Bears GM: Smith’s status not decided
Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo on Sunday said the fate
of coach Lovie Smith has not yet been decided.
Before the game against the Ravens, Angelo shot down a report
from Comcast SportsNet/Chicago on Friday that cited unnamed sources
saying Smith would return for the next to last year of his contract
A review of Smith will be conducted after the Bears finish
the season against Minnesota and Detroit.
“At the end of the year, we sit down, we talk,” Angelo said.
After the Bears’ 31-7 loss to Baltimore, Smith said he didn’t
expect any resolution to his contractual situation during the
remainder of the regular season. The Bears close out the season
with a home game against Minnesota and a road game at Detroit.
“What’s a vote of confidence at this time? … You don’t talk
about things like that during the year,” Smith said. “[We’re]
disappointed in our play, disappointed in our record. I’m the head
football coach, so I’m sure a lot of people aren’t knocking down
the door wanting to pat me on the back.”
The Bears owe Smith $11 million for the next two seasons.
Angelo said the remainder of Smith’s contract will have no impact
on decisions the team makes.
“It’s not about money, it’s about doing what we feel we need
to do to be a better football team,” Angelo said.
Angelo also said the injury suffered by Pro Bowl middle
linebacker Brian Urlacher in the season’s first game would not be a
factor in any decisions that will be made about Smith.
“I’m not going to blame injuries on our season,” Angelo said.
“For the most part we stayed pretty healthy. Losing Urlacher right
at the beginning [was big], but we were able to overcome that.
“Like I said, injuries are a part of the game. If you have a
rash of injuries that’s one thing. We never really had a rash of
Among things Angelo said he will talk to Smith about is the
decision to act both as defensive coordinator and head coach this
“Things didn’t come together like we wanted and there are a
lot of reasons why,” Angelo said. “It’s not just any one thing and
he may bring that [dual role] up, I don’t know.
“All this is premature, but we could get a real laundry list
of things that didn’t go quite the way we wanted them to go this
Quarterback Jay Cutler, who has thrown an NFL-high 25
interceptions, said players are aware of the uncertainty
surrounding Smith and his coaching staff.
“That’s how it goes. You’re never safe in this league,
especially when you’re losing ballgames, when you’re not playing to
the level you’re expected to. … That comes with the territory,”
Angelo said winning and playing well in the final games will
be important in the decision process.
“We need to get a win, that’s very important right now,”
Angelo said. “And I feel like we’ve been competitive, we just
haven’t been able to win — and that’s the bottom line in our
business as we all know.”
If Smith is retained, he’ll have full ability to make a
change in assistant coaches. The Bears have struggled on offense
this season and the job security of offensive coordinator Ron
Turner has come under scrutiny in recent weeks.
“I’m evaluating myself too,” Angelo said. “But I do know
this: We all share into what happened this year. I’m not going to
sit here and put blame on any one thing.
“When we sit down and visit and I talk to ownership as well
as the coaches, our personnel people, it will be an organizational
decision on what we do going forward on everything.”