Outside the Box, Inside the Circle

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The Chicago Bears are currently in search of a defensive coordinator. Their number one choice for the job, Perry Fewell, was snatched up by the New York Giants last week. Almost three weeks into their search, maybe the Bears should start thinking outside of the box, and outside of the current coaching names in the league.

Outside the box, but inside the circle. As in, Bears head coach Lovie Smith’s coaching circle.

Smith is known for bringing in his colleagues and friends when assembling a coaching staff. Current defensive coaches Bob Babich and Rod Marinelli worked with Smith in St. Louis and Tampa Bay, respectively, before being brought in by Smith to help coach the Bears. Even Fewell is a friend of Smith after his days with the Bears back in 2005.

So maybe at this time, Coach Smith should continue his track record by bringing in friend and former NFL head coach Herm Edwards to coordinate the defense. Not only does Smith have ties to the former New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs head coach, but so does Marinelli and Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo.

Smith, Angelo, Marinelli and Edwards were all a part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the late 90’s.

Though Herm Edwards says he would not like to return to the NFL, he is currently enjoying his gig as an analyst on ESPN, given the right amount of money and the right situation, the Bears, anything is possible.

Edwards brings with him over 30 years of NFL experience as a player, scout and coach. Though he has never held the job of defensive coordinator, his overall experience should help him ease into the position.

As a onetime scout, he could help the Bears current staff in evaluating talent. Something that many Bears fans believe has been lacking for a few years now.

Edwards played defensive back for nine years for the Philadelphia Eagles, never missing a game. His 33 career interceptions are one short of the Eagles’ franchise record. This current Bears team has many young, talented players in the secondary that could stand to benefit from Edwards’ experience as a player and his eight years as a defensive backs coach.

Not that current Bears defensive backs coach Jon Hoke isn’t doing a fine job, but with the way the Bears like to play musical secondary, two coaches on one area of the field may help.

Edwards is also very familiar with the Bears defense of choice; the Cover 2 or Tampa 2. A defensive scheme that Smith, Edwards and Marinelli worked to perfection in Tampa Bay.

When former players speak of Edwards, they tend to use the words ‘players coach’. They feel he can relate easily to today’s players as he was once one himself. Respect is also a word related to Herm Edwards’ name. His fiery ways and no nonsense approach might be perfect in offsetting Smith’s more laid back, calm way of teaching.

Known for his press conference banter, many refer to Edwards’ post game comments as ‘Hermisms.’ His colorful comments and expressions have gotten so popular that beer company Coors Light now uses them in commercials.

Though his sound bites have become comedy skits, the man knows what he is talking about. Case in point, the 2005 book written by Edwards, ‘You Play to Win the Game’. The book was titled after one of Herm’s more famous quotes.

Here is a link to the book, just in case Bears players and fans need to get familiar with the man who could become the Bears new defensive coordinator.   Fingers crossed…


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