The Bears, through a combination of luck (poor performances by the rest of their division and a lucky call in the first week) and skill (Devin Hester's performances, Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers' defense, and Jay Cutler perhaps at last maturing as a quarterback, are headed to the playoffs for the first time in four years.â†µâ†µ
That, according to Urlacher, qualifies him for coach of the year honors. But check out the reason Urlacher and fellow linebacker Lance Briggs give:
The duo discussed Smith's non-wavering style as one of the main ingredients of the team's success.â†µâ†µ
Isn't this what used to drive people nuts about Lovie? That he never seemed to crack a smile, never got angry, never showed any intensity? Maybe that's a media-driven creation; I would imagine coaches who simply yell at NFL players -- here's looking at you, Mike Singletary -- generally aren't that successful.â†µâ†µThe linked article above goes on to say:â†µâ†µ
According to ESPN senior writer John Clayton, since The Associated Press started handing out the award in 1957, it has gone 40 times to a first-, second- or third-year coach with the most pronounced turnaround.â†µâ†µâ†µ
â†µRaheem Morris of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Steve Spagnuolo of the St. Louis Rams, and Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs certainly fit those credentials.
Yabbut... the combined record of those three is 23-19 and the Rams have a losing record, even though they're in first place in the pathetic NFC West. What about Mike Smith, coach of the Atlanta Falcons? Anyone see that 12-2 record coming? Or Rex Ryan... who should be in the running for Husband of the Year, if nothing else.â†µâ†µ
It's just odd that the players see the one characteristic of Lovie Smith that drives local media and many fans crazy -- his low-key laconic nature -- as the reason that he should be Coach of the Year. Maybe they're on to something. The Coach of the Year award isn't announced until next month; by then, perhaps the Bears will be Super Bowl bound... and Lovie will have a contract extension.