I am totally against extending Lovie Smith’s contract. I’m not suggesting it’s time to fire him, but I don’t think he’s warranted an extension. Here’s my case…
Smith did a solid job this season until the Todd Collins fiasco of the Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers. This in my opinion is grounds for near-dismissal or a serious reprimand. The Chicago Bears could have won that game if Smith wasn’t caught with his pants down. Plus, by not shedding light on Jay Cutler’s injury contributed to the public beating suffered by Cutler.
Smith also upgraded his coaching staff this season. By bringing in Mike Martz and Mike Tice to coach the offense and offensive lines respectively as well as promoting Rod Marinelli, he had one of the most experienced and successful staffs in the NFL. Certainly picking a staff is part of a coach’s job, but his staff choices were poor in the past. I believe much of the team’s success came because of his new coaches and less from his decision making skills.
Is there a head coach who’s worse with challenges and timeouts? His decision making in these situations is horrific and has cost his team games.
To be fair, Smith was the key reason why Julius Peppers is wearing a Chicago Bears uniform. His players, free agents and other people around the league respect the hell out of Smith. I’ve met Smith and he’s a classy man. As a person, you couldn’t ask for a better coach.
What happened to the days of former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda signing a one-year contracts? He did this because either the Dodgers or he could walk away anytime. Smith probably would have been fired last season except his contract was too rich. Now, the Chicago Bears are putting themselves in the same boat. The Vikings extended Brad Childress’ contract after his run in 2009. How did that work out?
I’m not sure there’s a better coach on the market. Everyone wants Bill Cowher, but I think his expectations will be unrealistic and he’s been out of the game for a while. Jeff Fisher frankly isn’t that much better of a coach than Smith. So maybe the Bear’s motivation is to protect themselves. But I don’t see Smith as a sexy hire for other franchises. He’s just doesn’t have that appealing personality.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
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