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updated: 12/18/2012 11:05 AM

Bears fans not as dumb as Urlacher thinks

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  • Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith watches the action against the Green Bay Packers in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title.

    Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith watches the action against the Green Bay Packers in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title.
    Associated Press


The quiet chorus has become a jet engine roaring for change in Lake Forest, and even those eternally late to the party now realize the Bears need a new head coach.

Under these circumstances, and with a season unraveling in humiliating fashion, it's difficult to imagine GM Phil Emery standing before the fans after the season and making a case for why Lovie Smith deserves another year.

Unless the Alexander Haig of Bears business, Ted Phillips, or Smith's guardian angel, Virginia McCaskey, steps in with a last-minute pardon, Emery will struggle to justify continuing with this charade.

Though injuries at crucial positions have certainly played a major role in the 2012 disintegration, as it did in 2011, good teams draft depth and good coaches put together great coaching staffs that develop those depth players and ensure the backups are ready to play when needed.

The Green Bay Packers have done this consistently. The result is the Packers can win a Super Bowl with 15 players on injured reserve, including six starters, while the Bears go to pieces when they lose important players.

Much of this is on Jerry Angelo, but Smith shares responsibility, and that is why the totals for Smith are these as we speak: nine years, 3 playoff victories. The Giants' Tom Coughlin won four playoff games last year alone, and has 11 playoff victories the last eight seasons.

Smith's choices have been disastrous, from continually drafting for defense when offense was a necessity, to "Rex is our quarterback," to the bend-and-break Cover-2, to Devin Hester's status as a No. 1 receiver, to the annual belief that his offensive line was just fine.

And if you think he wasn't consistently calling the shots, consider that Phillips had Smith involved in the interview process as the team searched for a new GM after Angelo was fired a year ago.

It was Smith who said he was "comfortable" with the hiring of Emery, after quickly distancing himself from his good friend Angelo.

And while Brandon Marshall wails for accountability, those who need Smith's protection scream at anyone who dares criticize the head coach.

You know there is fear in the streets and throughout the locker room when Brian Urlacher goes on the attack against the media and fans. Urlacher senses the change in temperature and knows that if Smith is gone, his chances of staying seriously diminish.

There could be a new coach, a new system and a new middle linebacker, or perhaps two new inside linebackers in a 3-4.

"I know there are a lot of experts in the media, a bunch of smart guys out there who know exactly what they're talking about all the time," Urlacher told WFLD-TV Sunday night after the loss to Green Bay. "They don't know what they're talking about. Lovie is the head coach of this football team and hopefully will be for a long time."

Of course he hopes that. If Smith is gone, so might be Urlacher.

"I know who Brian Urlacher is," Smith said Monday, "and I know he loves being a Chicago Bear."

Sure he does. He wants to stay and get overpaid again, but Urlacher should have stopped with his defense of the head coach.

He then went after the fans, who apparently don't have a right to be upset after they've paid a significant ticket price to sit and watch bad football.

"They were loud for a minute there. The boos were really loud, which is always nice," Urlacher said sarcastically. "The only team in our division that gets booed at home is us. It's incredible to me."

Urlacher was on the sideline Sunday and perhaps he wasn't listening when the fans tried to rally the defense.

Or maybe he just doesn't get it.

But fans are not as dumb as Urlacher thinks. They know bad football, bad coaching and a washed-up linebacker when they see it.

Forgive the fans, Brian Urlacher, but they've seen enough.

•Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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