Lovie Smith fired as Chicago Bears coach
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears have fired coach Lovie Smith after the team missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons.
Smith was informed of the decision by general manager Phil Emery on Monday, a day after the Bears beat Detroit to finish 10-6 but still missed out on a playoff spot.
"Of course, I think we're moving in the right direction," Smith told Chicago's WFLD-TV Sunday night. "A 10-6 season normally gets you in and we just didn't do enough."
Smith led the Bears to a Super Bowl in 2006, but he also saw his team collapse in the second half of the past two seasons.
Hired in 2004, Smith led the Bears to three division titles, two NFC title games and a Super Bowl appearance in his nine seasons. His record is 81-63.
There was speculation Smith would be let go following the 2011 team's collapse, but he got one more year while general manager Jerry Angelo was fired.
Ultimately, the struggles on offense did him in. Known for solid defenses, Smith emphasized taking the ball away from the opposition, and no team did it more than the Bears with 310 during his tenure.
But on the other side, it was a different story. Smith went through four offensive coordinators in Terry Shea, Ron Turner, Mike Martz and Mike Tice.
He never could find the right formula, even as the Bears acquired stars such as quarterback Jay Cutler and receiver Brandon Marshall over the years.
Other NFL coaches fired before lunch Monday were:
Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers, along with general manager A.J. Smith.
Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns, along with general manager Tom Heckert.
Romeo Crennel of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Chan Gailey of the Buffalo Bills.
The Jets decided to keep their coach, Rex Ryan, but fired GM Mike Tannenbaum.
Jacksonville also fired their GM, Gene Smith.