1 Nov 1998: Head coach Mike Ditka of the New Orleans Saints looks on during the game against the Carolina Panthers at the Eriksson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers defeated the Saints 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Laforet /Allsport
The Chicago Bears made a surprising move on Monday when they fired head coach Lovie Smith. According to Mike Ditka, the move was idiotic. On Monday, the former Bears coach ripped the team for what he thinks is a big mistake.
“If Minnesota would have lost (Sunday) night and the Bears were in the playoffs this wouldn’t have happened,” Ditka told The Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000. “That’s a fact. So how stupid is it then? It really is stupid. If they would have made the playoffs this would not have happened. They did what they did. They took care of their business and Minnesota played a great game against Green Bay.”
Ditka certainly has a point. Chicago has only made the playoffs three times in nine years with Smith as its head coach, but oftentimes teams overreact to missing the playoffs. The Bears were not a bad team this year and were a Vikings loss away from making the playoffs. Is a coaching change really what they needed to take the next step?
“I think Lovie is a very good coach,” Ditka said. “Everybody is a little bit different in their manner. I think that’s a 10-win season. They started 7-1. This team, there’s a reason they lost some games in between. A lot of the wins they got in the 7-1 run were because of turnovers by the defense were turned into points. The offense didn’t score enough points in those other games. That’s the bottom line.”
The Bears struggled mightily down the stretch, and it’s not uncommon for a head coach to take the fall when something like that happens. In this case, I’m not sure he should have. Do I think it’s tragic enough where Devin Hester needs to be overreacting and contemplating retirement because of it? No, but I tend to agree with Ditka. Smith should have no trouble filling one of the vacant head coaching positions.
H/T Pro Football Talk