Bears start means call for Smith extension

Updated 10/9/2012 11:26 AM
  • Lovie Smith has the Bears at 4-1 heading into this weekend's bye, but that's certainly no reason to rush into talks concerning a contract extension for the coach.

    Lovie Smith has the Bears at 4-1 heading into this weekend's bye, but that's certainly no reason to rush into talks concerning a contract extension for the coach. Associated Press

With the Bears 4-1 going into the bye and Super Bowl reservations -- canceled after Week 2 -- reinstated, that only leaves one order of business while there's so much time between games.

The overreaction to a good start should reignite the campaign for a new Lovie Smith contract.

It's the same story any time the Bears win two in a row, or in this case, three.

The mythical narrative is that Smith can't possibly coach the Bears on a one-year deal, which is all he'll have left after this season.

It's the oddest of arguments because Smith is the greatest players coach of all time. At least, that's what we're constantly told.

So, actually, he's the perfect coach to work on a one-year deal in 2013. It's the best conceivable motivation for a Bears team that wants to make certain it retains its beloved coach for several more years, and it ought to win 25 games this year and next because of it.

It's true that the longer ownership waits, the more it could cost -- especially if the Bears win the NFC this season. But the more Smith wins, the more the team will be happy to pay for a guy who has won a single playoff game (against 8-9 Seattle) since 2006.

Or, the McCaskey family can rush into a deal it doesn't have to make and sign Smith before they have to, not knowing what the rest of this season holds.

Sure, they look like a solid bet for the playoffs and might have a real shot at a trip to New Orleans, but there's a long way to go and much that could go right or wrong, so it would be foolish to jump the gun on such a contract extension.

But you know the old Bears saying: Never put off until November something you should probably wait a year to do.

Brandon Marshall

For all who wondered if Brandon Marshall would be as good as advertised, there can't be many doubters left now as he's on pace to set franchise records in yards (1,587) and receptions (112).

Incredibly underrated, Marshall was one of the best players in football the last three years, and with some of the worst NFL quarterbacks he averaged 1,116 yards and 89 catches.

Division serious

You may have noticed the A's wearing a "GJN" patch on their uniforms in the series against Detroit. It's to honor Gehrig John Neshek, the son of reliever Pat Neshek, who died Thursday only 23 hours after his birth.

It is at times like this that announcers, writers, teammates and fans opine with stunning simplicity about what a player should or shouldn't do, what is good for him and what he should feel.

The reality is only Pat Neshek knows what he's feeling and what's best for him, and at this unimaginably horrific moment in his life, he and his wife have decided that he should pitch.

Neshek rejoined his team quickly, and Bob Melvin made him first out of the pen in Game 1 Saturday night in an extremely emotional appearance.

The only certainty is that Neshek's life will never be the same and he will never view the world the way he once did.

But pitching has helped him put one foot in front of the other and start to walk and breathe again. Here's hoping that somehow the steps become easier to take in the days and weeks to come.

Ivan Boldirev-ing

Over the weekend, Gary Bettman said, "If I'm a fan, I want my hockey. And I am not really sure I care who is right and who is wrong. I just want it fixed. I understand that. I respect that. I am a fan. I want my hockey. And it's something that drives us 24/7 to try to get it right."

He understands and respects the fans. Sure. Needs to get it right. Sure. And seven years ago after he shut down the game for a year, he said, "I know the league's future is bright, and this will be to the benefit of the game. We had no choice but to get it right."

For a guy who is sure he keeps getting it right, he seems to be wrong a lot.

Tiger tales

Golf Channel's Tim Rosaforte reported Monday via Brandt Snedeker that Tiger Woods gathered his team's Ryder Cup rookies in a private room after the U.S. loss at Medinah.

"(Tiger) closed the door and personally apologized to everyone for not doing more, for not getting the points he needed to get to get a U.S. victory," Rosaforte said. "For people who don't think Woods really cares, whenever that turn or that pivot occurred in his career, it has fully turned."

The stat

Emailer Vernon Hills Rob points out that on March 13 we gave you the 2012 Vegas over-under on Starlin Castro hits at 183, and Castro's hit total for the season was … 183.

The quote

White Sox starter Chris Sale: "I would love to see all these faces in Arizona next year as I walk in, but knowing how it is, that might not be. We gave it a heck of a run this year, and if we could stay together next year it would probably be just as special."


The Wolves have some seats available for the weekend games against Rockford. Visit for ticket info.

Best headline "Manu Ginobili sets up direct account withdrawal with NBA office in preparation for flopping fine."

And finally …

Yahoo's Jeff Passan: "Any time a team is fighting for its season, it ratchets up the game's intensity and verve so much it's easy to ignore that baseball manufactured the entire thing. The second wild card is like a circus peanut: a vacuous morsel of prefab Styrofoam that somehow is freaking delicious."

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

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