Bears coach Lovie Smith is unfailingly, unflappably, nice. Much like his mentor Tony Dungy, he rarely has a negative public word about his team.
Bears scribes that have watched the team deteriorate into mediocrity the last few years have had about enough of the happy talk after another sunny speech from Smith to open training camp.
Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago wrote Friday that “Tony Robbins doesn’t have a thing on Lovie Smith.”
Smith was asked what lessons he learned from the last three years. He’s trying to forget.
“Those years you talked about, I have a hard time at 52 years old
remembering what happens in the past,” Smith said. “I feel like I
know what’s going to happen in the future. We have a good football team
right now. I’m not going to look to the past an awful lot.”
The Bears changed their offensive scheme and added big-time free agents, but they’ve let their defense decay. And they haven’t changed the culture surrounding the team.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune wrote about eye-rolling statements and Smith’s sometimes “corny” words.
“Given the Bears’ recent failures, eventually it becomes fair to
wonder if the same voice we routinely have started tuning out publicly
resonates as much privately with players as it once did,” he writes.
We are trying to like the Bears as a sleeper team, if only because they have a decent amount of talent and no one is picking them. (And because Jay Cutler should play much better than he did last year.)
But a battle is brewing in Chicago between Smith and the media, and only a playoff season will keep the wolves at bay.