Chicago Bears – Still Vanilla?

Lovie Smith inanities deserve to be reported —

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Lovie Smith - Outcoached week after week

The Chicago Bears won a game Sunday 30-6 against a woeful Cleveland Browns team. And yet it looked for all the world as bad as the Green Bay, Atlanta and Cincinnati losses. Jay Cutler was running for his life. The offense failed time after time to score a touchdown. It seemed that these teams have no regard for the Bears offensive line because every play looks like a fire drill. Opposing coaches design blitzes, three man rushes, four man rushes, safety blitzes, corner blitzes, take your pick, They all work. The lack of preparation and the embarrassment they must feel is astounding. Jay Cutler goes to the podium week after week to answer questions and is speechless. The media implies he doesn’t care or won’t admit his shortcomings. The truth is he is still in shock over being used as a tackling dummy play after play.

Does Lovie Smith care? Apparently not. He still designs the  no hit practices. He still tells you they are making progress. His press conferences are obviously a  joke. The Bears have become an embarrassment in their own city. Here is a list of recent headlines in just one paper, the Chicago Sun-Times:

  • Will the Real ‘D’ stand up?
  • Bears dread the red zone
  • Have fans lost all trust in Lovie?
  • More like a Brownout
  • The dreaded ‘red’ zone and 10 other thoughts
  • Roughing a quarterback
  • O-line protection not much to savor
  • The blowout none too pretty

And this is in a game that was one-sided. One in which the Bears still looked out-coached. And the answer? According to Ron Turner, the offense guru…..We may have to simplify the offense.

Here is how Rick Morissey in the Chicago Tribune summarized the way Lovie Smith is handling his job:

I woke up Tuesday morning contemplating a boycott of Lovie Smith. This concerned me because it seemed to suggest I had just dreamed of the dull Bears coach, which would mean that even my dreams put me to sleep. And I’m confused enough as it is.

Anyway, the boycott: My thought was that until Smith said something both interesting and truthful (early bet: 2018), no utterances of his would show up in this column space.

How much better the world would be! How much more peaceful! That vein on your neck would stop pulsating!

No longer would we have to stand by as Smith blinked impassively at a scattering of bird droppings and then proclaimed it impressionistic art.

On Monday, having analyzed the video of his team’s woeful offensive performance against Cleveland, Lovie’s search party found a way to put the game in the most gracious terms. You were left to wonder whether he’s teaching football or Intro to Positive Self-Esteem.

“I feel good about what we’re doing offensively,” he told reporters. “There are some things we need to do a little bit better, which we’ll do and go from there.”

Since he arrived here in 2004, “and we’ll go from there” has been Smith’s stock way of saying, “Not only have I not answered you honestly, but now I’m dismissing your question and moving on to the next question that I’ll avoid.”

So why put ourselves through this? Why take it anymore?

As a public service, I pondered the possibility of never quoting the Lovester. I would take a stand against us being played for fools. I would put an end to his maddening platitudes. I would rid Chicago of the strain of repetitive eye rolling.

No longer would we have to ask ourselves, “How stupid does he think we are?”

If the purpose is to infuriate otherwise clear-thinking people, then Smith is first-team All-Pro. More from him on the offense:

“Of course we have tried to do some things differently. When things don’t work, you try to do some different things. It’s a process like it is with everything else. I’m pleased with us continuing to get down in the red zone where we are talking about the red zone.”

Get it? Don’t focus on the Bears‘ problems in the red zone, where they scored touchdowns only twice in seven tries Sunday; concentrate on the achievement of just getting into the red zone. See? We’re all winners! Now, which team mom is supposed to hand out the juice boxes this week?

The patronizing quote made me realize that ignoring him would only enable him. Not calling him on his bizarre take on reality would be to encourage him to continue to believe we’re idiots.

Smith’s philosophy seems to be that public criticism of his players serves no constructive purpose. But let’s turn it around. What do compliments accomplish when they’re not earned?

My personal thought on all this? Is it possible that Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton were not that bad? Do we have coaches that know what a game plan is? Are the players on the offensive line even pro caliber? Are we evaluating talent and bringing in guys like Omiyale as a free agent, Williams and Beekman as draft choices? Who are the backups? Kevin Shaffer? What then heck is going on? Or is it that Lovie Smith that still thinks, as he said last year, we are just playing “vanilla” and will adjust and display what we have when the time comes? According to Ron Turner, we gotta get more vanilla. Is it the players or is it the coaches that are confused? I know I am.


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