How Lovie Smith Could Save His Job - NBC Chicago

How Lovie Smith Could Save His Job

A Step-by-Step guide for job preservation



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    A look at the heavens may show Lovie Smith the answers to saving his job.

    Saying the Bears season has been a disappointment is an understatement, but that’s what we’ll go with for the sake of simplicity.

    Sitting today at 5-8 with a game against the Vikings looming just weeks away, you have to wonder what’s next.

    Fans and media alike are calling for the ax. Chicago wants head coach Lovie Smith gone, and the sooner the better. So what can the not- so- lovable loser do to save his job?

    1.  Win two out of the next three

    Winning out would be nice, but we’re being realistic here, and the Bears have failed to turn things around down the stretch. A victory against the two win Lions would be the most obvious, preceded by a win on the road against Baltimore.

    The Vikings will be coming to town secure enough to bench their beasts.  Even their backups will be too good to stop on a Monday night in December. While a season record of 7-9 is less than desirable, especially for a team that was considered Super Bowl contenders at seasons start, a 2-1 finish could buy Smith some time.

    2. Make coaching adjustments

    It’s a sad fact that assistants are often the sacrificial lamb offered up to save the head guy’s job. With so many blaring problem areas, we’re sure Smith could sell upper management on an assistant overhaul (he did it last year on the defensive side).

    With contracts up and major issues on the offensive side of the ball, that seems like an obvious place to start.

    The Bears have been plagued by penalties all season, an issue that is definitely considered a result of coaching issues. A penalized team is an undisciplined team, making that positions’ coach an easy target (hello, offensive line). 

    3. Properly manage the final three games

    Do the last games of the season make up for years worth of questionable game management? No, but at this point it’s about buying time.

    Failed challenges, wasted timeouts, penalties and obvious on field confusion all need to be cleaned up in the final three.

    Is it asking a lot from a team who has already had 13 attempts to get it right? Yes, but when there is money ($11 million to be exact) and a job on the line a strong finish can speak volumes.

    The biggest factors in Smith’s future may be out of the head coach’s hands.

    The bottom line just might come down to whether or not the McCaskey’s want to shell out the remaining $11 million on Smith’s contract. There are a handful of big time coaches looking to get back into the game after a season off, all will undoubtedly demand big paychecks.

    The multi-million dollar question is how much the McCaskey’s are willing to shell out in terms of payouts and new coaches. The notoriously frugal family could decide to buckle down and stay with Smith, but demand lower level coaches are sent packing. The good news, all will be answered and the speculation ends in about 3 weeks.