The Bears did their part on Sunday beating the Detroit Lions 26-24, but it wasn’t enough to clinch a playoff spot as the Vikings got by the Packers 37-34 later in the day.
Since becoming the Bears’ head coach in 2004, Smith put together an 81-63 record. He led the Bears to the playoffs three times including a Super Bowl appearance in 2006.
He was named the AP NFL Coach of the Year in his second season with the Bears (2005) as the Bears won the NFC North posting a 11-5 and clinching a first round bye.
The Bears hadn’t made the playoffs five of the last six years under Smith.
Despite posting 7-3 and 7-1 records to start the 2011 and 2012 campaigns, the Bears failed to punch in their ticket for the postseason in both seasons.
Smith consistently had the Bears’ defense ranked in the upper half of the league, but too many times did this Bears’ offense fail.
He gave Terry Shea (2004) Ron Turner (2005-2009), Mike Martz (2010-2011) and most recently Mike Tice (2012) the reigns to run the Bears’ offense.
He was owed $5.5 million in 2013, all of which is still guaranteed. He should find a job somewhere as a defensive coordinator.
The big reason this firing occurred was the change that took place in the front office this off-season.
With GM Phil Emery coming in he wasn’t attached to Lovie Smith from the start. The Bears’ management informed Emery that Smith had to be kept for the 2012 season, but after that Emery was free to do what he liked.
The Bears have reportedly requested the permission to interview Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, according to Fox Sports.
The Bears were allowed to do this because according to NFL rules, assistant coaches whose teams have a first-round bye are allowed to interview for head-coaching jobs this week. They can take part in a second interview either after their team loses or following the conference championship games.
McCoy has spent 13 years in the league. He was an offensive specialist with the Carolina Panthers for nine years being apart of the 2003 Super Bowl run and the 2005 NFC Championship appearance.
He has spent the last four seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. He helped the Broncos get to the playoffs a year ago with Tim Tebow and has turned things around once again with veteran Peyton Manning.
It’s nice to see the Bears already interviewing candidates. Is McCoy the right guy for the job who knows? It’s way too early to speculate.
I wouldn’t mind seeing the Bears move towards a more offensive minded approach. The bulk of their defense should stay together.
Defensive tackle Henry Melton and middle linebacker Brian Urlacher are both free agents. It will be interesting to see if the Bears opt to bring the aging Urlacher back. Melton should be in line for a generous deal as he was named to his first Pro Bowl this season.
The Bears are close on offense. They are a couple of pieces away. They need two solid offensive linemen, one steady tight end and perhaps another receiver besides Devin Hester to complement Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. That would certainly make quarterback Jay Cutler happy.
The Bears have the talent and GM Phil Emery has made great moves since he landed the job a year ago.
The arrow is pointing up for the Bears. The Bears’ defense certainly isn’t getting younger however. I believe they have about a two year window.
Firing Lovie Smith was a needed move as the Bears are trying to prove they are ready to become contenders rather than pretenders next season.
It was certainly tough seeing the Bears start 7-1, then win just three of eight to finish 10-6.
10-6 is a good season, but to not make the playoffs is tough and I think that’s what ultimately forced Emery to fire Lovie Smith.
Sometimes change is good especially for a team that was so stuck in its ways. Those ways weren’t always the best at times.