A Monday Night Rodeo

Haugh Defends Lovie Smith

David Haugh is up in arms about The Sporting News ranking Lovie Smith twentieth among active coaches in the NFL.  (Really?  Sporting News?  Didn't Sport Magazine want to weigh-in on the issue?)  I don't know how good a football coach Lovie Smith is and neither does Haugh but it's quite difficult to believe that Lovie's B- performance in Chicago doesn't elevate him above godawful coaches like Brad Childress, Norv Turner, Wade Phillips and Dick Jauron (specifically that last fella I mentioned).  Ultimately, Haugh is right on-cue with one point:

If the Bears struggle in 2009 after the best off-season in team history, then doubt Smith and apply the pressure that will be appropriate in the Age of Cutler.

On the other hand, if the Bears win a division title in 2009, Mr. Smith will be staying in Chicago for a long, long time.

 Special Teams Not So Special

Check out the solid Sun-Times breakdown of the returning players on special teams.  Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News (and the best football writer in America, hands down) had the Bears ranked as the top special teams unit in the game for both 2006 and 2007 and rightfully so.  In 2008, as the return game went MIA, Gosselin dropped the Bears to 8th.  Here's the truth.  Brad Maynard is a wonderful punter with a habit of shanking the ball in big spots.  Robbie Gould is a clutch performer but puts the Bears in tricky situations with his inability to kick in the 50s.  The coverage units are solid but can be erratic (see Atlanta '08).  The return game is erratic but can be brilliant (see New Orleans '08).  If the Bears hope to mirror the Super Bowl run of 2006 (while re-writing the final act), they'll need the special teams units to return to 2006 form.

 

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  • 1st!

  • I'm in total agreement about this post. I'm not the biggest Lovie fan, but considering the record the Bears have had in his tenure, it's utter horseshit to have him at 20. Having Wade Phillips rated above anyone is disgusting, considering that year in and year out the Cowboys have enough talent to make it to the playoffs thanks to Jerry Jones.

    As for special teams, there's no excuse for last year. Those guys should be just as pissed at themselves as I am at the defense.

  • they had childress at 11. now that makes no sense at all

  • As seen on this blog, I have long been critical of Lovie for what I consider some totally WHACKED personnel and staffing decisions (Mark Anderson starting over Alex Brown, the Dave Babich over Ron Rivera fiasco, etc.) and he is definitely on the hot seat this season, but this TSN article is LAUGHABLE. Another shining example of off-the-top-of-my-head journalistic "brilliance". If as much as 10 minutes of preparation went into it I guarantee that 9 of them were spent sitting on throne in the john. Jeff is right on with the 4 coaches he mentioned. I'll disagree with David Haugh and throw Sean Payton into the mix. Payton is a guy I'd LOVE to have coordinating my offense but the next key stop his defense makes will be the first and oh, aren't the Sean Payton Saints 0-3 against the Lovie Smith Bears, including an NFC Championship game and a late season contest that delivered a knockout blow to New Orleans playoff hopes????
    As for the author of the TSN article, congratulations, I didn't even know Wal-Mart HAD a journalism school.

  • When I saw that Childress was ranked as the best coach in the NFC North, I did throw up in my mouth a little. The ranking of Childress in the top half alone disqualify said rankings in my opinion. Preseason prognistications are based largely on the judgement of talent for each team. The best coach should be judged upon how whether or not he is able to take his team above and beyond what the level of talent on the field. If I'm not mistaken, the Vikings are year in and year out the most talented team in the division in the months of April, May and June. When has Childress taken them beyond their expectations? Answer: NEVER.

    Show me somebody who has consistently taken a team that is low on talent, and developed them into a playoff team. Take Mike Holmgren, for example (not because he is affiliated with the Pack). He has taken 2 different teams to the Superbowl. The only other one to accomplish that feat is Bill Parcells. Bill Bellicheck was $hit in his previous stint as a head coach. I believe that his talent pool is a little deeper in NE than it was in Cleveland. In the end, the criteria for ranking the best coaches in this article needs to be revisted.

  • In reply to WindyCityPackerFan:

    WHAT? I didnt read this article, thankfully? Childress?? Are you f-ing serious? That is flat out stupid. That man is a mental midget. He has perhaps the most talented team in the NFL barring the QB position, yet barely squeaks into the playoffs and then loses to the bEagles. When Lovie had a very similar team (great D, great O-line, moron QBs) all he did was go to the SB...

  • In reply to WindyCityPackerFan:

    Coaching arguments stop with me. I am, and forever will be, Da Coach!

  • In reply to WindyCityPackerFan:

    woah woah woah BDG, Im originally from Oklahoma, you can't expect anyone to measure up to Switzer, that's like comparing someone to Elvis - get ya shot in Tennesse.
    And with Levy, um he had fng Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas in the same backfield and Bruce fn smith on the D... I would hope he could have owned the AFC at that time. During the Bills run the AFC were the kicking posts that couldn't compete with the 49ers and Cowboys.. now the tables are quite turned.

    Honestly I could care less what some no name rag thinks is the order of head coaches, they can't even rank who is gonna make the playoffs at the beginning of a season much less be able to tell how important th HC is to that team.

  • In reply to WindyCityPackerFan:

    I am back, mu'fucka's! C'mon!

  • In reply to WindyCityPackerFan:

    I just stopped at foxsports.com for some interesting reading. There's an article there ranking the top 99 players in the NFL. The Bears are in the second level of teams with 5 players from our roster being represented. They are: #87 Forte, #85 Hester, #81 Briggs, #52 Urlacher, and #31 Cutler. Along with this, there are 2 Vikes in the top ten (#8 Allen and #5 Petersen.

    I'm glad that there are a good number of Bears on there, but disappointed about Allen and Petersen. I'm not saying they don't deserve to be on the list, but not quite that high. Allen is a great pass rusher, but totally benefits from the big boys in the middle of the line to eat up blocks. Petersen runs well, but as Madden brought up (I can't believe I'm paraphrasing John effing Madden)Petersen is a great RUNNER, not a great back...He can't catch or block, and that's a huge part of football.

    Just looking for thoughts on the subject...

    and here's a link to the article...

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/9665338/NFL's-top-99-player-rankings-for-'09

  • In reply to WindyCityPackerFan:

    Here something about Rod that makes the move to hire him seem right.

    Rod Marinelli, the Bears' new defensive line coach, has made Harris somewhat of a personal project, wanting to bring him back to a Pro Bowl level.

    "He's like a coach that really cares on and off the field," Harris said of Marinelli. "And he brings the game to more of a lifestyle, not just something we do 12 hours out of a day, but you're thinking about it constantly.

    "You live it. Anything you live, you don't have to think about it. It just happens. He's making it something where you're just constantly doing it on an everyday basis. He makes you want to do it, he makes you want to come through these doors and be the best at what you do."

  • In reply to WindyCityPackerFan:

    I think signing Rod Marinelli will pay out dividens as the seasons go by. We have one of the most talented Defensive Lines in the league, and I firmly believe that. Great raw talent. Marinelli built a great D-Line in Tampa and will do it again in Chicago.

  • I like lovie as our coach, but what brings him down is his staff (Ron Turner and Bob Babich) Lovie just needs to find a better staff...........

  • I nearly voided my bowels when I read that article.

    I like you a lot Packer Fan. You're gracioius and respectful. That list is pathetic. Absolutely pure ESPN propaganda drivel. However, I think putting Coughlin in front of Fisher is the right move. Coughlin Super Bowls: 1, Fisher Super Bowls: 0. In today's NFL it is amazing Jeff Fisher still has a job. One bad season can destroy a coach's reputation. Two can lose him his job. In that line of work championships mean everything.

    Unbiased...I think you can rank Coach Smith in the upper relms of the middle. Number 13 or so. I mean, look at what this guy did with a team that was a pushover. We emerged from a decade and a half which was like a chapter from Dante's Inferno and became a Super Bowl team. Oh yeah. Brad Childress is better than that.

  • I finally got on the new set up. Really the best way to fix ST is moving DH exclusively back to return man, but that ain't gunna happen...

  • I reiterate...

    Tom Couglin Super Bowl victories: 1

    Jeff Fisher Super Bowl victories: 0

    Super Bowl appearances mean squat. Literally, squat, if you do not win.

    I'm not going to discuss this anymore because it has squat to do about the Chicago Bears.

  • Advantage: BDG. Though I would pretty much put Coughlin and Fisher on equal footing. Fisher has been more consistent overall, but Coughlin changed his approach with players (while he was in his 60's, no less) to try to win the big one (which he did).

    Add a real QB to the Titans last year, and I think they would've beat the Steelers (and Cards).

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