Lovie Smith remained calm as the heat turned up on his job as head coach of the Chicago Bears, .
"I know you're optimistic," one reporter began on the eve of 2010 training camp,
"Yes I am," Smith cut him off.
It sounds like a page out of W. Clement Stone's "Positive Mental Attitude," but for the coach out of Big Sandy, Texas, it's more like taking a front row seat at the old Houston Astrodome to hear the teachings of Joel Osteen.
"I am a believer and a supporter of Joel Osteen," Smith revealed in a sit down conversation with NBC Chicago. "But that's the way I've been brought up, try to see the good in people."
Smith doesn't know the Texas preacher personally, although he did see him in person. Smith likes the positive message Osteen preaches. It hits home.
"I'm from a small community, when you say there's another way, I don't know anything about it. I am being the only way I know how to be. It's not just a belief, but what you're doing to back that up," Smith said.
Smith knows where he stands with his job in Chicago -- "a win or else" directive given by Team President Ted Phillips after the Bears finished the 2009 season without a trip to the playoffs for a third time.
So Smith stayed within his comfort zone and surrounded himself with some of the brightest minds in football. Mike Martz came on as offensive coordinator. Rod Marinelli, brought in a year ago, has been promoted to play caller on the defensive side of the ball. And former Vikings head coach Mike Tice came in to whip the offensive line back into shape.
They're three men once thought to be the best at their jobs. And three men who also happened to be former head coaches. Was it a brilliant move or dangerous move for a coach on the hot seat?
"You want the best possible staff, period. If you have good guys, you don't worry about that," Smith said.
The man who still keeps George Halas' blazer hanging in the head coaches office appreciates the faith the McCaskey family has in him and wants to pay them back. Big.
"God's got a plan for me," Smith said. "I'm going along with that plan and just believe a part of that plan is to bring a championship here to Chicago."