The Bears were greeted Sunday by a Chicago Sun-Times column by Mark Potash on why nice guy Lovie Smith “is in a class by himself” in earning “disdain” from Bear fans. It should be a class of two, with Smith tied with fellow nice guy Dave Wannstedt. The anger stems from the same reasons: arrogance, stubbornness and lack of accountability.
The Bears were greeted Sunday by a Chicago Sun-Times column by Mark Potash on why nice guy Lovie Smith “is in a class by himself” in earning “disdain” from Bear fans.
It should be a class of two, with Smith tied with fellow nice guy Dave Wannstedt. The anger stems from the same reasons: arrogance, stubbornness and lack of accountability.
Neither ever admit a mistake. Wannstedt in his later years even denied he had any input in the draft. When anyone questioned his strategy, his reply was always, “That’s how we did it in Dallas,” confusing Jimmy Johnson’s resume for his own.
I wrote the Bears should fire Smith the day after he said overmatched rookie Kyle Orton would remain his starting quarterback no matter what. He then benched him at halftime of his next game, so sometimes Smith isn’t quite as stubborn as he pretends. But too often the Bears never correct their errant ways, whether it’s single-covering Steve Smith in the playoffs, saying “Rex is our quarterback” or playing soft pass defense. And Smith never admits they were mistakes.
Moss spoke the truth
Why is speaking the truth such a disruptive force? Randy Moss told reporters Sunday that he didn’t feel appreciated. He was ripped from coast to coast the next day for saying he loved being a Patriot but figured this was his last year because New England wouldn’t re-sign him.
Everyone knows that’s true. Moss is 33. The Pats have a long history of letting their aging stars go. Moss reworked his contract to take less money when he first joined the Patriots, then re-signed on the relative cheap ($27 million for three years) after catching a record 23 TD passes.
Modern athletes rarely speak candidly. Then when they do, we beat them down like a Whack-A-Mole.
Players erred, not coaches
Outsized criticism of the Bears and Cowboys showed one reason coaches are usually ultra-conservative. The Bears get stopped on fourth-down at the 1-yard line trailing 14-13 with nine minutes left, and coach Lovie Smith, even in victory, gets called a dunce. Washington scored its only touchdown on a 32-yard fumble return on the last play of the half, and coach Wade Phillips get blamed for not taking a knee.
Why? Dallas trailed 3-0 at the time. And you should always have a better chance to score, even from 64 yards away, when you have the ball than the defense does. Blame Tony Romo for throwing a short sideways pass instead of flinging the ball as high and far as he could, as the play called for. Or blame Tashard Choice for not going down when he saw he had nowhere to go. Don’t blame the coach for actually trying to score.
First-round passers struggle
Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers put the glamour back into first-round quarterbacks seven years ago. Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco did the same as rookies three years ago. But the bloom should again be off. Ryan has regressed, and the bottom of the NFL passer ratings after one week are dominated by recent first-round picks: No. 31 Alex Smith, No. 30 Sam Bradford (both overall No. 1s), No. 29 Mark Sanchez, No. 27 Flacco and No. 24 Ryan.
Matt Trowbridge’s NFL Quick Shots appear Wednesdays. He can be reached at 815-987-1383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.