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Wednesday, September 5, 2012
BBAO: A new Lovie Smith

By Kevin Seifert

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Something is different about the Chicago Bears this season, and it's not just their potential for an explosive offense. As Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune writes, coach Lovie Smith is physically rejuvenated, having dropped 29 pounds over the past 12 months. Healthy and calm as always, Smith is in position to be among the longest-tenured coaches in Bears history.

Smith said he is "on a health kick like I've never been on in my life." Pompei notes there are no signs of the physical stress and mental fatigue that punctuated the final years of former coach Mike Ditka's reign in Chicago. If he makes it through the 2014 season, Smith will tie Ditka as the second-longest tenured coach in Bears history after George Halas.
Pompei: "If Ditka was starting to burn out in his ninth season, Smith has reignited his fire. Smith has continued to work well with people around him, both newcomers and holdovers. There are no external signs that he has been on the job too long. In fact, he has the enthusiasm of a high school cheerleader. He doesn't drink alcohol, coffee or pop but seems impervious to the stress and fatigue that eats up NFL coaches. Smith rolls with it, and being a flat-liner has its benefits. He could live longer than he otherwise might have, both as coach of the Bears and as a human being, as a result."

I've always thought one of Smith's most admirable qualities is his consistently calm demeanor, both on the sideline and on the practice field. I know some fans are frustrated by what they consider a lack of fire, but I really think players appreciate that he offers a consistent daily approach.

Continuing around the NFC North: