Many have said Rivera was way better than the current defensive coordinator Bob Babich.
They are also saying that the players aren’t playing for Bob Babich like they did for Ron Rivera because Rivera was a former player, so he set an example to his players.
Here is why I disagree.
Ron Rivera had basically the same defensive scheme and almost the same group of players.
Bob Babich hasn’t been great thus far, but the defense could easily turn it around.
An Example of turning it around:
Lovie Smith was linebackers coach of a Buccaneers team in 1999 that lost to the Raiders 45-0 and ended up playing in the NFC Championship Game five weeks later.
“After going over what happened with the Packers game, you have to move on, and that’s what we’ve done,” Smith said. “We have a six-game season starting up right now.
But if Babich doesn’t turn things around, I am pretty sure it’s time for him to get out of town.
I understand we were statistically better with Rivera, but the guy hands down lost us the Super Bowl.
You can say Rex Grossman lost us the game, but the Bears D was supposed to control the Colts offense and they got thumped.
Do you remember Super Bowl 41?
If you do, you’ll remember that the Bears D let the Colts run all over them.
They played conservative defense the whole game, where they let the Colts gain 15 yards here and there.
The bend but don’t break mentality, which Rivera used in this game against Peyton Manning is a prescription for losing.
The Colts offensive play, looked the Bears usual game plan.
That is the stupidest way to play with such a great defense.
That is why the Bears management made Bob Babich the new defensive coordinator.
The Bears wanted to pound the ball and control the time of possession.
Even in the 4th quarter when the Bears were losing 22-17, I never felt they had a chance to actually win the game.
They just didn’t look the like the Bears team, that I was used to for that season.
The reason they were so good was because they had so much talent on the defense and pretty much every player was in the prime of their career.
Maybe the Bears defensive players aren’t as good as they were two years ago, because it seems like they have lost a step.
I’m not saying Babich is a good defensive coordinator, but I’m just thinking maybe there is another reason for all the bad defensive performances this season and last.
Ron Rivera later left for San Diego where he was hired as the inside linebackers coach.
The Chargers made him their defensive coordinator about three weeks ago, when the fired Ted Cottrell.
We can all boo Babich now, but we should always boo Ron Rivera.
We can all glamor about the Bears’ Super Bowl season, but when you look back there is something very important missing and that is a championship.
So for all you Ron Rivera lovers out there, you should get your facts straight before praising him.
A Super Bowl loss, will sting way longer than a disappointing year as a defense unit.