“Crap, Dang, Darn & Shoot”January 8th, 2014
A different kind of culture change has arrived at One Buc Palace.
The foul-mouthed ways of Jon Gruden and Raheem Morris were notorious. Greg Schiano? He brought his Jersey vocabulary to Tampa.
Lovie Smith is a different kind of cat.
During a Monday FOXSports1 interview with Lovie Smith, former Bears great Brian Urlacher was playful with his former head coach. Urlacher told a story of when Lovie was furious and actually said “crap, dang, darn and shoot in the same sentence.”
Lovie is known for his Father Dungy approach and values, including no swearing and a steady demeanor.
Joe found this 2011 ChicagoMag.com feature excerpt worth sharing.
Yelling at guys doesn’t make them tougher, Smith continues. What makes them tougher? Holding them accountable. “Guys understand: You don’t get it done, we’re gonna get somebody else to do it,” he says. “To me, that is positive.”
After each game, players and coaches gather to review film. Each player gets a grade on every play, presented for the entire team to hear. Players who don’t consistently make good grades get demoted. It’s the only honest way to operate, Smith says. Set standards and hold players to those standards.
Thirty minutes into the conversation and he’s got me believing. I’m ready to throw a block for this guy. Yet we hear that today’s big-time athletes are spoiled and don’t respond to discipline. We hear that modern athletes care about themselves first, their cars second, their teams third.
Aeneas Williams, who played for Smith when Smith was the defensive coordinator in St. Louis, says some coaches do have trouble getting through to players. They make threats and never follow up, and once that happens they lose the players’ respect. Not Coach Lovie. “I’ve never seen him upset in a demonstrative way,” says Williams. “But I never, ever wanted to disappoint him.”
After a blowout win in Miami early in the 2001 season, Williams recalls, “there was real excitement in the room. Then the postgame meeting started, and Coach Lovie comes in and says, ‘It feels good, doesn’t it?’ Then he says, with a calm voice, ‘But there are some of you in here who continue to make the same mistakes time after time, and I’ll tell you right now we are looking to replace you.’”
One of the players eventually benched was a $2-million-a-year starter.
Joe has nothing against well timed F-bombs, but Joe also has immense respect for Lovie’s approach and motivational tactics. He’s proven they work extremely well, and his players respect him.