The Illinois Fighting Illini have fallen to 1-4 under head coach Lovie Smith. While the coach is not in a “hot seat,” per se, it can’t be a lot of fun answering questions like these:
Lovie: "Lax with the football team??" 😠 pic.twitter.com/a2qJPbOOnr
— IllinoisLoyalty🤨 (@IllinoisLoyalty) October 10, 2016
It’s scary because he’s calm.
The veteran coach doesn’t lose his cool at what is likely considered a huge diss in the world of coach: being lax with your team.
In fact, Smith, who has coached in the NFL for the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reportedly hasn’t yelled a single time the entire season. Perhaps this is what has prompted this line of questioning, but it doesn’t seem like a lack of control is Smith’s problem at Illinois.
When asked why Smith hasn’t erupted yet, Illini quarterback Les Hunt said, “I have no idea why that hasn’t happened yet. I think it’s scaring us as the days go by.”
Yelling probably isn’t what this Illinois football team is missing; it’s top-tier football players. The Fighting Illini haven’t finished a season over .500 since 2011 when the went 7-6, and haven’t finished the season ranked since 2007. Smith’s track record buys him time to turn things around. And while coaching changes come hard and fast, they are rarely unexpected.
Smith is only in his first year and is in no way feeling the pressure…yet.
Photo Credit: Illinois Athletics