Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo Are What's Wrong with the Chicago Bears

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIOctober 12, 2011

LAKE FOREST, IL - MAY 4: The head coach Lovie Smith (L) and general manager Jerry Angelo of the Chicago Bears look over players during a rookie mini-camp practice at Halas Hall May 4, 2007 in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

If you were depressed by the Chicago Bears loss Monday night to the Detroit Lions, stop reading now, because you are going to be far more depressed when I paint a picture of the future for you.

You have seen the best there is from this Bears team as you know it. Last year's playoff run that so excited the masses now looks more like the series of fortunate breaks that it was, rather than a well-constructed team built for the long haul.

It followed three seasons of disappointment. The changes the Bears made last year didn't take. You don't need more than five games to see that.

Under Lovie Smith, the team is built on defense and special teams. Unfortunately, new rule changes have limited the effectiveness of the special teams unit despite the game against Carolina.

The defense is an outdated system, with its key players getting close to their expiration dates and no replacements in sight.

The key players, Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and Peanut Tillman are all on the wrong side of 30.

Smith is stubborn in his ways and won't change things up, even when anyone can see the writing on the wall.

The offensive coordinator, Mike Martz, is like Lovie in that he tries to make the pieces fit the system rather than the other way around. He has a quarterback in Jay Cutler who is better on the run and improvising, yet he forces him into a system that doesn't play to his strengths.

The problem on both sides of the ball is that there are not enough difference-makers on this team, and that falls right into the lap of GM Jerry Angelo, with an assist from Lovie, who has a say in the players the Bears draft.

Angelo has had more busts than a successful Hollywood breast-augmentation surgeon.

Successful franchises build their teams in the draft with high picks. Angelo prefers quantity instead of quality, normally moving down to acquire more lower-round selections. When you constantly strike out, you have what the Bears do now.

He made a trade for a franchise quarterback in Cutler, but he neglected to build up the offensive line to protect him, and to get him receivers who can get open and catch the ball.

Briggs and Tillman were his best picks on defense, with Matt Forte and Devin Hester the best of the bunch on offense. None of them were first-rounders. He repeatedly has bungled first- and second-round selections during his tenure.

He is signed through 2013 along with Lovie, so it's unlikely that either of them will be in the unemployment line after this season, no matter how bad things turns out.

What's really scary is how good the two teams above them are. Green Bay and Detroit are both younger and far more talented. They are going to be good for a long time.

The Packers are the defending Super Bowl champs, and are even better now than they were last year. In 2010, they overcame a slew of injuries and still came out on top. They rebuilt their team on the run, with Aaron Rodgers taking over for Brett Favre without missing a beat.

Detroit is one of the most downtrodden cities around, but their football team is no longer a doormat. Built around Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, along with a boy named Suh anchoring the defense, they are 5-0 right now and looking like a playoff team for years to come.

The Bears are looking like anything but. If not for Minnesota, they would be in the cellar. That could happen next week when they play the Vikings.

The good news is that a last-place finish will net them a top draft pick next year. The bad news is that if Angelo is making the pick and Lovie is still coaching them, it won't matter.

Sorry to paint such a bleak outlook for you, but you really can't disagree with me, can you?