Naming names: Changing the loser ways of Bears coaches
8:36 a.m. CST, December 12, 2012
In trying to pare down the list of coaches who should replace Lovie Smith, I have two top choices, and neither is Bill Cowher.
Itís not that I donít like or respect Cowher, itís that Iím looking for the Bears to make a radically different move when they hear me and finally dump Smith after the season.
The Bears usually buy off the rack. They tend to hire someone elseís hot coordinator who doesnít have head coaching experience. One reason might be that those hires come cheaper than accomplished names. Another issue might be that experienced coaches scare the football-challenged in Lake Forest.
The other bad trend is the Bears always hire a defensive-oriented coach, or at least they have since Mike Ditka. This is not your Papa Bearís NFL. Someone with a television in Halas Hall should alert Bears authorities.
I mean, inexperienced head coaching and defensive leanings have produced exactly how many parades the last 20 years?
Iíll hang up and listen for my hummena-hummena-hummena.
The demand should be that the Bears replace Smith with someone who has experience as a head coach and brings offensive expertise. Those traits require money and brains to acquire. Unfortunately, those traits always seem to be rationed in Halas Hall.
The demand also should be that price is no object. The Bears shouldnít place their backbones in a blind trust when it comes to potential bidding wars. Act like youíre the Chicago Bears, even if Smith is coaching the team down to Jacksonville Jaguars levels.
The Bears havenít won the Super Bowl since January, 1986. Theyíre doing a lot of things wrong. Wise up, people. The Bears have moved slowly or stupidly, or both. If you canít self-scout your hiring process and the profile of those hires to see how it has failed, then youíre smoking crack if you think you can win the Super Bowl.
So, presuming the goofy Bears wonks werenít lying and Phil Emery is actually allowed to exercise his authority, he must make a first big run at Sean Payton.
I donít care if it involves playing dirty. Payton is all about dirty. He lied and cheated with the Saints, and he'd be my first choice. Lying and cheating worked for Bill Belichick. Lying and cheating works pretty good in the NFL. Just be smarter about covering it up.
The oily and suspended Payton and the cheating and fined Belichick have won Super Bowls. The Boy Scout Smith hasnít. Ballgame.
Enough with all the Dudley Do-Rights since Ditka. Dave Wannstedt, Dick Jauron and Smith are some of the nicest men in the world, but there isnít a Super Bowl title as head coach among them. Theyíre nice people and defensive coordinators. Time to get dirty and offensive. Thatís the point.
If Payton canít get out of Roger Goodellís maximum security lockup, then Iíd go after Jon Gruden. I might even chase him first, but you get the idea.
Gruden was bounced from the Raiders because he didnít get along with that crazy old man who owned the team, not because he couldnít coach or build a team. Gruden built a Super Bowl team in Oakland and then beat it with Tampa Bay.
I donít know what Gruden could do with Jay Cutler, but I know what he did with Brad Johnson in a Super Bowl after turning Rich Gannon into a Super Bowl quarterback. This is a quarterbackís league to a far greater degree now. Quick, someone wake up the mopes in Halas Hall and relay this information.
The Bears have to go offense this time. Whatever the Bears have done before hasnít worked. Itís a different time, and itís time for the Bears to act like they have a clue.