Darryl Drake spent nine seasons as Lovie Smith's receivers coach with the Chicago Bears, and while he's not surprised Smith is going to take a year off from coaching, he is surprised by one aspect.
"'I'm surprised he didn't get the opportunity (to coach this season)," Drake said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. " I think he's an excellent coach. I think he deserved an opportunity.
"What he did in nine years may not have been the best, but as you look at the guys who got hired throughout this year, his record is as good if not better than all the guys who pretty much got hired. I know everybody always looking for a new flavor, but at the same time, to me I don't understand that. But I do think he will resurface and you'll see him grow and be better than he was here."
Smith was 81-63 with the Bears and 3-3 in the postseason. He won three division titles and made Super Bowl XLI.
He interviewed for a couple of jobs but will take the year off.
"I've talked to him, he's doing fine," Drake said. "Right now he's just enjoying some time with his family, something he hasn't had an opportunity to do, take some time off."