Lovie Smith keeps his job and how it relates to the Bulls

The Bears announced yesterday that they're keeping Lovie Smith on for at least one more year though they're dumping all of the offensive assistants and agreeing to bring back in a defensive coordinator rather than having Smith run the defense while being the head coach.   I'm sure many Bears fans are disappointed in the lack of action against Lovie, but here's the thing:
It's not Lovie's fault.   Your team stinks.  Your team stinks in the way the Bulls stink.   They have some high caliber pieces, but they don't match the talent of most teams in the NFL.   Jay Cutler is your Derrick Rose, the rest of your team is the rest of our team.

What do the Bears really have after that once Brian Urlacher [already in decline] went out for  the season?    A putrid offensive line, the worst receiving core in the NFL, and a running back who was overrated after a strong rookie campaign.   On defense, they have no quality safeties, one quality linebacker, no pass rush, and decent corners. 

Sit and ask yourself, how are the Bears going to win games?   They can't rush the passer, they can't really stop the run.  On offense they can't run the ball, and they don't have the receivers to have a really high powered passing game.   They have no real competitive advantage against another team.   They show flashes of everything, but consistency at nothing.   There's no consistency because the team isn't good enough.

Sounds exactly like the Bulls, and much like the Bulls, fans have looked to blame the head coach.   Much like the Bulls, the head coach isn't the primary problem.   Do you really think another head coach comes in and takes that same team last season to the playoffs?   Do you really think a new head coach would have figured out a way to protect Cutler better with that offensive line?   Do you really think a new head coach would have gotten Cutler to not through so many interceptions?

On the defensive side of the ball, do you think the defensive line stinks because of coaching?   Is that why those guys can't get pressure on the QB with any consistency?  

Just like the Bulls, it's not the coach, it's the talent.   There's simply not enough talent on the team.   Firing the coach probably won't hurt.   The Bulls won't do much worse than Vinny Del Negro, and the Bears can probably find another Lovie Smith caliber guy easily enough.   It might even temporarily motivate the players some more, but at best you're getting the dead cat bounce.  

Both teams have problems that run deeper, those problems are talent. 


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  • Your exactly right Doug! Which begs the question- why are you then generally so supportive of Bulls management whose major responsibility is to obtain talent?

  • Doug-

    Good comparison. I think our frustration with both teams is due to the following fact:

    While it may be true that currently both teams do not have the talent, do you trust either Lovie Smith or VDN to be the guy once, hopefully sooner rather than later, the talent is here. Lets say the Bulls do land a 2010 Premium FA. A) Do you think VDN being the coach may deter someone from coming here and B) Is VDN the right guy to coach that player if he does come.

    If the answer is no, which I believe it is, than essentially we are just wasting everyone's time.

    Its like staying with a girl that you know is not "the one". You're better off breaking up now and moving on...

  • Doug I have to respectfully disagree on this one.

    Comparing cutler to Rose, strictly from a karma standpoint, which I do believe is a factor if your leader is an a-hole, is an insult to Derrick. Not that you intended it that way at all. Cutler's INT rate is perhaps thee most important factor over time for a top QB. This year he was the worst in the NFL and last year he had what 18? Most top/winning QB's have a string of good years without a boatload of picks and very high QB ratings. In basketball you need a few really good players. In football you need a whole bunch. What compares for Derrick to Cutler's INT's his A/TO ratio? His turnovers are a problem sometimes, but overall his A/TO ratio while needing improvement is still ok at 2 to 1 not league worst/awful as Jay's is.

    The previous two comments are completely dead on, and evidence guys who are vested in the team. And do I think hiring an offensive mind with talent who can update the Bulls on how to run screens and give players proper direction on their roles including in game is desperately needed? Hell yes. Do I like Rose, Noah(if he can add some lower body weight 12-15 pounds so he doesn't get rooted out/knocked off balance in the post by the big boys), and emerging Taj, and even Deng as a solid starting three who could be a valuable trading chip the way he's playing. Yes. Do they need another star to pair with Rose? Of course. Would an offensive mind/talent help Derrick and this team a lot? You better believe it. Derrick's(and the team's) immediate future is screaming for help from an offensive coaching standpoint. A star does not negate that need just as a good offensive coach doesn't cancel the need for another star. It compels it.

  • Was it a "wise decision" signing Fred Sanford (aka Lindsay Hunter)? Wise decision signing Nocioni, Hinrich, and Deng for way more than they were worth? Wise decision signing a washed-up Ben Wallace? Wise decision trading JR Smith for peanuts? Wise decision not moving up two spots in the second round to draft Marc Gasol instead of Aaron Grunt? Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Let's face it Doug, if it wasn't for the blind luck of getting Derrick Rose, this team would be down there with the TWolves and Nets. You say that the Bulls front office is "not elite." To me this again sounds like another (somewhat watered-down) homer defense of Bulls management. This management, including owner and GM wanna-be Reinsdorf, has failed consistently notwithstanding numerous lottery picks.

  • I could quibble with several of your assessments of the Bears (the WRs are probably not the worst, but near it; Forte has apparently been hurt his year; the lines look like they might be salvageable, with some work) but overall your point holds. The problems are mostly due to a lack of talent, and that's what you have to improve. Getting rid of Lovie Smith if you're not getting rid of Jerry Angelo probably doesn't really help.

    That said, scheme can matter too. Firing Turner is almost surely the right move; while the offense was doomed with the play of the line, he wasn't helping with bad playcalling, and if you expect to compete next year you'll need better playcalling if you fix that line. (If you don't fix the line then it probably doesn't matter).

  • I think what you are essentially pleading is the "bad luck" defense. Sure, there is a lot of luck involved in any draft or transaction but the argument doesn't hold up when the "unlucky" decisions mount up.

    For example, let's just take Kirk Hinrich. An elite GM (like K. Pritchard) would have traded up for the guy(s) he really wanted. I have read from different sources that Paxson wanted D. Wade in the draft that eventually landed Kirk. Why don't we have Wade? Easy, because Pax is not an elite GM.

    OK, you concede Pax is not an elite GM. So now we have an average GM who has to make a decision based on salary cap considerations whether to sign a non-elite PG to an extension or sign a non-elite SG who was drafted #3 overall and arguably should be a core piece of the franchise. Who drafted that #3 (Gordon)anyway? And would a good GM even put the team in a position of having to make this choice between two high draft picks? Moreover, some people could argue quite convincingly that Gordon was the better player.

    Sure, Reinsdorf had a grudge against Gordon. But any self-respecting GM would look for another job instead of being exposed for the powerless stooge that he is. Result- Pax gets promoted. Want another example of what a stooge Pax is? Remember Mike D'Antoni?

    If you get comfort from believing that this organization has just had a few bad breaks then who am I to argue.

  • I sure hope Derrick Rose has more Aaron Rodgers in him than Jay Cutler.

  • C'mon Doug, Lopez just as good?. How can you say that? Rose is by far better than having Lopez. And we already had Noah. Noah and Lopez are not a good fit. You should be thankful to the lottery gods for given you Rose! I have more faith in Bulls future because of Rose. Lopez is just ordinary. Rose is little Lebron!

  • doug i have been trying to reach you, stop ignoring me. lol.

  • Bill Cowher would win more games with the Bears than Lovie Smith regardless of the level of the talent.

    Bill Cowher would win more game with the Bulls than Del Bimbo regardless of the level of the talent, or is it irregardless.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Not that we want to turn this into Chicago Bears Confidential, but...

    I love how people are so nuts over a guy like Cowher to come and take over. Cowher did not, to my knowledge, do personnel in Pittsburgh. Obviously, a coach has some control over that stuff but if you really want to duplicate Pittsburgh, you need to bring over the front office too.

    Bringing in Cowher would almost certainly require getting rid of Angelo, and is there any reason to believe that Cowher could bring in a quality GM? No, he'll just fix everything through the power of his magic jaw!

  • Doug, I don't want to nitpick, but I evaluate draft picks as sort of a hobby(as I've said before). Speaking of Paxson's taking Tyrus you said that his offensive stats were off the charts and his tournament performance was impressive/Final Four.

    In evaluating an NBA draft pick, those are very, very important factors(stats and how you do/numbers put up in the tourney). But, scouting appraisals of your offensive game and attitude/work ethic are very important as well. Most if not all the scouting reports I read stated things like Tyrus "tends to coast at times, and can be rather lackadaisical in his approach[to the game]" and "not a high basketball I.Q."

    Isn't that one of if not the core problem with Tyrus in the NBA? Also, when you draft a freshman with only 12 ppg(even with an ultra high field goal percentage of 60%) you're still taking a huge risk. Especially when he evidences no post moves and inconsistent mechanics on his jumper. Unfortunately, all these caveats still apply to a post draft Tyrus four years hence. Also, this may sound superficial, but even though guys like Joakim can act like jackasses celebrating when they win/make it to the Final Four or win the championship, but if you ever watched the somewhat infamous self-absorbed "tirade" Tyrus went on(after winning/making it to the Final Four) shown to this day on youtube, it would give someone pause. I don't blame him for blowing off Jay Bilas so much, because I think he's somewhat of a pompous jerk, but you talk about an out of control on and on and on conniption.

    With the all the caveats on Tyrus as a person and warning signs of no individual offensive game I think Paxson just absolutely has to take some blame if you're more then a conventional wisdom "who could blame him with his freakish athleticism and sparkling stats." This just isn't the reality if you're a serious scout/G.M./appraiser of NBA quality college talent.

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