I think most Bears’ fans would agree that Lovie Smith is not the long-term solution for the Bears in the head coach’s office.
I think we’ve known this for a long time, but Lovie’s press conferences are getting to be insulting. The Bears have been around for a long time, and they have one of the biggest fan bases in the NFL. Maybe it’s just Lovie’s personality, but I think a lot of Bears fans are ready to storm Halas Hall with pitchforks and torches.
His decision to not challenge when Jay Cutler “fumbled” early in the second half on Sunday is one moment that Bears fans will remember for a long time coming. Honestly, I didn’t have a problem with the challenge on the previous play, when Earl Bennett was tackled at the one yard line. Considering the Bears’ track record with first and goal from the one this season (0-for-10 now I think), I thought it was a no-brainer challenge. I can somewhat understand Lovie’s trepidation to use two challenges on two consecutive plays, especially early in the second half in a close game.
That being said, the replays were pretty darn conclusive that Jay Cutler reached the ball over the goal line, and Lovie admitted yesterday that he should have challenged the play. What we don’t know, is whether or not the people upstairs told him to challenge. Maybe they did, and maybe he just ignored them.
The fact remains, Lovie sucks at challenging. I’m not sure what his record is, but it just seems like he hardly ever wins challenges. Anyways…
This season especially, I’ve noticed that Lovie has tried to take some accountability for the team’s struggles. Great, but I’m not sure how effective it is to admit that you’re not doing your job as well as you could. Frankly, it’s time for him to stop apologizing for himself, and start doing something to fix what’s wrong. The offensive line’s struggles are well-publicized, Jay Cutler looked like the 2009 edition on Sunday, and Johnny Knox really struggled.
What can Lovie do to fix all those things? Well, it’s his job as head coach to figure it out.
Despite themselves, the Bears sit atop the NFC North. The Packers have injury problems, and the Vikings future is uncertain as Brett Favre has a legitimate injury. That all being said, I think the Bears still miss the playoffs.