This weekend when the Bears host the final (lol) game Brett Favre will ever play at Soldier Field, there will be two distinct team personalities on the field.
Team One: Admits their coach sucks, trying hard anyway.
Team Two: Doing their best to keep their coach employed.
Which team is which?
If you're not a SunTimes person, you may have heard the buzz created by an article they posted yesterday in which Bears blogger Sean Jensen published some comments from Vikings players that weren't... compliments... towards Minnesota head coach Brad Childress.
Here's one of the comments Jenson published from Vikings players who asked to remain anonymous that tells the story pretty well.
''We know that Childress doesn't have our backs, so why should we have his?'' one player said. ''We're playing for us, and we're winning despite him.''
Meanwhile, every player in Chicago continues to stand in defense of the Bears' "braintrust" that kept Mark Anderson over Alex Brown, traded a second round draft pick for Gaines Adams despite the strong leadership of Adewale Ogunleye at the same position, and dumped Thomas Jones for nothing in favor of Cedric Benson.
In 2006, the Bears lost the Super Bowl and Childress finished his first season as the head coach of the Vikings. What has happened since?
Childress' Vikings are, through eight games this year, 33-23.
Smith's Bears are 28-28.
Minnesota has been in the playoffs each of the last two years, coming up one penalty and a Brett Favre interception away from representing the NFC in the Super Bowl last year.
Meanwhile, the Bears have been over .500 once in the last three years, peaking at 9-7 and without a single playoff appearance.
In the drafts from 2007 to the present, the Vikings have selected Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Phil Loadholt. In total, 15 of 18 players drafted by the Vikings between 2007-09 have appeared in an NFL game, 14 of which have played in at least 13 games.
In drafts during the same period, the Bears have selected Greg Olsen, Matt Forte, Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox and Chris Williams. In all, the Bears drafted 30 players between 2007-09, almost double the total number of players picked by the Vikings. However, seven of those 30 players have not appeared in an NFL game yet and another four haven't played in as many as seven professional games yet.
So the Vikings got 14 NFL players in 18 picks, while the Bears found 19 players in 30 picks.
To kill the immediate defense of Lovie ("He doesn't have Adrian Peterson, so it isn't fair"), let's think a little further about the decisions made between the two franchises.
Minnesota has made one blockbuster trade in the last five years. In exchange for Jared Allen and a sixth round pick, the Vikings dealt a first, two third and their own sixth round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs in April of 2008.
In two-plus seasons with the Vikings, Allen has been two two Pro Bowls, recorded 32.5 sacks and been First Team All-Pro both seasons.
(To be fair, Kansas City has picked a franchise tackle, Branden Albert, and and emerging top-tier running back, Jamaal Charles, with two of the four picks they received in this trade.)
Chicago also made one blockbuster trade. Of course, that deal went down in the summer of 2009, when the Bears dealt Kyle Orton, two first round draft picks (2009, '10) and a 2009 third round pick to the Denver Broncos for Jay Cutler and a fifth round pick (Knox).
In one and a half seasons in Chicago, Cutler has thrown for just over 5,300 yards, 36 touchdowns and 33 interceptions.
(Again, to be fair, Orton continues to be the starting quarterback in Denver,where he has thrown for over 6,300 yards with 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The Broncos have dealt two of the picks they received in this trade, but selected Robert Ayers with the 18th overall pick in 2009.)
So which organization really needs the regime change?
If Vikings players are going public with their lack of trust in Childress, the Bears players have simply given Smith the courtesy of keeping their mouths shut. Rumors ran wild after the trade for Adams last year that the defense saw it as a slap in the face of the respected Ogunleye, and lost respect for the front office after the deal.
Also, Chicago continues to throw coordinators and position coaches under the bus when things go wrong, but the same head coach continues to do little to make the team better.
If you want to talk about specific situations that coaches have screwed up, there are plenty. Childress was personally responsible for the penalty that forced the Vikings to throw, thus the Favre interception and the Saints Super Bowl appearance. But just within the last couple weeks, Lovie has failed to challenge a call on the goal line that likely cost the Bears a game and their lead in the Central Division.
So which coach is better?
How about neither.
But at least the Minnesota Vikings players are admitting to the world that they realize they're playing for an idiot. Why do the Bears continue "saying the right things" about this ridiculous regime at Halas Hall?