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Monday, July 16th, 2018



“Parting ways” is the nice way to put it. But it’s evident that Ron Rivera was fired. Maybe not technically, but it was indeed a firing.

And when it came down to the reasoning behind the move, Lovie Smith said things like: “This will give both of us the chance to go forward”, “different directions”, “I don’t see it as a firing or anything like that”. It was Smith’s way of telling everyone it was really none of our business. Perhaps he was also trying to make the best of a bad situation by not laying it on Rivera.

But Rivera was never Smith’s guy. Now Smith will have his own guy, Bob Babich, as the D-Coordinator. Babich is a longtime firend from the Tulsa days. And oh, by the way, the Bears will save a lot of money, which never hurts when you are the Bears.

All the press conferences and columns in the world can’t make it as simple as this: Lovie Smith didn’t want to work with Ron Rivera.

How does this affect the Bears next season? I think it makes Smith’s job more difficult. He has certainly added pressure on himself as any failures on defense will lay squarely at his feet. I think the promotion of a positional coach to run the whole defense also adds another interesting dynamic. The relationships Babich had with his players will be different now. And Babich is a first time coordinator. You’d think that leaves Smith with more work, more managing. And there is this little expectation of defending the NFC crown.

The Lovie honeymoon is certainly over. He’s on his own now. And there’s more room going down than there is up. I wonder if things might start getting messy from here on out.

  • PB

    It’s all about the money mang! The bean counter McCaskey penny pinching tightwads didn’t want to fork over the dough! Ah well. Now the Lions might be able to score more than 7 points in Soldier Field mang! FIRE MILLEN!

  • PV

    I’m pretty nonplussed by all this. I think it’s entirely reasonable not to renew the contract of somebody who clearly sees the job as a stepping stone at this point and isn’t a long-term solution, and other than being popular with his players, didn’t really put his imprint on the defense in any significantly noticable way. Everyone pretty much thought it was Lovie’s defense anyway, so why shouldn’t he have one of his own guys and make it “official”?

    Really, I don’t get what the big deal about Ron Rivera is, and never really did.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Excellent take. The big deal was he played for the ’85 Bears. And that’s about that.

  • http://www.meaninglis.com Lis

    “big deal was he played for the ‘85 Bears” Word!

    Have you ever seen a more vanilla defense then what we played last year?

    I think Zoner is right about Lovie’s honeymoon being over. I’m curious now to see if…
    1. Lack of half time adjustments.
    2. Lack of d-line stunts.
    3. Lack of blitzing.
    4. Horrible playoff points allowed (24 pts/game allowed in the playoffs)

    Was that all on Rivera or on Lovie? I’m 100% certain that our defense is good because of the talent JA assembled. I’m 75% sure that Rivera did not know how to coach.

    I totally disagree about this move having anything to do with money. I agree the Bears front office can be cheap bastages sometimes but I think this was JA and Lovie thinking they were not getting enough from the defense.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    By the money I just meant that was a nice byproduct for a historically cheap team.

    Unless Lovie wins big, he will never be held in the same adoration as he has been this year. It’s like the 2003 Cubs and Dusty Baker. There’s only one more rung up the ladder but plenty going down.

  • http://www.meaninglis.com Lis

    Bears name Babich defensive coordinator


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