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Friday, March 12, 2010
Smith as the ultimate Bears coordinator

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Chicago players are ready to "run through a frickin' wall" for new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, linebacker Brian Urlacher told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. That's great news for Bears fans.

I'm not sure I can say the same for this Urlacher quote, referring to coach Lovie Smith and former defensive coordinator Bob Babich:

"It's the same system and Lovie still oversees it. When it was Bob, it was Lovie. When it was Lovie, it was Lovie. Now that it's Rod, it's going to be Lovie. Lovie still has all the input in what we do. It's just a different guy making the calls.

"We tweak things every year. We try and find what we did wrong last year and try and fix it. We don't always do it right, but we're always trying to figure out what we didn't do right and do it better the next year.''

You wouldn't expect Smith, a longtime defensive coach, to overhaul his scheme at this point or even change the fundamentals of how he administers to the group. But if you've watched the Bears' steady defensive decline over the past three years, you might recognize the value in at least a fresh coat of paint.

If the Bears are merely expecting Marinelli to execute game day calls better than Babich or Smith before him, it's hard to imagine the defense making a substantial improvement in 2010. You with me or against me on this one?