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Tag:Lovie Smith
Posted on: February 25, 2011 9:17 am
Edited on: February 25, 2011 10:18 am
 

Lovie Smith gets 2-year extension from Bears

Posted by Will Brinson

Before the 2010 season, Lovie Smith -- and the entire Bears front office -- was on the hot seat. After winning a division title last year, though, he's received a two-year extension from Chicago that keeps him with the team through 2013, the Bears announced Friday.

"Of course I feel great about the extension like I have every year I have been on the job," Smith, the fifth-longest tenured coach in the NFL, said Friday at the combine.

Smith's extension is based on Chicago's performance in 2010 -- after three-straight middling seasons to follow up their 2006 Super Bowl appearance, the Bears bounced back and posted an 11-5 record en route to winning the NFC North.

That doesn't mean that their place in the division is anything close to secure.

"We realize we have the Super Bowl champs in our division and we're looking up to them," Smith said Friday at the combine.

Although he's taken some grief for various coaching decisions, Smith has led Chicago to three division titles since 2005 (second-most in the NFC) and three double-digit win seasons (one of only two teams to do so int hat time span).

Oftentimes, fans and the media lament some of Lovie's gameday decisions, including his use of challenges and willingness to go for it on fourth down. But the 13th coach in Bears history has still come quite close to winning a Super Bowl and showed tremendous improvement in 2010, leading to the reward from the Bears' ownership.

Also worth noting? Lovie's contract now runs up at the same time as Jerry Angelo (2013), meaning they are, once again, in the same boat together. Just like last year.

"Jerry and I work together well," Smith said Friday. "We feel like we're a good combination."

They certainly were last year, and it the Bears apparently believe their combo -- along with Jay Cutler, who happens to be signed through 2013 as well -- is a winner for the future.

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Posted on: February 22, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Lovie Smith extension coming soon?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Remember when Lovie Smith was on the hot seat? Word is the Bears head coach will be sitting pretty in the very near future. Jon Mullin of CSNChicago.com says Smith could soon sign a two-year contract extension that would include a raise.

Smith made $4.8 million in 2010. Mullin estimates that his salary could jump to the $5.5 million range that he’s believed to be getting in 2011.

The highest paid coaches in the league – Bill Belichick, Mike Shanahan, Pete Carroll – make over $6 million per season. Mullin’s logic is that the market has been set by the recent extensions of Mike McCarthy (three years, $15 million) and John Harbaugh (three years, $12 million).

Smith is 63-49 in seven seasons with the Bears, with three division titles and one Super Bowl appearance.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: January 24, 2011 8:43 pm
 

Angelo: Bears will extend Lovie Smith

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Remember how at the beginning of the season, Bears coach Lovie Smith found himself on the dreaded hot seat? Yeah, those days are long gone.

The Chicago Tribune writes that Bears GM Jerry Angelo – who didn’t have the greatest job security at the beginning of the season either – said the Bears will extend Smith’s contract soon.

"We very much want to extend Lovie," Angelo told reporters Monday. "Our focus, our intent is to extend Lovie."

Good move, considering Smith’s squad has won three NFC North titles in the past seven years.

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Posted on: January 13, 2011 5:07 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 8:31 pm
 

Bears vs. Seahawks: 7-Point Divisional Preview

Posted by Andy Benoit



CBSSports.com's patented and award-winning 7-point preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. As an added bonus, check out our playoff podcast preview:



1. Seattle Seahawks (No. 4, NFC, 8-9) @ Chicago Bears (No. 2, NFC, 11-5)

Arguably the most unlikely second-round playoff team in NFL history goes on the road (like it should have had to do in the wild card round) to face a storied franchise that filled up the bottom half of everybody’s NFC North preseason rankings.

No taking potshots at the Seahawks this week (aside from that little “going on the road” one…which not even the most fiery Seattleites can, deep down, disagree with); Pete Carroll’s men played too well against the Saints to be mocked.

Besides, Seattle beat Chicago at Soldier Field back in Week 6. It was Marshawn Lynch’s Seahawk debut, and his club became, at the time, just the second team to rush for more than 85 yards against Chicago’s reinvigorated defense. (Lynch wound up with 44 of Seattle’s 111 rushing yards; his former Cal teammate, Justin Forsett, had 67). Regardless of what happens from here on out, Lynch will forever be remembered for his earth-rumbling 67-yard run against the Saints.

He’ll need similar tenacity Sunday. The Bears held opponents to an NFC-best 90.1 yards rushing per game during the regular season. Forsett’s quickness won’t be as viable on the sloppy Soldier Field surface; the Seahawks will need to call upon their new hero.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking



The Seahawks bring a David factor to this equation, but it’s not like the 11-win Bears are a big bad Goliath.

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Earl Thomas/Lofa Tatupu vs. Bears Passing Offense

After tearing him apart in the regular season, the Saints were eager to pick on rookie safety Earl Thomas Saturday. But the first-round pick from Texas responded admirably, finishing second on the team with eight tackles. Thomas showcased blazing speed on many of those tackles – including one where he crossed the field to hunt down Reggie Bush.

That speed will be crucial against Devin Hester and Johnny Knox, Chicago’s two playmaking receivers. Though a slapdash offensive line has compelled Mike Martz to call fewer seven-step-drop passes in 2010, you can bet the Bears will still look to stretch the field a time or two. The Seahawks gave up an NFC-high 60 passes of 20 yards or more during the regular season. They also allowed 11 passes of 40-plus yards (tied for fourth most in football). Some of those passes were due to Thomas’ misreads.

Thomas is obviously more experienced than when the Bears last saw him, but given how vulnerable Seattle’s corners are to downfield patterns (knee injuries have cost Marcus Trufant a half-step; No. 2 corner Kelly Jennings struggles with his outside change-of-direction technique at times) Martz and Jay Cutler will be tempted to showcase their big-play prowess on a high-stakes stage.

As far as Tatupu goes, his speed and instincts are key to Seattle’s short-area pass defense. The Bears completed 51 passes to running back Matt Forte this season (tied with Knox for the team lead). Seattle may want to consider shadowing Forte with their veteran Pro Bowl middle linebacker.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

Pete Carroll should make his special teams unit watch this video 10 times a day the rest of this week.



5. The Seahawks will win if ...

They get another spectacular performance from Matt Hasselbeck and take advantage of Chicago’s issues with recognizing pass blocking assignments (that is if the Bears haven’t corrected these issues over the past two weeks).

6. The Bears will win if ...

They simply break even with Seattle in the “mistakes” category and can take advantage of the favorable mismatches for their defensive line.

7. Prediction: Bears 24, Seahawks 17

Posted on: January 2, 2011 9:14 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 11:09 am
 

Report: Panthers interviewing Ron Rivera

Posted by Will Brinson

When we put together our extensive Hot Seat Coaching Tracker on Sunday, one of the coaches listed as a possible replacement for John Fox in Carolina was San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.

According to a report from Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk, the Panthers are indeed planning to interview Rivera.

Rivera's a guy who's never been given too much consideration as a head coaching candidate, even though his defenses have consistently been pretty stellar. Since taking over for Wade Phillips as the Chargers' defensive coordinator in 2008, the Bolts have ranked 25th, 16th and 1st in yards allowed and 15th, 11th and 8th in points allowed.

Rivera also orchestrated the Bears defense from 2004 to 2006, when Chicago lost to Indianapolis in the Super Bowl. In Chicago, his defenses ranked 21st, 2nd and 5th in yards allowed and 13th, 1st and 5th in points allowed in the NFL. (They had not returned to the top-five after Rivera's departure until 2010.)

Rivera very much fits the mold of John Fox as well -- Fox was a defensive backs coach for the Steelers, Chargers. He then became the defensive coordinator of the Raiders and then Giants before being offered the Panthers head coaching job.

Of course, the downside to Rivera may be that the Panthers didn't suffer defensively in 2010 -- it's their need for a quarterback that hampered them so much. There's no telling whether or not Rivera would prefer to draft a defensive player with the top overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft (and he might not have a choice), but there's also a good case to be made that he saw the problems a team could face with someone like Kyle Orton or Rex Grossman running the offense.

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Posted on: December 15, 2010 12:18 am
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Super Bowl contenders

New England has to be considered a Super Bowl contender (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s getting to be about that time.

The time when we really can crack down on the best teams in the NFL and really figure out which squads are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Preseason favorites (like, ahem, the Jets) have begun to show cracks in the foundation, while other teams – in this case, it’s just one team, really – have begun pulling away.

Three weeks left in the regular season, so we should have a pretty good indication of which team is going to do what once it makes the playoffs (if it, in fact, makes the playoffs at all). Without further ado, here’s your guide to which squad will be spending February in Dallas.

10. Jaguars: Why they will: Why the hell not? I mean, they won’t really. But RB Maurice Jones-Drew is fun to watch, and QB David Garrard has played great football lately. Jacksonville is just a fun underdog to watch. Why they won’t: I’m not even sure they’re good enough to get to the playoffs.

9. Chargers: Why they will: QB Philip Rivers is still having a fantastic season and is still an MVP candidate. Plus, San Diego is the No. 1 defense in the NFL (you can look it up!). Why they won’t: They simply haven’t played well for most of this season. Losses that look like this: 27-20 to the Seahawks; 35-27 and 28-13 to the Raiders; 20-17 to the Rams.

8. Bears: Why they will: They’ve surpassed many people’s expectations for the season while dragging coach Lovie Smith off the hot seat, so why can’t the surprises continue? I mean, if Jay Cutler can play fairly well on a consistent basis, anything can happen. Why they won’t: The offense isn’t good enough, and the defense isn’t good enough to overcome one of (statistically) the worst offenses in the league.

7. Ravens: Why they will: They’ve got plenty of talent at the WR position, and much of the time, QB Joe Flacco can even get his receivers the ball. Plus, there’s always Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis. Why they won’t: Did you see the way the defense collapsed Monday vs. the Texans? That’s unlike the Baltimore defense we’re accustomed to seeing every season. That secondary struggles, as well.

The duo of B. Jacobs and A. Bradshaw has been big for New York this year (US Presswire). 6. Giants: Why they will: The Giants offense, though beat up in the WR corps, still picks up the yards. Once they figured out their roles, the running back duo of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw has been outstanding. Why they won’t: For one, Eli Manning doesn’t have very many healthy receivers. For two, the team won’t stop turning the ball over to its opponents.

5. Eagles: Why they will: Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson can lead this team anywhere. The proof lies in the league-leading 402 yards of offense Philadelphia produces per game. Why they won’t: Some injuries on defense – CB Asante Samuel, LB Stewart Bradley and DE Brandon Graham – certainly don’t help. Plus, it seems like Vick would have to play perfect all the way through, doesn’t it?

4. Steelers: Why they will: The Steelers played well without QB Ben Roethlisberger, and now with him in there – even though he’s less than 100 percent – they’re nearly unbeatable. Plus, you know, Troy Polamalu. They don’t win ‘em pretty, but they win ‘em anyway. Why they won’t: The offensive line isn’t very good. Like, not very good at all.

3. Saints: Why they will: New Orleans has played progressively better as the season has neared its end. Even if the Saints can’t catch the Falcons in the NFC South, the wild card should be there for the taking, and hopefully for them, they would catch one of the NFC West teams on the road. Why they won’t: They’re not as good as they were last year.

2. Falcons: Why they will: They have the quarterback, they have the running back, they have the receivers, they have the TE and they have the coaching (and a pretty decent defense). There’s a lot to like about this Atlanta squad. Why they won’t: Not a ton of guys on the team have been on teams that have made deep playoff runs. Unlike, say, the New Orleans Saints.

1. Patriots: Why they will: It’s obvious. Rewatch their last two games – destructions of the Jets and the Bears. Why they won’t: Can Tom Brady really keep up this unbelievable pace? Isn’t the young – and, at times, ineffective – secondary eventually going to get the team in trouble? Especially if the Patriots face somebody like Philip Rivers or Drew Brees?

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Posted on: October 29, 2010 11:06 pm
 

For the gambler in you

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If you’re wondering which NFL teams the gambling website bodog.com believes are the co-favorites to win the Super Bowl, wonder no more: the site has the Jets and Steelers at 13/2 odds to prevail in the league championship game. If you want to know the favorite in the NFC, that’d be the Giants who are 8/1 favorites.

My favorite parts of the weekly e-mail from bodog, though, are the prop bets. Some highlights:

Will Lovie Smith be the head coach of the Bears for Week 1 of the 2011 NFL Regular Season?

Yes +150

No -200

Will Mike Singletary be the head coach of the 49ers for Week 1 of the 2011 NFL Regular Season?


Yes +150

No- 200

Will Norv Turner be the head coach of the Chargers for Week 1 of the 2011 NFL Regular Season?


Yes -105

No -125

I find it fascinating that the firings of Singletary and Smith are receiving the same odds. I’d be much more inclined to say that Singletary will be out of a job instead of Smith. But yeah, I also think Turner is as good as gone.


DeAngelo Hall – How many Interceptions will he record from Week 8 to Week 17 of the 2010 NFL Regular Season?

Over/Under 2.5

After his four-interception burst against the Bears last week, I’d say Hall will go over. After all, he’ll face Minnesota on Nov. 28, and if Brett Favre is playing, he’s usually good for an interception or two. Plus, the Redskins have got Jacksonville on Dec. 26, and there’s no telling what interception risk the Jaguars will play at the quarterback spot.

Will Brett Favre be benched at any point this season (injuries do not count towards wager)

Yes +200

No -300

I’m not even sure how this would work, especially with this weekend’s game vs. the Patriots. If Favre doesn’t play Sunday, would that automatically be because he’s injured? What if he says afterward that he could have played, that he, in fact, wanted to play? Is it possible for this wager even to have a clear conclusion?

Troy Smith – Total Passing Yards Week 8 vs. Denver

Over/Under 200.5

I could probably better answer this question if the site laid out the bet in meters rather than yards.

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Posted on: October 27, 2010 3:28 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2010 5:48 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: 'What's Best for the Team'?

Dey Took Er Jobs takes a look at the various job controversies around the league. If you don't get the title, you don't watch enough South Park . 

Week 7 might see an unusual number of coaches actually doing 'what's best for their team' (Brad Childress' words) when it comes to quarterback decisions.

Or perhaps not -- many an external factor can change a coach's choice on who to start.

Let's begin in Minnesota, or, technically, in New England -- where the Vikings will take on the Patriots in a game that's got a storyline or two.

There's Randy Moss' return to New England after being traded from the Pats earlier this season, a monumental factor that's being even more monumentally overshadowed by the fact that every single bone in Brett Favre's foot has been reduced to little tiny pieces in the past week or so.

OK, that's a stretch, but we do know it's a pretty severe injury. Or, at least some of us do.

"You're talking to the wrong guy to rate severity," Childress said. "I just know how they were advertised to me, and I didn't use any [medical definitions] that weren't said to me."

Chilling words (pun intended) from a coach who seems to be more passive-aggressive than anything when it comes to making a decision about who'll start for him under center.

The pervasive understanding sure seems to be that Childress, if he had his druthers or any, ahem, "juevos rancheros" at all, would start Tavaris Jackson at quarterback for the Vikings. This would require Childress being in charge, though, and his description of Favre's injury ("an evolving situation") is pretty indicative that he's not.

Favre doesn't call the shots, of course, but it's pretty clear that if he wants to play, he's going to play, despite what he says; and yeah, the same thing applies to his streak of 291 consecutive games.

"I don't want to go out there for one play, I don't want to go out there for three plays," Favre said. "If I'm able to play, I want to play the whole game and give us the best chance to win."

That's utter baloney, regardless of how nice it sounds coming from Favre. He prides himself on his iron man status as much as anything, and it's pretty obvious that if he can get that next start, he's going to get that next start, even if it's at the expense of Minnesota's success.

The only thing that could stop him is Childress stepping in, telling everyone involved that Favre is going to take a week off, get rested and thereby putting the burden on Adrian Peterson to control the game and Tavaris Jackson to make one or two big throws without any huge mistakes.

It's a plausible proposition, but probably one that won't come to fruition. But only because Favre wants to keep his streak intact grit out a win just too damn much.

****


The Titans might offer up the spiciest of all job situations, because Jeff Fisher's shown in the past he doesn't give a flip who throws the ball for his team, as long as they help Tennessee win.

Kenny Britt's emergence as a potential true No. 1 wideout -- even if he's facing future discipline -- under Kerry Collins might make the decision easier.

Clearly Vince Young has potential and whatnot, but he's remarkably inconsistent, and Collins has had tremendous success with Fisher, most notably in stealing V.Y.'s starting spot two years ago and last week against the Eagles, when he lead a measty comeback in Nashville that featured Britt catching three touchdowns for 225 yards.

As long as Tennessee has Chris Johnson, it'll obviously be dangerous, and with a bye week coming after the Titans tangle with the Chargers in San Diego Sunday, it makes a whole lotta sense for Fisher to give V.Y.'s a quite convenient extra week of rest on his injured leg.

Will ownership want that no? Probably not. Will Vince? Definitely not. Does Fisher care? Absolutely not -- a win in San Diego gives Tennessee establishes the Titans as a legitimate threat to win the AFC (if that wasn't clear already), and "CSI:Nashville" knows that keeping Collins under center for now gives them the best chance to win.

At least until he does his best "Kerry Collins in the first of 2009" impersonation -- but that's what Vince Young's sitting there for!

****
The Eagles finally make their way to the bottom of this piece (or at least the middle anyway), and with good reason -- Kevin Kolb showed Sunday why Michael Vick should be the starter.

(Ironically, yes, that was while Collins showed he should start over Young, but that's neither here nor there.)

Look, we've said it plenty of times, but Kolb's plenty good and will play plenty of snaps for the Eagles at some point; he's just a different animal than Vick.

Last week we talked about how Kolb, even when posting monster numbers against Atlanta, still looked a little weak-armed. This won't change. Ever.

And Vick is, when healthy, one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL -- he'll start until he forgets how fragile his ribcage is and takes off on an ill-advised run down the middle of the field towards the goal line. Again.

****


Perhaps the best decision by any coach -- and it's an odd choice if only because of who the coach is -- will happen in London, where Mike Singletary decided to plug in Troy Smith as the starter while Alex Smith is out.

There's no telling if Troy will start for the entire two-to-three week duration that Alex is supposed to miss, but it doesn't really matter: Frank Gore would be a better option than David Carr.

Plenty of people probably weren't watching the stinker of a game he gave up in Charlotte, but believe me, he has no business taking snaps as a starter in the NFL ever again. It's like drafting Michael Clayton in fantasy -- just because he's a top pick and has tons of talent doesn't mean he has to succeed eventually.

Cut him and move on. (Oh wait, that happened in real life too. Ha.)

****
Los Pantalones Fuegos (We're talking about jobs so we might as well mentions who's seat is hot, no?)

- Mike Singletary: Right now he's getting a few too many votes of confidence. A blowout overseas at the hands of a Denver team that got torched by the Raiders last week could push him to the brink.

- Brad Childress: Weird how so many of the guys with quarterback situations are mentioned here right? 2-6 to start the season could make it worth Minnesota's while to see what Leslie Frazier can do as a head coach.

- John Fox: It's hot all season, but a win against the Rams would go a long way towards keeping him in town through 2010.

- Josh McDaniels: It wasn't the losses piling up, but the way in which they piled up (read: giving up nearly 60 points to division rival Oakland).

- Wade Phillips: Tony Romo's injury almost guaranteed that he won't be fired until the end of the season, if that's any consolation.

- Jack Del Rio: Losing to a Jon Kitna-led Cowboys team just before the bye could seal his fate. Kitna will do that to you.

- Lovie Smith: He's only slightly less delusional than Singletary. And he has four wins, so that helps.

****
Quickly …

- Needless to say, giving the job to Colt McCoy was the right call for Eric Mangini. Kid's kind of hard to root against.

- Max Hall's the starter for Arizona if he's healthy and that makes the most sense given that the only other option is still Derek Anderson. It's simple science, really.

- Apparently Washingtonians want Rex Grossman to get a shot over Donovan McNabb. Please go monitor a midterm, folks -- there's more value in that.

- Darren McFadden probably has his starting job back now, I think.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com