- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith knows first-hand the importance of an NFL team protecting itself at quarterback.
On several occasions during Smith's nine-year tenure in Chicago, the Bears' season went down the tubes because of poor play at the quarterback position, either by the starters or from the reserves. The exception was Kyle Orton in 2005 and Josh McCown at the tail end of 2011.
This year's NFL quarterback draft class is full of question marks which has prompted some to wonder if teams will be forced to reach to select a quarterback in order to fulfill a need.
Smith downplayed that notion during an appearance Thursday on ESPN's SportsCenter.
“"As far as overdrafting, it's just such an important position,”" Smith said. "“You can look at the salaries we are paying quarterbacks nowadays, everything starts with them. There is such a big drop off when you lose that starting quarterback. If you don't have one, and you have an opportunity to get one, sometimes you have to move up a little bit more. Quarterbacks, traditionally, are going to go a little bit higher. That's just a part of it.
"“In the end, you can't win Super Bowls with having great quarterback play.”"