Posts tagged ‘Coaching’
by Sean - posted Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
Define irony: a guy you fired three years ago because you thought you could do a better job without him coming back to take your job because you couldn’t do it without him.
Maybe not poetic enough for Alanis Morissette but it could be a reality for Lovie Smith.
Lost in the high and residual buzz of the Jay Cutler acquisition was the January decision of Smith to take over the defensive play-calling. That decision officially started the clock on Lovie’s head coaching tenure in Chicago.
What Lovie announced with that move was “I [Lovie] the defensive guru can fix this with coaching rather than changing players.” This season is now a referendum on Smith’s coaching ability.
What happens if the defense doesn’t turn it around? What happens if the Bears don’t make the playoffs?
It might seem crazy to suggest that the Bears wouldn’t make the playoffs in ’09. After all they were 9-7 last year and upgraded the two most important positions on offense with Cutler at QB and Orlando Pace at LT, they have to get better.
But that 9-7 easily could’ve been 7-9 or 6-10 given how poorly they played over certain stretches. And both the Packers and Vikings are primed for playoff runs themselves, rarely do three teams from the same division make it.
So put yourself in Jerry Angelo’s shoes. You’ve just put the team right back into full fledged win-now mode with the bold trade for Jay Cutler, you’ve got 4 years remaining on your own contract and are dealing with a defensive coach who can’t get the defense together and hasn’t made the playoffs in three years.
Would you stand pat under those circumstances? I am not sure Angelo would.
So if you let Lovie go, with two years left on the contract he signed after the Super Bowl season, you know the McCaskey’s aren’t shelling out big bucks for a Mike Shanahan or Bill Cowher. That limits the options.
And on the West Coast there is an ex-Bear player and coach who could be leading the Chargers defense on a Super Bowl run. A former linebacker, who looked to be a head coach candidate just a few years ago, was forced to step back to linebackers coach, and is now on the rise again. A coach, who knows our personnel and has the utmost respect of the established veterans on this team.
Ron Rivera sure would sound like a good option for this team, and as a first time head coach he would come cheap.
Maybe Lovie leads the defense to a bounces back season.
Maybe the Bears — with Cutler at the helm — make a deep playoff run.
Maybe none of this comes to fruition.
But don’t fool yourself, the clock is running on Lovie’s time leading the Monsters of the Midway. If he can’t get it done the logical replacement would be the guy he fired 2 years ago. Isn’t that ironic.
by Sean - posted Monday, February 9th, 2009
There is a rumor floating around that ex-Bears coach and current head coach at Pittsburgh Dave Wannstedt is interested in hiring Offensive Coordinator Ron Turner to fill in the same position with the Panthers.
Why would Turner make was seems to be a step down? Well he may feel as those the Bears current staff is a sinking ship. If the current shake up doesn’t work this season they are likely all going to be out of a job. Turner also has a strong relationship and familiarity with Wanndstedt after serving as his offensive coordinator with the Bears from 93-96.
The biggest reason might be something completely unrelated to coaching . Ron’s nephew (Norv Turner’s son) Scott Turner is currently a graduate assistant on Wannstedt’s staff. The obvious family appeal could be hard for Turner to pass up if he is offered the position.
While I am generally a fan of continuity I wouldn’t be the least bit sad to see Turner go. Though I don’t think he is as terrible as some Bears fans it would be nice to get someone in here who could find some more creative ways to use Devin Hester. A change at offensive coordinator would also mean that whatever QB is brought in for competition with Orton would have a much better chance at actually winning the job.
by Sean - posted Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
How have the Chicago Bears chosen to respond to two years of under performance by a veteran laden and well compensated defense? By hiring the only man to ever coach an 0-16 team in NFL history of course. That’s right the Bears have hired former Lions head coach and Tampa Bay colleague of Lovie Smith, Rod Marinelli to be their new defensive line coach and assistant head coach.
There are a lot of ways to spin this story, from continuing incompetence to the second coming of Bob Babich. Some of those concerns are legitimate, especially considering the last time the Bears went out of their way to bring in one of Lovie Smith’s pals the Bears defense dropped from top-10 to bottom-10. Also, it’s never particularly good PR to bring in the man in charge of the most imperfect team in league history to turn around a struggling unit.
However, while those criticisms have some validity it seems shortsighted to get hung up on the 0-16. After all former Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron, who was at the helm for their 1-15 season last year, is now the offensive coordinator for the AFC Championship game bound Ravens. It’s an important reminder that just because someone failed as a head coach doesn’t mean that they can’t be an important contributor to a coaching staff.
Rod Marinelli does still have the reputation as being one of the best defensive line coaches in the league. His work for 10 years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is what helped land him the job with the Lions in the first place. Now after watching an entire Bears season and defense crumble because of their inability to pressure the quarterback it would be foolish to turn any help away. Marinelli is credited with helping mold Warren Sapp into the dominant force that he was and any similar help with Tommie Harris could turn the Bears defense around in a hurry.
Granted a lot of this still doesn’t look good. Lovie brings another one of his friends on to the staff while refusing to part ways with a defensive coordinator who appears in over his head. Though while Lovie and Jerry Angelo have publicly stated so far that Bob Babich’s job is safe I am sure this hiring has to have him feeling at least a little uneasy. Another slow start from the Bears high priced defense and the presence of Marinelli could ease the decision to show Babich the door.
At the end of the day though Rod Marinelli is being brought in to do what many NFL teams already know he can do well. That’s why teams like the Texans and Seahawks were also pursuing him. The Bears offer him the most comfortable position and the biggest opportunity to make an impact, as the emergence of a pass rush could solve so many problems. So hold off on the 0-16 jokes and give the guy a chance, we need all the help we can get.