I know a lot of people either loved or hated the decision to let Lovie Smith go as the head coach of the Chicago Bears. I have to say, I'm firmly in neither camp. I'm kind of indifferent to it. I thought he was a decent coach. I agreed with how the blame fell last year on the GM and having the stipulation that Lovie remain this year. The fact that the players loved playing for him says volumes. So, did I hate having Lovie Smith as the Bears' coach? Heck no!
That said, I understand the people who wanted him gone. I think Phil Emery made a very logical decision and did a good job of separating emotion from the choice. He simply looked at the facts. During Lovie's time here, we've had stellar defenses under several different coordinators. We went to the playoffs 3 times and the Super bowl once. While Mike Sherman and Brett Favre were in Green Bay, Lovie had something like a 7-3 record against them. However, once Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers were there, Lovie has had only 1 or 2 wins. We started the season 7-1 and ended the season 3-5. We've failed to make the playoffs 5 of the last 6 years. In a league where the rules currently favor the offense, perhaps the most telling stat is that in 9 years the highest the offense has ranked is 15/32. The second highest rank was 23/32. This was Lovie's Achilles heel. He was unable to hire an effective offensive coordinator and draft enough pieces for the offense to work with, most notably the offensive line.
Based on the 54 minute Q&A he gave, I think Phil Emery has a really good head on his shoulders and wants to do what he needs to do for the Bears to succeed. He's being extremely thorough in his search for a head coach. Depending on how shrewd he is, he may also be using the interviews to pick the brains of some of the best offensive coordinators in the league regardless of if he thinks he's going to hire them as the new head coach. Right now, I'm being optimistic in hoping that Dave Toub and Rod Marinelli are going to be retained as the respective special teams coach and defensive coordinator. If those two stay and we get a head coach who can jump start the talent that exists on our sputtering offense, I'm excited about the direction the Bears will take in the future.