Lovie Smith had roughly an hour to enjoy his contract extension. Then he had to face the media here in Indianapolis.
Instead of a congratulatory feel to the news, Smith faced a question about why the extension was only for two years. (Like Florio predicted.)
We can sympathize with Smith. He was put in a difficult position, especially when he was asked perhaps unfairly if he feels that this is another “make or break” season for him because of the short length of the extension.
Smith reacted defensively, obviously annoyed. He repeated that he still had three years left on his contract and that he was comfortable.
The reality is that only a few coaches are not year-to-year. “Security” in the NFL is as good as your next win-loss record.
To lighten the mood, I asked him why he didn’t let offensive line coach Mike Tice interview with the Titans for their coordinator job.
“As a general rule, I’d like to see our guys advance anytime they can. But there’s a deadline . . . it was a little bit late in the game,” Smith said. “Mike is O.K. It’s not like we were keeping things secret or anything. Mike’s excited about being on our staff. The timing wasn’t right for our team.”
UPDATE: Video of the proceedings Friday.