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Lovie Smith plans to sit out 2013 season

Lovie Smith Pic Getty Images

Although the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles have defensive coordinator openings and ex-Bears coach Lovie Smith would be a respectable choice for either job, Smith’s plans for 2013 reportedly don’t involve coaching in the NFL.

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Smith plans to sit out the upcoming season and return as a head coach in 2014.

Fired by the Bears on the morning of December 31, Smith spent nine years as Chicago’s head coach, compiling an 84-66 regular season record with three NFC North championships and one Super Bowl trip. Sitting out a full season and returning in a top job is often easier said than done, but Jeff Fisher did it in 2012 and it’s obviously not impossible.

Smith will be 56 years old when the 2014 season starts. He is three months younger than Fisher.

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71 Responses to “Lovie Smith plans to sit out 2013 season”
  1. glorybquick says: Jan 28, 2013 12:32 PM

    Lovie got a raw deal, not a Bears fan, but there are a LOT of coaches that would have loved a 10-6 record. Just saying

  2. coltzfan166 says: Jan 28, 2013 12:34 PM

    There were seven head coaching job opportunities (not counting the Bears) this offseason, and Lovie didn’t draw much interest. There probably won’t be as many next season, and he’s sure he’ll be a head coach next year?

  3. jjpt4540 says: Jan 28, 2013 12:37 PM

    It’s not a choice is no wants wants you.

  4. gpry says: Jan 28, 2013 12:38 PM

    I don’t think that he has a choice.

  5. countduku says: Jan 28, 2013 12:39 PM

    Seems like he knows he’ll soon be the head coach of the dallas cowboys. just waiting one more year for garrett to fail again, jones not to owe him so much money, then lovie smith will have his dream job of being back home to coach the cowboys. lovie is still one one the highest paid coaches in the league next year whether he coaches or not thanks to the bears. a perfect fit for the cowboys.

  6. bbillsfan01 says: Jan 28, 2013 12:42 PM

    I told my boss, I’m sitting out 2013 and coming back as the CEO
    Seriously, Lovie should have taken the Saints gig and maybe learned something from Sean Payton on how to select a knowledgeable OC.

  7. geauxjay says: Jan 28, 2013 12:42 PM

    Saints are moving to a 3-4 and do you think Lovie Smith would be the DC for a Chip Kelly team?

    Yeah, he’s not coaching this year.

  8. minnesconsin says: Jan 28, 2013 12:43 PM

    I wish GB would fire Capers and let Lovie take a crack. Good improvement in numbers/stats this year, but that D has been soft for too long.

    Kind of blasphemy, but it’s how I feel.

  9. elliottcovert says: Jan 28, 2013 12:43 PM

    There’s really no reason why someone with enough mental endurance can’t be a head coach as long as they’re not feeble. I hope Lovie gets antoher shot in 2014, he was a very underappriciated coach in Chi Town and a class act all the way.

  10. daysend564 says: Jan 28, 2013 12:44 PM

    As he crosses his fingers that Garrett’s seasons implodes…

  11. td30 says: Jan 28, 2013 12:44 PM

    smart. I think he’s a good coach who got a bad rap for missing the playoffs for reasons out of his control. Last year, no coach wouldve won with their starting QB and RB out..then this year the injuries on defense piled up and still had a good record.

    I see him with the cowboys if garrett doesn’t get into the playoffs

  12. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 28, 2013 12:47 PM

    That works in well with the 32 NFL Teams’ plans not to hire him.

  13. metalhead65 says: Jan 28, 2013 12:47 PM

    he would make a good coach for a team that has a offense if he is told not to touch it and focus only on everything else with team. the man has no clue when it comes to offense and that was the reason the bears got rid of him.

  14. marcinhouston says: Jan 28, 2013 12:48 PM

    If Sean Payton has a good year, it could improve the market for head coaches who just sat out a season.

  15. leo133074 says: Jan 28, 2013 12:50 PM

    Rex grossman is our quarterback

  16. nerddad says: Jan 28, 2013 12:51 PM

    That’s a good choice. I, too, have chosen to sit out the 2013 season and return in 2014 as head coach, quarterback and billionaire playboy.

  17. whatnojets says: Jan 28, 2013 12:51 PM

    He’s Head Coach for thr Jets in waiting!

  18. kcflake says: Jan 28, 2013 12:52 PM

    Can’t blame him. I don’t see how people like Doug Marrone, Marc Trestman, Gus Bradley, Bruce Arians and Mike Mccoy are getting HC jobs and Lovie can’t. I am a Chiefs fan and am excited about Andy Reid. If we hadn’t gotten Reid, I would have wanted Lovie Smith as our HC.

  19. kwalk4780 says: Jan 28, 2013 12:52 PM

    respect guys like Jack Del Rio and Ken Wisenhunt, who are basically coaching for free while still on the payroll from their former employers. Shows their true desire to teach the game of football. Looks like Lovie is too hurt that he got fired and is assuming that he will have a head coaching offer next year.

  20. jcmeyer10 says: Jan 28, 2013 12:54 PM

    Can’t hate the guy for playing the hand he was dealt the best way possible.

    A year is a lot of time for other coaches to have a hot seat catch on fire.

  21. rextraordinaire says: Jan 28, 2013 12:55 PM

    Lovie is from Texas, and wants to come home. That is all that needs to be said here. Jason Garrett might as well put his house up for sale now.

  22. djteknision1200 says: Jan 28, 2013 12:57 PM

    Still trying to figure out how Andy Reid got a job so fast and this gentlman is still unempolyed after a winning season.

  23. gochargersgo says: Jan 28, 2013 12:59 PM

    glorybquick says:Jan 28, 2013 12:32 PM

    “Lovie got a raw deal, not a Bears fan, but there are a LOT of coaches that would have loved a 10-6 record. Just saying”

    Yea man. Now he has to sit out and get paid 5 million to relax all year. Poor thing.

  24. wardawg42 says: Jan 28, 2013 1:00 PM

    The Cowboys should bring in Lovie. Would be the first smart thing they do in years. Then if they miss the playoffs again with Garrett they can get rid of him and promote Lovie.

  25. daflabear says: Jan 28, 2013 1:03 PM

    He is finished.
    He might get a sniff as a DC next year but I even doubt that.
    I suspect he will end up as a head Coach in the College ranks.
    He really is a nice guy but not a championship head coach.

  26. wludford says: Jan 28, 2013 1:07 PM

    Just about every team with a HC vacancy this year was looking for an offensive mind. That left Lovie high and dry.

    He could have taken a DC position, but in some ways that makes it harder to get a HC job later- being perceived as spent as a HC.

  27. goraidersgospurs says: Jan 28, 2013 1:07 PM

    He is only 56 & looks younger then Ed Reed!!

  28. gobears84 says: Jan 28, 2013 1:09 PM

    Anyone who does not follow the Bears and cant understand why Lovie was let go needs to spend more time on their own team. In nine years, the bears went through 27 coaching staff changes, four offensive coordinators, and had only one season where the offense wasnt in the bottom 10 teams in the league- not to mention his losing record against +.500 teams.

    Lovie is a great person and a solid coach, but his approach to football is somewhat archaic, defense doesnt win championships anymore and it certainly didnt get the Bears into the playoffs. If he’s smart and humbled by this experience he will take the year to study offensive schemes and make some new contacts in the event he gets a HC job next year.

  29. lionsfan2014 says: Jan 28, 2013 1:09 PM

    oh yeah, they were HIS plans.

  30. iowahbr says: Jan 28, 2013 1:10 PM

    Love know defense and defensive players. all the other issues of being a head coach involving draft selection, press and fan PR, and working with the GM on trades and staffing seems beyond him. Only time will tell if he gets another shot at a head coach slot.

  31. davidb67 says: Jan 28, 2013 1:10 PM

    It’s funny to read comments from people wishing Lovie was your teams head coach; Bears fan’s have been wishing he was your coach for the last 5 seasons. If you’re excited about mediocrity with no hope of a Super Bowl win, then Lovie’s your man! Before you hop on his 10-6 record, do some legwork on his 10-6 record; it was built on weak teams and when faced with competition, the Bears got beat badly. At the end of the day, GM’s realize that Smith is not capable of developing players, recognizing talent, executing sound in-game coaching decisions, and is TOTALLY clueless when it comes to anything to do with somebody besides the defense scoring touchdowns.

  32. therealtrenches says: Jan 28, 2013 1:10 PM

    This guy’s defenses are ALWAYS very good to excellent.

    Over the past 8 seasons as Bears HC he only had 2 losing seasons.

    And Lovie was 10-6 this year, a hair away from another playoff appearance, with a patchwork o-line.

    Meanwhile, in the same time span, Andy Reid has only been a handful of games above .500. This year, Andy could have easily been 0-16; his wins were nail-biters that could have gone either way, but his losses were mostly blowouts.

    But Andy was the first guy hired while Lovie has to wait around for another turn.

    I don’t get it. I just….don’t….get it.

  33. edithpiaf51 says: Jan 28, 2013 1:11 PM

    I truly think that Lovie Smith got a raw deal. I am still wondering why he got fired. Some say he is not good on offensive coaching but yet he still had a 10 and 6 record like many other teams. I am confused and I think it is unfair. I am not a Bears fan, i am a giants and broncos fan but I can see things objectively.

  34. bigbadal21 says: Jan 28, 2013 1:12 PM

    I do not consider myself lazy but any coaching job in the NFL is not easy.It involves long hours and high pressure. I certainly would not work for free which is what Lovie would be doing. I would also take the year off to enjoy life and recharge my batteries.

  35. danno1212 says: Jan 28, 2013 1:17 PM

    Yea, like it’s his choice. If it was, why did he interview with Buffalo?

  36. 1oldpro says: Jan 28, 2013 1:21 PM

    He is a good coach. That is a decent record. If he is going to be paid a head coach’s salary for resting for a year, that is smart. I don’t know if he was still under contract when fired.
    Next year he can wait for the best offer.

  37. jimiinpa says: Jan 28, 2013 1:23 PM

    like he has a choice in the matter

  38. benroethlisberger7 says: Jan 28, 2013 1:23 PM

    No one wanted him.

  39. dabears2485 says: Jan 28, 2013 1:23 PM

    Smith wasn’t fired for being a bad coach. He was fired because he couldn’t get over “the hump.” Mike Sherman was fired for the same reason in GB. He had 9 years to build the kind of competitive offense that they needed to win consistently. If your defense has to score TDs to win, there’s something wrong. Good coach. Good man. But sometimes it’s just time to move on. It was a good fire. We’ll see if Trestman was worth it.

  40. illinininer says: Jan 28, 2013 1:30 PM

    Taking a year off doesn’t make you a better coach. I’m a Lovie Smith fan, but why not take the opportunity to be a DC somewhere and take a look at how another coach runs his team, get a different perspective, work with different coaches. Seems counterproductive to sit at home while the league evolves through another season.

  41. uwsptke says: Jan 28, 2013 1:32 PM

    Depending on if his contranct had any salary offset language (like Crennel reportedly did), he wouldn’t gain anything financially by becoming a DC.

    In any event, he’s probably wise to let his resume speak for itself and recharge his batteries. He really can’t improve his chances at a job next year by becoming a DC this year. What if he took the Eagles job, they go 5-11 with the 20th ranked defense? Think anyone is going to be knocking on his door then?

  42. bearasstruth says: Jan 28, 2013 1:34 PM

    Lovie is arrogant as hell ! The only way he get hired in 2014 as a HC is in Dallas, Jets, or Lions. He is a good DC candidate. Plus Lovie is making the Bears pay him the full $5.5 million of his contract.

  43. bearfan34 says: Jan 28, 2013 1:36 PM

    He’s a nice coach to get your team to the playoffs. He will never win in them, however. His in game management is nothing short of awful. Horrible challenge flags, lack of adjustments, poor clock management. Check out his record against teams with winning records sometime. I doubt many of you will as impressed as you are now.

    He had his shot in Chicago, it was time to move on. 3 playoffs appearances in 9 years isn’t good enough. Not that I’m sold on who they selected to replace him.

  44. sfkforever says: Jan 28, 2013 1:40 PM

    Return to coach??? uh nobody wants him….

  45. rajbais says: Jan 28, 2013 1:41 PM

    He got screwed. Granted, he needs to make friends with creative offensive minds, but it’s stupid to see the Tampa 2 come to Dallas and Jacksonville, but Lovie was offered no job???

    Lovie to Dallas in 2014???

    Lovie with Steve Spagnuolo/Mike Zimmer-type schemes and an OC like Greg Roman or Darrell Bevell or a short area passing game coordinator?

    Those would be ways for him to be better than ever.

  46. rufustfireflyjr says: Jan 28, 2013 1:42 PM

    elliottcovert says:
    Jan 28, 2013 12:43 PM

    “There’s really no reason why someone with enough mental endurance can’t be a head coach as long as they’re not feeble.”

    ??? I’m pretty sure it takes more to be an NFL head coach than mental endurance and not being “feeble.”

  47. comeonnowguys says: Jan 28, 2013 1:53 PM

    “I am a Chiefs fan and am excited about Andy Reid.”

    Jaws? Is that you? “Call me crazy, but I’m excited to see Tyler Palko.”

    Anyway, Lovie is a class act, and I wish him the best going forward, but it was past time. His defense is aging quickly, and he has shown absolutely no offensive aptitude in an age where good offenses gets you wins and wins get you in the playoffs.

    (Of course you can’t completely ignore defense, as the SB participants have proven)

    Give him the right personnel and most teams would be thrilled to have him as a DC.

  48. Canned Heat says: Jan 28, 2013 2:02 PM

    kwalk4780 says:Jan 28, 2013 12:52 PM

    respect guys like Jack Del Rio and Ken Wisenhunt, who are basically coaching for free while still on the payroll from their former employers. Shows their true desire to teach the game of football. Looks like Lovie is too hurt that he got fired and is assuming that he will have a head coaching offer next year.
    __________________________________

    If I’m not mistaken, they aren’t on the complete dime of the team prior that they worked for. They are compensated from the former team minus what they are making for the new team. The only way they get all the money from prior contract is to sit out of football.

  49. thebadguyswon says: Jan 28, 2013 2:09 PM

    Once these overhyped college coaches fail, the teams will come back to the experienced NFL coaches.

  50. frankfordyellowjackets says: Jan 28, 2013 2:10 PM

    Go to Philly!

  51. vicnocal says: Jan 28, 2013 2:11 PM

    Don’t let his “Aww shucks” Southern drawl fool you. This guy has the ego of Belichick…with none of the rings.

  52. shorttracknews says: Jan 28, 2013 2:11 PM

    Most of the people sticking up for Lovie must not be from Chicago. As a lifelong Bears fan it was frustrating as hell to watch him every year. Yes we had a winning record this year but we started 7-1 and missed the playoffs. All of the teams/coaching flaws showed up 2nd half of the season when the schedule got tougher. In 2011 we started 7-3 and AGAIN, missed the playoffs…mainly because Lovie thought Caleb Hanie was a serviceable backup QB.

  53. shlort says: Jan 28, 2013 2:14 PM

    I dont think it is a situation where Lovie didnt draw any interest. I think Lovie is thinking a year off will get him back to 100% charged up. I didnt hear his name tossed around for any HC jobs. That leads me to believe he told his agent he was good sitting back and drawing his Bears salary next season. So, when teams called, Lovies agent told them that Lovie wasn’t looking this year, but thanks.

    Lovie will be a prospect next season. He is too good a coach to evaporate from football. He is probably already on top of some lists for next season. Teams that thought about firing their HC after last season but decided to give them one more shot. Those teams are probably counting the days until their HC spot opens up so they can get Lovie in there.

    Bottom line is probably this more han anything. Lovie didnt want to go coach somewhere when the team doing the hiring has trash management or poor rosters. He probably knows where he wants to land, and is just biding his time until a couple decent gigs open up.

  54. iowahbr says: Jan 28, 2013 2:16 PM

    Am I the only Bear fan who thought Lovie spent the last 9 years sitting the season out on the Bear’s sideline?

  55. jrock3x8 says: Jan 28, 2013 2:54 PM

    unless all of these offensive coaching hires fail miserably, lovie smith will not be a head coach any time soon. you have to score to win and Lovie’s Bears never scored enough to win consistently.

  56. cowboy88 says: Jan 28, 2013 3:10 PM

    Cowboys 2014 Plan:

    Plan A: Jon Gruden
    Plan B: Lovie Smith

    Bye Bye to Boy Wonder, the Redheaded Genius.

  57. thejuddstir says: Jan 28, 2013 3:14 PM

    Not a Bear’s fan either, but I too believe Lovie got a raw deal in Chitown. I couldn’t see Lovie going to Eagles and working under a rookie college coach on a team that needs a complete overhaul and Lovie has too much class to go to work for the saints* so he decided to take a year off. NFL insiders and coaches know a lot more about what is going on and about specific players, coaches and owners etc. and I told friends when the first news broke about possibility of Lovie going to New Orleans that there was no way that was going to happen. Lovie knows to what extent a bounty was in place, who was responsible etc., he knows about Payton’s addiction etc. and he wasn’t going to Nawlins come hell or high water.

  58. howiehandles says: Jan 28, 2013 3:17 PM

    “Lovie got a raw deal, not a Bears fan, but there are a LOT of coaches that would have loved a 10-6 record. Just saying”

    Missed playoffs 5 of last 6 seasons. The Bears were plenty patient, as he was there 9 years. Time for a change.

  59. danno1212 says: Jan 28, 2013 3:18 PM

    shlort says:Jan 28, 2013 2:14 PM

    I dont think it is a situation where Lovie didnt draw any interest. I think Lovie is thinking a year off will get him back to 100% charged up. I didnt hear his name tossed around for any HC jobs. That leads me to believe he told his agent he was good sitting back and drawing his Bears salary next season. So, when teams called, Lovies agent told them that Lovie wasn’t looking this year, but thanks.

    He interviewed for the Bills! Do you think he just did it to help them satisfy the Rooney rule or somthing? No one wanted him plain and simple.

  60. iowahbr says: Jan 28, 2013 3:20 PM

    This is not about race. Inability to get plays in, poor use of timeouts and challenges, constant staff turnover, the world’s worst post-game press conferences, poor draft choices and (with a few exceptions) no ability to use trades to solve team issues like the o-line problems of the last 4 years. What team are all these Lovie supporters looking at and just what do they think a HC should be doing besides looking for turnovers?

  61. countduku says: Jan 28, 2013 3:20 PM

    Teams that will have HC vacancies next year seem much more attractive than this years: Next year: Cowboys, Jets, Lions, with good possibilities of teams like the Redskins, Packers, Giants, Steelers, Minnesota, or Atlanta, all depending on which of those teams have a bad season or falter quickly in the playoffs. Lovie will be among the top choices of many of those teams looking.

  62. stew48 says: Jan 28, 2013 4:01 PM

    I have dutifully read the comments above; thanks for the many laughs. A couple of things to remember include Mike Ditka’s team not scoring many points and a promise that the Steelers will not be looking for a head coach for 2014.

  63. furious76 says: Jan 28, 2013 4:04 PM

    It’s nice to plan to sit out the first year of your forced retirement. I can see no reason why anyone would hire this guy again, horrible coach.

  64. wipemysweatjackoff says: Jan 28, 2013 4:11 PM

    No one wants a hack wannbe HC who thinks their more successful than what they reall y are – Gruden, Cowher, Dungy, Smith etc.

  65. wipemysweatjackoff says: Jan 28, 2013 4:17 PM

    Cowboys 2014 Plan –

    Sure as hell doesn’t include Gruden or Smith or Cowher in the Cowboys plan.

    The best move that JJ did was allow Garrett to be a walk around coach – and by the way Kiffin and Gruden hate each other since the weay Tampa was left in shambles – the other Tampa coaches were Dungy’s crew and have no loyalty to Gruden and why didn’t any of Rob Ryan’s boys follow him to St. Louis because they are Garrett’s boys now.

  66. filthymcnasty1 says: Jan 28, 2013 5:55 PM

    The entire Bears team sat out the last half of this season, so as a practical matter it’s not much of a change in status.

  67. willyshock says: Jan 28, 2013 7:17 PM

    So the people who fired him are on the hook for 100 grand a week if Lovie decides to hang out on the golf course instead of taking a coordinator job. I’d pick the golf course too.

  68. bamagirl33 says: Jan 28, 2013 10:13 PM

    I feel like the Bears could have had a perfect mix with Trestman as the OC and Lovie as head coach for the next year.

  69. damadgreek says: Jan 29, 2013 1:24 AM

    Lovie wasnt a bad coach. He wasnt a great coach either. When he was fired, I was not surprised nor excited. I knew the bears could do a lot worse.

    However, he did not care about offense. Sorry but you are the HEAD coach. That entails caring for the whole football team. In the 10 years he was coaching he did not even try to embrace that role.

    Lovie’s defenses were at their best when ron rivera was defensive coordinator, and then when rod marinelli was defensive coordinator. The year lovie announced he was going to “run” the defense was one of the worst statistical years for it.

    All that being said, his players loved him. He was a class act. And he controlled the locker room.

    On another note, I would like to announce that I too will be sitting out the 2013 year in coaching the NFL.

  70. stevejjones says: Jan 29, 2013 11:14 PM

    So what’s the deal here with Lovie Smith supporters? Lets have one of those National Days of Dialog where we can discuss uncomfortable topics without recrimination. Is Lovie liked because he was black and a source of pride? Because as a Bears fan and an honest person the only legitimate opinion of Lovie Smith is he was a player’s coach who failed repeatedly. Being popular with players doesn’t deliver championships and being a source of community pride doesn’t do the team any more good than it does the Oval Office. We can’t award important jobs to people by skin color. Team fails you’re fired. Economy fails no reelection. Well we got 1 out of 2 right.

  71. iowahbr says: Jan 30, 2013 10:01 AM

    dead on but it will bring out all kinds of silly arguements.

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