10:32 AM EST, January 16, 2012
One thing we learned from this weekend’s NFL playoff games:
Lovie Smith was lucky he didn’t get the Jerry Angelo treatment.
Angelo was fired after somebody finally looked at his lousy draft history and failure to insure the most important position on the team. That made sense. That’s why you fire a general manager.
But Smith survived. That’s still mind-boggling, more so after seeing Saturday’s playoff games dominated by a position the Bears forfeited with the Bears head coach’s expressed support. And Lovie lives? It makes no sense, other than Smith has the Virginia McCaskey Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval or the Virginia McCaskey Discount Double Check, or some such thing.
Because Saturday’s postseason performances should’ve presented evidence of head coaching malfeasance to even an aging matriarch.
I mean, did you see the day and night that tight ends had? It made comparing the Bears to real playoff teams look like, well, day and night.
Tight ends were used creatively, were used often, were used to win playoff games. Remember playoff games, Lovie?
Tight ends set records and beat the vessel of God. That’s a tidy of smiting, and on the seventh day, they rested.
San Francisco’s Vernon Davis showed off Saturday afternoon, then it was Rob Gronkowski’s turn. Geez, it’s always Rob Gronkowski’s turn.
In New England’s slaughter of the lambs from Denver, Gronkowski caught 10 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns. For tight ends that Smith endorsed for the Bears, that’s pretty much a season.
Earlier, Davis hauled in seven passes for 180 yards and two scores, outplaying New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham, arguably the best of the new dominant, dangerous, non-Bears-like tight ends in the NFC.
The Davis performance is particularly pointed for Smith and the Bears. Davis might be on another team --- one that’s playing for the Super Bowl; remember the Super Bowl, Lovie? --- but he’s the latest reason you could’ve fired Smith, and here’s why:
Davis dominated only a few years after Mike Martz tried to end his career by refusing to admit such an offensive threat existed because tight ends are really just extra blockers in Martz’s myopic world. Smith supported that loon mentality for two years as Martz attempted to eradicate any progressive use for an offensive weapon sweeping the rest of the league.
Everybody in the NFL realized the next big --- and fast --- thing. Except, of course, Smith’s Bears, who apparently didn’t need any kind of pass-catching tight end because Jay Cutler had so many other weapons.
What must Angelo have been thinking Saturday? How livid was he? How apoplectic? He never wanted that crazy offensive coordinator. He never wanted to get rid of a pass-catching tight end. He never wanted to jeopardize his prize quaterback’s health.
But Smith insisted. Smith got his way. Smith got Angelo fired. Well, he helped get Angelo fired. Dan Bazuin and other hot messes contributed. But don’t discount Smith’s co-conspirator role.
And you know what? It gets dumber. In endorsing Martz’s personnel calls for the remarkably ordinary Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth, Smith’s Bears not only have zero tight ends who represent a threat, but they’re behind real teams in knowing what to look for and how to develop that kind of must-have weapon.
When you see Tom Brady, THE quarterback of his era (sorry, Peyton, but Gisele’s guy wins and you’re not even playing) throwing to tight ends for video-game numbers, Bears fans should be marching on Halas Hall.
But it wouldn’t matter. Not only did Smith not get fired, but he will help pick his new boss in one of the all-time stupid moves, even for Virginia McCaskey’s franchise. General manager candidates will have to suck up to Smith to get the fake job, so you can forget about any candidate telling the truth about the head coach’s lobotomized view of offense.
You can’t touch Smith. You can only laugh at the nonsense.
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