Tommie Defends Lovie

| November 16th, 2009

The following is a piece from ProFootballTalk in its entirety.  I don’t have a ton to add Michael David Smith’s commentary so I figured I’d just throw it out here for discussion. 

Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris says he and his teammates need to
get to the playoffs not just for themselves, but for coach Lovie Smith
— who, according to Harris, has been so good to the players that they
must repay him by playing well.

We owe it to him,”
Harris said Monday. “That guy has been great to us from training camps
to what he’s done with the facilities. Different things that you see
other coaches really don’t care about, but this guy has come in and
helped us out tremendously, and we owe it back to him.”

It’s a
little surprising that Harris, of all players, would be the one who
would step forward and speak up on Smith’s behalf. It was just three
weeks ago that Harris was an unhappy camper, publicly criticizing the
team for keeping him inactive for the game against the Cincinnati

It’s also interesting that Harris thinks a coach having
“been great to us” is a reason that coach should keep his job.
Ultimately, a coach isn’t judged by whether his players like him; he’s
judged by whether his players win. A critic of Smith’s could just as
easily point to that “great to us” comment and say it’s evidence that
the Bears need someone who’s less a players’ coach and more of a

Whatever the case, maybe it was Harris and other Bears players whom Charley Casserly of CBS was referring to when he said the Bears are 100 percent committed to Smith.
But just because the players like Smith, that doesn’t mean his job is
safe, and Harris seemed to realize that the Bears, at 4-5, need to turn
the season around.

“Now, the back is on our walls,” Harris said. “I mean the wall is on our backs. So we really have to do something now.”

matter where the Bears’ backs are relative to their walls, it’s time
for them to start winning soon, or else Smith will be out of a job, no
matter how great to his players he is.