Could Bears coach Lovie Smith be on the hot seat this season just two seasons removed from leading the team to Super Bowl XLI? Chicago Tribune columnist David Haugh certainly seems to think so following GM Jerry Angelo‘s state-of-the-Bears address in Indianapolis.
- The thermostat in the head coach’s office just went up a few degrees. With two years and $9 million remaining on his contract after next season, Smith still seems safe in his job unless ’09 turns into a disaster.
- But when six Super Bowl-winning coaches likely will enter next season unemployed but potentially available—Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Mike Shanahan, Mike Holmgren, Jon Gruden and Brian Billick—it promises to be noisier around Chicago if the coaching Angelo counts on cannot pull the Bears out of mediocrity.
The Bears have gone 16-16 in the two seasons following their most recent Super Bowl visit, while shuffling QBs Brian Griese, Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton. The Bears went 4-2 down the stretch in 2008, but missed the playoffs after losing to Houston in Week 17.