Since his arrival as head coach for the Chicago Bears in 2004, Lovie Smith has always found a way to keep his job in the Windy City. Smith, a defensive-minded coach, has always made sure that the Bears’ defense was the team’s strong suit. This is exactly why Smith is the third-longest tenured head coach in Chicago’ storied history.
Unfortunately, defense hasn’t been enough for Smith and the Bears throughout his nine seasons as head coach. During this span, Chicago has only reached the postseason three times. They loss to the Carolina Panthers in the divisional round in 2005, the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Bears in Super Bowl XLI the following year, and the much-hated Green Bay Packers ended Chicago’s season in the NFC Championship in 2010.
Although the 2005, 2006, and 2010 seasons surmounted to some team success, the Bears’ offense has always been the one thing that has kept the team from being the all-around dominant team that they could be.
Since Smith has taken over, Chicago has had three different offensive coordinators. Ron Turner, Mike Martz, and Mike Tice have all tried to improve the Bears’ offensive game, and all have failed (though Tice has only been OC for this season). In addition, Chicago has even gotten rid of Jerry Angelo as general manager.
During this nine-year span, most of the blame for Chicago’s lack of playoff appearances was directed towards Smith and Angelo. Well, Angelo is gone, Smith is still here, and the Bears have once again finished a season by not making it into the postseason.
I know Chicago finished the 2012 season 10-6. I know that Smith has an 81-63 regular-season record as head coach. I know that Smith is the only coach to come close to giving the city of Chicago a Super Bowl win since the 1985 season. However, three playoff appearances in nine seasons is a bad track record, and something needs to be done.
Through three offensive coordinators and one general manager, Smith has been the only constant in the Bears’ misfortune. If you ask me, it’s time to say goodbye to Coach Smith.
Current Bears general manager Phil Emery needs to build on what he did when he joined the Bears’ organization this past offseason. Emery made bold moves with trades and re-signings, which won the hearts of many Bears fans. Now he must make an even bigger move and get Chicago a new head coach.
This league has rapidly turned into an offensive league. In order for the Bears to have more success than they have had over the past nine years, they need to adapt to what’s going on in the league and get an offensive-minded head coach who knows how to effectively use the weapons that Chicago misuses. Furthermore, Emery needs to hire a coach who knows how to spot talent on an offensive line.
With or without Smith, the Bears should be fine defensively. Once Emery decides to officially leave his mark on this franchise, only then will the Bears get away from their losing ways and become one of the league’s best teams.
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