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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?  


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