I’m sick and tired of hearing Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith explain his continued 4th and inches failings. Year after year it’s the same thing. I can understand having faith in your guys, and wanting to send a message to your team that you truly believe they can get the necessary few inches for a first down, but for the love of God, you have to know by now that they can’t. And especially not by pounding straight ahead. Matt Forte isn’t that kind of back, and the line isn’t that kind of line. New Bear Marion Barber is that kind of back, but he was on the bench for the critical 4th and inches play against the Lions.
Bears kicker Robbie Gould is one of the most accurate field goal kickers in the history of the NFL and Lovie Smith consistently would rather take a chance and go for it on 4th downs. Take the 3, and play some D. That is not only the safe coaching decision, but often times the smart coaching decision. I like a maverick, balls to the walls, take no prisoners approach to coaching like the next guy, but if being chancy isn’t working you gotta go a different direction.
I’m not just fed up with the short yardage failings, but also the challenge flag blunders. I’m still not sure if Lovie is trying to show he believes in his guys when he blindly throws the red challenge flag, but his incompetence should be so obvious that even he can see how bad he is.
The problem with a coach always believing in his players, usually to a fault, is that when the belief is met with poor results as often as happens in Chicago, the players start to doubt themselves. How about putting your players in the best possible position to succeed? That will start to build their confidence a whole heck of a lot more than fail, after fail, after fail? How about making the tough choices that may not be popular with the players, but in the grand scheme of things are the right, smart, and maybe even conservative choices?
Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts.