Lovie Smith the Victim of High Expectations and Other Points of View


  • There was plenty of lockout news that I won’t be talking about at the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune.
  • J’Marcus Webb and Anthony Adams are your Piccolo Award winners. This is notable because Adams is not curently a Bear and because both players apparently treated the situation with such honor and respect.
  • Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune quotes Webb:

“I wish (playing left tackle) was possible. They are real secretive. They haven’t necessarily talked to me about it. I would love to be in any position ready to do the job.

“I played four years in college and I feel natural there. It’s the premier position. That’s where players get paid. It’s a big challenge. That’s what I am all about.”

  • Michael C. Wright at ESPNChicago.com reviews the cornerback position in the draft. He acknowledges that the Bears will probably address the position though they already have a “wealth of talent” there.  Needless to say he likes D.J. Moore as the nickel back better than I do.
  • Wright makes some good points in this video:

“A lot has been made of Mike Tice’s desire to draft Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi, but he is projected to be picked higher than 29. Is there a chance the Bears will make a short jump up into the early- to mid-20s to get a player like Carimi? Darryl, Winnipeg, Manitoba”

“I would be very surprised if this happened, for two reasons. The first reason is the Bears don’t have extra picks to trade in order to move up. The second reason is Carimi is not perceived as a slam-dunk difference-maker. If he falls to 29, he’d be a fine pick. And there is a chance that will happen. But I don’t think he is the kind of player that teams are targeting in a trade-up. There is enough depth at the offensive line position that a trade-up for a player like Carimi probably would not be very smart.”

I might add that Carimi is generally projected to be a right tackle. Arguably the Bears already have three of those.

“Interestingly, Austin says he has no regrets. You have to wonder how teams interviewing him accept that answer knowing that by stepping out of bounds he took himself out of the game.”

  • This unsigned article at the Chicago Sun-Times (Neil Hayes?) speculates upon players at the Bears might take if they fall even though they aren’t at positions of highest need. I’m absolutely in favor of the Bears taking the best available at any position but quarterback and tight end.


  • Mel Kiper at ESPN plays “skeptic or believer” as he goes over draft rumors.

Mark Ingram and Mikel Leshoure will be picked in the first round.”

“Alabama’s Mark Ingram won’t get past Tampa Bay at 20 because of his strength, balance and rare vision. Illinois’ Mikel Leshoure, who is ahead of Ingram on some boards due to injury concerns regarding the former Heisman Trophy winner, will not get past New Orleans, New England or even Green Bay at 32 as 2010 breakout rookie James Starks and veteran Ryan Grant have both lost significant time to injuries in recent years.”

Max Kielbasa
“Pittsburgh Steelers, 1943

“Max Kielbasa played two seasons at halfback for the Steelers. It can be presumed he then went on to open a sausage shop and/or star in adult films in Poland.”

One Final Thought

Pompei also gave this thoughtful answer to a fan question:

Love Smith is one of the most successful Bears coaches in the history of the franchise. All of his players love him and play hard for him, and he has engaged in no controversial activity during his tenure. So, why do so many in the media call for his ousting? Is it because he doesn’t make for good copy? Mike Anderson, Evanston

“Interesting question. Lovie probably isn’t helped by the fact that his public persona is perceived as bland, and he isn’t very open in news conferences. But the reason he isn’t embraced more by the media and public probably goes well beyond that. My theory is the media and public probably would want any coached fired after seven years, assuming the coach isn’t winning Super Bowls regularly. It has less to do with Lovie than it does us. It’s just the fickle nature of the business and how demanding we have become of our teams. If a team isn’t collecting Lombardi Trophies, it is perceived to be failing. People forget this now, but back in the late 80s and early 90s, there were a lot of critics calling for Mike Ditka‘s head. Twenty years later, you would think he should be put up for canonization.”

Moving Chris Williams to Center a Risky Business

Neil Hayes at the Chicago Sun-Times says that there have been discussions at Halas Hall about moving offensive tackle/guard Chris Williams to center. Its an interesting idea but I really question whether it will work.

As we consider this possibility, its worth noting the comments that Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano made about moving guards to the center position last month:

“It legitimately is the hardest position up front to play. People are going to tell you left tackle because of who they are going against, but if you draft the right left tackle, which we’ve been fortunate to do, that really isn’t the case.  If you’re trying to put a squad peg into a round hole then that makes left tackle a hard position. Not many of us try to do that.

“With center, everyone has this guard and can make him a center, or you can take this undersized (guy) and make him a center. That really isn’t the case. It doesn’t work in a lot of situations.

“You have to have some kind of center background in their history, in their past, for that to work well.”

“From a mental standpoint it’s challenging. Practice is one thing. In the game it’s a completely different, much like the quarterback. When it starts to hit the fan out there at that position things speed up and you need it to slow down.”

I’m not saying that the Bears shouldn’t try Williams at center. But I’m very wary of the idea.

Williams didn’t make the transition to guard very well and the move to center would be tougher. He really needs to be settled into a position and allowed to develop.  This kind of change would set his timetable back even further.  Williams may never reach his potential as the Bears shuffle him from position to position.

Its a big risk.