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Lovie Smith And Crew Rank 4th

I was inclined to post this ranking by Football Outsiders for FOX Sports ranks the league's coaching staffs.

The Bears placed fourth.

4. Bears (Last Year: 10)

Lovie Smith is a Tony Dungy disciple, and even wins like him, now. (Jim McIsaac / Getty Images)

In many ways, Lovie Smith is a product of the Dungy cloning vat. They ate dinner together before the Super Bowl, and they probably ordered the same entrees (Surf 'n' turf ... jinx!). Unlike Dungy, Lovie had to make a tough decision at quarterback last season. Give Lovie credit: he never wavered, even when Rex Grossman was at his worst. As bad as Grossman was, a controversy would have been worse, and it's hard to imagine that the Bears could have juggled quarterbacks all the way to the Super Bowl.

Ron Turner kept the wheels from falling off the Bears offense when Grossman went into his midseason superfunk. Turner built gameplans that emphasized the run and protected his slumping quarterback, then eased the deep ball back into the playbook when Grossman's confidence returned. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub didn't just wind Devin Hester up and let him run: he developed fine blocking and coverage units. Lovie will take a more active roll in calling defensive plays now that Ron Rivera is gone. New defensive coordinator Bob Babich coached the Bears linebackers for two years and knows the system.

This says a lot for Lovie Smith considering his offensive coordinator is oft considered a caretaker and our defensive coordinator is in his first stint as one.