Lean, healthy, Bears' Smith in it for long haul

"You want to live forever," he said. "I have a lot of years ahead of me. So I said I'm going to help God as much as I can by being healthy. I might die tomorrow from a heart attack or whatever, but I've done everything I can."

Ah, mortality. Smith is at a point in his life and his career when it is natural for men to ponder such things.

The way Smith is similar to Ditka at this point in their Bears tenures is both found themselves working for men who did not hire them.

Ditka was hired by George Halas; fired by his grandson Michael McCaskey.

Smith was hired by McCaskey and Jerry Angelo; now brother George McCaskey and Phil Emery are in charge.

Eventually, this may be a problem for Smith as it was for Ditka.

But if he gets the team he believes is his best to perform close to expectations, it's not going to be a problem for at least the next three seasons.

Smith sure appears to be buying himself time.

I am no expert in palmistry, but I think I know a long life line when I see one.

The coach of the Bears? He has one.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei
CHICAGO