The 10 Most Important Bears in 2009 - #6

340x_medium

In this ongoing series, I'll look at which Bears I think will need to contribute the most in 2009 for them to have a successful season.  Some things I thought about when compiling this list were: what potential impact they may have, how much the team will look to the individual for guidance or leadership, how badly the team would suffer if they lost the player to injury, and other intangible attributes.  Hopefully this series will spark some good off-season Bears discussion!

#6 Lovie Smith - Defensive Coordinator

Notice I'm putting the onus on his new coordinator duties.  I'll give Lovie credit for realizing his buddy Bob Babich was in over his head, he just should have caught on before all 16 games were played last year.  By calling the defensive plays Lovie Smith is putting himself on the chopping block.  If the Bears can't get their defense back to a top unit, the blame will fall squarely on him.

Lovie will no doubt expect his defense to be able to play their Cover 2, as it is their defensive identity, and leave the blitz happy days behind.  One thing he'll need to identify is exactly how much the league has caught up to what the Bears do.  Will he add some wrinkles to the D?  Will he be able to think outside the Cover 2 box?  Will they be able to disguise some of their base sets in creative ways?  Some experts say the days of using the Tampa 2/Cover 2 as a base defense is over.  I feel if you have the right personnel (as the Bears do) and aren't too stubborn to tweak things up a bit, you can still run the D effectively.

As I said with #8 on my list, Rod Marinelli, the coaches can only do so much, the players have to make plays, but with Lovie putting himself so far out there he needed to be on this list.  (Just not in the top 5)

Bottom line is if the Bears defense fails, Lovie, and only Lovie will held accountable in the court of public opinion.

 

The List so far:

#10 - Nathan Vasher - Cornerback

#9 - Kevin Payne - Strong Safety

#8 - Rod Marinelli - Defensive Line Coach

#7 - Devin Hester - Wide Receiver / Return Specialist

#6 - Lovie Smith - Defensive Coordinator

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Windy City Gridiron

You must be a member of Windy City Gridiron to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Windy City Gridiron. You should read them.

Join Windy City Gridiron

You must be a member of Windy City Gridiron to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Windy City Gridiron. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker