Chicago Bears' Lovie Smith May Have Won Another Power Struggle with Jerry Angelo

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IFebruary 16, 2010

DETROIT - JANUARY 3:  Head coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears looks on during the game against the Detroit Lions on January 3, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The firing of pro personnel director Bobby DePaul appears to be a victory for Bears head coach Lovie Smith.

It was widely known among football insiders that DePaul and Smith didn't see eye to eye. Likewise, this seems to be Smith's way of telling team president Ted Phillips "hey, I did my part, what about Angelo's staff?" 

Smith was asked to shake up his team following a rough 2009 season that saw the squad go another year without making the playoffs. While he did make those changes, most were purely cosmetic.

Smith held on to "his guys," and the only other changes he made were not to renew contracts for some of the offensive coaches.

And while Ron Turner was fired, that was a victory of sorts for Smith, as he was able to bring in friend and mentor Mike Martz to run the offense.

On defense, Smith was adament in stating that he won't be changing his scheme. So any changes there really don't mean that much.

Meanwhile, he simply promoted buddy Rod Marinelli and relieved him of the public pressure associated with calling bad plays. Since Marinelli has no previous experience calling plays, one has to assume that Smith will still be calling the shots.

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And if the plays don't work, guess what? Lovie becomes the teflon man since he now has someone to shoulder the blame! Brilliant, isn't it?

When DePaul was let go, a move that you know Angelo didn't want to do, it was part acknowlegement that Lovie didn't agree with his analysis and part cover your butt by Angelo.

DePaul came to the Bears in 2001 with Angelo after serving as a scout for the Philadelphia Eagles player personnel department. Before working with the Eagles he had an eight-year career as an NFL assistant coach.

He was responsible for the Jay Cutler trade, after Angelo publicly made it known that QB was his highest priority. So it's unlikely that Angelo wasn't satisfied with that move, despite the interceptions. Especially considering he never gave Cutler the weapons to be successful.

So all this change and yet, really nothing has changed when you think about it. It's still the Lovie and Jerry show.

However, there have been some signs this winter that perhaps they aren't seeing eye to eye.

It's been speculated that Jerry wanted Lovie to consider Cutler's feelings when naming the offensive coordinator, so they went through a search process that resulted in Smith getting the guy he wanted all along.

Likewise, there has always been this tension between the two in the sense that Lovie has always been more than willing to say that he reports directly to Phillips. That probably explains why they went in order of rank during the infamous press conference— it was one of the small wins for Angelo.

But, it really doesn't matter. Because, after all, regardless of who wins and loses in the game of public perception, it will be the win-loss record on the field that seals the fate of the two.