In his ninth season as the Chicago Bears head coach, Lovie Smith led the team to a 10-6 record and missed the playoffs. The Bears were quick to fire him the next day. Now legendary Chicago Bears former head coach Mike Ditka has weighed in on the move:
“It really is stupid.”
During his tenure, Lovie Smith led the Bears to one Super Bowl appearance and an overall 84-66 record. When Mike Ditka was coach, he beat the new England Patriots 46-10 in the 1986 Super Bowl.
Most coaches are not fired for finishing with a winning record, and Bears GM Phil Emery claims Smith was fired for his lack of offense.
During an interview with ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Ditka ripped into the Bears organization for firing Smith:
“I think Lovie is a very good coach. Everybody is a little bit different in their manner. I think that’s a 10-win season. They started 7-1. This team, there’s a reason they lost some games in between. A lot of the wins they got in the 7-1 run were because of turnovers by the defense were turned into points. The offense didn’t score enough points in those other games. That’s the bottom line.”
If the Packers had beat the Viking last Sunday, the Bears would have gotten into the playoffs. Ditka believes the Vikings win influenced Chicago’s decision:
“If Minnesota would have lost last night and the Bears were in the playoffs this wouldn’t have happened. That’s a fact…If they would have made the playoffs this would not have happened. They did what they did. They took care of their business and Minnesota played a great game against Green Bay.”
What do you think: Would Lovie Smith still be the Bears head coach next season if he made the playoffs this year?