The morning after the Bears were eliminated from the 2012 NFL Playoffs, head coach Lovie Smith was fired.
Thus started one of the best days of 2012.
Many so-called Bears fans mourned Lovie’s firing.
“A man of integrity.”
“A great man.”
“I don’t get why they fired him.”
And plenty of variations of the same ideas.
Lovie Smith is a big Barack Obama fan. And I automatically lose all respect for Lovie right there.
But leaving politics aside, the Bears absolutely made the right move to fire Lovie Smith. In fact, it could be argued the firing came two years too late.
But here are the reasons why firing Lovie was the right thing to do:
– failed to make the playoffs in five of the past six seasons. That’s a 0.167 rate for making the playoffs the past six years.
– he lost 8 of his last 9 games against the Packers. Beating the Packers was Lovie’s self-proclaimed #1 goal.
– the Bears finished 28th in offense this year. Can’t blame Mike Martz this year, pal.
– the Bears finished 28th in offense this year despite a franchise quarterback, a Pro Bowl receiver and a Pro Bowl running back.
– the Bears offense has finished higher than 23rd just once in Lovie’s nine-year tenure with the Bears.
– For those who argue it’s not Lovie’s fault the team has a bad offensive line, recall that Lovie said: “We feel like our offensive line is as good as any other out there.” Clearly Lovie has no idea how to evaluate offensive line talent.
– Lovie is a poor evaluator of talent in general. He also said of tight end Kellen Davis: “He can do anything the good tight ends in this league can do.”
– Lovie is a poor evaluator of talent. He said of Devin Hester: “Devin can be a No. 1 receiver in this league.”
– Lovie is a poor evaluator of coaching talent. He fired accomplished defensive coordinator Ron Rivera to hire his good ol’ boy buddy Bob Babich, whose ineptitude made him last only two years before being fired.
– Lovie couldn’t even get in the playoffs last yearn despite what could be a league-record three former head coaches on his coaching staff (Mike Martz, Mike Tice and Rod Marinelli).
– Lovie is one of the worst fourth-down coaches in the league (26th in 2012, 31st in 2011, 31st in 2010, 26th in 2009, 26th in 2008) as well as possessing one of the worst replay-challenge records in the league.
– For all of the praise about Lovie as a “great man”, other coaches repeatedly turned down offers to join his staff. Mike Martz was one of the last on Lovie’s list for offensive coordinators, and current Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell famously refused to even interview for the job that went to another Lovie buddy in Rod Marinelli.
– The Bears failed to make the playoffs this year despite a 7-1 start. No Jay Cutler season-ending injuries to blame this year. No Matt Forte season-ending injuries to blame this year.
– The Bears’ 10-6 record this year is a mirage. Lovie’s Bears were 2-6 against teams with winning records this year. The Bears had the fortune to play eight games against bad teams with a combined record of 43-84-1 (a stunningly bad 0.341 winning percentage).
The bottom line is that if you consistently do not get your team in the playoffs, you should not be coaching. It’s as simple as that.
Sure, Lovie Smith will find employment elsewhere in the NFL. My condolences to whoever that poor team is that hires him.