hearing your fantasy confessions.  Yes, my team over there is growing and kicking ass at an exponential rate! 

Everyone and their brother will tell you to watch the matchup between Ndamukong Suh and Lance Louis the Bears' corners against Calvin Johnson.  Duh!  Check out the gallery for a few my keys to the Week 1 matchup:

Gallery sneak peek (4 images):

View the gallery...
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Predicting Bears Season with Opposing Cheerleaders

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

I've been on record saying this is going to be a rough season for the Beloved Bears.  I have struggled to get them to an 8-8 record. 

It's time to put my money where my mouth is with a game by game prediction.  Since the Bears don't have cheerleaders and to blunt the pain of what I expect to be a rough season, we'll use the Gallery of opposing cheerleaders below to go game by game.  

Gallery sneak peek (16 images):

View the gallery...
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Negativity Spreading Like Wildfire Around Bears

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

I have been beating the FIRE LOVIE SMITH drum for some time now and I think it's finally starting to catch on.  A couple of local columnists have followed suit in ripping Bears management. 

First you have David Haugh calling for Ted Phillips, Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith take the fall together in hree Musketeers "all for one, one for all" fashion:



Here's Haugh:

The point isn't whether Phillips actually believes all the pep coming out of his mouth. Everybody in the NFL spews optimism this week. The point is Phillips publicly and unquestionably has reached the point of no return in aligning himself and his future with Angelo and Smith.

It dawned on me sometime during one of Phillips' defenses of the offensive line that it no longer is possible to distinguish one Bears boss from the others in terms of philosophy or vision. It now is shared responsibility and accountability. All or nothing for Jerry, Lovie ... and Ted.

No matter what transpired behind the scenes in an offseason where the Bears plugged the leaks of information at Halas Hall and rid themselves of nonbelievers, the triumvirate returned more unified than ever.

They're a package deal whether the season ends in the playoffs or in pieces. Either the trio will be laughing in January and serving crow or will be part of an organizational makeover that would be incomplete unless all three leave together.

Amen David! You're finally making some sense!  It's about time someone call out this three-headed monster for what it is. 
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Lovie Smith's Postgame after Bears loss to Browns

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

Lovie Smith addressed the press after the Bears dropped their final preseason game 13-10 to the Cleveland Browns.  Check it out after the jump:
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Is There a Silver Lining to Bears Winless Preseason?

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

The Bears wrapped up a winless preseason after dropping the finale to the Cleveland Browns 13-10.  There's doom and gloom in the air and things don't look good for our Beloved Bears.  But there could be a silver lining to this dark cloud.

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Dave Wannstedt was the last coach to lead the Bears to a winless preseason. (Photo courtesy of bearshistory.com)

The last time the Bears went 0 for the preseason was 1998 which ended the Dave Wannstedt era.  You remember Wanny don't ya?  He's the coach that would always tell us, "we'll be fine" and "the "pieces are in place."  That last one sounds a lot like a GM in town. Eek!

Wanny perfected the are of telling you how except for one or two plays, the Bears should have won every game. That sounds a lot like a coach in town we all love to hate. 

Despite everything that Lovie and Co. will tell you about how the preseason doesn't matter, that ;98 Bears team which went 0-4 in the preseason went on to go 4-12 in the regular season to finish last in the then NFC Central. 

Wanny was ushered out of town and the Dave McGinnis er Dick Jauron era began. After that botched hiring, team President Michael McCaskey was sent to his room without supper and the Ted Phillips era began.  Maybe it would be fitting to have it come full circle now that Michael has announced he's stepping down as Chairman of the Board after this season.   

I'll admit that this 2010 version of the Bears has a hell of a lot more talent than that '98 squad.  I mean, when an end-of-the-road Edgar Bennett is your leading rusher for the season, it's not screaming loaded with talent.  Fair enough.  Maybe there is enough talent on this Bears team to overcome the major deficiencies along the offensive line and within the defensive scheme.  I sincerely hope so.

You might guess that I'm not a big fan of Lovie Smith and Bears management in general.  You would be correct.

BEAR DOWN!!!  

Bears Ownership Ranked in Bottom 5 of NFL

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

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Bears Ownership attend team's funeral


I hate to keep piling on, but it's just been too easy lately.  And it's not just me and my "Lovie Smith hate" that are being critical of the Bears on all fronts. 

As the Bears wrap up a winless preseason, Yahoo! Sports' Michael Silver came out with his 5th Annual NFL Owner Rankings.  Where did the Bears rank, you might ask?  I'll give you a hint - he only released the bottom half today

The Bears checked in at #28 overall, just ahead of the Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.

Silver admittedly doesn't use any real metrics to come up with his rankings:

Until then, enjoy this worst-to-first trip down multi-millionaire's row (the top-16 owners will be unveiled Friday), which begins not with Brown but with the Hall of Famer who didn't need an overhead projector to highlight his franchise's dysfunction in 2009-10.

As always, the list is based on several factors, some related to the owners' involvement on a league level and others based on the way they preside over their respective franchises. I'm partial toward owners who are proactive in their pursuit of revenue and who aggressively spend money in an effort to enhance their on-field product. I like winners - not the accidental kind, but the bosses whose relentless pursuit of excellence translates to sustained success - and I despise whiners.

Most of all, I try to ask myself a single overriding question: If you were a fan of this team, how would you feel about this person running the show? 

On the heels of the recent Forbes article that asserted that the Bears franchise, while worth over $1 billion was actually missing out on about $800 million in value simply by how the franchise is run

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Is Lovie Smith Clueless or Delusional (or Both)?

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

Lovie Smith met the press after Bears practice.  Actually, before I get to that, let's just touch a little on Monday's practice. 

After another disappointing preseason loss to the Arizona Cardinals and saying how there's still time to correct the errors, how do the Bears come out to practice on Monday?  Check out this tweet from Zach Zaidman:

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Of course! Why would you want to practice such things as blocking and tackling after a loss where your team demonstrated the ability to do neither.  No rush Lovie, you still have 13 days to fix these problems.

Let's get to Lovie's post-practice presser after the jump.

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Bears Still Looking for Answers as They Drop to 0-3 in Preseason

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

It should come as no big surprise to any who regularly reads this site that I'm not a big fan of Lovie Smith.  Don't get me wrong, I think he's a nice guy and that he means well, but this is a results-oriented business and the results are just not there, plain and simple and the Chicago Bears are simply not producing.

After another disappointing loss, this time a 14-9 loss at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals, the Bears continued to look for answers to the same questions that have dogged them dating back to last season: how to block, how to tackle and how to stop teams from converting 3rd and long, I realized that this season could be far worse than the 8-8 record I have been predicting.

When you consider that this is the game for which the Bears game plan and scheme, treating it like a regular season game, I have to say that not even the September 12th home date - just 2 short weeks away - is a gimme.   The Bears could be heading for a failure of Wannstedtian proportions.  Just listen to Lovie's post game presser after the jump to see if this seems like a guy who has a handle on things:

 

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Lovie Smith's Cover-2 Defense is Obsolete - Like This Stuff

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Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On

 

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The X's and O's of the Cover-2 defense.

I've spent the better part of the last year trying to explain to people that Lovie Smith's Cover-2 defense is obsolete.  It's a dinosaur. A relic. 

It's not to say that in it's heyday it wasn't the goods.  It was once the height of defensive schemes, especially when employed by Tony Dungy's Tampa Bay Bucs in the late 90's (where Lovie was linebackers coach), the Cover-2 has been figured out.

You see, NFL coaches spend the entire offseason studying film and devising coutermoves to each move that's out there.  You defend with Cover-2, I use short passes.  You use quick short passes, we go man-to-man.  I'm oversimplifying it, but you get the idea.

So I was trying to draw an analogy for someone the other day, and I came up with a list of things that are also past their primes.  At one time, they seemed like the very cutting edge, now they're laughably inadequate.

Gallery sneak peek (11 images):

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