Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If We Fire Babich (Fingers Crossed), There Are Some Good Options Out There

Unimaginitive, boring, unprepared, unable to make adjustments, weird-looking. All words used to describe Bob Babich, our defensive coordinator. Ron Rivera, Babich's predecessor, was a great defensive coordinator. He bought into Lovie's Cover 2 but was able to make adjustments that were tailored specifically to the personnel he was working with. In all fairness to Babich, the talent level on this defense is significantly less than it was under Rivera. What made Rivera great, however, was his ability to change the game plan to utilize his players' strengths. Babich has struggled with that.

Anyways, Windy City Gridiron made some interesting suggestions about who would be a good replacement, IF the Bears were to can Babich. With all the firings that just occurred in the NFL the last few weeks, there are some very appealing options:

Rod Marinelli: I know I know, the Lions were 0-16. Marinelli was not entirely to blame for that. If you want to talk about a lack of talent to work with, no one had it tougher than Rod. Also, the players never quit on him, they played hard for 17 weeks, even through an abysmal season. The Bears defense has looked uninspired at best for most of the season, and someone who could get them to play with more heart may resolve a lot of the issues.

Eric Mangini: The Mangenius choked in New York, but he was known as a defensive mastermind with the Patriots and even had some good Jets defenses the last few years. He might be a possibility. The only issue with him was his disloyalty to the Patriots and of course his involvement with spygate.

Romeo Crennel: Another former Patriots defensive coordinator, Romeo struggled in Cleveland (as most coaches have the past 50 years). I don't know too much about him, but he seemed to thrive as a defensive coordinator in New England and there's no reason to think he couldn't do that in Chicago.

Overall, I think the main issue will be Lovie's adherence to the Cover 2. I'm not sure that any of these guys are married to it like Lovie is. Whoever comes in would have to understand that the majority of things that are run in Chicago are run out of a base Cover 2. I assume all of these defensive minds would be capable of putting their stamp on the Cover 2 and working within it, but I'm not sure. No matter what happens, we can all only hope that this was Babich's last season.

1 comment:

EEKS said...

I think Marinelli is big Cover 2 proponent. He was with Lovie in Tampa under Dungy when the Tampa 2 started. Marinelli was only a linebacker coach in Tampa. But even after Dungy left, Gruden stuck the Asst. Head Coach label on Marinelli to make it harder for anyone to steal him away. If I remember correctly, he was the choice before Rivera for the Bears, but Tampa wouldn't let him interview. I think Marinelli is a case of being a great asssistant coach and not a good head coach. NFL teams are loaded with these kind of guys. The Lions did not quit, they just blew. Marinelli would definitely be an upgrade.

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