Time is up for Lovie Smith

Time is up for Lovie Smith
Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune

Here we go again; the "FIRE LOVIE SMITH" people are back. And, actually, I just might agree with them . . . again. Smith may boast an overall winning record, but what does that really mean? When a coach goes nearly a decade without a championship, especially in a large-market town like Chicago, it’s time for a change. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy; just that he’s got to go.

When it comes to teams above .500, Lovie Smith actually sports a losing record. For a defensive-minded coach, why is it that when a team with a real offense, like the Patriots for example, comes to town, the Bears get sliced up? Smith’s scheme works, but it only works if everything is 100% perfecto. If they’re off their game that week, they get gashed. Teams lose when they’re bad, don’t get me wrong, but the Bears lose in style.

Another question: How many of this guy’s staff does he get to fire—particularly offensive coordinators—before he gets crap-canned himself? Chicago can never find a halfway decent offensive coordinator because too many in the business know it’s a scape-goat position. It’s never Lovie’s fault, after all.

Throughout his entire tenure, the Bears have had a tomato can offense. They have never had the ability to sustain success on offense. Never. Is that really the fault of every one of those five previously fired offensive coordinators? Simple science tells me that there is only one remaining variable to remove from the experiment in this situation.

Are the Bears out of contention or something? No. So why am I making a case to fire a head coach who has his team at 8-4 and could—even if by only a miracle—still win afore mentioned championship? Because I don’t think they will. Because I think it’s all too possible that they only win one more game and miss the playoffs. But I’ve been wrong before.

Last week . . .

The Bears should have put the Seahawks away in the first quarter. Missed opportunities killed them, obviously, but when the Bears’ offense needed to take a few more aggressive shots down the field to Brandon Marshall, who was having his way with the Seahawks’ top-ranked defense, they either didn’t or couldn’t.

Let me state this before I get accused of feeling the other way: I was in favor of Lovie going for it on fourth-down against Seattle. Unfortunately, this group of clowns up front couldn’t get a foot of push for Michael Bush. But big games overwhelm Smith, and they overwhelm his teams. And it’s why, in the big games, they consistently lose.

The Lack of adjustments against the Seahawks was prototypically arrogant, completely unnecessary, and ridiculous. Where is the spy on Russell Wilson? Shea McClellin should have literally stood there and mirrored Wilson’s every move. The kid is plenty fast enough. Why no adjustments at all, Lovie? It’s a reoccurring theme, you know. Unprepared . . . overwhelmed. Now twice in three weeks, the Bears have been simply unprepared.

The Bears’ defensive line basically ran stunts whenever they wanted, which led to a lack of outside containment. As a head coach, if your defensive coordinator is allowing them to do that, put your foot down and stop it. To anyone with even a tiny bit of football knowledge, it was obvious that stunts were killing their containment, and you knew you had to contain Wilson to the pocket! FIX IT!

Rod Marinelli is a fine coach, but we all know Smith is ultimately the one who oversees what happens on defense. Just like Mike Tice still runs the offensive line even though Tim Holt gets to wear the title. (Quick, how many of you reading this just went, “who the hell is Tim Holt?” Exactly.) Just like we blame Tice for those failures, Smith is responsible for them, too, as well as the defensive failures.

The catch with getting rid of Smith is whether or not there are upgrades available on the open market. It would be so Bears to hire some no-name coordinator or promote Dave Toub. Give me a proven winner. The thing of it is, Lovie Smith is only so bad, just like he will only be so good. And you could certainly do a lot worse than Smith as your head coach, but there comes a time to say goodbye.

The bottom line, to me, is this: the Bears always get out coached by the better coaches in the League. And I honestly believe that Smith is incapable of winning a Super Bowl with this team. As unlikely as it is for a mediocre coach to make it to the Super Bowl, they very rarely win them.

It’s December. The Bears aren’t winning. The time has almost come.

Filed under: Coaches and Management

Tags: Lovie Smith

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