Does Lovie Have the Guts to Win? - NBC Chicago
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Does Lovie Have the Guts to Win?



    Lovie Smith says he's "not happy" to see a slew of fellow NFL head coaches bite the dust.  (Contrast that to ESPN's Hannah Storm and Adam Schefter, who high-five it out when Mangini gets the ax.) 

    But in all honesty, shouldn't Lovie feel good he still has a job?

    As I've previously mentioned, Lovie seems to fall into the middle tier of NFL coaches.  He'll have an up year and a down year.  To date, he's rattled off 5, 11, 13, 7, 9, 7 and 11 wins.  Pretty good.  But when you compare his record to teams like Pittsburgh or New England or Indianapolis over the last few years, it's clear the Bears have some growing to do.

    The big difference with those AFC teams is their quarterbacks.  Roethlisberger, Brady and Manning provide stability and the occasional miracle play that can make a difference year-in, year-out. 

    But those teams also have gutsy coaches.  Think Cowher/Tomlin, Belichick and Dungy.  Guys who aren't afraid to gamble now and then.  Remember in last year's Super Bowl, Sean Payton opened up the second half with an onside kick.  Guts.

    Now that Lovie has quarterback stability, it's time to start coaching like we really are in the one-and-done phase of the year.  If there are trick plays lying around Halas Hall, it's time to deploy them.  The Bears need to take a few risks to win.  These aren't game-ending panic moves.  These are the kind of deliberate gambles that can crush another team if successful.

    You look at that Green Bay game and you see a Bears team playing predictably.  If we find ourselves locked in a low-scoring struggle, why not take a shot in the second or third quarters?  It's time to be the aggressor and to push the agenda.  Does Lovie have what it takes?

    Make the calls, coach.  Catch the other team off guard.  Make the other team play your game.  Do something daring.

    Or keep playing boring football and wait for Hannah Storm to high-five your demise someday.