News out of Chicago Bears headquarters is that embattled head coach Lovie Smith is to be retained as the head coach for next season. The announcement will be made "official" at today's 2 p.m. press conference.
To tell the truth, I don't mind this move.
And the reason is because the news that came out also said he was told he would need to make changes to his coaching staff.
Hopefully, they meant for him to replace craptastic offensive coordinator Ron Turner.
That move is coming about three years after it should have been done.
In all likelihood, this is a financial move.
Lovie is owed a lot of money, and that money is guaranteed to him whether he is coaching the Bears next season or not. And with the Bears being one of the stingiest professional sports teams around, most were assuming Lovie would be back because they would not want to pay two head coaches at the same time.
That fact is a shame considering the high level of coaching talent that is available going into next season.
I am not a full-fledged Lovie hater. I think he is a decent head coach if he has the right pieces around him. I think that way about most coaches. It is difficult to be a "good coach" if your players screw around and don't live up to their potential.
All that mumbo jumbo about how it is a coaches job to get his players "up" for the game and ready them for battle is something of a myth.
Players are players, and yes they can be motivated to play at a slightly higher level, but we are talking about grown men here who have been playing this child's game their entire lives, and most of the time if you watch the locker room feeds, half the team isn't even paying attention to what the coach is saying anyways.
I have been a part of sports my entire life. I played basketball in college and was in locker rooms during blowout wins, blowout losses, close games, and pressure-filled situations. In all of those scenarios, I do not believe that our teams' play had anything to do with words the coach said to us beforehand.
And that is mostly because when you step foot onto the court, field, ice, whatever, you forget all about what your coach said and start concentrating on the game.
And yes, some words the coach says might make you more prepared for that moment, but in all likelihood, it is up to the players to win games and not so much the coaches.
Also, in football, it is a much different scenario because of the amount of coaches involved with the team.
You have offensive coordinators who call the offensive plays, defensive coordinators who call the defensive plays, quarterback coaches who communicate with the quarterback, running back coaches who speak with the running backs, wide receiver coaches who give tips to the wide outs, etc, etc, etc.
What is the head coach really responsible for?
I think the head coach is the leader of the team, and they lay the foundation for the type of attitude and play that the team will put out on the field. They also can't be blamed for quarterbacks throwing stupid passes into double coverage, running backs being stripped of the ball deep in their own territory, kickers missing field goals, and so on.
I do believe the Bears needed a change. I just wanted to see that change come in the form of a new offensive coordinator. I want to see what Lovie can do with a style of offense more befitting to the personnel the Bears have.
If he fails in 2010, then I will be a full-fledged Lovie-hater and will want to see him gone.
But for now, I will be happy with changes coming to the coaching staff. I guess I shouldn't get too excited, though, considering the press conference hasn't happened yet, and they could still be stupid enough to keep Ron Turner.
God help me if that happens. If it does, you may not see another article from me for quite some time.