Lovie Smith gushes over Logan Mankins

AP

Most NFL coaches shy away from saying anything about a player under contract with another team.  On Wednesday, Bears coach Lovie Smith didn’t.

In a conference call with Boston reporters regarding Chicago’s upcoming game against the Patriots, Smith spoke glowingly about New England guard Logan Mankins, a restricted free agent who held out into the regular season, and who will become an unrestricted free agent whenever the 2011 league year begins.

Logan’s one of the best lineman in the game,” Smith said, per Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald.  “They continued to win without him, but adding another special player, a special lineman to the mix, has to help your team quite a bit.  Just look at the video on him.  He’s as tough as there is.  He comes to work every day.  He and I have the same agent, so I know a little bit about him.  Everything is all good, so you want a guy like that on your team.”

If Smith had stopped there, he may have stayed away from the line that separates innocuous commentary from tampering.  But he didn’t stop there.

Asked jokingly whether Smith could have called their mutual agent, Frank Bauer, and told him to make sure Mankins didn’t show up and play for the Patriots in 2010, Smith first laughed.  Then, he answered the question.

“Well, I tell you the other 31 teams would gladly have taken him if he hadn’t chosen to go back,” Smith said, “but knowing the type of guy he is — I’m talking about being loyal to the organization — there’s only one place he was going.”

In other words, the Bears are one of the 31 other teams that gladly would have taken him.  In other words, come 2011, when Mankins hits the open market, the Bears gladly would take him.

Given that Smith has a pipeline to Mankins’ agent given that Mankins’ agent is Smith’s agent, it would be easy to get the word to Mankins that the Bears want to sign him without saying anything publicly that could be construed as tampering.  And that makes Smith’s decision to speak publicly about his feelings for Mankins, and Smith’s obvious interest in him, even more surprising.

17 responses to “Lovie Smith gushes over Logan Mankins

  1. I’ve been hoping the Vikings could land him in a trade if not as a free agent. He’d be exactly what they need.

  2. So Lovie has a man crush on Mankins and that somehow, maybe, possibly, kind of, almost, gets him somewhat near tampering? Yeah. Sure Foolio. Listen, just because there is a snake lying under every rock in your insipid household doesn’t mean there is out here too.

    Lovie was just being lovey towards Mankins. Big deal. He didn’t say anything anyone else wouldn’t say about other players from time to time.

  3. It’s tampering. New England should put in a complaint. This is way more yapping than Gunther Cunningham did about the Chiefs. But then again, they’re the bears so I’m sure the league will deny it or look the other way.

  4. do you realize how annoying your stupid tampering rants are?he was asked a question and he answered it end of story. had he said no the bears would not want him you would be writing how stupid they would be for not pursuing given the shape of their line.

  5. “Asked jokingly whether Smith could have called their mutual agent, Frank Bauer, and told him to make sure Mankins didn’t show up and play for the Patriots in 2010, Smith first laughed. Then, he answered the question.”
    ———————————-
    “jokingly” huh? Yep, no baiting going on there. If I ever had the health and the talent to play or coach pro sports, I wouldn’t say one single word to any media person. Ever.

  6. Holy tin-foil hat, Florio.

    @flipadelphia

    ” But then again, they’re the bears so I’m sure the league will deny it or look the other way.”

    I need to get one of those special keyboards that has macros mapped out for “The league hates ______” and “The league lets ______ do whatever they want.”

    Seems to be all the rage here.

  7. I love it when Florio tries to make some grown-up analysis. Good at NFL gossip but not much else, especially not analysis.

  8. Oh brother.

    The normally robotic, innocuous milktoast monotone of Lovie “Droopy” Smith gets set aside for one nanosecond, and you POUNCE.

    Lovie went from perilously endangered to being in the discussion for Coach of the Year, and this petty contrived baloney is all you have to say about him?

    Look at what Hoodie Bill said about Peppers, from billsgotballs article above (great find, by the way):

    “You can pretty much put him anywhere. [Not] corner, maybe, but everywhere else,” Belichick said. “He can definitely play on his feet and play linebacker. I mean, he’d be wasted in there, but you could put him [there]. I think he could do it. You could probably put him at strong safety. There’re a lot of things he could do as a safety.

    “He could play inside on the defensive line. He could play outside; he’s got great length to play outside. We’ve seen some taller players play inside — guys like [Richard] Seymour — that are tall and could be very effective in there with quickness, and Peppers has plenty of that. He’s got power. He’s got quickness and he plays on his feet. You could pretty much put him anywhere. You could put him at tight end. [You could] probably make a left tackle out of him. I wouldn’t want to tackle him if he was carrying the ball.”

    If simple praise equates to tampering, there are a lot of coaches in trouble.

  9. Sure looks like the lawyer in you loves these little technicalities in the rules, Florio. Us normal people do not care in the least.

  10. @Florio syas:
    “Given that Smith has a pipeline to Mankins’ agent given that Mankins’ agent is Smith’s agent, it would be easy to get the word to Mankins that the Bears want to sign him without saying anything publicly that could be construed as tampering.”
    ______________________________
    Do you think that BB and the Pats care about tampering Florio? The Pats have his services for the rest of this season – that’s the most important thing to them right now, I’m sure they could care less about anything else. The Pats also wouldn’t have also taken the hard-line stance they did with Mankins when he sat out earlier this season. I think they’d love to keep him, but not at any cost. They made an offer, he rejected it. I’m sure they’ll make one more pitch to him, but if he decides to leave they’ll just move on with someone else. It appears that BB fully understands that aspect of how this league works and he doesn’t lose sleep over it, or make a stupid financial move. He puts a value on you and you either sign to stay, or go somewhere else.

  11. What makes me think Lovie is speaking in generalities is his line about Mankins being loyal to the Pats. LM talked crap about Mr Kraft to the media for one. Anyone who is a Pats fan knows how contentious this whole deal has been starting in the offseason right up to the minute he reported.

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