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Lance Briggs: Chicago should remember Lovie with Ditka and Halas


Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, who is preparing to face his former coach Lovie Smith when the Buccaneers come to town on Sunday, says Smith deserves to be remembered as a Chicago legend.

According to Briggs, Smith stands behind only Hall of Famers George Halas and Mike Ditka in Bears coaching history.

“Lovie should be remembered as one of the great coaches in Chicago,” Briggs said, via ESPN. “George Halas. You have Mike Ditka. And Lovie Smith comes next.”

Briggs is right to the extent that Smith is second only to Ditka in both wins and winning percentage among all the Bears’ coaches since Halas retired after the 1967 season. Of course, that really says more about the rest of the Bears’ coaches over the last half century, none of whom left Chicago with a winning record.

For his part, Smith says the Bears’ fans have always been good to him.

“Oh, I know how I’m remembered there,” Smith said. “So as I come in Sunday, I’m coming in as an opposing coach. That’s how I’m looking at it. The year I had off, and just being in Chicago for nine years, I don’t need anything validated this week. Fans were great to me and my family while we were there. Administration was. I have lifetime friends on the Chicago Bears football team. So I think I have all those things. Right now, I’m an opposing coach on the other side of the football coming in this week.”

When Smith was fired, most Bears fans thought it was about time. If Smith’s Bucs beat Marc Trestman’s Bears on Sunday, many Bears fans will be wishing they could have Smith back on their sideline.