The last couple of weeks have been filled with radio stations, websites, and newspapers getting overrun with fans calling for Coach Lovie Smith's head. We all had higher expectations this past offseason, and rightly so.
The Bears traded for a 26 year old, gunslinging QB, saw young talent being developed into starting roles, the hiring of a DL guru, and signing three free agent offensive linemen.
Unfortunately, our expectations may have been too lofty, largely because our OL has turned out to be a bust, and our DL is still getting man-handled.
Well, after a 4-4 start, the fanbase is restless, and the shouts of "Fire Lovie, Fire Jerry, Fire Ron" have been heard for weeks now. I found a well-written article to discuss, but first, I want to give you my take:
Jerry Angelo- Traded for a high-profile QB... no doubt the biggest move of his career. Tried, but failed to upgrade the OL. This is the guy who is directly responsible for personnel.
Ron Turner- Say what you will about his plays not working, but when you have an OL that gets knocked backwards as soon as the ball is snapped, what else can he do?
Lovie Smith- I am not giving up in his scheme, or his football knowledge. Like Turner, all he can do is work with the talent he has. Our DBs are generally terrible. There is some talent back there, but it is young and undeveloped as of yet. Lovie's Tampa-2 isn't the problem... it's the lack of talent.
Rod Marinelli- I touched on this a couple days ago, but it bears repeating. Rod is the only guy that has the personnel that he needs to make his system work. And that is not happening. The first few games looked good, but our pass rush has since disappeared. Why is Rod not seeing success?
Of all of our managers/ coaches, I would say that Lovie and Ron are falling victims to lack of talent. Jerry Angelo has to be the guy that is on the line here.
As for Marinelli, he is a mystery as well, but still accountable nonetheless. You've got the talent, why can't you make it work?
Now, onto the article. I typically don't go along with a lot of what David Haugh does, but this article is great. he talks about how Lovie and Jerry are linked, and how when one of them go, the other will as well. An excerpt:
When contemplating Smith's future replacement, whenever that search begins, remember the words from Angelo himself when he hired Smith on Jan. 15, 2004.
"The next autopsy will be mine," he said. "If I did this wrongly, don't worry about me coming back here."
Translated six seasons later, that means the futures of Angelo and Smith remain intertwined. Except for some odd comments two weeks ago in which Angelo publicly questioned the coaching staff, the two have worked in lock step philosophically.
Make sure you check out the entire article... it's a great read, no matter where you stand on the issue.