All right I'll concede that I wouldn't just "dump" Urlacher or Briggs, but I also wouldn't extend them unless it was for a bargain price. I also don't think Lovie is the problem. He needs better players to work with (like in 2006) and he'll be fine. Not having a healthy/good defensive line since 2006 and no superstar players in your secondary will kill your success. The biggest sin, however, are the numerous "win-now" actions the management has pulled over the years. That includes signing a washed up Orlando Pace, signing Julius Peppers, trading two first round picks for Cutler, and trading for Gaines Adams (tragic end to that). The team hasn't even drafted all that poorly; the problem is they never have any picks.
Couldn't agree more with the bold (though Peppers is still a great sign IMO, and maybe Cutler but they did give up too much).
And I agree Lovie isn't the
problem, but I don't think he's part of the solution. Tommie Harris was one of the best defensive players in the league a few years ago, and now he's barely playing half the snaps. Obviously he needs to play better, but its on the coach to get the best out of his players (look at Shanahan with Haynesworth, who is playing well now), and part of that is knowing how good your players really are, and Lovie has always thought the Bears were way more talented than they are. Look at the Vikings and Cowboys (and Lions to a lesser extent), ultra-talented, but shit records. Then look at the a team like the Bucs, not too much talent, but the coach knows their limitations and how to get them to play well.
Also, I think one of the big problem's is the "bend but don't break" defense. It works against young teams like the Bills and Panthers cause they shoot themselves in the foot (Packers game too), but it's set up for failure against good, experienced quarterbacks (Seattle game is a good example), cause they won't make the same mistakes.