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McCaskey: Bears believe in Lovie, but the NFL is a prove-it business

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Bears chairman George McCaskey has reiterated what the front office has said since the end of last season about coach Lovie Smith: He has the franchise’s full support. But McCaskey also acknowledged that with only one playoff appearance in the last five seasons, it’s time for Smith to prove that support is justified.

Asked in a Chicago Tribune interview whether the Bears believe Smith is the right guy, McCaskey said, simply, “We do.”

“The players like to play for him,” McCaskey continued. “He’s consistent. He’s fair. He’s tough. He knows how to win.”

The Bears’ faith in Smith was on display from the beginning of their search for a new general manager, when they said they would tell all candidates for the G.M. position that they had to accept the fact that Smith would return for 2012. However, that means the 2012 season is the opportunity Smith will have to demonstrate to new G.M. Phil Emery that he’s the right man for the job. And McCaskey acknowledged that after eight years as the coach of the Bears, Smith will have to prove himself in his ninth year if he wants to make it to a tenth year.

“Lovie will be the first to tell you that everybody in the NFL is there on a prove-it basis,” McCaskey said. “From what I’ve seen, he and Phil are working very well together. We hope that shows in results on the field.”

And if the results don’t show on the field, and if the Bears miss the playoffs for the fifth time in six year, the front office will probably lose its faith in Smith, and Smith will lose his job.

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28 Responses to “McCaskey: Bears believe in Lovie, but the NFL is a prove-it business”
  1. sullijo1 says: Mar 26, 2012 10:34 AM

    Jay Cutler = Coach Killer

  2. steelcurtain9 says: Mar 26, 2012 10:42 AM

    I don’t know how much say he has in personnel, but it would help if they actually put a decent team around him. He hasn’t had a legit receiver in years. Last year they were on track, but they didn’t have a decent back up quarterback

  3. earlyjk54 says: Mar 26, 2012 10:44 AM

    Axe him! Sad coach who could of won the SB if he didnt put his faith in Grossman. You are 1 and done Lovie, enjoy your last season assclown.

  4. propertyofthebroncos says: Mar 26, 2012 10:50 AM

    Da Bears still suck! sorry Packers fans, I had to

  5. capslockkey says: Mar 26, 2012 10:56 AM

    The guy lead a team to the Superbowl with Rex Grossman as his QB. That should have bought him a good 10+ years.

  6. joenash72 says: Mar 26, 2012 10:57 AM

    I remember this article from last year, except it was about Norv Turner……

  7. clintonportisheadd says: Mar 26, 2012 11:07 AM

    “Lovie will be the first to tell you that everybody in the NFL is there on a prove-it basis,” George McCaskey said.


    Unless of course you happen to own the team thru winning the sperm lottery, right George?

  8. 4thqtrsaint says: Mar 26, 2012 11:11 AM

    I like Lovie alot, but if you are what your record says you are, he’s average… How many franchises would keep a coach for 8 years that averages just under 9 wins per season?

    I realize one man can’t do it all, and his shortcomings may just be that of the franchise. The mistakes that stand out to me are…

    1) Cutler – A weak chinned, moody version of Romo. Can put up great numbers, but will make you pull your hair out and will never win anything. If he did, it would be in spite of himself, not because he’s a great leader. Aka, the white Aaron Brooks.

    2) When will this team decide that offensive linemen and wide receivers are actual positions that need to be filled by actual football players?

    3) You have one of the best RBs in the league… A guy that IS your offense. What is the problem here? Pay Forte! See also, Saints/Brees contract stalemate for similar stupidity.

    Is this the GM & scouts or Lovie? Both?

  9. pudgalvin says: Mar 26, 2012 11:17 AM


    Lovie has had a huge say in personnel matters over the last 5 years. He’s the one that tried to sell everyone that Devin Hester was the Bears #1 receiver. He’s the one that thinks he can win with a revolving door at safety. He thinks he can win with Frank Omiyale and Chris Spencer on Cutler’s blind side.

    I’m still a Lovie guy, but this is it for him. These are his guys, and he needs to win now.

  10. chilechipotle says: Mar 26, 2012 11:23 AM

    It’s very surprising to me that Lovie is still the head coach for My Chicago Bears. I’m not a hater, but I’ve thought that he has made some bad decisions during games, even in their Superbowl season. The Bears lost that Superbowl because of bad coaching! He should have known to pull Grossman. That is one of many mistakes he has made up and through last season.

  11. pftcensorssuck says: Mar 26, 2012 11:28 AM

    Nine years with this kind of record is too long.

    Time to produce, Lovie.

  12. nflofficeadmin says: Mar 26, 2012 11:34 AM

    But Lovie hasn’t won anything, in the whole time he’s been there and the D showing signs of calcium deficiency and dementia, not to mention E.D.

  13. voiceofsweetness says: Mar 26, 2012 11:38 AM

    If Lovie can correct one thing this year I’ll be happy. For years now the Bears have to have the worst clock management and decision making when it comes to reviews. I PRAY Tice will help greatly with the clock management, and for the Lovie of god take the red flag away from Lovie or have someone upstairs determine the challanges.
    Lovie is a very solid coach for the most part and I think he finally has the right staff in place. I expect he’ll be here awhile yet.

  14. dfeltz says: Mar 26, 2012 11:50 AM

    I don’t mind Lovie coaching the Bears. The players aren’t running the asylum, they are competitive. 2 years ago they lost the NFC championship due to Martz calling a vanilla offense and then still only lost by 7 with a 3rd stringer. Last year the Bears in Week 10 were in everyone’s top 5 power rankings before Cutler got hurt again. Injuries happen. For what personnel he had to work with under Angelo, Lovie hasn’t been the problem.

  15. woodyg says: Mar 26, 2012 12:00 PM

    It’s pretty obvious the problem connected to Coach Lovie. It’s called ‘bad karma’. A dude walking around & constantly being called “Lovie” will never be a winner. (It’s even worse than a ‘boy named Sue’)

    He needs to change his name to ‘Lenny’ or ‘Larry’ or even ‘Lazarus’. Anything but Lovie. —– Last I heard Lovie was still stranded on a desert isle with Gulligan.

  16. chidiehard says: Mar 26, 2012 12:08 PM

    Nobody can deny that if the O-line improves, Lovie will have almost all the tools in place to produce a playoff birth this year. I haven’t been this hopefully/excited about a season in years, and we haven’t even hit the draft yet! While I agree Lovie needs to show major results in 2012, I’m glad he’s coming back. The man possesses a fair amount of solid qualities many coaches simply don’t have. I remain faithful in him as our coach, but if he can’t make it happen this year, then yes, it’ll be time to send him packing. . .

  17. cgalaxy says: Mar 26, 2012 12:10 PM

    voiceofsweetness says:
    Mar 26, 2012 11:38 AM
    If Lovie can correct one thing this year I’ll be happy. For years now the Bears have to have the worst clock management and decision making when it comes to reviews. I PRAY Tice will help greatly with the clock management, and for the Lovie of god take the red flag away from Lovie or have someone upstairs determine the challanges.
    Lovie is a very solid coach for the most part and I think he finally has the right staff in place. I expect he’ll be here awhile yet.


    I haven’t watched much Bears football the past few years, but Lovie has to be pretty awful at challenges to top Marvin Lewis. See the challenges in the Bengals’ playoffs games this past season and two seasons ago just for some of the best examples. Just flat-out terrible decisions.

  18. johnnyru131 says: Mar 26, 2012 12:10 PM

    I have a video posted of me ranting about Lovie. It’s called , “Best Lovie smith rant ever”. I’m in a green shirt.

  19. mialto says: Mar 26, 2012 12:12 PM

    Interesting, I have to prove myself everyday at work…would be nice if I justified my job every few years!

  20. vikingdoode says: Mar 26, 2012 12:37 PM

    I personally think Lovie is a good coach and his players seem to respond to him…. I don’t hate the Bears just like to see my Vikes beat them. Packers on the other hand… anyone plays them Im a fan of…Now the Lions with the puss of a coach cry about everything but then rub it in your face at a moments notice…Another team to root against.

  21. jrosenbaum says: Mar 26, 2012 1:26 PM

    It would been kind of unfair to fire Lovie after last season. There was no way that the Bears were going to make the playoffs without Cutler or Forte – and unless he personally injured both of them he shouldn’t get the blame. If the team doesn’t produce this year though, it’s time to cut Lovie loose. And this is coming from a Bears fan.

  22. bearsstillsuck says: Mar 26, 2012 1:32 PM

    Of course the bears will miss the playoffs, they’re the third best team in the division.

  23. hatasgonnahate says: Mar 26, 2012 2:12 PM

    Hope Lovie does something this year, I would like to see him stick around. I would be more sorry to see him go than Jerry Angelo.

    But if this year isn’t so good, then it is about time for a change.

  24. voiceofsweetness says: Mar 26, 2012 4:36 PM

    If somehow it doesn’t work for Lovie this year, I think if he was open to running a 4-3 defense a certain Bill Cowher would look brilliant with his scowl on the sideline.

  25. johnnyru131 says: Mar 26, 2012 8:09 PM

    No Lovie shouldn’t be fired, because it “wasn’t” his decision to keep Hanie as the backup qb. Wow you guys are out of touch with reality. Lovie should have been fired. Fail!

  26. sportysport13 says: Mar 28, 2012 3:56 AM

    ive always liked lovie smith as coach for my bears…but it cant go without saying,.there is one thing that he does that gets me so flippin mad, i have to take a valium to calm down at times…for instance, something happens. a turnover, an inexcusabe play, a throwing everything i can grab at my flat screen,(even knocked it off the wall once) and theres same ol lovie, standing there with no emotion, cmon man, get on some one, yell at some one, wether its the player that turned it over or a ref that called a bad some emotion lovie, i think i would love bill cowher for his pure emotion alone.

  27. sportysport13 says: Mar 28, 2012 4:10 AM

    every one keeps saying it wasnt his fault that cuttler and forte got hurt, no ones mentioning thier best reciever johnny knox getting bent backwards in the worst way..but injurys in the nfl arent excusable, i believe somebody wasnt doing a good job in evaluating good back up talent, and i blame angelo for that, but how much imput did lovie have in what angelo did in past drafts and free agency??? guess thats what happends when u draft horrible and in FR u dont add talent just depth with mediocre players

  28. lilmiddle78 says: Mar 29, 2012 2:10 AM

    It’s my opinion that this is a case in which the whole story is not told in the win/loss column.. Lovie has been the best possible coach for the identity of this team! Someone said that he needs to get in faces & yell & stomp around, his “steady as she goes” attitude & his calm demeanor can be seen in the play of his team in some very good ways.

    Of course I think that there have been some missed opportunities in past seasons. He also has not always had enough talent in enough positions to cash in on some of those opportunities. Let’s all remember that for a long time he wasn’t really given the chance to go out and participate in free agency. Now that the Bears have spent the last 3 years being “Go Getters” in free agency and have made a couple block buster trades, the team is on the doorstep!! Not just the doorstep of the playoffs but the SuperBowl!! Last season was shaping up to be special when things went off the rails & 2010 was special. I expect Massive Success for this team in the next 3 to 5 years and I expect championships will be the end result!

    Now if Lovie’s Bears can’t get into the playoffs this season then he should be on a hot seat, but I’ll be the first one to say don’t fire him due to lack of results only to find out that your new coach is a down grade to the consistant leader that was getting so close.. Bill Cowher would be a great Bear Head Coach, but what if they end up with a Todd Haley or an Eric Mangini type?!?!?! Be careful what you wish for!! Steady As She Goes!!

    Not that it much matters, after the success of the 2012 season Lovie will likely sign another new deal and be the Bears coach for another 8 years..

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