GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 23: Head Coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears watches pregame against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 23, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
When Lovie Smith was the head coach of the Chicago Bears, his ability to evade media questions was downright amazing. Whether it was about Jay Cutler's health or Brian Urlacher's future, he perfected the art of the non-answer. But on Thursday, he showed up on ESPN, serving as a guest analyst on a few of their shows. And though he's now on the media side of the microphone, he's still not really saying anything at all.
Smith was asked about what Jay Cutler meant to the Bears, and he pretty much said Cutler is important because he's the quarterback. While that is true, it's not really an insight when you consider how much time Smith has spent with Cutler.
"You have to have that quarterback in place and Chicago has that in Jay Cutler. He can do everything you're looking for and expect a quarterback to do. Great arm. Mobile guy in the pocket. And as a quarterback you want to get to your contract year like he has and play your best ball."
Riiiight. Cutler has taken plenty of flack through his years in Chicago. Is he misunderstood?
"It's hard to say whether he's misunderstood or not. When you're in that position you get criticized a lot. Everything you do is watched and that's been the case with Jay. There have been some incidents where he would probably like for them not to have happened that way. That's just a part of it. I know his teammates have his back and they're expecting big things from him this year."
I always thought his elusiveness was Smith's way of trying to protect the team, but now it seems like it's just the way he is. Though he interviewed with other NFL teams after being let go by the Bears, Smith wasn't hired and is taking the season off. Perhaps he'll spend more time in the analyst's role and continue to not say anything.