Demand should be higher for Lovie Smith


Seven coaching vacancies currently exist.  (That number could soon be six.)  The guy whose termination created one of them — former Bears coach Lovie Smith — reportedly has drawn interest for only two of them.

The demand should be higher.

Smith led the Bears for nine years, taking them to a Super Bowl and, in recent years, making the most he could out of substandard personnel — especially on the offensive line.  Though every team must at some point in a season find a way to overcome injuries, the Bears had plenty in 2011 and 2012, wiping out strong starts.  (The absence of a quality backup quarterback in 2011 didn’t help.)

And so, with all the focus on a coach whose Dream Team easily could have been 1-15 or 0-16 in 2012, Smith has been overlooked, for the most part.  He’ll reportedly interview with the Bills, and the Chargers now also have interest.

For the former, Smith could pump up an underperforming 4-3 defense.  The challenge would be finding the right person to run the offense — and the right quarterback to throw the passes.  As to the latter, Smith would have to decide whether to continue with the 3-4 defense that the roster has been built to support, or to install his 4-3 approach.

Regardless, San Diego becomes intriguing because a stout defense to go with a franchise quarterback on offense could be the right formula for success.

That’s why Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who based on his history could indeed be looking discreetly for an upgrade at the coaching position, should be considering Smith.  Given Jones’ new focus on “fundamentals,” Smith’s fundamentally sound defense coupled with an offensive coordinator who can get the most out of Tony Romo could be exactly what the Cowboys need.

It could be exactly what Smith, a Texas native, needs, too.

55 responses to “Demand should be higher for Lovie Smith

  1. Smith and Norv Turner as OC in Dallas could work. If Smith had Norv as his OC in Chicago, then Smith would still be employed there. But if Smith does land a HC job for next season then I think he needs to be able to bring someone like Norv along as his OC. Smith without a good OC will just be a repeat of Chicago, which was a few good seasons mixed in with a lot of disappointing ones.

  2. Problem with your theory is Smith runs a Tampa 2. Dallas has a 3/4. Or are you thinking they’ll just revamp the defense and not upgrade the offensive line again?

  3. … ‘And so, with all the focus on a coach whose Dream Team easily could have been 1-15 or 0-16 in 2012, Smith has been overlooked, for the most part.’ ….

    What does this mean?

  4. don’t know, florio…i think he could use a couple more seasons as a DC to a very strong offensive team and then trying the HC gig again

  5. the guy is strictly a defensive coach and should never have anything to do with offense. the chargers defense will instantly improve and rivers will have the worst year of his career. yes he had a poor offensive line the last 3 years but his offense always sucked with the bears. his idea of offense was kick a field goal to get the lead and let the defense do the rest. he is the man who hired the incompetent fools to run the bears offense and call the plays. he took one of the best young qb’s in the league when the bears got Cutler and ruined him. by putting him in schemes that never let him do what he did best in denver.

  6. Out of town stupid.

    Did Lovie win some games? yes. Did he win any big games? maybe 5 the whole 9 years he was in Chicago.

    The man went through 5 OC’s and none of them worked.

    Why did the Bears fire him?

    Because he couldnt get to the next level.

  7. Lovie doesn’t know offense, and that’s what teams want Mike! Chip Kelly, O’Brien, Wisenhunt, Jon Gruden, Holmgren, Reid, Haley… ALL Offensive coaches!

  8. the best way to describe lovie’s tenure here was “solid”. just like his cover 2, solid. they beat the crappy teams, lost to the good teams, and always had the excuse of jerry angelo being a terrible GM to deflect criticism from himself. he’s a lot like cutler, better than a bunch, not as good as the best, and you can definitely see scenarios where they both finally put it together and win.

  9. Lovie’s a very good coach, but if anyone is hiring him, they need to know what his offensive plans are, and they need thorough information. There was simply too much commotion on offense, particularly at the coordinator spot. You pair Lovie Smith with say, Norv Turner as OC, and I would have a lot of faith in that franchise’s ability to improve.

  10. Between livid and Horton, the owners are easily covering their Rooney obligations. 7 teams looking? There will be 7 interviews between the 2 of them.

  11. So I guess the Cowboys could hire Lovie Smith as the Defensive Coordinator to bring new emphasis to “Fundamentals”, while Jason Garrett continues as Head Coach and Offensive coordinator who “gets the most out of Romo”. Secondly.. What are you implying with “Demand should be higher for Lovie Smith”? Are you saying there is a racist element in play here?

  12. I must disagree. How many opportunities should this guy get after missing the playoffs 5 or the last 6 years? How many coaches are still employed today that have that track record? I get it. Lovie is a good man and his players liked him. But it was time to for him to go.

  13. The Bills have run a 4-3 for nearly 1 and a half seasons, not a 3-4. Their team is mostly set for the 4-3, as it was never really set for a 3-4 anyway. Get it right Florio.

  14. IF the Cardinals hire Ray as their HC, how cool would it be to have Lovie Smith as the DC. With a D that good who needs an offense.

  15. Great defensive coach and his players play hard..but can’t pick an offensive coordinator to save his life..I disagree there should be more interest in the guy..with the league slanting the rules towards the offense so much and having consistency in offensive scheme so important it makes more sense to have an offensive minded head coach especially one that calls his own plays versus defensive. Plus Lovie doesn’t coach 3-4s that is not what the Tampa 2 is so that is another limitation. Maybe the Bills, or Carolina or JAX if they open up. Don’t see a fit at zona and it looks like Clev and Phi want “offensive” coaches.

  16. This guy went to the Superbowl with Rex Grossman as his QB.

    That should be the first line on his resume.

    The ‘4-3’ defense could be figured out and people might know how to outplay it — but Smith knows it inside out and it’s ALWAYS worked for him.

    I don’t see him coaching the Cowboys though.

  17. Yeah, that is just what Jerry Jones and the Cowboys need, a head coach and system designed to take a team to .500, but never be good enough to be legitimate contenders for a national championship.

    Lovie Smith was instrumental in many of the decisions leading to the “sub-standard” talent he worked with, while maintaining deniability should his decisions not pan out,

    Likewise, in his eight years as head coach, nearly 28 assistant coaches were let go (nearly none being hired by other teams) as scapegoats to divert attention from his own coaching limitations or game day miscues.

    Lovie Smith belongs on a team whose expectations are limited to nine wins per season with no championship aspirations. In other words, Buffalo is the perfect place for failed Bears’ coaches to reside.

  18. “Dream Team” era not included…

    Andy Reid is a better coach.

    his track record is on the cusp of HoF-worthy, the Eggles were good for a decade under him.

    Lovie’s has been on and off the hot seat for a long time. and despite being known as a “defensive minded coach”, he doesn’t call the plays.

  19. I’d take him in Dallas as D-coord but that would mean switching to 4-3 and overhauling personnel, which would be another 2 year project.

  20. The team finished 10-6. There are 19 teams out there that could use him. The Bears were stupid to fire him and any team that doesn’t make a run at him deserves what they get.

  21. Can we please stop saying the Eagles were “really” a 10-6 team? I hate Reid with a passion, but this is the NFL, a win is a win, no matter how you get it.

    If we’re playing this game, my Panthers “really” were 10-6, only two bull PI calls, and a dropped pass away. “Really”

  22. Lovie’s a class act all the way and an above average coach. That doesn’t mean he’ll win you a Super Bowl. He’s got that Dennis Green ‘good-but-not-great’ thing going on.

  23. I’m sorry but how in the hell can you say the bears could have easily been 1-15 or 0-16 with players like forte, cutler, b Marshall, Tim Jennings, peppers, Tillman and so on. The bears were a good team this year an lovie was not a good coach. Many terrible calls were made this season and you never saw lovie argue, hed sit there with a blank stare on his face showing no emotion. Lovie is terrible

  24. The bears just never seemed committed to building an offense during lovies 9 years, that is probably the reason for the lack of interest. They go get cutler in 09, then they wait three years before they bring in any help at WR and the line that needed to be fixed in 07 still isn’t fixed. All while using draft pick after draft pick on safeties and the dl

  25. Anybody that gets a NFL head coaching gig would have a track record as a “good coach.” But if you were just fired for years of non-playoff mediocrity, why would I hire you to coach my team? I just fired a guy exactly like you.

  26. Well the rams just fired Blake Williams and are letting Greg Williams walk, so I’d love to see Lovie end up coming back to St. Louis. he was a favorite here and everyone hated seeing him go. With that being said he deserves a head coaching job somewhere, he’s a good coach and an even better guy.

  27. It’s simple: hiring guys like Lovie Smith doesn’t fire up fan bases. Defense first coaches who’ve had mostly dreary offenses for most of their tenures are not the dream candidate for teams looking to change their culture.

    Fair, maybe not. But true.

  28. the demand will come from a team not serious about making the playoffs, He will make a team intresting, competitive, and they will win regular season games.

    Buffalo, Cleveland, San Diego fit that bill, he would be good for those teams.

  29. San Diego has fewer playmakers on either side of the ball than Chicago. Lovie should be able to go 4-12 there and make their fans miss Norv’s intensity.

  30. I am not sure why people have this opinion. Lovie Smith was a poor game manager, and 2 of the 3 elements of the game; offense and special teams suffered due to his nonchalance. The emphasis on the defense scoring is a symptom of the inability of the offense to score. He had 4 chances to select an offensive coordinator over his tenure in Chicago and failed miserably. Second Chance as a Head Coach, I think not. D-Coordinator. I can see that.

  31. He’s a class act, and the players love him, but his offenses were terrible. Yes, when you’re head coach, you’re accountable for the offense, too.

  32. kittencoil says:
    Jan 4, 2013 1:03 AM
    Out of town stupid.

    Did Lovie win some games? yes. Did he win any big games? maybe 5 the whole 9 years he was in Chicago.


    One of those five games was a SUPER BOWL.

    One of those every ten years isn’t a bad track record for a team.

  33. The Bears won the Super Bowl with Lovie?

    Kittencoils says”Did Lovie win some games? yes. Did he win any big games? maybe 5 the whole 9 years he was in Chicago.


    One of those five games was a SUPER BOWL.”

  34. How cute …. a blogger purporting to know more than 32 NFL Owner’s and GM’s.

    If Lovie Smith were that desirable, he’d be signing a contract right now, not having you shill for his job.

  35. steelerben says:Jan 4, 2013 10:53 AM

    One of those five games was a SUPER BOWL.

    One of those every ten years isn’t a bad track record for a team.
    It would be, in New England 😉

  36. After Mularkey, Jauron, and Gailey I would take Lovie Smith or Whisenhunt without a problem in Buffalo

  37. Not a chance…

    As long as Demarcus Ware is on the Cowboys roster, no coach that likes to run anything other than a 3-4 defense will be considered.

  38. To everyone saying Lovie should hire Norv turner should he get a new head coaching gig: I’m not sure Norv would be jumping at the chance to work for the guy who just a few years ago fired his brother

  39. The Smith scenario is similar to Ditka getting hired by Papa Bear Halas. Whoever hires Smith as a HC must choose the the OC and with no rebuttal from or authority over the OC given to Smith. The way Ditka had to live with Buddy Ryan. Interestingly they did well together, much better than they subsequently did apart. Same for Lovie as with Mike. HC with no say so on the OC status.

  40. Lovie’s track record in Chicago makes it clear he needs to look for a job as a defensive coordinator. When it was time to make Cutler produce, when it came to working on O-line draft picks, when it was time to make sure Cutler had a capable back-up, when the linebackers were starting to apply for Social Security and most often when communicating with the press and fans Lovie was reported as not present. He got the most out of his defense but was lost on the rest of the job as a head coach. If you can’t multi-task stick to your strong suit.

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