Loud vs. Lovie

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‘We will unleash hell here in December!’ Boisterous post game statement made by Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin this season after his team had lost three straight games. Apparently the Devil is not a Steelers fan as Tomlin’s team would lose two more games in a row after his fiery comment.

‘On days like today, there’s not a whole lot to say. They definitely dominated us.’ Tranquil post game comment made this year by Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith after his team had lost four straight games.

No matter what comments are made or how emotions are shown, the difference between winning and losing depends on the product on the field. Both Tomlin and Smith have had success in the NFL, even though both approach coaching in a very different manner. So which way is the right way? Is there such a thing as a right way and a wrong way to express emotions? Who are we to judge a man’s nature anyway?

When a team is winning, all negatives are forgotten and neither coach nor players can do any wrong. When a team is losing; well...coach and players can go to where Mike Tomlin wished to unleash this holiday season. The Bears are currently rounding out a losing season in which fans and media alike are questioning Coach Smith’s zeal.

Is he too passive? Is he too soft? Show some damn emotion, Lovie!

Yet, when the Bears were winning games and made a Super Bowl run in ’06, Smith was praised for his calm demeanor.

He has a fatherly way with the players, he shows them respect and that seems to work well with today’s athletes.

Being from Chicago and a fan of the Bears, we are always going to remember the great Mike Ditka. The man who flipped the bird at NFL Films cameras and yelled at his Punky QB right on the sidelines for all to see. Ditka’s personality is in your face, no holds barred; tell it like it is whenever and wherever. Obviously his personality would come across in his coaching. This was fine, it worked. The Bears have never been better.

It was a change of pace when Lovie Smith was hired to coach the Bears. Lovie is to Iron Mike what Yin is to Yang. In the City of Broad Shoulders this took some getting used to. But only three years into his coaching regime, Smith took our Bears to a place only Ditka had taken us once before, the Super Bowl.

Though Smith would not match Da Coach's accomplishment and win the big game; he lost to his mentor, the also soft spoken Tony Dungy. 

In a sport as intense as football; it is perceived that a coach of powerful, intimidating, gladiator like men must be loud and overbearing. Though this can work, it is not the only way. Patience, understanding and calm has been proven to lead to victory as well. Through Smith's tenure, Bears players have always come to the defense of their mild mannered coach. Never once has a player called out Smith or made harsh comments to the media about their coach’s make up. If these men of violence and courage do not question their leader’s temperament, should anyone outside of that locker room have the right to?

Don’t get me wrong, Lovie Smith’s defensive schemes, player evaluation and game plan are all suspect. A football coach at the highest level should be able to match wits with his peers on a weekly basis.  Maybe Smith is no longer the man for the job in Chicago, but that should have nothing to do with his personality. He was not hired for his disposition; he shouldn’t be fired for it either.

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