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Bears fire Lovie Smith

The SportsXchange

Lovie Smith was fired by the Chicago Bears after nine seasons and a second straight collapse in the second half of the season that left them out of the playoffs.

Smith's entire coaching staff is expected to be replaced. General manager Phil Emery, who worked with Smith in his previous stint with the Bears in a scouting capacity, never fully committed to working toward a new contract with Smith, who is out with one year remaining on a deal he signed after leading the Bears to the Super Bowl after the 2006 season.

The Bears were one of the best defensive teams in the NFL on Smith's watch, but the offense lagged and this season fell to 28th in the league. Mike Martz was replaced with Mike Tice, but the conservative approach didn't fully utilize the personnel deployed for quarterback Jay Cutler and the offensive line, Tice's area of expertise, wasn't good enough to give Cutler consistent time to scan the field.

The Bears lost five straight games in a six-game stretch to end 2011, costing general manager Jerry Angelo and Martz their jobs.

Emery was handed Smith as his head coach when management named Emery a first-time GM in January.

A similar fate was dealt Smith on Monday. His 7-1 start fizzled with five losses in six games and wins in the final two games of the 2012 season wasn't enough to push the Bears into the postseason.

Smith was 80-63 with the Bears.
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