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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Super Bowl Media Day: Interview With Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith

Super Bowl XLI – Tuesday, January 30, 2007
(on any opportunities to visit with Tony Dungy and their relationship) “We got a chance to spend some time together last
night and this morning. I am just thankful for the opportunity Tony gave me. I was the defensive backs coach at Ohio State
and Tony hired me on his first staff as the linebackers coach and put me in charge of coaching Hardy Nickerson, Derrick
Brooks and guys like that. I’ll always be grateful and thankful for that opportunity. To compete against him on a national
stage like this is a dream come true.”
(on what he learned from Tony Dungy) “One of the early things I got from Tony was that he brought different personalities
in on his coaching staff and told all of us to just be ourselves. That was my philosophy coming in. I’ve always tried to be
myself. As a young coach, it is good to see someone at the top level handle themselves that way. Hopefully, guys out there
right now that aren’t screamers and yellers will realize that players want you to teach them as much as anything. They want
you to help them with their trade. They will not turn you off as much if you reason with them as a real man.”
(on his relationship with his mother) “Like all sons, I loved my mother dearly. At a young age, she let me know that I could
do whatever I wanted to do, not to use being poor or where I came from as an excuse for what happens to me in life., to not
feel sorry for yourself and she preached to me about hard work. To not set your dreams too low, but shoot for the sky and
I’ve had a chance to see her persevere. I’ve had a chance to see her fight diabetes that has taken her sight, but she doesn’t
complain. Every day her glass is half full. I get a lot of advice each week from quite a few people and she’s definitely one of
them. I’m trying to figure out how my mom who can’t see can give me this kind of advice and try to tell me exactly who I
should start and all that. She’s a football lady and I’m just glad she will get a chance to hear the game here at Dolphin
(on if his calm attitude has helped Rex Grossman) “I hope so. Rex isn’t looking over his shoulder. None of our players are.
They know it’s a game of production and you have to produce, but they know at the same time, there is a reason why we
have chosen them to be in this position. Rex knows that there is a reason he is leading our team. We believe in him. He is a
good football player and all Rex has to do is look at his record. He has been a winner throughout his life and he has been that
way with us since he has been our quarterback. He’s fought through a lot, too. The only thing I have seen that has hurt him
has been injuries and this year he has been injury-free and we are excited about that.”
(on his thoughts about making history as an African-American coach in the Super Bowl) “I have had a chance to reflect on
what we are doing. I know that we are taking a step in the right direction. I know about the guys that have come before me
that did not get an opportunity, and some of the guys that did. I’m going to talk about winning. I know about John
Thompson being the first black coach to win in the NCAA basketball tournament. I had a chance to communicate with Bill
Russell a little bit this week and he is the first Afro-American basketball coach to win an NBA title. I know about all of that.
One of our teams will win so we will have a black coach that has led his team to the Super Bowl and hopefully, young
coaches out there will see that and know that you can achieve whatever you like.”
(on how he sees the Super Bowl as a platform for his religious faith) “My relationship, first, is with Jesus Christ and he is the
center of my life. I try to live a Christian life. I would like for guys to know my faith based on what they see on a day-to-day
basis. I had a chance to see that on a daily basis with Tony Dungy. I had a chance to see Tony through a lot of storms and he
has been the same guy all the way. This is also an opportunity for us to acknowledge our belief in Jesus Christ, which we do,
and hopefully more people with come around to him based on that.”
(on if it is special to be one of the first Afro-Americans to coach in the Super Bowl) “Yes, it is very special to both of us.
We would like to open doors for others coming through the ranks and I think we are doing that, being on an international
stage like this. At the same time, both of us would like to be the first black coach to hold up that world championship


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