Lovie Smith has always been Mr. Optimism and he rarely comes without a grin.
Even when the Chicago Bears went 7-9 last year and the Jay Cutler experience was smelling like something left over from the city's old meat-packing facilities, he never wavered.
Well, no more Mr. nice Guy. It's probably a coincidence that suddenly the Bears are 3-0. On the other hand, maybe it isn't.
Smith deactivated defensive tackle Tommie Harris and wide receiver Devin Aromashodu.
He said it wasn't punitive but "performance based. We wanted to get a look at Marcus Harrison and Henry Melton inside. Tommie has been doing everything we've wanted him to do."
Well, everything except play decent football. There was a time when Smith would've been inclined to simply stick with the guys he brought to the dance. not anymore. He benched Aromashodu in Week 1 after he dropped a couple passes. He benched cornerback Zack Bowman on Monday night.
Smith had to have a good year to keep his job and maybe he's decided it was time to accessorize that winning smile with a little tough love.