Dungy visiting Chicago, Bears’ staff getting an education

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With no players to coach during the lockout, Bears coach Lovie Smith has a new goal for his assistants, and himself: Get coached on coaching by other coaches.

Toward that end, former Buccaneers and Colts coach Tony Dungy will visit Chicago on Monday to talk to the staff. Smith, who was an assistant to Dungy in Tampa Bay and who brought the same defense to Chicago that he and Dungy coached in Tampa, said he’s excited about what Dungy can teach his coaches.

“We’re just going to talk football for a day,” Smith told Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune. “There aren’t a whole lot of us still in our system who believe in it the way we do. We’re pumped up about him coming.”

When the Bears don’t have a guest coach in town, Smith has his assistants coaching each other. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz led a session with the whole staff in coaching quarterbacks. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli led a session on pass rushing. And the coaches have gone over all the major decisions they made during the 2010 season and discussed what worked and what didn’t.

For Smith, the underlying theme of all this work is getting better than the Packers.

“Everything has to be about beating our rival, as it is every year,” Smith said of the Packers. “And there is a little bit of added emphasis on it this year. They are at the top of the hill. . . . We match up pretty good with them. Your gauge has to be the Super Bowl champion.”

17 responses to “Dungy visiting Chicago, Bears’ staff getting an education

  1. First, let me say that I like Lovie Smith as a coach. However, if he runs the SAME defense that Dungy and he ran in TB, then why does he need Dungy to come talk to the other coaches? What’s he gonna tell them? What it takes to win? How the defense SHOULD be run? Chicago’s pretty good now, and they did go to a SB under Lovie. I know that they are friends. It’s just that this article makes it seem like Dungy has some magical secret on what it takes to be a winner.

    Personally, I think Dungy, while a very good coach, is slightly–SLIGHTLY–overrated. He couldn’t get TB over the hump, but Gruden could the first year he was there with essentially the same team. He couldn’t beat the Patriots consistently until they got too old on defense (2006).

    Getting back on track, Lovie is doing just fine. Don’t make it sound like Dungy is the Dhali Lama with some secret of winning.

    And Lovie, if you want to beat the Packers, tell that tool you have for a QB to stop throwing INTs. That might help.

  2. Maybe Smith should start worrying about Detroit, and then work their way up to Green Bay…

  3. @bcgreg

    First, let me say that I like Lovie Smith as a coach. However, if he runs the SAME defense that Dungy and he ran in TB, then why does he need Dungy to come talk to the other coaches? What’s he gonna tell them?

    Dungy is a genious at getting the best out of the players he has. He does more than make winners, he makes them men.

    I assume he is brouht in to teach the coaches how to:
    1) Maintain a good relationship with players, while
    2) Getting the most out of those players
    3) Changing losing attitudes in the locker room to winning attitudes
    4) How to help the players become men that a community likes.

    Don’t underestimate what Dungy did in Tampa. 22 losing seasons before he came along. Culverhouse had the team at the bottom for a very long time, and tehy became use to it. It became a way of life.

    Tony Dungy turned that around. He made losers into go-getters and winners. And they have been hungry ever since.

    I think what Smith is doing is a good and wise thing. If he can do for coaches what he does for players, the league can only get better.

    And, truth be told, the only reason Dungy could not get to the SB with Tampa is because he was too loyal of a coach. He flatout refused to fire bad coaches and coordinators. It was his first gig as a head coach…he was learning.

    When he went to New England, as a result, he was told not to mess with the offense. Regardless of how long it took them to win a SB, he had that team at the top for years.

    Gruden arrived at Tampa and had to do very little. He brought in a second quality WR and HE coached the offense, which was his specialty at the time. Had he been OC for Tampa while Dungy was there, they likely would have won multiple rings and Gruden would not be the jerk he has been for years. (and he is…players cannot stand the guy)

  4. there are always things, good and bad, to be learned from your peers… Lovie is doing exactly the right thing…. affecting what he can under the circumstances and continually improving the crew… whether you like them or not… he’s showing the league how to do it….

  5. It’s a bit asinine to suggest that the gap between the Packers and the Bears is THAT severe, even more to say that “it’s just the difference between Rodgers and Cutler”.

    Rodgers is a better QB, yes, ok, that will be an advantage going forward.

    But guess what? In 3 games against the Bears, he threw 2 TDs, 4 INts, and about 780 yards. Chicago didn’t embarrass him, but he didn’t flourish, these were his worst games outside of the 9-0 win over the Jets and the 1st half against Detroit before he left with concussion.

    Cutler had 1 TD, 4 INts, completed about 55% of his passes for only 470 yards in 2.5 games of football.

    Advantage? Packers. But, are you willing to admit that the Packers advanced beyond the Bears in week 17 and in the NFCCG simply because their QB managed an extra TD while turning the ball over an equal amount of times?

    What made this matchup so great is that each team found ways to make the other QB struggle, and the margin of victory hinged on the strength of safeties, the 2nd-best pass rusher, and surprise-zone coverages like the one that earned BJ Raji a TD.

  6. Bears fans should be more worried about another collapse to mediocrity. Lovie has only tied two good seasons together in a row, 2005 and 2006.

  7. The Bears are closer to the Packers than most will admit. Just because the cheese have 32 players coming off the IR doesn’t mean they’ll be better than last season. There’s only one ball to go around and only 53 roster spots available. Truth is, the Bears D played Aaron and their offense the best by far. Not saying Jay would’ve helped the Bears beat the Pack in the NFC title game, but it couldn’t have hurt. Two third string QBs playing for a half a football and only lost by one score.

  8. @ petedutcher

    Dungy may have turned around TB from a laughingstock, but he NEVER got them over the hump. As you admitted, another guy did. (Funny how that other guy also put together the opponent they played in that SB too.)

    Dungy couldn’t get Indy over the hump either until his nemesis got too old. And even the SB he coached to victory was played in a monsoon, and to quote on football movie, “In a monsoon, it’s anybody’s ballgame.”

    You list some things that Dungy may go over with other coaches (player relationships, changing losin attitudes etc), but Lovie coached under this guy. He didn’t already learn these things from Dungy? He can’t pass the info along?

    Again, I get why you have Dungy come in. The ARTICLE above just makes it seem like Dungy is some guru with all the answers. Iwould have loved to see what he would have done if he didn’t have Manning for a whole season in Indy. He had the best defense in TB, and he had the 2nd best QB in Indy with arguably the best offense. He struggled to win ONE SB. He is SLIGHTLY overrated because he should have more. I know it’s tough to win a SB, but he should have multiple rings.

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