Lovie Smith, NFL Coach Of The Year? Brian Urlacher Says Yes

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.

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That, according to Urlacher, qualifies him for coach of the year honors. But check out the reason Urlacher and fellow linebacker Lance Briggs give:

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The duo discussed Smith's non-wavering style as one of the main ingredients of the team's success.
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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.

↵↵The linked article above goes on to say:↵↵
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.↵

↵Raheem 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.
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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.

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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.

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