Lovie Smith will bring his Tampa Bay Bucs into Chicago on Sunday without a hidden agenda.
"I don't need to be validated," he says.
The Bucs' head man wants a win because his team is 2-8 and needs a boost.
Smith could have other reasons after how Bears ownership fired him in 2012.
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The dismissal ended Smith's nine-year run as the Bears' coach and came after he finished 10-6 despite losing his starting quarterback for an extended period.
Smith was on the cusp of creating a legacy, similar to the one his friend Tony Dungy built at Indianapolis after getting fired by the Bucs in 2001.
Since 1996, Chicago has had five head coaches and five winning seasons with Smith notching four. In that last season, his Bears led the NFL with 44 defensive takeaways.
This is a divorce the Bears might want to rethink. But Smith wouldn't go for it. Loyalty is everything to him, and he has given that to the Bucs.
Lovie doesn't curse and doesn't carry grudges, but he can be fierce in his quiet way.
"His idea of a curse word is Jiminy Christmases and 'you got to be freaking kidding,'" says Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs.
If Smith is mad, you usually will never know unless it's his defense that is getting ripped for not creating turnovers.
"My memories of my time in Chicago are great memories. I have lifetime friends from Chicago that will always be a part of our family," Smith said. "You talk about the opportunity I was given by the McCaskey family (Bears owners). I don't have many bad memories of any place I've ever been."
Lovie set a high standard in Chicago that eventually led to his undoing. The Bears had eight losing seasons in the previous nine before his arrival. He took them to the playoffs in his second year and the Super Bowl in his third.
During his stint in Chicago, the Bears had 310 forced fumbles, which ranked them in the top 10 seven times. In 2006 and 2012, they led the league with 44 takeaways.
"I think that when you think of Lovie here, you've got to put him in the category with the great coaches in Chicago. You have George Halas, you have Mike Ditka, and you have Lovie Smith," Briggs said. "The thing he was able to do with his teams is leading the NFL in a crazy amount of takeaways -- we took the ball away an awful lot of his years. It was a special time. It was fun."
Lovie used to be considered a defensive genius who was lost on offense. Now his understanding of defense is being criticized by some as his players struggle to learn his Cover 2.
But many of his ex-players say Smith's defense is not difficult to learn and that Lovie does a good job teaching it.
"He's going to tell you from day one that he's going to treat everyone like a man and that's the honest-to-God truth," Briggs said. "When coaches do stuff like that and stay consistent to exactly what they're going to say, you get a lot out of your men. He was the man that you would run through a brick wall for, and you can't say that about everyone that you play for."
Dungy didn't get to put the finishes touches on his legacy at Tampa Bay, but then he got to coach Peyton Manning and won a Super Bowl.
Lovie now has Josh McCown and Mike Glennon and went with Rex Grossman as his quarterback when he went to the Super Bowl.
Lovie is not afraid to make changes. He went through 11 starting quarterbacks and four offensive coordinators during his time in Chicago.
He is happy with Josh McCown at quarterback and defends bringing him in from Chicago despite the rough beginning he went through.
Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter @ADellSports.